American Society of Civil Engineers

Vapor Flow to Trench in Leaky Aquifer

by Bruce Hunt, (Reader, Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Univ. of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch, New Zealand) and Joel Massmann, (Assoc. Prof., Civ. Engrg. Dept., Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195)

Journal of Environmental Engineering, Vol. 126, No. 4, April 2000, pp. 375-381, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: Soil-vapor extraction has become the most common innovative technology for treating subsurface soils contaminated with volatile and semivolatile organic compounds. This popularity is due partly to the low cost of vapor extraction and partly to the fact that mitigation is completed in situ. Previous applications of this technology have generally considered flow to either vertical or horizontal wells. However, vapor flow to a trench offers the advantages of a more uniform velocity field and lower construction costs at sites with shallow water tables. Therefore, an analytical solution is obtained for steady flow to a trench. The trench is assumed to partially penetrate an anisotropic aquifer and to have a finite horizontal length. The bottom aquifer boundary is assumed to be an impermeable water table, and the top boundary is a semipermeable aquitard. A comparison is made with field measurements to illustrate the application of the solution and to give confidence in its use.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Extraction procedures
Soil treatment