WorldWideScience

Sample records for unsaturated zone moisture

  1. Geochemical and isotopic studies of unsaturated zone moisture and recharge processes in semi-arid conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Edmunds, W.

    1988-07-01

    Against the background of recent droughts in the Sahel and the overexploitation of scarce water resources, new and improved techniques for recharge estimation in arid lands are now needed. Results have been obtained from the Butana area of Sudan where rainfall is presently well below 200 mm a -1 . Profiles of the unsaturated zone moisture were analysed for solutes and oxygen (δ 18 O) and hydrogen (δD) isotope ratios to estimate the extent of current recharge. Chloride concentrations were compared with those from rainfall inputs and the ratio used to estimate long term recharge values. Direct recharge proved to be below 1 mm a -1 and the unsaturated zone (25 m approx) contained around 2000 years storage. Isotopic profiles indicated that in some areas discharge from the water table was occurring. Within the Butana region of Sudan, therefore, current recharge rates in interfluve areas are effectively zero. Lateral recharge is however occurring, based on the presence of tritium, from the wadi systems. This forms the only replenishable resource which has been successfully exploited by traditional means, although under stress in the present dry period. The River Nile can be shown from isotopic results to recharge laterally some 10 km; but the deeper resources elsewhere are palaeowaters replenished during Holocene wet periods (6000-8000 BP). 2 refs, 6 figs

  2. Synopsis of recent moisture flux analyses relevant to the unsaturated zone at Area G

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vold, E.

    1998-03-01

    This report summarizes selected recent analyses relevant to the assessment of the site performance for disposal facilities at Los Alamos (Area G) regarding unsaturated zone transport of moisture in liquid and vapor phases and the surface water balance. Much of the analyses methods have been reported previously but in several separate and detailed reports. These do not always reflect the overview possible with hindsight. The present report is an attempt to integrate the author's previous results into a cohesive whole. Due to project time constraints, this report is incomplete in some area. This report first reviews the basis for the Darcy flux analyses and its inherent uncertainties, as detailed in previous reports. Results from the previous works are then reviewed and discussed and in some cases, elaborated in an attempt for clarification. New results of the Darcy Flux Analyses are presented and discussed for Area G mesa top locations, nearby canyon locations and a second mesa top location (TA46 west of Area G). Select evapotranspiration and precipitation data from TA6 are presented and discussed. The conclusions section draws a picture of the hydrology which unifies the study results reported here and in previous reports for the undisturbed and disturbed site locations

  3. Synopsis of moisture monitoring by neutron probe in the unsaturated zone at Area G

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vold, E.

    1997-01-01

    Moisture profiles from neutron probe data provide valuable information in site characterization and to supplement ground water monitoring efforts. The neutron probe precision error (reproducibility) is found to be about 0.2 vol% under in situ field conditions where the slope in moisture content with depth is varying slowly. This error is about 2 times larger near moisture spikes (e.g., at the vapor phase notch), due to the sensitivity of the probe response to vertical position errors on the order of 0.5 inches. Calibrations were performed to correct the downhole probe response to the volumetric moisture content determined on core samples. Calibration is sensitive to borehole diameter and casing type, requiring 3 separate calibration relations for the boreholes surveyed here. Power law fits were used for calibration in this study to assure moisture content results greater than zero. Findings in the boreholes reported here confirm the broad features seen previously in moisture profiles at Area G, a near-surface region with large moisture variability, a very dry region at greater depths, and a moisture spike at the vapor phase notch (VPN). This feature is located near the interface between the vitrified and vitrified stratigraphic units and near the base of the mesa. This report describes the in-field calibration methods used for the neutron moisture probe measurements and summarizes preliminary results of the monitoring program in the in-situ monitoring network at Area G. Reported results include three main areas: calibration studies, profiles from each of the vertical boreholes at Area G, and time-dependent variations in a select subset of boreholes. Results are reported here for the vertical borehole network. Results from the horizontal borehole network will be described when available

  4. Unsaturated zone moisture and vapor movement induced by temperature variations in asphalt barrier field lysimeters

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Holford, D.J.; Fayer, M.J.

    1990-08-01

    Protective barriers are being considered for use at the Hanford Site to enhance the isolation of radioactive wastes from water, plant, and animal intrusion. Lysimeters were constructed to evaluate the performance of asphalt barrier formulations under natural environmental conditions. These lysimeters were constructed of 1.7-m lengths of PVC pipe that have a diameter of 30 cm. The lysimeters were filled with layers of gravel, coarse sand, and asphalt. The sand and gravel placed under the asphalt barrier were wet when installed. TOUGH was used to conduct simulations to assess the effect of temperature variations on moisture and vapor movement beneath the asphalt layer in field test lysimeters. All variables in TOUGH were converted to double precision so that simulations could be run on a Sun-4 UNIX workstation. A radially symmetric grid was used to simulate the lysimeter. 8 refs., 9 figs

  5. Modelling flow through unsaturated zones: Sensitivity to unsaturated ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    M. Senthilkumar (Newgen Imaging) 1461 1996 Oct 15 13:05:22

    soil properties are studied by varying the unsaturated parameters α and n over a wide range. ... Keywords. Unsaturated zone; capillary fringe; finite element method. ... and radioactive wastes. Several .... The length (L) of the soil sample is 1 m.

  6. The influence of soil moisture in the unsaturated zone on the heat loss from buildings via the ground

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Janssen, H.; Carmeliet, J.; Hens, H.

    2002-01-01

    In calculations of building heat loss via the ground, the coupling with soil moisture transfer is generally ignored, an important hypothesis which will be falsified in this paper. Results from coupled simulations - coupled soil heat and moisture transfer equations and complete surface heat and

  7. Unsaturated zone investigation at the radioactive waste storage facility site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Skuratovic, Zana; Mazeika, Jonas; Petrosius, Rimantas; Jakimaviciute-Maseliene, Vaidote [Nature Research Centre, Akademijos St. 2, LT-08412, Vilnius (Lithuania); Klizas, Petras; Mokrik, Robert [Vilnius University, M.K. Ciurlionio St. 21/27, LT-03101 Vilnius (Lithuania)

    2014-07-01

    Unsaturated zone is an important part of water circulation cycle and an integral part of many hydrological and hydrogeological factors and processes. The soils of unsaturated zone are regarded as the first natural barrier to a large extent able to limit the spread of contaminants. Nuclear waste disposal site (Maisiagala radioactive waste storage facility site) was analysed in terms of the moisture movement through the unsaturated zone. Extensive data sets of the hydraulic properties, water content and isotope composition have been collected and summarized. The main experimental and observational tasks included the collection of soil samples; determination of the physical properties and the hydraulic conductivity values of soil samples, moisture extraction from the soil sample for isotopic studies; observation of the groundwater dynamics at the Maisiagala piezometer; groundwater sampling for isotopic analysis ({sup 3}H, {sup 18}O/{sup 16}O, {sup 2}H/{sup 1}H ); and monthly precipitation isotopic analysis. Distribution features of globally widespread radionuclide tritium ({sup 3}H) and the water molecule tracer isotopes in precipitation, unsaturated zone soil moisture profiles and groundwater were determined. It was used the well-known unsaturated flow and transport model of HYDRUS-1D (Simunek et al., 2008). In this study, van Genuchten equations for the retention and conductivity estimations have been used. The retention characteristics and van Genuchten model parameters were estimated internally by HYDRUS based on the empirical equations involved in the program. Basic inputs of the tritium transport simulation are the tritium input function and meteorological variables (precipitation and potential evapotranspiration). In order to validate the representativeness of the hydraulic parameters, the model has been used to estimate the tritium distribution in the unsaturated zone, which properly represents the dynamics of the unsaturated zone. The uniformity of the daily

  8. Unsaturated soil moisture drying and wetting diffusion coefficient measurements in the laboratory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-09-01

    ABSTRACTTransient moisture flow in an unsaturated soil in response to suction changes is controlled by the unsaturated moisture diffusion coefficient. The moisture diffusion coefficient can be determined by measuring suction profiles over time. The l...

  9. New technique of in-situ soil-moisture sampling for environmental isotope analysis applied at Pilat sand dune near Bordeaux. HETP modelling of bomb tritium propagation in the unsaturated and saturated zones

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thoma, G.; Esser, N.; Sonntag, C.; Weiss, W.; Rudolph, J.; Leveque, P.

    1979-01-01

    A new soil-air suction method with soil-water vapour adsorption by a 4-A molecular sieve provides soil-moisture samples from various depths for environmental isotope analysis and yields soil temperature profiles. A field tritium tracer experiment shows that this in-situ sampling method has an isotope profile resolution of about 5-10cm only. Application of this method in the Pilat sand dune (Bordeaux/France) yielded deuterium and tritium profiles down to 25m depth. Bomb tritium measurements of monthly lysimeter percolate samples available since 1961 show that the tritium response has a mean delay of five months in the case of a sand lysimeter and of 2.5 years for a loess loam lysimeter. A simple HETP model simulates the layered downward movement of soil water and the longitudinal dispersion in the lysimeters. Field capacity and evapotranspiration taken as open parameters yield tritium concentration values of the lysimeters' percolate which agree well with the experimental results. Based on local meteorological data the HETP model applied to tritium tracer experiments in the unsaturated zone yields in addition an individual prediction of the momentary tracer position and of the soil-moisture distribution. This prediction can be checked experimentally at selected intervals by coring. (author)

  10. Borehole-calibration methods used in cased and uncased test holes to determine moisture profiles in the unsaturated zone, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hammermeister, D.P.; Kneiblher, C.R.; Klenke, J.

    1985-01-01

    The use of drilling and coring methods that minimize the disturbance of formation rock and core has permitted field calibration of neutron-moisture tools in relatively large diameter cased and uncased boreholes at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. For 5.5-inch diameter cased holes, there was reasonable agreement between a field calibration in alluvium-colluvium and a laboratory calibration in a chamber containing silica sand. There was little difference between moisture-content profiles obtained in a neutron-access hole with a hand-held neutron-moisture meter and an automated borehole-logging tool using laboratory-generated calibration curves. Field calibrations utilizing linear regression analyses and as many as 119 data pairs show a good correlation between neutron-moisture counts and volumetric water content for sections of uncased 6-inch diameter boreholes in nonwelded and bedded tuff. Regression coefficients ranged from 0.80 to 0.94. There were only small differences between calibration curves in 4.25- and 6-inch uncased sections of boreholes. Results of analyzing field calibration data to determine the effects of formation density on calibration curves were inconclusive. Further experimental and theoretical work is outlined

  11. Vertical hydrochemical profiles in the unsaturated zone of louga ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Solutions chemistry of the rainwater and the unsaturated zone interstitial water of Louga (Northern Senegal) local aquifer provide valuable ... together with chemical analysis of the interstitial water carried out through the entire unsaturated ...

  12. Investigations of the unsaturated zone at two radioactive waste disposal sites in Lithuania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skuratovič, Žana; Mažeika, Jonas; Petrošius, Rimantas; Martma, Tõnu

    2016-01-01

    The unsaturated zone is an important part of the water cycle, governed by many hydrological and hydrogeological factors and processes and provide water and nutrients to the terrestrial ecosystem. Besides, the soils of the unsaturated zone are regarded as the first natural barrier to a large extent and are able to limit the spread of contaminants depending on their properties. The unsaturated zone provides a linkage between atmospheric moisture, groundwater, and seepage of groundwater to streams, lakes, or other surface water bodies. The major difference between water flow in saturated and unsaturated soils is that the hydraulic conductivity, which is conventionally assumed to be a constant in saturated soils, is a function of the degree of saturation or matrix suction in the unsaturated soils. In Lithuania, low and intermediate level radioactive wastes generated from medicine, industry and research were accumulated at the Maisiagala radioactive waste repository. Short-lived low and intermediate levels radioactive waste, generated during the operation of the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (INPP) and arising after the INPP decommissioning will be disposed of in the near surface repository close to the INPP (Stabatiske site). Extensive data sets of the hydraulic properties and water content attributed to unsaturated zone soil profiles of the two radioactive waste disposal sites have been collected and summarized. Globally widespread radionuclide tritium ((3)H) and stable isotope ratio ((18)O/(16)O and (2)H/(1)H) distribution features were determined in precipitation, unsaturated zone soil moisture profiles and groundwater.

  13. Evolution of the unsaturated zone testing at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, J.S.Y.; Bodvarsson, G.S.

    2002-01-01

    The evaluation of the Yucca Mountain site has evolved from intensive surface based investigations in the early 1980s to current focus on testing in underground drifts. Different periods of site-characterization activities and prominent issues concerning the unsaturated zone are summarized. Data-collection activities have evolved from mapping of faults and fractures, to estimation of percolation through tuff layers, and to quantification of seepage into drifts. Evaluation of discrete flow paths in drifts has led to fracture-matrix interaction and matrix diffusion tests over different scales. The effects of tuff interfaces and local faults are evaluated in fractured-welded and porous-nonwelded units. Mobilization of matrix water and redistribution of moisture are measured in thermal tests. Lessons learned from underground tests are used to focus on processes needed for additional quantification. Migration through the drift shadow zone and liquid flow through faults are two important issues that have evolved from current knowledge

  14. NaturAnalogs for the Unsaturated Zone

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    A. Simmons; A. Unger; M. Murrell

    2000-03-08

    The purpose of this Analysis/Model Report (AMR) is to document natural and anthropogenic (human-induced) analog sites and processes that are applicable to flow and transport processes expected to occur at the potential Yucca Mountain repository in order to build increased confidence in modeling processes of Unsaturated Zone (UZ) flow and transport. This AMR was prepared in accordance with ''AMR Development Plan for U0135, Natural Analogs for the UZ'' (CRWMS 1999a). Knowledge from analog sites and processes is used as corroborating information to test and build confidence in flow and transport models of Yucca Mountain, Nevada. This AMR supports the Unsaturated Zone (UZ) Flow and Transport Process Model Report (PMR) and the Yucca Mountain Site Description. The objectives of this AMR are to test and build confidence in the representation of UZ processes in numerical models utilized in the UZ Flow and Transport Model. This is accomplished by: (1) applying data from Boxy Canyon, Idaho in simulations of UZ flow using the same methodologies incorporated in the Yucca Mountain UZ Flow and Transport Model to assess the fracture-matrix interaction conceptual model; (2) Providing a preliminary basis for analysis of radionuclide transport at Pena Blanca, Mexico as an analog of radionuclide transport at Yucca Mountain; and (3) Synthesizing existing information from natural analog studies to provide corroborating evidence for representation of ambient and thermally coupled UZ flow and transport processes in the UZ Model.

  15. Natural Analogs for the Unsaturated Zone

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Simmons, A.; Unger, A.; Murrell, M.

    2000-01-01

    The purpose of this Analysis/Model Report (AMR) is to document natural and anthropogenic (human-induced) analog sites and processes that are applicable to flow and transport processes expected to occur at the potential Yucca Mountain repository in order to build increased confidence in modeling processes of Unsaturated Zone (UZ) flow and transport. This AMR was prepared in accordance with ''AMR Development Plan for U0135, Natural Analogs for the UZ'' (CRWMS 1999a). Knowledge from analog sites and processes is used as corroborating information to test and build confidence in flow and transport models of Yucca Mountain, Nevada. This AMR supports the Unsaturated Zone (UZ) Flow and Transport Process Model Report (PMR) and the Yucca Mountain Site Description. The objectives of this AMR are to test and build confidence in the representation of UZ processes in numerical models utilized in the UZ Flow and Transport Model. This is accomplished by: (1) applying data from Boxy Canyon, Idaho in simulations of UZ flow using the same methodologies incorporated in the Yucca Mountain UZ Flow and Transport Model to assess the fracture-matrix interaction conceptual model; (2) Providing a preliminary basis for analysis of radionuclide transport at Pena Blanca, Mexico as an analog of radionuclide transport at Yucca Mountain; and (3) Synthesizing existing information from natural analog studies to provide corroborating evidence for representation of ambient and thermally coupled UZ flow and transport processes in the UZ Model

  16. Seismic response of earth dams considering dynamic properties of unsaturated zone

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ariyan M.

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available It is conventionally assumed in the analysis and design of earth dams that the soil located above the phreatic line, i.e. the uppermost seepage flow line, is completely dry. However, there is often an unsaturated flow of water through an unsaturated zone above this borderline and variation in moisture content in this zone results in variation of matric suction throughout this region. Variation of matric suction, in turn, results in variation of effective stresses in this zone. In this research, the seismic response of earth dams in terms of the displacement and acceleration at the crown of the dam as well as the stress distribution in the dam body is investigated. Taking into account the effect of unsaturated zone, a comparison is made to investigate the effect of conventional simplification in ignoring the dynamic characteristics of the unsaturated zone above the phreatic line and the more complicated analysis which includes the unsaturated zone. A function for the soil-water retention curve (SWRC was assigned to the soil in the unsaturated zone to determine the variation of matric suction in this zone and analyses were made using finite difference software (FLAC. Results are then compared to the conventional method for homogeneous dams. In these analyzes the soil shear modulus was assumed to vary with the mean effective stress both for saturated and unsaturated zones. Among various results, it was notable that the history of crest x-displacement, and acceleration show higher values in models accounting for the unsaturated region. It was attributed to the considerably lower values of damping ratio in the crest region in the unsaturated models.

  17. Estimating unsaturated hydraulic conductivity from soil moisture-tim function

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    El Gendy, R.W.

    2002-01-01

    The unsaturated hydraulic conductivity for soil can be estimated from o(t) function, and the dimensionless soil water content parameter (Se)Se (β - βr)/ (φ - θ)), where θ, is the soil water content at any time (from soil moisture depletion curve l; θ is the residual water content and θ, is the total soil porosity (equals saturation point). Se can be represented as a time function (Se = a t b ), where t, is the measurement time and (a and b) are the regression constants. The recommended equation in this method is given by

  18. Unsaturated Zone and Saturated Zone Transport Properties (U0100)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    J. Conca

    2000-12-20

    This Analysis/Model Report (AMR) summarizes transport properties for the lower unsaturated zone hydrogeologic units and the saturated zone at Yucca Mountain and provides a summary of data from the Busted Butte Unsaturated Zone Transport Test (UZTT). The purpose of this report is to summarize the sorption and transport knowledge relevant to flow and transport in the units below Yucca Mountain and to provide backup documentation for the sorption parameters decided upon for each rock type. Because of the complexity of processes such as sorption, and because of the lack of direct data for many conditions that may be relevant for Yucca Mountain, data from systems outside of Yucca Mountain are also included. The data reported in this AMR will be used in Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA) calculations and as general scientific support for various Process Model Reports (PMRs) requiring knowledge of the transport properties of different materials. This report provides, but is not limited to, sorption coefficients and other relevant thermodynamic and transport properties for the radioisotopes of concern, especially neptunium (Np), plutonium (Pu), Uranium (U), technetium (Tc), iodine (I), and selenium (Se). The unsaturated-zone (UZ) transport properties in the vitric Calico Hills (CHv) are discussed, as are colloidal transport data based on the Busted Butte UZTT, the saturated tuff, and alluvium. These values were determined through expert elicitation, direct measurements, and data analysis. The transport parameters include information on interactions of the fractures and matrix. In addition, core matrix permeability data from the Busted Butte UZTT are summarized by both percent alteration and dispersion.

  19. Unsaturated Zone and Saturated Zone Transport Properties (U0100)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Conca, J.

    2000-01-01

    This Analysis/Model Report (AMR) summarizes transport properties for the lower unsaturated zone hydrogeologic units and the saturated zone at Yucca Mountain and provides a summary of data from the Busted Butte Unsaturated Zone Transport Test (UZTT). The purpose of this report is to summarize the sorption and transport knowledge relevant to flow and transport in the units below Yucca Mountain and to provide backup documentation for the sorption parameters decided upon for each rock type. Because of the complexity of processes such as sorption, and because of the lack of direct data for many conditions that may be relevant for Yucca Mountain, data from systems outside of Yucca Mountain are also included. The data reported in this AMR will be used in Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA) calculations and as general scientific support for various Process Model Reports (PMRs) requiring knowledge of the transport properties of different materials. This report provides, but is not limited to, sorption coefficients and other relevant thermodynamic and transport properties for the radioisotopes of concern, especially neptunium (Np), plutonium (Pu), Uranium (U), technetium (Tc), iodine (I), and selenium (Se). The unsaturated-zone (UZ) transport properties in the vitric Calico Hills (CHv) are discussed, as are colloidal transport data based on the Busted Butte UZTT, the saturated tuff, and alluvium. These values were determined through expert elicitation, direct measurements, and data analysis. The transport parameters include information on interactions of the fractures and matrix. In addition, core matrix permeability data from the Busted Butte UZTT are summarized by both percent alteration and dispersion

  20. Transient Point Infiltration In The Unsaturated Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buecker-Gittel, M.; Mohrlok, U.

    The risk assessment of leaking sewer pipes gets more and more important due to urban groundwater management and environmental as well as health safety. This requires the quantification and balancing of transport and transformation processes based on the water flow in the unsaturated zone. The water flow from a single sewer leakage could be described as a point infiltration with time varying hydraulic conditions externally and internally. External variations are caused by the discharge in the sewer pipe as well as the state of the leakage itself. Internal variations are the results of microbiological clogging effects associated with the transformation processes. Technical as well as small scale laboratory experiments were conducted in order to investigate the water transport from an transient point infiltration. From the technical scale experiment there was evidence that the water flow takes place under transient conditions when sewage infiltrates into an unsaturated soil. Whereas the small scale experiments investigated the hydraulics of the water transport and the associated so- lute and particle transport in unsaturated soils in detail. The small scale experiment was a two-dimensional representation of such a point infiltration source where the distributed water transport could be measured by several tensiometers in the soil as well as by a selective measurement of the discharge at the bottom of the experimental setup. Several series of experiments were conducted varying the boundary and initial con- ditions in order to derive the important parameters controlling the infiltration of pure water from the point source. The results showed that there is a significant difference between the infiltration rate in the point source and the discharge rate at the bottom, that could be explained by storage processes due to an outflow resistance at the bottom. This effect is overlayn by a decreasing water content decreases over time correlated with a decreasing infiltration

  1. Isotope studies of a thick unsaturated zone in a semi-arid area of Southern Africa

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Butler, M.J.; Verhagen, B.Th.

    2001-01-01

    Unsaturated zone profiles ranging in depth from 8 m to 22 m were obtained by hand augering an aeolian sand cover in the southern reaches of the semi-arid Kalahari thirstland. Moisture contents were rather low (<3 wt.%); in situ moisture chloride concentrations, measured by selective ion electrode following elutriation, are generally <500 ppm. Deuterium in the moisture was measured mass spectrometrically by direct quantitative conversion to hydrogen on zinc metal of moist soil samples. A novel technique of direct equilibration was developed for oxygen-18 analysis. Neither a thermonuclear tritium peak nor a stable isotope evaporation inversion near the surface could be observed in any of the profiles. Remarkable differences both laterally and vertically are observed in most parameters measured between profiles taken a few tens of metres apart. At greater depths, these differences become less pronounced. Recharge estimates based on chloride differ markedly from those obtained from tritium. Although the stable isotope values of the underlying saturated zone are similar to moisture in the deeper sections of the unsaturated zone profiles, the markedly lower chloride concentrations point towards preferential or bypass flow as an important mechanism of ground water recharge in the area. This can be regarded as a benchmark site on account of the wealth of unsaturated zone data as well as the detailed and ongoing rainfall record. (author)

  2. Simulation of heat transfer in the unsaturated zone

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zyvoloski, G.

    1990-01-01

    Heat transfer can play an important role in fluid flow near the emplacement site of high-level nuclear waste. The effects on far- field flow can be important in understanding net moisture fluxes above the repository zone. The convection in the unsaturated zone at the Yucca Mountain site was responsible for this movement. If this is so, then the convection could provide a mechanism for drying the rock above the repository zone and thus provide a buffer for heavy rainfall events. In addition, the convection would increase the movement of gaseous radionuclides such as 14 CO 2 , tritiated water vapor, and 129 I (Weeks, 1987). Because of the complexity of the problem, numerical models were required to calculate gas flow and vapor transport at the site. Kipp previously modeled this problem using the code HST3D. This code represents the flow of a single-phase fluid with both heat- and mass-transfer effects included. Water density and partial pressure effects are accounted for by the virtual temperature method. In this paper, the problem was simulated using the code FEHMN, a finite-element heat- and mass-transfer code being developed for the Yucca Mountain Project. The work described in this paper was done in preparation of the upcoming problem to be formulated for the Performance Assessment Calculation Exercise. 5 refs., 9 figs., 1 tab

  3. Unsaturated Zone Flow Patterns and Analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    C. Ahlers

    2001-10-17

    This Analysis/Model Report (AMR) documents the development of an expected-case model for unsaturated zone (UZ) flow and transport that will be described in terms of the representativeness of models of the natural system. The expected-case model will provide an evaluation of the effectiveness of the natural barriers, assess the impact of conservatism in the Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA), and support the development of further models and analyses for public confidence building. The present models used in ''Total System Performance Assessment for the Site Recommendation'' (Civilian Radioactive Waste Management System Management and Operating Contractor (CRWMS M&O) 2000 [1532461]) underestimate the natural-barrier performance because of conservative assumptions and parameters and do not adequately address uncertainty and alternative models. The development of an expected case model for the UZ natural barrier addresses issues regarding flow-pattern analysis and modeling that had previously been treated conservatively. This is in line with the Repository Safety Strategy (RSS) philosophy of treating conservatively those aspects of the UZ flow and transport system that are not important for achieving regulatory dose (CRWMS M&O 2000 [153246], Section 1.1.1). The development of an expected case model for the UZ also provides defense-in-depth in areas requiring further analysis of uncertainty and alternative models. In general, the value of the conservative case is to provide a more easily defensible TSPA for behavior of UZ flow and transport processes at Yucca Mountain. This AMR has been prepared in accordance with the ''Technical Work Plan for Unsaturated Zone (UZ) Flow and Transport Process Model Report'' (Bechtel SAIC Company (BSC) 2001 [155051], Section 1.3 - Work Package 4301213UMG). The work scope is to examine the data and current models of flow and transport in the Yucca Mountain UZ to identify models and analyses

  4. Unsaturated Zone Flow Patterns and Analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ahlers, C.

    2001-01-01

    This Analysis/Model Report (AMR) documents the development of an expected-case model for unsaturated zone (UZ) flow and transport that will be described in terms of the representativeness of models of the natural system. The expected-case model will provide an evaluation of the effectiveness of the natural barriers, assess the impact of conservatism in the Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA), and support the development of further models and analyses for public confidence building. The present models used in ''Total System Performance Assessment for the Site Recommendation'' (Civilian Radioactive Waste Management System Management and Operating Contractor (CRWMS M and O) 2000 [1532461]) underestimate the natural-barrier performance because of conservative assumptions and parameters and do not adequately address uncertainty and alternative models. The development of an expected case model for the UZ natural barrier addresses issues regarding flow-pattern analysis and modeling that had previously been treated conservatively. This is in line with the Repository Safety Strategy (RSS) philosophy of treating conservatively those aspects of the UZ flow and transport system that are not important for achieving regulatory dose (CRWMS M and O 2000 [153246], Section 1.1.1). The development of an expected case model for the UZ also provides defense-in-depth in areas requiring further analysis of uncertainty and alternative models. In general, the value of the conservative case is to provide a more easily defensible TSPA for behavior of UZ flow and transport processes at Yucca Mountain. This AMR has been prepared in accordance with the ''Technical Work Plan for Unsaturated Zone (UZ) Flow and Transport Process Model Report'' (Bechtel SAIC Company (BSC) 2001 [155051], Section 1.3 - Work Package 4301213UMG). The work scope is to examine the data and current models of flow and transport in the Yucca Mountain UZ to identify models and analyses where conservatism may be

  5. MAPPING SPATIAL MOISTURE CONTENT OF UNSATURATED AGRICULTURAL SOILS WITH GROUND-PENETRATING RADAR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. Shamir

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Soil subsurface moisture content, especially in the root zone, is important for evaluation the influence of soil moisture to agricultural crops. Conservative monitoring by point-measurement methods is time-consuming and expensive. In this paper we represent an active remote-sensing tool for subsurface spatial imaging and analysis of electromagnetic physical properties, mostly water content, by ground-penetrating radar (GPR reflection. Combined with laboratory methods, this technique enables real-time and highly accurate evaluations of soils' physical qualities in the field. To calculate subsurface moisture content, a model based on the soil texture, porosity, saturation, organic matter and effective electrical conductivity is required. We developed an innovative method that make it possible measures spatial subsurface moisture content up to a depth of 1.5 m in agricultural soils and applied it to two different unsaturated soil types from agricultural fields in Israel: loess soil type (Calcic haploxeralf, common in rural areas of southern Israel with about 30% clay, 30% silt and 40% sand, and hamra soil type (Typic rhodoxeralf, common in rural areas of central Israel with about 10% clay, 5% silt and 85% sand. Combined field and laboratory measurements and model development gave efficient determinations of spatial moisture content in these fields. The environmentally friendly GPR system enabled non-destructive testing. The developed method for measuring moisture content in the laboratory enabled highly accurate interpretation and physical computing. Spatial soil moisture content to 1.5 m depth was determined with 1–5% accuracy, making our method useful for the design of irrigation plans for different interfaces.

  6. Quantification of groundwater recharge through application of pilot techniques in the unsaturated zone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kallioras, Andreas; Piepenbrink, Matthias; Schuth, Christoph; Pfletschinger, Heike; Dietrich, Peter; Koeniger, Franz; Rausch, Randolf

    2010-05-01

    Accurate determination of groundwater recharge is a key issue for the "smart mining" of groundwater resources. Groundwater recharge estimation techniques depend on the investigated hydrologic zone, and therefore main approaches are based on (a) unsaturated zone, (b) saturated zone and (c) surface water studies. This research contributes to the determination of groundwater recharge by investigating the infiltration of groundwater through the unsaturated zone. The investigations are conducted through the application of a combination of different pilot field as well as lab techniques. The field techniques include the installation of specially designed Time Domain Reflectometry (TDR) sensors, at different depths within the unsaturated zone for in-situ and continuous measurements of the volumetric pore water content. Additionally, the extraction of pore water -for analysis of its isotopic composition- from multilevel undisturbed soil samples through significant depths within the unsaturated zone column, enables the dating of the groundwater age through the determination of its isotopic composition. The in-situ investigation of the unsaturated zone is complemented by the determination of high resolution temperature profiles. The installation of the pilot TDR sensors is achieved by using direct push methods at significant depths within the unsaturated zone, providing continuous readings of the soil moisture content. The direct push methods are also ideal for multilevel sampling of undisturbed -without using any drilling fluids which affect the isotopic composition of the containing pore water- soil and consequent extraction of the included pore water for further isotopic determination. The pore water is extracted by applying the method of azeotropic distillation; a method which has the least isotopic fractionation effects on groundwater samples. The determination of different isotopic signals such as 18O, 2H, 3H, and 36Cl, aims to the investigation of groundwater transit

  7. Study of downward movement of soil water in unsaturated zones using isotopic techniques. Part of a coordinated programme on studying physical and isotopic behaviour of soil moisture in the zones of aeration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sajjad, M.I.

    1984-08-01

    Experiments carried out to study the relative contribution from canal system, precipitation and irrigated fields to water table are described. The normal delta of irrigation water does not seem to have any appreciable effect on the water table through heavy textured soil. The contribution from irrigated fields and rains through sandy soils is significant. However, the groundwater rise (water logging) is mainly due to the infiltration from the canal system. Flow velocities at 1 m depth and 20 vol. % moisture are of the order of 16 m/a and 1.6 m/a for sandy and loamy soils respectively. The contribution from irrigated fields and rains to groundwater recharge is considered to be less than 30%

  8. Role of the unsaturated zone in radioactive and hazardous waste disposal

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mercer, J.W.; Marine, I.W.; Rao, P.S.C.

    1983-01-01

    The problems of hazardous and low-level radioactive waste disposal caused by the physical and chemical processes active in the unsaturated zone are explored in this book. The focus is on the use of laboratory analyses, field observations, and numerical and analytical calculations to create a clear picture of both problems and potential solutions. Topics include policy modeling, statistical techniques, liners, and field applications. Contents include: Modeling of Moisture Movement through Layered Trench Covers; Role of Partially Saturated Soil in Liner Design for Hazardous Waste Disposal Sites; Field Experiments to Determine Saturated Hydraulic Conductivity in the Vadose Zone; Role of Desaturation on Transport through Fractured Rock; Nuclear Waste Isolation in the Unsaturated Zone of Arid Regions

  9. Unsaturated zone flow modeling for GWTT-95

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ho, C.K.; Altman, S.J.; McKenna, S.A.; Arnold, B.W.

    1995-01-01

    In accordance with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission regulation regarding groundwater travel times at geologic repositories, various models of unsaturated flow in fractured tuff have been developed and implemented to assess groundwater travel times at the potential repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Kaplan used one-dimensional models to describe the uncertainty and sensitivity of travel times to various processes at Yucca Mountain. Robey and Arnold et al. used a two-dimensional equivalent continuum model (ECM) with inter- and intra-unit heterogeneity in an attempt to assess fast-flow paths through the unsaturated, fractured tuff at Yucca Mountain (GWTT-94). However, significant flow through the fractures in previous models was not simulated due to the characteristics of the ECM, which requires the matrix to be nearly saturated before flow through the fractures is initiated. In the current study (GWTT-95), four two-dimensional cross-sections at Yucca Mountain are simulated using both the ECM and dual-permeability (DK) models. The properties of both the fracture and matrix domains are geostatistically simulated, yielding completely heterogeneous continua. Then, simulations of flow through the four cross-sections are performed using spatially nonuniform infiltration boundary conditions. Steady-state groundwater travel times from the potential repository to the water table are calculated

  10. Solid waste leach characteristics and contaminant-sediment interactions Volume 2: Contaminant transport under unsaturated moisture contents

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lindenmeier, C.W.; Serne, R.J.; Conca, J.L.

    1995-09-01

    The objectives of this report and subsequent volumes include describing progress on (1) development and optimization of experimental methods to quantify the release of contaminants from solid wastes and their subsequent interactions with unsaturated sediments and (2) the creation of empirical data that become input parameters to performance assessment (PA) analyses for future Hanford Site disposal units and baseline risk assessments for inactive and existing solid waste disposal units. For this report, efforts focused on developing methodologies to evaluate contaminant transport in Trench 8 (W-5 Burial Ground) sediments under unsaturated (vadose zone) conditions. To accomplish this task, a series of flow-through column tests were run using standard saturated column systems, Wierenga unsaturated column systems (both commercial and modified), and the Unsaturated Flow Apparatus (UFA). The reactants investigated were 85 Sr, 236 U, and 238 U as reactive tracers, and tritium as a non-reactive tracer. Results indicate that for moderately unsaturated conditions (volumetric water contents >50 % of saturation), the Wierenga system performed reasonably well such that long water residence times (50-147 h) were achieved, and reasonably good steady-state flow conditions were maintained. The major drawbacks in using this system for reactive tracer work included (1) the inability to achieve reproducible and constant moisture content below 50% of saturation, (2) the four to six month time required to complete a single test, and (3) the propensity for mechanical failure resulting from laboratory power outages during the prolonged testing period

  11. Synopsis of some preliminary computational studies related to unsaturated zone transport at Area G

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vold, E.

    1998-03-01

    Computational transport models are described with applications in three problem areas related to unsaturated zone moisture movement beneath Area G. These studies may be used to support the ongoing maintenance of the site Performance Assessment. The three areas include: a 1-D transient analysis with average tuff hydraulic properties in the near surface region with computed results compared to field data; the influence on near surface transient moisture percolation due to realistic distributions in hydraulic properties derived statistically from the observed variance in the field data; and the west to east moisture flow in a 2-D steady geometry approximation of the Pajarito Plateau. Results indicate that a simple transient model for transport of moisture volume fraction fits field data well compared to a moisture pulse observed in the active disposal unit, pit 37. Using realistic infiltration boundary conditions for summer showers and for spring snow melt conditions, the computed moisture pulses show significant propagation to less than 10-ft depth. Next, the hydraulic properties were varied on a 2-D grid using statistical distributions based on the field data means and variances for the hydraulic parameters. Near surface transient percolation in these conditions shows a qualitatively realistic percolation with a spatially variable wave front moving into the tuff; however, the flow does not channel into preferred paths and suggests there is no formation of fast paths which could enhance transportation of contaminants. Finally, moisture transport is modeled through an unsaturated 2-D slice representing the upper stratigraphic layers beneath Area G and a west-to-east cut of several miles to examine possible lateral movement from the west where percolation is assumed to be greater than at Area G. Results show some west-to-east moisture flux consistent with the assumed profile for the percolation boundary conditions

  12. Investigating Unsaturated Zone Travel Times with Tritium and Stable Isotopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Visser, A.; Thaw, M.; Van der Velde, Y.

    2017-12-01

    Travel times in the unsaturated zone are notoriously difficult to assess. Travel time tracers relying on the conservative transport of dissolved (noble) gases (tritium-helium, CFCs or SF6) are not applicable. Large water volume requirements of other cosmogenic radioactive isotopes (sulfur-35, sodium-22) preclude application in the unsaturated zone. Prior investigations have relied on models, introduced tracers, profiles of stable isotopes or tritium, or a combination of these techniques. Significant unsaturated zone travel times (UZTT) complicate the interpretation of stream water travel time tracers by ranked StorAge Selection (rSAS) functions. Close examination of rSAS functions in a sloping soil lysimeter[1] show the effect of the UZTT on the shape of the rSAS cumulative distribution function. We studied the UZTT at the Southern Sierra Critical Zone Observatory (SS-CZO) using profiles of tritium and stable isotopes (18O and 2H) in the unsaturated zone, supported by soil water content data. Tritium analyses require 100-500 mL of soil water and therefore large soil samples (1-5L), and elaborate laboratory procedures (oven drying, degassing and noble gas mass spectrometry). The high seasonal and interannual variability in precipitation of the Mediterranean climate, variable snow pack and high annual ET/P ratios lead to a dynamic hydrology in the deep unsaturated soils and regolith and highly variable travel time distributions. Variability of the tritium concentration in precipitation further complicates direct age estimates. Observed tritium profiles (>3 m deep) are interpreted in terms of advective and dispersive vertical transport of the input variability and radioactive decay of tritium. Significant unsaturated zone travel times corroborate previously observed low activities of short-lived cosmogenic radioactive nuclides in stream water. Under these conditions, incorporating the UZTT is critical to adequately reconstruct stream water travel time distributions. 1

  13. Volatile organic compounds in the unsaturated zone from radioactive wastes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Ronald J.; Andraski, Brian J.; Stonestrom, David A.; Luo, Wentai

    2012-01-01

    Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are often comingled with low-level radioactive wastes (LLRW), but little is known about subsurface VOC emanations from LLRW landfills. The current study systematically quantified VOCs associated with LLRW over an 11-yr period at the USGS Amargosa Desert Research Site (ADRS) in southwestern Nevada. Unsaturated-zone gas samples of VOCs were collected by adsorption on resin cartridges and analyzed by thermal desorption and GC/MS. Sixty of 87 VOC method analytes were detected in the 110-m-thick unsaturated zone surrounding a LLRW disposal facility. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) were detected in 100% of samples collected. Chlorofluorocarbons are powerful greenhouse gases, deplete stratospheric ozone, and are likely released from LLRW facilities worldwide. Soil-gas samples collected from a depth of 24 m and a horizontal distance 100 m south of the nearest waste-disposal trench contained >60,000 ppbv total VOCs, including >37,000 ppbv CFCs. Extensive sampling in the shallow unsaturated zone (0–2 m deep) identified areas where total VOC concentrations exceeded 5000 ppbv at the 1.5-m depth. Volatile organic compound concentrations exceeded background levels up to 300 m from the facility. Maximum vertical diffusive fluxes of total VOCs were estimated to be 1 g m-2 yr-1. Volatile organic compound distributions were similar but not identical to those previously determined for tritium and elemental mercury. To our knowledge, this study is the first to characterize the unsaturated zone distribution of VOCs emanating from a LLRW landfill. Our results may help explain anomalous transport of radionuclides at the ADRS and elsewhere.

  14. Uncertainty analyses of unsaturated zone travel time at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nichols, W.E.; Freshley, M.D.

    1993-01-01

    Uncertainty analysis method can be applied to numerical models of ground-water flow to estimate the relative importance of physical and hydrologic input variables with respect to ground-water travel time. Monte Carlo numerical simulations of unsaturated flow in the Calico Hills nonwelded zeolitic (CHnz) layer at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, indicate that variability in recharge, and to a lesser extent in matrix porosity, explains most of the variability in predictions of water travel time through the unsaturated zone. Variations in saturated hydraulic conductivity and unsaturated curve-fitting parameters were not statistically significant in explaining variability in water travel time through the unsaturated CHnz unit. The results of this study suggest that the large uncertainty associated with recharge rate estimates for the Yucca Mountain site is of concern because the performance of the potential repository would be more sensitive to uncertainty in recharge than to any other parameter evaluated. These results are not exhaustive because of the limited site characterization data available and because of the preliminary nature of this study, which is limited to a single stratigraphic unit, one dimension, and does not account for fracture flow or other potential fast pathways at Yucca Mountain

  15. Hydrogeology of the unsaturated zone, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Montazer, P.; Wilson, W.E.

    1985-01-01

    The unsaturated volcanic tuff beneath Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is being evaluated by the US Department of Energy as a host rock for a potential mined geologic repository for high-level radioactive waste. Assessment of site suitability needs an efficient and focused investigative program. A conceptual hydrogeologic model that simulates the flow of fluids through the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain was developed to guide the program and to provide a basis for preliminary assessment of site suitability. The study was made as part of the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations Project of the US Department of Energy. Thickness of the unsaturated zone is about 1640 to 2460 feet (500 to 750 meters). Based on physical properties, the rocks in the unsaturated zone are grouped for the purpose of this paper into five informal hydrogeologic units. From top to bottom these units are: Tiva Canyon welded unit, Paintbrush nonwelded unit. Topopah Spring welded unit, Calico Hills nonwelded unit, and Crater Flat unit. Welded units have a mean fracture density of 8 to 40 fractures per unit cubic meter, mean matrix porosities of 12 to 23%, matrix hydraulic conductivities with geometric means ranging from 6.5 x 10 -6 to 9.8 x 10 -6 foot per day (2 x 10 -6 to 3 x 10 -6 meter per day), and bulk hydraulic conductivities of 0.33 to 33 feet per day (0.1 to 10 meters per day). The nonwelded units have a mean fracture density of 1 to 3 fractures per unit cubic meter, mean matrix porosities of 31 to 46%, and saturated hydraulic conductivities with geometric means ranging from 2.6 x 10 -5 to 2.9 x 10 -2 foot per day (8 x 10 -6 to 9 x 10 -3 meter per day). 15 refs., 4 figs., 1 tab

  16. Effects of thermal vapor diffusion on seasonal dynamics of water in the unsaturated zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milly, Paul C.D.

    1996-01-01

    The response of water in the unsaturated zone to seasonal changes of temperature (T) is determined analytically using the theory of nonisothermal water transport in porous media, and the solutions are tested against field observations of moisture potential and bomb fallout isotopic (36Cl and 3H) concentrations. Seasonally varying land surface temperatures and the resulting subsurface temperature gradients induce thermal vapor diffusion. The annual mean vertical temperature gradient is close to zero; however, the annual mean thermal vapor flux is downward, because the temperature‐dependent vapor diffusion coefficient is larger, on average, during downward diffusion (occurring at high T) than during upward diffusion (low T). The annual mean thermal vapor flux is shown to decay exponentially with depth; the depth (about 1 m) at which it decays to e−1of its surface value is one half of the corresponding decay depth for the amplitude of seasonal temperature changes. This depth‐dependent annual mean flux is effectively a source of water, which must be balanced by a flux divergence associated with other transport processes. In a relatively humid environment the liquid fluxes greatly exceed the thermal vapor fluxes, so such a balance is readily achieved without measurable effect on the dynamics of water in the unsaturated zone. However, if the mean vertical water flux through the unsaturated zone is very small (theoretical prediction is supported by long‐term field measurements in the Chihuahuan Desert. The analysis also makes predictions, confirmed by the field observations, regarding the seasonal variations of matric potential at a given depth. The conceptual model of unsaturated zone water transport developed here implies the possibility of near‐surface trapping of any aqueous constituent introduced at the surface.

  17. Oxygenated gasoline release in the unsaturated zone - Part 1: Source zone behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freitas, Juliana G; Barker, James F

    2011-11-01

    Oxygenates present in gasoline, such as ethanol and MTBE, are a concern in subsurface contamination related to accidental spills. While gasoline hydrocarbon compounds have low solubility, MTBE and ethanol are more soluble, ethanol being completely miscible with water. Consequently, their fate in the subsurface is likely to differ from that of gasoline. To evaluate the fate of gasoline containing oxygenates following a release in the unsaturated zone shielded from rainfall/recharge, a controlled field test was performed at Canadian Forces Base Borden, in Ontario. 200L of a mixture composed of gasoline with 10% ethanol and 4.5% MTBE was released in the unsaturated zone, into a trench 20cm deep, about 32cm above the water table. Based on soil cores, most of the ethanol was retained in the source, above the capillary fringe, and remained there for more than 100 days. Ethanol partitioned from the gasoline to the unsaturated pore-water and was retained, despite the thin unsaturated zone at the site (~35cm from the top of the capillary fringe to ground surface). Due to its lower solubility, most of the MTBE remained within the NAPL as it infiltrated deeper into the unsaturated zone and accumulated with the gasoline on top of the depressed capillary fringe. Only minor changes in the distribution of ethanol were noted following oscillations in the water table. Two methods to estimate the capacity of the unsaturated zone to retain ethanol are explored. It is clear that conceptual models for sites impacted by ethanol-fuels must consider the unsaturated zone. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Design of a three-dimensional site-scale model for the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wittwer, C.S.; Bodvarsson, G.S.; Chornack, M.P.; Flint, A.L.; Lewis, B.D.; Spengler, R.W.; Flint, L.E.; Rautman, C.A.

    1992-01-01

    A three-dimensional model of moisture flow within the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain is being developed. This site-scale model covers an area of about 30 km 2 and is bounded by major faults to the east and west. A detailed numerical grid has been developed based on location of boreholes, different infiltration zones, hydrogeological units and their outcrops, major faults, and water level data. Different maps, such as contour maps and isopachs maps, are presented for the different infiltration zones, and for the base of the Tiva Canyon, the Paintbrush, and the Topopah Spring hydrogeological units

  19. Uranium (VI) Sorption and Transport in Unsaturated, Subsurface Hanford Site Sediments - Effect of Moisture Content and Sediment Texture: Final Report for Subtask 2b

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gamerdinger, A.P.; Resch, C.T.; Kaplan, D.I.

    1998-01-01

    A series of experiments were conducted in fiscal year 1998 at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory as part of the Immobilized Low-Activity Waste-Performance Assessment. These experiments evaluated the sorption and transport of uranium, U(VI), under conditions of partial moisture saturation that are relevant to arid region burial sites and vadose-zone far-field conditions at the Hanford Site. The focus was on measuring breakthrough curves (from which distribution coefficient [K d ] values can be calculated) for U(W) in three Hanford Site sediments that represent different texture classes in two unsaturated moisture conditions. Previous research showed that K d values measured during transport in unsaturated sediments varied with moisture saturation

  20. Geophysical borehole logging in the unsaturated zone, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schimschal, U.; Nelson, P.H.

    1991-01-01

    Borehole geophysical logging for site characterization in the volcanic rocks at the proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, requires data collection under rather unusual conditions. Logging tools must operate in rugose, dry holes above the water table in the unsaturated zone. Not all logging tools will operate in this environment, therefore; careful consideration must be given to selection and calibration. A sample suite of logs is presented that demonstrates correlation of geological formations from borehole to borehole, the definition of zones of altered mineralogy, and the quantitative estimates of rock properties. The authors show the results of an exploratory calculation of porosity and water saturation based upon density and epithermal neutron logs. Comparison of the results with a few core samples is encouraging, particularly because the logs can provide continuous data in boreholes where core samples are not available

  1. Measurement of unsaturated flow below the root zone at an arid site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kirkham, R.R.; Gee, G.W.

    1983-12-01

    We measured moisture content changes below the root zone of a grass-covered area at the Hanford Site in Washington State and determined that drainage exceeded 5 cm or 20% of the total precipitation for November 1982 through October 1983. Although the average annual rainfall at the Hanford Site is 16 cm, the test year precipitation exceeded 24 cm with nearly 75% of the precipitation occurring during November through April. The moisture content at all depths in the soil reached a maximum and the monthly average potential evapotranspiration reached a minimum during this period of time. Moisture content profiles were measured at depth on biweekly intervals from January through October; these data were used to estimate drainage from the profile. Grass roots were not found below 1 m, hence moisture changes below 1 m were assumed to be entirely due to drainage. Upward capillary flow was considered to be negligible since the soil was a coars sand and the water table was below 10 m. The large amount of drainage from this arid site is attributed to rainfall distribution pattern, shallow root-zone, and soil drainage characteristics. Unsaturated flow model simulations predicted about 5-cm drainage from the grass site using daily climatic data, estimated soil hydraulic properties, and estimated transpiration parameters for cheatgrass at the Hanford Site. Improvements in the comparisons between measured and predicted drainage are anticipated with field-measured hydraulic properties and more realistic estimates of grass cover transpiration. However, both measurements and model predictions support the conclusion that under conditions where the majority of the rainfall occurs during periods of low potential evaporation and where soils are coarse textured, significant drainage can occur from the root zone of vegetated areas at Hanford or similar arid zone sites

  2. Influence of vapor-mass flux on simultaneous heat and moisture transfer in unsaturated porous media

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hartley, J.G.; Boo, J.H.

    1987-01-01

    This paper evaluates the validity of neglecting vapor transport by moisture content gradients (VMG) and liquid transport by temperature gradients (LTG) in coupled heat and moisture transfer in moist porous media. A review of previous work reveals discrepancies between model predictions and experimental data. The results presented here show that these discrepancies result from neglecting VMG. The governing equations which describe the coupled heat and moisture transfer are solved numerically for an infinite slab of an unsaturated porous medium, and existing experimental and empirical data for a moist sandy silt soil are used. Predicted moisture content distributions during dry-out and drying rates are found to be significantly affected by VMG. Accurate results can be obtained when VMG is neglected in the energy equation provided that it is retained in the mass conservation equation

  3. Effects from Unsaturated Zone Flow during Oscillatory Hydraulic Testing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, D.; Zhou, Y.; Cardiff, M. A.; Barrash, W.

    2014-12-01

    In analyzing pumping tests on unconfined aquifers, the impact of the unsaturated zone is often neglected. Instead, desaturation at the water table is often treated as a free-surface boundary, which is simple and allows for relatively fast computation. Richards' equation models, which account for unsaturated flow, can be compared with saturated flow models to validate the use of Darcy's Law. In this presentation, we examine the appropriateness of using fast linear steady-periodic models based on linearized water table conditions in order to simulate oscillatory pumping tests in phreatic aquifers. We compare oscillatory pumping test models including: 1) a 2-D radially-symmetric phreatic aquifer model with a partially penetrating well, simulated using both Darcy's Law and Richards' Equation in COMSOL; and 2) a linear phase-domain numerical model developed in MATLAB. Both COMSOL and MATLAB models are calibrated to match oscillatory pumping test data collected in the summer of 2013 at the Boise Hydrogeophysical Research Site (BHRS), and we examine the effect of model type on the associated parameter estimates. The results of this research will aid unconfined aquifer characterization efforts and help to constrain the impact of the simplifying physical assumptions often employed during test analysis.

  4. A borehole instrumentation program for characterization of unsaturated-zone percolation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kume, J.; Rousseau, J.P.

    1994-01-01

    A borehole instrumentation and monitoring program has been designed by the US Geological Survey to support site characterization of unsaturated-zone percolation at Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada. This program provides a means of defining the unsaturated-zone fluid flow (liquid and gas) potential field in a setting that incorporates large-scale stratigraphic and structural features, and the influences of geothermal heat flow and atmospheric pressure changes. Data derived from this program will be used to evaluate the suitability of Yucca Mountain as a mined geologic-repository for the storage of high-level, radioactive waste. These data include in-situ temperature, pneumatic pressure, and water potential. In addition, the instrumentation program provides facilities for gas-sampling, gas-tracer diffusion testing, water-injection testing, water-level monitoring, neutron moisture-meter monitoring, temperature profiling, and in-situ recalibration of the downhole sensors. The program included testing and development of: (1) precision sensors for measurement; (2) a downhole instrumentation-station-apparatus to house the sensors, recalibrate sensors in-situ, and allow access to instrument stations for other testing purposes; and (3) surface-based support and instrumentation facilities

  5. A statistical approach for water movement in the unsaturated zone

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tielin Zang.

    1991-01-01

    This thesis presents a statistical approach for estimating and analyzing the downward transport pattern and distribution of soil water by the use of pattern analysis of space-time correlation structures. This approach, called the Space-time-Correlation Field, is mainly based on the analyses of correlation functions simultaneously in the space and time domain. The overall purpose of this work is to derive an alternative statistical procedure in soil moisture analysis without involving detailed information on hydraulic parameters and to visualize the dynamics of soil water variability in the space and time domains. A numerical model using method of characteristics is employed to provide hypothetical time series to use in the statistical method, which is, after the verification and calibration, applied to the field measured time series. The results of the application show that the space-time correlation fields reveal effects of soil layers with different hydraulic properties and boundaries between them. It is concluded that the approach poses special advantages when visualizing time and space dependent properties simultaneously. It can be used to investigate the hydrological response of soil water dynamics and characteristics in different dimensions (space and time) and scales. This approach can be used to identify the dominant component in unsaturated flow systems. It is possible to estimate the pattern and the propagation rate downwards of moisture movement in the soil profile. Small-scale soil heterogeneities can be identified by the correlation field. Since the correlation field technique give a statistical measure of the dependent property that varies within the space-time field, it is possible to interpolate the fields to points where observations are not available, estimating spatial or temporal averages from discrete observations. (au)

  6. A study on in-situ measuring method and modeling technique of an unsaturated zone

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Imai, Hisashi [Hazama Corp., Tsukuba, Ibaraki (Japan). Technical Research Inst.; Amemiya, Kiyoshi; Nishida, Kaoru; Lin, Weiren; Lei, Xinglin

    1997-03-01

    It is generally considered that an unsaturated zone is generated in the vicinity of a drift after excavation. In such a zone, invasion of air containing oxygen possibly changes geochemical environment (redox condition) of the rock mass. However, no measurement technique for quantitative understanding of this unsaturated zone is currently available. This study has been started to develop the measuring method in the several years. This year, fundamental information has been obtained through analysis, laboratory experiments using homogeneous rock samples and field measurement described below. (1) experiments on the mechanism of undersaturation in rock. (2) experiments on the measuring method of the extend of unsaturated zone. (author)

  7. TSPA Model for the Yucca Mountain Unsaturated Zone

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    M.L. Wilson; C.K. Ho

    2001-01-01

    Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is being considered as a potential site for a repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. Total-system performance-assessment (TSPA) calculations are performed to evaluate the safety of the site. Such calculations require submodels for all important engineered and natural components of the disposal system. There are five submodels related to the unsaturated zone: climate, infiltration, mountain-scale flow of water, seepage into emplacement drifts, and radionuclide transport. For each of these areas, models have been developed and implemented for use in TSPA. The climate model is very simple (a set of climate states have been deduced from paleoclimate data, and the times when climate changes occur in the future have been estimated), but the other four models make use of complex process models involving time-consuming computer runs. An important goal is to evaluate the impact of uncertainties (e.g., incomplete knowledge of the site) on the estimates of potential repository performance, so particular attention is given to the key uncertainties for each area. Uncertainties in climate, infiltration, and mountain-scale flow are represented in TSPA simulations by means of discrete high, medium, and low cases, Uncertainties in seepage and radionuclide transport are represented by means of continuous probability distributions for several key parameters

  8. Isotope Investigations of Groundwater Movement in a Coarse Gravel Unsaturated Zone

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mali, N. [Geological Survey of Slovenia, Department of Hydrogeology, Ljubljana (Slovenia); Kozar-Logar, J. [Jozef Stefan Institute, Ljubljana (Slovenia); Leis, A. [Institute of Water Resources Management, Hydrogeology and Geophysics, Joanneum Research Forschungsgesellschaft mbH, Graz (Austria)

    2013-07-15

    The unsaturated zone above an aquifer serves as a water reservoir which discharges water and possible pollution to the saturated zone. This paper presents the application of oxygen-18 and tritium isotope methods in the study of groundwater transport processes in the unsaturated zone of Selniska Dobrava coarse gravel aquifer. The Selniska Dobrava gravel aquifer is an important water resource for Maribor and its surroundings, therefore the determination of transport processes in the unsaturated zone is important regarding its protection. Groundwater flow characteristics were estimated using isotopes and based on experimental work in a lysimeter. Tritium investigation results were compared with the results of long term oxygen-18 isotope investigation. In this paper the analytical approach, results and interpretation of {delta}{sup 18}O and tritium measurements in the unsaturated zone are presented. (author)

  9. Soil Gas Dynamics and Microbial Activity in the Unsaturated Zone of a Regulated River

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christensen, H.; Ferencz, S. B.; Cardenas, M. B.; Neilson, B. T.; Bennett, P. C.

