Analytical Prediction of Gasoline Thickness on the Water Table

by M. Yavuz Corapcioglu, Texas A&M Univ, College Station, United States,
Rajasekhar Lingam, Texas A&M Univ, College Station, United States,
Vern K. Haisler, Texas A&M Univ, College Station, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Water Resources Planning and Management: Saving a Threatened Resource—In Search of Solutions


With the increased use of immiscible fluid products such as gasoline, the threats to groundwater resources by hydrocarbon products are increasing. The success of recovery of the hydrocarbon spill depends on the accurate placement of the recovery well at the spill site. This paper obtains an analytical expression for the recovery of a light immiscible fluid on the groundwater table following an oil spill. Using conservation of mass principles for the oil phase, incorporating boundary conditions and averaging in the vertical direction, a governing equation in terms of the oil thickness is derived. By combining the governing equations, boundary conditions and an initial profile, the gasoline thickness at any radial distance from the oil source and at any time can be calculated. The resulting equation is solved analytically by imposing the initial and boundary conditions for a multi-level, two-pump recovery technique.

Subject Headings: Boundary conditions | Gasoline | Thickness | Water table | Groundwater pollution | Hydrologic models | Hazardous materials spills | Water resources

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