Modeling Volatile Organic Transport with Vapor Sorption

by Teresa Culver, Cornell Univ, United States,
Christine A. Shoemaker, Cornell Univ, United States,
Leonard W. Lion, Cornell Univ, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Optimizing the Resources for Water Management


A flexible finite element simulation model is developed to predict the movement of volatile organic compounds in variably saturated subsurface regions. The model incorporates both the saturated and unsaturated regions with a variable water table and can simulate transient or steady-state conditions. In the model, sorption out of the aqueous phase is distinguished from sorption out of the vapor phase. The model incorporates the impact of this additional 'vapor sorption' observed in the unsaturated zone. Example simulations of volatile organic waste discharges in humid and arid regions are described. Vapor sorption may have a significant impact on the transport and volatilization rates of volatile organic compounds in the unsaturated zone under certain conditions and may need to be incorporated into predictions of groundwater quality for restoration and management applications.

Subject Headings: Sorption | Simulation models | Groundwater quality | Water quality | Finite element method | Groundwater pollution | Groundwater management

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