    2017-12-01

    Over 60% of the world's rivers are dammed, and are therefore regulated. In some river systems, river regulation is the dominant factor governing fluid exchange and soil gas dynamics in the hyporheic region and overlying unsaturated zone of the river banks. Where this is the case, it is important to understand the effects that an artificially-induced change in river stage can have on the chemical, plant, and microbial components of the unsaturated zone. Daily releases from an upstream dam cause rapid stage fluctuations in the Lower Colorado River east of Austin, Texas. For this study, we utilized an array of water and gas wells along a transect perpendicular to the river to investigate the biogeochemical process occurring in this mixing zone. The gas wells were installed at several depths up to 1.5 meters, and facilitated the continuous monitoring of soil gases as the pulse percolated through the river bank. Water samples collected from the screened wells penetrated to depths below the water table and were analyzed for nutrients, carbon, and major ions. Additionally, two soil cores were taken at different distances from the river and analyzed for soil moisture and grain size. These cores were also analyzed for microbial activity using the total heterotroph count method and the acetylene inhibition technique, a sensitive method of measuring denitrifying activity. The results provide a detailed picture of soil gas flux and biogeochemical processes in the bank environment in a regulated river. Findings indicate that a river pulse that causes a meter-scale change in river stage causes small, centimeter-scale pulses in the water table. We propose that these conditions create an area of elevated microbial respiration at the base of the unsaturated zone that appears to be decoupled from normal diurnal fluctuations. Along the transect, CO2 concentrations increased with increasing depth down to the water table. CO2 concentrations were highest in the time following a pulse

  10. The paleohydrology of unsaturated and saturated zones at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, and vicinity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paces, James B.; Whelan, Joseph F.; Stuckless, John S.

    2012-01-01

    Surface, unsaturated-zone, and saturated-zone hydrologic conditions at Yucca Mountain responded to past climate variations and are at least partly preserved by sediment, fossil, and mineral records. Characterizing past hydrologic conditions in surface and subsurface environments helps to constrain hydrologic responses expected under future climate conditions and improve predictions of repository performance. Furthermore, these records provide a better understanding of hydrologic processes that operate at time scales not readily measured by other means. Pleistocene climates in southern Nevada were predominantly wetter and colder than the current interglacial period. Cyclic episodes of aggradation and incision in Fortymile Wash, which drains the eastern slope of Yucca Mountain, are closely linked to Pleistocene climate cycles. Formation of pedogenic cement is favored under wetter Pleistocene climates, consistent with increased soil moisture and vegetation, higher chemical solubility, and greater evapotranspiration relative to Holocene soil conditions. The distribution and geochemistry of secondary minerals in subsurface fractures and cavities reflect unsaturated-zone hydrologic conditions and the response of the hydrogeologic system to changes in temperature and percolation flux over the last 12.8 m.y. Physical and fluid-inclusion evidence indicates that secondary calcite and opal formed in air-filled cavities from fluids percolating downward through connected fracture pathways in the unsaturated zone. Oxygen, strontium, and carbon isotope data from calcite are consistent with a descending meteoric water source but also indicate that water compositions and temperatures evolved through time. Geochronological data indicate that secondary mineral growth rates are less than 1–5 mm/m.y., and have remained approximately uniform over the last 10 m.y. or longer. These data are interpreted as evidence for hydrological stability despite large differences in surface moisture

  11. Estimating the Spatial Extent of Unsaturated Zones in Heterogeneous River-Aquifer Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schilling, Oliver S.; Irvine, Dylan J.; Hendricks Franssen, Harrie-Jan; Brunner, Philip

    2017-12-01

    The presence of unsaturated zones at the river-aquifer interface has large implications on numerous hydraulic and chemical processes. However, the hydrological and geological controls that influence the development of unsaturated zones have so far only been analyzed with simplified conceptualizations of flow processes, or homogeneous conceptualizations of the hydraulic conductivity in either the aquifer or the riverbed. We systematically investigated the influence of heterogeneous structures in both the riverbed and the aquifer on the development of unsaturated zones. A stochastic 1-D criterion that takes both riverbed and aquifer heterogeneity into account was developed using a Monte Carlo sampling technique. The approach allows the reliable estimation of the upper bound of the spatial extent of unsaturated areas underneath a riverbed. Through systematic numerical modeling experiments, we furthermore show that horizontal capillary forces can reduce the spatial extent of unsaturated zones under clogged areas. This analysis shows how the spatial structure of clogging layers and aquifers influence the propensity for unsaturated zones to develop: In riverbeds where clogged areas are made up of many small, spatially disconnected patches with a diameter in the order of 1 m, unsaturated areas are less likely to develop compared to riverbeds where large clogged areas exist adjacent to unclogged areas. A combination of the stochastic 1-D criterion with an analysis of the spatial structure of the clogging layers and the potential for resaturation can help develop an appropriate conceptual model and inform the choice of a suitable numerical simulator for river-aquifer systems.

  12. Stable and radioactive isotopes in the study of the unsaturated soil zone

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1985-11-01

    This publication brings together the main results with conclusions and recommendations on the usefulness of studies of the oxygen 18, deuterium and tritium in water in the unsaturated zone. A separate abstract was prepared for each of the 9 papers

  13. Land surface temperature as an indicator of the unsaturated zone thickness: A remote sensing approach in the Atacama Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urqueta, Harry; Jódar, Jorge; Herrera, Christian; Wilke, Hans-G; Medina, Agustín; Urrutia, Javier; Custodio, Emilio; Rodríguez, Jazna

    2018-01-15

    Land surface temperature (LST) seems to be related to the temperature of shallow aquifers and the unsaturated zone thickness (∆Z uz ). That relationship is valid when the study area fulfils certain characteristics: a) there should be no downward moisture fluxes in an unsaturated zone, b) the soil composition in terms of both, the different horizon materials and their corresponding thermal and hydraulic properties, must be as homogeneous and isotropic as possible, c) flat and regular topography, and d) steady state groundwater temperature with a spatially homogeneous temperature distribution. A night time Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) image and temperature field measurements are used to test the validity of the relationship between LST and ∆Z uz at the Pampa del Tamarugal, which is located in the Atacama Desert (Chile) and meets the above required conditions. The results indicate that there is a relation between the land surface temperature and the unsaturated zone thickness in the study area. Moreover, the field measurements of soil temperature indicate that shallow aquifers dampen both the daily and the seasonal amplitude of the temperature oscillation generated by the local climate conditions. Despite empirically observing the relationship between the LST and ∆Z uz in the study zone, such a relationship cannot be applied to directly estimate ∆Z uz using temperatures from nighttime thermal satellite images. To this end, it is necessary to consider the soil thermal properties, the soil surface roughness and the unseen water and moisture fluxes (e.g., capillarity and evaporation) that typically occur in the subsurface. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Understanding Fluid and Contaminant Movement in the Unsaturated Zone Using the INEEL Vadose Zone Monitoring System

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hubbell, J. M.; Mattson, E. D.; Sisson, J. B.; Magnuson, S. O.

    2002-01-01

    DOE has hundreds of contaminated facilities and waste sites requiring cleanup and/or long-term monitoring. These contaminated sites reside in unsaturated soils (i.e. the vadose zone) above the water table. Some of these sites will require active remediation activities or removal while other sites will be placed under institutional controls. In either case, evaluating the effectiveness of the remediation strategy or institutional controls will require monitoring. Classical monitoring strategies implemented at RCRA/CERCLA sites require ground water sampling for 30 years following closure. The overall effectiveness of ground water sampling is diminished due to the fact that by the time you detect chemical transport from a waste site, a major contamination plume likely exists in the vadose zone and the aquifer. This paper suggests a more effective monitoring strategy through monitoring near the contaminant sites within the vadose zone. Vadose zone monitoring allows for quicker detection of potential contaminant transport. The INEEL Vadose Zone Monitoring System (VZMS) is becoming an accepted, cost effective monitoring technology for assessing contaminant transport at DOE facilities. This paper describes the technologies employed in the VZMS and describes how it was used at several DOE facilities. The INEEL VZMS has provided the information in developing and validating both conceptual and risk assessment models of contaminant transport at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Savannah River Site (SRS) and the Hanford site. These DOE sites exhibit a broad range of meteorologic, hydrologic and geologic conditions representative of various common geologic environments. The VZMS is comprised of advanced tensiometers, water content sensors, temperature sensors and soil and gas samplers. These instruments are placed at multiple depths in boreholes and allows for the detection of water movement in the

  15. Can Electrical Resistance Tomography be used for imaging unsaturated moisture flow in cement-based materials with discrete cracks?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smyl, Danny; Rashetnia, Reza; Seppänen, Aku; Pour-Ghaz, Mohammad

    2017-01-01

    Previously, it has been shown that Electrical Resistance Tomography (ERT) can be used for monitoring moisture flow in undamaged cement-based materials. In this work, we investigate whether ERT could be used for imaging three-dimensional (3D) unsaturated moisture flow in cement-based materials that contain discrete cracks. Novel computational methods based on the so-called absolute imaging framework are developed and used in ERT image reconstructions, aiming at a better tolerance of the reconstructed images with respect to the complexity of the conductivity distribution in cracked material. ERT is first tested using specimens with physically simulated cracks of known geometries, and corroborated with numerical simulations of unsaturated moisture flow. Next, specimens with loading-induced cracks are imaged; here, ERT reconstructions are evaluated qualitatively based on visual observations and known properties of unsaturated moisture flow. Results indicate that ERT is a viable method of visualizing 3D unsaturated moisture flow in cement-based materials with discrete cracks. - Highlights: • 3D EIT is developed to visualize water ingress in cracked mortar. • Mortar with different size discrete cracks are used. • The EIT results are corroborated with numerical simulations. • EIT results accurately show the temporal and spatial variation of water content. • EIT is shown to be a viable method to monitor flow in cracks and matrix.

  16. Using chloride to trace water movement in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fabryka-Martin, J.T.; Winters, S.T.; Wolfsberg, A.V.; Wolfsberg, L.E.; Roach, J.L.

    1998-01-01

    The nonwelded Paintbrush Tuff (PTn) hydrogeologic unit is postulated as playing a critical role in the redistribution of moisture in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Fracture-dominated flow in the overlying low-permeability, highly fractured Tiva Canyon welded (TCw) unit is expected to transition to matrix-dominated flow in the high-permeability, comparatively unfractured PTn. The transition process from fracture to matrix flow in the PTn, as well as the transition from low to high matrix storage capacity, is expected to damp out most of the seasonal, decadal, and secular variability in surface infiltration. This process should also result in the homogenization of the variable geochemical and isotopic characteristics of pore water entering the top of the PTn. In contrast, fault zones that provide continuous fracture pathways through the PTn may damp climatic and geochemical variability only slightly and may provide fast paths from the surface to the sampled depths, whether within the PTn or in underlying welded tuffs. Chloride (Cl) content and other geochemical data obtained from PTn pore-water samples can be used to independently derive infiltration rates for comparison with surface infiltration estimates, to evaluate the role of structural features as fast paths, and to assess the prevalence and extent to which water may be laterally diverted in the PTn due to contrasting hydrologic properties of its subunits

  17. A site-scale model for fluid and heat flow in the unsaturated zone of Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Yu-Shu; Haukwa, Charles; Bodvarsson, G. S.

    1999-05-01

    A three-dimensional unsaturated-zone numerical model has been developed to simulate flow and distribution of moisture, gas and heat at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, a potential repository site for high-level radioactive waste. The model takes into account the simultaneous flow dynamics of liquid water, vapor, air and heat in the highly heterogeneous, fractured porous rock in the unsaturated zone (UZ). This model is intended for use in the prediction of the current and future conditions in the UZ so as to aid in the assessment of the system performance of the proposed repository. The modeling approach is based on a mathematical formulation of coupled multiphase, multicomponent fluid and heat flow through porous and fractured rock. Fracture and matrix flow is treated using both dual-permeability and effective-continuum modeling approaches. The model domain covers a total area of approximately 43 km 2, and uses the land surface and the water table as its top and bottom boundaries. In addition, site-specific data, representative surface infiltration, and geothermal conditions are incorporated into the model. The reliability and accuracy of the model have been the subject of a comprehensive model calibration study, in which the model was calibrated against measured data, including liquid saturation, water potential and temperature. It has been found that the model is generally able to reproduce the overall system behavior at Yucca Mountain with respect to moisture profiles, pneumatic pressure variations in different geological units, and ambient geothermal conditions.

  18. Water transport monitoring in an unsaturated zone – Case study: lysimeter Selniška dobrava (Slovenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nina Mali

    2002-12-01

    Full Text Available Pollution transport in an aquifer depends on its structure, upper unsaturated zone and lower saturated zone. In order to understand processes in the unsaturated zone, several hydrogeological field measurements must be done. A field laboratory- lysimeter in Selni{kadobrava was installed for the improvement of field measurements, and explanation of the parameters and processes in the unsaturated zone. The problems, which can be solved by means of investigations in a lysimeter, are defined in this paper. Described are also:concept of investigation planning, construction and equipment of the lysimeter, measurements of unsaturated zone parameters and processes, water sampling for physical, chemical and isotope analysis.

  19. Advective and diffusive contributions to reactive gas transport during pyrite oxidation in the unsaturated zone

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Binning, Philip John; Postma, Diederik Jan; Russel, T.F.

    2007-01-01

    Pyrite oxidation in unsaturated mine waste rock dumps and soils is limited by the supply of oxygen from the atmosphere. In models, oxygen transport through the subsurface is often assumed to be driven by diffusion. However, oxygen comprises 23.2% by mass of dry air, and when oxygen is consumed at...... parameters; for example, the time to approach steady state depends exponentially on the distance between the soil surface and the subsurface reactive zone. Copyright 2007 by the American Geophysical Union....... at depth in the unsaturated zone, a pressure gradient is created between the reactive zone and the ground surface, causing a substantial advective air flow into the subsurface. To determine the balance between advective and diffusive transport, a one-dimensional multicomponent unsaturated zone gas...

  20. Stochastic estimation and simulation of heterogeneities important for transport of contaminants in the unsaturated zone

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kitteroed, Nils-Otto

    1997-12-31

    The background for this thesis was the increasing risk of contamination of water resources and the requirement of groundwater protection. Specifically, the thesis implements procedures to estimate and simulate observed heterogeneities in the unsaturated zone and evaluates what impact the heterogeneities may have on the water flow. The broad goal was to establish a reference model with high spatial resolution within a small area and to condition the model using spatially frequent field observations, and the Moreppen site at Oslo`s new major airport was used for this purpose. An approach is presented for the use of ground penetrating radar in which indicator kriging is used to estimate continuous stratigraphical architecture. Kriging is also used to obtain 3D images of soil moisture. A simulation algorithm based on the Karhunen-Loeve expansion is evaluated and a modification of the Karhunen-Loeve simulation is suggested that makes it possible to increase the size of the simulation lattice. This is obtained by kriging interpolation of the eigenfunctions. 250 refs., 40 figs., 7 tabs.

  1. Effects of crude oil on water and tracer movement in the unsaturated and saturated zones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delin, Geoffrey N; Herkelrath, William N

    2017-05-01

    A tracer test was conducted to aid in the investigation of water movement and solute transport at a crude-oil spill site near Bemidji, Minnesota. Time of travel was measured using breakthrough curves for rhodamine WT and bromide tracers moving from the soil surface through oil-contaminated and oil-free unsaturated zones to the saturated zone. Results indicate that the rates of tracer movement were similar in the oil-free unsaturated and saturated zones compared to the oily zones. These results are somewhat surprising given the oil contamination in the unsaturated and saturated zones. Rhodamine tracer breakthrough in the unsaturated and saturated zones in general was delayed in comparison to bromide tracer breakthrough. Peak tracer concentrations for the lysimeters and wells in the oily zone were much greater than at the corresponding depths in the oil-free zone. Water and tracer movement in the oily zone was complicated by soil hydrophobicity and decreased oil saturations toward the periphery of the oil. Preferential flow resulted in reduced tracer interaction with the soil, adsorption, and dispersion and faster tracer movement in the oily zone than expected. Tracers were freely transported through the oily zone to the water table. Recharge calculations support the idea that the oil does not substantially affect recharge in the oily zone. This is an important result indicating that previous model-based assumptions of decreased recharge beneath the oil were incorrect. Results have important implications for modeling the fate and transport of dissolved contaminants at hydrocarbon spill sites. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  2. An exploration of unsaturated zone during in-situ heating test in sedimentary soft rocks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kubota, Kenji; Suzuki, Koichi; Ikenoya, Takafumi; Takakura, Nozomu; Tani, Kazuo

    2011-01-01

    In-situ heating test has been conducted to evaluate the influence of high temperature in an underground facility at a depth of 50 m. Resistivity monitoring is thought to be effective to map the extent of the high temperature and unsaturated zone. So we have conducted resistivity tomography during the heating test. As a result, the resistivity of the rock mass around the heating well was decreased and this area was gradually expanded from the heated area during the heating. This suggests that high temperature zone is detected by resistivity tomography. The results also suggested that resistivity was increased by unsaturation of rock mass around the heating well. (author)

  3. 36Cl measurements of the unsaturated zone flux at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Norris, A.E.; Wolfsberg, K.; Gifford, S.K.

    1985-01-01

    Determining the unsaturated zone percolation rate, or flux, is an extremely important site characterization issue for the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository. A new technique that measures the 36 Cl content of tuff from the Exploratory Shaft will be used to calculate flux through the unsaturated zone over longer times than could be measured by the more conventional 14 C method. Measurements of the 36 Cl ''bomb pulse'' in soil samples from Yucca Mountain have been used to confirm that infiltration is not an important recharge mechanism. 5 refs., 3 figs

  4. Creep model of unsaturated sliding zone soils and long-term deformation analysis of landslides

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zou, Liangchao; Wang, Shimei; Zhang, Yeming

    2015-04-01

    Sliding zone soil is a special soil layer formed in the development of a landslide. Its creep behavior plays a significant role in long-term deformation of landslides. Due to rainfall infiltration and reservoir water level fluctuation, the soils in the slide zone are often in unsaturated state. Therefore, the investigation of creep behaviors of the unsaturated sliding zone soils is of great importance for understanding the mechanism of the long-term deformation of a landslide in reservoir areas. In this study, the full-process creep curves of the unsaturated soils in the sliding zone in different net confining pressure, matric suctions and stress levels were obtained from a large number of laboratory triaxial creep tests. A nonlinear creep model for unsaturated soils and its three-dimensional form was then deduced based on the component model theory and unsaturated soil mechanics. This creep model was validated with laboratory creep data. The results show that this creep model can effectively and accurately describe the nonlinear creep behaviors of the unsaturated sliding zone soils. In order to apply this creep model to predict the long-term deformation process of landslides, a numerical model for simulating the coupled seepage and creep deformation of unsaturated sliding zone soils was developed based on this creep model through the finite element method (FEM). By using this numerical model, we simulated the deformation process of the Shuping landslide located in the Three Gorges reservoir area, under the cycling reservoir water level fluctuation during one year. The simulation results of creep displacement were then compared with the field deformation monitoring data, showing a good agreement in trend. The results show that the creeping deformations of landslides have strong connections with the changes of reservoir water level. The creep model of unsaturated sliding zone soils and the findings obtained by numerical simulations in this study are conducive to

  5. Analysis of gaseous-phase stable and radioactive isotopes in the unsaturated zone, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang, I.C.; Haas, H.H.; Weeks, E.P.; Thorstenson, D.C.

    1985-01-01

    The Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations Project of the US Department of Energy provides that agency with data for evaluating volcanic tuff beneath Yucca Mountain, Nevada, to determine its suitability for a potential repository of high-level radioactive waste. Thickness of the unsaturated zone, which consists of fractured, welded and nonwelded tuff, is about 1640 to 2460 feet (500 to 750 meters). One question to be resolved is an estimate of minimum ground-water traveltime from the disturbed zone of the potentail repository to the accessible environment. Another issue is the potential for diffusive or convective gaseous transport of radionuclides from an underground facility in the unsaturated zone to the accessible environment. Gas samples were collected at intervals to a depth of 1200 feet from the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Samples were analyzed for major atmospheric gases; carbon dioxide in the samples was analyzed for carbon-14 activity and for delta 13 C; water vapor in the samples was analyzed for deuterium and oxygen-18. These data could provide insight into the nature of unsaturated zone transport processes. 15 refs., 4 figs., 4 tabs

  6. Geohydrology of the unsaturated zone at the burial site for low-level radioactive waste near Beatty, Nye County, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nichols, W.D.

    1987-01-01

    Low-level radioactive solid waste has been buried in trenches at a site near Beatty, NV, since 1962. In 1976, as part of a national program, the US Geological Survey began a study of the geohydrology of the waste burial site to provide a basis for estimating the potential for radionuclide migration in the unsaturated zone beneath the waste burial trenches. The waste burial facility is in the northern Amargosa Desert about 170 kilometers (km) northwest of Las Vegas, NV. The site is underlain by poorly stratified deposits of gravelly or silty sand and sandy gravel, and thick beds of clayey sediments. A numerical analysis demonstrated that a potential exists for deep percolation despite high annual evaporation demands, and provided predictions of the time of year and the antecedent conditions that enhance the probability of deep percolation. Soil moisture profiles obtained monthly over an 18-month period demonstrate that deep percolation does occur. Calculation of downward moisture movement through the waste trench backfill material, on the basis of simplified assumptions, suggests that moisture could have penetrated as much as 6 m below land surface from 1963, when the oldest trenches were closed, to 1980, but that the moisture requirement for such penetration far exceeded the amount of moisture actually available. Steady-state downward movement of moisture at depths greater than 10 m and beneath the waste burial trenches would be on the order of 4 cu m/1,000 yr, assuming a steady flux rate of 0.1 microcentimeter/day. 37 refs., 32 figs., 17 tab

  7. Time-lapse gravity data for monitoring and modeling artificial recharge through a thick unsaturated zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennedy, Jeffrey R.; Ferre, Ty P.A.; Creutzfeldt, Benjamin

    2016-01-01

    Groundwater-level measurements in monitoring wells or piezometers are the most common, and often the only, hydrologic measurements made at artificial recharge facilities. Measurements of gravity change over time provide an additional source of information about changes in groundwater storage, infiltration, and for model calibration. We demonstrate that for an artificial recharge facility with a deep groundwater table, gravity data are more sensitive to movement of water through the unsaturated zone than are groundwater levels. Groundwater levels have a delayed response to infiltration, change in a similar manner at many potential monitoring locations, and are heavily influenced by high-frequency noise induced by pumping; in contrast, gravity changes start immediately at the onset of infiltration and are sensitive to water in the unsaturated zone. Continuous gravity data can determine infiltration rate, and the estimate is only minimally affected by uncertainty in water-content change. Gravity data are also useful for constraining parameters in a coupled groundwater-unsaturated zone model (Modflow-NWT model with the Unsaturated Zone Flow (UZF) package).

  8. A framework for sourcing of evaporation between saturated and unsaturated zone in bare soil condition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Balugani, E.; Lubczynski, M.W.; Metselaar, Klaas

    2016-01-01

    Sourcing subsurface evaporation (Ess) into groundwater (Eg) and unsaturated zone (Eu) components has received little scientific attention so far, despite its importance in water management and agriculture. We propose a novel sourcing framework, with its

  9. A framework for sourcing of evaporation between saturated and unsaturated zone in bare soil condition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Balugani, E.; Lubczynski, M.; Metselaar, K.A.

    2016-01-01

    Sourcing subsurface evaporation (Ess) into groundwater (Eg) and unsaturated zone (Eu) components has received little scientific attention so far, despite its importance in water management and agriculture. We propose a novel sourcing framework, with its implementation in dedicated post-processing

  10. BUILDING CONCEPTUAL AND MATHEMATICAL MODEL FOR WATER FLOW AND SOLUTE TRANSPORT IN THE UNSATURATED ZONE AT KOSNICA SITE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stanko Ružičić

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Conceptual model of flow and solute transport in unsaturated zone at Kosnica site, which is the basis for modeling pollution migration through the unsaturated zone to groundwater, is set up. The main characteristics of the unsaturated zone of the Kosnica site are described. Detailed description of investigated profile of unsaturated zone, with all necessary analytical results performed and used in building of conceptual models, is presented. Experiments that are in progress and processes which are modeled are stated. Monitoring of parameters necessary for calibration of models is presented. The ultimate goal of research is risk assessment of groundwater contamination at Kosnica site that has its source in or on unsaturated zone.

  11. Characterization of unsaturated zone hydrogeologic units using matrix properties and depositional history in a complex volcanic environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flint, Lorraine E.; Buesch, David C.; Flint, Alan L.

    2006-01-01

    Characterization of the physical and unsaturated hydrologic properties of subsurface materials is necessary to calculate flow and transport for land use practices and to evaluate subsurface processes such as perched water or lateral diversion of water, which are influenced by features such as faults, fractures, and abrupt changes in lithology. Input for numerical flow models typically includes parameters that describe hydrologic properties and the initial and boundary conditions for all materials in the unsaturated zone, such as bulk density, porosity, and particle density, saturated hydraulic conductivity, moisture-retention characteristics, and field water content. We describe an approach for systematically evaluating the site features that contribute to water flow, using physical and hydraulic data collected at the laboratory scale, to provide a representative set of physical and hydraulic parameters for numerically calculating flow of water through the materials at a site. An example case study from analyses done for the heterogeneous, layered, volcanic rocks at Yucca Mountain is presented, but the general approach for parameterization could be applied at any site where depositional processes follow deterministic patterns. Hydrogeologic units at this site were defined using (i) a database developed from 5320 rock samples collected from the coring of 23 shallow (deep (500–1000 m) boreholes, (ii) lithostratigraphic boundaries and corresponding relations to porosity, (iii) transition zones with pronounced changes in properties over short vertical distances, (iv) characterization of the influence of mineral alteration on hydrologic properties such as permeability and moisture-retention characteristics, and (v) a statistical analysis to evaluate where boundaries should be adjusted to minimize the variance within layers. Model parameters developed in this study, and the relation of flow properties to porosity, can be used to produce detailed and accurate

  12. Radionuclide migration in the unsaturated zone with a variable hydrology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Elert, M.; Collin, M.; Andersson, Birgitta; Lindgren, M.

    1990-01-01

    Radionuclide transport from contaminated ground water to the root zone of a soil has been modelled considering a variable hydrology. Hydrological calculations have been coupled with radionuclide transport calculations in order to study the influence of variations in flow rate and saturation, dispersion, and sorption. For non-sorbing radionuclides important seasonal variations in the root zone concentration were found. The dispersivity parameter proved to be very important for both sorbing and non-sorbing nuclides. In addition, some comparison calculations were made with a simple steady-state compartment model. (au)

  13. Hydrochemical investigations in characterizing the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang, I.C.; Rattray, G.W.; Ferarese, J.S.; Yu, P.; Ryan, J.N.

    1998-01-01

    Hydrochemical and isotopic investigations of ground water at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, site of a potential permanent national nuclear-waste repository, demonstrate that younger rocks are dominated by calcium-sulfate or calcium-chloride water and that older rocks contain sodium-carbonate or sodium-bicarbonate water. Furthermore, unsaturated-zone pore water has significantly larger concentrations of major ions and dissolved solids than does the saturated-zone water. Recharge of perched or saturated-zone water, therefore, requires rapid flow through fractures or permeable regions in the unsaturated zone to avoid mixing with the chemically concentrated water in the unsaturated zone. This conceptual model is consistent with observations of rapidly moved post-bomb (post-1954) tritium and chlorine-36 in the deep unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain. Presence of post-bomb tritium in matrix water away from fracture zones further indicates that parts of the fast-flow water that moves through fractures have been diverted laterally into nonwelded units. Experimental data show that different lithologic units require specific water-extraction methods for stable-isotope analyses of hydrogen and oxygen to ensure accurate characterization. Vacuum-distillation and compression-extraction methods both can yield accurate data but must be used with specific lithologies. Column experiments demonstrate that percolating water can exchange with pore water of the core as well as water held in zeolite minerals in the core. Exchange rates range from days to months. Pore-water samples from core, therefore, reflect the most recently infiltrated water but do not reflect percolating water of the distant past

  14. Lithological Effects on Evaporation and Direct Infiltration Through the Unsaturated Zone in Damascus Oasis (Syria)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abou zakhem, B.

    2004-01-01

    Soil water movement is directly affected by the lithology and texture of soil profile. The objective of this study is to determine water movement mechanism through the unsaturated zone, by estimating the direct infiltration rate and evaporation process in Damascus Oasis, using isotope techniques. Two soil profiles were drilled using a hand-auger. Soil samples were subjected to granulometry, mineralogy, chemical and isotopic analysis. Isotopic measurements indicate that the evaporation front is located at shallow depth between 0 and 2 m. Variations in isotopic content indicate to the alternation of wet and dry periods corresponding to infiltration and evaporation processes respectively. Results show considerable difference in isotopic content between the unsaturated zone and the groundwater, which is mainly attributed to limited recharge of the aquifer through the unsaturated. Whereas the indirect groundwater recharge is considered to be more predominant. Chloride concentration correspond to stable isotopes in the unsaturated zone, it increases proportionally with the evaporation rate. Using chemical balance of Chloride, it was possible to estimate the effective recharge average rate which is ranging between 1.8 mm/y and 0.45 mm/y. The calculated mean evaporation rate according to Barnes and Allison model is 18.1 mm/y at water table level of 3 m depth. This rate decreases to 2.4 mm/y at 6 m depth. (author)

  15. Multimodel analysis of anisotropic diffusive tracer-gas transport in a deep arid unsaturated zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Christopher T.; Walvoord, Michelle Ann; Andraski, Brian J.; Striegl, Robert G.; Stonestrom, David A.

    2015-01-01

    Gas transport in the unsaturated zone affects contaminant flux and remediation, interpretation of groundwater travel times from atmospheric tracers, and mass budgets of environmentally important gases. Although unsaturated zone transport of gases is commonly treated as dominated by diffusion, the characteristics of transport in deep layered sediments remain uncertain. In this study, we use a multimodel approach to analyze results of a gas-tracer (SF6) test to clarify characteristics of gas transport in deep unsaturated alluvium. Thirty-five separate models with distinct diffusivity structures were calibrated to the tracer-test data and were compared on the basis of Akaike Information Criteria estimates of posterior model probability. Models included analytical and numerical solutions. Analytical models provided estimates of bulk-scale apparent diffusivities at the scale of tens of meters. Numerical models provided information on local-scale diffusivities and feasible lithological features producing the observed tracer breakthrough curves. The combined approaches indicate significant anisotropy of bulk-scale diffusivity, likely associated with high-diffusivity layers. Both approaches indicated that diffusivities in some intervals were greater than expected from standard models relating porosity to diffusivity. High apparent diffusivities and anisotropic diffusivity structures were consistent with previous observations at the study site of rapid lateral transport and limited vertical spreading of gas-phase contaminants. Additional processes such as advective oscillations may be involved. These results indicate that gases in deep, layered unsaturated zone sediments can spread laterally more quickly, and produce higher peak concentrations, than predicted by homogeneous, isotropic diffusion models.

  16. Moisture and textural variations in unsaturated soils/sediments near the Hanford Wye barricade

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Heller, P.R.; Gee, G.W.; Myers, D.A.

    1985-03-01

    During November and December 1983, soil samples were collected by Pacific Northwest Laboratory for hydrologic characterization of the partially saturated (vadose) zone sediments from five wells drilled near the Hanford Wye barricade, about 15 km northwest of Richland, Washington. The samples were taken from each of five boreholes in 1.5-m segments down to the water table or to a depth where further drilling became impossible, whichever was deeper. The samples were collected and handled in such a manner as to minimize water loss through evaporation. The field moisture content was determined for each sample, and for three of the five boreholes the water potential at the field moisture content was also measured. Other characterization included textural analysis, water retention characteristics, hydraulic conductivity, and soil chemistry. From the laboratory data, travel time (i.e., the time necessary for water to move a distance of 43 m, from the soil surface to the ground water) estimates were calculated: they range from 600 years for annual water influx rates that ranged from 0.5 to 5.0 cm/yr. The soil properties determined in this study will aid in modeling the transport of water and chemicals (e.g., radionuclides) to the ground water at the Hanford site

  17. Particle tracking for unsaturated-zone groundwater travel time analysis at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arnold, B.W.; Skinner, L.H.; Zieman, N.B.

    1995-01-01

    A particle tracking code developed to link numerical modeling of groundwater flow in the unsaturated zone to the analysis of groundwater travel times was used to produce preliminary estimates of the distribution of groundwater-travel time from a potential repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada to the water table. Compliance with 10CFR960 requires the demonstration that pre-waste-emplacement groundwater travel time from the disturbed zone to the accessible environment is expected to exceed 1,000 years along any path of likely and significant radionuclide travel. The use of multiple particles and multiple realizations of the geology and parameter distributions in the unsaturated zone allows a probabilistic analysis of groundwater travel times that may be applied for evaluating compliance

  18. Consequences of varied soil hydraulic and meteorological complexity on unsaturated zone time lag estimates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vero, S E; Ibrahim, T G; Creamer, R E; Grant, J; Healy, M G; Henry, T; Kramers, G; Richards, K G; Fenton, O

    2014-12-01

    The true efficacy of a programme of agricultural mitigation measures within a catchment to improve water quality can be determined only after a certain hydrologic time lag period (subsequent to implementation) has elapsed. As the biophysical response to policy is not synchronous, accurate estimates of total time lag (unsaturated and saturated) become critical to manage the expectations of policy makers. The estimation of the vertical unsaturated zone component of time lag is vital as it indicates early trends (initial breakthrough), bulk (centre of mass) and total (Exit) travel times. Typically, estimation of time lag through the unsaturated zone is poor, due to the lack of site specific soil physical data, or by assuming saturated conditions. Numerical models (e.g. Hydrus 1D) enable estimates of time lag with varied levels of input data. The current study examines the consequences of varied soil hydraulic and meteorological complexity on unsaturated zone time lag estimates using simulated and actual soil profiles. Results indicated that: greater temporal resolution (from daily to hourly) of meteorological data was more critical as the saturated hydraulic conductivity of the soil decreased; high clay content soils failed to converge reflecting prevalence of lateral component as a contaminant pathway; elucidation of soil hydraulic properties was influenced by the complexity of soil physical data employed (textural menu, ROSETTA, full and partial soil water characteristic curves), which consequently affected time lag ranges; as the importance of the unsaturated zone increases with respect to total travel times the requirements for high complexity/resolution input data become greater. The methodology presented herein demonstrates that decisions made regarding input data and landscape position will have consequences for the estimated range of vertical travel times. Insufficiencies or inaccuracies regarding such input data can therefore mislead policy makers regarding

  19. Geologic character of tuffs in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, southern Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Scott, R.B.; Spengler, R.W.; Diehl, S.; Lappin, A.R.; Chornack, M.P.

    1982-01-01

    At Yucca Mountain, a potential site for a high-level nuclear waste repository on the Nevada Test Site in southern Nevada, evaluation of the geologic setting and rock physical properties, along with previous regional hydrologic studies, has provided background that can be used for construction of a preliminary conceptual hydrologic model of the unsaturated zone. The 500-m-thick unsaturated portion of Yucca Mountain consists of alternating layers of two contrasting types of tuff. One type consists of highly fractured, densely welded, relatively nonporous but highly transmissive ash-flow tuffs. The other type consists of relatively unfractured, nonwelded, highly porous but relatively nontransmissive, argillic and zeolitic bedded tuffs and ash-flow tuffs. The contrast between these two sets of distinctive physical properties results in a stratified sequence best described as ''physical-property stratigraphy'' as opposed to traditional petrologic stratigraphy of volcanic rocks. The vast majority of recharge through the unsaturated zone is assumed to be vertical; the dominant migration may occur in fractures of densely welded tuffs and in the matrix of nonwelded tuff, but the mode of fluid flow in these unsaturated systems is undetermined. Limited lateral flow of recharge may occur at horizons where local perched water tables may exist above relatively nontransmissive zeolitized nonwelded tuffs. The pervasive north-northwest-striking fractures may control the direction of lateral flow of recharge, if any, in the unsaturated zone, and certainly that direction coincides closely with the observed southeasterly flow direction in the saturated zone under Yucca Mountain. Empirical evaluation of this conceptual hydrologic model has begun. 41 refs., 18 figs., 2 tabs

  20. Geologic character of tuffs in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, southern Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Scott, R.B.; Spengler, R.W.; Diehl, S.; Lappin, A.R.; Chornack, M.P.

    1982-12-31

    At Yucca Mountain, a potential site for a high-level nuclear waste repository on the Nevada Test Site in southern Nevada, evaluation of the geologic setting and rock physical properties, along with previous regional hydrologic studies, has provided background that can be used for construction of a preliminary conceptual hydrologic model of the unsaturated zone. The 500-m-thick unsaturated portion of Yucca Mountain consists of alternating layers of two contrasting types of tuff. One type consists of highly fractured, densely welded, relatively nonporous but highly transmissive ash-flow tuffs. The other type consists of relatively unfractured, nonwelded, highly porous but relatively nontransmissive, argillic and zeolitic bedded tuffs and ash-flow tuffs. The contrast between these two sets of distinctive physical properties results in a stratified sequence best described as "physical-property stratigraphy" as opposed to traditional petrologic stratigraphy of volcanic rocks. The vast majority of recharge through the unsaturated zone is assumed to be vertical; the dominant migration may occur in fractures of densely welded tuffs and in the matrix of nonwelded tuff, but the mode of fluid flow in these unsaturated systems is undetermined. Limited lateral flow of recharge may occur at horizons where local perched water tables may exist above relatively nontransmissive zeolitized nonwelded tuffs. The pervasive north-northwest-striking fractures may control the direction of lateral flow of recharge, if any, in the unsaturated zone, and certainly that direction coincides closely with the observed southeasterly flow direction in the saturated zone under Yucca Mountain. Empirical evaluation of this conceptual hydrologic model has begun. 41 refs., 18 figs., 2 tabs.

  1. Thermal history of the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Whelan, Joseph F.; Neymark, Leonid A.; Moscati, Richard J.; Marshall, Brian D.; Roedder, Edwin

    2008-01-01

    Secondary calcite, silica and minor amounts of fluorite deposited in fractures and cavities record the chemistry, temperatures, and timing of past fluid movement in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, the proposed site of a high-level radioactive waste repository. The distribution and geochemistry of these deposits are consistent with low-temperature precipitation from meteoric waters that infiltrated at the surface and percolated down through the unsaturated zone. However, the discovery of fluid inclusions in calcite with homogenization temperatures (T h ) up to ∼80 deg. C was construed by some scientists as strong evidence for hydrothermal deposition. This paper reports the results of investigations to test the hypothesis of hydrothermal deposition and to determine the temperature and timing of secondary mineral deposition. Mineral precipitation temperatures in the unsaturated zone are estimated from calcite- and fluorite-hosted fluid inclusions and calcite δ 18 O values, and depositional timing is constrained by the 207 Pb/ 235 U ages of chalcedony or opal in the deposits. Fluid inclusion T h from 50 samples of calcite and four samples of fluorite range from ∼35 to ∼90 deg. C. Calcite δ 18 O values range from ∼0 to ∼22 per mille (SMOW) but most fall between 12 and 20 per mille . The highest T h and the lowest δ 18 O values are found in the older calcite. Calcite T h and δ 18 O values indicate that most calcite precipitated from water with δ 18 O values between -13 and -7 per mille , similar to modern meteoric waters. Twenty-two 207 Pb/ 235 U ages of chalcedony or opal that generally postdate elevated depositional temperatures range from ∼9.5 to 1.9 Ma. New and published 207 Pb/ 235 U and 230 Th/Uages coupled with the T h values and estimates of temperature from calcite δ 18 O values indicate that maximum unsaturated zone temperatures probably predate ∼10 Ma and that the unsaturated zone had cooled to near-present-day temperatures

  2. Thermal history of the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Whelan, Joseph F. [U.S. Geological Survey, Box 25046, M.S. 963, Denver Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225 (United States)], E-mail: jfwhelan@usgs.gov; Neymark, Leonid A.; Moscati, Richard J.; Marshall, Brian D. [U.S. Geological Survey, Box 25046, M.S. 963, Denver Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225 (United States); Roedder, Edwin [Department of Earth and Planetary Science, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States)

    2008-05-15

    Secondary calcite, silica and minor amounts of fluorite deposited in fractures and cavities record the chemistry, temperatures, and timing of past fluid movement in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, the proposed site of a high-level radioactive waste repository. The distribution and geochemistry of these deposits are consistent with low-temperature precipitation from meteoric waters that infiltrated at the surface and percolated down through the unsaturated zone. However, the discovery of fluid inclusions in calcite with homogenization temperatures (T{sub h}) up to {approx}80 deg. C was construed by some scientists as strong evidence for hydrothermal deposition. This paper reports the results of investigations to test the hypothesis of hydrothermal deposition and to determine the temperature and timing of secondary mineral deposition. Mineral precipitation temperatures in the unsaturated zone are estimated from calcite- and fluorite-hosted fluid inclusions and calcite {delta}{sup 18}O values, and depositional timing is constrained by the {sup 207}Pb/{sup 235}U ages of chalcedony or opal in the deposits. Fluid inclusion T{sub h} from 50 samples of calcite and four samples of fluorite range from {approx}35 to {approx}90 deg. C. Calcite {delta}{sup 18}O values range from {approx}0 to {approx}22 per mille (SMOW) but most fall between 12 and 20 per mille . The highest T{sub h} and the lowest {delta}{sup 18}O values are found in the older calcite. Calcite T{sub h} and {delta}{sup 18}O values indicate that most calcite precipitated from water with {delta}{sup 18}O values between -13 and -7 per mille , similar to modern meteoric waters. Twenty-two {sup 207}Pb/{sup 235}U ages of chalcedony or opal that generally postdate elevated depositional temperatures range from {approx}9.5 to 1.9 Ma. New and published {sup 207}Pb/{sup 235}U and {sup 230}Th/Uages coupled with the T{sub h} values and estimates of temperature from calcite {delta}{sup 18}O values indicate

  3. The use of unsaturated zone solutes and deuterium profiles in the study of groundwater recharge in the semi-arid zone of Nigeria

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goni, I.B.; Edmunds, W.M.

    2001-01-01

    Two unsaturated zone profiles (MF and MG) in NE Nigeria have been sampled for inert tracers (Cl, Br, NO 3 and δ 2 H to investigate recharge rates and processes. The upper MF and MG profiles have sandy lithology, lower moisture content ( 2 H around -30 per mille. All these indicate that present day recharge is taking place. The lower section of the MF profile shows a distinct contrast with high moisture content (up to 27%), very high chloride (average 2892 mg/L) and relatively enriched deuterium (-12 per mille), indicating the effect of evaporative enrichment. This lower section corresponds to low permeability lacustrine deposits probably representing the former bed of Lake Chad where little or no infiltration has been occurring since the mid-Holocene when the lake extended over this area. The sand-covered areas of the Sahel of the NE Nigeria provide an important phreatic aquifer. An estimation of the amount of recharge using the unsaturated zone chloride mass balance gives significant rates of 14 mm/a and 22 mm/a for the upper MF and MG profiles respectively. These rates mainly span the period of the recent Sahel drought and even higher recharge rates may occur during wetter periods. These rates fall within the 14 mm/a to 53 mm/a range estimated for the Manga Grasslands area in the NE Nigeria obtained in an earlier study. From the water resource point of view, the region has potential for perennially-recharged groundwater resources that can sustain the present abstraction level which is mainly via dug wells. (author)

  4. Conceptual hydrologic model of flow in the unsaturated zone, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Montazer, P.; Wilson, W.E.

    1984-01-01

    The purpose of this report is to propose a conceptual hydrologic model that reasonably describes the flow of fluids through the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, for use as a basis for preliminary site-performance assessment and as a guide to further investigations. Scott and others (1983) presented an initial conceptual hydrogeologic model for the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, based on detailed geologic, but very limited hydrologic, information. In this report, some of their concepts are examined and either supported or modified, and new concepts are developed. The model describes the manner in which flow probably occurs at Yucca Mountain and is based on: (1) current understanding of the hydrogeologic framework; (2) application of the principles of unsaturated flow; and (3) interpretation of some preliminary data from ongoing field and laboratory investigations. Included are extensive geologic information but relatively few hydrologic data that currently exist from the unsaturated zone in the Yucca Mountain area. Many uncertainties remain to be resolved concerning hydrologic conditions and processes. As a result, most of the concepts presented are intentionally descriptive and conjectural, with little quantitative basis provided. However, for the sake of directness and simplicity of expression, the model is presented as if it were a true expression of the facts. The authors recognize, and the reader should be aware, that the proposed model probably is not the only reasonable description that could be made at this point, and it certainly is subject to revision and quantification as more data become available. Although various alternative models probably could be developed, the one described in this report seems to fit current understanding of the unsaturated flow through a section of layered, fractured-rock formations with contrasting hydrologic properties, such as occurs at Yucca Mountain. 41 refs., 14 figs., 1 tab

  5. Soil water movement in the unsaturated zone of an inland arid region: Mulched drip irrigation experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Dongmei; Zhou, Tiantian

    2018-04-01

    Agricultural irrigation with trans-basin water diversion can effectively relieve the water paucity in arid and semi-arid regions, however, this may be accompanied by eco-environmental problems (e.g., saline soils, rising groundwater levels, water quality problems). The mechanism of soil water movement under irrigation in the unsaturated zone of arid regions is a key scientific problem that should be solved in order to evaluate agricultural water management and further improve current irrigation practices. This study investigated the impact of drip irrigation on soil water movement in the unsaturated zone of a cotton field in an inland arid region (the Karamay Agricultural Development Area), northwest China. Combining in situ observational physical data with temporal variation in stable isotopic compositions of soil water, we described the soil water flow system and mechanism in severe (Plot 1) and mild (Plot 2) saline-alkali cotton fields. The infiltration depths are 0-150 cm for both plots. Drip irrigation scheduling makes no significant contribution to local groundwater recharge, however, groundwater can move into the unsaturated zone through capillary rise during cotton flowering and boll periods. Plot 2 is less prone to having secondary soil salinization than Plot 1 due to the existence of a middle layer (approximately 100 cm thick), which elongated the distance between the root zone and aquifer. Rise in the water table (approximately 60 cm for Plot 1 and 50 cm for Plot 2) could be caused by lateral groundwater flow instead of vertical infiltration. We estimated the soil water storage changes in the unsaturated zone and proposed a conceptual model for deciphering the movement process of soil water. This study provides a scientific basis for determining the rise of groundwater levels and potential development of saline soils and improving agricultural water management in arid regions.

  6. Effects of Unsaturated Zones on Baseflow Recession: Analytical Solution and Application

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhan, H.; Liang, X.; Zhang, Y. K.

    2017-12-01

    Unsaturated flow is an important process in baseflow recessions and its effect is rarely investigated. A mathematical model for a coupled unsaturated-saturated flow in a horizontally unconfined aquifer with time-dependent infiltrations is presented. Semi-analytical solutions for hydraulic heads and discharges are derived using Laplace transform and Cosine transform. The solutions are compared with solutions of the linearized Boussinesq equation (LB solution) and the linearized Laplace equation (LL solution), respectively. The result indicates that a larger dimensionless constitutive exponent κD of the unsaturated zone leads to a smaller discharge during the infiltration period and a larger discharge after the infiltration. The lateral discharge of the unsaturated zone is significant when κD≤1, and becomes negligible when κD≥100. For late times, the power index b of the recession curve-dQ/dt aQb, is 1 and independent of κD, where Q is the baseflow and a is a constant lumped aquifer parameter. For early times, b is approximately equal to 3 but it approaches infinity when t→1. The present solution is applied to synthetic and field cases. The present solution matched the synthetic data better than both the LL and LB solutions, with a minimum relative error of 16% for estimate of hydraulic conductivity. The present solution was applied to the observed streamflow discharge in Iowa, and the estimated values of the aquifer parameters were reasonable.

  7. Parametric analysis of a TOUGH2 model for the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Xiang, Y.; Mishra, S.; Dunlap, B. [CRWMS M& O/INTERA, Inc., Las Vegas, NV (United States)

    1995-03-01

    Yucca Mountain in Nevada is currently being investigated for suitability as a potential site for the disposal of high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel. As the most important natural barrier against radionuclide migration to the accessible environment, the unsaturated zone at Yucca mountain is a key constituent in assessing the ambient geohydrology. A three-dimensional site-scale TOUGH2 model of the unsaturated zone is currently under development by Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory (LBL) and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) consists of six hydrogeologic units - TCw (Tiva Canyon welded), PTn (Paintbrush nonwelded), TSw (Topopah Spring welded), TSv (Topopah Spring welded-vitrophyre), CHnz (Calico Hills nonwelded-vitric), and CHnz (Calico Hills nonwelded-zeolitic), which are further subdivided into seventeen layers to represent additional lithologic detail. Based on the work of Klavetter and Peters, the fractured units TCw and TSw are treated as equivalent continua with specified threshold saturation for triggering fracture flow.

  8. Field testing plan for unsaturated zone monitoring and field studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Young, M.H.; Wierenga, P.J.; Warrick, A.W.

    1996-10-01

    The University of Arizona, in cooperation with the Bureau of Economic Geology at The University of Texas at Austin, and Stephens and Associates in Albuquerque, New Mexico has developed a field testing plan for evaluating subsurface monitoring systems. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has requested development of these testing plans for low-level radioactive waste disposal sites (LLW) and for monitoring at decommissioned facilities designated under the open-quotes Site Decommissioning Management Planclose quotes (SDMP). The tests are conducted on a 50 m by 50 m plot on the University of Arizona's Maricopa Agricultural Center. Within the 50 m by 50 m plot one finds: (1) an instrumented buried trench, (2) monitoring islands similar to those proposed for the Ward Valley, California LLW Facility, (3) deep borehole monitoring sites, (4) gaseous transport monitoring, and (5) locations for testing non-invasive geophysical measurement techniques. The various subplot areas are instrumented with commercially available instruments such as neutron probes, time domain reflectometry probes, tensiometers, psychrometers, heat dissipation sensors, thermocouples, solution samplers, and cross-hole geophysics electrodes. Measurement depths vary from ground surface to 15 m. The data from the controlled flow and transport experiments, conducted over the plot, will be used to develop an integrated approach to long-term monitoring of the vadose zone at waste disposal sites. The data will also be used to test field-scale flow and transport models. This report describes in detail the design of the experiment and the methodology proposed for evaluating the data

  9. Chemical and Isotopes study of pollutants transport through unsaturated zone in Damascus oasis (Syria)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abou Zakhem, B.; Hafez, R.

    2011-08-01

    The primary objectives of this study were to determine the hydrochemical and isotopic characteristics of groundwater and to study vertical transport processes for trace elements through the unsaturated zone, from the surface water into the groundwater system. A third objective is to identifying the importance of the unsaturated zone in protecting groundwater from contamination. Distribution of trace elements, including Cu, Pb, Cr, Cd, Zn and As in the soil with depth were studied. Mineralogy was investigated using X-Ray diffraction techniques and granulometry in three drilled soil profile (KA, KB and KS) in Damascus Oasis, which indicated that the soil consists mainly of calcite, a mineral that has the ability to bind some of the trace elements. Measurement of nitrate concentrations in groundwater permitted an investigation of the urban, industrial and agricultural pollution in the Oasis, in particular, in the eastern part of Damascus city and in the north of Oasis where the irrigation by treated wastewater is applied. Depending on the chemical characteristics of the studied trace elements and soil conditions, these elements have high concentrations in the upper part of the soil (20-30 cm depth), due to absorption by clay minerals and organic matter. These high concentrations represent pollution by leather industries (tannery) in the area. The trace element concentrations decrease towards the east in parallel with river flow direction. The lower part of profiles show low trace element concentrations, below the international permitted limit. The low concentrations of trace elements in groundwater which are also below the international limit, indicates no pollution is presented. The isotopic composition of shallow groundwater indicates the underground recharge, originated from the Anti-Lebanon Mountain, is more significant than the direct recharge through unsaturated zone. It is concluded the unsaturated zone and the decrease of groundwater levels have played an

  10. A framework for sourcing of evaporation between saturated and unsaturated zone in bare soil condition

    OpenAIRE

    Balugani, E.; Lubczynski, M.W.; Metselaar, Klaas

    2016-01-01

    Sourcing subsurface evaporation (Ess) into groundwater (Eg) and unsaturated zone (Eu) components has received little scientific attention so far, despite its importance in water management and agriculture. We propose a novel sourcing framework, with its implementation in dedicated post-processing software called SOURCE (used along with the HYDRUS1D model), to study evaporation sourcing dynamics, define quantitatively “shallow” and “deep” water table conditions and test the applicability of wa...

  11. Hydrogeology of the unsaturated zone, North Ramp area of the Exploratory Studies Facility, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rousseau, J.P.; Kwicklis, E.M.; Gillies, D.C. [eds.

    1999-03-01

    Yucca Mountain, in southern Nevada, is being investigated by the US Department of Energy as a potential site for a repository for high-level radioactive waste. This report documents the results of surface-based geologic, pneumatic, hydrologic, and geochemical studies conducted during 1992 to 1996 by the US Geological Survey in the vicinity of the North Ramp of the Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF) that are pertinent to understanding multiphase fluid flow within the deep unsaturated zone. Detailed stratigraphic and structural characteristics of the study area provided the hydrogeologic framework for these investigations. Shallow infiltration is not discussed in detail in this report because the focus in on three major aspects of the deep unsaturated-zone system: geologic framework, the gaseous-phase system, and the aqueous-phase system. However, because the relation between shallow infiltration and deep percolation is important to an overall understanding of the unsaturated-zone flow system, a summary of infiltration studies conducted to date at Yucca Mountain is provided in the section titled Shallow Infiltration. This report describes results of several Site Characterization Plan studies that were ongoing at the time excavation of the ESF North Ramp began and that continued as excavation proceeded.

