How Many Observation Wells Does it Take to Find a Groundwater Contamination Plume?

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by Bruce R. James, Stanford Univ, Stanford, United States,
Steven M. Gorelick, Stanford Univ, Stanford, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Computing in Civil Engineering:

Abstract: A Bayesian data worth framework is developed to balance the benefits and costs of data collection. In addition to Bayesian decision analysis, tools from Monte Carlo simulation, numerical modeling and indicator geostatistics are used. The particular remediation problem deals with locating and hydraulically containing a groundwater contamination plume. The plume location and extent are unknown because of uncertainty in a) source location, b) source loading time, and c) aquifer heterogeneity. The better the location and extent are known, the lower the cost of remediation will be. The objective is to minimize the combined cost of sampling and containment.

Subject Headings: Groundwater pollution | Plumes | Observation wells | Bayesian analysis | Data collection | Hydrologic models | Numerical models | Data processing | Water quality | Europe | Monaco | Monte Carlo

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