Overview and Objectives of the Macrodispersion Experiment

by William R. Waldrop, TVA Engineering Lab, Norris, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Symposium on Ground Water


TVA is conducting large-scale field experiments to better define movement and dispersion of contaminants in groundwater. This will support groundwater protection by making possible more effective design of waste storage facilities, improving monitoring systems, and designing better mitigation programs. Field experiments were initiated at the Columbus Groundwater Research Test Site in 1983. After extensive site characterization, tracers were introduced into the groundwater to simulate a contaminant. Groundwater samples were collected at one- to four-month intervals from a network of about 300 wells, each designed to collect samples from up to 30 discrete depths. Tracer concentrations from this three-dimensional grid were analyzed to provide quantitative data defining how a contaminant plume migrates under heterogeneous conditions. A second major tracer injection was initiated in the summer of 1990. This study is designed to investigate contamination of major constituents of jet fuel and gasoline as well as utility waste. A conservative tracer, tritium, was injected as well as four hydrocarbons -- benzene, naphthalene, para-xylene, and ortho-dichlorobenzene.

Subject Headings: Probe instruments | Groundwater | Pollutants | Non-renewable energy | Field tests | Water conservation | Hydrocarbons | Building design | Ohio | United States

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