  12. Nitrogen fluxes through unsaturated zones in five agricultural settings across the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, C.T.; Fisher, L.H.; Bekins, B.A.

    2008-01-01

    The main physical and chemical controls on nitrogen (N) fluxes between the root zone and the water table were determined for agricultural sites in California, Indiana, Maryland, Nebraska, and Washington from 2004 to 2005. Sites included irrigated and nonirrigated fields; soil textures ranging from clay to sand; crops including corn, soybeans, almonds, and pasture; and unsaturated zone thicknesses ranging from 1 to 22 m. Chemical analyses of water from lysimeters and shallow wells indicate that advective transport of nitrate is the dominant process affecting the flux of N below the root zone. Vertical profiles of (i) nitrogen species, (ii) stable isotopes of nitrogen and oxygen, and (iii) oxygen, N, and argon in unsaturated zone air and correlations between N and other agricultural chemicals indicate that reactions do not greatly affect N concentrations between the root zone and the capillary fringe. As a result, physical factors, such as N application rate, water inputs, and evapotranspiration, control the differences in concentrations among the sites. Concentrations of N in shallow lysimeters exhibit seasonal variation, whereas concentrations in lysimeters deeper than a few meters are relatively stable. Based on concentration and recharge estimates, fluxes of N through the deep unsaturated zone range from 7 to 99 kg ha-1 yr-1. Vertical fluxes of N in ground water are lower due to spatial and historical changes in N inputs. High N fluxes are associated with coarse sediments and high N application rates. Copyright ?? 2008 by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America. All rights reserved.

  13. Compilation of field-scale caisson data on solute transport in the unsaturated zone

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Polzer, W.L.; Essington, E.H.; Fuentes, H.R.; Nyhan, J.W.

    1986-11-01

    Los Alamos National Laboratory has conducted technical support studies to assess siting requirements mandated by Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 10 CFR Part 61. Field-scale transport studies were conducted under unsaturated moisture conditions and under steady and unsteady flow conditions in large caissons located and operated in a natural (field) environment. Moisture content, temperature, flow rate, base-line chemical, tracer influent, and tracer breakthrough data collected during tracer migration studies in the caisson are compiled in tables and graphs. Data suggest that the imposition of a period of drainage (influent solution flow was stopped) may cause an increase in tracer concentration in the soil solution at various sampling points in the caisson. Evaporation during drainage and diffusion of the tracers from immobile to mobile water are two phenomena that could explain the increase. Data also suggest that heterogeneity of sorption sites may increase the variability in transport of sorbing tracers compared with nonsorbing tracers

  14. Investigation of isotopic signals in the unsaturated zone with the use of direct push technology and azaeotropic distillation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas Kallioras

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available This paper contributes to the investigation of the unsaturated zone, through the application of combined field and lab techniques. The results show that direct push methods, which are considered ideal for multilevel sampling of undisturbed soil in the unsaturated zone, proved to be effective also for the consequent extraction of the pore water for further isotopic determination. This ultimate goal can be achieved thank to the application of azaetropic distillation, which has the least isotopic fractionation effects on groundwater samples.

  15. Monitoring the Vadose Zone Moisture Regime Below a Surface Barrier

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Z. F.; Strickland, C. E.; Field, J. G.

    2009-12-01

    A 6000 m2 interim surface barrier has been constructed over a portion of the T Tank Farm in the Depart of Energy’s Hanford site. The purpose of using a surface barrier was to reduce or eliminate the infiltration of meteoric precipitation into the contaminated soil zone due to past leaks from Tank T-106 and hence to reduce the rate of movement of the plume. As part of the demonstration effort, vadose zone moisture is being monitored to assess the effectiveness of the barrier on the reduction of soil moisture flow. A vadose zone monitoring system was installed to measure soil water conditions at four horizontal locations (i.e., instrument Nests A, B, C, and D) outside, near the edge of, and beneath the barrier. Each instrument nest consists of a capacitance probe with multiple sensors, multiple heat-dissipation units, and a neutron probe access tube used to measure soil-water content and soil-water pressure. Nest A serves as a control by providing subsurface conditions outside the influence of the surface barrier. Nest B provides subsurface measurements to assess barrier edge effects. Nests C and D are used to assess the impact of the surface barrier on soil-moisture conditions beneath it. Monitoring began in September 2006 and continues to the present. To date, the monitoring system has provided high-quality data. Results show that the soil beneath the barrier has been draining from the shallower depth. The lack of climate-caused seasonal variation of soil water condition beneath the barrier indicates that the surface barrier has minimized water exchange between the soil and the atmosphere.

  16. Hydrologic inferences from strontium isotopes in pore water from the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marshall, B.D.; Futa, K.; Peterman, Z.E.

    1997-01-01

    Calcite is ubiquitous at Yucca Mountain, occurring in the soils and as fracture and cavity coatings within the volcanic tuff section. Strontium is a trace element in calcite, generally at the tens to hundreds of ppm level. Because calcite contains very little rubidium and the half-life of the 87 Rb parent is billions of years, the 87 Sr/ 86 Sr ratios of the calcite record the ratio in the water from which the calcite precipitated. Dissolution and reprecipitation does not alter these compositions so that, in the absence of other sources of strontium, one would expect the strontium ratios along a flow path to preserve variations inherited from strontium in the soil zone. Strontium isotope compositions of calcites from various settings in the Yucca Mountain region have contributed to the understanding of the unsaturated zone (UZ), especially in distinguishing unsaturated zone calcite from saturated zone calcite. Different populations of calcite have been compared, either to group them together or distinguish them from each other in terms of their strontium isotope compositions. Ground water and perched water have also been analyzed; this paper presents strontium isotope data obtained on pore water

  17. Interpretation of chemical and isotopic data from boreholes in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang, I.C.; Rattray, G.W.; Yu, P.

    1996-01-01

    Analyses of pore water from boreholes at Yucca Mountain indicate that unsaturated-zone pore water has significantly larger concentrations of chloride and dissolved solids than the saturated-zone water or perched-water bodies. Chemical compositions are of the calcium sulfate or calcium chloride types in the Paintbrush Group (Tiva Canyon, Yucca Mountain, Pah Canyon, and bedded tuffs), and sodium carbonate or bicarbonate type water in the Calico Hills Formation. Tritium profiles from boreholes at Yucca Mountain indicate tritium-concentration inversions (larger tritium concentrations are located below the smaller tritium concentration in a vertical profile) occur in many places. These inversions indicate preferential flow through fractures. Rock-gas compositions are similar to that of atmospheric air except that carbon dioxide concentrations are generally larger than those in the air. The delta carbon-13 values of gas are fairly constant from surface to 365.8 meters, indicating little interaction between the gas CO 2 and caliche in the soil. Model calculations indicate that the gas transport in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain agrees well with the gas-diffusion process. Tritium-modeling results indicate that the high tritium value of about 100 tritium units in the Calico Hills Formation of UZ-16 is within limits of a piston-flow model with a water residence time of 32 to 35 years. The large variations in tritium concentrations with narrow peaks imply piston flow or preferential fracture flow rather than matrix flow. In reality, the aqueous-phase flow in the unsaturated zone is between piston and well-mixed flows but is closer to a piston flow

  18. Conceptual Model and Numerical Approaches for Unsaturated Zone Flow and Transport

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    H.H. Liu

    2004-01-01

    The purpose of this model report is to document the conceptual and numerical models used for modeling unsaturated zone (UZ) fluid (water and air) flow and solute transport processes. This work was planned in ''Technical Work Plan for: Unsaturated Zone Flow Model and Analysis Report Integration'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169654], Sections 1.2.5, 2.1.1, 2.1.2 and 2.2.1). The conceptual and numerical modeling approaches described in this report are mainly used for models of UZ flow and transport in fractured, unsaturated rock under ambient conditions. Developments of these models are documented in the following model reports: (1) UZ Flow Model and Submodels; (2) Radionuclide Transport Models under Ambient Conditions. Conceptual models for flow and transport in unsaturated, fractured media are discussed in terms of their applicability to the UZ at Yucca Mountain. The rationale for selecting the conceptual models used for modeling of UZ flow and transport is documented. Numerical approaches for incorporating these conceptual models are evaluated in terms of their representation of the selected conceptual models and computational efficiency; and the rationales for selecting the numerical approaches used for modeling of UZ flow and transport are discussed. This report also documents activities to validate the active fracture model (AFM) based on experimental observations and theoretical developments. The AFM is a conceptual model that describes the fracture-matrix interaction in the UZ of Yucca Mountain. These validation activities are documented in Section 7 of this report regarding use of an independent line of evidence to provide additional confidence in the use of the AFM in the UZ models. The AFM has been used in UZ flow and transport models under both ambient and thermally disturbed conditions. Developments of these models are documented

  19. Unsaturated Zone Effects in Predicting Landslide and Debris-Flow Initiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baum, R. L.; Godt, J. W.; Savage, W. Z.

    2006-12-01

    Many destructive debris flows begin as shallow landslides induced by direct infiltration of intense rainfall and storm runoff into hillside materials. Predicting the timing and location of debris-flow initiation is needed to assess the debris-flow hazard of an area. Theoretical models and real-time monitoring of rainfall infiltration into unsaturated hillside materials provide useful insights into the mechanisms and timing of rainfall-induced landslides. We modeled the infiltration process using a two-layer system that consists of an unsaturated zone above a saturated zone, and then implemented this model in a GIS framework. The model couples analytical solutions for transient, unsaturated, vertical infiltration above the water table to pressure-diffusion solutions for pressure changes below the water table. The solutions are coupled through a transient water table that rises as water accumulates at the base of the unsaturated zone. This scheme, though limited to simplified soil- water characteristics and moist initial conditions, greatly improves computational efficiency over numerical models in spatially distributed modeling applications. Pore pressures computed by these coupled models are subsequently used in slope-stability computations to estimate the timing and locations of slope failures. Preliminary model results indicate that the unsaturated layer attenuates and delays the rainfall-induced pore- pressure response at depth, consistent with observations at an instrumented hillside near Edmonds, Washington. This attenuation reduces the area of false-positive predictions (when compared with results of linear models for suction-saturated initial conditions) in distributed application of the model over an area. Modeling indicates that initial wetness of the hillside materials affects the intensity and duration of rainfall required to trigger shallow landslides and consequently the timing of their occurrence, a result that is also consistent with observations of

  20. Predicting unsaturated zone nitrogen mass balances in agricultural settings of the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nolan, Bernard T.; Puckett, Larry J.; Ma, Liwang; Green, Christopher T.; Bayless, E. Randall; Malone, Robert W.

    2009-01-01

    Unsaturated zone N fate and transport were evaluated at four sites to identify the predominant pathways of N cycling: an almond [Prunus dulcis (Mill.) D.A. Webb] orchard and cornfield (Zea mays L.) in the lower Merced River study basin, California; and corn–soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] rotations in study basins at Maple Creek, Nebraska, and at Morgan Creek, Maryland. We used inverse modeling with a new version of the Root Zone Water Quality Model (RZWQM2) to estimate soil hydraulic and nitrogen transformation parameters throughout the unsaturated zone; previous versions were limited to 3-m depth and relied on manual calibration. The overall goal of the modeling was to derive unsaturated zone N mass balances for the four sites. RZWQM2 showed promise for deeper simulation profiles. Relative root mean square error (RRMSE) values for predicted and observed nitrate concentrations in lysimeters were 0.40 and 0.52 for California (6.5 m depth) and Nebraska (10 m), respectively, and index of agreement (d) values were 0.60 and 0.71 (d varies between 0 and 1, with higher values indicating better agreement). For the shallow simulation profile (1 m) in Maryland, RRMSE and d for nitrate were 0.22 and 0.86, respectively. Except for Nebraska, predictions of average nitrate concentration at the bottom of the simulation profile agreed reasonably well with measured concentrations in monitoring wells. The largest additions of N were predicted to come from inorganic fertilizer (153–195 kg N ha−1 yr−1 in California) and N fixation (99 and 131 kg N ha−1 yr−1 in Maryland and Nebraska, respectively). Predicted N losses occurred primarily through plant uptake (144–237 kg N ha−1 yr−1) and deep seepage out of the profile (56–102 kg N ha−1 yr−1). Large reservoirs of organic N (up to 17,500 kg N ha−1 m−1 at Nebraska) were predicted to reside in the unsaturated zone, which has implications for potential future transfer of nitrate to groundwater.

  1. Application of TOUGH to hydrologic problems related to the unsaturated zone site investigation at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kwicklis, E.M.; Healy, R.W. [Geological Survey, Lakewood, CO (United States); Bodvarsson, G.S. [Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, CA (United States)] [and others

    1995-03-01

    To date, TOUGH and TOUGH2 have been the principal codes used by the U.S. Geological Survey in their investigation of the hydrology of the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain. Examples of some applications of the TOUGH and TOUGH2 codes to flow and transport problems related to the Yucca Mountain site investigation are presented, and the slight modifications made to the codes to implement them are discussed. These examples include: (1) The use of TOUGH in a simple fracture network model, with a discussion of an approach to calculate directional relative permeabilities at computational cells located at fracture intersections. These simulations illustrated that, under unsaturated conditions, the locations of dominant pathways for flow through fracture networks are sensitive to imposed boundary conditions; (2) The application of TOUGH to investigate the possible hydrothermal effects of waste-generated heat at Yucca Mountain using a dual-porosity, dual-permeability treatment to better characterize fracture-matrix interactions. Associated modifications to TOUGH for this application included implementation of a lookup table that can express relative permeabilities parallel and transverse to the fracture plane independently. These simulations support the continued use of an effective media approach in analyses of the hydrologic effects of waste-generated heat; and (3) An investigation of flow and tracer movement beneath a wash at Yucca Mountain in which a particle tracker was used as a post-processor. As part of this study, TOUGH2 was modified to calculate and output the x-,y- and z- sequence of tuffs overlying the potential repository site will result in the formation of capillary barriers that locally promote considerable lateral flow, thereby significantly decreasing the magnitude of fluxes form peak values at the ground surface and delaying the arrival of surface-derived moisture at the potential repository horizon.

  2. Investigation of Vertical Migration of Pollutants through the Unsaturated Zone Using Stable Isotopes and Trace Elements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ahmed, M.A.

    2012-01-01

    Vertical migration of pollutants through unsaturated zone is a complicated process and is affected by a number of factors like type of soil, its chemical properties, or organic matter content, in addition to climatic conditions and biological activity of microorganisms in soil. Soil properties that influence water movement through unsaturated zone are important for determining flow paths, reactions between soil and pollutants and the ultimate destination of these pollutants, and may improve the diagnosis of the potential pollution risk. Three soil cores were sampled to a depth up to 100 cm from cultivated clayey soil, sewage irrigated sandy soil and fertilized sandy soil. The samples were collected at intervals of 5 or 10 cm. The δ 13 C signature of the soil shifted significantly towards that of C 3 -type vegetation in soil cores. The general trend toward heavier 13 C enrichment with depth could be due to isotopic fractionation occurring during decomposition of soil organic matters. Increased δ 15 N with depth in the soil cores suggests that microbial mineralization, denitrification, or volatilization processes caused the enriched δ 15 N signatures. Decreasing nitrogen percent and nitrate values with depth also help support the idea of microbiological processes. The results indicate that concentrations of major and trace elements varied widely among the different soil types and decreased with depths in the studied soil profile. The accumulation pattern for these elements in the soil profiles follows the order: Co < Ni < Mo < Ag < Sr < V < Cu < Cr < Zn < Mn < B < Mg < Al < Fe. The relationships between element concentrations against ph and organic matter contents show antithetical relationships and suggest evidence that these elements arise from anthropogenic input. The results of this study show that there exists risk for the environment due to notable migration of pollutants through the unsaturated zone and that the migrations were also observed to be highly

  3. A set of constitutive relationships accounting for residual NAPL in the unsaturated zone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wipfler, E L; van der Zee, S E

    2001-07-01

    Although laboratory experiments show that non-aqueous phase liquid (NAPL) is retained in the unsaturated zone, no existing multiphase flow model has been developed to account for residual NAPL after NAPL drainage in the unsaturated zone. We developed a static constitutive set of saturation-capillary pressure relationships for water, NAPL and air that accounts for both this residual NAPL and entrapped NAPL. The set of constitutive relationships is formulated similarly to the set of scaled relationships that is frequently applied in continuum models. The new set consists of three fluid-phase systems: a three-phase system and a two-phase system, that both comply with the original constitutive model, and a newly introduced residual NAPL system. The new system can be added relatively easily to the original two- and three-phase systems. Entrapment is included in the model. The constitutive relationships of the non-drainable residual NAPL system are based on qualitative fluid behavior derived from a pore scale model. The pore scale model reveals that the amount of residual NAPL depends on the spreading coefficient and the water saturation. Furthermore, residual NAPL is history-dependent. At the continuum scale, a critical NAPL pressure head defines the transition from free, mobile NAPL to residual NAPL. Although the Pc-S relationships for water and total liquid are not independent in case of residual NAPL, two two-phase Pc-S relations can represent a three-phase residual system of Pc-S relations. A newly introduced parameter, referred to as the residual oil pressure head, reflects the mutual dependency of water and oil. Example calculations show consistent behavior of the constitutive model. Entrapment and retention in the unsaturated zone cooperate to retain NAPL. Moreover, the results of our constitutive model are in agreement with experimental observations.

  4. Nuclear-waste isolation in the unsaturated zone of arid regions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wollenberg, H.A.; Wang, J.S.Y.; Korbin, G.

    1982-05-01

    The vadose zone in arid regions is considered as a possible environment for geologic isolation of nuclear waste. There are several topographic and lithologic combinations in the vadose zone of arid regions that may lend themselves to waste isolation considerations. In some cases, topographic highs such as mesas and interbasin ranges - comprised of several rock types, may contain essentially dry or partially saturated conditions favorable for isolation. The adjacent basins, especially in the far western and southwestern US, may have no surface or subsurface hydrologic connections with systems ultimately leading to the ocean. Some rock types may have the favorable characteristics of very low permeability and contain appropriate minerals for the strong chemical retardation of radionuclides. Environments exhibiting these hydrologic and geochemical attributes are the areas underlain by tuffaceous rocks, relatively common in the Basin and Range geomorphic province. Adjacent valley areas, where tuffaceous debris makes up a significant component of valley fill alluvium, may also contain thick zones of unsaturated material, and as such also lend themselves to strong consideration as respository environments. This paper summarizes the aspects of nuclear waste isolation in unsaturated regimes in alluvial-filled valleys and tuffaceous rocks of the Basin and Range province

  5. A simple method to assess unsaturated zone time lag in the travel time from ground surface to receptor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sousa, Marcelo R; Jones, Jon P; Frind, Emil O; Rudolph, David L

    2013-01-01

    In contaminant travel from ground surface to groundwater receptors, the time taken in travelling through the unsaturated zone is known as the unsaturated zone time lag. Depending on the situation, this time lag may or may not be significant within the context of the overall problem. A method is presented for assessing the importance of the unsaturated zone in the travel time from source to receptor in terms of estimates of both the absolute and the relative advective times. A choice of different techniques for both unsaturated and saturated travel time estimation is provided. This method may be useful for practitioners to decide whether to incorporate unsaturated processes in conceptual and numerical models and can also be used to roughly estimate the total travel time between points near ground surface and a groundwater receptor. This method was applied to a field site located in a glacial aquifer system in Ontario, Canada. Advective travel times were estimated using techniques with different levels of sophistication. The application of the proposed method indicates that the time lag in the unsaturated zone is significant at this field site and should be taken into account. For this case, sophisticated and simplified techniques lead to similar assessments when the same knowledge of the hydraulic conductivity field is assumed. When there is significant uncertainty regarding the hydraulic conductivity, simplified calculations did not lead to a conclusive decision. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Hydrologic characterization of faults and other potentially conductive geologic features in the unsaturated zone

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Javandel, I.; Shan, C.

    1990-01-01

    The capability of characterizing near-vertical faults and other potentially highly conductive geologic features in the vicinity of a high-level-waste repository is of great importance in site characterization of underground waste-isolation projects. The possibility of using transient air pressure data at depth for characterizing these features in the unsaturated zone are investigated. Analytical solutions for calculating the pressure response of such systems are presented. Solutions are given for two types of barometric pressure fluctuations, step function and sinusoidal. 3 refs., 9 figs

  7. Stochastic Modeling Of Field-Scale Water And Solute Transport Through The Unsaturated Zone Of Soils

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Loll, Per

    were previously thought not to pose a leaching threat. Thus, a reevaluation of our understanding of the mechanisms governing chemical fate in the unsaturated zone of soils has been necessary, in order for us to make better decisions regarding widely different issues such as agricultural management...... of pesticides and nutrients, and risk identification and assessment at polluted (industrial) sites. One of the key factors requiring our attention when we are trying to predict field-scale chemical leaching is spatial variability of the soil and the influence it exerts on both water and chemical transport...

  8. Distribution of nonionic organic compounds (highly volatile chlorinated hydrocarbons) in the unsaturated zone

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Grathwohl, P.

    1988-01-01

    Nonpolar pollutants, e.g. highly volatile chlorinated hydrocarbons (HVCH) are more or less equally distributed among all three soil phases (solids, water, air) in the unsaturated zone. The sorption of HVCH on soil solids depends on the amount and type of organic matter in the soil. For wet material an additional sorption on mineral surfaces can be neglected, since all possible sites for sorption are occupied by water. Provided the partition-coefficients or sorption-constants are known the contamination of the whole system can be evaluated from the pollutant concentration in the soil air; in addition it is possible to estimate a groundwater risk.

  9. Quasi-linear analysis of water flow in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ross, B.

    1990-01-01

    Philip's method of quasi-linear approximation, applied to the fractured welded tuffs at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA, yields simple relations describing groundwater movement in the unsaturated zone. These relations suggest that water flux through the Topopah Spring welded tuff unit, in which a proposed high-level radioactive waste repository would be built, may be fixed at a value close to the saturated hydraulic conductivity of the unit's porous matrix by a capillary barrier at the unit's upper contact. Quasi-linear methods may also be useful for predicting whether free water will enter tunnels excavated in the tuff

  10. A statistical approach to evaluate hydrocarbon remediation in the unsaturated zone

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hajali, P.; Marshall, T.; Overman, S.

    1991-01-01

    This paper presents an evaluation of performance and cleanup effectiveness of a vapor extraction system (VES) in extracting chlorinated hydrocarbons and petroleum-based hydrocarbons (mineral spirits) from the unsaturated zone. The statistical analysis of soil concentration data to evaluate the VES remediation success is described. The site is a former electronics refurbishing facility in southern California; soil contamination from organic solvents was found mainly in five areas (Area A through E) beneath two buildings. The evaluation begins with a brief description of the site background, discusses the statistical approach, and presents conclusions

  11. Macroscopic lattice Boltzmann model for heat and moisture transfer process with phase transformation in unsaturated porous media during freezing process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Song Wenyu

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available In the current study, a macroscopic lattice Boltzmann model for simulating the heat and moisture transport phenomenon in unsaturated porous media during the freezing process was proposed. The proposed model adopted percolation threshold to reproduce the extra resistance in frozen fringe during the freezing process. The freezing process in Kanagawa sandy loam soil was demonstrated by the proposed model. The numerical result showed good agreement with the experimental result. The proposed model also offered higher computational efficiency and better agreement with the experimental result than the existing numerical models. Lattice Boltzmann method is suitable for simulating complex heat and mass transfer process in porous media at macroscopic scale under proper dimensionless criterion, which makes it a potentially powerful tool for engineering application.

  12. Field determination of vertical permeability to air in the unsaturated zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weeks, Edwin P.

    1978-01-01

    The vertical permeability to air of layered materials in the unsaturated zone may be determined from air pressure data obtained at depth during a period when air pressure is changing at land surface. Such data may be obtained by monitoring barometric pressure with a microbarograph or surveying altimeter and simultaneously measuring down-hole pneumatic head differences in specially constructed piezometers. These data, coupled with air-filled porosity data from other sources, may be compared with the results of electric-analog or numerical solution of the one-dimensional diffusion equation to make a trial-and-error determination of the air permeability for each layer. The permeabilities to air may in turn be converted to equivalent hydraulic conductivity values if the materials are well drained, are permeable enough that the Klinkenberg effect is small, and are structurally unaffected by wetting. The method offers potential advantages over present methods to evaluate sites for artificial recharge by spreading; to evaluate ground-water pollution hazards from feedlots, sanitary landfills , and land irrigated with sewage effluent; and to evaluate sites for temporary storage of gas in the unsaturated zone. (Woodard-USGS)

  13. Slow and preferential flow in the unsaturated zone and its impact on stable isotope composition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Seiler, K.P.

    2001-01-01

    Stable isotope methods (δ 18 O and δ 2 H) have been used investigate the importance of bypass flow in the unsaturated zone which leads to unproductive water loss during flood irrigation. Field experiments have been carried out in Jordan and Pakistan in order to determine the occurrence of bypass flow, its amount and its velocity compared to piston flow. Results show that there is not only an advective component of flow (bypass flow) but a diffusive tracer exchange between piston and bypass flow. Infiltration calculations and analysis of tracer distributions are used to show that at the research sites, bypass flow amounts to about 25% of water recharged during winter. This estimate is important as it provides an assessment of the amount of water that passes the root zone and directly recharges groundwater. (author)

  14. Regional variability of nitrate fluxes in the unsaturated zone and groundwater, Wisconsin, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Christopher T.; Liao, Lixia; Nolan, Bernard T.; Juckem, Paul F.; Shope, Christopher L.; Tesoriero, Anthony J.; Jurgens, Bryant

    2018-01-01

    Process-based modeling of regional NO3− fluxes to groundwater is critical for understanding and managing water quality, but the complexity of NO3− reactive transport processes make implementation a challenge. This study introduces a regional vertical flux method (VFM) for efficient estimation of reactive transport of NO3− in the vadose zone and groundwater. The regional VFM was applied to 443 well samples in central-eastern Wisconsin. Chemical measurements included O2, NO3−, N2 from denitrification, and atmospheric tracers of groundwater age including carbon-14, chlorofluorocarbons, tritium, and tritiogenic helium. VFM results were consistent with observed chemistry, and calibrated parameters were in-line with estimates from previous studies. Results indicated that (1) unsaturated zone travel times were a substantial portion of the transit time to wells and streams (2) since 1945 fractions of applied N leached to groundwater have increased for manure-N, possibly due to increased injection of liquid manure, and decreased for fertilizer-N, and (3) under current practices and conditions, approximately 60% of the shallow aquifer will eventually be affected by downward migration of NO3−, with denitrification protecting the remaining 40%. Recharge variability strongly affected the unsaturated zone lag times and the eventual depth of the NO3− front. Principal components regression demonstrated that VFM parameters and predictions were significantly correlated with hydrogeochemical landscape features. The diverse and sometimes conflicting aspects of N management (e.g. limiting N volatilization versus limiting N losses to groundwater) warrant continued development of large-scale holistic strategies to manage water quality and quantity.

  15. Regional Variability of Nitrate Fluxes in the Unsaturated Zone and Groundwater, Wisconsin, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Christopher T.; Liao, Lixia; Nolan, Bernard T.; Juckem, Paul F.; Shope, Christopher L.; Tesoriero, Anthony J.; Jurgens, Bryant C.

    2018-01-01

    Process-based modeling of regional NO3- fluxes to groundwater is critical for understanding and managing water quality, but the complexity of NO3- reactive transport processes makes implementation a challenge. This study introduces a regional vertical flux method (VFM) for efficient estimation of reactive transport of NO3- in the vadose zone and groundwater. The regional VFM was applied to 443 well samples in central-eastern Wisconsin. Chemical measurements included O2, NO3-, N2 from denitrification, and atmospheric tracers of groundwater age including carbon-14, chlorofluorocarbons, tritium, and tritiogenic helium. VFM results were consistent with observed chemistry, and calibrated parameters were in-line with estimates from previous studies. Results indicated that (1) unsaturated zone travel times were a substantial portion of the transit time to wells and streams, (2) since 1945 fractions of applied N leached to groundwater have increased for manure-N, possibly due to increased injection of liquid manure, and decreased for fertilizer-N, and (3) under current practices and conditions, approximately 60% of the shallow aquifer will eventually be affected by downward migration of NO3-, with denitrification protecting the remaining 40%. Recharge variability strongly affected the unsaturated zone lag times and the eventual depth of the NO3- front. Principal components regression demonstrated that VFM parameters and predictions were significantly correlated with hydrogeochemical landscape features. The diverse and sometimes conflicting aspects of N management (e.g., limiting N volatilization versus limiting N losses to groundwater) warrant continued development of large-scale holistic strategies to manage water quality and quantity.

  16. Metamodeling and mapping of nitrate flux in the unsaturated zone and groundwater, Wisconsin, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nolan, Bernard T.; Green, Christopher T.; Juckem, Paul F.; Liao, Lixia; Reddy, James E.

    2018-01-01

    Nitrate contamination of groundwater in agricultural areas poses a major challenge to the sustainability of water resources. Aquifer vulnerability models are useful tools that can help resource managers identify areas of concern, but quantifying nitrogen (N) inputs in such models is challenging, especially at large spatial scales. We sought to improve regional nitrate (NO3−) input functions by characterizing unsaturated zone NO3− transport to groundwater through use of surrogate, machine-learning metamodels of a process-based N flux model. The metamodels used boosted regression trees (BRTs) to relate mappable landscape variables to parameters and outputs of a previous “vertical flux method” (VFM) applied at sampled wells in the Fox, Wolf, and Peshtigo (FWP) river basins in northeastern Wisconsin. In this context, the metamodels upscaled the VFM results throughout the region, and the VFM parameters and outputs are the metamodel response variables. The study area encompassed the domain of a detailed numerical model that provided additional predictor variables, including groundwater recharge, to the metamodels. We used a statistical learning framework to test a range of model complexities to identify suitable hyperparameters of the six BRT metamodels corresponding to each response variable of interest: NO3− source concentration factor (which determines the local NO3− input concentration); unsaturated zone travel time; NO3− concentration at the water table in 1980, 2000, and 2020 (three separate metamodels); and NO3− “extinction depth”, the eventual steady state depth of the NO3−front. The final metamodels were trained to 129 wells within the active numerical flow model area, and considered 58 mappable predictor variables compiled in a geographic information system (GIS). These metamodels had training and cross-validation testing R2 values of 0.52 – 0.86 and 0.22 – 0.38, respectively, and predictions were compiled as maps of the above

  17. Parallel computing simulation of fluid flow in the unsaturated zone of Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang, Keni; Wu, Yu-Shu; Bodvarsson, G.S.

    2001-01-01

    This paper presents the application of parallel computing techniques to large-scale modeling of fluid flow in the unsaturated zone (UZ) at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. In this study, parallel computing techniques, as implemented into the TOUGH2 code, are applied in large-scale numerical simulations on a distributed-memory parallel computer. The modeling study has been conducted using an over-one-million-cell three-dimensional numerical model, which incorporates a wide variety of field data for the highly heterogeneous fractured formation at Yucca Mountain. The objective of this study is to analyze the impact of various surface infiltration scenarios (under current and possible future climates) on flow through the UZ system, using various hydrogeological conceptual models with refined grids. The results indicate that the one-million-cell models produce better resolution results and reveal some flow patterns that cannot be obtained using coarse-grid modeling models

  18. Combining different frequencies for electrical heating of saturated and unsaturated soil zones

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Roland, U.; Holzer, F.; Kopinke, F.D. [Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Department of Environmental Engineering, Leipzig (Germany)

    2011-10-15

    In situ electrical heating of soil was studied applying different frequencies: low-frequency energy for resistive heating and radio-frequency energy for dielectric heating. Steep temperature gradients were observed for each heating mode under the condition of the coexistence of saturated and unsaturated soil zones. By combining the two heating modes, this undesired effect can be avoided, thus allowing efficient soil remediation especially when organic phases are accumulated at the capillary fringe. A parallel application of both frequencies was demonstrated as the most suitable method to reduce temperature gradients. By using electronic filters, both electric fields can be established by only one electrode array. This innovative concept is especially applicable for optimizing thermal remediation of light non-aqueous phase liquid contaminations or realizing thermally-enhanced electrokinetic removal of heavy metals. (Copyright copyright 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH and Co. KGaA, Weinheim)

  19. Simulating the Thermal History of the Unsaturated Zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    B.D. Marshal; J.F. Whelan

    2001-01-01

    Heat transfer within Earth's upper crust is primarily by conduction, and conductive thermal models adequately explain the cooling history of deep, batholith-scale intrusions and surrounding wall rocks, as confirmed by numerous thermochronometric studies. However, caldera magmatic systems require consideration of the small and localized component of hydrothermal convection and numerical models to simulate additional boundary conditions, irregular magma chamber shapes, and complex intrusive histories. At Yucca Mountain, Nevada, the site of a potential high-level nuclear waste repository, simulating the detailed thermal history at any location in the unsaturated zone requires knowledge of the shape of the magma chamber and its proximity to Yucca Mountain (the southern margin of the Timber Mountain caldera complex is approximately 8 km north of the potential repository site), the temporal and spatial extent of hydrothermal convection, the erosional history of the area, and past levels of the water table

  20. Metamodeling and mapping of nitrate flux in the unsaturated zone and groundwater, Wisconsin, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nolan, Bernard T.; Green, Christopher T.; Juckem, Paul F.; Liao, Lixia; Reddy, James E.

    2018-04-01

    Nitrate contamination of groundwater in agricultural areas poses a major challenge to the sustainability of water resources. Aquifer vulnerability models are useful tools that can help resource managers identify areas of concern, but quantifying nitrogen (N) inputs in such models is challenging, especially at large spatial scales. We sought to improve regional nitrate (NO3-) input functions by characterizing unsaturated zone NO3- transport to groundwater through use of surrogate, machine-learning metamodels of a process-based N flux model. The metamodels used boosted regression trees (BRTs) to relate mappable landscape variables to parameters and outputs of a previous "vertical flux method" (VFM) applied at sampled wells in the Fox, Wolf, and Peshtigo (FWP) river basins in northeastern Wisconsin. In this context, the metamodels upscaled the VFM results throughout the region, and the VFM parameters and outputs are the metamodel response variables. The study area encompassed the domain of a detailed numerical model that provided additional predictor variables, including groundwater recharge, to the metamodels. We used a statistical learning framework to test a range of model complexities to identify suitable hyperparameters of the six BRT metamodels corresponding to each response variable of interest: NO3- source concentration factor (which determines the local NO3- input concentration); unsaturated zone travel time; NO3- concentration at the water table in 1980, 2000, and 2020 (three separate metamodels); and NO3- "extinction depth", the eventual steady state depth of the NO3- front. The final metamodels were trained to 129 wells within the active numerical flow model area, and considered 58 mappable predictor variables compiled in a geographic information system (GIS). These metamodels had training and cross-validation testing R2 values of 0.52 - 0.86 and 0.22 - 0.38, respectively, and predictions were compiled as maps of the above response variables. Testing

  1. Modeling studies of mountain-scale radionuclide transport in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moridis, George J.; Seol, Yongkoo; Wu, Yu-Shu

    2003-01-01

    We investigate radionuclide transport from a high-level nuclear waste repository to be situated in the unsaturated zone (UZ) at Yucca Mountain (YM), Nevada. Several radioactive solutes (that cover the range of sorption behavior) and colloids of various sizes are studied. The results of the study indicate the importance of the subsurface geology and site hydrology, i.e., the presence of faults (they dominate and control transport), fractures (the main migration pathways), and the relative distribution of zeolitic and vitric tuffs. The effects of the climatic conditions, diffusion, and sorption (for solutes) or infiltration (for colloids) onto the matrix are discussed. The influence of the colloid size on transport is also investigated

  2. Modeling tritium transport through a deep unsaturated zone in an arid environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayers, C.J.; Andraski, Brian J.; Cooper, C.A.; Wheatcraft, S.W.; Stonestrom, David A.; Michel, R.L.

    2005-01-01

    Understanding transport of tritium (3H) in unsaturated zones is critical to evaluating options for waste isolation. Tritium typically is a large component of low-level radioactive waste (LLRW). Studies at the U.S. Geological Survey's Amargosa Desert Research Site (ADRS) in Nevada investigate 3H transport from a closed LLRW facility. Two boreholes are 100 and 160 m from the nearest waste trench and extend to the water table at 110 m. Soil-water vapor samples from the deep boreholes show elevated levels of 3H at all depths. The objectives of this study were to (i) test source thermal and gas-advection mechanisms driving 3H transport and (ii) evaluate model sensitivity to these mechanisms and to selected physical and hydraulic properties including porosity, tortuosity, and anisotropy. A two-dimensional numerical model incorporated a non-isothermal, heterogeneous domain of the unsaturated zone and instantaneous isotopic equilibrium. The TOUGH2 code was used; however, it required modification to account for temperature dependence of both the Henry's law equilibrium constant and isotopic fractionation with respect to tritiated water. Increases in source temperature, pressure, and porosity enhanced 3H migration, but failed to match measured 3H distributions. All anisotropic simulations with a source pressure component resembled, in shape, the upper portion of the 3H distribution of the nearest borehole. Isotopic equilibrium limited migration of 3H, while effects of radioactive decay were negligible. A 500 Pa pressure increase above ambient pressure in conjunction with a high degree of anisotropy (1:100) was necessary for simulated 3H transport to reach the nearest borehole.

  3. Transport of elemental mercury in the unsaturated zone from a waste disposal site in an arid region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walvoord, Michelle Ann; Andraski, Brian J.; Krabbenhoft, D.P.; Striegl, Robert G.

    2008-01-01

    Mercury contained in buried landfill waste may be released via upward emission to the atmosphere or downward leaching to groundwater. Data from the US Geological Survey’s Amargosa Desert Research Site (ADRS) in arid southwestern Nevada reveal another potential pathway of Hg release: long-distance (102 m) lateral migration of elemental Hg (Hg0) through the unsaturated zone. Gas collected from multiple depths from two instrumented boreholes that sample the entire 110-m unsaturated zone thickness and are located 100 and 160 m away from the closest waste burial trench exhibit gaseous Hg concentrations of up to 33 and 11 ng m−3, respectively. The vertical distribution of gaseous Hg in the borehole closest to the disposal site shows distinct subsurface peaks in concentration at depths of 1.5 and 24 m that cannot be explained by radial diffusive transport through a heterogeneous layered unsaturated zone. The inability of current models to explain gaseous Hg distribution at the ADRS highlights the need to advance the understanding of gas-phase contaminant transport in unsaturated zones to attain a comprehensive model of landfill Hg release.

  4. Distribution of Minor Elements in Calcite From the Unsaturated Zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, B. D.; Whelan, J. F.

    2001-12-01

    Calcite is sporadically distributed in fractures and cavities in the volcanic rocks that form the 500- to 700-m-thick unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain. Previous work has shown that the calcite precipitated from water moving downward through the unsaturated zone since the volcanic rocks were emplaced approximately 13 Ma. Calcite thus serves as a proxy for the chemistry and amounts of past percolation, two parameters that are important in predictions of the future behavior of the potential radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain. Latest calcite, which began forming between approximately 5 and 2 Ma, typically displays fine-scale growth zoning defined by distributions of Mn (inferred from cathodoluminescence), Mg, and Sr. Electron microprobe (EPMA) mapping of outermost calcite reveals Mg growth zoning1 and higher overall concentrations of Mg in late calcite than in older calcite. Micro X-ray fluorescence (micro-XRF) maps were obtained by slow rastering of the samples over a 100-watt X-ray source collimated through a final aperture of 100 μ m. Although the spatial resolution of the micro-XRF mapping is much less than that of EPMA, this technique reveals distributions of some elements to which EPMA is less sensitive. Micro-XRF maps show that Sr is spatially correlated with Mg; Sr concentrations range to 500 μ g/g at the resolution of the 100-μ m collimator. Because both Mg and Sr have similar calcite-water distribution coefficients much less than one, the Mg/Sr in calcite reflects the Mg/Sr of the water that precipitated the calcite. The distribution coefficient for Mn is greater than one and variations in Mn are not correlated with Mg and Sr. Covariation of Mg and Sr in the percolating water may be explained by reactions that affect the rate of uptake of chemical constituents from the overlying rock and soil, and/or evaporation. Late calcite has lower δ 13C values, probably due to a regional change from wetter to drier climate conditions. The higher Mg and

  5. Design of an intermediate-scale experiment to validate unsaturated- zone transport models

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Siegel, M.D.; Hopkins, P.L.; Glass, R.J.; Ward, D.B.

    1991-01-01

    An intermediate-scale experiment is being carried out to evaluate instrumentation and models that might be used for transport-model validation for the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project. The experimental test bed is a 6-m high x 3-m diameter caisson filled with quartz sand with a sorbing layer at an intermediate depth. The experiment involves the detection and prediction of the migration of fluid and tracers through an unsaturated porous medium. Pre-test design requires estimation of physical properties of the porous medium such as the relative permeability, saturation/pressure relations, porosity, and saturated hydraulic conductivity as well as geochemical properties such as surface complexation constants and empircial K d 'S. The pre-test characterization data will be used as input to several computer codes to predict the fluid flow and tracer migration. These include a coupled chemical-reaction/transport model, a stochastic model, and a deterministic model using retardation factors. The calculations will be completed prior to elution of the tracers, providing a basis for validation by comparing the predictions to observed moisture and tracer behavior

  6. Evaluating Ecosystem Services for Reducing Groundwater Nitrate Contamination: Nitrate Attenuation in the Unsaturated and Saturated Zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, J.

    2013-12-01

    Nitrates are the most common type of groundwater contamination in agricultural regions. Environmental policies targeting nitrates have focused on input control (e.g., restricted fertilizer application), intermediate loads control (e.g., reduce nitrate leached from crop fields), and final loads control (e.g., reduce catchment nitrate loads). Nitrate loads can be affected by hydrological processes in both unsaturated and saturated zones. Although many of these processes have been extensively investigated in literature, they are commonly modeled as exogenous to farm management. A couple of recent studies by scientists from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory show that in some situations nitrate attenuation processes in the unsaturated/saturated zone, particularly denitrification, can be intensified by certain management practices to mitigate nitrate loads. Therefore, these nitrate attenuation processes can be regarded as a set of ecosystem services that farmers can take advantage of to reduce their cost of complying with environmental policies. In this paper, a representative California dairy farm is used as a case study to show how such ecosystem attenuation services can be framed within the farm owner's decision-making framework as an option for reducing groundwater nitrate contamination. I develop an integrated dynamic model, where the farmer maximizes discounted net farm profit over multiple periods subject to environmental regulations. The model consists of three submodels: animal-waste-crop, hydrologic, and economic model. In addition to common choice variables such as irrigation, fertilization, and waste disposal options, the farmer can also endogenously choose from three water sources: surface water, deep groundwater (old groundwater in the deep aquifer that is not affected by farm effluent in the short term), and shallow groundwater (drainage water that can be recycled via capture wells at the downstream end of the farm). The capture wells not only

  7. Modeling Raw Sewage Leakage and Transport in the Unsaturated Zone of Carbonate Aquifer Using Carbamazepine as an Indicator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yakirevich, A.; Kuznetsov, M.; Livshitz, Y.; Gasser, G.; Pankratov, I.; Lev, O.; Adar, E.; Dvory, N. Z.

    2016-12-01

    Fast contamination of groundwater in karstic aquifers can be caused due to leaky sewers, for example, or overflow from sewer networks. When flowing through a karst system, wastewater has the potential to reach the aquifer in a relatively short time. The Western Mountain Aquifer (Yarkon-Taninim) of Israel is one of the country's major water resources. During late winter 2013, maintenance actions were performed on a central sewage pipe that caused raw sewage to leak into the creek located in the study area. The subsequent infiltration of sewage through the thick ( 100 m) fractured/karst unsaturated zone led to a sharp increase in contaminant concentrations in the groundwater, which was monitored in a well located 29 meters from the center of the creek. Carbamazepine (CBZ) was used as an indicator for the presence of untreated raw sewage and its quantification in groundwater. The ultimate research goal was to develop a mathematical model for quantifying flow and contaminant transport processes in the fractured-porous unsaturated zone and karstified groundwater system. A quasi-3D dual permeability numerical model, representing the 'vadose zone - aquifer' system, was developed by a series of 1D equations solved in variably-saturated zone and by 3D-saturated flow and transport equation in groundwater. The 1D and 3D equations were coupled at the moving phreatic surface. The model was calibrated and applied to a simulated water flow scenario and CBZ transport during and after the observed sewage leakage event. The results of simulation showed that after the leakage stopped, significant amounts of CBZ were retained in the porous matrix of the unsaturated zone below the creek. Water redistribution and slow recharge during the dry summer season contributed to elevated CBZ concentrations in the groundwater in the vicinity of the creek and tens of meters downstream. The resumption of autumn rains enhanced flushing of CBZ from the unsaturated zone and led to an increase in

  8. Effect of Root-Zone Moisture Variations on Growth of Lettuce and Pea Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ilieva, Iliana; Ivanova, Tania

    2008-06-01

    Variations in substrate moisture lead to changes in water and oxygen availability to plant roots. Ground experiments were carried out in the laboratory prototype of SVET-2 Space Greenhouse to study the effect of variation of root-zone moisture conditions on growth of lettuce and pea plants. The effect of transient increase (for 1 day) and drastic increase (waterlogging for 10 days) of substrate moisture was studied with 16-day old pea and 21-day old lettuce plants respectively. Pea height and fresh biomass accumulation were not affected by transient substrate moisture increase. Net photosynthetic rate (Pn) of pea plants showed fast response to substrate moisture variation, while chlorophyll content did not change. Drastic change of substrate moisture suppressed lettuce Pn, chlorophyll biosynthesis and plant growth. These parameters slowly recovered after termination of waterlogging treatment but lettuce yield was greatly affected. The results showed that the most sensitive physiological parameter to substrate moisture variations is photosynthesis.

  9. Settlement determination of operating moisture of autoclaved aerated concrete in different climatic zones

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pastushkov Pavel Pavlovich

    Full Text Available In the process of operation of buildings the moisture state of enveloping structures materials is changing depending on their construction features, properties of the material, temperature and moisture conditions in the premises, climatic conditions of the construction area. Moisture mode determines the operational properties of the enveloping structures of a building. It directly influences the thermal characteristics of enveloping structure and energy efficiency of the applied materials. The analysis of the methods for calculation of moisture behavior of enclosing structures is carried out. The research relevance of operational moisture of AAC is substantiated. Experimental studies and results of the sorption moisturizing and water vapor permeability of leading marks of aerated concrete are carried out. The authors offer the results of numerical calculations of the moisture behavior of aerated concrete in the walls with mark D400 with facade thermal insulation composite systems - with external plaster layers for different climatic zones of construction.

  10. Field studies and modeling of chemical processes in the unsaturated zone

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Polzer, W.L.; Fuentes, H.R.

    1985-01-01

    Technical assistance is being provided to Nuclear Materials Safety and Safeguards of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to evaluate the validity of several guidelines listed in 10 CFR Part 61 for the future burial of low-level radioactive waste. Those guidelines include the requirement that the burial site shall be capable of being modeled. Both laboratory- and field-scale studies are being conducted under unsaturated moisture conditions and under steady-state and unsteady-state flow conditions. This paper reviews the kinds of present experiments in low-level radioactive waste disposal in development at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Major emphasis is on some of the initial analyses of data for laboratory sorption experiments and for field transport tests. Brief reference is made to leaching and transport studies. Laboratory batch equilibrium sorption studies suggest that adsorption of nonconservative tracers can be described in terms of two empirical constants; one gives an indication of the average K/sub d/ for all adsorption sites and the other gives an indication of the spread of individual K/sub d/'s about the average K/sub d/. This information can be translated into a ''chemical dispersion'' under dynamic flow and equilibrium sorption conditions that is in addition to the traditionally accepted physical dispersion. Laboratory nonequilibrium sorption studies suggest that nonequilibrium models may be needed to model the transport of the nonconservative tracers cobalt and cesium; equilibrium models should be suitable to model strontium transport. Analyses from field-scale studies indicate that conservative tracers can reasonably be modeled with a one-dimensional advective-dispersive equation for steady flow. 12 figs., 1 tab

  11. Decomposition of groundwater level fluctuations using transfer modelling in an area with shallow to deep unsaturated zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gehrels, J. C.; van Geer, F. C.; de Vries, J. J.

    1994-05-01

    Time series analysis of the fluctuations in shallow groundwater levels in the Netherlands lowlands have revealed a large-scale decline in head during recent decades as a result of an increase in land drainage and groundwater withdrawal. The situation is more ambiguous in large groundwater bodies located in the eastern part of the country, where the unsaturated zone increases from near zero along the edges to about 40 m in the centre of the area. As depth of the unsaturated zone increases, groundwater level reacts with an increasing delay to fluctuations in climate and influences of human activities. The aim of the present paper is to model groundwater level fluctuations in these areas using a linear stochastic transfer function model, relating groundwater levels to estimated precipitation excess, and to separate artificial components from the natural groundwater regime. In this way, the impact of groundwater withdrawal and the reclamation of a 1000 km 2 polder area on the groundwater levels in the adjoining higher ground could be assessed. It became evident that the linearity assumption of the transfer functions becomes a serious drawback in areas with the deepest groundwater levels, because of non-linear processes in the deep unsaturated zone and the non-synchronous arrival of recharge in the saturated zone. Comparison of the results from modelling the influence of reclamation with an analytical solution showed that the lowering of groundwater level is partly compensated by reduced discharge and therefore is less than expected.

  12. A Non-local Model for Transient Moisture Flow in Unsaturated Soils Based on the Peridynamic Theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jabakhanji, R.; Mohtar, R. H.

    2012-12-01

    A non-local, gradient free, formulation of the porous media flow problem in unsaturated soils was derived. It parallels the peridynamic theory, a non-local reformulation of solid mechanics presented by Silling. In the proposed model, the evolution of the state of a material point is driven by pairwise interactions with other points across finite distances. Flow and changes in moisture are the result of these interactions. Instead of featuring local gradients, the proposed model expresses the flow as a functional integral of the hydraulic potential field. The absence of spatial gradients, undefined at or on discontinuities, makes the model a good candidate for flow simulations in fractured soils. It also lends itself to coupling with peridynamic mechanical models for simulating crack formation triggered by shrinkage and swelling, and assessing their potential impact on a wide range of processes, such as infiltration, contaminant transport, slope stability and integrity of clay barriers. A description of the concept and an outline of the derivation and numerical implementation are presented. Simulation results of infiltration and drainage for 1D, single and two-layers soil columns, for three different soil types are also presented. The same simulations are repeated using HYDRUS-1D, a computer model using the classic local flow equation. We show that the proposed non-local formulation successfully reproduces the results from HYDRUS-1D. S.A. Silling, "Reformulation of Elasticity Theory for Discontinuities and Long-range Forces," Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids 48, no. 1 (January 2000): 175-209. J. Simunek, M. Sejna, and M.T. Van Genuchten, "The HYDRUS-1D Software Package for Simulating the One-dimensional Movement of Water, Heat, and Multiple Solutes in Variably-saturated Media," University of California, Riverside, Research Reports 240 (2005).

  13. New Conceptual Model for Soil Treatment Units: Formation of Multiple Hydraulic Zones during Unsaturated Wastewater Infiltration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geza, Mengistu; Lowe, Kathryn S; Huntzinger, Deborah N; McCray, John E

    2013-07-01

    Onsite wastewater treatment systems are commonly used in the United States to reclaim domestic wastewater. A distinct biomat forms at the infiltrative surface, causing resistance to flow and decreasing soil moisture below the biomat. To simulate these conditions, previous modeling studies have used a two-layer approach: a thin biomat layer (1-5 cm thick) and the native soil layer below the biomat. However, the effect of wastewater application extends below the biomat layer. We used numerical modeling supported by experimental data to justify a new conceptual model that includes an intermediate zone (IZ) below the biomat. The conceptual model was set up using Hydrus 2D and calibrated against soil moisture and water flux measurements. The estimated hydraulic conductivity value for the IZ was between biomat and the native soil. The IZ has important implications for wastewater treatment. When the IZ was not considered, a loading rate of 5 cm d resulted in an 8.5-cm ponding. With the IZ, the same loading rate resulted in a 9.5-cm ponding. Without the IZ, up to 3.1 cm d of wastewater could be applied without ponding; with the IZ, only up to 2.8 cm d could be applied without ponding. The IZ also plays a significant role in soil moisture distribution. Without the IZ, near-saturation conditions were observed only within the biomat, whereas near-saturation conditions extended below the biomat with the IZ. Accurate prediction of ponding is important to prevent surfacing of wastewater. The degree of water and air saturation influences pollutant treatment efficiency through residence time, volatility, and biochemical reactions. Copyright © by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, Inc.

  14. Review of ground-water flow and transport models in the unsaturated zone

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oster, C.A.

    1982-11-01

    Models of partially saturated flow and transport in porous media have application in the analysis of existing as well as future low-level radioactive waste facilities located above the water table. An extensive literature search along with telephone and mail correspondence with recognized leading experts in the field, was conducted to identify computer models suitable for studies of low-level radioactive waste facilities located in the unsaturated zone. Fifty-five existing models were identified as potentially useful. Ten of these models were selected for further examination. This report contains a statement of the ground-water flow-contaminant transport problem, a discussion of those methods used to reduce the physical problem to a computer model, a brief discussion about the data requirements of these models. The procedure used to select the ten codes for further discussion is given, along with a list of these models. Finally, the Appendices contain the data about the fifty-five codes examined. Specifically Appendix D contains the detailed discussion of each of the ten selected codes. Included in each discussion are such items which a potential user requires in determining whether the code is suitable for his applications. Appendix E contains brief summary information about each of the fifty-five codes. Included in the summaries are identification data, authors, pertinent references, and model type.

  15. Application of isotopes and chemistry in unsaturated zone in arid areas of Rajasthan, India

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Navada, S.V.; Nair, A.R.; Sinha, U.K.; Kulkarni, U.P.; Joseph, T.B.

    2001-01-01

    Isotopes and chemistry of unsaturated zone soil profiles in Saraf ki Dani, Sihania and Lakrasar site in Barmer district of western Rajasthan, and precipitation samples collected at Chohtan, the nearest meteorological station, have been used to study groundwater recharge and to characterise the behaviour of contaminants in the subsurface. Soil water was extracted by vacuum distillation and analysed for 2 H and 18 O, whereas elutriation methods were used for chemistry. Based on the observed chloride profiles, groundwater recharge rates are estimated to be ∼10 to 18 mm per annum for the above sites. δ 18 O profiles at Sihania and Lakrasar (1999), reveal depleted δ 18 O values observed at a depth of ∼2 m, possibly due to an episode of heavy rains during 1998. Depthwise distribution of of F - , SO 4 -2 and NO 3 - at Sihania site II (1999) and δ 18 O signatures confirm that evaporative concentration occurs during dry periods. Enrichment of NO 3 - in the profiles may be related to fixation of nitrogen by leguminous plants. (author)

  16. Evidence for an unsaturated-zone origin of secondary minerals in Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Whelan, Joseph F.; Roedder, Edwin; Paces, James B.

