Shifts in Solute Transport Direction Induced by Transient Flow

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by Francis X. Markert, IT Corporation, Monroeville, United States,
Rafael G. Quimpo, IT Corporation, Monroeville, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulic Engineering

Abstract: Traditionally, solute transport projections have focussed on the long-term, steady state conditions expected to prevail in a groundwater system. However, transient effects may often dominate the flow system and cause major changes in the transport direction and velocity which might be missed in a steady-state analysis. An intermittent stream was investigated within the boundary of a previously modeled RCA facility. Measured streamflow and groundwater level fluctuations were used to develop a transient model of the stream's influence on the groundwater system. Results of this model were examined through particle tracking analysis and showed a groundwater velocity increase of approximately 20 percent and directional changes up to 55 degrees.In addition, a nearby flow divide was shifted causing groundwater to move towards two large capacity municipal water supply wells. These results demonstrate that transient flow condition analysis should be made an integral part of the assessment procedure in areas where surface water interaction is present in order not to miss significant shifts in contaminant transport direction.

Subject Headings: Transient flow | Steady states | Groundwater | Hydrologic models | Groundwater flow | Water flow | Fluid velocity | Rivers and streams |

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