Modeling the Movement of Volatile Organic Chemicals with Unsaturated Flow

by John S. Gierke, Michigan Technological Univ, Houghton, MI, USA,
Neil J. Hutzler, Michigan Technological Univ, Houghton, MI, USA,
John C. Crittenden, Michigan Technological Univ, Houghton, MI, USA,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Environmental Engineering

Abstract: Over the past decade, the rate of groundwater contamination by volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) has increased. Therefore, for both groundwater protection and cleanup, it is necessary that the mechanisms affecting the rate at which VOCs travel through soil and groundwater aquifers be well understood. This paper examines the relative importance of: (a) axial dispersion, (b) diffusion into immobile water, (c) mass transfer resistance at the air/mobile water interface, and (d) mass transfer resistance at the mobile/immobile water interface - also called film transfer - on the spreading of the breakthrough curve of trichloroethene being applied concurrently in air and water to a sandy loam soil. Three mathematical models are used to rank the importance of these mechanisms on spreading.

Subject Headings: Groundwater pollution | Water management | Mathematical models | Mass transfer | Mathematics | Fluid flow | Groundwater flow | Soil dynamics

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