    2001-01-01

    The unsaturated zone (UZ) in Miocene-age welded tuffs at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is under consideration as a potential site for the construction of a high-level radioactive waste repository. Secondary calcite and silica minerals deposited on fractures and in cavities in the UZ tuffs are texturally, isotopically, and geochemically consistent with UZ deposition from meteoric water infiltrating at the surface and percolating through the UZ along fractures. Nonetheless, two-phase fluid inclusions with small and consistent vapor to liquid (V:L) ratios that yield consistent temperatures within samples and which range from about 35 to about 80 C between samples have led some to attribute these deposits to formation from upwelling hydrothermal waters. Geochronologic studies have shown that calcite and silica minerals began forming at least 10 Ma and continued to form into the Holocene. If their deposition were really from upwelling water flooding the UZ, it would draw into question the suitability of the site as a waste repository

  17. Calibration of Yucca Mountain unsaturated zone flow and transport model using porewater chloride data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu, Jianchun; Sonnenthal, Eric L.; Bodvarsson, Gudmundur S.

    2002-01-01

    In this study, porewater chloride data from Yucca Mountain, Nevada, are analyzed and modeled by 3-D chemical transport simulations and analytical methods. The simulation modeling approach is based on a continuum formulation of coupled multiphase fluid flow and tracer transport processes through fractured porous rock, using a dual-continuum concept. Infiltration-rate calibrations were using the pore water chloride data. Model results of chloride distributions were improved in matching the observed data with the calibrated infiltration rates. Statistical analyses of the frequency distribution for overall percolation fluxes and chloride concentration in the unsaturated zone system demonstrate that the use of the calibrated infiltration rates had insignificant effect on the distribution of simulated percolation fluxes but significantly changed the predicated distribution of simulated chloride concentrations. An analytical method was also applied to model transient chloride transport. The method was verified by 3-D simulation results as able to capture major chemical transient behavior and trends. Effects of lateral flow in the Paintbrush nonwelded unit on percolation fluxes and chloride distribution were studied by 3-D simulations with increased horizontal permeability. The combined results from these model calibrations furnish important information for the UZ model studies, contributing to performance assessment of the potential repository

  18. Evaluation of unsaturated-zone solute-transport models for studies of agricultural chemicals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nolan, Bernard T.; Bayless, E. Randall; Green, Christopher T.; Garg, Sheena; Voss, Frank D.; Lampe, David C.; Barbash, Jack E.; Capel, Paul D.; Bekins, Barbara A.

    2005-01-01

    Seven unsaturated-zone solute-transport models were tested with two data sets to select models for use by the Agricultural Chemical Team of the U.S. Geological Survey's National Water-Quality Assessment Program. The data sets were from a bromide tracer test near Merced, California, and an atrazine study in the White River Basin, Indiana. In this study the models are designated either as complex or simple based on the water flux algorithm. The complex models, HYDRUS2D, LEACHP, RZWQM, and VS2DT, use Richards' equation to simulate water flux and are well suited to process understanding. The simple models, CALF, GLEAMS, and PRZM, use a tipping-bucket algorithm and are more amenable to extrapolation because they require fewer input parameters. The purpose of this report is not to endorse a particular model, but to describe useful features, potential capabilities, and possible limitations that emerged from working with the model input data sets. More rigorous assessment of model applicability involves proper calibration, which was beyond the scope of this study.

  19. Review of ground-water flow and transport models in the unsaturated zone

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oster, C.A.

    1982-11-01

    Models of partially saturated flow and transport in porous media have application in the analysis of existing as well as future low-level radioactive waste facilities located above the water table. An extensive literature search along with telephone and mail correspondence with recognized leading experts in the field, was conducted to identify computer models suitable for studies of low-level radioactive waste facilities located in the unsaturated zone. Fifty-five existing models were identified as potentially useful. Ten of these models were selected for further examination. This report contains a statement of the ground-water flow-contaminant transport problem, a discussion of those methods used to reduce the physical problem to a computer model, a brief discussion about the data requirements of these models. The procedure used to select the ten codes for further discussion is given, along with a list of these models. Finally, the Appendices contain the data about the fifty-five codes examined. Specifically Appendix D contains the detailed discussion of each of the ten selected codes. Included in each discussion are such items which a potential user requires in determining whether the code is suitable for his applications. Appendix E contains brief summary information about each of the fifty-five codes. Included in the summaries are identification data, authors, pertinent references, and model type

  20. Three-Dimensional Radionuclide Transport Through the Unsaturated Zone of the Yucca Mountain Site 3 Colloids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    G. J. Moridis; Y. Seol

    2007-01-01

    The authors investigated colloid transport in the unsaturated fractured zone by means of three-dimensional site-scale numerical model under present-day climate infiltration, considering varying colloid diameters, kinetic declogging, and filtration. The radionuclide transport model was used to simulate continuous release of colloids into fractures throughout the proposed repository, in which any components of engineered barrier system such as waste package or drip shield were not considered. the results of the study indicate the importance of subsurface geology and site hydrology, i.e., the presence of faults (they dominate and control transport), fractures (the main migration pathways), and the relative distribution of zeolitic and vitric tuffs. The simulations indicate that (1) colloid transport is not significantly affected by varying the filtration parameters, (2) travel time to the water table decreases with the colloid size, (3) larger colloids show little retardation whereas very small ones are retarded significantly, and (4) fracture filtration can have an impact on transport. Because of uncertainties in the fundamentals of colloid transport and an extremely conservative approach (based on an improbably adverse worst-case scenario), caution should be exercised in the analysis and interpretation of the 3-D simulation results. The results discussed here should be viewed as an attempt to identify and evaluate the mechanisms, processes, and geological features that control colloidal transport

  1. Environmental fate and transport of nitroglycerin from propellant residues at firing positions in the unsaturated zone

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bellavance-Godin, A. [Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique, Quebec, PQ (Canada). Eau, Terre et Environnement; Martel, R. [Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique, Varennes, PQ (Canada). Eau, Terre et Environnement, Earth Sciences

    2008-07-01

    In response to environmental concerns, the Canadian Forces Base (CFB) have initiated studies to better evaluate the impact of various military activities. This paper presented the results of a study in which the fate of propellant residues on large soil columns was investigated. The sites selected for the study were the antitank ranges at Garrison Valcartier, Quebec and those at the CFB Petawawa, Ontario. The shoulder rockets fired on those ranges were propelled by solid propellants based on a nitrocellulose matrix in which nitroglycerine and ammonium perchlorate were dispersed as oxidizer and energetic materials. Propellant residues accumulated in the surface soils because the combustion processes in the rockets was incomplete. This study evaluated the contaminants transport through the unsaturated zone. Sampling was conducted in 2 steps. The first involved collecting uncontaminated soil samples representative of the geological formations of the 2 sites. The second step involved collecting soils containing high levels of propellant residues behind antitank firing positions, which was later spread across the surface of the uncontaminated soil columns and which were representative of the contaminated zone. The soils were watered in the laboratory following the precipitation patterns of the respective regions and interstitial water output of the columns was also sampled. The compounds of interest were nitroglycerine and its degradation metabolites, dinitroglycerine, mononitroglycerine and nitrates as well as perchlorate and bromides. Results presented high concentrations of nitrites, nitrates and perchlorates. Both the NG and its degradation products were monitored using a newly developed analytical method that provides for a better understanding of NG degradation pathways in anaerobic conditions. 12 refs., 3 tabs., 12 figs.

  2. Hydrogeology of the unsaturated zone, North Ramp area of the Exploratory Studies Facility, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rousseau, Joseph P.; Kwicklis, Edward M.; Gillies, Daniel C.; Rousseau, Joseph P.; Kwicklis, Edward M.; Gillies, Daniel C.

    1999-01-01

    Yucca Mountain, in southern Nevada, is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Energy as a potential site for a repository for high-level radioactive waste. This report documents the results of surface-based geologic, pneumatic, hydrologic, and geochemical studies conducted during 1992 to 1996 by the U.S. Geological Survey in the vicinity of the North Ramp of the Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF) that are pertinent to understanding multiphase fluid flow within the deep unsaturated zone. Detailed stratigraphic and structural characteristics of the study area provided the hydrogeologic framework for these investigations. Multiple lines of evidence indicate that gas flow and liquid flow within the welded tuffs of the unsaturated zone occur primarily through fractures. Fracture densities are highest in the Tiva Canyon welded (TCw) and Topopah Spring welded (TSw) hydrogeologic units. Although fracture density is much lower in the intervening nonwelded and bedded tuffs of the Paintbrush nonwelded hydrogeologic unit (PTn), pneumatic and aqueous-phase isotopic evidence indicates that substantial secondary permeability is present locally in the PTn, especially in the vicinity of faults. Borehole air-injection tests indicate that bulk air-permeability ranges from 3.5x10-14 to 5.4x10-11 square meters for the welded tuffs and from 1.2x10-13 to 3.0x10-12 square meters for the non welded and bedded tuffs of the PTn. Analyses of in-situ pneumatic-pressure data from monitored boreholes produced estimates of bulk permeability that were comparable to those determined from the air-injection tests. In many cases, both sets of estimates are two to three orders of magnitude larger than estimates based on laboratory analyses of unfractured core samples. The in-situ pneumatic-pressure records also indicate that the unsaturated-zone pneumatic system consists of four subsystems that coincide with the four major hydrogeologic units of the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain. In

  3. Unsaturated zone waters from the Nopal I natural analog, Chihuahua, Mexico -- Implications for radionuclide mobility at Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pickett, D.A.; Murphy, W.M.

    1999-07-01

    Chemical and U-Th isotopic data on unsaturated zone waters from the Nopal I natural analog reveal effects of water-rock interaction and help constrain models of radionuclide release and transport at the site and, by analogy, at the proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. Geochemical reaction-path modeling indicates that, under oxidizing conditions, dissolution of uraninite (spent fuel analog) by these waters will lead to eventual schoepite precipitation regardless of initial silica concentration provided that groundwater is not continuously replenished. Thus, less soluble uranyl silicates may not dominate the initial alteration assemblage and keep dissolved U concentrations low. Uranium-series activity ratios are consistent with models of U transport at the site and display varying degrees of leaching versus recoil mobilization. Thorium concentrations may reflect the importance of colloidal transport of low-solubility radionuclides in the unsaturated zone.

  4. Unsaturated zone waters from the Nopal I natural analog, Chihuahua, Mexico -- Implications for radionuclide mobility at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pickett, D.A.; Murphy, W.M.

    1999-01-01

    Chemical and U-Th isotopic data on unsaturated zone waters from the Nopal I natural analog reveal effects of water-rock interaction and help constrain models of radionuclide release and transport at the site and, by analogy, at the proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. Geochemical reaction-path modeling indicates that, under oxidizing conditions, dissolution of uraninite (spent fuel analog) by these waters will lead to eventual schoepite precipitation regardless of initial silica concentration provided that groundwater is not continuously replenished. Thus, less soluble uranyl silicates may not dominate the initial alteration assemblage and keep dissolved U concentrations low. Uranium-series activity ratios are consistent with models of U transport at the site and display varying degrees of leaching versus recoil mobilization. Thorium concentrations may reflect the importance of colloidal transport of low-solubility radionuclides in the unsaturated zone

  5. Environmental isotope profiles of the soil water in loess unsaturated zone in semi-arid areas of china

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lin Ruifen; Wei Keqin

    2001-01-01

    According to the IAEA Research Contract No. 9402, soil cores CHN/97 and CHN/98 were taken from loess deposits of China in Inner-Mongolia and Shanxi Province, respectively. Isotope and chemical constituents of the interstitial water from these cores, compared with data obtained from the same places before, were used for estimating the infiltration rate. Tritium profiles from the loess unsaturated zone show clearly defined peaks of 1963 fallout. It implies that piston-flow model is the dominant process for soil water movement in the highly homogeneous loess deposits. It has been shown from this study that vertical infiltration through the unsaturated zone accounts for 12%-13% of the annual precipitation and perhaps is not the main mechanism of groundwater recharge in semi-arid loess areas. (author)

  6. The Impact of Organo-Mineral Complexation on Mineral Weathering in the Soil Zone under Unsaturated Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael, H. A.; Tan, F.; Yoo, K.; Imhoff, P. T.

    2017-12-01

    While organo-mineral complexes can protect organic matter (OM) from biodegradation, their impact on soil mineral weathering is not clear. Previous bench-scale experiments that focused on specific OM and minerals showed that the adsorption of OM to mineral surfaces accelerates the dissolution of some minerals. However, the impact of natural organo-mineral complexes on mineral dissolution under unsaturated conditions is not well known. In this study, soil samples prepared from an undisturbed forest site were used to determine mineral weathering rates under differing conditions of OM sorption to minerals. Two types of soil samples were generated: 1) soil with OM (C horizon soil from 84-100cm depth), and 2) soil without OM (the same soil as in 1) but with OM removed by heating to 350°for 24 h). Soil samples were column-packed and subjected to intermittent infiltration and drainage to mimic natural rainfall events. Each soil sample type was run in duplicate. The unsaturated condition was created by applying gas pressure to the column, and the unsaturated chemical weathering rates during each cycle were calculated from the effluent concentrations. During a single cycle, when applying the same gas pressure, soils with OM retained more moisture than OM-removed media, indicating increased water retention capacity under the impact of OM. This is consistent with the water retention data measured by evaporation experiments (HYPROP) and the dew point method (WP4C Potential Meter). Correspondingly, silicon (Si) denudation rates indicated that dissolution of silicate minerals was 2-4 times higher in OM soils, suggesting that organo-mineral complexes accelerate mineral dissolution under unsaturated conditions. When combining data from all cycles, the results showed that Si denudation rates were positively related to soil water content: denundation rate increased with increasing water content. Therefore, natural mineral chemical weathering under unsaturated conditions, while

  7. Inherent mineralization of 2,6-dichlorobenzamide (BAM) in unsaturated zone and aquifers – Effect of initial concentrations and adaptation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Janniche, Gry Sander; Clausen, Liselotte; Albrechtsen, Hans-Jørgen

    2011-01-01

    cores with known dichlobenil application were collected from topsoil to 8.5 m below surface resulting in 57 samples hereof 4 aquifer samples. Mineralization was only substantial (>10%) in the uppermost meter of the unsaturated zone. Microbial adaptation, observed as faster mineralization in pre......, in pre-exposed clay mineralization was stimulated at high concentrations. Furthermore BAM was for the first time mineralized in aerobic aquifer sediments from different BAM-contaminated groundwater locations. BAM mineralization in subsurface and groundwater was demonstrated....

  8. Hydrogeological studies in the water-saturated and unsaturated zone of the calcareous strata in the Wackersdorf region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Heinemann, J.M.

    1987-01-01

    The investigation cerves an area of 58.5 km 2 . It is a locally important groundwater reservoir with numerous fountains and waterworks. The investigations were conducted in the unsaturated zone and in the topmost ground-water horizon in the chalky layers. Emphasis is laid on questions of infiltration and groundwater dynamics. The hydrological situation is covered in its entirety, and basic data are collected from field and laboratory tests. (DG) [de

  9. Soil-moisture transport in arid site vadose zones

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Isaacson, R.E.; Brownell, L.E.; Nelson, R.W.; Roetman, E.L.

    1974-01-01

    Soil-moisture transport processes in the arid soils of the United States Atomic Energy Commission's Hanford site are being evaluated. The depth of penetration of meteoric precipitation has been determined by profiling fall-out tritium at two locations where the water table is about 90 m below ground surface. In situ temperatures and water potentials were measured with temperature transducers and thermocouple psychrometers at the same location to obtain thermodynamic data for identifying the factors influencing soil-moisture transport. Neutron probes are being used to monitor soil-moisture changes in two lysimeters, three metres in diameter by 20 metres deep. The lysimeters are also equipped to measure pressure, temperature and relative humidity as a function of depth and time. Theoretical models based on conservation of momentum expressions are being developed to analyse non-isothermal soil-moisture transport processes. Future work will be concerned with combining the theoretical and experimental work and determining the amount of rainfall required to cause migration of soil-moisture to the water table. (author)

  10. Hydrological, meteorological and geohydrological data for an unsaturated zone study near the Radioactive Waste Management Complex, Idaho National Engineering Laboratory, Idaho - 1987

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Davis, L.C.; Pittman, J.R.

    1990-01-01

    Since 1952, radioactive waste has been buried at the RWMC (Radioactive Waste Management Complex) at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory in southeastern Idaho. In 1985, the US Geological Survey, in cooperation with the US Department of Energy, began a study of the geohydrology of the RWMC to provide a basis for estimating the extent of and the potential for migration of radionuclides in the unsaturated zone beneath the waste burial trenches and pits. This study is being conducted to provide hydrological, meteorological and geohydrological data for the test trench area adjacent to the northern boundary of the RWMC. During 1987, data were collected from the test trench area, where several types of instrumentation were installed in the surficial sediment in 1985. Hydrological data collected from both disturbed and undisturbed soil included measurements, from 28 thermocouple psychrometers placed at selected depths to about 6m. Soil moisture content measurements were collected bi-weekly in 9 neutron-probe access holes with a neutron moisture depth gage. Meteorological data summarized daily included: (1) incoming and emitted long-wave radiation; (2) incoming and reflected short-wave radiation; (3) air temperature; (4) relative humidity; (5) wind speed; (6) wind direction; and (7) precipitation. To describe grain-size distribution with depth, 17 samples were analyzed using sieve and pipette methods. Statistical parameters, carbonate content, color, particle roundness and sphericity, and mineralogic and clastic constituents were determined for each sample. Some samples were analyzed by x-ray diffraction techniques to determine bulk and clay mineralogy

  11. Tritium plume dynamics in the shallow unsaturated zone in an arid environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maples, S.R.; Andraski, Brian J.; Stonestrom, David A.; Cooper, C.A.; Pohll, G.; Michel, R.L.

    2014-01-01

    The spatiotemporal variability of a tritium plume in the shallow unsaturated zone and the mechanisms controlling its transport were evaluated during a 10-yr study. Plume movement was minimal and its mass declined by 68%. Upward-directed diffusive-vapor tritium fluxes and radioactive decay accounted for most of the observed plume-mass declines.Effective isolation of tritium (3H) and other contaminants at waste-burial facilities requires improved understanding of transport processes and pathways. Previous studies documented an anomalously widespread (i.e., theoretically unexpected) distribution of 3H (>400 m from burial trenches) in a dry, sub-root-zone gravelly layer (1–2-m depth) adjacent to a low-level radioactive waste (LLRW) burial facility in the Amargosa Desert, Nevada, that closed in 1992. The objectives of this study were to: (i) characterize long-term, spatiotemporal variability of 3H plumes; and (ii) quantify the processes controlling 3H behavior in the sub-root-zone gravelly layer beneath native vegetation adjacent to the facility. Geostatistical methods, spatial moment analyses, and mass flux calculations were applied to a spatiotemporally comprehensive, 10-yr data set (2001–2011). Results showed minimal bulk-plume advancement during the study period and limited Fickian spreading of mass. Observed spreading rates were generally consistent with theoretical vapor-phase dispersion. The plume mass diminished more rapidly than would be expected from radioactive decay alone, indicating net efflux from the plume. Estimates of upward 3H efflux via diffusive-vapor movement were >10× greater than by dispersive-vapor or total-liquid movement. Total vertical fluxes were >20× greater than lateral diffusive-vapor fluxes, highlighting the importance of upward migration toward the land surface. Mass-balance calculations showed that radioactive decay and upward diffusive-vapor fluxes contributed the majority of plume loss. Results indicate that plume losses

  12. Analysis of Bridge Transition Zones in Railways Considering the Moisture Condition of the Ballast and Subballast

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wang, Haoyu; Silvast, Mika; Markine, V.L.; Wiljanen, Bruce

    2017-01-01

    Transition zones in railway tracks are the locations with considerable changes in vertical support structures, e.g., near bridges. Due to possible water flow constrictions in transition zone structures, there is frequently an increased moisture level in the ballast/subballast layers, which is a

  13. Radionuclide transport from near-surface repository for radioactive waste - The unsaturated zone approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jakimaviciute-Maseliene, V. [Vilnius University (Lithuania); Mazeika, J. [Nature Research Centre (Lithuania); Motiejunas, S. [Radioactive Waste Management Agency (Lithuania)

    2014-07-01

    About 100 000 m{sup 3} of solid conditioned Low and Intermediate Level Waste (LILW), generated during operation and decommissioning of the Ignalina nuclear power plant (INPP), are to be disposed of in a near-surface repository (NSR) - a 'hill'-type repository with reinforced concrete vaults and with engineered and natural barriers. The northeastern Lithuania and the environment of the INPP in particular were recognized as the areas most suitable for a near-surface repository (Stabatiske Site). The engineered barriers of the repository consist of concrete cells surrounded by clay-based material of low permeability with about the same isolating capacity in all directions. The clay materials must be effectively compactable so that required hydraulic conductivity is reached. The Lithuanian Triassic clay turned out to be sufficiently rich in smectites and was proposed as main candidate for sealing of the repository. When the concrete vaults are filled, the repository cover will be constructed. The surface of the mound will be planted with grass. In this study a computer code FEFLOW 5.0 was applied for simulating the transport of the most mobile radionuclides ({sup 3}H, {sup 14}C, {sup 59}Ni and {sup 94}Nb) with moisture through an unsaturated vault of the near-surface repository in Stabatiske Site. The HYDRUS-1D analysis was used to assess the radionuclide transport in the repository and to estimate initial activity concentrations of radionuclides transported from the cemented waste matrix. Radionuclide release from the vault in the unsaturated conditions after closure of the repository and consequent contaminant plume transport has been assessed taking into account site-specific natural and engineering conditions and based on a normal evolution scenario. The highest peak radionuclide activity concentrations were estimated applying the FEFLOW code. The highest value of {sup 14}C activity concentration(about 1.3x10{sup 8} Bq/m{sup 3}) at the groundwater table

  14. Transfer of reactive solutes in the unsaturated zone of soils at several observation scales

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Limousin, G.

    2006-10-01

    The transfer of contaminants in the unsaturated zone of soils is driven by numerous mechanisms. Field studies are sometimes difficult to set up, and so the question is raised about the reliability of laboratory measurements for describing a field situation. The nuclear power plant at Brennilis (Finistere, France) has been chosen to study the transfer of strontium, cobalt and inert tracers in the soil of this industrial site. Several observation scales have been tested (batch, stirred flow-through reactor, sieved-soil column, un-repacked or repacked soil-core lysimeter, field experiments) in order to determine, at each scale, the factors that influence the transfer of these contaminants, then to verify the adequacy between the different observation scales and their field representativeness. Regarding the soil hydrodynamic properties, the porosity, the water content in the field, the pore water velocity at the water content in the field, the saturation hydraulic conductivity and the dispersion coefficient of this embanked soil are spatially less heterogeneous than those of agricultural or non-anthropic soils. The results obtained with lysimeter and field experiments suggest that hydrodynamics of this unstructured soil can be studied on a repacked sample if the volume is high compared to the rare big-size stones. Regarding the chemical soil-contaminant interactions, cobalt and strontium isotherms are non-linear at concentration higher than 10 -4 mol.L -1 , cobalt adsorption and desorption are fast and independent on pH. On the contrary, at concentration lower than 3.5 x 10 -6 mol.L -1 , cobalt and strontium isotherms are linear, cobalt desorption is markedly slower than adsorption and both cobalt partition coefficient at equilibrium and its reaction kinetics are highly pH-dependent. For both elements, the results obtained with batch, stirred flow-through reactor and sieved-soil column are in adequacy. However, strontium batch adsorption measurements at equilibrium do

  15. Installation and instrumentation of a test-trench facility in the unsaturated zone at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lewis, B.D.

    1984-01-01

    Two simulated waste trenches have been constructed just north of the Radioactive Waste Management Complex (RWMC) at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory. Sections of culvert occupy part of these trenches and are accessible through vertical caissons. These structures therefore allow personnel access for installing instrumentation, maintenance, and observation. Instrumented simulated waste containers will occupy the remainder of the trenches, in order that soil-moisture migration may be observed in relation to waste container forms. The installation will be used to determine, under actual and simulated conditions at a shallow land-burial site in an arid environment, typical soil-moisture content, unsaturated hydraulic conductivity, matric potential, soil-moisture flux, and soil-moisture velocity. The information will be collected using instrumentation located in disturbed and undisturbed soils, simulated waste containers, and the underlying basalt layer. Therefore, data collected from the facility will (a) help characterize the hydrogeologic and geochemical properties of the surficial sediments, (b) contribute to understanding the hydrogeologic phenomena associated with buried waste (including leachate formation and radionuclide migration), (c) provide information on water and solute movement at the sediment/basalt interface, and (d) be used in a radionuclide migration model

  16. Enhanced Attenuation of Unsaturated Chlorinated Solvent Source Zones using Direct Hydrogen Delivery

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    solvents. This approach for bioremediation of unsaturated soils containing chlorinated solvents was originally proposed in a patent by Hughes et al...have been conducted on the use of hydrogen as an electron donor for the anaerobic bioremediation of saturated and unsaturated porous media (Evans and...proven to be very effective in remediating releases of petroleum products including gasoline, jet fuels, kerosene, and diesel fuel. Several field

  17. Geostatistical and Stochastic Study of Flow and Tracer Transport in the Unsaturated Zone at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ye, Ming; Pan, Feng; Hu, Xiaolong; Zhu, Jianting

    2007-01-01

    Yucca Mountain has been proposed by the U.S. Department of Energy as the nation's long-term, permanent geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel or high-level radioactive waste. The potential repository would be located in Yucca Mountain's unsaturated zone (UZ), which acts as a critical natural barrier delaying arrival of radionuclides to the water table. Since radionuclide transport in groundwater can pose serious threats to human health and the environment, it is important to understand how much and how fast water and radionuclides travel through the UZ to groundwater. The UZ system consists of multiple hydrogeologic units whose hydraulic and geochemical properties exhibit systematic and random spatial variation, or heterogeneity, at multiple scales. Predictions of radionuclide transport under such complicated conditions are uncertain, and the uncertainty complicates decision making and risk analysis. This project aims at using geostatistical and stochastic methods to assess uncertainty of unsaturated flow and radionuclide transport in the UZ at Yucca Mountain. Focus of this study is parameter uncertainty of hydraulic and transport properties of the UZ. The parametric uncertainty arises since limited parameter measurements are unable to deterministically describe spatial variability of the parameters. In this project, matrix porosity, permeability and sorption coefficient of the reactive tracer (neptunium) of the UZ are treated as random variables. Corresponding propagation of parametric uncertainty is quantitatively measured using mean, variance, 5th and 95th percentiles of simulated state variables (e.g., saturation, capillary pressure, percolation flux, and travel time). These statistics are evaluated using a Monte Carlo method, in which a three-dimensional flow and transport model implemented using the TOUGH2 code is executed with multiple parameter realizations of the random model parameters. The project specifically studies uncertainty of unsaturated flow

  18. Distribution of gases in the unsaturated zone at a low-level radioactive-waste disposal site near Sheffield, Illinois

    Science.gov (United States)

    Striegl, Robert G.

    1988-01-01

    The unsaturated zone is a medium that provides pneumatic communication for the movement of gases from wastes buried in landfills to the atmosphere, biota, and groundwater. Gases in unsaturated glacial and eolian deposits near a waste-disposal trench at the low-level radioactive-waste disposal site near Sheffield, Bureau County, Illinois, were identified, and the spatial and temporal distributions of the partial pressures of those gases were determined for the period January 1984 through January 1986. Methods for the collection and analyses of the gases are described, as are geologic and hydrologic characteristics of the unsaturated zone that affect gas transport. The identified gases, which are of natural and of waste origin, include nitrogen, oxygen, and argon, carbon dioxide, methane, propane, butane, tritiated water vapor, 14carbon dioxide, and 222 radon. Concentrations of methane and 14carbon dioxide originated at the waste, as shown by partial-pressure gradients of the gases; 14carbon dioxide partial pressures exceeded natural background partial pressures by factors greater than 1 million at some locations. Variations in partial pressures of oxygen and carbon dioxide were seasonal among piezometers because of increased root and soil-microbe respiration during summer. Variations in methane and 14carbon dioxide partial pressures were apparently related to discrete releases from waste sources at unpredictable intervals of time. No greater than background partial pressures for tritiated water vapor or 222 radon were measured. (USGS)

  19. Disposal of high-level radioactive wastes in the unsaturated zone: technical considerations and response to comments. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hackbarth, C.J.; Nicholson, T.J.; Evans, D.D.

    1985-10-01

    On July 22, 1985, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) promulgated amendments to 10 CFR Part 60 concerning disposal of high-level radioactive waste (HLW) in geologic repositories in the unsaturated zone (50 FR 29641). This report contains a discussion of the principal technical issues considered by the NRC staff during the development of these amendments. It expands or revises certain technical discussions originally presented in draft NUREG-1046 (February 1984) based on public comment letters and an increasing understanding of the physical, geochemical, and hydrogeologic processes operative in unsaturated geologic media. The following issues related to disposal of HLW within the unsaturated zone are discussed: hydrogeologic properties and conditions, heat dissipation and temperature, geochemisty, retrievability, potential for exhumation of the radioactive waste by natural causes and by human intrusion, the effects of future climatic changes on the level of the regional water table, and transport of radionuclides in the gaseous state. The changes to 10 CFR Part 60 in definitions, siting criteria, and design criteria for the geologic repository operations area are discussed. Other criteria examined by the NRC staff but which were not changed in rule are the minimum 300-meter depth for waste emplacement, limitations on exploratory boreholes, backfill requirements, waste package design criteria, and provisions for ventilation

  20. Balancing practicality and hydrologic realism: a parsimonious approach for simulating rapid groundwater recharge via unsaturated-zone preferential flow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mirus, Benjamin B.; Nimmo, J.R.

    2013-01-01

    The impact of preferential flow on recharge and contaminant transport poses a considerable challenge to water-resources management. Typical hydrologic models require extensive site characterization, but can underestimate fluxes when preferential flow is significant. A recently developed source-responsive model incorporates film-flow theory with conservation of mass to estimate unsaturated-zone preferential fluxes with readily available data. The term source-responsive describes the sensitivity of preferential flow in response to water availability at the source of input. We present the first rigorous tests of a parsimonious formulation for simulating water table fluctuations using two case studies, both in arid regions with thick unsaturated zones of fractured volcanic rock. Diffuse flow theory cannot adequately capture the observed water table responses at both sites; the source-responsive model is a viable alternative. We treat the active area fraction of preferential flow paths as a scaled function of water inputs at the land surface then calibrate the macropore density to fit observed water table rises. Unlike previous applications, we allow the characteristic film-flow velocity to vary, reflecting the lag time between source and deep water table responses. Analysis of model performance and parameter sensitivity for the two case studies underscores the importance of identifying thresholds for initiation of film flow in unsaturated rocks, and suggests that this parsimonious approach is potentially of great practical value.

  1. Hydrologic and Meteorological Data for an Unsaturated-Zone Study Area near the Radioactive Waste Management Complex, Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory, Idaho, 1990-96

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Perkins, K. S.; Nimmo, J. R.; Pittman, J. R.

    1998-01-01

    Trenches and pits at the Radioactive Waste Management Complex (RWMC) Subsurface Disposal Area (SDA) at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (formerly known as the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory) have been used for burial of radioactive waste since 1952. In 1985, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy, began a multi-phase study of the geohydrology of the RWMC to provide a basis for estimating the extent of and the potential for migration of radionuclides in the unsaturated zone beneath the waste trenches and pits. This phase of the study provides hydrologic and meteorological data collected at a designated test trench area adjacent to the northern boundary of the RWMC SDA from 1990 through 1996. The test trench area was constructed by the USGS in 1985. Hydrologic data presented in this report were collected during 1990-96 in the USGS test trench area. Soil-moisture content measurement from disturbed and undisturbed soil were collected approximately monthly during 1990-96 from 11 neutron-probe access holes with a neutron moisture gage. In 1994, three additional neutron access holes were completed for monitoring. A meteorological station inside the test trench area provided data for determination of evapotranspiration rates. The soil-moisture and meteorological data are contained in files on 3-1/2 inch diskettes (disks 1 and 2) included with this report. The data are presented in simple American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) format with tab-delimited fields. The files occupy a total of 1.5 megabytes of disk space

  2. General hydroisotopic study of direct infiltration and evaporation process through the unsaturated zone in Damascus oasis, Syrian Arab Republic

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abou Zakhem, B.; Hafez, R.

    2001-01-01

    Damascus oasis plays an important economical and environmental role in the city life because it presents the surrounding green places and the groundwater is the main sources for irrigation. In this study we will focus on the unsaturated zone in Damascus oasis. Environmental isotopes as 18 O, 2 H and 3 H are considered one of the most important techniques that are used in unsaturated zone study in order to study the water movement mechanism, estimate the effective velocity, the rate and spatial variations of the direct infiltration through this zone.The Deuterium profile allow to estimate the direct evaporation rate, and it is observed that the evaporation in the eastern part of the studied area is 5-6.5 mm/y. The Tritium peak of profile that is belonging to the atmospheric nuclear tests at the beginning of the sixties indicates the effective infiltration velocity of 27.8 mm/y. The effective porosity was estimated about 6.5% and the permeability parameter is 0.6*10 -10 m/s. The direct infiltration rate was estimated by the chemical Chloride balance in the studied profiles in addition to their spatial distribution where it was distinguished between the eastern area where the direct infiltration is less than 2 mm/y characterized by very fine clay soils and western area where the direct infiltration rate is more than 2 mm/y with sandy soils. It is thought that the lower part of the unsaturated zone indicated the direct infiltration rate about 3.5 mm/y, under more wet climatic conditions where the rainfall was about 423 mm/y, this wet period was extended from about 432 y to more than 760y ago.The Nitrate concentration variation with depth indicated that unsaturated zone play important role as purification zone, and the groundwater which has more than 5 m depth is prevented from pollution, whereas the groundwater that has less than 5 m depth is more prone to pollution by high concentration of Nitrates. (author)

  3. Water movement through the unsaturated zone of the High Plains Aquifer in the Central Platte Natural Resources District, Nebraska, 2008-12

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steele, Gregory V.; Gurdak, Jason J.; Hobza, Christopher M.

    2014-01-01

    Uncertainty about the effects of land use and climate on water movement in the unsaturated zone and on groundwater recharge rates can lead to uncertainty in water budgets used for groundwater-flow models. To better understand these effects, a cooperative study between the U.S. Geological Survey and the Central Platte Natural Resources District was initiated in 2007 to determine field-based estimates of recharge rates in selected land-use areas of the Central Platte Natural Resources District in Nebraska. Measured total water potential and unsaturated-zone profiles of tritium, chloride, nitrate as nitrogen, and bromide, along with groundwater-age dates, were used to evaluate water movement in the unsaturated zone and groundwater recharge rates in the central Platte River study area. Eight study sites represented an east-west precipitation contrast across the study area—four beneath groundwater-irrigated cropland (sites 2, 5, and 6 were irrigated corn and site 7 was irrigated alfalfa/corn rotation), three beneath rangeland (sites 1, 4, and 8), and one beneath nonirrigated cropland, or dryland (site 3). Measurements of transient vertical gradients in total water potential indicated that periodic wetting fronts reached greater mean maximum depths beneath the irrigated sites than beneath the rangeland sites, in part, because of the presence of greater and constant antecedent moisture. Beneath the rangeland sites, greater temporal variation in antecedent moisture and total water potential existed and was, in part, likely a result of local precipitation and evapotranspiration. Moreover, greater variability was noticed in the total water potential profiles beneath the western sites than the corresponding eastern sites, which was attributed to less mean annual precipitation in the west. The depth of the peak post-bomb tritium concentration or the interface between the pre-bomb/post-bomb tritium, along with a tritium mass balance, within sampled soil profiles were used to

  4. An injected gamma-tracer method for soil-moisture movement investigations in arid zones

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nair, A.R.; Navada, S.V.; Rao, S.M.

    1980-01-01

    A method for the in-situ determination of soil-moisture transport rates using K 3 60 Co(CN) 6 is discussed. The tracer compares well with tritiated water in laboratory investigations and the results obtained in limited field studies are very encouraging. The method promises to be of specific interest in arid-zone investigations where the soil-moisture fluxes in liquid and vapour phases could cause complications for tritium tracer data interpretation. (author)

  5. Crop yield monitoring in the Sahel using root zone soil moisture anomalies derived from SMOS soil moisture data assimilation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibon, François; Pellarin, Thierry; Alhassane, Agali; Traoré, Seydou; Baron, Christian

    2017-04-01

    West Africa is greatly vulnerable, especially in terms of food sustainability. Mainly based on rainfed agriculture, the high variability of the rainy season strongly impacts the crop production driven by the soil water availability in the soil. To monitor this water availability, classical methods are based on daily precipitation measurements. However, the raingauge network suffers from the poor network density in Africa (1/10000km2). Alternatively, real-time satellite-derived precipitations can be used, but they are known to suffer from large uncertainties which produce significant error on crop yield estimations. The present study proposes to use root soil moisture rather than precipitation to evaluate crop yield variations. First, a local analysis of the spatiotemporal impact of water deficit on millet crop production in Niger was done, from in-situ soil moisture measurements (AMMA-CATCH/OZCAR (French Critical Zone exploration network)) and in-situ millet yield survey. Crop yield measurements were obtained for 10 villages located in the Niamey region from 2005 to 2012. The mean production (over 8 years) is 690 kg/ha, and ranges from 381 to 872 kg/ha during this period. Various statistical relationships based on soil moisture estimates were tested, and the most promising one (R>0.9) linked the 30-cm soil moisture anomalies from mid-August to mid-September (grain filling period) to the crop yield anomalies. Based on this local study, it was proposed to derive regional statistical relationships using 30-cm soil moisture maps over West Africa. The selected approach was to use a simple hydrological model, the Antecedent Precipitation Index (API), forced by real-time satellite-based precipitation (CMORPH, PERSIANN, TRMM3B42). To reduce uncertainties related to the quality of real-time rainfall satellite products, SMOS soil moisture measurements were assimilated into the API model through a Particular Filter algorithm. Then, obtained soil moisture anomalies were

  6. Vinasse application to sugar cane fields. Effect on the unsaturated zone and groundwater at Valle del Cauca (Colombia).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortegón, Gloria Páez; Arboleda, Fernando Muñoz; Candela, Lucila; Tamoh, Karim; Valdes-Abellan, Javier

    2016-01-01

    Extensive application of vinasse, a subproduct from sugar cane plantations for bioethanol production, is currently taking place as a source of nutrients that forms part of agricultural management in different agroclimatic regions. Liquid vinasse composition is characterised by high variability of organic compounds and major ions, acid pH (4.7), high TDS concentration (117,416-599,400mgL(-1)) and elevated EC (14,350-64,099μScm(-1)). A large-scale sugar cane field application is taking place in Valle del Cauca (Colombia), where monitoring of soil, unsaturated zone and the aquifer underneath has been made since 2006 to evaluate possible impacts on three experimental plots. For this assessment, monitoring wells and piezometers were installed to determine groundwater flow and water samples were collected for chemical analysis. In the unsaturated zone, tensiometers were installed at different depths to determine flow patterns, while suction lysimeters were used for water sample chemical determinations. The findings show that in the sandy loam plot (Hacienda Real), the unsaturated zone is characterised by low water retention, showing a high transport capacity, while the other two plots of silty composition presented temporal saturation due to La Niña event (2010-2011). The strong La Niña effect on aquifer recharge which would dilute the infiltrated water during the monitoring period and, on the other hand dissolution of possible precipitated salts bringing them back into solution may occur. A slight increase in the concentration of major ions was observed in groundwater (~5% of TDS), which can be attributed to a combination of factors: vinasse dilution produced by water input and hydrochemical processes along with nutrient removal produced by sugar cane uptake. This fact may make the aquifer vulnerable to contamination. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Estimation of water-filled and air-filled porosity in the unsaturated zone, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nelson, P.H.

    1993-01-01

    Water content and porosity vary considerably within the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain. Measurement of these quantities has been based on core samples. A log-based approach offers the advantage of in-situ measurements, continuous throughout the borehole. This paper describes an algorithm which determines the air-filled and water-filled porosities from density and dielectric logs. The responses of density and dielectric logs are formulated in terms of the matrix properties, air-filled porosity and water-filled porosity. Porosity values obtained from logs from borehole USW G-2 are in reasonable agreement with estimates from core determinations

  8. Modeling unsaturated-zone flow at Rainier Mesa as a possible analog for a future Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gauthier, J.H.

    1998-01-01

    Rainier Mesa is structurally similar to Yucca Mountain, and receives precipitation similar to the estimated long-term average for Yucca Mountain. Tunnels through the unsaturated zone at Rainier Mesa have encountered perched water and, after the perched water was drained, flow in fractures and faults. Although flow observations have been primarily qualitative, Rainier Mesa hydrology is a potential analog for Yucca Mountain hydrology in a wetter climate. In this paper, a groundwater flow model that has been used in the performance assessment of Yucca Mountain--the weeps model--is applied to Rainier Mesa. The intent is to gain insight in both Rainier Mesa and the weeps flow model

  9. Advective and diffusive contributions to reactive gas transport during pyrite oxidation in the unsaturated zone

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Binning, P. J.; POSTMA, D; Russell, T. F.; Wesselingh, J. A.; Boulin, P. F.

    2007-01-01

    [1] Pyrite oxidation in unsaturated mine waste rock dumps and soils is limited by the supply of oxygen from the atmosphere. In models, oxygen transport through the subsurface is often assumed to be driven by diffusion. However, oxygen comprises 23.2% by mass of dry air, and when oxygen is consumed

  10. Analysis of the Dynamic Wheel Loads in Railway Transition Zones Considering the Moisture Condition of the Ballast and Subballast

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haoyu Wang

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Transition zones in railway tracks are the locations with considerable changes in vertical support structures, e.g., near bridges. Due to possible water flow constrictions in transition zone structures, there is frequently an increased moisture level in the ballast/subballast layers, which is a potential source of track degradation. This paper presents results of the moisture condition measured in three transition zones using ground penetrating radar, where the ballast/subballast are analyzed. The relationship between the moisture condition and track degradation in the transition zones is studied by comparing it to the longitudinal track level that is measured by the track inspection coaches. A strong connection is found between the high moisture condition and track degradation in the transition zones. The dynamic behavior of the transition zones with high moisture condition is analyzed using the Finite Element method. Differential stiffness and settlement are taken into consideration in the transition zone model, which is also coupled with a vehicle. The ballast/subballast layers are modelled as solid elements. Increased moisture conditions are considered as a reduction of elastic modulus, according to laboratory findings. Results show that high moisture leads to an increase of dynamic wheel loads in the transition zone, which explains the connection and confirms that the high moisture condition is a source of transition zone problems.

  11. Potential for ground-water contamination from movement of wastewater through the unsaturated zone, upper Mojave River Basin, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Umari, A.M.; Martin, P.M.; Schroeder, R.A.; Duell, L.F.; Fay, R.G.

    1993-01-01

    Septic-tank wastewater disposed in 30-foot-deep seepage pits (dry wells) at 46,000 residences is estimated to equal 18 percent of the natural recharge to the sole-source aquifer in the rapidly developing upper Mojave River Basin (Victor Valley) in the high desert northeast of Los Angeles. Vertical rates of movement of the wastewater wetting front through the unsaturated zone at three newly occupied residences ranged from 0.07 to 1.0 foot per day. These rates translate to traveltimes of several months to several years for the wastewater wetting front to reach the water table and imply that wastewater from many disposal systems already has reached the water table, which averages about 150 feet below land surface in the Victor Valley. As wastewater percolates from seepage pits into the adjacent unsaturated zone, the nitrogen present in reduced form is rapidly converted to nitrate. Analyses on soil-core extracts and soil moisturefrom suction lysimeters installed beneath the seepage pits at eight residences showed that nitrate concentrations and nitrate/ chloride ratios generally become lower with increasing depth. The intervals of greatest decline seemed to coincide with finer soil texture or were near the water table. Nitrate-reducing bacteria were tested for and found to be present in soil cores from two residences. Sparse nitrogen-15 data from suction lysimeters at one of these residences, where thenitrate concentration decreased by about one-half at a depth of 200 feet, indicate that the nitrate decline was accompanied by nitrogen-15 enrichment in the residual nitrate with an isotope-separation factor of about -10 permil. Despite the potential input of abundant nitrogen with the domestic wastewater recharge, nitrate concentrations in the area's ground water are generally low. The absence of high nitrate concentrations in the ground water is consistent with the existence of denitrification, a microbial nitrogen-removal mechanism, as wastewater moves through the

  12. Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) Mission Level 4 Surface and Root Zone Soil Moisture (L4_SM) Product Specification Document

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reichle, Rolf H.; Ardizzone, Joseph V.; Kim, Gi-Kong; Lucchesi, Robert A.; Smith, Edmond B.; Weiss, Barry H.

    2015-01-01

    This is the Product Specification Document (PSD) for Level 4 Surface and Root Zone Soil Moisture (L4_SM) data for the Science Data System (SDS) of the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) project. The L4_SM data product provides estimates of land surface conditions based on the assimilation of SMAP observations into a customized version of the NASA Goddard Earth Observing System, Version 5 (GEOS-5) land data assimilation system (LDAS). This document applies to any standard L4_SM data product generated by the SMAP Project. The Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission will enhance the accuracy and the resolution of space-based measurements of terrestrial soil moisture and freeze-thaw state. SMAP data products will have a noteworthy impact on multiple relevant and current Earth Science endeavors. These include: Understanding of the processes that link the terrestrial water, the energy and the carbon cycles, Estimations of global water and energy fluxes over the land surfaces, Quantification of the net carbon flux in boreal landscapes Forecast skill of both weather and climate, Predictions and monitoring of natural disasters including floods, landslides and droughts, and Predictions of agricultural productivity. To provide these data, the SMAP mission will deploy a satellite observatory in a near polar, sun synchronous orbit. The observatory will house an L-band radiometer that operates at 1.40 GHz and an L-band radar that operates at 1.26 GHz. The instruments will share a rotating reflector antenna with a 6 meter aperture that scans over a 1000 km swath.

  13. Concepts and data-collection techniques used in a study of the unsaturated zone at a low-level radioactive-waste disposal site near Sheffield, Illinois

    Science.gov (United States)

    Healy, R.W.; DeVries, M.P.; Striegl, Robert G.

    1986-01-01

    A study of water and radionuclide movement through the unsaturated zone is being conducted at the low level radioactive waste disposal site near Sheffield, Illinois. Included in the study are detailed investigations of evapotranspiration, movement of water through waste trench covers, and movement of water and radionuclides (dissolved and gaseous) from the trenches. An energy balance/Bowen ratio approach is used to determine evapotranspiration. Precipitation, net radiation, soil-heat flux, air temperature and water vapor content gradients, wind speed, and wind direction are measured. Soil water tension is measured with tensiometers which are connected to pressure transducers. Meteorological sensors and tensiometers which are connected to pressure transducers. Meteorological sensors and tensiometers are monitored with automatic data loggers. Soil moisture contents are measured through small-diameter access tubes with neutron and gamma-ray attenuation gages. Data beneath the trenches are obtained through a 130-meter-long tunnel which extends under four of the trenches. Water samples are obtained with suction lysimeters, and samples of the geologic material are obtained with core tubes. These samples are analyzed for radiometric and inorganic chemistry. Gas samples are obtained from gas piezometers and analyzed for partial pressures of major constituents, Radon-222, tritiated water vapor, and carbon-14 dioxide. (USGS)

  14. The nitrate time bomb: a numerical way to investigate nitrate storage and lag time in the unsaturated zone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, L; Butcher, A S; Stuart, M E; Gooddy, D C; Bloomfield, J P

    2013-10-01

    Nitrate pollution in groundwater, which is mainly from agricultural activities, remains an international problem. It threatens the environment, economics and human health. There is a rising trend in nitrate concentrations in many UK groundwater bodies. Research has shown it can take decades for leached nitrate from the soil to discharge into groundwater and surface water due to the 'store' of nitrate and its potentially long travel time in the unsaturated and saturated zones. However, this time lag is rarely considered in current water nitrate management and policy development. The aim of this study was to develop a catchment-scale integrated numerical method to investigate the nitrate lag time in the groundwater system, and the Eden Valley, UK, was selected as a case study area. The method involves three models, namely the nitrate time bomb-a process-based model to simulate the nitrate transport in the unsaturated zone (USZ), GISGroundwater--a GISGroundwater flow model, and N-FM--a model to simulate the nitrate transport in the saturated zone. This study answers the scientific questions of when the nitrate currently in the groundwater was loaded into the unsaturated zones and eventually reached the water table; is the rising groundwater nitrate concentration in the study area caused by historic nitrate load; what caused the uneven distribution of groundwater nitrate concentration in the study area; and whether the historic peak nitrate loading has reached the water table in the area. The groundwater nitrate in the area was mainly from the 1980s to 2000s, whilst the groundwater nitrate in most of the source protection zones leached into the system during 1940s-1970s; the large and spatially variable thickness of the USZ is one of the major reasons for unevenly distributed groundwater nitrate concentrations in the study area; the peak nitrate loading around 1983 has affected most of the study area. For areas around the Bowscar, Beacon Edge, Low Plains, Nord Vue

  15. Isotopic composition of water in a deep unsaturated zone beside a radioactive-waste disposal area near Beatty, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stonestrom, David A.; Prudic, David E.; Striegl, Robert G.; Morganwalp, David W.; Buxton, Herbert T.

    1999-01-01

    The isotopic composition of water in deep unsaturated zones is of interest because it provides information relevant to hydrologic processes and contaminant migration. Profiles of oxygen-18 (18O), deuterium (D), and tritium (3H) from a 110-meter deep unsaturated zone, together with data on the isotopic composition of ground water and modern-day precipitation, are interpreted in the context of water-content, water-potential, and pore-gas profiles. At depths greater than about three meters, water vapor and liquid water are in approximate equilibrium with respect to D and 18O. The vapor-phase concentrations of D and 18O have remained stable through repeated samplings. Vapor-phase 3H concentrations have generally increased with time, requiring synchronous sampling of liquid and vapor to assess equilibrium. Below 30 meters, concentrations of D and 18O in pore water become approximately equal to the composition of ground water, which is isotopically lighter than modern precipitation and has a carbon-14 (14C) concentration of about 26 percent modern carbon. These data indicate that net gradients driving fluxes of water, gas, and heat are directed upwards for undisturbed conditions at the Amargosa Desert Research Site (ADRS). Superimposed on the upward-directed flow field, tritium is migrating away from waste in response to gradients in tritium concentrations.

  16. Hydrologic evaluation methodology for estimating water movement through the unsaturated zone at commercial low-level radioactive waste disposal sites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Meyer, P.D.; Rockhold, M.L.; Nichols, W.E.; Gee, G.W.

    1996-01-01

    This report identifies key technical issues related to hydrologic assessment of water flow in the unsaturated zone at low-level radioactive waste (LLW) disposal facilities. In addition, a methodology for incorporating these issues in the performance assessment of proposed LLW disposal facilities is identified and evaluated. The issues discussed fall into four areas: estimating the water balance at a site (i.e., infiltration, runoff, water storage, evapotranspiration, and recharge); analyzing the hydrologic performance of engineered components of a facility; evaluating the application of models to the prediction of facility performance; and estimating the uncertainty in predicted facility performance. To illustrate the application of the methodology, two examples are presented. The first example is of a below ground vault located in a humid environment. The second example looks at a shallow land burial facility located in an arid environment. The examples utilize actual site-specific data and realistic facility designs. The two examples illustrate the issues unique to humid and arid sites as well as the issues common to all LLW sites. Strategies for addressing the analytical difficulties arising in any complex hydrologic evaluation of the unsaturated zone are demonstrated

  17. Hydrologic evaluation methodology for estimating water movement through the unsaturated zone at commercial low-level radioactive waste disposal sites

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Meyer, P.D.; Rockhold, M.L.; Nichols, W.E.; Gee, G.W. [Pacific Northwest Lab., Richland, WA (United States)

    1996-01-01

    This report identifies key technical issues related to hydrologic assessment of water flow in the unsaturated zone at low-level radioactive waste (LLW) disposal facilities. In addition, a methodology for incorporating these issues in the performance assessment of proposed LLW disposal facilities is identified and evaluated. The issues discussed fall into four areas: estimating the water balance at a site (i.e., infiltration, runoff, water storage, evapotranspiration, and recharge); analyzing the hydrologic performance of engineered components of a facility; evaluating the application of models to the prediction of facility performance; and estimating the uncertainty in predicted facility performance. To illustrate the application of the methodology, two examples are presented. The first example is of a below ground vault located in a humid environment. The second example looks at a shallow land burial facility located in an arid environment. The examples utilize actual site-specific data and realistic facility designs. The two examples illustrate the issues unique to humid and arid sites as well as the issues common to all LLW sites. Strategies for addressing the analytical difficulties arising in any complex hydrologic evaluation of the unsaturated zone are demonstrated.

  18. Water movements in the unsaturated zone and recharge of the aquifer in the Champagne Chalk (France): Isotopic and chemical approaches

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vachier, P.; Dever, L.; Fontes, J.C.

    1987-01-01

    Water from the unsaturated zone in the chalk, obtained from porous plugs, was subjected to chemical and isotope analyses over a three-year period. Tensiometric and volumetric water content measurements were carried out at the same time. The results obtained make it possible to establish an outline of the hydrodynamics of this porous, fissured chalk medium. Matrix porosity was 0.42 while fissure porosity was in the region of 0.01. The tritium and nitrate concentrations in the water fix the mean residence time in the 20-metre unsaturated zone at about 30 years. The isotope profiles ( 18 O and 3 H) and their downward displacements make it possible to estimate the mean annual recharge into the unconfined groundwater in the chalk (200 to 300 mm, depending on plant cover). The vertical movement of the solution in the porous matrix is dominated by the piston effect. Variations in 18 O concentration can be correlated with local climatic fluctuations. The recharge period runs from November to March, with summer rainfall playing no part. A comparison of 2 H and 18 O concentrations shows that even winter rainfall is partially removed by evaporation. (author). 17 refs, 11 figs, 1 tab

  19. Water and tritium movement through the unsaturated zone at a low-level radioactive-waste disposal site near Sheffield, Illinois, 1981-85

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mills, Patrick C.; Healy, Richard W.

    1993-01-01

    The movement of water and tritium through the unsaturated zone was studied at a low-level radioactive-waste disposal site near Sheffield, Bureau County, Illinois, from 1981 to 1985. Water and tritium movement occurred in an annual, seasonally timed cycle; recharge to the saturated zone generally occurred in the spring and early summer. Mean annual precipitation (1982-85) was 871 mm (millimeters); mean annual recharge to the disposal trenches (July 1982 through June 1984) was estimated to be 107 mm. Average annual tritium flux below the study trenches was estimated to be 3.4 mCi/yr (millicuries per year). Site geology, climate, and waste-disposal practices influenced the spatial and temporal variability of water and tritium movement. Of the components of the water budget, evapotranspiration contributed most to the temporal variability of water and tritium movement. Disposal trenches are constructed in complexly layered glacial and postglacial deposits that average 17 m (meters) in thickness and overlie a thick sequence of Pennsylvanian shale. The horizontal saturated hydraulic conductivity of the clayey-silt to sand-sized glacial and postglacial deposits ranges from 4.8x10 -1 to 3.4x10 4 mm/d (millimeters per day). A 120-m-long horizontal tunnel provided access for hydrologic measurements and collection of sediment and water samples from the unsaturated and saturated geologic deposits below four disposal trenches. Trench-cover and subtrench deposits were monitored with soil-moisture tensiometers, vacuum and gravity lysimeters, piezometers, and a nuclear soil-moisture gage. A cross-sectional, numerical ground-water-flow model was used to simulate water movement in the variably saturated geologic deposits in the tunnel area. Concurrent studies at the site provided water-budget data for estimating recharge to the disposal trenches. Vertical water movement directly above the trenches was impeded by a zone of compaction within the clayey-silt trench covers. Water entered

  20. Spatio-temporal Root Zone Soil Moisture Estimation for Indo - Gangetic Basin from Satellite Derived (AMSR-2 and SMOS) Surface Soil Moisture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sure, A.; Dikshit, O.

    2017-12-01

    Root zone soil moisture (RZSM) is an important element in hydrology and agriculture. The estimation of RZSM provides insight in selecting the appropriate crops for specific soil conditions (soil type, bulk density, etc.). RZSM governs various vadose zone phenomena and subsequently affects the groundwater processes. With various satellite sensors dedicated to estimating surface soil moisture at different spatial and temporal resolutions, estimation of soil moisture at root zone level for Indo - Gangetic basin which inherits complex heterogeneous environment, is quite challenging. This study aims at estimating RZSM and understand its variation at the level of Indo - Gangetic basin with changing land use/land cover, topography, crop cycles, soil properties, temperature and precipitation patterns using two satellite derived soil moisture datasets operating at distinct frequencies with different principles of acquisition. Two surface soil moisture datasets are derived from AMSR-2 (6.9 GHz - `C' Band) and SMOS (1.4 GHz - `L' band) passive microwave sensors with coarse spatial resolution. The Soil Water Index (SWI), accounting for soil moisture from the surface, is derived by considering a theoretical two-layered water balance model and contributes in ascertaining soil moisture at the vadose zone. This index is evaluated against the widely used modelled soil moisture dataset of GLDAS - NOAH, version 2.1. This research enhances the domain of utilising the modelled soil moisture dataset, wherever the ground dataset is unavailable. The coupling between the surface soil moisture and RZSM is analysed for two years (2015-16), by defining a parameter T, the characteristic time length. The study demonstrates that deriving an optimal value of T for estimating SWI at a certain location is a function of various factors such as land, meteorological, and agricultural characteristics.

  1. Abstracts of the symposium on unsaturated flow and transport modeling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1982-03-01

    Abstract titles are: Recent developments in modeling variably saturated flow and transport; Unsaturated flow modeling as applied to field problems; Coupled heat and moisture transport in unsaturated soils; Influence of climatic parameters on movement of radionuclides in a multilayered saturated-unsaturated media; Modeling water and solute transport in soil containing roots; Simulation of consolidation in partially saturated soil materials; modeling of water and solute transport in unsaturated heterogeneous fields; Fluid dynamics and mass transfer in variably-saturated porous media; Solute transport through soils; One-dimensional analytical transport modeling; Convective transport of ideal tracers in unsaturated soils; Chemical transport in macropore-mesopore media under partially saturated conditions; Influence of the tension-saturated zone on contaminant migration in shallow water regimes; Influence of the spatial distribution of velocities in porous media on the form of solute transport; Stochastic vs deterministic models for solute movement in the field; and Stochastic analysis of flow and solute transport

  2. The role of rock moisture on regulating hydrologic and solute fluxes in the critical zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rempe, D. M.; Druhan, J. L.; Hahm, W. J.; Wang, J.; Murphy, C.; Cargill, S.; Dietrich, W. E.; Tune, A. K.

    2017-12-01

    In environments where the vadose zone extends below the soil layer into underlying weathered bedrock, the water held in the weathering -generated pores can be an important source of moisture to vegetation. The heterogeneous distribution of pore space in weathered bedrock, furthermore, controls the subsurface water flowpaths that dictate how water is partitioned in the critical zone (CZ) and evolves geochemically. Here, we present the results of direct monitoring of the fluxes of water and solutes through the deep CZ using a novel vadose zone monitoring system (VMS) as well as geophysical logging and sampling in a network of deep wells across a steep hillslope in Northern California. At our study site (Eel River CZO), multi-year monitoring reveals that a significant fraction of incoming rainfall (up to 30%) is seasonally stored in the fractures and matrix of the upper 12 m of weathered bedrock as rock moisture. Intensive geochemical and geophysical observations distributed from the surface to the depth of unweathered bedrock indicate that the seasonal addition and depletion of rock moisture has key implications for hydrologic and geochemical processes. First, rock moisture storage provides an annually consistent water storage reservoir for use by vegetation during the summer, which buffers transpiration fluxes against variability in seasonal precipitation. Second, because the timing and magnitude of groundwater recharge and streamflow are controlled by the annual filling and drainage of the rock moisture, rock moisture regulates the partitioning of hydrologic fluxes. Third, we find that rock moisture dynamics—which influence the myriad geochemical and microbial processes that weather bedrock—strongly correspond with the observed vertical weathering profile. As a result of the coupling between chemical weathering reactions and hydrologic fluxes, the geochemical composition of groundwater and streamflow is influenced by the temporal dynamics of rock moisture. Our

  3. Chemical (Cl) and isotopic (18O, 2H, 3H) study of the unsaturated zone in the arid region of Nefta (South Tunisia)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zouari, K.; Maliki, My.A.; Moumni, L.; Aranyossy, J.F.

    2001-01-01

    A chemical and isotopic study of the unsaturated zone in Nefta, southwestern Tunisia was initiated to gain an improved understanding of the recharge and evaporation processes in the shallow 'Continental Terminal' (CT) sandy aquifer outcropping in the region of Nefta, which constitutes the most important water resource for agriculture and domestic uses in the region. A single 13.5-m core was extracted and subsampled from the unsaturated zone at the end of the 'rainy season' (23-24 April 1998) using a hand auger to avoid fluid contamination. Estimated recharge rates based on isotope and chemical profiles, uncertainties, and recommendations for future research are discussed. (author)

  4. Unsaturated zone leaching models for assessing risk to groundwater of contaminated sites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Troldborg, Mads; Binning, Philip John; Nielsen, Signe

    2009-01-01

    and aqueous phase contaminant transport equation. The equation has the same general form as the standard advection-diffusion equation for which many analytical solutions have been derived. Four new analytical solutions are developed using this approach: a three-dimensional solution accounting for infiltration......, lateral gas diffusion, sorption and degradation; a simple one-dimensional screening model, and two one-dimensional radial gas diffusion models for use in simulating volatile organic contaminant diffusion in unsaturated soils with an impermeable cover. The models show that both degradation and diffusion...

  5. Occurrence of Agricultural Chemicals in Shallow Ground Water and the Unsaturated Zone, Northeast Nebraska Glacial Till, 2002-04

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanton, Jennifer S.; Steele, Gregory V.; Vogel, Jason R.

    2007-01-01

    Agricultural chemicals applied at the land surface in northeast Nebraska can move downward, past the crop root zone, to ground water. Because agricultural chemicals applied at the land surface are more likely to be observed in the shallowest part of an aquifer, an assessment of shallow ground-water and unsaturated zone quality in the northeast Nebraska glacial till was completed between 2002 and 2004. Ground-water samples were collected at the first occurrence of ground water or just below the water table at 32 sites located in areas likely affected by agriculture. Four of the 32 sites were situated along a ground-water flow path with its downgradient end next to Maple Creek. Twenty-eight sites were installed immediately adjacent to agricultural fields throughout the glacial-till area. In addition to those 32 sites, two sites were installed in pastures to represent ground-water conditions in a non-cropland setting. Ground-water samples were analyzed for physical properties and concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus compounds, selected pesticides and pesticide degradates, dissolved solids, major ions, trace elements, and dissolved organic carbon. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) or sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) concentrations were analyzed at about 70 percent of the monitoring wells to estimate the residence time of ground water. Borehole-core samples were collected from 28 of the well boreholes. Sediment in the unsaturated zone was analyzed for nitrate, chloride, and ammonia concentrations. Analytical results indicated that the agricultural chemicals most often detected during this study were nitrates and herbicides. Nitrate as nitrogen (nitrate-N) concentrations (2003 median 9.53 milligrams per liter) indicated that human activity has affected the water quality of recently recharged ground water in approximately two-thirds of the wells near corn and soybean fields. The principal pesticide compounds that were detected reflect the most-used pesticides in the area and

  6. THE INFLUENCE OF REPOSITORY THERMAL LOAD ON MULTIPHASE FLOW AND HEAT TRANSFER IN THE UNSATURATED ZONE OF YUCCA MOUNTAIN

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yu-Shu Wu; Sumit Mukhopadhyay; Keni Zhang; G.S. Bodvarsson

    2006-01-01

    This paper investigates the impact of proposed repository thermal-loading on mountain-scale flow and heat transfer in the unsaturated fractured rock of Yucca Mountain, Nevada. In this context, a model has been developed to study the coupled thermal-hydrological (TH) processes at the scale of the entire Yucca Mountain. This mountain-scale TH model implements the current geological framework and hydrogeological conceptual models, and incorporates the latest rock thermal and hydrological properties. The TH model consists of a two-dimensional north-south vertical cross section across the entire unsaturated zone model domain and uses refined meshes near and around the proposed repository block, based on the current repository design, drift layout, thermal loading scenario, and estimated current and future climatic conditions. The model simulations provide insights into thermally affected liquid saturation, gas- and liquid-phase fluxes, and elevated water and rock temperature, which in turn allow modelers to predict the changes in water flux driven by evaporation/condensation processes, and drainage between drifts

  7. The Influence of Proposed Repository Thermal Load on Multiphase Flow and Heat Transfer in the Unsaturated Zone of Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wu, Y.-S.; Mukhopadhyay, Sumit; Zhang, Keni; Bodvarsson, G.S.

    2006-01-01

    This paper investigates the impact of proposed repository thermal-loading on mountain-scale flow and heat transfer in the unsaturated fractured rock of Yucca Mountain, Nevada. In this context, a model has been developed to study the coupled thermal-hydrological (TH)processes at the scale of the entire Yucca Mountain. This mountain-scale TH model implements the current geological framework and hydrogeological conceptual models, and incorporates the latest rock thermal and hydrological properties. The TH model consists of a two-dimensional north-south vertical cross section across the entire unsaturated zone model domain and uses refined meshes near and around the proposed repository block, based on the current repository design, drift layout, thermal loading scenario, and estimated current and future climatic conditions. The model simulations provide insights into thermally affected liquid saturation, gas- and liquid-phase fluxes, and elevated water and rock temperature, which in turn allow modelers to predict the changes in water flux driven by evaporation/condensation processes, and drainage between drifts

  8. Moisture monitoring in large diameter boreholes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tyler, S.

    1985-01-01

    The results of both laboratory and field experiments indicate that the neutron moisture gauge traditionally used in soil physics experiments can be extended for use in large diameter (up to 15 cm) steel-cased boreholes with excellent results. This application will permit existing saturated zone monitoring wells to be used for unsaturated zone monitoring of recharge, redistribution and leak detection from waste disposal facilities. Its applicability to large diameter cased wells also gives the soil physicist and ground-water hydrologist and new set of monitoring points in the unsaturated zone to study recharge and aquifer properties. 6 refs., 6 figs., 2 tabs

  9. Vapor Intrusion Estimation Tool for Unsaturated Zone Contaminant Sources. User’s Guide

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-08-30

    estimation process when applying the tool. The tool described here is focused on vapor-phase diffusion from the current vadose zone source , and is not...from the current defined vadose zone source ). The estimated soil gas contaminant concentration obtained from the pre-modeled scenarios for a building...need a full site-specific numerical model to assess the impacts beyond the current vadose zone source . 35 5.0 References Brennan, R.A., N

  10. Geochemical controls on the composition of soil pore waters beneath a mixed waste disposal site in the unsaturated zone

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rawson, S.A.; Hubbell, J.M.

    1989-01-01

    Soil pore waters are collected routinely to monitor a thick unsaturated zone that separates a mixed waste disposal site containing transuranic and low-level radioactive wastes from the Snake River Plain aquifer. The chemistry of the soil pore waters has been studied to evaluate the possible control on the water composition by mineral equilibria and determine the extent, if any, of migration of radionuclides from the disposal site. Geochemical codes were used to perform speciation calculations for the waters. The results of speciation calculations suggest that the installation of the lysimeters affects the observed silica contents of the soil pore waters. The results also establish those chemical parameters that are controlled by secondary mineral precipitation. 15 refs., 6 figs., 1 tab

  11. Validation of SMAP Root Zone Soil Moisture Estimates with Improved Cosmic-Ray Neutron Probe Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Babaeian, E.; Tuller, M.; Sadeghi, M.; Franz, T.; Jones, S. B.

    2017-12-01

    Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) soil moisture products are commonly validated based on point-scale reference measurements, despite the exorbitant spatial scale disparity. The difference between the measurement depth of point-scale sensors and the penetration depth of SMAP further complicates evaluation efforts. Cosmic-ray neutron probes (CRNP) with an approximately 500-m radius footprint provide an appealing alternative for SMAP validation. This study is focused on the validation of SMAP level-4 root zone soil moisture products with 9-km spatial resolution based on CRNP observations at twenty U.S. reference sites with climatic conditions ranging from semiarid to humid. The CRNP measurements are often biased by additional hydrogen sources such as surface water, atmospheric vapor, or mineral lattice water, which sometimes yield unrealistic moisture values in excess of the soil water storage capacity. These effects were removed during CRNP data analysis. Comparison of SMAP data with corrected CRNP observations revealed a very high correlation for most of the investigated sites, which opens new avenues for validation of current and future satellite soil moisture products.

  12. Advancing NASA’s AirMOSS P-Band Radar Root Zone Soil Moisture Retrieval Algorithm via Incorporation of Richards’ Equation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Morteza Sadeghi

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available P-band radar remote sensing applied during the Airborne Microwave Observatory of Subcanopy and Subsurface (AirMOSS mission has shown great potential for estimation of root zone soil moisture. When retrieving the soil moisture profile (SMP from P-band radar observations, a mathematical function describing the vertical moisture distribution is required. Because only a limited number of observations are available, the number of free parameters of the mathematical model must not exceed the number of observed data. For this reason, an empirical quadratic function (second order polynomial is currently applied in the AirMOSS inversion algorithm to retrieve the SMP. The three free parameters of the polynomial are retrieved for each AirMOSS pixel using three backscatter observations (i.e., one frequency at three polarizations of Horizontal-Horizontal, Vertical-Vertical and Horizontal-Vertical. In this paper, a more realistic, physically-based SMP model containing three free parameters is derived, based on a solution to Richards’ equation for unsaturated flow in soils. Evaluation of the new SMP model based on both numerical simulations and measured data revealed that it exhibits greater flexibility for fitting measured and simulated SMPs than the currently applied polynomial. It is also demonstrated that the new SMP model can be reduced to a second order polynomial at the expense of fitting accuracy.

  13. Unsaturated-zone fast-path flow calculations for Yucca Mountain groundwater travel time analyses (GWTT-94)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arnold, B.W.; Altman, S.J.; Robey, T.H.

    1995-08-01

    Evaluation of groundwater travel time (GWTT) is required as part of the investigation of the suitability of Yucca Mountain as a potential high-level nuclear-waste repository site. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's GWTT regulation is considered to be a measure of the intrinsic ability of the site to contain radionuclide releases from the repository. The work reported here is the first step in a program to provide an estimate of GWTT at the Yucca Mountain site in support of the DOE's Technical Site Suitability and as a component of a license application. Preliminary estimation of the GWTT distribution in the unsaturated zone was accomplished using a numerical model of the physical processes of groundwater flow in the fractured, porous medium of the bedrock. Based on prior investigations of groundwater flow at the site, fractures are thought to provide the fastest paths for groundwater flow; conditions that lead to flow in fractures were investigated and simulated. Uncertainty in the geologic interpretation of Yucca Mountain was incorporated through the use of geostatistical simulations, while variability of hydrogeologic parameters within each unit was accounted for by the random sampling of parameter probability density functions. The composite-porosity formulation of groundwater flow was employed to simulate flow in both the matrix and fracture domains. In this conceptualization, the occurrence of locally saturated conditions within the unsaturated zone is responsible for the initiation of fast-path flow through fractures. The results of the GWTT-94 study show that heterogeneity in the hydraulic properties of the model domain is an important factor in simulating local regions of high groundwater saturation. Capillary-pressure conditions at the surface boundary influence the extent of the local saturation simulated

  14. Design and testing of a chamber device to measure organic vapor fluxes from the unsaturated zone under natural conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tillman, F.D.; Choi, J-W.; Smith, J.A.

    2002-01-01

    As the difficulty and expense of achieving water quality standards at contaminated sites becomes more apparent, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is taking a closer look at natural attenuation processes for selected sites. To determine if a site has potential for natural attenuation, all natural processes affecting the fate and transport of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the subsurface must be identified and quantified. This research addresses the quantification of air-phase VOCs leaving the subsurface and entering the atmosphere, both through diffusion and soil-gas advection caused by barometric pumping. A simple, easy-to-use, and inexpensive device for measuring VOC flux under natural conditions was designed, constructed and tested both in a controlled laboratory environment and in a natural field setting. Design parameters for the chamber were selected using continuously stirred tank reactor (CSTR)-equation based modeling under several flux inputs. The final chamber design performs at greater than 95% efficiency for the simulated cases. Laboratory testing of the flux chamber under both diffusion and advection transport conditions was performed in a device constructed to simulate the unsaturated zone. Results indicate an average flux measurement accuracy of 83% over 3 orders of magnitude for diffusion-only fluxes and 94% for combined advection-diffusion fluxes. A field test of the chamber was performed and results compared with predictions made by a 1-dimensional unsaturated zone flow and transport model whose calibration and parameters were obtained from data collected at the site. Fluxes measured directly by the chamber were generally in good agreement with the fluxes calculated from the calibrated flow-and-transport model. (author)

  15. The Vertical Flux Method (VFM) for regional estimates of temporally and spatially varying nitrate fluxes in unsaturated zone and groundwater

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, C. T.; Liao, L.; Nolan, B. T.; Juckem, P. F.; Ransom, K.; Harter, T.

    2017-12-01

    Process-based modeling of regional NO3- fluxes to groundwater is critical for understanding and managing water quality. Measurements of atmospheric tracers of groundwater age and dissolved-gas indicators of denitrification progress have potential to improve estimates of NO3- reactive transport processes. This presentation introduces a regionalized version of a vertical flux method (VFM) that uses simple mathematical estimates of advective-dispersive reactive transport with regularization procedures to calibrate estimated tracer concentrations to observed equivalents. The calibrated VFM provides estimates of chemical, hydrologic and reaction parameters (source concentration time series, recharge, effective porosity, dispersivity, reaction rate coefficients) and derived values (e.g. mean unsaturated zone travel time, eventual depth of the NO3- front) for individual wells. Statistical learning methods are used to extrapolate parameters and predictions from wells to continuous areas. The regional VFM was applied to 473 well samples in central-eastern Wisconsin. Chemical measurements included O2, NO3-, N2 from denitrification, and atmospheric tracers of groundwater age including carbon-14, chlorofluorocarbons, tritium, and triogiogenic helium. VFM results were consistent with observed chemistry, and calibrated parameters were in-line with independent estimates. Results indicated that (1) unsaturated zone travel times were a substantial portion of the transit time to wells and streams (2) fractions of N leached to groundwater have changed over time, with increasing fractions from manure and decreasing fractions from fertilizer, and (3) under current practices and conditions, 60% of the shallow aquifer will eventually be affected by NO3- contamination. Based on GIS coverages of variables related to soils, land use and hydrology, the VFM results at individual wells were extrapolated regionally using boosted regression trees, a statistical learning approach, that related

  16. Water movement through a shallow unsaturated zone in an inland arid region: Field drip irrigation experiment under matrix potential control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, T.; Han, D.; Song, X.

    2017-12-01

    It is vital to study soil water movement in unsaturated zone for evaluating and improving current irrigation mode for prevention and control of soil secondary salinization, especially in inland arid area, where is characterized by strong evaporation, poor drainage system and shallow water table depth. In this study, we investigated the applicability of drip irrigation under matrix potential control during cotton growth seasons in an inland arid region of northwest China. Combined physical observation with stable isotopes tracing method, we studied soil water flow system and recharge sources of shallow groundwater in heavy (Pilot 1) and light (Pilot 2) saline-alkali cotton fields. Evaporation depths (about 50-60 cm) are about the same for both pilots, but infiltration depths (about 60 cm for Pilot 1 and 150 cm for Pilot 2) are very different due to different soil texture, soil structure and soil salt content. Middle layer (about 100 cm thick) is a critical barrier for water exchange between surface and deep layer. Irrigation water is the major source (about 79.6% for Pilot 1 and 81.6% for Pilot 2), while evapotranspiration is the major sink (about 80.7% for Pilot 1 and 83.1% for Pilot 2) of unsaturated zone. The increase of soil water storage is not enough to make up the water shortage of middle layer and thus drip irrigation water doesn't recharge into groundwater for both pilots. Water table rise (about 60 cm for Pilot 1 and 50 cm for Pilot 2) could be caused by lateral groundwater flow instead of vertical infiltration. This irrigation mode could retard the water table rise in this region. However, improving horizontal drainage system may be indispensable for sustainable agriculture development. The study can provide important basis for soil secondary salinization prevention and agricultural water management in inland arid areas.

  17. Linear thermal expansion data for tuffs from the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schwartz, B.M.; Chocas, C.S.

    1992-07-01

    Experiment results are presented for linear thermal expansion measurements on tuffaceous rocks from the unsaturated < one at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Data were obtained both with and without confining pressure. The accuracy of the unconfined data collected between 50 and 250 degrees C is better than 1.8 percent, with the precision better than 4.5;percent. The accuracy of the unconfined data collected between ambient temperature and 50 degrees C and is approximately 11 percent deviation from the true value, with a precision of 12 percent of the mean value. Because of experiment design and the lack of information related calibrations, the accuracy and precision of the confined thermal expansion measurements could not be determined

  18. Modeling water flow and solute transport in unsaturated zone inside NSRAWD project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Constantin, A.; Diaconu, D.; Bucur, C.; Genty, A.

    2015-01-01

    The NSRAWD project (2010-2013) - Numerical Simulations for Radioactive Waste Disposal was initiated under a collaboration agreement between the Institute for Nuclear Research and the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA). The context of the project was favorable to combine the modeling activities with an experimental part in order to improve and validate the numerical models used so far to simulate water flow and solute transport at Saligny site, Romania. The numerical models developed in the project were refined and validated on new hydrological data gathered between 2010-2012 by a monitoring station existent on site which performs automatic determination of soil water content and matrix potential, as well as several climate parameters (wind, temperature and precipitations). Water flow and solute transport was modeled in transient conditions, by taking into consideration, as well as neglecting the evapotranspiration phenomenon, on the basis of a tracer test launched on site. The determination of dispersivities for solute transport was targeted from the solute plume. The paper presents the main results achieved in the NSRAWD project related to water flow and solute transport in the unsaturated area of the Saligny site. The results indicated satisfactory predictions for the simulation of water flow in the unsaturated area, in steady state and transient conditions. In the case of tracer transport modeling, dispersivity coefficients could not be finally well fitted for the data measured on site and in order to obtain a realistic preview over the values of these parameters, further investigations are recommended. The article is followed by the slides of the presentation

  19. Steam stripping of the unsaturated zone of contaminated sub-soils: the effect of diffusion/dispersion in the start-up phase

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brouwers, Jos; Gilding, B.H.

    2006-01-01

    The unsteady process of steam stripping of the unsaturated zone of soils contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is addressed. A model is presented. It accounts for the effects of water and contaminants remaining in vapour phase, as well as diffusion and dispersion of contaminants in

  20. Annual report on monitoring of the unsaturated zone and recharge areas at INEL to the state of Idaho INEL Oversight Committee

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    King, B.; Bloomsburg, G.; Horn, D.; Liou, J.; Finnie, J.

    1992-01-01

    During the early years of the INEL, the USGS conducted extensive studies (sitewide drilling program) of the geology and hydrology of the area collecting varied data over the years. The unsaturated zone has not received much attention until recently. The studies that have been done are a result of problems or concerns arising from liquid radioactive waste disposal. The TRA facility has the most information published about its waste disposal activities. The ICPP has less data about the unsaturated zone due to the fact that most waste water disposal has been to a well. Little is known about the effect of waste water disposal at the NRF on the unsaturated zone. Essentially no information was found about waste disposal activities at other facilities, primarily because there does not appear to be any reported problems associated with waste water disposal at these locations. The RWMC has received much attention in the last few years as the result of being priority No. 1 in the superfund clean up of the INEL. A considerable amount of data are available describing the unsaturated zone at the RWMC. These data have been collected to field calibrate a radionuclide migration model for the RWMC

  1. PRZM-3, A MODEL FOR PREDICTING PESTICIDE AND NITROGEN FATE IN THE CROP ROOT AND UNSATURATED SOIL ZONES: USER'S MANUAL FOR RELEASE 3.12.2

    Science.gov (United States)

    This publication contains documentation for the PRZM-3 model. PRZM-3 is the most recent version of a modeling system that links two subordinate models, PRZM and VADOFT, in order to predict pesticide transport and transformation down through the crop root and unsaturated soil zone...

  2. Field tracer investigation of unsaturated zone flow paths and mechanisms in agricultural soils of northwestern Mississippi, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perkins, K.S.; Nimmo, J.R.; Rose, C.E.; Coupe, R.H.

    2011-01-01

    In many farmed areas, intensive application of agricultural chemicals and withdrawal of groundwater for irrigation have led to water quality and supply issues. Unsaturated-zone processes, including preferential flow, play a major role in these effects but are not well understood. In the Bogue Phalia basin, an intensely agricultural area in the Delta region of northwestern Mississippi, the fine-textured soils often exhibit surface ponding and runoff after irrigation and rainfall as well as extensive surface cracking during prolonged dry periods. Fields are typically land-formed to promote surface flow into drainage ditches and streams that feed into larger river ecosystems. Downward flow of water below the root zone is considered minimal; regional groundwater models predict only 5% or less of precipitation recharges the heavily used alluvial aquifer. In this study transport mechanisms within and below the root zone of a fallow soybean field were assessed by performing a 2-m ring infiltration test with tracers and subsurface monitoring instruments. Seven months after tracer application, 48 continuous cores were collected for tracer extraction to define the extent of water movement and quantify preferential flow using a mass-balance approach. Vertical water movement was rapid below the pond indicating the importance of vertical preferential flow paths in the shallow unsaturated zone, especially to depths where agricultural disturbance occurs. Lateral flow of water at shallow depths was extensive and spatially non-uniform, reaching up to 10. m from the pond within 2. months. Within 1. month, the wetting front reached a textural boundary at 4-5. m between the fine-textured soil and sandy alluvium, now a potential capillary barrier which, prior to extensive irrigation withdrawals, was below the water table. Within 10. weeks, tracer was detectable at the water table which is presently about 12. m below land surface. Results indicate that 43% of percolation may be through

  3. Hydrologic evaluation methodology for estimating water movement through the unsaturated zone at commercial low-level radioactive waste disposal site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, P.D.; Rockhold, M.L.; Nichols, W.E.; Gee, G.W.

    1996-01-01

    This report identifies key technical issues related to hydrologic assessment of water flow in the unsaturated zone at low-level radioactive waste (LLW) disposal facilities. In addition, a methodology for incorporating these issues in the performance assessment of proposed LLW disposal facilities is identified and evaluated. The issues discussed fall into four areas:Estimating the water balance at a site (i.e., infiltration, runoff, water storage, evapotranspiration, and recharge);Analyzing the hydrologic performance of engineered components of a facility;Evaluating the application of models to the prediction of facility performance; andEstimating the uncertainty in predicted facility performance.An estimate of recharge at a LLW site is important since recharge is a principal factor in controlling the release of contaminants via the groundwater pathway. The most common methods for estimating recharge are discussed in Chapter 2. Many factors affect recharge; the natural recharge at an undisturbed site is not necessarily representative either of the recharge that will occur after the site has been disturbed or of the flow of water into a disposal facility at the site. Factors affecting recharge are discussed in Chapter 2.At many sites engineered components are required for a LLW facility to meet performance requirements. Chapter 3 discusses the use of engineered barriers to control the flow of water in a LLW facility, with a particular emphasis on cover systems. Design options and the potential performance and degradation mechanisms of engineered components are also discussed.Water flow in a LLW disposal facility must be evaluated before construction of the facility. In addition, hydrologic performance must be predicted over a very long time frame. For these reasons, the hydrologic evaluation relies on the use of predictive modeling. In Chapter 4, the evaluation of unsaturated water flow modeling is discussed. A checklist of items is presented to guide the evaluation

  4. Characterization of crushed tuff for the evaluation of the fate of tracers in transport studies in the unsaturated zone

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Polzer, W.L.; Fuentes, H.R.; Raymond, R.; Bish, D.L.; Gladney, E.S.; Lopez, E.A.

    1987-03-01

    Results of field-scale (caisson) transport studies under unsaturated moisture and steady and nonsteady flow conditions indicate variability and a lack of conservation of mass in solute transport. The tuff materials used in that study were analyzed for the presence of tracers and of freshly precipitated material to help explain the variability and lack of conservation of mass. Selected tuff samples were characterized by neutron activation analysis for tracer identification, by x-ray diffraction for mineral identification, by petrographic analysis for identification of freshly precipitated material, and by x-ray fluorescence analysis for identification of major and trace elements. The results of these analyses indicate no obvious presence of freshly precipitated material that would retard tracer movement. The presence of the nonsorbing tracers (bromide and iodide) suggest the retention of these tracers in immobile water. The presence of the nonsorbing tracers (bromide and iodide) suggest the retention of these tracers in immobile water. The presence of sorbing and nonsorbing tracers on the tuff at some locations (even cesium at the 415-cm depth) and not at others suggests variability in transport. 15 refs., 14 figs., 9 tabs

  5. Assessment of the SMAP Level-4 Surface and Root-Zone Soil Moisture Product Using In Situ Measurements

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reichle, Rolf H.; De Lannoy, Gabrielle J. M.; Liu, Qing; Ardizzone, Joseph V.; Colliander, Andreas; Conaty, Austin; Crow, Wade; Jackson, Thomas J.; Jones, Lucas A.; Kimball, John S.; Koster, Randal D.; Mahanama, Sarith P.; Smith, Edmond B.; Berg, Aaron; Bircher, Simone; Bosch, David; Caldwell, Todd G.; Cosh, Michael; Holifield Collins, Chandra D.; Jensen, Karsten H.; Livingston, Stan; Lopez-baeza, Ernesto; Martínez-fernández, José; Mcnairn, Heather; Moghaddam, Mahta; Pacheco, Anna; Pellarin, Thierry; Prueger, John; Rowlandson, Tracy; Seyfried, Mark; Starks, Patrick; Su, Bob; Thibeault, Marc; Van Der Velde, Rogier; Walker, Jeffrey; Wu, Xiaoling; Zeng, Yijian

    2017-01-01

    The Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission Level-4 Surface and Root-Zone Soil Moisture (L4_SM) data product is generated by assimilating SMAP L-band brightness temperature observations into the NASA Catchment land surface model. The L4_SM product is available from 31 March 2015 to present

  6. Repository site data report for unsaturated tuff, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tien, P.L.; Updegraff, C.D.; Siegel, M.D.; Wahi, K.K.; Guzowski, R.V.

    1985-11-01

    The US Department of Energy is currently considering the thick sequences of unsaturated, fractured tuff at Yucca Mountain, on the southwestern boundary of the Nevada Test Site, as a possible candidate host rock for a nuclear-waste repository. Yucca Mountain is in one of the most arid areas in the United States. The site is within the south-central part of the Great Basin section of the Basin and Range physiographic province and is located near a number of silicic calderas of Tertiary age. Although localized zones of seismic activity are common throughout the province, and faults are present at Yucca Mountain, the site itself is basically aseismic. No data are available on the composition of ground water in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain. It has been suggested that the composition is bounded by the compositions of water from wells USW-H3, UE25p-1, J-13, and snow or rain. There are relatively few data available from Yucca Mountain on the moisture content and saturation, hydraulic conductivity, and characteristic curves of the unsaturated zone. The available literature on thermomechanical properties of tuff does not always distinguish between data from the saturated zone and data from the unsaturated zone. Geochemical, hydrologic, and thermomechanical data available on the unsaturated tuffs of Yucca Mountain are tabulated in this report. Where the data are very sparse, they have been supplemented by data from the saturated zone or from areas other than Yucca Mountain. 316 refs., 58 figs., 37 tabs

  7. Repository site data report for unsaturated tuff, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tien, P.L.; Updegraff, C.D.; Siegel, M.D.; Wahi, K.K.; Guzowski, R.V.

    1985-11-01

    The US Department of Energy is currently considering the thick sequences of unsaturated, fractured tuff at Yucca Mountain, on the southwestern boundary of the Nevada Test Site, as a possible candidate host rock for a nuclear-waste repository. Yucca Mountain is in one of the most arid areas in the United States. The site is within the south-central part of the Great Basin section of the Basin and Range physiographic province and is located near a number of silicic calderas of Tertiary age. Although localized zones of seismic activity are common throughout the province, and faults are present at Yucca Mountain, the site itself is basically aseismic. No data are available on the composition of ground water in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain. It has been suggested that the composition is bounded by the compositions of water from wells USW-H3, UE25p-1, J-13, and snow or rain. There are relatively few data available from Yucca Mountain on the moisture content and saturation, hydraulic conductivity, and characteristic curves of the unsaturated zone. The available literature on thermomechanical properties of tuff does not always distinguish between data from the saturated zone and data from the unsaturated zone. Geochemical, hydrologic, and thermomechanical data available on the unsaturated tuffs of Yucca Mountain are tabulated in this report. Where the data are very sparse, they have been supplemented by data from the saturated zone or from areas other than Yucca Mountain. 316 refs., 58 figs., 37 tabs.

  8. The SMAP Level 4 Surface and Root-zone Soil Moisture (L4_SM) Product

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reichle, Rolf; Crow, Wade; Koster, Randal; Kimball, John

    2010-01-01

    The Soil Moisture Active and Passive (SMAP) mission is being developed by NASA for launch in 2013 as one of four first-tier missions recommended by the U.S. National Research Council Committee on Earth Science and Applications from Space in 2007. The primary science objectives of SMAP are to enhance understanding of land surface controls on the water, energy and carbon cycles, and to determine their linkages. Moreover, the high resolution soil moisture mapping provided by SMAP has practical applications in weather and seasonal climate prediction, agriculture, human health, drought and flood decision support. In this paper we describe the assimilation of SMAP observations for the generation of the planned SMAP Level 4 Surface and Root-zone Soil Moisture (L4_SM) product. The SMAP mission makes simultaneous active (radar) and passive (radiometer) measurements in the 1.26-1.43 GHz range (L-band) from a sun-synchronous low-earth orbit. Measurements will be obtained across a 1000 km wide swath using conical scanning at a constant incidence angle (40 deg). The radar resolution varies from 1-3 km over the outer 70% of the swath to about 30 km near the center of the swath. The radiometer resolution is 40 km across the entire swath. The radiometer measurements will allow high-accuracy but coarse resolution (40 km) measurements. The radar measurements will add significantly higher resolution information. The radar is however very sensitive to surface roughness and vegetation structure. The combination of the two measurements allows optimal blending of the advantages of each instrument. SMAP directly observes only surface soil moisture (in the top 5 cm of the soil column). Several of the key applications targeted by SMAP, however, require knowledge of root zone soil moisture (approximately top 1 m of the soil column), which is not directly measured by SMAP. The foremost objective of the SMAP L4_SM product is to fill this gap and provide estimates of root zone soil moisture

  9. Simulation of flow in the unsaturated zone beneath Pagany Wash, Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kwicklis, E.M.; Healy, R.W.; Flint, A.L.

    1994-01-01

    A one-dimensional numerical model was created to simulate water movement beneath Pagany Wash, Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Model stratigraphy and properties were based on data obtained from boreholes UE-25 UZ No. 4 and UE-25 UZ No. 5, which was drilled in the alluvial channel and bedrock sideslope of Pagany Wash. Although unable to account for multidimensional or preferential flowpaths beneath the wash, the model proved a useful conceptual tool with which to develop hypotheses and, in some cases, provide bounding calculations. The model indicated that liquid flux decreases with depth in the upper 120 m beneath the wash, with fluxes of several tens mm/yr in the nonwelded base of the Tiva Canyon Member and fluxes on the order of a tenth mm/yr in the upper Topopah Spring Member. Capillary barrier effects were indicated by the model to significantly delay the entry of large fluxes into the potential repository horizon during periods of increasing net infiltration, and to inhibit rapid drainage of water from the nonwelded and bedded intervals into the potential repository horizon during periods of moisture redistribution. Lateral moisture redistribution can be expected to be promoted by these effects

  10. Estimation of unsaturated zone traveltimes for Rainier Mesa and Shoshone Mountain, Nevada Test Site, Nevada, using a source-responsive preferential-flow model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brian A. Ebel; John R. Nimmo

    2009-09-11

    Traveltimes for contaminant transport by water from a point in the unsaturated zone to the saturated zone are a concern at Rainier Mesa and Shoshone Mountain in the Nevada Test Site, Nevada. Where nuclear tests were conducted in the unsaturated zone, contaminants must traverse hundreds of meters of variably saturated rock before they enter the saturated zone in the carbonate rock, where the regional groundwater system has the potential to carry them substantial distances to a location of concern. The unsaturated-zone portion of the contaminant transport path may cause a significant delay, in addition to the time required to travel within the saturated zone, and thus may be important in the overall evaluation of the potential hazard from contamination. Downward contaminant transport through the unsaturated zone occurs through various processes and pathways; this can lead to a broad distribution of contaminant traveltimes, including exceedingly slow and unexpectedly fast extremes. Though the bulk of mobile contaminant arrives between the time-scale end members, the fastest contaminant transport speed, in other words the speed determined by the combination of possible processes and pathways that would bring a measureable quantity of contaminant to the aquifer in the shortest time, carries particular regulatory significance because of its relevance in formulating the most conservative hazard-prevention scenarios. Unsaturated-zone flow is usually modeled as a diffusive process responding to gravity and pressure gradients as mediated by the unsaturated hydraulic properties of the materials traversed. The mathematical formulation of the diffuse-flow concept is known as Richards' equation, which when coupled to a solute transport equation, such as the advection-dispersion equation, provides a framework to simulate contaminant migration in the unsaturated zone. In recent decades awareness has increased that much fluid flow and contaminant transport within the

  11. Estimation of Unsaturated Zone Traveltimes for Rainier Mesa and Shoshone Mountain, Nevada Test Site, Nevada, Using a Source-Responsive Preferential-Flow Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ebel, Brian A.; Nimmo, John R.

    2009-01-01

    Traveltimes for contaminant transport by water from a point in the unsaturated zone to the saturated zone are a concern at Rainier Mesa and Shoshone Mountain in the Nevada Test Site, Nevada. Where nuclear tests were conducted in the unsaturated zone, contaminants must traverse hundreds of meters of variably saturated rock before they enter the saturated zone in the carbonate rock, where the regional groundwater system has the potential to carry them substantial distances to a location of concern. The unsaturated-zone portion of the contaminant transport path may cause a significant delay, in addition to the time required to travel within the saturated zone, and thus may be important in the overall evaluation of the potential hazard from contamination. Downward contaminant transport through the unsaturated zone occurs through various processes and pathways; this can lead to a broad distribution of contaminant traveltimes, including exceedingly slow and unexpectedly fast extremes. Though the bulk of mobile contaminant arrives between the time-scale end members, the fastest contaminant transport speed, in other words the speed determined by the combination of possible processes and pathways that would bring a measureable quantity of contaminant to the aquifer in the shortest time, carries particular regulatory significance because of its relevance in formulating the most conservative hazard-prevention scenarios. Unsaturated-zone flow is usually modeled as a diffusive process responding to gravity and pressure gradients as mediated by the unsaturated hydraulic properties of the materials traversed. The mathematical formulation of the diffuse-flow concept is known as Richards' equation, which when coupled to a solute transport equation, such as the advection-dispersion equation, provides a framework to simulate contaminant migration in the unsaturated zone. In recent decades awareness has increased that much fluid flow and contaminant transport within the unsaturated

  12. The influence of the unsaturated zone on the upward transport of radionuclides in soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Elert, M.; Lindgren, M.

    1993-07-01

    The transport of radionuclides from the deep soil to the surface soil is an important part of biosphere modelling. In this study the effect of transient hydrological conditions on the upward transport of radionuclides through soils has been studied. The effect of varying soil properties, climate conditions have been considered as well as the effect of a fluctuating groundwater level. It was shown that the soil characteristics influences the radionuclide concentration; an increased hydraulic conductivity leads to increase in the concentration in the root zone. The climate conditions were shown to be of major importance. A dispersion dependent on both velocity and saturation leads to a more effective upward transport of radionuclides to the root zone than if dispersion is assumed to be dependent only on the saturation. The boundary condition used in the case with varying groundwater level may be more realistic than the boundary condition applied for the case with a constant groundwater level. All calculations with varying groundwater level gave lower radionuclide concentration in the root zone. Sorption is redox sensitive for many radionuclides and the redox potential in the soil will be affected by the degree of water saturation. The performed calculations did, however, not result in any significant change in the radionuclide concentration in the root zone due to variation in sorption. A comparison between the results of the two models show that the compartment model in all studied cases predicts a higher annual average radionuclide concentration in the root zone than the numerical model. Annual variation in soil water flow were not included in the compartment model. During the summer the concentration in the root zone may be several times higher than the annual average. This may be important for plant uptake, since this increased concentrations coincides with the plant growing season. The calculations made with the simple compartment model also show that these

  13. [Characterization of historical infiltration in the unsaturated zone at the Nevada Test Site using chloride, bromide, and chlorine-36 as environmental tracers]. [Final subcontract report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1991-01-01

    This document is an end-of-contract report, prepared by Hydro Geo Chem for Los Alamos National Laboratory under contract number 9-XDD-6329F-1. The ultimate goal of this work is to characterize historical infiltration and unsaturated flow in the Yucca Mountain area of the Nevada Test Site. Work on this contract has focused on using chloride, bromide, stable chlorine isotopes, and chlorine-36 distributions to evaluate the depth of infiltration in the unsaturated zone. Effort in support of this work has included developing analytical procedures, exploring ways in which to separate the. meteoric component from the rock component, and meeting quality assurance requirements

  14. Improving agricultural drought monitoring in West Africa using root zone soil moisture estimates derived from NDVI

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNally, A.; Funk, C. C.; Yatheendradas, S.; Michaelsen, J.; Cappelarere, B.; Peters-Lidard, C. D.; Verdin, J. P.

    2012-12-01

    The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) relies heavily on remotely sensed rainfall and vegetation data to monitor agricultural drought in Sub-Saharan Africa and other places around the world. Analysts use satellite rainfall to calculate rainy season statistics and force crop water accounting models that show how the magnitude and timing of rainfall might lead to above or below average harvest. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) is also an important indicator of growing season progress and is given more weight over regions where, for example, lack of rain gauges increases error in satellite rainfall estimates. Currently, however, near-real time NDVI is not integrated into a modeling framework that informs growing season predictions. To meet this need for our drought monitoring system a land surface model (LSM) is a critical component. We are currently enhancing the FEWS NET monitoring activities by configuring a custom instance of NASA's Land Information System (LIS) called the FEWS NET Land Data Assimilation System. Using the LIS Noah LSM, in-situ measurements, and remotely sensed data, we focus on the following questions: What is the relationship between NDVI and in-situ soil moisture measurements over the West Africa Sahel? How can we use this relationship to improve modeled water and energy fluxes over the West Africa Sahel? We investigate soil moisture and NDVI cross-correlation in the time and frequency domain to develop a transfer function model to predict soil moisture from NDVI. This work compares sites in southwest Niger, Benin, Burkina Faso, and Mali to test the generality of the transfer function. For several sites with fallow and millet vegetation in the Wankama catchment in southwest Niger we developed a non-parametric frequency response model, using NDVI inputs and soil moisture outputs, that accurately estimates root zone soil moisture (40-70cm). We extend this analysis by developing a low order parametric transfer function

  15. Long term variations of chlorine-36 input signal to groundwater as recorded in deep unsaturated zones, south-east Australia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Le Gal La Salle, C.; Herczeg, A.L.; Leaney, F.W.; Fifield, L.K.; Cresswell, R.G.; Kellet, J.

    1997-01-01

    The use of chlorine-36 is increasing in hydrology as its long half-life (3x10 5 a), allows useful long-term investigations into groundwater systems. Because chloride is very hydrophillic, the chlorine-36 signal should not be affected by geochemical processes in most aquatic systems. Nevertheless, over long periods of time, the chlorine-36 input to groundwater systems may vary due to factors such as: changes of production of chlorine-36 and/or changes of its distribution in the atmosphere. For instance the production of chlorine-36 might be governed by long-term terrestrial magnetic dipole strength variations as suggested for other radiogenic isotopes. Variations of the input signal of chlorine-36 should be recorded in pore waters of deep unsaturated zones. In this system, the time scale is approximated by the cumulative chloride content with depth assuming a constant input of chloride. Long-term records of chloride and chlorine-36 in two deep unsaturated-zone profiles, situated in the semi-arid Murray Basin in Australia, are presented. The two profiles record periods of approximately 20±1 to 27±2 ka and 100±5 to 220±10 ka respectively. The range of variation of the recorded time at each site is related to the estimated range of chloride deposition rate. The recharge rates are constant in both profiles with values approximating 0.4 and less than 0.1 mm.a -1 respectively. The linear relationship between chlorine-36 and stable chloride indicates that variations of chlorine-36 are governed by evapotranspiration, with a concentration factor of up to 2. Therefore the chlorine-36 is normalised to chloride to take account of the evapotranspiration process. In the soil profile at Kaniva, Western Victoria, 36 Cl/Cl'- ratio shows an increase of approximately 20% down profile. The second profile at Boree Plains, Wester, NSW, shows variations of 36 Cl/Cl'- ratio of 40% with a decreasing trend down profile. The input signal of chlorine-36/chloride is calculated by correction

  16. Water extraction and implications on soil moisture sensor placement in the root zone of banana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alisson Jadavi Pereira da Silva

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT: The knowledge on spatial and temporal variations of soil water storage in the root zone of crops is essential to guide the studies to determine soil water balance, verify the effective zone of water extraction in the soil and indicate the correct region for the management of water, fertilizers and pesticides. The objectives of this study were: (i to indicate the zones of highest root activity for banana in different development stages; (ii to determine, inside the zone of highest root activity, the adequate position for the installation of soil moisture sensors. A 5.0 m3 drainage lysimeter was installed in the center of an experimental area of 320 m2. Water extraction was quantified inside the lysimeter using a 72 TDR probe. The concept of time stability was applied to indicate the position for sensor installation within the limits of effective water extraction. There are two patterns of water extraction distribution during the development of banana and the point of installation of sensors for irrigation management inside the zone of highest root activity is not constant along the crop development.

  17. Nevada test site low-level and mixed waste repository design in the unsaturated zone

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kawamura, T.A.; Warren, D.M.

    1989-01-01

    The Area 5 Radioactive Waste Management Site (RWMS) at the Nevada Test Site (NTS) is used for shallow land disposal of Low-Level Radioactive (LLW) and for retrievable disposal of Mixed Wastes (MW) from various Department of Energy (DOE) facilities. The site is situated in southern Nevada, one of the most arid regions of the United States. Design considerations include vadose zone monitoring in lieu of groundwater monitoring, stringent waste acceptance and packaging criteria, a waste examination and real-time radiography facility, and trench design. 4 refs

  18. Multi-decadal analysis of root-zone soil moisture applying the exponential filter across CONUS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. J. Tobin

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available This study applied the exponential filter to produce an estimate of root-zone soil moisture (RZSM. Four types of microwave-based, surface satellite soil moisture were used. The core remotely sensed data for this study came from NASA's long-lasting AMSR-E mission. Additionally, three other products were obtained from the European Space Agency Climate Change Initiative (CCI. These datasets were blended based on all available satellite observations (CCI-active, CCI-passive, and CCI-combined. All of these products were 0.25° and taken daily. We applied the filter to produce a soil moisture index (SWI that others have successfully used to estimate RZSM. The only unknown in this approach was the characteristic time of soil moisture variation (T. We examined five different eras (1997–2002; 2002–2005; 2005–2008; 2008–2011; 2011–2014 that represented periods with different satellite data sensors. SWI values were compared with in situ soil moisture data from the International Soil Moisture Network at a depth ranging from 20 to 25 cm. Selected networks included the US Department of Energy Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM program (25 cm, Soil Climate Analysis Network (SCAN; 20.32 cm, SNOwpack TELemetry (SNOTEL; 20.32 cm, and the US Climate Reference Network (USCRN; 20 cm. We selected in situ stations that had reasonable completeness. These datasets were used to filter out periods with freezing temperatures and rainfall using data from the Parameter elevation Regression on Independent Slopes Model (PRISM. Additionally, we only examined sites where surface and root-zone soil moisture had a reasonably high lagged r value (r > 0. 5. The unknown T value was constrained based on two approaches: optimization of root mean square error (RMSE and calculation based on the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI value. Both approaches yielded comparable results; although, as to be expected, the optimization approach generally

  19. Laboratory and numerical experiments on water and energy fluxes during freezing and thawing in the unsaturated zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holländer, Hartmut; Montasir Islam, Md.; Šimunek, Jirka

    2017-04-01

    Frozen soil has a major effect in many hydrologic processes, and its effects are difficult to predict. A prime example is flood forecasting during spring snowmelt within the Canadian Prairies. One key driver for the extent of flooding is the antecedent soil moisture and the possibility for water to infiltrate into frozen soils. Therefore, these situations are crucial for accurate flood prediction during every spring. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the water flow and heat transport within HYDRUS-1D version 4.16 and with Hansson's model, which is a detailed freezing/thawing module (Hansson et al., 2004), to predict the impact of frozen and partly frozen soil on infiltration. We developed a standardized data set of water flow and heat transport into (partial) frozen soil by laboratory experiments using fine sand. Temperature, soil moisture, and percolated water were observed at different freezing conditions as well as at thawing conditions. Significant variation in soil moisture was found between the top and the bottom of the soil column at the starting of the thawing period. However, with increasing temperature, the lower depth of the soil column showed higher moisture as the soil became enriched with moisture due to the release of heat by soil particles during the thawing cycle. We applied vadose zone modeling using the results from the laboratory experiments. The simulated water content by HYDRUS-1D 4.16 showed large errors compared to the observed data showing by negative Nash-Sutcliffe Efficiency. Hansson's model was not able to predict soil water fluxes due to its unstable behavior (Šimunek et al., 2016). The soil temperature profile simulated using HYDRUS-1D 4.16 was not able to predict the release of latent heat during the phase change of water that was visible in Hansson's model. Hansson's model includes the energy gain/loss due to the phase change in the amount of latent energy stored in the modified heat transport equation. However, in

  20. Oil migration through unsaturated soils and its effect on the Vadose Zone Interactive Processes (VIP) model output

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Joseph, A.T.; Grenney, W.J.; Stevens, D.K.

    1994-01-01

    The VIP model, which simulates the concentration profiles of the hazardous compounds in the soil, water, and the air phases, assumes a fixed oily phase. The purpose of this study was to measure oil migration in soil systems and to determine its effect on the VIP model output. Experiments were conducted to demonstrate the mobility of an oil through the unsaturated zone of the soil. The studies were conducted in laboratory scale glass columns. A light petroleum oil and two types of soil were used. The experiments demonstrated that oil migrates down significantly through the soil columns. The extent of migration depended on the volume of oil applied and the type of soil. However, the applied oil was completely immobilized in the columns. The model was modified to incorporate oil migration. The modified model can be expected to produce more realistic contaminant concentration profiles during land treatment of oily wastes when compared to that produced by the present version of the VIP model. (Author)

  1. Inherent mineralization of 2,6-dichlorobenzamide (BAM) in unsaturated zone and aquifers - Effect of initial concentrations and adaptation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Janniche, Gry Sander, E-mail: gsja@env.dtu.dk [DTU Environment, Technical University of Denmark, Building 113, DK-2800 Kgs. Lyngby (Denmark); Clausen, Liselotte; Albrechtsen, Hans-Jorgen [DTU Environment, Technical University of Denmark, Building 113, DK-2800 Kgs. Lyngby (Denmark)

    2011-10-15

    The dichlobenil metabolite BAM (2,6-dichlorobenzamide) is frequently detected in aquifers e.g. in Denmark despite the mother compound dichlobenil was banned here since 1997. BAM mineralization was investigated at environmentally relevant concentrations in sediment samples. Undisturbed sediment cores with known dichlobenil application were collected from topsoil to 8.5 m below surface resulting in 57 samples hereof 4 aquifer samples. Mineralization was only substantial (>10%) in the uppermost meter of the unsaturated zone. Microbial adaptation, observed as faster mineralization in pre-exposed than in pristine sediments from the same location, was only evident in sandy sediment where dichlobenil was still present, but not in clayey sediments. Higher initial concentrations (1-5000 {mu}g/kg) did not stimulate mineralization in pristine clayey or sandy sediments, or in pre-exposed sand. However, in pre-exposed clay mineralization was stimulated at high concentrations. Furthermore BAM was for the first time mineralized in aerobic aquifer sediments from different BAM-contaminated groundwater locations. - Highlights: > BAM mineralized in BAM-contaminated aerobic aquifer sediments. > In subsurface, fastest BAM mineralization in pre-exposed sandy sediments. > Increased mineralization (adaptation) only observed in contaminated sandy sediment. > In pristine sediments mineralization ratio increased with decreasing concentrations. - BAM mineralization in subsurface and groundwater was demonstrated.

  2. Vertical Hydraulic Conductivity of Unsaturated Zone by Infiltrometer Analysis of Shallow Groundwater Regime (KUISG

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arkan Radhi Ali

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available A hydrogeologic model was developed and carried out in Taleaa district of 67km2 . The study adopted a determination of KUISG depends upon the double rings infiltrometer model. The tests were carried out in a part of Mesopotamian  Zone which is covered with quaternary deposits  . In general the groundwater levels are about one meter below ground surface.  Theoretically, the inclination angle of the saturated water phase plays an important role in the determination of KUISG. The experimental results prove that the angle of inclination of the saturated phase is identical to the angle of internal friction of the soil. This conclusion is supported by the comparison of the results that obtained from falling head test and infiltrometer measurements for estimating the hydraulic conductivitiy values for ten locations within the study area. The determination of vertical hydraulic conductivity by current infiltrometer model is constrained to only the shallow groundwater regime.7

  3. The interaction between the unsaturated zone, aquifer, and stream during a period of groundwater withdrawal

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Poulsen, Søren Erbs; Christensen, Steen; Rasmussen, Keld Rømer

    2011-01-01

    drainage responses to water-table drawdown. The responses can be sufficiently modeled by estimating the specific yield and five exponential time constants of a Moench/Boulton type model of delayed drainage. The average specific yield is thus estimated to 0.24 which is in agreement with previous small scale......; in the second case the estimate (0.17) is in better agreement with core and previous estimates (0.24). The analysis indicates that relatively fast drainage, and the existence of two drawdown dependent sources of groundwater recharge (the storage and the stream), complicates pumping test design to obtain unique...... parameter estimation. The analysis supports that an essential factor in parameter estimation by pumping test analysis for (at least some) unconfined aquifers is the use of a model that accounts for time-varying drainage from the vadose zone. Finally, when predicting stream depletion beyond 1. day of pumping...

  4. Assimilation of a thermal remote sensing-based soil moisture proxy into a root-zone water balance model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crow, W. T.; Kustas, W. P.

    2006-05-01

    Two types of Soil Vegetation Atmosphere Transfer (SVAT) modeling approaches are commonly applied to monitoring root-zone soil water availability. Water and Energy Balance (WEB) SVAT modeling are based forcing a prognostic water balance model with precipitation observations. In constrast, thermal Remote Sensing (RS) observations of canopy radiometric temperatures can be integrated into purely diagnostic SVAT models to predict the onset of vegetation water stress due to low root-zone soil water availability. Unlike WEB-SVAT models, RS-SVAT models do not require observed precipitation. Using four growings seasons (2001 to 2004) of profile soil moisture, micro-meteorology, and surface radiometric temperature observations at the USDA's OPE3 site, root-zone soil moisture predictions made by both WEB- and RS-SVAT modeling approaches are intercompared with each other and availible root- zone soil moisture observations. Results indicate that root-zone soil moisture estimates derived from a WEB- SVAT model have slightly more skill in detecting soil moisture anomalies at the site than comporable predictions from a competing RS-SVAT modeling approach. However, the relative advantage of the WEB-SVAT model disappears when it is forced with lower-quality rainfall information typical of continental and global-scale rainfall data sets. Most critically, root-zone soil moisture errors associated with both modeling approaches are sufficiently independent such that the merger of both information from both proxies - using either simple linear averaging or an Ensemble Kalman filter - creates a merge soil moisture estimate that is more accurate than either of its parent components.

  5. An Approach Using Gas Monitoring to Find the Residual TCE Location in the Unsaturated Zone of Woosan Industrial Complex (WIC), Korea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koh, Y.; Lee, S.; Yang, J.; Lee, K.

    2012-12-01

    An area accommodating various industrial facilities has fairly high probability of groundwater contamination with multiple chlorinated solvents such as trichloroethene (TCE), carbon tetrachloride (CT), and chloroform (CF). Source tracing of chlorinated solvents in the unsaturated zone is an essential procedure for the management and remediation of contaminated area. From the previous study on seasonal variations in hydrological stresses and spatial variations in geologic conditions on a TCE plume, the existence of residual DNAPLs at or above the water table has proved. Since TCE is one of the frequently detected VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) in groundwater, residual TCE can be detected by gas monitoring. Therefore, monitoring of temporal and spatial variations in the gas phase TCE contaminant at an industrial complex in Wonju, Korea, were used to find the residual TCE locations. As pilot tests, TCE gas samples collected in the unsaturated zone at 4 different wells were analyzed using SPME (Solid Phase MicroExtraction) fiber and Gas Chromatography (GC). The results indicated that detecting TCE in gas phase was successful from these wells and TCE analysis on gas samples, collected from the unsaturated zone, will be useful for source area characterization. However, some values were too high to doubt the accuracy of the current method, which needs a preliminary lab test with known concentrations. The modified experiment setups using packer at different depths are in process to find residual TCE locations in the unsaturated zone. Meanwhile, several PVD (polyethylene-membrane Passive Vapor Diffusion) samplers were placed under water table to detect VOCs by equilibrium between air in the vial and VOCs in pore water.

  6. User's Guide: Database of literature pertaining to the unsaturated zone and surface water-ground water interactions at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hall, L.F.

    1993-05-01

    Since its beginnings in 1949, hydrogeologic investigations at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) have resulted in an extensive collection of technical publications providing information concerning ground water hydraulics and contaminant transport within the unsaturated zone. Funding has been provided by the Department of Energy through the Department of Energy Idaho Field Office in a grant to compile an INEL-wide summary of unsaturated zone studies based on a literature search. University of Idaho researchers are conducting a review of technical documents produced at or pertaining to the INEL, which present or discuss processes in the unsaturated zone and surface water-ground water interactions. Results of this review are being compiled as an electronic database. Fields are available in this database for document title and associated identification number, author, source, abstract, and summary of information (including types of data and parameters). AskSam reg-sign, a text-based database system, was chosen. WordPerfect 5.1 copyright is being used as a text-editor to input data records into askSam

  7. Consequences of using different soil texture determination methodologies for soil physical quality and unsaturated zone time lag estimates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fenton, O; Vero, S; Ibrahim, T G; Murphy, P N C; Sherriff, S C; Ó hUallacháin, D

    2015-11-01

    Elucidation of when the loss of pollutants, below the rooting zone in agricultural landscapes, affects water quality is important when assessing the efficacy of mitigation measures. Investigation of this inherent time lag (t(T)) is divided into unsaturated (t(u)) and saturated (t(s)) components. The duration of these components relative to each other differs depending on soil characteristics and the landscape position. The present field study focuses on tu estimation in a scenario where the saturated zone is likely to constitute a higher proportion of t(T). In such instances, or where only initial breakthrough (IBT) or centre of mass (COM) is of interest, utilisation of site and depth specific "simple" textural class or actual sand-silt-clay percentages to generate soil water characteristic curves with associated soil hydraulic parameters is acceptable. With the same data it is also possible to estimate a soil physical quality (S) parameter for each soil layer which can be used to infer many other physical, chemical and biological quality indicators. In this study, hand texturing in the field was used to determine textural classes of a soil profile. Laboratory methods, including hydrometer, pipette and laser diffraction methods were used to determine actual sand-silt-clay percentages of sections of the same soil profile. Results showed that in terms of S, hand texturing resulted in a lower index value (inferring a degraded soil) than that of pipette, hydrometer and laser equivalents. There was no difference between S index values determined using the pipette, hydrometer and laser diffraction methods. The difference between the three laboratory methods on both the IBT and COM stages of t(u) were negligible, and in this instance were unlikely to affect either groundwater monitoring decisions, or to be of consequence from a policy perspective. When t(u) estimates are made over the full depth of the vadose zone, which may extend to several metres, errors resulting from

  8. Consequences of using different soil texture determination methodologies for soil physical quality and unsaturated zone time lag estimates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fenton, O.; Vero, S.; Ibrahim, T. G.; Murphy, P. N. C.; Sherriff, S. C.; Ó hUallacháin, D.

    2015-11-01

    Elucidation of when the loss of pollutants, below the rooting zone in agricultural landscapes, affects water quality is important when assessing the efficacy of mitigation measures. Investigation of this inherent time lag (tT) is divided into unsaturated (tu) and saturated (ts) components. The duration of these components relative to each other differs depending on soil characteristics and the landscape position. The present field study focuses on tu estimation in a scenario where the saturated zone is likely to constitute a higher proportion of tT. In such instances, or where only initial breakthrough (IBT) or centre of mass (COM) is of interest, utilisation of site and depth specific "simple" textural class or actual sand-silt-clay percentages to generate soil water characteristic curves with associated soil hydraulic parameters is acceptable. With the same data it is also possible to estimate a soil physical quality (S) parameter for each soil layer which can be used to infer many other physical, chemical and biological quality indicators. In this study, hand texturing in the field was used to determine textural classes of a soil profile. Laboratory methods, including hydrometer, pipette and laser diffraction methods were used to determine actual sand-silt-clay percentages of sections of the same soil profile. Results showed that in terms of S, hand texturing resulted in a lower index value (inferring a degraded soil) than that of pipette, hydrometer and laser equivalents. There was no difference between S index values determined using the pipette, hydrometer and laser diffraction methods. The difference between the three laboratory methods on both the IBT and COM stages of tu were negligible, and in this instance were unlikely to affect either groundwater monitoring decisions, or to be of consequence from a policy perspective. When tu estimates are made over the full depth of the vadose zone, which may extend to several metres, errors resulting from the use of

  9. Impact of urbanization on hydrochemical evolution of groundwater and on unsaturated-zone gas composition in the coastal city of Tel Aviv, Israel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zilberbrand, M.; Rosenthal, E.; Shachnai, E.

    2001-08-01

    The coastal city of Tel Aviv was founded at the beginning of the 20th century. The number of its inhabitants and its water consumption increased rapidly. This study analyses a 15-year record (1934-1948) of pre-industrial development of groundwater chemistry in the urban area. Archive data on concentrations of major ions, dissolved gases (CO 2 and O 2), organic matter, and pH were available for each half-year during the period of 1934-1948. The major factors causing changes in the chemistry of groundwater flowing in three sandy sub-aquifers have been seawater encroachment due to overpumping, and infiltration of effluents from pit-latrine collectors. Influence of these factors decreases with depth. Landward-penetrating seawater passed through clayey coastal sediments, interbedded among sands and calcareous sandstones, and spread into the Kurkar Group aquifer. This has led to exchange of sodium (dominant in seawater) with calcium adsorbed on clay particles, enriching groundwater with calcium. Intensity of cation exchange decreases inland and with depth. Infiltration of pit-latrine effluents has introduced large amounts of ammonium into the unsaturated zone. Its rapid oxidation in unsaturated sediments has caused massive nitrate production, accompanied by pore-water acidification. This process induces dissolution of vadose carbonate, resulting in enrichment of groundwater recharge in calcium. Anthropogenically induced dissolution of calcite in the unsaturated zone has been the major factor for the increase of Ca 2+ concentration in groundwater, accounting for about 80% of this increase. In the interface zone, an additional 20% of calcium has been supplied by cation exchange. Owing to pH increase caused by denitrification in the aquifer, Ca 2+-rich waters supersaturated with calcite could be formed, especially in the capillary fringe of the uppermost sub-aquifer, which could induce calcite precipitation and ultimately lead to the cementation of sandy aquifers. Urban

  10. The influence of the unsaturated zone on the high fluoride contents in groundwater in the middle voltaian aquifers-the Gusghegu District, Northern Region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Salifu, M.

    2012-01-01

    Elevated levels of fluoride have been reported to occur in some groundwater in the Gushegu district of the Northern region of Ghana leading to the closure of some boreholes in the area. Hydrochemical data from 21 water, soil and some rock samples were used to evaluate water quality, water types and to identify whether the unsaturated zone has influence on the elevated fluoride levels in groundwater as well as the processes that control fluoride level in the groundwater. Water samples were extracted from soil sample for flouride analysis using the cryogenic vacuum extraction set-up. Results of the water quality analysis showed that the groundwater in the study area were generally potable. A plot of Gibbs diagram revealed that rock weathering and rainfall were the major hydrogeochemical processes regulating the water chemistry of the study area. Two different water types were identified in the study area, namely: Na-HCO 3 - , which happened to be the major water type in the study area and Na-Ca-Mg-HCO 3 - water type. The fluoride concentration in the groundwater varied from 0.0 to 1.97 mg/L while that of the unsaturated zone ranged from 0.0 to 2.08 mg/L. The elevated fluoride levels in the groundwater strongly correlated with that of fluoride levels in the unsaturated zone (r 2 =0.76). Petrographic analysis of rock samples (siltstones) identified the minerals present to be muscovite, plagioclase feldspars, quartz, sericite and iron oxide. Other clay minerals such as montmorillonite, illite and chloride were identified. The elevated fluoride levels recorded in the groundwater may be due to leaching, as a result of the weathering and dissolution of muscovite, sericite as well as the presence of other clay minerals in the unsaturated zone. Application of phosphate fertilizers may also account for the the elevated fluoride concentrations recorded in the study area. Stable isotopic composition of the waters revealed that most of the groundwater were of meteoric origin

  11. Determination of degradation rates of organic substances in the unsaturated soil zone depending on the grain size fractions of various soil types

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fichtner, Thomas; Stefan, Catalin; Goersmeyer, Nora

    2015-04-01

    Rate and extent of the biological degradation of organic substances during transport through the unsaturated soil zone is decisively influenced by the chemical and physical properties of the pollutants such as water solubility, toxicity and molecular structure. Furthermore microbial degradation processes are also influenced by soil-specific properties. An important parameter is the soil grain size distribution on which the pore volume and the pore size depends. Changes lead to changes in air and water circulation as well as preferred flow paths. Transport capacity of water inclusive nutrients is lower in existing bad-drainable fine pores in soils with small grain size fractions than in well-drainable coarse pores in a soil with bigger grain size fractions. Because fine pores are saturated with water for a longer time than the coarse pores and oxygen diffusion in water is ten thousand times slower than in air, oxygen is replenished much slower in soils with small grain size fractions. As a result life and growth conditions of the microorganisms are negatively affected. This leads to less biological activity, restricted degradation/mineralization of pollutants or altered microbial processes. The aim of conducted laboratory column experiments was to study the correlation between the grain size fractions respectively pore sizes, the oxygen content and the biodegradation rate of infiltrated organic substances. Therefore two columns (active + sterile control) were filled with different grain size fractions (0,063-0,125 mm, 0,2-0,63 mm and 1-2 mm) of soils. The sterile soil was inoculated with a defined amount of a special bacteria culture (sphingobium yanoikuae). A solution with organic substances glucose, oxalic acid, sinaphylic alcohol and nutrients was infiltrated from the top in intervals. The degradation of organic substances was controlled by the measurement of dissolved organic carbon in the in- and outflow of the column. The control of different pore volumes

  12. Analyzing Unsaturated Flow Patterns in Fractured Rock Using an Integrated Modeling Approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Y.S. Wu; G. Lu; K. Zhang; L. Pan; G.S. Bodvarsson

    2006-01-01

    Characterizing percolation patterns in unsaturated fractured rock has posed a greater challenge to modeling investigations than comparable saturated zone studies, because of the heterogeneous nature of unsaturated media and the great number of variables impacting unsaturated flow. This paper presents an integrated modeling methodology for quantitatively characterizing percolation patterns in the unsaturated zone of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, a proposed underground repository site for storing high-level radioactive waste. The modeling approach integrates a wide variety of moisture, pneumatic, thermal, and isotopic geochemical field data into a comprehensive three-dimensional numerical model for modeling analyses. It takes into account the coupled processes of fluid and heat flow and chemical isotopic transport in Yucca Mountain's highly heterogeneous, unsaturated fractured tuffs. Modeling results are examined against different types of field-measured data and then used to evaluate different hydrogeological conceptualizations and their results of flow patterns in the unsaturated zone. In particular, this model provides a much clearer understanding of percolation patterns and flow behavior through the unsaturated zone, both crucial issues in assessing repository performance. The integrated approach for quantifying Yucca Mountain's flow system is demonstrated to provide a practical modeling tool for characterizing flow and transport processes in complex subsurface systems

  13. Investigation of the unsaturated zone in semi-arid regions using isotopic and chemical methods and applications to water resource problems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Edmunds, W.M.

    2001-01-01

    Isotopic techniques combined with chemistry can provide comprehensive information on groundwater recharge and recharge history, as well as on environmental and climatic change. Examples of integrated use are reviewed from studies in Senegal and Cyprus as well as Sudan. Tritium provides calibration for the wider use of Cl as a tool for larger scale recharge estimation in low rainfall areas. A recharge history is preserved in the unsaturated zone in favourable locations where homogeneous unsaturated flow predominates. Recharge variations taking place at the decadal scale tie in well with instrumental records and extrapolation indicates records may exist over centuries or millennia. Results from the CRP, from Nigeria, Tunisia, Jordan and Mexico have been modelled against local rainfall records and chemistry to give a reasonable correlation with recharge events over various timescales from 30 to 50 000 yr. (author)

  14. Busted Butte Unsaturated Zone Transport Test: Fiscal Year 1998 Status Report Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Program Deliverable SPU85M4

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bussod, G.Y.; Turin, H.J.; Lowry, W.E.

    1999-01-01

    This report describes the status of the Busted Butte Unsaturated Zone Transport Test (UZTT) and documents the progress of construction activities and site and laboratory characterization activities undertaken in fiscal year 1998. Also presented are predictive flow-and-transport simulations for Test Phases 1 and 2 of testing and the preliminary results and status of these test phases. Future anticipated results obtained from unsaturated-zone (UZ) transport testing in the Calico Hills Formation at Busted Butte are also discussed in view of their importance to performance assessment (PA) needs to build confidence in and reduce the uncertainty of site-scale flow-and-transport models and their abstractions for performance for license application. The principal objectives of the test are to address uncertainties associated with flow and transport in the UZ site-process models for Yucca Mountain, as identified by the PA working group in February 1997. These include but are not restricted to: (1) The effect of heterogeneities on flow and transport in unsaturated and partially saturated conditions in the Calico Hills Formation. In particular, the test aims to address issues relevant to fracture-matrix interactions and permeability contrast boundaries; (2) The migration behavior of colloids in fractured and unfractured Calico Hills rocks; (3) The validation through field testing of laboratory sorption experiments in unsaturated Calico Hills rocks; (4) The evaluation of the 3-D site-scale flow-and-transport process model (i.e., equivalent-continuum/dual-permeability/discrete-fracture-fault representations of flow and transport) used in the PA abstractions for license application; and (5) The effect of scaling from lab scale to field scale and site scale

  15. Direct observations of rock moisture, a hidden component of the hydrologic cycle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rempe, Daniella M; Dietrich, William E

    2018-03-13

    Recent theory and field observations suggest that a systematically varying weathering zone, that can be tens of meters thick, commonly develops in the bedrock underlying hillslopes. Weathering turns otherwise poorly conductive bedrock into a dynamic water storage reservoir. Infiltrating precipitation typically will pass through unsaturated weathered bedrock before reaching groundwater and running off to streams. This invisible and difficult to access unsaturated zone is virtually unexplored compared with the surface soil mantle. We have proposed the term "rock moisture" to describe the exchangeable water stored in the unsaturated zone in weathered bedrock, purposely choosing a term parallel to, but distinct from, soil moisture, because weathered bedrock is a distinctly different material that is distributed across landscapes independently of soil thickness. Here, we report a multiyear intensive campaign of quantifying rock moisture across a hillslope underlain by a thick weathered bedrock zone using repeat neutron probe measurements in a suite of boreholes. Rock moisture storage accumulates in the wet season, reaches a characteristic upper value, and rapidly passes any additional rainfall downward to groundwater. Hence, rock moisture storage mediates the initiation and magnitude of recharge and runoff. In the dry season, rock moisture storage is gradually depleted by trees for transpiration, leading to a common lower value at the end of the dry season. Up to 27% of the annual rainfall is seasonally stored as rock moisture. Significant rock moisture storage is likely common, and yet it is missing from hydrologic and land-surface models used to predict regional and global climate.

  16. Effects of low-level radioactive-waste disposal on water chemistry in the unsaturated zone at a site near Sheffield, Illinois, 1982-84

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, C.A.; Striegl, Robert G.; Mills, P.C.; Healy, R.W.

    1992-01-01

    A 1982-84 field study defined the chemistry of water collected from the unsaturated zone at a low-level radioactive-waste disposal site near Sheffield, Bureau County, Illinois. Chemical data were evaluated to determine the principal naturally occurring geochemical reactions in the unsaturated zone and to evaluate waste-induced effects on pore-water chemistry. Samples of precipitation, unsaturated-zone pore water, and saturated-zone water were analyzed for specific conductance, pH, alkalinity, major cations and anions, dissolved organic carbon, gross alpha and beta radiation, and tritium. Little change in concentration of most major constituents in the unsaturated-zone water was observed with respect to depth or distance from disposal trenches. Tritium and dissolved organic carbon concentrations were, however, dependent on proximity to trenches. The primary reactions, both on- site and off-site, were carbonate and clay dissolution, cation exchange, and the oxidation of pyrite. The major difference between on-site and off-site inorganic water chemistry resulted from the removal of the Roxana Silt and the Radnor Till Member of the Glasford Formation from on-site. Off-site, the Roxana Silt contributed substantial quantities of sodium to solution from montmorillonite dissolution and associated cation-exchange reactions. The Radnor Till Member provided exchange surfaces for magnesium. Precipitation at the site had an ionic composition of calcium zinc sulfate and an average pH of 4.6. Within 0.3 meter of the land surface, infiltrating rain water or snowmelt changed to an ionic canposition of calcium sulfate off-site and calcium bicarbonate on-site and had an average pH of 7.9; below that depth, pH averaged 7.5 and the ionic composition generally was calcium magnesium bicarbonate. Alkalinity and specific conductance differed primarily according to composition of geologic materials. Tritium concentrations ranged from 0.2 (detection limit) to 1,380 nanocuries per liter. The

  17. Lateral water flux in the unsaturated zone: A mechanism for the formation of spatial soil heterogeneity in a headwater catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    John P. Gannon; Kevin J. McGuire; Scott W. Bailey; Rebecca R. Bourgault; Donald S. Ross

    2017-01-01

    Measurements of soil water potential and water table fluctuations suggest that morphologically distinct soils in a headwater catchment at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in New Hampshire formed as a result of variations in saturated and unsaturated hydrologic fluxes in the mineral soil. Previous work showed that each group of these soils had distinct water table...

  18. Electrokinetic remediation of anionic contamination from unsaturated soil: Field application

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lindgren, E.R.; Mattson, E.D.

    1995-01-01

    Electrokinetic remediation is an in situ technique under development at Sandia National Laboratories for removal of ionic contaminants from soil. While to date most other studies of this technique have focused on saturated soils, usually clays, the work at Sandia has been to extend the process to unsaturated sandy soils typical of arid regions. The impetus for this study is a chromate plume located beneath an old Sandia chemical waste landfill. Working in unsaturated soils is complicated by moisture control requirements, both to prevent undesired hydraulic transport of contamination outside the treatment zone and to optimize soil properties for efficient electrokinetic remediation. Two field tests will be discussed. First, a field test in clean soil is in progress to demonstrate moisture control with the Sandia electrode system. The second field demonstration, planned to begin the Fall of 1995, involves chromate removal from a in a chemical waste landfill

  19. Direct observations of rock moisture, a hidden component of the hydrologic cycle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rempe, Daniella M.; Dietrich, William E.

    2018-03-01

    Recent theory and field observations suggest that a systematically varying weathering zone, that can be tens of meters thick, commonly develops in the bedrock underlying hillslopes. Weathering turns otherwise poorly conductive bedrock into a dynamic water storage reservoir. Infiltrating precipitation typically will pass through unsaturated weathered bedrock before reaching groundwater and running off to streams. This invisible and difficult to access unsaturated zone is virtually unexplored compared with the surface soil mantle. We have proposed the term “rock moisture” to describe the exchangeable water stored in the unsaturated zone in weathered bedrock, purposely choosing a term parallel to, but distinct from, soil moisture, because weathered bedrock is a distinctly different material that is distributed across landscapes independently of soil thickness. Here, we report a multiyear intensive campaign of quantifying rock moisture across a hillslope underlain by a thick weathered bedrock zone using repeat neutron probe measurements in a suite of boreholes. Rock moisture storage accumulates in the wet season, reaches a characteristic upper value, and rapidly passes any additional rainfall downward to groundwater. Hence, rock moisture storage mediates the initiation and magnitude of recharge and runoff. In the dry season, rock moisture storage is gradually depleted by trees for transpiration, leading to a common lower value at the end of the dry season. Up to 27% of the annual rainfall is seasonally stored as rock moisture. Significant rock moisture storage is likely common, and yet it is missing from hydrologic and land-surface models used to predict regional and global climate.

  20. U-Pb Ages of Secondary Silica at Yucca Mountain, Nevada: Implications for the Paleohydrology of the Unsaturated Zone

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    L.A. Neymark; Y. Amelin; J.B. Paces; Z.E. Peterman

    2001-01-01

    U, Th, and Pb isotopes were analyzed in layers of opal and chalcedony from individual millimeter- to centimeter-thick calcite and silica coatings at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA, a site that is being evaluated for a potential high-level nuclear waste repository. These calcite and silica coatings on fractures and in lithophysal cavities in Miocene-age tuffs in the unsaturated zone (UZ) precipitated from descending water and record a long history of percolation through the UZ. Opal and chalcedony have high concentrations of U (10 to 780 ppm) and low concentrations of common Pb as indicated by large values of 206 Pb/ 204 Pb (up to 53,806), thus making them suitable for U-Pb age determinations. Interpretations of U-Pb isotopes in opal samples at Yucca Mountain are complicated by the incorporation of excess 234 U at the time of mineral formation, resulting in reverse discordance of U-Pb ages. However, the 207 Pb/ 235 U ages are much less affected by deviation from initial secular equilibrium and provide reliable ages of most silica deposits between 0.6 and 9.8 Ma. For chalcedony subsamples showing normal age discordance, these ages may represent minimum times of deposition. Typically, 207 Pb/ 235 U ages are consistent with the microstratigraphy in the mineral coating samples, such that the youngest ages are for subsamples from outer layers, intermediate ages are from inner layers, and oldest ages are from innermost layers. 234 U and 230 Th in most silica layers deeper in the coatings are in secular equilibrium with 238 U, which is consistent with their old age and closed system behavior during the past 0.5 m.y. U-Pb ages for subsamples of silica layers from different microstratigraphic positions in individual calcite and silica coating samples collected from lithophysal cavities in the welded part of the Topopah Spring Tuff yield slow long-term average depositional rates of 1 to 5 mm/m.y. These data imply that the deeper parts of the UZ at Yucca Mountain maintained long

  1. Using environmental tracers to determine the relative importance of travel times in the unsaturated and saturated zones for the delay of nitrate reduction measures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerber, Christoph; Purtschert, Roland; Hunkeler, Daniel; Hug, Rainer; Sültenfuss, Jürgen

    2018-06-01

    Groundwater quality in many regions with intense agriculture has deteriorated due to the leaching of nitrate and other agricultural pollutants. Modified agricultural practices can reduce the input of nitrate to groundwater bodies, but it is crucial to determine the time span over which these measures become effective at reducing nitrate levels in pumping wells. Such estimates can be obtained from hydrogeological modeling or lumped-parameter models (LPM) in combination with environmental tracer data. Two challenges in such tracer-based estimates are (i) accounting for the different modes of transport in the unsaturated zone (USZ), and (ii) assessing uncertainties. Here we extend a recently published Bayesian inference scheme for simple LPMs to include an explicit USZ model and apply it to the Dünnerngäu aquifer, Switzerland. Compared to a previous estimate of travel times in the aquifer based on a 2D hydrogeological model, our approach provides a more accurate assessment of the dynamics of nitrate concentrations in the aquifer. We find that including tracer measurements (3H/3He, 85Kr, 39Ar, 4He) reduces uncertainty in nitrate predictions if nitrate time series at wells are not available or short, but does not necessarily lead to better predictions if long nitrate time series are available. Additionally, the combination of tracer data with nitrate time series allows for a separation of the travel times in the unsaturated and saturated zone.

  2. A steady state solution for ditch drainage problem with special reference to seepage face and unsaturated zone flow contribution: Derivation of a new drainage spacing eqaution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yousfi, Ammar; Mechergui, Mohammed

    2016-04-01

    The seepage face is an important feature of the drainage process when recharge occurs to a permeable region with lateral outlets. Examples of the formation of a seepage face above the downstream water level include agricultural land drained by ditches. Flow problem to these drains has been investigated extensively by many researchers (e.g. Rubin, 1968; Hornberger et al. 1969; Verma and Brutsaert, 1970; Gureghian and Youngs, 1975; Vauclin et al., 1975; Skaggs and Tang, 1976; Youngs, 1990; Gureghian, 1981; Dere, 2000; Rushton and Youngs, 2010; Youngs, 2012; Castro-Orgaz et al., 2012) and may be tackled either using variably saturated flow models, or the complete 2-D solution of Laplace equation, or using the Dupuit-Forchheimer approximation; the most widely accepted methods to obtain analytical solutions for unconfined drainage problems. However, the investigation reported by Clement et al. (1996) suggest that accounting for the seepage face alone, as in the fully saturated flow model, does not improve the discharge estimate because of disregarding flow the unsaturated zone flow contribution. This assumption can induce errors in the location of the water table surface and results in an underestimation of the seepage face and the net discharge (e.g. Skaggs and Tang, 1976; Vauclin et al., 1979; Clement et al., 1996). The importance of the flow in the unsaturated zone has been highlighted by many authors on the basis of laboratory experiments and/or numerical experimentations (e.g. Rubin, 1968; Verma and Brutsaert, 1970; Todsen, 1973; Vauclin et al., 1979; Ahmad et al., 1993; Anguela, 2004; Luthin and Day, 1955; Shamsai and Narasimhan, 1991; Wise et al., 1994; Clement et al., 1996; Boufadel et al., 1999; Romano et al., 1999; Kao et al., 2001; Kao, 2002). These studies demonstrate the failure of fully saturated flow models and suggested that the error made when using these models not only depends on soil properties but also on the infiltration rate as reported by Kao et

  3. Organic pollutants and heavy metals in rainwater runoff and their fate in the unsaturated soil zone. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Grotehusmann, D.; Rohlfing, R.; Weyer, G.; Dittrich, D.; Gowik, P.; Pernak, P.

    1991-01-01

    This bibliographic study is part of the BMFT intergrated project ''Possibilitiis and limits of [ drainage in consederation of the soil and groundwater protection''. Subjects: Environmental relevance and general distribution of organic pollutants; organic pollutants in rain water, soil, and groundwater; fate of organic pollutants in soil; environmental relevance of heavy metals in soil, rain water, and runof; fate of heavy metals in the unsaturated soil rare. (orig./BBR) [de

  4. The nitrate time bomb : a numerical way to investigate nitrate storage and lag time in the unsaturated zone

    OpenAIRE

    Wang, L.; Butcher, A.S.; Stuart, M.E.; Gooddy, D.C.; Bloomfield, J.P.

    2013-01-01

    Nitrate pollution in groundwater, which is mainly from agricultural activities, remains an international problem. It threatens the environment, economics and human health. There is a rising trend in nitrate concentrations in many UK groundwater bodies. Research has shown it can take decades for leached nitrate from the soil to discharge into groundwater and surface water due to the ‘store’ of nitrate and its potentially long travel time in the unsaturated and satura...

  5. MoisturEC: A New R Program for Moisture Content Estimation from Electrical Conductivity Data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terry, Neil; Day-Lewis, Frederick D; Werkema, Dale; Lane, John W

    2018-03-06

    Noninvasive geophysical estimation of soil moisture has potential to improve understanding of flow in the unsaturated zone for problems involving agricultural management, aquifer recharge, and optimization of landfill design and operations. In principle, several geophysical techniques (e.g., electrical resistivity, electromagnetic induction, and nuclear magnetic resonance) offer insight into soil moisture, but data-analysis tools are needed to "translate" geophysical results into estimates of soil moisture, consistent with (1) the uncertainty of this translation and (2) direct measurements of moisture. Although geostatistical frameworks exist for this purpose, straightforward and user-friendly tools are required to fully capitalize on the potential of geophysical information for soil-moisture estimation. Here, we present MoisturEC, a simple R program with a graphical user interface to convert measurements or images of electrical conductivity (EC) to soil moisture. Input includes EC values, point moisture estimates, and definition of either Archie parameters (based on experimental or literature values) or empirical data of moisture vs. EC. The program produces two- and three-dimensional images of moisture based on available EC and direct measurements of moisture, interpolating between measurement locations using a Tikhonov regularization approach. Published 2018. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  6. MoisturEC: a new R program for moisture content estimation from electrical conductivity data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terry, Neil; Day-Lewis, Frederick D.; Werkema, Dale D.; Lane, John W.

    2018-01-01

    Noninvasive geophysical estimation of soil moisture has potential to improve understanding of flow in the unsaturated zone for problems involving agricultural management, aquifer recharge, and optimization of landfill design and operations. In principle, several geophysical techniques (e.g., electrical resistivity, electromagnetic induction, and nuclear magnetic resonance) offer insight into soil moisture, but data‐analysis tools are needed to “translate” geophysical results into estimates of soil moisture, consistent with (1) the uncertainty of this translation and (2) direct measurements of moisture. Although geostatistical frameworks exist for this purpose, straightforward and user‐friendly tools are required to fully capitalize on the potential of geophysical information for soil‐moisture estimation. Here, we present MoisturEC, a simple R program with a graphical user interface to convert measurements or images of electrical conductivity (EC) to soil moisture. Input includes EC values, point moisture estimates, and definition of either Archie parameters (based on experimental or literature values) or empirical data of moisture vs. EC. The program produces two‐ and three‐dimensional images of moisture based on available EC and direct measurements of moisture, interpolating between measurement locations using a Tikhonov regularization approach.

  7. Changes of the water isotopic composition in unsaturated soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Feurdean, Victor; Feurdean, Lucia

    2001-01-01

    Based on the spatial and temporal variations of the stable isotope content in precipitation - as input in subsurface - and the mixing processes, the deuterium content in the water that moves in unsaturated zones was used to determine the most conducive season to recharge, the mechanisms for infiltration of snow or rain precipitation in humid, semi-arid or arid conditions, the episodic cycles of infiltration water mixing with the already present soil water and water vapor and whether infiltration water is or is not from local precipitation. Oscillations in the isotopic profiles of soil moisture can be used to estimate the following aspects: where piston or diffusive flow is the dominant mechanisms of water infiltration; the average velocities of the water movement in vadose zone; the influence of vegetation cover, soil type and slope exposure on the dynamics of water movement in soil; the conditions required for infiltration such as: the matrix, gravity, pressure and osmotic potentials during drainage in unsaturated soil. (authors)

  8. Hydrogeologic data and water-quality data from a thick unsaturated zone at a proposed wastewater-treatment facility site, Yucca Valley, San Bernardino County, California, 2008-11

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Leary, David; Clark, Dennis A.; Izbicki, John A.

    2015-01-01

    The Hi-Desert Water District, in the community of Yucca Valley, California, is considering constructing a wastewater-treatment facility and using the reclaimed water to recharge the aquifer system through surface spreading. The Hi-Desert Water District is concerned with possible effects of this recharge on water quality in the underlying groundwater system; therefore, an unsaturated-zone monitoring site was constructed by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to characterize the unsaturated zone, monitor a pilot-scale recharge test, and, ultimately, to monitor the flow of reclaimed water to the water table once the treatment facility is constructed.

  9. Measurements of HFC-134a and HCFC-22 in groundwater and unsaturated-zone air: implications for HFCs and HCFCs as dating tracers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haase, Karl B.; Busenberg, Eurybiades; Plummer, Niel; Casile, Gerolamo; Sanford, Ward E.

    2014-01-01

    A new analytical method using gas chromatography with an atomic emission detector (GC–AED) was developed for measurement of ambient concentrations of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in soil, air, and groundwater, with the goal of determining their utility as groundwater age tracers. The analytical detection limits of HCFC-22 (difluorochloromethane, CHClF2) and HFC-134a (1,2,2,2-tetrafluoroethane, C2H2F4) in 1 L groundwater samples are 4.3 × 10− 1 and 2.1 × 10− 1 pmol kg− 1, respectively, corresponding to equilibrium gas-phase mixing ratios of approximately 5–6 parts per trillion by volume (pptv). Under optimal conditions, post-1960 (HCFC-22) and post-1995 (HFC-134a) recharge could be identified using these tracers in stable, unmixed groundwater samples. Ambient concentrations of HCFC-22 and HFC-134a were measured in 50 groundwater samples from 27 locations in northern and western parts of Virginia, Tennessee, and North Carolina (USA), and 3 unsaturated-zone profiles were collected in northern Virginia. Mixing ratios of both HCFC-22 and HFC-134a decrease with depth in unsaturated-zone gas profiles with an accompanying increase in CO2 and loss of O2. Apparently, ambient concentrations of HCFC-22 and HFC-134a are readily consumed by methanotrophic bacteria under aerobic conditions in the unsaturated zone. The results of this study indicate that soils are a sink for these two greenhouse gases. These observations contradict the previously reported results from microcosm experiments that found that degradation was limited above-ambient HFC-134a. The groundwater HFC and HCFC concentrations were compared with concentrations of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs, CFC-11, CFC-12, CFC-113) and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6). Nearly all samples had measured HCFC-22 or HFC-134a that were below concentrations predicted by the CFCs and SF6, with many samples showing a complete loss of HCFC-22 and HFC-134a. This study indicates that HCFC-22 and HFC-134

  10. Annual report on monitoring of the unsaturated zone and recharge areas at INEL to the state of Idaho INLEL Oversight COmmittee

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Horn, D.; Liou, J.; Finnie, J.

    1993-03-01

    This project, begun in March 1991, was originally structured as two separate research efforts: An investigation of the recharge phenomenon and surface water-ground water interactions at the INEL; and a study of water and contaminant movement through the unsaturated zone, including a review of computer models used to described this process. During the initial months of work, it became obvious to those involved in these studies that the two topic areas were intimately related, and work since that time has proceeded with no firm boundaries between the two efforts. Much of the Phase I work (March 1991--March 1992) consisted of a detailed review of available literature pertinent to the two research topics and to the INEL site. This Annual Report summarizes the other project activities during Phase III, and is organized into three sections: Section I -- an overview of the ongoing efforts related to computer model algorithms and data requirements for modeling the transport process in the unsaturated zone (Dr. Jim Liou). Section H -- a review of ongoing work to predict the growth and decay of the ground water mound beneath the INEL spreading basins, using the computer model UNSAT-2 (Dr. John Finnie). Section M -- a final report of the completed study effort examining the recharge rates associated with stream flow in the Big Lost River, and the effects of this recharge on ground water levels at the INEL site (Dr. Dennis Horn). Phase M of the project has now begun, and will conclude in December 1993 with two final reports documenting the work that has been briefly described in Sections I and H of this report

  11. Inventories and mobilization of unsaturated zone sulfate, fluoride, and chloride related to land use change in semiarid regions, southwestern United States and Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scanlon, Bridget R.; Stonestrom, David A.; Reedy, Robert C.; Leaney, Fred W.; Gates, John; Cresswell, Richard G.

    2009-01-01

    Unsaturated zone salt reservoirs are potentially mobilized by increased groundwater recharge as semiarid lands are cultivated. This study explores the amounts of pore water sulfate and fluoride relative to chloride in unsaturated zone profiles, evaluates their sources, estimates mobilization due to past land use change, and assesses the impacts on groundwater quality. Inventories of water‐extractable chloride, sulfate, and fluoride were determined from borehole samples of soils and sediments collected beneath natural ecosystems (N = 4), nonirrigated (“rain‐fed”) croplands (N = 18), and irrigated croplands (N = 6) in the southwestern United States and in the Murray Basin, Australia. Natural ecosystems contain generally large sulfate inventories (7800–120,000 kg/ha) and lower fluoride inventories (630–3900 kg/ha) relative to chloride inventories (6600–41,000 kg/ha). Order‐of‐magnitude higher chloride concentrations in precipitation and generally longer accumulation times result in much larger chloride inventories in the Murray Basin than in the southwestern United States. Atmospheric deposition during the current dry interglacial climatic regime accounts for most of the measured sulfate in both U.S. and Australian regions. Fluoride inventories are greater than can be accounted for by atmospheric deposition in most cases, suggesting that fluoride may accumulate across glacial/interglacial climatic cycles. Chemical modeling indicates that fluorite controls fluoride mobility and suggests that water‐extractable fluoride may include some fluoride from mineral dissolution. Increased groundwater drainage/recharge following land use change readily mobilized chloride. Sulfate displacement fronts matched or lagged chloride fronts by up to 4 m. In contrast, fluoride mobilization was minimal in all regions. Understanding linkages between salt inventories, increased recharge, and groundwater quality is important for quantifying impacts of anthropogenic

  12. Estimating Tritium Fluxes from the Shallow Unsaturated Zone to the Atmosphere in an Arid Environment Dominated by Creosote Bush (USGS-ADRS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, C. A.; Andraski, B. J.; Wheatcraft, S. W.; Johnson, M. J.; Michel, R. L.; Stonestrom, D. A.

    2006-12-01

    Understanding the transport and fate of tritium is essential when evaluating options for low-level radioactive waste (LLRW) isolation. The magnitude and spatio-temporal variability of tritium transport from the shallow unsaturated zone to the atmosphere are being investigated adjacent to a LLRW facility at the U.S. Geological Survey's Amargosa Desert Research Site (ADRS) in Southern Nevada. Site and community-scale tritium fluxes from the subsurface to the atmosphere were quantified using a simple gas-phase diffusive loading approach combining evaporation and transpiration fluxes with mass fractions of gas-phase tritium concentrations. A Priestly-Taylor model, calibrated with quarterly bare-soil evaporation measurements, was used to estimate continuous bare-soil evaporation from measured continuous eddy-covariance evapotransporation. Continuous transpiration was computed as the difference between measured evapotranspiration and estimated bare-soil evaporation. Tritium concentrations in plant water and soil-water vapor were measured along two transects perpendicular to the LLRW using azeotropic distillation of creosote bush (Larrea tridentata) foliage and soil vapor extraction from 0.5 and 1.5 m depths below land surface. A preliminary daily tritium flux estimate at a single plant site was 1.66 × 10-11 gm-2. Spatio- temporal variability over a 75-ha area and 2-yr period will be quantified using a combination of tritium concentration maps and continuous evaporation and transpiration flux estimates. Quantifying tritium fluxes from the shallow unsaturated zone to the atmosphere on a site and community-scale will improve knowledge and understanding of vertical contaminant transport in arid environments.

  13. Removal of NAPLs from the unsaturated zone using steam: prevention of downward migration by injecting mixtures of steam and air

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schmidt, R.; Gudbjerg, Jacob; Sonnenborg, Torben Obel

    2002-01-01

    injection technology is presented, where a mixture of steam and air was injected. In twodimensional experiments with unsaturated porous medium contaminated with nonaqueous phase liquids, it was demonstrated how injection of pure steam lead to severe downward migration. Similar experiments, where steam......Steam injection for remediation of porous media contaminated by nonaqueous phase liquids has been shown to be a potentially efficient technology. There is, however, concern that the technique may lead to downward migration of separate phase contaminant. In this work, a modification of the steam...... and air were injected simultaneously, resulted in practically no downward migration and still rapid cleanup was achieved. The processes responsible for the prevention of downward migration when injecting steam–air mixtures were analyzed using a nonisothermal multiphase flow and transport model. Hereby...

  14. Triaxial- and uniaxial-compression testing methods developed for extraction of pore water from unsaturated tuff, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mower, T.E.; Higgins, J.D. [Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO (USA). Dept. of Geology and Geological Engineering; Yang, I.C. [Geological Survey, Denver, CO (USA). Water Resources Div.

    1989-12-31

    To support the study of hydrologic system in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, two extraction methods were examined to obtain representative, uncontaminated pore-water samples from unsaturated tuff. Results indicate that triaxial compression, which uses a standard cell, can remove pore water from nonwelded tuff that has an initial moisture content greater than 11% by weight; uniaxial compression, which uses a specifically fabricated cell, can extract pore water from nonwelded tuff that has an initial moisture content greater than 8% and from welded tuff that has an initial moisture content greater than 6.5%. For the ambient moisture conditions of Yucca Mountain tuffs, uniaxial compression is the most efficient method of pore-water extraction. 12 refs., 7 figs., 2 tabs.

  15. Application of the compartmental analysis theory to the studies of the kinetics of the rainfall infiltration in the unsaturated zone in Abadia de Goias

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Poli, D. de C.R.; Mesquita, C.H. de

    1999-01-01

    The compartmental analysis was used for evaluation of kinetic parameters of the rainfall infiltration and determination of ground water recharge in Abadia-Goiania-Brazil. A model containing 13 compartments was proposed to explain the water infiltration and the kinetics of the unsaturated zone. To validate the model, tracer injections were carried out at a representative site of the region, at a depth of 50 cm, below the root zone. Soil samples were taken 4,9 and 12 months after the injection. In the first compartment, one component of the evaporation (K 4,0 ) was considered and for the last compartment, one constant of removal for the water table (k 13,0 ). Compartments 1, 2 and 3 were added to the system to consider precipitation effect. The AnaComp program, developed at IPEN, was used to determine the transfer constants k i,j ( from compartment i to compartment j)were i and j range from 0 to 13. In this program the constants k i,j were determined by the nonlinear last squares method, using eigenvalues - eigenvectors routines or alternatively, the fourth order Runge-Kutta routine. In this compartment model, the radioactive tracer was introduced as a single pulse, into the 6th compartment (50 cm depth). This permits to characterize the tracer diffusion processes in the soil studied. The adopted model showed an explanation coefficient f 2 equal to 0.78, which is satisfactory for the methodology used. (author)

  16. Free-Surface flow dynamics and its effect on travel time distribution in unsaturated fractured zones - findings from analogue percolation experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noffz, Torsten; Kordilla, Jannes; Dentz, Marco; Sauter, Martin

    2017-04-01

    Flow in unsaturated fracture networks constitutes a high potential for rapid mass transport and can therefore possibly contributes to the vulnerability of aquifer systems. Numerical models are generally used to predict flow and transport and have to reproduce various complex effects of gravity-driven flow dynamics. However, many classical volume-effective modelling approaches often do not grasp the non-linear free surface flow dynamics and partitioning behaviour at fracture intersections in unsaturated fracture networks. Better process understanding can be obtained by laboratory experiments, that isolate single aspects of the mass partitioning process, which influence travel time distributions and allow possible cross-scale applications. We present a series of percolation experiments investigating partitioning dynamics of unsaturated multiphase flow at an individual horizontal fracture intersection. A high precision multichannel dispenser is used to establish gravity-driven free surface flow on a smooth and vertical PMMA (poly(methyl methacrylate)) surface at rates ranging from 1.5 to 4.5 mL/min to obtain various flow modes (droplets; rivulets). Cubes with dimensions 20 x 20 x 20 cm are used to create a set of simple geometries. A digital balance provides continuous real-time cumulative mass bypassing the network. The influence of variable flow rate, atmospheric pressure and temperature on the stability of flow modes is shown in single-inlet experiments. Droplet and rivulet flow are delineated and a transition zone exhibiting mixed flow modes can be determined. Furthermore, multi-inlet setups with constant total inflow rates are used to reduce variance and the effect of erratic free-surface flow dynamics. Investigated parameters include: variable aperture widths df, horizontal offsets dv of the vertical fracture surface and alternating injection methods for both droplet and rivulet flow. Repetitive structures with several horizontal fractures extend arrival times

  17. CAPILLARY BARRIERS IN UNSATURATED FRACTURED ROCKS OF YUCCA MOUNTAIN, NEVADA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wu, Y.S.; Zhang, W.; Pan, L.; Hinds, J.; Bodvarsson, G.

    2000-01-01

    This work presents modeling studies investigating the effects of capillary barriers on fluid-flow and tracer-transport processes in the unsaturated zone of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, a potential site for storing high-level radioactive waste. These studies are designed to identify factors controlling the formation of capillary barriers and to estimate their effects on the extent of possible large-scale lateral flow in unsaturated fracture rocks. The modeling approach is based on a continuum formulation of coupled multiphase fluid and tracer transport through fractured porous rock. Flow processes in fractured porous rock are described using a dual-continuum concept. In addition, approximate analytical solutions are developed and used for assessing capillary-barrier effects in fractured rocks. This study indicates that under the current hydrogeologic conceptualization of Yucca Mountain, strong capillary-barrier effects exist for significantly diverting moisture flow

  18. Assessing acid rain and climate effects on the temporal variation of dissolved organic matter in the unsaturated zone of a karstic system from southern China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liao, Jin; Hu, Chaoyong; Wang, Miao; Li, Xiuli; Ruan, Jiaoyang; Zhu, Ying; Fairchild, Ian J.; Hartland, Adam

    2018-01-01

    Acid rain has the potential to significantly impact the quantity and quality of dissolved organic matter (DOM) leached from soil to groundwater. Yet, to date, the effects of acid rain have not been investigated in karstic systems, which are expected to strongly buffer the pH of atmospheric rainfall. This study presents a nine-year DOM fluorescence dataset from a karst unsaturated zone collected from two drip sites (HS4, HS6) in Heshang Cave, southern China between 2005 and 2014. Cross-correlograms show that fluorescence intensity of both dripwaters lagged behind rainfall by ∼1 year (∼11 months lag for HS4, and ∼13 months for HS6), whereas drip rates responded quite quickly to rainfall (0 months lag for HS4, and ∼3 months for HS6), based on optimal correlation coefficients. The rapid response of drip rates to rainfall is related to the change of reservoir head pressure in summer, associated with higher rainfall. In winter, low rainfall has a limited effect on head pressure, and drip rates gradually slow to a constant value associated with base flow from the overlying reservoir- this effect being most evident on inter-annual timescales (R2 = 0.80 for HS4 and R2 = 0.86 for HS6, n = 9, p process on delaying water and solute transport. After eliminating the one year lag, the congruent seasonal pacing and amplitude between fluorescence intensity and rainfall observed suggests that the seasonality of fluorescence intensity was mainly controlled by the monsoonal rains which can govern the output of DOM from the soil, as well as the residence time of water in the unsaturated zone. On inter-annual timescales, a robust linear relationship between fluorescence intensity and annual (effective) precipitation amount (R2 = 0.86 for HS4 and R2 = 0.77 for HS6, n = 9, p < 0.01) was identified, implying that annual (effective) precipitation is the main determinant of DOM concentration in the aquifer. Conversely, the insensitivity of fluorescence intensity and fluorescence

  19. A numerical model for the movement of H 2O, H 218O, and 2HHO in the unsaturated zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shurbaji, Abdel-Rahman M.; Phillips, Fred M.

    1995-09-01

    Vertical profiles of H 218O and 2HHO concentrations have yielded useful information on evaporation and infiltration processes in soils. However, in the field, quantitative interpretation of such profiles has been limited by the restrictions inherent in the quasi-steady-state and transient analytical models available to describe the physical processes. This study presents a flexible numerical model that simulates transient fluxes of heat, liquid water, water vapor, and isotopic species. The model can simulate both infiltration and evaporation under fluctuating meteorological conditions and thus should be useful in reproducing changes in field isotope profiles. A transition factor is introduced in the isotope transport equation. This factor combines hydrologic and isotopic parameters and changes slowly with depth in the soil profile but strongly in the evaporation zone, owing to the rapid change in the dominant phase of water from liquid to vapor. Using the transition factor in the isotope transport equation facilitates obtaining the typical shape of the isotope profile (bulge at the evaporation zone). This factor also facilitates producing broad isotope enrichment peaks that may be seen in very dry soils.

  20. From near-surface to root-zone soil moisture using an exponential filter: an assessment of the method based on in-situ observations and model simulations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Albergel

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available A long term data acquisition effort of profile soil moisture is under way in southwestern France at 13 automated weather stations. This ground network was developed in order to validate remote sensing and model soil moisture estimates. In this paper, both those in situ observations and a synthetic data set covering continental France are used to test a simple method to retrieve root zone soil moisture from a time series of surface soil moisture information. A recursive exponential filter equation using a time constant, T, is used to compute a soil water index. The Nash and Sutcliff coefficient is used as a criterion to optimise the T parameter for each ground station and for each model pixel of the synthetic data set. In general, the soil water indices derived from the surface soil moisture observations and simulations agree well with the reference root-zone soil moisture. Overall, the results show the potential of the exponential filter equation and of its recursive formulation to derive a soil water index from surface soil moisture estimates. This paper further investigates the correlation of the time scale parameter T with soil properties and climate conditions. While no significant relationship could be determined between T and the main soil properties (clay and sand fractions, bulk density and organic matter content, the modelled spatial variability and the observed inter-annual variability of T suggest that a weak climate effect may exist.

  1. Determination of water movement in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain using chloride, bromide, and chlorine isotopes as environmental tracers. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-01-01

    This report, prepared by Hydro Geo Chem staff for Los Alamos National Laboratory, summarizes work conducted by the company under Subcontract 9-XG1-N3993-1. The ultimate objective of this work is to characterize the movement of subsurface water in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Data produced under this contract is to be used by the US Department of Energy in its Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (YMP) to help determine hydrologic flows that may affect the performance of a potential nuclear waste repository. The data may be used in the licensing proceedings, and certain quality assurance procedures have thus been required. The work has focussed on measuring the distribution of environmental tracers-chlorine-36, chlorine, and bromine-and on evaluating the depth to which these conservative solutes have percolated in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain. The following discussion summarizes progress made on the tasks outlined in the original Scope of Work. Details of this work and all data acquired by Hydro Geo Chem for this subcontract have been systematically organized in logbooks and laboratory notebooks. These documents have been structured to make it easy to trace the analytical history of a sample, from time of receipt to the final analytical results

  2. Abstracts and parameter index database for reports pertaining to the unsaturated zone and surface water-ground water interactions at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bloomsburg, G.; Finnie, J.; Horn, D.; King, B.; Liou, J.

    1993-05-01

    This report is a product generated by faculty at the University of Idaho in support of research and development projects on Unsaturated Zone Contamination and Transport Processes, and on Surface Water-Groundwater Interactions and Regional Groundwater Flow at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory. These projects are managed by the State of Idaho's INEL Oversight Program under a grant from the US Department of Energy. In particular, this report meets project objectives to produce a site-wide summary of hydrological information based on a literature search and review of field, laboratory and modeling studies at INEL, including a cross-referenced index to site-specific physical, chemical, mineralogic, geologic and hydrologic parameters determined from these studies. This report includes abstracts of 149 reports with hydrological information. For reports which focus on hydrological issues, the abstracts are taken directly from those reports; for reports dealing with a variety of issues beside hydrology, the abstracts were generated by the University of Idaho authors concentrating on hydrology-related issues. Each abstract is followed by a ''Data'' section which identifies types of technical information included in a given report, such as information on parameters or chemistry, mineralogy, stream flows, water levels. The ''Data'' section does not include actual values or data

  3. Modeling interactions between saturated and un-saturated zones by Hydrus-1D in semi-arid regions (plain of Kairouan, Central Tunisia).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saâdi, Mariem; Zghibi, Adel; Kanzari, Sabri

    2018-02-24

    In semi-arid areas like the Kairouan region, salinization has become an increasing concern because of the constant irrigation with saline water and over use of groundwater resources, soils, and aquifers. In this study, a methodology has been developed to evaluate groundwater contamination risk based on the unsaturated zone hydraulic properties. Two soil profiles with different ranges of salinity, one located in the north of the plain and another one in the south of plain (each 30 m deep) and both characterized by direct recharge of the aquifer, were chosen. Simulations were conducted with Hydrus-1D code using measured precipitation data for the period 1998-2003 and calculated evapotranspiration for both chosen profiles. Four combinations of initial conditions of water content and salt concentration were used for the simulation process in order to find the best match between simulated and measured values. The success of the calibration of Hydrus-1D allowed the investigation of some scenarios in order to assess the contamination risk under different natural conditions. The aquifer risk contamination is related to the natural conditions where it increased while facing climate change and temperature increase and decreased in the presence of a clay layer. Hydrus-1D was a useful tool to predict the groundwater level and quality in the case of a direct recharge and in the absence of any information related to the soil layers except for the texture.

  4. Chemistry of unsaturated zone gases sampled in open boreholes at the crest of Yucca Mountain, Nevada: Data and basic concepts of chemical and physical processes in the mountain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thorstenson, Donald C.; Weeks, Edwin P.; Haas, Herbert; Busenberg, Eurybiades; Plummer, Niel; Peters, Charles A.

    1998-01-01

    Boreholes open to the unsaturated zone at the crest of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, were variously sampled for CO2 (including 13C and 14C), CH4, N2, O2, Ar, CFC-11, CFC-12, and CFC-113 from 1986 to 1993. Air enters the mountain in outcrops, principally on the eastern slope, is enriched in CO2by mixing with soil gas, and is advected to the mountain crest, where it returns to the atmosphere. The CFC data indicate that travel times of the advecting gas in the shallow Tiva Canyon hydrogeologic unit are ≤5 years. The 14C activities are postbomb to depths of 100 m, indicating little retardation of 14CO2 in the shallow flow systems. The 14C activities from 168 to 404 m in the Topopah Spring hydrogeologic unit are 85–90 pMC at borehole USW-UZ6. The CFC data show that the drilling of USW-UZ6 in 1984 has altered the natural system by providing a conduit through the Paintbrush Nonwelded unit, allowing flow from Topopah Spring outcrops in Solitario Canyon on the west to USW-UZ6, upward in the borehole through the Paintbrush, to the shallow Tiva Canyon flow systems, and out of the mountain.

  5. Assessment of unsaturated zone transport for shallow land burial of radioactive waste: summary report of technology needs, model verification, and measurement efforts (FY 1978 to FY 1983)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jones, T.L.; Gee, G.W.

    1984-01-01

    Two main topics are addressed in this report. The first topic relates to the assessment process for shallow land burial site design. This overview includes basic descriptions of water balance, transport processes and technology needs for waste management at an arid (dry) site. The second topic deals with specific results of research activities at PNL related to water and radionuclide transport under arid, shallow land burial conditions. Technology needs at arid-zone (dry) sites are summarized and unique features of radionuclide disposal at dry sites are explained. The report emphasizes the need to understand the interaction between climate, soil, plants, engineered barriers, and buried waste in order to evaluate performance of a waste disposal system at a dry site. Water balance data, collected since FY 1978 at the Buried Waste Test Facility (BWTF) at Hanford, are used to illustrate the influence of climate variables (rainfall distribution patterns and evaporative conditions) on soil water storage and drainage at an arid site. For dry site conditions, with no vegetation and coarse soil, significant deep drainage was measured. Deep drainage below the root zone was also measured at a grass-covered site on the Hanford site after early spring rains, which emphasizes the need to carefully monitor site water balances even at arid (dry) sites. The monitoring technology, water balance, and radionuclide transport at arid sites are discussed, and the use of neutron probes, electrical resistance units, tensiometers, and psychrometers are explained, and examples are given on their applications in arid-site monitoring. Measurements of water flow and radionuclide transport coefficients needed to describe movement in unsaturated soils are documented. 40 references, 21 figures, 5 tables

  6. Application of isotopes to the assessment of pollutant behaviour in the unsaturated zone for groundwater protection. Final report of a coordinated research project 2004-2005

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2009-05-01

    A coordinated research project (CRP) was conducted by the IAEA with the purpose of studying what isotopic and other ancillary data are required to help understand migration of potential contaminants through the unsaturated zone (UZ) into the underlying groundwater. To this end, research projects were conducted in ten countries to study recharge and infiltration processes, as well as contaminant migration in a wide variety of UZ environments. This publication contains the reports of these ten projects and a summary of the accomplishments of the individual projects. The IAEA-TECDOC reviews the usefulness and current status of application of the combined use of isotope and other hydrogeochemical tools for the assessment of flow and transport processes in the UZ. A number of isotope and hydrochemical tools have been used to simultaneously study groundwater recharge and transport of pollutants in the UZ. This information is relevant for assessing the vulnerability of groundwater to contamination. The ten projects covered climates ranging from humid to arid, and water table depths from the near surface to over 600 m. The studies included measuring movement of water, solutes, and gases through the UZ using an assortment of isotope and geochemical tracers and approaches. Contaminant issues have been studied at most of the ten sites and the UZ was found to be very effective in protecting groundwater from most heavy metal contaminants. The publication is expected to be of interest to hydrologists, hydrogeologists and soil scientists dealing with pollution aspects and protection of groundwater resources, as well as counterparts of TC projects in Member States

  7. Drilling and coring methods that minimize the disturbance of cuttings, core, and rock formation in the unsaturated zone, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hammermeister, D.P.; Blout, D.O.; McDaniel, J.C.

    1985-01-01

    A drilling-and-casing method (Odex 115 system) utilizing air as a drilling fluid was used successfully to drill through various rock types within the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. This paper describes this method and the equipment used to rapidly penetrate bouldery alluvial-colluvial deposits, poorly consolidated bedded and nonwelded tuff, and fractured, densely welded tuff to depths of about 130 meters. A comparison of water-content and water-potential data from drill cuttings with similar measurements on rock cores indicates that drill cuttings were only slightly disturbed for several of the rock types penetrated. Coring, sampling, and handling methods were devised to obtain minimally disturbed drive core from bouldery alluvial-colluvial deposits. Bulk-density values obtained from bulk samples dug from nearby trenches were compared to bulk-density values obtained from drive core to determine the effects of drive coring on the porosity of the core. Rotary coring methods utilizing a triple-tube core barrel and air as the drilling fluid were used to obtain core from welded and nonwelded tuff. Results indicate that the disturbance of the water content of the core was minimal. Water-content distributions in alluvium-colluvium were determined before drilling occurred by drive-core methods. After drilling, water-content distributions were determined by nuclear-logging methods. A comparison of the water-content distributions made before and after drilling indicates that Odex 115 drilling minimally disturbs the water content of the formation rock. 10 refs., 12 figs., 4 tabs

  8. Evaluating sensitivity of unsaturated soil properties

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abdel-Rahman, R.O.; El-Kamash, A.M.; Nagy, M.E.; Khalill, M.Y.

    2005-01-01

    The assessment of near surface disposal performance relay on numerical models of groundwater flow and contaminant transport. These models use the unsaturated soil properties as input parameters, which are subject to uncertainty due to measurements errors and the spatial variability in the subsurface environment. To ascertain how much the output of the model will depend on the unsaturated soil properties the parametric sensitivity analysis is used. In this paper, a parametric sensitivity analysis of the Van Genuchten moisture retention characteristic (VGMRC) model will be presented and conducted to evaluate the relative importance of the unsaturated soil properties under different pressure head values that represent various dry and wet conditions. (author)

  9. Modeling one-dimensional unsaturated flow at the Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site near Golden, Colorado

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thompson, J.S.; Zeiler, R.M.

    1995-01-01

    A field investigation characterizing contamination at the Rocky Flats Plant (Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site) near Golden, Colorado revealed unexpectedly high moisture contents in the unsaturated soil column (vadose zone) beneath several of the Plant's Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) sludge drying beds. Because these beds were seldom in use, researchers had hypothesized that the water required to maintain the saturated conditions observed beneath several of the sludge drying beds was coming from sources other than the beds themselves. In an effort to substantiate this hypothesis, a one-dimensional physically-based unsaturated flow model was utilized to simulate the vertical movement of moisture from the sludge drying beds into the unsaturated soil column below. The model was run to simulate vertical flow over a two-year period and results indicated that no significant changes from initial conditions were apparent. This evidence supports the hypothesis that the high moisture contents found beneath the sludge drying beds are being fed by sources other than infiltration of sludge applied to the beds themselves. This paper presents the details of the simulation and provides further evidence of the hypothesized flow regime

  10. Non-invasive investigation of the saturated/unsaturated zone with magnetic resonance sounding - a field example at the testsite Fuhrberger Feld near Hannover, Germany

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costabel, S.; Noell, U.; Ganz, C.

    2012-04-01

    Magnetic resonance sounding (MRS) is a non-invasive geophysical method for groundwater prospection that uses the principle of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) in the Earth's magnetic field. Its unique property distinct from other hydrogeophysical methods is the direct sensitivity to the amount of water, i.e. to the amount of 1H nuclei in the subsurface. Because MRS is normally used to investigate the water content of the saturated zone and to characterize aquifer structures, the standard application is optimized for 1D-measurements in depths from several to several tens of meters. However, our investigations show that MRS has also the potential to contribute substantially to the study of groundwater recharge if the sensitivity of the method for the unsaturated zone and for the transition to the saturated zone is increased by using a modified measurement setup and adjusted interpretation schemes. We conducted MRS test measurements with the focus on the very shallow subsurface in the range of some few decimeters down to the groundwater table in a depth of 3 m. The test site is located in the area Fuhrberger Feld about 30 km north-east of Hannover, Germany, which comprises an unconfined sandy aquifer of 20 to 30-m thickness. Previous studies have discovered the soil physical characteristics of the site with tension infiltrometer measurements and tracer irrigation experiments in the field, as well as with water retention measurements in the laboratory. In addition, several infiltration experiments with dye tracer were conducted and monitored with electrical resistivity tomography (ERT), tensiometers and TDR devices. For the MRS measurements at the testsite, a serious challenge was the intense electromagnetic noise consisting of large spiky radio signals and harmonic components, respectively. A special combination of new processing techniques was developed to isolate and interpret the NMR signals with amplitudes of approximately 5 to 14 nV. The standard inversion of the

  11. Soil Moisture/ Tree Water Status Dynamics in Mid-Latitude Montane Forest, Southern Sierra Critical Zone Observatory, CA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartsough, P. C.; Malazian, A.; Meadows, M. W.; Roudneva, K.; Storch, J.; Bales, R. C.; Hopmans, J. W.

    2010-12-01

    As part of an effort to understand the root-water-nutrient interactions in the multi-dimensional soil/vegetation system surrounding large trees, in August 2008 we instrumented a mature white fir (Abies concolor) and the surrounding soil to better define the water balance in a single tree. In July 2010, we instrumented a second tree, a Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) in shallower soils on a drier, exposed slope. The trees are located in a mixed-conifer forest at an elevation of 2000m in the Southern Sierra Critical Zone Observatory. The deployment of more than 250 sensors to measure temperature, volumetric water content, matric potential, and snow depth surrounding the two trees complements sap-flow measurements in the trunk and stem-water-potential measurements in the canopy to capture the seasonal cycles of soil wetting and drying. We show here the results of a multi-year deployment of soil moisture sensors as critical integrators of hydrologic/ biotic interaction in a forested catchment. Sensor networks such as deployed here are a valuable tool in closing the water budget in dynamic forested catchments. While the exchange of energy, water and carbon is continuous, the pertinent fluxes are strongly heterogeneous in both space and time. Thus, the prediction of the behavior of the system across multiple scales constitutes a major challenge.

  12. Flow in the unsaturated zone around a shallow subsurface radioactive waste trench: Interpretation of an infiltration–drainage test at the Chernobyl Pilot Site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Meir, N.; Gaudet, J.P.; Phrommavanh, V.; Laurent, J.P.; Bugai, D.; Biron, R.

    2012-01-01

    This article describes an infiltration–drainage test carried out in the unsaturated zone (UZ) at the Chernobyl Pilot Site during October 2008; this is an international radioecology study site and is the subject of several papers in this special issue. The test has to be seen in the larger context of radionuclide transport from a waste trench. The conducted experiment consisted of infiltrating a layer of 9.5 cm of water in a circular area of 5.51 m 2 over 5 h. Its main objective was to create a larger range of water content values (and hence suction pressure values), not only at the top of the soil profile but also at greater depths, in this case up to 1.50 m. Observations of water content and suction pressure were carried out continuously at seven different depths during infiltration, drainage and during the return to natural conditions over a period of several months. This allowed deriving UZ parameter values with greater confidence than those derived from monitoring small natural water content changes over periods of years. The experiment also shows that a 1D model was incapable of correctly reproducing the observed water balance established on the central axis. A 2D axi-symmetric model was needed showing that lateral boundary effects have to be accounted for. This implies that small scale infiltrometer tests should be analysed in more than one dimension. It further became clear from the drainage curves that soil layering played a significant role and that in the present case hysteresis did not play a major role; i.e. the infiltration and drainage event can be reproduced with the same set of parameters and subsequent natural rain events can be reproduced well enough with two numerical models used for test interpretation, one is module oriented for reactive transfer, and the second with an automatic optimisation procedure. The robustness of the estimated parameter values, of the model discretisation and layer identification was tested over a 2-month period with

  13. Relative Abundances of Calcite and Silica in Fracture Coatings as a Possible Indicator of Evaporation in a Thick Unsaturated Zone, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, B. D.; Moscati, R. J.

    2005-12-01

    Yucca Mountain, a ridge of shallowly dipping, Miocene-age volcanic rocks in southwest Nevada, is the proposed site for a nuclear waste repository to be constructed in the 500- to 700-m-thick unsaturated zone (UZ). At the proposed repository, the 300-m-thick Topopah Spring Tuff welded unit (TSw) is overlain by approximately 30 m of nonwelded tuffs (PTn); the Tiva Canyon Tuff welded unit (TCw) overlies the PTn with a range in thickness from 0 to approximately 130 m at the site. The amount of water percolation through the UZ is low and difficult to measure directly, but local seepage into mined tunnels has been observed in the TCw. Past water seepage in the welded tuffs is recorded by widespread, thin (0.3 cm) coatings of calcite and silica on fracture surfaces and within cavities. Abundances of calcite and silica in the coatings were determined by X-ray microfluorescence mapping and subsequent multispectral image analysis of over 200 samples. The images were classified into constituent phases including opal-chalcedony-quartz (secondary silica) and calcite. In the TCw samples, the median calcite/silica ratio is 8; in the TSw samples within 35 m below the PTn, median calcite/silica falls to 2, perhaps reflecting an increase in soluble silica from the presence of glass in the nonwelded tuffs. In the deeper parts of the TSw, median calcite/silica reaches 100 and many samples contain no detectable secondary silica phase. Evaporation and changing pCO2 control precipitation of calcite from water percolating downward in the UZ, but precipitation of opal requires only evaporation. Calcite/silica ratios, therefore, can constrain the relative importance of evaporation in the UZ. Although calcite/silica values scatter widely within the TSw, reflecting the spatial variability of gas and water flow, average calcite/silica ratios increase with stratigraphic depth, indicating less evaporation at the deeper levels of the UZ. Coupled with the much smaller calcite/silica ratios

  14. Effects of Rainfall-Induced Topsoil Structure Changes on Root-Zone Moisture Regime during the Dry Period

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Feng; Chen, Jiazhou; Lin, Lirong

    2018-01-01

    Rainfall erosion and subsequent intermittent drought are serious barriers for agricultural production in the subtropical red soil region of China. Although it is widely recognized that rainfall-induced soil structure degradation reduced soil water storage and water-holding capacity, the effects of variation of the rainfall-induced topsoil structure on the subsequent soil water regime during the dry period is still rarely considered. The objective of this study was to ascertain the way of rainfall-induced topsoil structure changes on the subsequent soil water regime during the dry period. In a three-year-long experiment, six practices (CK, only crop; SM, straw mulching; PAM, polyacrylamide surface application; B, contour Bahia-grass strip; SPAM, straw mulching and polyacrylamide surface application; and BPAM, contour Bahia-grass strip and polyacrylamide surface application) were conducted at an 8° farmland with planting summer maize resulting in different topsoil structure and root-zone moisture, to establish and reveal the quantitatively relationship between the factors of topsoil structure and soil drought. Rainfall erosion significantly increased the soil crust coverage, and decreased the WSA 0.25, 0-30 mm soil porosity and mean pore size. There was no significant difference during the raining stage of root-zone water storage between CK and other practices. An index of soil drought intensity ( I) and degree ( D) was established using soil water loss rate and soil drought severity. The larger value of I means a higher rate of water loss. The larger value of D means more severe drought. During the dry period, I and D were significantly higher in CK than in other practices. I and D had significantly positively correlation with the crust size and crust coverage, and negatively with WSA 0.25, 15-30 mm soil porosity and mean pore size. Among of soil structure factors, the soil porosity had the largest effect on I and D. The rainfall-induced topsoil structure changes

  15. NNWSI [Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations] hole histories: Unsaturated zone-neutron holes: 76 boreholes drilled between May 1984 and February 1986

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1987-05-01

    This is a compilation of data from seventy-four shallow alluvial exploratory core holes and two shallow calibration core holes. The boreholes were drilled to obtain undisturbed alluvial cores, to determine vertical distribution of moisture content and water potential, and to run neutron moisture logs. Data presented in the hole histories include all locations, daily activities and review of hole conditions

  16. Downscaling Satellite Data for Predicting Catchment-scale Root Zone Soil Moisture with Ground-based Sensors and an Ensemble Kalman Filter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, H.; Baldwin, D. C.; Smithwick, E. A. H.

    2015-12-01

    Predicting root zone (0-100 cm) soil moisture (RZSM) content at a catchment-scale is essential for drought and flood predictions, irrigation planning, weather forecasting, and many other applications. Satellites, such as the NASA Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP), can estimate near-surface (0-5 cm) soil moisture content globally at coarse spatial resolutions. We develop a hierarchical Ensemble Kalman Filter (EnKF) data assimilation modeling system to downscale satellite-based near-surface soil moisture and to estimate RZSM content across the Shale Hills Critical Zone Observatory at a 1-m resolution in combination with ground-based soil moisture sensor data. In this example, a simple infiltration model within the EnKF-model has been parameterized for 6 soil-terrain units to forecast daily RZSM content in the catchment from 2009 - 2012 based on AMSRE. LiDAR-derived terrain variables define intra-unit RZSM variability using a novel covariance localization technique. This method also allows the mapping of uncertainty with our RZSM estimates for each time-step. A catchment-wide satellite-to-surface downscaling parameter, which nudges the satellite measurement closer to in situ near-surface data, is also calculated for each time-step. We find significant differences in predicted root zone moisture storage for different terrain units across the experimental time-period. Root mean square error from a cross-validation analysis of RZSM predictions using an independent dataset of catchment-wide in situ Time-Domain Reflectometry (TDR) measurements ranges from 0.060-0.096 cm3 cm-3, and the RZSM predictions are significantly (p < 0.05) correlated with TDR measurements [r = 0.47-0.68]. The predictive skill of this data assimilation system is similar to the Penn State Integrated Hydrologic Modeling (PIHM) system. Uncertainty estimates are significantly (p < 0.05) correlated to cross validation error during wet and dry conditions, but more so in dry summer seasons. Developing an

  17. Transfer of reactive solutes in the unsaturated zone of soils at several observation scales; Transfert de solutes reactifs dans la zone non-saturee des sols a differentes echelles d'observation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Limousin, G

    2006-10-15

    The transfer of contaminants in the unsaturated zone of soils is driven by numerous mechanisms. Field studies are sometimes difficult to set up, and so the question is raised about the reliability of laboratory measurements for describing a field situation. The nuclear power plant at Brennilis (Finistere, France) has been chosen to study the transfer of strontium, cobalt and inert tracers in the soil of this industrial site. Several observation scales have been tested (batch, stirred flow-through reactor, sieved-soil column, un-repacked or repacked soil-core lysimeter, field experiments) in order to determine, at each scale, the factors that influence the transfer of these contaminants, then to verify the adequacy between the different observation scales and their field representativeness. Regarding the soil hydrodynamic properties, the porosity, the water content in the field, the pore water velocity at the water content in the field, the saturation hydraulic conductivity and the dispersion coefficient of this embanked soil are spatially less heterogeneous than those of agricultural or non-anthropic soils. The results obtained with lysimeter and field experiments suggest that hydrodynamics of this unstructured soil can be studied on a repacked sample if the volume is high compared to the rare big-size stones. Regarding the chemical soil-contaminant interactions, cobalt and strontium isotherms are non-linear at concentration higher than 10{sup -4} mol.L{sup -1}, cobalt adsorption and desorption are fast and independent on pH. On the contrary, at concentration lower than 3.5 x 10{sup -6} mol.L{sup -1}, cobalt and strontium isotherms are linear, cobalt desorption is markedly slower than adsorption and both cobalt partition coefficient at equilibrium and its reaction kinetics are highly pH-dependent. For both elements, the results obtained with batch, stirred flow-through reactor and sieved-soil column are in adequacy. However, strontium batch adsorption measurements

  18. Transfer of reactive solutes in the unsaturated zone of soils at several observation scales; Transfert de solutes reactifs dans la zone non-saturee des sols a differentes echelles d'observation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Limousin, G

    2006-10-15

    The transfer of contaminants in the unsaturated zone of soils is driven by numerous mechanisms. Field studies are sometimes difficult to set up, and so the question is raised about the reliability of laboratory measurements for describing a field situation. The nuclear power plant at Brennilis (Finistere, France) has been chosen to study the transfer of strontium, cobalt and inert tracers in the soil of this industrial site. Several observation scales have been tested (batch, stirred flow-through reactor, sieved-soil column, un-repacked or repacked soil-core lysimeter, field experiments) in order to determine, at each scale, the factors that influence the transfer of these contaminants, then to verify the adequacy between the different observation scales and their field representativeness. Regarding the soil hydrodynamic properties, the porosity, the water content in the field, the pore water velocity at the water content in the field, the saturation hydraulic conductivity and the dispersion coefficient of this embanked soil are spatially less heterogeneous than those of agricultural or non-anthropic soils. The results obtained with lysimeter and field experiments suggest that hydrodynamics of this unstructured soil can be studied on a repacked sample if the volume is high compared to the rare big-size stones. Regarding the chemical soil-contaminant interactions, cobalt and strontium isotherms are non-linear at concentration higher than 10{sup -4} mol.L{sup -1}, cobalt adsorption and desorption are fast and independent on pH. On the contrary, at concentration lower than 3.5 x 10{sup -6} mol.L{sup -1}, cobalt and strontium isotherms are linear, cobalt desorption is markedly slower than adsorption and both cobalt partition coefficient at equilibrium and its reaction kinetics are highly pH-dependent. For both elements, the results obtained with batch, stirred flow-through reactor and sieved-soil column are in adequacy. However, strontium batch adsorption measurements

  19. HydroCube mission concept: P-Band signals of opportunity for remote sensing of snow and root zone soil moisture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yueh, Simon; Shah, Rashmi; Xu, Xiaolan; Elder, Kelly; Chae, Chun Sik; Margulis, Steve; Liston, Glen; Durand, Michael; Derksen, Chris

    2017-09-01

    We have developed the HydroCube mission concept with a constellation of small satellites to remotely sense Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) and Root Zone Soil Moisture (RZSM). The HydroCube satellites would operate at sun-synchronous 3- day repeat polar orbits with a spatial resolution of about 1-3 Km. The mission goals would be to improve the estimation of terrestrial water storage and weather forecasts. Root-zone soil moisture and snow water storage in land are critical parameters of the water cycle. The HydroCube Signals of Opportunity (SoOp) concept utilizes passive receivers to detect the reflection of strong existing P-band radio signals from geostationary Mobile Use Objective System (MUOS) communication satellites. The SWE remote sensing measurement principle using the P-band SoOp is based on the propagation delay (or phase change) of radio signals through the snowpack. The time delay of the reflected signal due to the snowpack with respect to snow-free conditions is directly proportional to the snowpack SWE. To address the ionospheric delay at P-band frequencies, the signals from both MUOS bands (360-380 MHz and 250-270 MHz) would be used. We have conducted an analysis to trade off the spatial resolution for a space-based sensor and measurement accuracy. Through modeling analysis, we find that the dual-band MUOS signals would allow estimation of soil moisture and surface roughness together. From the two MUOS frequencies at 260 MHz and 370 MHz, we can retrieve the soil moisture from the reflectivity ratio scaled by wavenumbers using the two P-band frequencies for MUOS. A modeling analysis using layered stratified model has been completed to determine the sensitivity requirements of HydroCube measurements. For mission concept demonstration, a field campaign has been conducted at the Fraser Experimental Forest in Colorado since February 2016. The data acquired has provided support to the HydroCube concept.

  20. Hydrologic study of the unsaturated zone adjacent to a radioactive-waste disposal site at the Savannah River Plant, Aiken, South Carolina

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gruber, P.

    1980-01-01

    Unsaturated hydraulic conductivity as a function of soil-water content and soil-water pressure head of field soils in the vicinity of a low-level radioactive-waste disposal site was measured for a period of 28 days following steady-state infiltration. Tensiometer and a neutron probe measurements were replicated four times at various depth intervals of from 12.0 to 120.00 inches below land surface in two 12 foot square plots. Values of soil-water content, soil-water flux, and hydraulic conductivity at each depth were calculated during the period of drainage using a computer program called SOIL. After drainage of soil-water through the 120 inch profile ceased, duplicate undisturbed soil cores from opposite sides of each plot and from disturbed and undisturbed sites within the burial grounds were recovered and subjected to pressure-plate analysis for the calculation of unsaturated hydraulic conductivity. Laboratory analyses also included the determination of soil bulk density, particle-size distribution, and saturated hydraulic conductivity. Calculation of unsaturated hydraulic conductivity in the laboratory was made using a computer program called HYDRO, based upon the relationship of the soil-water content/soil-water pressure curve. Soils in the study area and the burial ground exhibited similar physical and hydrologic characteristics. Field derived hydraulic conductivity correlated well with laboratory derived conductivity. Variability of soil characteristics due to burial operations were minimal when compared to undisturbed natural soils in the study area. Two textural discontinuities were found to exist in the soil profile at depths of 12 to 24 inches and at 130 inches, which inhibit soil-water movement and thereby reduce the quantity and rate of recharge to the underlying water-table aquifer

  1. Use of the tritium thermonuclear peak in the deep unsaturated zone for quantitative estimate of aquifer recharge under semi-arid conditions: first application in Sahel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cheikh Becaye Gaye; Aranyossy, J.F.

    1992-01-01

    The location of the bomb tritium signal at 20 and 12 m depth in the unsaturated sand dunes in the semi-arid part of North Senegal leads to a qualitative estimate of the effective infiltration of 22 and 26 mm.yr -1 . These figures correspond respectively to 6.5 and 8% of the total precipitation since 1963. Tritium content distribution in interstitial water is modelled by convolution of the analytical solution of the dispersion equation. Best fitting of the complete 12 m depth tritium peak is obtained with a dispersion coefficient of 0.03 m 2 .yr -1

  2. Propagação de compostos da gasolina em solos: 1. zona não saturada Propagation of the gasoline compounds in the soil: 1. unsaturated zone

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edson Abel dos Santos Chiaramonte

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Esse trabalho descreve o estudo da propagação de tolueno na zona não saturada do solo. Mostram-se o procedimento experimental desenvolvido em colunas de laboratório, os resultados experimentais obtidos, uma análise dos resultados aplicando-se modelagem matemática, a análise estatística aplicada ao denominado modelo de puffs de simulação da dispersão e uma discussão do prosseguimento desse trabalho.This work describes the study of the propagation of toluene in the unsaturated zone of the ground. It is shown the experimental procedure in laboratory columns. The gotten experimental results and their analysis with a mathematical modeling are shown. Also is shown an analysis statistics applied to the called the puffs' models of the dispersion simulation and a quarrel of the continuation of this work.

  3. The evolution of root-zone moisture capacities after deforestation : A step towards hydrological predictions under change?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nijzink, R.C.; Hutton, Christopher; Pechlivanidis, Ilias; Capell, René; Arheimer, Berit; Freer, Jim; Han, Dawei; Wagener, Thorsten; McGuire, Kevin; Savenije, H.H.G.; Hrachowitz, M.

    2016-01-01

    The core component of many hydrological systems, the moisture storage capacity available to vegetation, is impossible to observe directly at the catchment scale and is typically treated as a calibration parameter or obtained from a priori available soil characteristics combined with estimates of

  4. Determination of Matric Suction and Saturation Degree for Unsaturated Soils, Comparative Study - Numerical Method versus Analytical Method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiorean, Vasile-Florin

    2017-10-01

    Matric suction is a soil parameter which influences the behaviour of unsaturated soils in both terms of shear strength and permeability. It is a necessary aspect to know the variation of matric suction in unsaturated soil zone for solving geotechnical issues like unsaturated soil slopes stability or bearing capacity for unsaturated foundation ground. Mathematical expression of the dependency between soil moisture content and it’s matric suction (soil water characteristic curve) has a powerful character of nonlinearity. This paper presents two methods to determine the variation of matric suction along the depth included between groundwater level and soil level. First method is an analytical approach to emphasize one direction steady state unsaturated infiltration phenomenon that occurs between the groundwater level and the soil level. There were simulated three different situations in terms of border conditions: precipitations (inflow conditions on ground surface), evaporation (outflow conditions on ground surface), and perfect equilibrium (no flow on ground surface). Numerical method is finite element method used for steady state, two-dimensional, unsaturated infiltration calculus. Regarding boundary conditions there were simulated identical situations as in analytical approach. For both methods, was adopted the equation proposed by van Genuchten-Mualen (1980) for mathematical expression of soil water characteristic curve. Also for the unsaturated soil permeability prediction model was adopted the equation proposed by van Genuchten-Mualen. The fitting parameters of these models were adopted according to RETC 6.02 software in function of soil type. The analyses were performed in both methods for three major soil types: clay, silt and sand. For each soil type were concluded analyses for three situations in terms of border conditions applied on soil surface: inflow, outflow, and no flow. The obtained results are presented in order to highlight the differences

  5. The role of Soil Water Retention Curve in slope stability analysis in unsaturated and heterogeneous soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antinoro, Chiara; Arnone, Elisa; Noto, Leonardo V.

    2015-04-01

    The mechanisms of rainwater infiltration causing slope instability had been analyzed and reviewed in many scientific works. Rainwater infiltration into unsaturated soil increases the degree of saturation, hence affecting the shear strength properties and thus the probability of slope failure. It has been widely proved that the shear strength properties change with the soil water suction in unsaturated soils; therefore, the accuracy to predict the relationship between soil water content and soil water suction, parameterized by the soil-water characteristic curve, has significant effects on the slope stability analysis. The aim of this study is to investigate how the characterization of SWRC of differently structured unsaturated soils affects the slope stability on a simple infinite slope. In particular, the unimodal and bimodal distributions of the soil pore size were compared. Samples of 40 soils, highly different in terms of structure and texture, were collected and used to calibrate two bimodal SWRCs, i.e. Ross and Smettem (1993) and Dexter et al., (2008). The traditional unimodal van Genuchten (1980) model was also applied for comparison. Slope stability analysis was conducted in terms of Factor of Safety (FS) by applying the infinite slope model for unsaturated soils. In the used formulation, the contribution of the suction effect is tuned by a parameter 'chi' in a rate proportional to the saturation conditions. Different parameterizations of this term were also compared and analyzed. Results indicated that all three SWRC models showed good overall performance in fitting the sperimental SWRCs. Both the RS and DE models described adequately the water retention data for soils with a bimodal behavior confirmed from the analysis of pore size distribution, but the best performance was obtained by DE model confirmed. In terms of FS, the tree models showed very similar results as soil moisture approached to the saturated condition; however, within the residual zone

  6. Subsurface Flow and Moisture Dynamics in Response to Swash Motions: Effects of Beach Hydraulic Conductivity and Capillarity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geng, Xiaolong; Heiss, James W.; Michael, Holly A.; Boufadel, Michel C.

    2017-12-01

    A combined field and numerical study was conducted to investigate dynamics of subsurface flow and moisture response to waves in the swash zone of a sandy beach located on Cape Henlopen, DE. A density-dependent variably saturated flow model MARUN was used to simulate subsurface flow beneath the swash zone. Values of hydraulic conductivity (K) and characteristic pore size (α, a capillary fringe property) were varied to evaluate their effects on subsurface flow and moisture dynamics in response to swash motions in beach aquifers. The site-specific modeling results were validated against spatiotemporal measurements of moisture and pore pressure in the beach. Sensitivity analyses indicated that the hydraulic conductivity and capillary fringe thickness of the beach greatly influenced groundwater flow pathways and associated transit times in the swash zone. A higher value of K enhanced swash-induced seawater infiltration into the beach, thereby resulting in a faster expansion of a wedge of high moisture content induced by swash cycles, and a flatter water table mound beneath the swash zone. In contrast, a thicker capillary fringe retained higher moisture content near the beach surface, and thus, significantly reduced the available pore space for infiltration of seawater. This attenuated wave effects on pore water flow in the unsaturated zone of the beach. Also, a thicker capillary fringe enhanced horizontal flow driven by the larger-scale hydraulic gradient caused by tides.

  7. Geochemistry of sediment moisture in the Badain Jaran desert: Implications of recent environmental changes and water-rock interaction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jin, Li; Edmunds, W. Mike; Lu, Zunli; Ma, Jinzhu

    2015-01-01

    Unsaturated zone pore water has the potential to record history of recharge, palaeoenvironment, pollution movement and water-rock interaction as it percolates through and moves towards the water table. In this study, two 6-m cores from the Badain Jaran desert (NW China) were collected to explore this potential using directly extracted moisture. Pore waters in these unsaturated zone sediments (1–5% moisture by wet weight) were directly extracted using immiscible liquid displacement and then analysed for major anions, cations and trace elements. Results show enrichment in pore water chemistry in the top 1–2 m where strong temperature and moisture fluxes occur. The enrichment in cations relative to chloride is primarily due to silicate mineral dissolution during infiltration. High nitrate and low iron concentrations indicate the overall oxidizing environment, which allows the mobility of oxyanions, such as uranium, arsenic and chromium. The trace elements show enrichment in the upper zone of fluctuation where chemical gradients are strong, but with lesser reaction lower in the profile. The calculated groundwater recharge rates using the chloride mass balance are negligible in this arid region between 1.5 and 3.0 mm/year. The modern rainfall infiltration signature contrasts with that of the underlying groundwater body, which has a distant, regional recharge signature. This reconnaissance study demonstrates the potential for a new geochemical approach to studying geochemical processes in the unsaturated sediments in semi-arid environments due to both natural and human influences. The use of directly extracted water, rather than extraction by dilution (elutriation), facilitates an improved understanding of hydrological and geochemical processes in the unsaturated zone and into the capillary fringe at the water table, because it avoids potential chemical changes induced during elutriation. - Highlights: • A new geochemical approach for the unsaturated zone study

  8. Use of soil moisture dynamics and patterns at different spatio-temporal scales for the investigation of subsurface flow processes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Blume

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Spatial patterns as well as temporal dynamics of soil moisture have a major influence on runoff generation. The investigation of these dynamics and patterns can thus yield valuable information on hydrological processes, especially in data scarce or previously ungauged catchments. The combination of spatially scarce but temporally high resolution soil moisture profiles with episodic and thus temporally scarce moisture profiles at additional locations provides information on spatial as well as temporal patterns of soil moisture at the hillslope transect scale. This approach is better suited to difficult terrain (dense forest, steep slopes than geophysical techniques and at the same time less cost-intensive than a high resolution grid of continuously measuring sensors. Rainfall simulation experiments with dye tracers while continuously monitoring soil moisture response allows for visualization of flow processes in the unsaturated zone at these locations. Data was analyzed at different spacio-temporal scales using various graphical methods, such as space-time colour maps (for the event and plot scale and binary indicator maps (for the long-term and hillslope scale. Annual dynamics of soil moisture and decimeter-scale variability were also investigated. The proposed approach proved to be successful in the investigation of flow processes in the unsaturated zone and showed the importance of preferential flow in the Malalcahuello Catchment, a data-scarce catchment in the Andes of Southern Chile. Fast response times of stream flow indicate that preferential flow observed at the plot scale might also be of importance at the hillslope or catchment scale. Flow patterns were highly variable in space but persistent in time. The most likely explanation for preferential flow in this catchment is a combination of hydrophobicity, small scale heterogeneity in rainfall due to redistribution in the canopy and strong gradients in unsaturated conductivities leading to

  9. Soil moisture storage and hillslope stability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Talebi

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available Recently, we presented a steady-state analytical hillslope stability model to study rain-induced shallow landslides. This model is based on kinematic wave dynamics of saturated subsurface storage and the infinite slope stability assumption. Here we apply the model to investigate the effect of neglecting the unsaturated storage on the assessment of slope stability in the steady-state hydrology. For that purpose we extend the hydrological model to compute the soil pore pressure distribution over the entire flow domain. We also apply this model for hillslopes with non-constant soil depth to compare the stability of different hillslopes and to find the critical slip surface in hillslopes with different geometric characteristics. In order to do this, we incorporate more complex approaches to compute slope stability (Janbu's non-circular method and Bishop's simplified method in the steady-state analytical hillslope stability model. We compare the safety factor (FS derived from the infinite slope stability method and the more complex approach for two cases: with and without the soil moisture profile in the unsaturated zone. We apply this extended hillslope stability model to nine characteristic hillslope types with three different profile curvatures (concave, straight, convex and three different plan shapes (convergent, parallel, divergent. Overall, we find that unsaturated zone storage does not play a critical role in determining the factor of safety for shallow and deep landslides. As a result, the effect of the unsaturated zone storage on slope stability can be neglected in the steady-state hydrology and one can assume the same bulk specific weight below and above the water table. We find that steep slopes with concave profile and convergent plan shape have the least stability. We also demonstrate that in hillslopes with non-constant soil depth (possible deep landslides, the ones with convex profiles and convergent plan shapes have

  10. Electrokinetic remediation of anionic contaminants from unsaturated soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lindgren, E.R.; Kozak, M.W.; Mattson, E.D.

    1992-01-01

    Heavy-metal contamination of soil and groundwater is a widespread problem in the DOE weapons complex, and for the nation as a whole. Electrokinetic remediation is one possible technique for in situ removal of such contaminants from unsaturated soils. In previous studies at Sandia National Laboratories, the electromigration of chromate ions and anionic dye ions have been demonstrated. This paper reports on a series of experiments that were conducted to study the effect of moisture content on the electromigration rate of anionic contaminants in unsaturated soil and determine the limiting moisture content for which electromigration occurs

  11. Calibrating vadose zone models with time-lapse gravity data: a forced infiltration experiment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christiansen, Lars; Hansen, Allan Bo; Zibar, Majken Caroline Looms

    A change in soil water content is a change in mass stored in the subsurface, and when large enough, can be measured with a gravity meter. Over the last few decades there has been increased use of ground-based time-lapse gravity measurements to infer hydrogeological parameters. These studies have...... focused on the saturated zone, with specific yield as the most prominent target parameter and with few exceptions, changes in storage in the vadose zone have been considered as noise. Here modeling results are presented suggesting that gravity changes will be measureable when soil moisture changes occur...... in the unsaturated zone. These results are confirmed by field measurements of gravity and georadar data at a forced infiltration experiment conducted over 14 days on a grassland area of 10 m by 10 m. An unsaturated zone infiltration model can be calibrated using the gravity data with good agreement to the field data...

  12. 222Rn flux and soil air concentration profiles in West-Germany. Soil 222Rn as tracer for gas transport in the unsaturated soil zone

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Doerr, H.; Muennich, K.O.

    1990-01-01

    Measurements of the 222 Rn activity concentration profile in the soil and the 222 Rn flux in West-Germany are presented. The spatial pattern of the 222 Rn flux depends more on soil type than on the 226 Ra activity of the soil material. The average 222 Rn flux from sandy soils is 1000-2000 dpm m -2 h -1 and 4000-6000 dpm m -2 h -1 froam loamy and clayey soils. Weekly 222 Rn flux measurements during a period of 1 year at a sandy site show no significant temporal variations. At a clayey site, the 222 Rn flux tends to be higher in summer than in winter. The permeability coefficient P Rn , obtained from simultaneous 222 Rn flux and concentration profile measurements in various soils, can be expressed as a function of the soil parameters total porosity ε 0 , soil moisture F, tortuosity k and the molecular diffusion coefficient D 0 of 222 Rn in air: P = D 0 ((ε 0 -F)/k-const.). The flux of any other gas into or out of the soil can thus be calculated from its measured concentration profile in the soil and from the 222 Rn permeability coefficient, replacing the molecular diffusion coefficient of 222 Rn by that of the specific gas under consideration. As an example, this method of flux determination is demonstrated for the soil CO 2 flux to the atmosphere and for the flux of atmospheric CH 4 into the soil. (author) 14 refs

  13. Nitrate transport and transformation processes in unsaturated porous media

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tindall, James A.; Petrusak, Robin L.; McMahon, Peter B.

    1995-01-01

    A series of experiments was conducted on two contrasting agricultural soils to observe the influence of soil texture, preferential flow, and plants on nitrate transport and denitrification under unsaturated conditions. Calcium nitrate fertilizer was applied to the surface of four large undisturbed soil cores (30 cm diameter by 40 cm height). Two of the cores were a structured clay obtained from central Missouri and two were an unstructured fine sand obtained from central Florida. The cores were irrigated daily and maintained at a matric potential of -20 kPa, representative of soil tension in the rooting zone of irrigated agricultural fields. Volumetric water content (θ), concentration of nitrate-N in the soil solution, and nitrous oxide flux at the surface, 10, 20, and 30 cm were monitored daily. Leaching loss of surface-applied N03− -N was significant in both the sand and the clay. In unplanted sand cores, almost all of the applied nitrate was leached below 30 cm within 10 days. Gaseous N loss owing to denitrification was no greater than 2% of the nitrate-N applied to the unplanted sand cores and, in general, was less than 1 %. Although leaching was somewhat retarded in the clay cores, about 60% of the applied nitrate-N was leached from the unplanted clay soil in 5–6 weeks. Under unsaturated conditions, the clay had little to no tendency to denitrify despite the greater moisture content of the clay and retarded leaching of nitrate in the clay. The planted sand cores had surprisingly large gaseous N loss owing to denitrification, as much as 17% of the nitrate-N. Results from both the clay and sand experiments show that the dynamics of nitrate transport and transformation in unsaturated soils are affected by small, localized variations in the soil moisture content profile, the gaseous diffusion coefficient of the soil, the rate at which the nitrate pulse passes through the soil, the solubility of N2O and N2 and the diffusion of the gasses through the soil

  14. Infinite slope stability under steady unsaturated seepage conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Ning; Godt, Jonathan W.

    2008-01-01

    We present a generalized framework for the stability of infinite slopes under steady unsaturated seepage conditions. The analytical framework allows the water table to be located at any depth below the ground surface and variation of soil suction and moisture content above the water table under steady infiltration conditions. The framework also explicitly considers the effect of weathering and porosity increase near the ground surface on changes in the friction angle of the soil. The factor of safety is conceptualized as a function of the depth within the vadose zone and can be reduced to the classical analytical solution for subaerial infinite slopes in the saturated zone. Slope stability analyses with hypothetical sandy and silty soils are conducted to illustrate the effectiveness of the framework. These analyses indicate that for hillslopes of both sandy and silty soils, failure can occur above the water table under steady infiltration conditions, which is consistent with some field observations that cannot be predicted by the classical infinite slope theory. A case study of shallow slope failures of sandy colluvium on steep coastal hillslopes near Seattle, Washington, is presented to examine the predictive utility of the proposed framework.

  15. Age dating ground water by use of chlorofluorocarbons (CCl3F and CCl2F2), and distribution of chlorofluorocarbons in the unsaturated zone, Snake River Plain aquifer, Idaho National Engineering Laboratory, Idaho

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Busenberg, E.; Weeks, E.P.; Plummer, L.N.; Bartholomay, R.C.

    1993-04-01

    Detectable concentrations of chlorofluorocarbons (CFC's) were observed in ground water and unsaturated-zone air at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) and vicinity. The recharge ages of waters were determined to be from 4 to more than 50 years on the basis of CFC concentrations and other environmental data; most ground waters have ages of 14 to 30 years. These results indicate that young ground water was added at various locations to the older regional ground water (greater than 50 years) within and outside the INEL boundaries. The wells drilled into the Snake River Plain aquifer at INEL sampled mainly this local recharge. The Big Lost River, Birch Creek, the Little Lost River, and the Mud Lake-Terreton area appear to be major sources of recharge of the Snake River Plain aquifer at INEL. An average recharge temperature of 9.7±1.3 degrees C (degrees Celsius) was calculated from dissolved nitrogen and argon concentrations in the ground waters, a temperature that is similar to the mean annual soil temperature of 9 degrees C measured at INEL. This similarity indicates that the aquifer was recharged at INEL and not at higher elevations that would have cooler soil temperatures than INEL. Soil-gas concentrations at Test Area North (TAN) are explained by diffusion theory

  16. Unsaturated flow dynamics during irrigation with wastewater: field and modelling study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez-Hernandez, V.; de Miguel, A.; Meffe, R.; Leal, M.; González-Naranjo, V.; de Bustamante, I.

    2012-04-01

    To deal with water scarcity combined with a growing water demand, the reuse of wastewater effluents of wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) for industrial and agricultural purposes is considered as a technically and economically feasible solution. In agriculture, irrigation with wastewater emerges as a sustainable practice that should be considered in such scenarios. Water infiltration, soil moisture storage and evapotranspiration occurring in the unsaturated zone are fundamental processes that play an important role in soil water balance. An accurate estimation of unsaturated flow dynamics (during and after irrigation) is essential to improve wastewater management (i.e. estimating groundwater recharge or maximizing irrigation efficiency) and to avoid possible soil and groundwater affections (i.e. predicting contaminant transport). The study site is located in the Experimental Plant of Carrión de los Céspedes (Seville, Spain). Here, treated wastewater is irrigated over the soil to enhance plants growth. To obtain physical characteristics of the soil (granulometry, bulk density and water retention curve), soil samples were collected at different depths. A drain gauge passive capillary lysimeter was installed to determine the volume of water draining from the vadose zone. Volumetric water content of the soil was monitored by measuring the dielectric constant using capacitance/frequency domain technology. Three soil moisture probes were located at different depths (20, 50 and 70 cm below the ground surface) to control the variation of the volumetric water content during infiltration. The main aim of this study is to understand water flow dynamics through the unsaturated zone during irrigation by using the finite element model Hydrus-1D. The experimental conditions were simulated by a 90 cm long, one dimensional solution domain. Specific climatic conditions, wastewater irrigation rates and physical properties of the soil were introduced in the model as input parameters

  17. Movement of radionuclides through unsaturated soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    de Sousa, F.N.C.

    1985-01-01

    The advantages of the disposal of low-level radioactive wastes in the unsaturated zone above the fluctuations of the water table have been recognized for some time. However, most the numerical models used to simulate the environmental impact of a shallow land burial site assume that the soils surrounding the waste forms are saturated; this assumption may lead, in many cases, to unrealistic large leach and water flow rates. The main purpose of this study was the development of a procedure which could give a reliable prediction on the movement of radionuclides from shallow land burial sites located in the unsaturated zone. In order to accomplish this objective three different soils having different sand, silt, and clay fractions were selected and characterized. These soils were then used to fill a number of flow columns that were used in tests designed to provide input data for the flow and transport models. A one-dimensional finite element model was developed in order to simulate the water flow and radionuclide transport through unsaturated soils. The results obtained showed that the model accurately described the transport of radionuclides through saturated-unsaturated soils. Simulations were done, for all three soils, involving different degrees of soil saturation, and the results showed that assuming the soils are always saturated may lead to nuclide transport times which are orders of magnitude larger than the real ones, depending on the clay percentage present in the soil

  18. DECOVALEX-THMC Project. Task C. Hydro-mechanical response of the Tournemire argillite to the underground openings excavation: unsaturated zones and mine-by-test experiment. Final Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rejeb, A.; Rouabhi, A. (Ecole des Mines de Paris (France)); Millard, A. (Commissariat d' Energie Atomique (France)); Massmann, J. (Hannover Univ. (DE)); Uehara, S. (Kyoto Univ. (Japan))

    2008-06-15

    This report describes the final results of Task C of the international DECOVALEX-THMC project devoted to Excavation Damaged Zone (EDZ) in argillaceous rock at the Tounemire site in France. Task C is aimed to develop adequate numerical models for interpretation of observed damaged zones around three openings excavated at different times. The research teams are asked to model the evolution of the EDZ with time and to compare their results with measurements that were performed at the site. The main objective is to investigate the hydro-mechanical behavior of Tounemire argillite around the three openings (1881 tunnel, 1996 gallery, 2003 gallery) of Tournemire site. The work was divided into 3 parts: 1. Modelling of the unsaturated zones around the three openings; 2. Modelling of the mine-by-test experiment around the 2003 gallery; 3. EDZ modeling around the 3 openings. Each research team has performed its own HM numerical calculations based on the principal following considerations: The hydraulic time dependent boundary condition at each opening wall was calculated by the Kelvin equation using the provided humidities and temperatures; The effective stress approach of partially saturated medium was used; The swelling-shrinkage of Tournemire argillite was taken into account; The capillary pressure curve was assumed to be given by the Van Genuchten relation and calibrated from the provided data of the two successful laboratory tests; The influence of the degree of saturation on liquid water permeability was modelled using a relative permeability function which is based also on the Van Genuchten model; The intrinsic permeability was calibrated in order to get a better fit with experimental data. To achieve the first objective, the three research teams act as follows: 2D HM coupled simulations have been undertaken by ISEB-BGR team. Hydraulic and mechanical anisotropies were considered; 2D HM coupled simulations have been also undertaken by CEA-IRSN team. Only mechanical

  19. Effect of vadose zone on the steady-state leakage rates from landfill barrier systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Celik, B.; Rowe, R.K.; Unlue, K.

    2009-01-01

    Leakage rates are evaluated for a landfill barrier system having a compacted clay liner (CCL) underlain by a vadose zone of variable thickness. A numerical unsaturated flow model SEEP/W is used to simulate the moisture flow regime and steady-state leakage rates for the cases of unsaturated zones with different soil types and thicknesses. The results of the simulations demonstrate that harmonic mean hydraulic conductivity of coarse textured vadose zones is 3-4 orders of magnitude less than saturated hydraulic conductivity; whereas, the difference is only one order of magnitude for fine textured vadose zones. For both coarse and fine textured vadose zones, the effective hydraulic conductivity of the barrier system and the leakage rate to an underlying aquifer increases with increasing thickness of the vadose zone and ultimately reaches an asymptotic value for a coarse textured vadose zone thickness of about 10 m and a fine textured vadose zone thickness of about 5 m. Therefore, the fine and coarse textured vadose zones thicker than about 5 m and 10 m, respectively, act as an effective part of the barrier systems examined. Although the thickness of vadose zone affects the effective hydraulic conductivity of the overall barrier system, the results demonstrated that the hydraulic conductivity of the CCL is the dominant factor controlling the steady-state leakage rates through barrier systems having single low permeability clay layers

  20. Infiltration in Unsaturated Soils

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ghotbi, Abdoul R.; Omidvar, M.; Barari, Amin

    2011-01-01

    An approximate analytical solution has been established for the well known Richards’ equation for unsaturated flow of transports in soils. Despite the importance of Richards’ equation in geotechnical and geoenvironmental applications, most solutions to the problem are generally based on numerical...

  1. Analytical analysis of soil-moisture and trace-contaminant transport

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Larson, N.M.; Reeves, M.

    1976-03-01

    A transport model is presented which predicts the coupled movement of both water and trace contaminants through a layered and unsaturated soil-moisture zone. In order to achieve computation speeds suitable for watershed implementations, moisture properties are approximated as exponential functions of pressure head, and lateral flows are treated as sinks in a basically vertical one-dimensional analysis. In addition, only advection by the Darcy-flow velocities and linear adsorption by the soil matrix are considered in depicting movement of the trace contaminant. Formal solution of the resulting transport equations is obtained through use of both eigenfunction-expansion and coordinate-transformation methods. Numerical solution is effected by means of a program written in FORTRAN IV and implemented on an IBM 360/91 computer. Two example calculations illustrate both strengths and weaknesses of our model

  2. Application and evaluation of the artificial tritium tagging of moisture soil technique in hydrogeological research in Brazil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Castro Rubio Poli, D. de; Kimmelmann e Silva, A.A.

    1990-08-01

    In this work, we apply and make an evaluation the artificial tritium tagging technique of moisture in many kinds of soils for the determination of rainfall infiltration in unsaturated zone. The purpose of this work is the determination of ground water recharge in order to assist evaluating sites for radioactive waste disposal and water resources. From the experimental results obtained, we can conclude that the use of artificial tritium tagging method is an accurate, useful and probably the best available technique to determine ground water recharge. (author) [pt

  3. Unsaturated hydraulic conductivity of sandy soil columns packed to different bulk densities and water uptake by plantroots

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rossi-Pisa, P.

    1978-01-01

    This paper describes a laboratory metbod used to determine both the soil moisture retention curve and the unsaturated hydraulic conductivity in soil columns under transient flow conditions during evaporation.

  4. The benefits of using remotely sensed soil moisture in parameter identification of large-scale hydrological models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wanders, N.; Bierkens, M. F. P.; de Jong, S. M.; de Roo, A.; Karssenberg, D.

    2014-08-01

    Large-scale hydrological models are nowadays mostly calibrated using observed discharge. As a result, a large part of the hydrological system, in particular the unsaturated zone, remains uncalibrated. Soil moisture observations from satellites have the potential to fill this gap. Here we evaluate the added value of remotely sensed soil moisture in calibration of large-scale hydrological models by addressing two research questions: (1) Which parameters of hydrological models can be identified by calibration with remotely sensed soil moisture? (2) Does calibration with remotely sensed soil moisture lead to an improved calibration of hydrological models compared to calibration based only on discharge observations, such that this leads to improved simulations of soil moisture content and discharge? A dual state and parameter Ensemble Kalman Filter is used to calibrate the hydrological model LISFLOOD for the Upper Danube. Calibration is done using discharge and remotely sensed soil moisture acquired by AMSR-E, SMOS, and ASCAT. Calibration with discharge data improves the estimation of groundwater and routing parameters. Calibration with only remotely sensed soil moisture results in an accurate identification of parameters related to land-surface processes. For the Upper Danube upstream area up to 40,000 km2, calibration on both discharge and soil moisture results in a reduction by 10-30% in the RMSE for discharge simulations, compared to calibration on discharge alone. The conclusion is that remotely sensed soil moisture holds potential for calibration of hydrological models, leading to a better simulation of soil moisture content throughout the catchment and a better simulation of discharge in upstream areas. This article was corrected on 15 SEP 2014. See the end of the full text for details.

  5. Numerical study of unsaturated flows and seepage of contaminants from subgrade mill tailings disposal areas equipped with bottom-clay liners

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pin, F.G.; Witten, A.J.; Sharp, R.D.; Long, E.C. Jr.

    1983-08-01

    A computer code (MIGRAT) is developed to quantify the migration of moisture and multiple decaying and retarded contaminants in the unsaturated zone. MIGRAT was specifically conceived to assess the impacts of open mine to allow its use in many problems related to shallow, subsurface waste disposal. The model is applied to a generic uranium-mill-tailings pit constructed with a clay-lined bottom and steep unlined sidewalls. The contaminant decays and only one contaminant is retarded. This study shows the anticipated result that moisture and contamination migrate slowly through the bottom clay liner and that, in this migration, concentrations of the retarded contaminant significantly lag the unretarded contaminant. More importantly, this study reveals that the major pathway from the pit to the groundwater is through the sidewall. The time scales for this pathway are much shorter than those associated with the clay liner, and retardation has little effect on the rate of contaminant migration

  6. Geohydrology of the near-surface unsaturated zone adjacent to the disposal site for low-level radioactive waste near Beatty, Nevada: A section in Safe disposal of radionuclides in low-level radioactive-waste repository sites; Low-level radioactive-waste disposal workshop, U.S. Geological Survey, July 11-16, 1987, Big Bear Lake, Calif., Proceedings (Circular 1036)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Jeffrey M.; Bedinger, Marion S.; Stevens, Peter R.

    1990-01-01

    Shallow-land burial in arid areas is considered the best method for isolating low-level radioactive waste from the environment (Nichols and Goode, this report; Mercer and others, 1983). A major threat to waste isolation in shallow trenches is ground-water percolation. Repository sites in arid areas are believed to minimize the risk of ground-water contamination because such sites receive minimal precipitation and are underlain by thick unsaturated zones. Unfortunately, few data are available on rates of water percolation in an arid environment.

  7. Pumping Test Determination of Unsaturated Aquifer Properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishra, P. K.; Neuman, S. P.

    2008-12-01

    Tartakovsky and Neuman [2007] presented a new analytical solution for flow to a partially penetrating well pumping at a constant rate from a compressible unconfined aquifer considering the unsaturated zone. In their solution three-dimensional, axially symmetric unsaturated flow is described by a linearized version of Richards' equation in which both hydraulic conductivity and water content vary exponentially with incremental capillary pressure head relative to its air entry value, the latter defining the interface between the saturated and unsaturated zones. Both exponential functions are characterized by a common exponent k having the dimension of inverse length, or equivalently a dimensionless exponent kd=kb where b is initial saturated thickness. The authors used their solution to analyze drawdown data from a pumping test conducted by Moench et al. [2001] in a Glacial Outwash Deposit at Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Their analysis yielded estimates of horizontal and vertical saturated hydraulic conductivities, specific storage, specific yield and k . Recognizing that hydraulic conductivity and water content seldom vary identically with incremental capillary pressure head, as assumed by Tartakovsky and Neuman [2007], we note that k is at best an effective rather than a directly measurable soil parameter. We therefore ask to what extent does interpretation of a pumping test based on the Tartakovsky-Neuman solution allow estimating aquifer unsaturated parameters as described by more common constitutive water retention and relative hydraulic conductivity models such as those of Brooks and Corey [1964] or van Genuchten [1980] and Mualem [1976a]? We address this question by showing how may be used to estimate the capillary air entry pressure head k and the parameters of such constitutive models directly, without a need for inverse unsaturated numerical simulations of the kind described by Moench [2003]. To assess the validity of such direct estimates we use maximum

  8. A New Mechanism of Canopy Effect in Unsaturated Freezing Soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Teng Jidong

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Canopy effect refers to the phenomenon where moisture accumulates underneath an impervious cover. Field observation reveals that canopy effect can take place in relatively dry soils where the groundwater table is deep and can lead to full saturation of the soil immediately underneath the impervious cover. On the other hand, numerical analysis based on existing theories of heat and mass transfer in unsaturated soils can only reproduce a minor amount of moisture accumulation due to an impervious cover, particularly when the groundwater table is relatively deep. In attempt to explain the observed canopy effect in field, this paper proposes a new mechanism of moisture accumulation in unsaturated freezing soils: vapour transfer in such a soil is accelerated by the process of vapour-ice desublimation. A new approach for modelling moisture and heat movements is proposed, in which the phase change of evaporation, condensation and de-sublimation of vapor flow are taken into account. The computed results show that the proposed model can indeed reproduce the unusual moisture accumulation observed in relatively dry soils. The results also demonstrate that soil freezing fed by vapour transfer can result in a water content close to full saturation. Since vapour transfer is seldom considered in geotechnical design, the canopy effect deserves more attention during construction and earth works in cold and arid regions.

  9. Waste migration in shallow burial sites under unsaturated flow conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eicholz, G.G.; Whang, J.

    1987-01-01

    Unsaturated conditions prevail in many shallow-land burial sites, both in arid and humid regions. Unless a burial site is allowed to flood and possibly overflow, a realistic assessment of any migration scenario must take into account the conditions of unsaturated flow. These are more difficult to observe and to model, but introduce significant changes into projected rates of waste leaching and waste migration. Column tests have been performed using soils from the Southeastern coastal plain to observe the effects of varying degrees of ''unsaturation'' on the movement of radioactive tracers. The moisture content in the columns was controlled by maintaining various levels of hydrostatic suction on soil columns whose hydrodynamic characteristics had been determined carefully. Tracer tests, employing Cs-137, I-131 and Ba-133 were used to determine migration profiles and to follow their movement down the column for different suction values. A calculational model has been developed for unsaturated flow and seems to match the observations fairly well. It is evident that a full description of migration processes must take into account the reduced migration rates under unsaturated conditions and the hysteresis effects associated with wetting-drying cycles

  10. Three phase heat and mass transfer model for unsaturated soil freezing process: Part 1 - model development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Fei; Zhang, Yaning; Jin, Guangri; Li, Bingxi; Kim, Yong-Song; Xie, Gongnan; Fu, Zhongbin

    2018-04-01

    A three-phase model capable of predicting the heat transfer and moisture migration for soil freezing process was developed based on the Shen-Chen model and the mechanisms of heat and mass transfer in unsaturated soil freezing. The pre-melted film was taken into consideration, and the relationship between film thickness and soil temperature was used to calculate the liquid water fraction in both frozen zone and freezing fringe. The force that causes the moisture migration was calculated by the sum of several interactive forces and the suction in the pre-melted film was regarded as an interactive force between ice and water. Two kinds of resistance were regarded as a kind of body force related to the water films between the ice grains and soil grains, and a block force instead of gravity was introduced to keep balance with gravity before soil freezing. Lattice Boltzmann method was used in the simulation, and the input variables for the simulation included the size of computational domain, obstacle fraction, liquid water fraction, air fraction and soil porosity. The model is capable of predicting the water content distribution along soil depth and variations in water content and temperature during soil freezing process.

  11. Spatial distribution of potential near surface moisture flux at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Flint, A.L.; Flint, L.E.

    1994-01-01

    An estimate of the areal distribution of present-day surface liquid moisture flux at Yucca Mountain was made using field measured water contents and laboratory measured rock properties. Using available data for physical and hydrologic properties (porosity, saturated hydraulic conductivity, moisture retention functions) of the volcanic rocks, surface lithologic units that are hydrologically similar were delineated. Moisture retention and relative permeability functions were assigned to each surface unit based on the similarity of the mean porosity and saturated hydraulic conductivity of the surface unit to laboratory samples of the same lithology. The potential flux into the mountain was estimated for each surface hydrologic unit using the mean saturated hydraulic conductivity for each unit and assuming all matrix flow. Using measured moisture profiles for each of the surface units, estimates were made of the depth at which seasonal fluctuations diminish and steady state downward flux conditions are likely to exist. The hydrologic properties at that depth were used with the current relative saturation of the tuff, to estimate flux as the unsaturated hydraulic conductivity. This method assumes a unit gradient. The range in estimated flux was 0.02 mm/yr for the welded Tiva Canyon to 13.4 mm/yr for the nonwelded Paintbrush Tuff. The areally averaged flux was 1.4 mm/yr. The major zones of high flux occur to the north of the potential repository boundary where the nonwelded tuffs are exposed in the major drainages

  12. Spatial distribution of potential near surface moisture flux at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Flint, A.L.; Flint, L.E.

    1994-01-01

    An estimate of the areal distribution of present-day surface liquid moisture flux at Yucca Mountain was made using field measured water contents and laboratory measured rock properties. Using available data for physical and hydrologic properties (porosity, saturated hydraulic conductivity moisture retention functions) of the volcanic rocks, surface lithologic units that are hydrologically similar were delineated. Moisture retention and relative permeability functions were assigned to each surface unit based on the similarity of the mean porosity and saturated hydraulic conductivity of the surface unit to laboratory samples of the same lithology. The potential flux into the mountain was estimated for each surface hydrologic unit using the mean saturated hydraulic conductivity for each unit and assuming all matrix flow. Using measured moisture profiles for each of the surface units, estimates were made of the depth at which seasonal fluctuations diminish and steady state downward flux conditions are likely to exist. The hydrologic properties at that depth were used with the current relative saturation of the tuff, to estimate flux as the unsaturated hydraulic conductivity. This method assumes a unit gradient. The range in estimated flux was 0.02 mm/yr for the welded Tiva Canyon to 13.4 mm/yr for the nonwelded Paintbrush Tuff. The areally averaged flux was 1.4 mm/yr. The major zones of high flux occur to the north of the potential repository boundary where the nonwelded tuffs are exposed in the major drainages

  13. Hydrocarbons biodegradation in unsaturated porous medium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gautier, C.

    2007-12-01

    Biological processes are expected to play an important role in the degradation of petroleum hydrocarbons in contaminated soils. However, factors influencing the kinetics of biodegradation are still not well known, especially in the unsaturated zone. To address these biodegradation questions in the unsaturated zone an innovative experimental set up based on a physical column model was developed. This experimental set up appeared to be an excellent tool for elaboration of a structured porous medium, with well defined porous network and adjusted water/oil saturations. Homogeneous repartition of both liquid phases (i.e., aqueous and non aqueous) in the soil pores, which also contain air, was achieved using ceramic membranes placed at the bottom of the soil column. Reproducible interfaces (and connectivity) are developed between gas, and both non mobile water and NAPL phases, depending on the above-defined characteristics of the porous media and on the partial saturations of these three phases (NAPL, water and gas). A respirometric apparatus was coupled to the column. Such experimental set up have been validated with hexadecane in dilution in an HMN phase. This approach allowed detailed information concerning n-hexadecane biodegradation, in aerobic condition, through the profile of the oxygen consumption rate. We have taken benefit of this technique, varying experimental conditions, to determine the main parameters influencing the biodegradation kinetics and compositional evolution of hydrocarbons, under steady state unsaturated conditions and with respect to aerobic metabolism. Impacts of the nitrogen quantity and of three different grain sizes have been examined. Biodegradation of petroleum cut, as diesel cut and middle distillate without aromatic fraction, were, also studied. (author)

  14. Using high-resolution soil moisture modelling to assess the uncertainty of microwave remotely sensed soil moisture products at the correct spatial and temporal support

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wanders, N.; Karssenberg, D.; Bierkens, M. F. P.; Van Dam, J. C.; De Jong, S. M.

    2012-04-01

    Soil moisture is a key variable in the hydrological cycle and important in hydrological modelling. When assimilating soil moisture into flood forecasting models, the improvement of forecasting skills depends on the ability to accurately estimate the spatial and temporal patterns of soil moisture content throughout the river basin. Space-borne remote sensing may provide this information with a high temporal and spatial resolution and with a global coverage. Currently three microwave soil moisture products are available: AMSR-E, ASCAT and SMOS. The quality of these satellite-based products is often assessed by comparing them with in-situ observations of soil moisture. This comparison is however hampered by the difference in spatial and temporal support (i.e., resolution, scale), because the spatial resolution of microwave satellites is rather low compared to in-situ field measurements. Thus, the aim of this study is to derive a method to assess the uncertainty of microwave satellite soil moisture products at the correct spatial support. To overcome the difference in support size between in-situ soil moisture observations and remote sensed soil moisture, we used a stochastic, distributed unsaturated zone model (SWAP, van Dam (2000)) that is upscaled to the support of different satellite products. A detailed assessment of the SWAP model uncertainty is included to ensure that the uncertainty in satellite soil moisture is not overestimated due to an underestimation of the model uncertainty. We simulated unsaturated water flow up to a depth of 1.5m with a vertical resolution of 1 to 10 cm and on a horizontal grid of 1 km2 for the period Jan 2010 - Jun 2011. The SWAP model was first calibrated and validated on in-situ data of the REMEDHUS soil moisture network (Spain). Next, to evaluate the satellite products, the model was run for areas in the proximity of 79 meteorological stations in Spain, where model results were aggregated to the correct support of the satellite

  15. Improved forward and inverse analyses of saturated-unsaturated flow toward a well in a compressible unconfined aquifer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishra, Phoolendra Kumar; Neuman, Shlomo P.

    2010-07-01

    We present an analytical solution for flow to a partially penetrating well in a compressible unconfined aquifer that allows inferring its saturated and unsaturated hydraulic properties from drawdowns recorded in the saturated and/or unsaturated zone. We improve upon a previous such solution due to Tartakovsky and Neuman (2007) by (1) adopting a more flexible representation of unsaturated zone constitutive properties and (2) allowing the unsaturated zone to have finite thickness. Both solutions account for horizontal as well as vertical flows throughout the system. We investigate the effects of unsaturated zone constitutive parameters and thickness on drawdowns in the saturated and unsaturated zones as functions of position and time; demonstrate the development of significant horizontal hydraulic gradients in the unsaturated zone in response to pumping; validate our solution against numerical simulations of drawdown in a synthetic aquifer having unsaturated properties described by the van Genuchten-Mualem constitutive model; use our solution to analyze drawdown data from a pumping test conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey at Cape Cod, Massachusetts; and compare our estimates of van Genuchten-Mualem parameters with laboratory values obtained for similar materials in the area.

  16. Strontium and caesium transport in unsaturated soil from Chernobyl Pilot Site under steady flow conditions; Transfert de radioelements en zone non saturee. Etude experimentale et modelisation appliquees au Site Pilote de Tchernobyl

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Szenknect, St

    2003-10-15

    This work is devoted to the quantification and the identification of the predominant processes involved in strontium and caesium transport in unsaturated soil from Chernobyl Pilot Site under steady flow conditions. The transport and fate of radionuclides in the subsurface is affected by various physical and chemical processes including advective and diffusive transport as well as chemical and biological transformations. Laboratory experiments and the use of a multiple tracer approach allow to isolate the contributions of each elementary process and to control the physico-chemical conditions in the system. To be more representative of the field conditions, we decided to perform column miscible displacement experiments. We perform batch and flow-through reactor experiments to characterize the radionuclides sorption mechanisms. Miscible displacement experiments within homogeneous columns and modeling allow to characterize the hydrodynamic properties of the soil and to describe the radionuclides behaviour under dynamic conditions at different water contents. We show that the water content of porous media affect the transport behaviour of inert and strongly sorbing radionuclides. Our results demonstrate that a parametrized transport model that was calibrated under completely saturated conditions was not able to describe the advective-dispersive transport of reactive solutes under unsaturated steady state conditions. Under our experimental conditions, there is no effect of a decrease of the mean water content on the sorption model parameters, but the transport parameters are modified. We established for the studied soil the relation between hydrodynamic dispersion and water content and the relation between pore water velocity and water content. (author)

  17. Groundwater recharge dynamics in unsaturated fractured chalk: a case study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cherubini, Claudia; Pastore, Nicola; Giasi, Concetta I.; Allegretti, Nicolaetta M.

    2016-04-01

    The heterogeneity of the unsaturated zone controls its hydraulic response to rainfall and the extent to which pollutants are delayed or attenuated before reaching groundwater. It plays therefore a very important role in the recharge of aquifers and the transfer of pollutants because of the presence of temporary storage zones and preferential flows. A better knowledge of the physical processes in the unsaturated zone would allow an improved assessment of the natural recharge in a heterogeneous aquifer and of its vulnerability to surface-applied pollution. The case study regards the role of the thick unsaturated zone of the Cretaceous chalk aquifer in Picardy (North of France) that controls the hydraulic response to rainfall. In the North Paris Basin, much of the recharge must pass through a regional chalk bed that is composed of a porous matrix with embedded fractures. Different types of conceptual models have been formulated to explain infiltration and recharge processes in the unsaturated fractured rock. The present study analyses the episodic recharge in fractured Chalk aquifer using the kinematic diffusion theory to predict water table fluctuation in response to rainfall. From an analysis of the data, there is the evidence of 1) a seasonal behavior characterized by a constant increase in the water level during the winter/spring period and a recession period, 2) a series of episodic behaviors during the summer/autumn. Kinematic diffusion models are useful for predict preferential fluxes and dynamic conditions. The presented approach conceptualizes the unsaturated flow as a combination of 1) diffusive flow refers to the idealized portion of the pore space of the medium within the flow rate is driven essentially by local gradient of potential; 2) preferential flow by which water moves across macroscopic distances through conduits of macropore length.

  18. Boundary integral methods for unsaturated flow

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Martinez, M.J.; McTigue, D.F.

    1990-01-01

    Many large simulations may be required to assess the performance of Yucca Mountain as a possible site for the nations first high level nuclear waste repository. A boundary integral equation method (BIEM) is described for numerical analysis of quasilinear steady unsaturated flow in homogeneous material. The applicability of the exponential model for the dependence of hydraulic conductivity on pressure head is discussed briefly. This constitutive assumption is at the heart of the quasilinear transformation. Materials which display a wide distribution in pore-size are described reasonably well by the exponential. For materials with a narrow range in pore-size, the exponential is suitable over more limited ranges in pressure head. The numerical implementation of the BIEM is used to investigate the infiltration from a strip source to a water table. The net infiltration of moisture into a finite-depth layer is well-described by results for a semi-infinite layer if αD > 4, where α is the sorptive number and D is the depth to the water table. the distribution of moisture exhibits a similar dependence on αD. 11 refs., 4 figs.,

  19. Sensitivity and uncertainty analyses of unsaturated flow travel time in the CHnz unit of Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nichols, W.E.; Freshley, M.D.

    1991-10-01

    This report documents the results of sensitivity and uncertainty analyses conducted to improve understanding of unsaturated zone ground-water travel time distribution at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The US Department of Energy (DOE) is currently performing detailed studies at Yucca Mountain to determine its suitability as a host for a geologic repository for the containment of high-level nuclear wastes. As part of these studies, DOE is conducting a series of Performance Assessment Calculational Exercises, referred to as the PACE problems. The work documented in this report represents a part of the PACE-90 problems that addresses the effects of natural barriers of the site that will stop or impede the long-term movement of radionuclides from the potential repository to the accessible environment. In particular, analyses described in this report were designed to investigate the sensitivity of the ground-water travel time distribution to different input parameters and the impact of uncertainty associated with those input parameters. Five input parameters were investigated in this study: recharge rate, saturated hydraulic conductivity, matrix porosity, and two curve-fitting parameters used for the van Genuchten relations to quantify the unsaturated moisture-retention and hydraulic characteristics of the matrix. 23 refs., 20 figs., 10 tabs

  20. Effect of Unsaturated Flow on Delayed Response of Unconfined Aquifiers to Pumping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tartakovsky, G.; Neuman, S. P.

    2005-12-01

    A new analytical solution is presented for the delayed response process characterizing flow to a partially penetrating well in an unconfined aquifer. The new solution generalizes that of Neuman [1972, 1974] by accounting for unsaturated flow above the water table. Axially symmetric three-dimensional flow in the unsaturated zone is described by a linearized version of Richards' equation in which hydraulic conductivity and water content vary exponentially with incremental capillary pressure head relative to its air entry value (defining the interface between the saturated and unsaturated zones). Unsaturated soil properties are characterized by an exponent κ having the dimension of inverse length and a dimensionless exponent κD = κb where b is initial saturated thickness. Our treatment of the unsaturated zone is similar to that of Kroszynski and Dagan [1975] who however have ignored internal (artesian) aquifer storage. It has been suggested by Boulton [1954, 1963, 1970] and Neuman [1972, 1974], and is confirmed by our solution, that internal storage is required to reproduce the early increase in drawdown characterizing delayed response to pumping in typical aquifers. According to our new solution such aquifers are characterized by relatively large κ_ D values, typically 10 or larger; in the limit as κD tends to infinity (the soil unsaturated water retention capacity becomes insignificant and/or aquifer thickness become large), unsaturated flow becomes unimportant and our solution reduces to that of Neuman. In typical cases corresponding to κD larger than or equal to 10, unsaturated flow is found to have little impact on early and late dimensionless time behaviors of drawdown measured wholly or in part at some distance below the water table; unsaturated flow causes drawdown to increase slightly at intermediate dimensionless time values that represent transition from an early artesian dominated to a late water-table dominated flow regime. The increase in drawdown

  1. Installation and sampling of vadose zone monitoring devices

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bergeron, S.M.; Strickland, D.J.; Pearson, R.

    1987-10-01

    A vadose zone monitoring system was installed in a sanitary landfill near the Y-12 facility on the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge, Tennessee Reservation. The work was completed as part of the LLWDDD program to develop, design, and demonstrate new low level radioactive waste disposal monitoring methods. The objective of the project was to evaluate the performance of three types of vadose zone samplers within a similar hydrogeologic environment for use as early detection monitoring devices. The three different types of samplers included the Soil Moisture Equipment Corporation Pressure-Vacuum samplers (Models 1920 and 1940), and the BAT Piezometer (Model MK II) manufactured by BAT Envitech, Inc. All three samplers are designed to remove soil moisture from the vadose (unsaturated) zone. Five clusters of three holes each were drilled to maximum depths of 45 ft around part of the periphery of the landfill. Three samplers, one of each type, were installed at each cluster location. Water samples were obtained from 13 of the 15 samplers and submitted to Martin Marietta for analysis. All three samplers performed satisfactorily when considering ease of installation, required in-hole development, and ability to collect water samples from the vadose zone. Advantages and disadvantages of each sampler type are discussed in the main report

  2. Moisture Monitoring at Area G, Technical Area 54, Los Alamos National Laboratory, 2016 Status Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Levitt, Daniel Glenn [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Birdsell, Kay Hanson [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Jennings, Terry L. [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); French, Sean B. [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)

    2017-01-17

    Hydrological characterization and moisture monitoring activities provide data required for evaluating the transport of subsurface contaminants in the unsaturated and saturated zones beneath Area G, and for the Area G Performance Assessment and Composite Analysis. These activities have been ongoing at Area G, Technical Area 54 of the Los Alamos National Laboratory since waste disposal operations began in 1957. This report summarizes the hydrological characterization and moisture monitoring activities conducted at Area G. It includes moisture monitoring data collected from 1986 through 2016 from numerous boreholes and access tubes with neutron moisture meters, as well as data collected by automated dataloggers for water content measurement sensors installed in a waste disposal pit cover, and buried beneath the floor of a waste disposal pit. This report is an update of a nearly identical report by Levitt et al., (2015) that summarized data collected through early 2015; this report includes additional moisture monitoring data collected at Pit 31 and the Pit 38 extension through December, 2016. It also includes information from the Jennings and French (2009) moisture monitoring report and includes all data from Jennings and French (2009) and the Draft 2010 Addendum moisture monitoring report (Jennings and French, 2010). For the 2015 version of this report, all neutron logging data, including neutron probe calibrations, were investigated for quality and pedigree. Some data were recalculated using more defensible calibration data. Therefore, some water content profiles are different from those in the Jennings and French (2009) report. All of that information is repeated in this report for completeness. Monitoring and characterization data generally indicate that some areas of the Area G vadose zone are consistent with undisturbed conditions, with water contents of less than five percent by volume in the top two layers of the Bandelier tuff at Area G. These data also

  3. Review and selection of unsaturated flow models

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reeves, M.; Baker, N.A.; Duguid, J.O. [INTERA, Inc., Las Vegas, NV (United States)

    1994-04-04

    Since the 1960`s, ground-water flow models have been used for analysis of water resources problems. In the 1970`s, emphasis began to shift to analysis of waste management problems. This shift in emphasis was largely brought about by site selection activities for geologic repositories for disposal of high-level radioactive wastes. Model development during the 1970`s and well into the 1980`s focused primarily on saturated ground-water flow because geologic repositories in salt, basalt, granite, shale, and tuff were envisioned to be below the water table. Selection of the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for potential disposal of waste began to shift model development toward unsaturated flow models. Under the US Department of Energy (DOE), the Civilian Radioactive Waste Management System Management and Operating Contractor (CRWMS M&O) has the responsibility to review, evaluate, and document existing computer models; to conduct performance assessments; and to develop performance assessment models, where necessary. This document describes the CRWMS M&O approach to model review and evaluation (Chapter 2), and the requirements for unsaturated flow models which are the bases for selection from among the current models (Chapter 3). Chapter 4 identifies existing models, and their characteristics. Through a detailed examination of characteristics, Chapter 5 presents the selection of models for testing. Chapter 6 discusses the testing and verification of selected models. Chapters 7 and 8 give conclusions and make recommendations, respectively. Chapter 9 records the major references for each of the models reviewed. Appendix A, a collection of technical reviews for each model, contains a more complete list of references. Finally, Appendix B characterizes the problems used for model testing.

  4. Review and selection of unsaturated flow models

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reeves, M.; Baker, N.A.; Duguid, J.O.

    1994-01-01

    Since the 1960's, ground-water flow models have been used for analysis of water resources problems. In the 1970's, emphasis began to shift to analysis of waste management problems. This shift in emphasis was largely brought about by site selection activities for geologic repositories for disposal of high-level radioactive wastes. Model development during the 1970's and well into the 1980's focused primarily on saturated ground-water flow because geologic repositories in salt, basalt, granite, shale, and tuff were envisioned to be below the water table. Selection of the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for potential disposal of waste began to shift model development toward unsaturated flow models. Under the US Department of Energy (DOE), the Civilian Radioactive Waste Management System Management and Operating Contractor (CRWMS M ampersand O) has the responsibility to review, evaluate, and document existing computer models; to conduct performance assessments; and to develop performance assessment models, where necessary. This document describes the CRWMS M ampersand O approach to model review and evaluation (Chapter 2), and the requirements for unsaturated flow models which are the bases for selection from among the current models (Chapter 3). Chapter 4 identifies existing models, and their characteristics. Through a detailed examination of characteristics, Chapter 5 presents the selection of models for testing. Chapter 6 discusses the testing and verification of selected models. Chapters 7 and 8 give conclusions and make recommendations, respectively. Chapter 9 records the major references for each of the models reviewed. Appendix A, a collection of technical reviews for each model, contains a more complete list of references. Finally, Appendix B characterizes the problems used for model testing

  5. The Raam regional soil moisture monitoring network in the Netherlands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H.-J. F. Benninga

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available We have established a soil moisture profile monitoring network in the Raam region in the Netherlands. This region faces water shortages during summers and excess of water during winters and after extreme precipitation events. Water management can benefit from reliable information on the soil water availability and water storing capacity in the unsaturated zone. In situ measurements provide a direct source of information on which water managers can base their decisions. Moreover, these measurements are commonly used as a reference for the calibration and validation of soil moisture content products derived from earth observations or obtained by model simulations. Distributed over the Raam region, we have equipped 14 agricultural fields and 1 natural grass field with soil moisture and soil temperature monitoring instrumentation, consisting of Decagon 5TM sensors installed at depths of 5, 10, 20, 40 and 80 cm. In total, 12 stations are located within the Raam catchment (catchment area of 223 km2, and 5 of these stations are located within the closed sub-catchment Hooge Raam (catchment area of 41 km2. Soil-specific calibration functions that have been developed for the 5TM sensors under laboratory conditions lead to an accuracy of 0.02 m3 m−3. The first set of measurements has been retrieved for the period 5 April 2016–4 April 2017. In this paper, we describe the Raam monitoring network and instrumentation, the soil-specific calibration of the sensors, the first year of measurements, and additional measurements (soil temperature, phreatic groundwater levels and meteorological data and information (elevation, soil physical characteristics, land cover and a geohydrological model available for performing scientific research. The data are available at https://doi.org/10.4121/uuid:dc364e97-d44a-403f-82a7-121902deeb56.

  6. The Raam regional soil moisture monitoring network in the Netherlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benninga, Harm-Jan F.; Carranza, Coleen D. U.; Pezij, Michiel; van Santen, Pim; van der Ploeg, Martine J.; Augustijn, Denie C. M.; van der Velde, Rogier

    2018-01-01

    We have established a soil moisture profile monitoring network in the Raam region in the Netherlands. This region faces water shortages during summers and excess of water during winters and after extreme precipitation events. Water management can benefit from reliable information on the soil water availability and water storing capacity in the unsaturated zone. In situ measurements provide a direct source of information on which water managers can base their decisions. Moreover, these measurements are commonly used as a reference for the calibration and validation of soil moisture content products derived from earth observations or obtained by model simulations. Distributed over the Raam region, we have equipped 14 agricultural fields and 1 natural grass field with soil moisture and soil temperature monitoring instrumentation, consisting of Decagon 5TM sensors installed at depths of 5, 10, 20, 40 and 80 cm. In total, 12 stations are located within the Raam catchment (catchment area of 223 km2), and 5 of these stations are located within the closed sub-catchment Hooge Raam (catchment area of 41 km2). Soil-specific calibration functions that have been developed for the 5TM sensors under laboratory conditions lead to an accuracy of 0.02 m3 m-3. The first set of measurements has been retrieved for the period 5 April 2016-4 April 2017. In this paper, we describe the Raam monitoring network and instrumentation, the soil-specific calibration of the sensors, the first year of measurements, and additional measurements (soil temperature, phreatic groundwater levels and meteorological data) and information (elevation, soil physical characteristics, land cover and a geohydrological model) available for performing scientific research. The data are available at https://doi.org/10.4121/uuid:dc364e97-d44a-403f-82a7-121902deeb56.

  7. Simulation of groundwater flows in unsaturated porous media

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Musy, A.

    1976-01-01

    Groundwater flow in unsaturated porous media is caused by a potential gradient where the total potential consists of the sum of a gravitational and a suction component. The partial differential equations which result from the general analysis of groundwater flow in unsaturated soil are solved by succesive approximations with the finite-element method. General boundary and initial conditions, linear or curvilinear shaped elements (isoparametric elements) and steady-state or transient flow can be introduced into the numerical computer program. The results of this mathematical model are compared with experimental data established in the laboratory with a physical groundwater model. This is a rectangular testing tank of dimension 3 x 1.5 x 0.15 m and contains a silty clay loam. The variation of the bulk density and the volumetric moisture of the soil as a function of time and space are measured by gamma absorption from a 137 Cs source with 300 mCi intensity

  8. Evaluating Moisture Control of Variable-Capacity Heat Pumps in Mechanically Ventilated, Low-Load Homes in Climate Zone 2A

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Martin, Eric [Univ. of Central Florida, Orlando, FL (United States). Florida Solar Energy Center; Withers, Chuck [Univ. of Central Florida, Orlando, FL (United States). Florida Solar Energy Center; McIlvaine, Janet [Univ. of Central Florida, Orlando, FL (United States). Florida Solar Energy Center; Chasar, Dave [Univ. of Central Florida, Orlando, FL (United States). Florida Solar Energy Center; Beal, David [Univ. of Central Florida, Orlando, FL (United States). Florida Solar Energy Center

    2018-02-07

    The well-sealed, highly insulated building enclosures constructed by today's home building industry coupled with efficient lighting and appliances are achieving significantly reduced heating and cooling loads. These low-load homes can present a challenge when selecting appropriate space-conditioning equipment. Conventional, fixed-capacity heating and cooling equipment is often oversized for small homes, causing increased first costs and operating costs. Even if fixed-capacity equipment can be properly specified for peak loads, it remains oversized for use during much of the year. During these part-load cooling hours, oversized equipment meets the target dry-bulb temperatures very quickly, often without sufficient opportunity for moisture control. The problem becomes more acute for high-performance houses in humid climates when meeting ASHRAE Standard 62.2 recommendations for wholehouse mechanical ventilation.

  9. Theory for source-responsive and free-surface film modeling of unsaturated flow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nimmo, J.R.

    2010-01-01

    A new model explicitly incorporates the possibility of rapid response, across significant distance, to substantial water input. It is useful for unsaturated flow processes that are not inherently diffusive, or that do not progress through a series of equilibrium states. The term source-responsive is used to mean that flow responds sensitively to changing conditions at the source of water input (e.g., rainfall, irrigation, or ponded infiltration). The domain of preferential flow can be conceptualized as laminar flow in free-surface films along the walls of pores. These films may be considered to have uniform thickness, as suggested by field evidence that preferential flow moves at an approximately uniform rate when generated by a continuous and ample water supply. An effective facial area per unit volume quantitatively characterizes the medium with respect to source-responsive flow. A flow-intensity factor dependent on conditions within the medium represents the amount of source-responsive flow at a given time and position. Laminar flow theory provides relations for the velocity and thickness of flowing source-responsive films. Combination with the Darcy-Buckingham law and the continuity equation leads to expressions for both fluxes and dynamic water contents. Where preferential flow is sometimes or always significant, the interactive combination of source-responsive and diffuse flow has the potential to improve prediction of unsaturated-zone fluxes in response to hydraulic inputs and the evolving distribution of soil moisture. Examples for which this approach is efficient and physically plausible include (i) rainstorm-generated rapid fluctuations of a deep water table and (ii) space- and time-dependent soil water content response to infiltration in a macroporous soil. ?? Soil Science Society of America.

  10. A Physically-based Model for Predicting Soil Moisture Dynamics in Wetlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalin, L.; Rezaeianzadeh, M.; Hantush, M. M.

    2017-12-01

    Wetlands are promoted as green infrastructures because of their characteristics in retaining and filtering water. In wetlands going through wetting/drying cycles, simulation of nutrient processes and biogeochemical reactions in both ponded and unsaturated wetland zones are needed for an improved understanding of wetland functioning for water quality improvement. The physically-based WetQual model can simulate the hydrology and nutrient and sediment cycles in natural and constructed wetlands. WetQual can be used in continuously flooded environments or in wetlands going through wetting/drying cycles. Currently, WetQual relies on 1-D Richards' Equation (RE) to simulate soil moisture dynamics in unponded parts of the wetlands. This is unnecessarily complex because as a lumped model, WetQual only requires average moisture contents. In this paper, we present a depth-averaged solution to the 1-D RE, called DARE, to simulate the average moisture content of the root zone and the layer below it in unsaturated parts of wetlands. DARE converts the PDE of the RE into ODEs; thus it is computationally more efficient. This method takes into account the plant uptake and groundwater table fluctuations, which are commonly overlooked in hydrologic models dealing with wetlands undergoing wetting and drying cycles. For verification purposes, DARE solutions were compared to Hydrus-1D model, which uses full RE, under gravity drainage only assumption and full-term equations. Model verifications were carried out under various top boundary conditions: no ponding at all, ponding at some point, and no rain. Through hypothetical scenarios and actual atmospheric data, the utility of DARE was demonstrated. Gravity drainage version of DARE worked well in comparison to Hydrus-1D, under all the assigned atmospheric boundary conditions of varying fluxes for all examined soil types (sandy loam, loam, sandy clay loam, and sand). The full-term version of DARE offers reasonable accuracy compared to the

  11. Diffusion of iodine and Technetium-99 through waste encasement concrete and unsaturated soil fill material

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mattigod, Shas V.; Whyatt, Greg A.; Serne, R. JEFFREY; Wood, Marcus I.; Hanchar, John M.; Stores-Gascoyne, Simcha; Lauren Browning

    2004-01-01

    An assessment of long-term performance of low level waste-enclosing cement grouts requires diffusivity data for radionuclide species such as, 129I and 99Tc. The diffusivity of radionuclides in soil and concrete media was collected by conducting soil-soil and concrete-soil half-cell experiments. The soil diffusivity coefficients for iodide were 7.03 x 10-8 cm2/s and 2.42 x 10-7 cm2/s for soils at 4% and 7% moisture contents, respectively. Iodide diffusivity in soil is a function of moisture content and is about an order of magnitude slower at lower moisture content. The soil diffusivity coefficients for 99Tc were 5.89 ± 0.80 x 10-8 cm2/s (4% moisture content) and 2.04 ± 0.57 x 10-7 cm2/s (7% moisture content), respectively. The soil diffusivity of iodide and 99Tc were similar in magnitude at both water contents, indicating that these ions have similar diffusion mechanisms in unsaturated coarse-textured Hanford soil. The diffusivity of iodide in concrete ranged from 2.07 x 10-14 cm2/s (4% soil moisture content) to 1.31 x 10-12 cm2/s (7% soil moisture content), indicating that under unsaturated soil moisture conditions, iodide diffusivity is highly sensitive to changing soil moisture conditions. Depending on the soil moisture content, the diffusivity of 99Tc in concrete ranged from 4.54 x 10-13 cm2/s to 8.02 x 10-12 cm2/s. At 4% soil moisture content, iodide diffused about 20 times more slowly than 99Tc, and at 7% soil moisture content, iodide in concrete diffused about 6 times slower than 99Tc

  12. Nitrate and Moisture Content of Broad Permafrost Landscape Features in the Barrow Peninsula: Predicting Evolving NO3 Concentrations in a Changing Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arendt, C. A.; Heikoop, J. M.; Newman, B. D.; Wales, N. A.; McCaully, R. E.; Wilson, C. J.; Wullschleger, S.

    2017-12-01

    The geochemical evolution of Arctic regions as permafrost degrades, significantly impacts nutrient availability. The release of nitrogen compounds from permafrost degradation fertilizes both microbial decomposition and plant productivity. Arctic warming promotes permafrost degradation, causing geomorphic and hydrologic transitions that have the potential to convert saturated zones to unsaturated zones and subsequently alter the nitrate production capacity of permafrost regions. Changes in Nitrate (NO3-) content associated with shifting moisture regimes are a primary factor determining Arctic fertilization and subsequent primary productivity, and have direct feedbacks to carbon cycling. We have documented a broad survey of co-located soil moisture and nitrate concentration measurements in shallow active layer regions across a variety of topographic features in the expansive continuous permafrost region encompassing the Barrow Peninsula of Alaska. Topographic features of interest are slightly higher relative to surrounding landscapes with drier soils and elevated nitrate, including the rims of low centered polygons, the centers of flat and high centered polygons, the rims of young, old and ancient drain thaw lake basins and drainage slopes that exist across the landscape. With this information, we model the nitrate inventory of the Barrow Peninsula using multiple geospatial approaches to estimate total area cover by unsaturated features of interest and further predict how various drying scenarios increase the magnitude of nitrate produced in degrading permafrost regions across the Arctic. This work is supported by the US Department of Energy Next Generation Ecosystem Experiment, NGEE-Arctic.

  13. Regional coupling of unsaturated and saturated flow and transport modeling - implementation at an alpine foothill aquifer in Austria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klammler, G.; Rock, G.; Kupfersberger, H.; Fank, J.

    2012-04-01

    For many European countries nitrate leaching from the soil zone into the aquifer due to surplus application of mineral fertilizer and animal manure by farmers constitutes the most important threat to groundwater quality. Since this is a diffuse pollution situation measures to change agricultural production have to be investigated at the aquifer scale. In principal, the problem could be solved by the 3 dimensional equation describing variable saturated groundwater flow and solute transport. However, this is computationally prohibitive due to the temporal and spatial scope of the task, particularly in the framework of running numerous simulations to compromise between conflicting interests (i.e. good groundwater status and high agricultural yield). For the aquifer 'Westliches Leibnitzer Feld' we break down this task into 1d vertical movement of water and nitrate mass in the unsaturated zone and 2d horizontal flow of water and solutes in the saturated compartment. The aquifer is located within the Mur Valley about 20 km south of Graz and consists of early Holocene gravel with varying amounts of sand and some silt. The unsaturated flow and nitrate leaching package SIMWASER/STOTRASIM (Stenitzer, 1988; Feichtinger, 1998) is calibrated to the lysimeter data sets and further on applied to so called hydrotopes which are unique combinations of soil type and agricultural management. To account for the unknown regional distribution of crops grown and amount, timing and kind of fertilizers used a stochastic tool (Klammler et al, 2011) is developed that generates sequences of crop rotations derived from municipal statistical data. To match the observed nitrate concentrations in groundwater with a saturated nitrate transport model it is of utmost importance to apply a realistic input distribution of nitrate mass in terms of spatial and temporal characteristics. A table is generated by running SIMWASER/STOTRASIM that consists of unsaturated water and nitrate fluxes for each 10 cm

  14. Saturated-unsaturated flow to a partially penetrating well with storage in a compressible aquifer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishra, P. K.; Neuman, S. P.

    2010-12-01

    Mishra and Neuman [2010] developed an analytical solution for flow to a partially penetrating well of zero radius in a compressible unconfined aquifer that allows inferring its saturated and unsaturated hydraulic properties from responses recorded in the saturated and/or the unsaturated zone. We extend their solution to the case of a finite diameter pumping well with storage. Both solutions account for horizontal as well as vertical flows throughout the system. We investigate the effects of storage in the pumping well and delayed piezometer response on drawdowns in the saturated and unsaturated zones as functions of position and time; validate our solution against numerical simulations of drawdown in a synthetic aquifer having unsaturated properties described by the van Genuchten - Mualem constitutive model; and use our solution to analyze drawdown data from a pumping test conducted at the Borden site in Ontario, Canada.

  15. Preferential flow occurs in unsaturated conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nimmo, John R.

    2012-01-01

    Because it commonly generates high-speed, high-volume flow with minimal exposure to solid earth materials, preferential flow in the unsaturated zone is a dominant influence in many problems of infiltration, recharge, contaminant transport, and ecohydrology. By definition, preferential flow occurs in a portion of a medium – that is, a preferred part, whether a pathway, pore, or macroscopic subvolume. There are many possible classification schemes, but usual consideration of preferential flow includes macropore or fracture flow, funneled flow determined by macroscale heterogeneities, and fingered flow determined by hydraulic instability rather than intrinsic heterogeneity. That preferential flow is spatially concentrated associates it with other characteristics that are typical, although not defining: it tends to be unusually fast, to transport high fluxes, and to occur with hydraulic disequilibrium within the medium. It also has a tendency to occur in association with large conduits and high water content, although these are less universal than is commonly assumed. Predictive unsaturated-zone flow models in common use employ several different criteria for when and where preferential flow occurs, almost always requiring a nearly saturated medium. A threshold to be exceeded may be specified in terms of the following (i) water content; (ii) matric potential, typically a value high enough to cause capillary filling in a macropore of minimum size; (iii) infiltration capacity or other indication of incipient surface ponding; or (iv) other conditions related to total filling of certain pores. Yet preferential flow does occur without meeting these criteria. My purpose in this commentary is to point out important exceptions and implications of ignoring them. Some of these pertain mainly to macropore flow, others to fingered or funneled flow, and others to combined or undifferentiated flow modes.

  16. Uranium Sequestration by Aluminum Phosphate Minerals in Unsaturated Soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jerden, James L. Jr.

    2007-01-01

    A mineralogical and geochemical study of soils developed from the unmined Coles Hill uranium deposit (Virginia) was undertaken to determine how phosphorous influences the speciation of uranium in an oxidizing soil/saprolite system typical of the eastern United States. This paper presents mineralogical and geochemical results that identify and quantify the processes by which uranium has been sequestered in these soils. It was found that uranium is not leached from the saturated soil zone (saprolites) overlying the deposit due to the formation of a sparingly soluble uranyl phosphate mineral of the meta-autunite group. The concentration of uranium in the saprolites is approximately 1000 mg uranium per kg of saprolite. It was also found that a significant amount of uranium was retained in the unsaturated soil zone overlying uranium-rich saprolites. The uranium concentration in the unsaturated soils is approximately 200 mg uranium per kg of soil (20 times higher than uranium concentrations in similar soils adjacent to the deposit). Mineralogical evidence indicates that uranium in this zone is sequestered by a barium-strontium-calcium aluminum phosphate mineral of the crandallite group (gorceixite). This mineral is intimately inter-grown with iron and manganese oxides that also contain uranium. The amount of uranium associated with both the aluminum phosphates (as much as 1.4 weight percent) has been measured by electron microprobe micro-analyses and the geochemical conditions under which these minerals formed has been studied using thermodynamic reaction path modeling. The geochemical data and modeling results suggest the meta-autunite group minerals present in the saprolites overlying the deposit are unstable in the unsaturated zone soils overlying the deposit due to a decrease in soil pH (down to a pH of 4.5) at depths less than 5 meters below the surface. Mineralogical observations suggest that, once exposed to the unsaturated environment, the meta-autunite group

  17. Optimizing operational water management with soil moisture data from Sentinel-1 satellites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pezij, Michiel; Augustijn, Denie; Hendriks, Dimmie; Hulscher, Suzanne

    2016-04-01

    In the Netherlands, regional water authorities are responsible for management and maintenance of regional water bodies. Due to socio-economic developments (e.g. agricultural intensification and on-going urbanisation) and an increase in climate variability, the pressure on these water bodies is growing. Optimization of water availability by taking into account the needs of different users, both in wet and dry periods, is crucial for sustainable developments. To support timely and well-directed operational water management, accurate information on the current state of the system as well as reliable models to evaluate water management optimization measures are essential. Previous studies showed that the use of remote sensing data (for example soil moisture data) in water management offers many opportunities (e.g. Wanders et al. (2014)). However, these data are not yet used in operational applications at a large scale. The Sentinel-1 satellites programme offers high spatiotemporal resolution soil moisture data (1 image per 6 days with a spatial resolution of 10 by 10 m) that are freely available. In this study, these data will be used to improve the Netherlands Hydrological Instrument (NHI). The NHI consists of coupled models for the unsaturated zone (MetaSWAP), groundwater (iMODFLOW) and surface water (Mozart and DM). The NHI is used for scenario analyses and operational water management in the Netherlands (De Lange et al., 2014). Due to the lack of soil moisture data, the unsaturated zone model is not yet thoroughly validated and its output is not used by regional water authorities for decision-making. Therefore, the newly acquired remotely sensed soil moisture data will be used to improve the skill of the MetaSWAP-model and the NHI as whole. The research will focus among other things on the calibration of soil parameters by comparing model output (MetaSWAP) with the remotely sensed soil moisture data. Eventually, we want to apply data-assimilation to improve

  18. Quantifying Preferential Flow and Seasonal Storage in an Unsaturated Fracture-Facial Domain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nimmo, J. R.; Malek-Mohammadi, S.

    2012-12-01

    Preferential flow through deep unsaturated zones of fractured rock is hydrologically important to a variety of contaminant transport and water-resource issues. The unsaturated zone of the English Chalk Aquifer provides an important opportunity for a case study of unsaturated preferential flow in isolation from other flow modes. The chalk matrix has low hydraulic conductivity and stays saturated, owing to its fine uniform pores and the wet climate of the region. Therefore the substantial fluxes observed in the unsaturated chalk must be within fractures and interact minimally with matrix material. Price et al. [2000] showed that irregularities on fracture surfaces provide a significant storage capacity in the chalk unsaturated zone, likely accounting for volumes of water required to explain unexpected dry-season water-table stability during substantial continuing streamflow observed by Lewis et al. [1993] In this presentation we discuss and quantify the dynamics of replenishment and drainage of this unsaturated zone fracture-face storage domain using a modification of the source-responsive model of Nimmo [2010]. This model explains the processes in terms of two interacting flow regimes: a film or rivulet preferential flow regime on rough fracture faces, active on an individual-storm timescale, and a regime of adsorptive and surface-tension influences, resembling traditional diffuse formulations of unsaturated flow, effective mainly on a seasonal timescale. The modified model identifies hydraulic parameters for an unsaturated fracture-facial domain lining the fractures. Besides helping to quantify the unsaturated zone storage described by Price et al., these results highlight the importance of research on the topic of unsaturated-flow relations within a near-fracture-surface domain. This model can also facilitate understanding of mechanisms for reinitiation of preferential flow after temporary cessation, which is important in multi-year preferential flow through deep

  19. Saturated-unsaturated flow in a compressible leaky-unconfined aquifer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishra, Phoolendra K.; Vesselinov, Velimir V.; Kuhlman, Kristopher L.

    2012-06-01

    An analytical solution is developed for three-dimensional flow towards a partially penetrating large-diameter well in an unconfined aquifer bounded below by a leaky aquitard of finite or semi-infinite extent. The analytical solution is derived using Laplace and Hankel transforms, then inverted numerically. Existing solutions for flow in leaky unconfined aquifers neglect the unsaturated zone following an assumption of instantaneous drainage due to Neuman. We extend the theory of leakage in unconfined aquifers by (1) including water flow and storage in the unsaturated zone above the water table, and (2) allowing the finite-diameter pumping well to partially penetrate the aquifer. The investigation of model-predicted results shows that aquitard leakage leads to significant departure from the unconfined solution without leakage. The investigation of dimensionless time-drawdown relationships shows that the aquitard drawdown also depends on unsaturated zone properties and the pumping-well wellbore storage effects.

  20. Moisture conditions in buildings

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rode, Carsten

    2012-01-01

    Growth of mould requires the presence of moisture at a certain high level. In a heated indoor environment such moisture levels occur only if there is a reason for the moisture supply. Such moisture can come from the use of the building, because of malfunctioning constructions, or it can be the re......Growth of mould requires the presence of moisture at a certain high level. In a heated indoor environment such moisture levels occur only if there is a reason for the moisture supply. Such moisture can come from the use of the building, because of malfunctioning constructions, or it can...

  1. Improved solution for saturated-unsaturated flow to a partially penetrating well in a compressible unconfined aquifer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishra, P. K.; Neuman, S. P.

    2009-12-01

    Tartakovsky and Neuman [2007] developed an analytical solution for flow to a partially penetrating well pumping at a constant rate from a compressible unconfined aquifer considering an unsaturated zone of infinite thickness. In their solution three-dimensional, axially symmetric unsaturated flow was described by a linearized version of Richards’ equation in which both relative hydraulic conductivity and water content vary exponentially with incremental capillary pressure head relative to its air entry value. Both exponential functions were characterized by a common exponent. We present an improved solution in which relative hydraulic conductivity and water content are characterized by separate parameters and the unsaturated zone has finite thickness. Our four-parameter representation of these functions is more flexible than the three-parameter version of Mathias and Butler [2006], who consider flow in the unsaturated zone to be strictly vertical and the pumping well to be fully penetrating. We investigate the effects of unsaturated zone thickness and constitutive parameters on drawdown in the unsaturated and saturated zones as functions of position and time. We then use our new solution to analyze data from synthetic and real pumping tests.

  2. Application and evaluation of the artificial tritium tagging of moisture soil technique in hydrogeological research in Brazil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Castro Rubio Poli, D. de.

    1989-01-01

    In this work, we apply and make an evaluation of the technique of artificial tritium tagging of moisture in many kinds of soils for the determination of rainfall infiltration in unsaturated zone. The purpose of this work is the determination of ground water recharge in order to assist in evaluation of sites for the disposal of radioactive wastes and also to assist in the evaluation of water resources. With this thesis, we intend to present a new choice for the measuring of local ground water recharge rate, due to availability of artificial tritium. From the experimental results obtained, we can conclude that the use of artificial tritium tagging method is an accurate, useful and probably the best available technique to determine ground water recharge. (author)

  3. Simulation of fluid flow and energy transport processes associated with high-level radioactive waste disposal in unsaturated alluvium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollock, David W.

    1986-01-01

    Many parts of the Great Basin have thick zones of unsaturated alluvium which might be suitable for disposing of high-level radioactive wastes. A mathematical model accounting for the coupled transport of energy, water (vapor and liquid), and dry air was used to analyze one-dimensional, vertical transport above and below an areally extensive repository. Numerical simulations were conducted for a hypothetical repository containing spent nuclear fuel and located 100 m below land surface. Initial steady state downward water fluxes of zero (hydrostatic) and 0.0003 m yr−1were considered in an attempt to bracket the likely range in natural water flux. Predicted temperatures within the repository peaked after approximately 50 years and declined slowly thereafter in response to the decreasing intensity of the radioactive heat source. The alluvium near the repository experienced a cycle of drying and rewetting in both cases. The extent of the dry zone was strongly controlled by the mobility of liquid water near the repository under natural conditions. In the case of initial hydrostatic conditions, the dry zone extended approximately 10 m above and 15 m below the repository. For the case of a natural flux of 0.0003 m yr−1 the relative permeability of water near the repository was initially more than 30 times the value under hydrostatic conditions, consequently the dry zone extended only about 2 m above and 5 m below the repository. In both cases a significant perturbation in liquid saturation levels persisted for several hundred years. This analysis illustrates the extreme sensitivity of model predictions to initial conditions and parameters, such as relative permeability and moisture characteristic curves, that are often poorly known.

  4. A semi-analytical solution for slug tests in an unconfined aquifer considering unsaturated flow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Hongbing

    2016-01-01

    A semi-analytical solution considering the vertical unsaturated flow is developed for groundwater flow in response to a slug test in an unconfined aquifer in Laplace space. The new solution incorporates the effects of partial penetrating, anisotropy, vertical unsaturated flow, and a moving water table boundary. Compared to the Kansas Geological Survey (KGS) model, the new solution can significantly improve the fittings of the modeled to the measured hydraulic heads at the late stage of slug tests in an unconfined aquifer, particularly when the slug well has a partially submerged screen and moisture drainage above the water table is significant. The radial hydraulic conductivities estimated with the new solution are comparable to those from the KGS, Bouwer and Rice, and Hvorslev methods. In addition, the new solution also can be used to examine the vertical conductivity, specific storage, specific yield, and the moisture retention parameters in an unconfined aquifer based on slug test data.

  5. Spatial and temporal variability of soil moisture in a restored reach of an Alpine river

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luster, Jörg

    2010-05-01

    replicates for each FPZ and depth. At all monitoring locations the occurrence of water saturation in a given soil layer could be related to river discharge and additional soil moisture peaks in topsoil to rain events. However, absolute soil moisture levels during unsatured conditions exhibited strong spatial variability in all FPZ, probably mainly due to variability in soil texture and plant cover. In addition, in the grass zone the major summer floodings changed conditions at least temporarily. On one hand, the soil's field capacity apparently increased stepwise with each flooding, which may be explained either by fresh input of fine sediments or by retarded wetting of hydrophobic microsites rich in soil organic matter. On the other hand, the dominant canary reed grass was irreversibly flattened by each flood and replaced by a new generation of small seedlings. Processes and events as those described before complicate predictions of soil moisture in highly dynamic and biologically active systems like colonized gravel bars. In addition, it has consequences for the rate of sensitive biogeochemical processes such as denitrification which is strongly affected by soil moisture.

  6. Chemical composition of different muscle zones in pirarucu (Arapaima gigas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mayara Galvão MARTINS

    Full Text Available Abstract Identifying potential patterns in pirarucu (Arapaima gigas composition, as a function of the different fish muscle zones (dorse, venter, ventrecha and tail, was the main objective of this research. For such, the different pirarucu muscle zones were evaluated, in order to obtain proximate composition and minerals content. It was also determined amino acids and fatty acids contents in fish muscle. The dorsal, ventral and tail muscle zones presented similar moisture (76.5-78.2%, protein (17.8-18.9%, total lipids (1.0-1.5% and ash (0.9-1.2% contents. On the other hand, the ventrecha zone presented 25.8% of protein and the major total lipids content (17.1%. The main minerals found in fish muscle were K (183.5-288.6 mg/100 g muscle and Na (65.1-175.5 mg/100 g. Glutamic acid (3027.6 mg/100 g muscle was the main amino acid found in fish muscle, which presented 48% of essential amino acids in the protein fraction. Lipids content showed 57.3% of unsaturated fatty acids and 42.7% of saturated fatty acids.

  7. Characterization of unsaturated hydraulic parameters for homogeneous and heterogeneous soils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wildenschild, Dorthe

    1997-09-01

    Application of numerical models for predicting future spreading of contaminants into ground water aquifers is dependent on appropriate characterization of the soil hydraulic properties controlling flow and transport in the unsaturated zone. This thesis reviews the current knowledge on two aspects of characterization of unsaturated hydraulic parameters; estimation of the basic hydraulic parameters for homogeneous soils and statistical representation of heterogeneity for spatially variable soils. The retention characteristic is traditionally measured using steady-state procedures, but new ideas based on dynamic techniques have been developed that reduce experimental efforts and that produce retention curves which compare to those measured by traditional techniques. The unsaturated hydraulic conductivity is difficult to establish by steady-state procedures, and extensive research efforts have been focused on alternative methods that are based on inverse estimation. The inverse methods have commonly been associated with problems of numerical instability and ill-posedness of the parameter estimates, but recent investigations have shown that the uniqueness of parameter estimates can be improved by including additional, independent information on, for instance, the retention characteristic. Also, uniqueness may be improved by careful selection of experimental conditions are parametric functions. (au) 234 refs.

  8. A mountain-scale model for characterizing unsaturated flow and transport in fractured tuffs of Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wu, Yu-Shu; Lu, Guoping; Zhang, Keni; Bodvarsson, G.S.

    2003-01-01

    This paper presents a large-scale modeling study characterizing fluid flow and tracer transport in the unsaturated zone of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, the proposed underground repository site for storing high-level radioactive waste. The modeling study is conducted using a three-dimensional numerical model, which incorporates a wide variety of field data and takes into account the coupled processes of flow and transport in Yucca Mountain's highly heterogeneous, unsaturated, fractured porous rock. The modeling approach is based on a dual-continuum formulation. Using different conceptual models of unsaturated flow, various scenarios of current and future climate conditions and their effects on the unsaturated zone are evaluated to aid in the assessment of the repository's system performance. These models are calibrated against field-measured data. Model-predicted flow and transport processes under current and future climates are discussed

  9. The vadose zone as a geoindicator of environmental change and groundwater quality in water-scarce areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edmunds, W. M.; Baba Goni, I.; Gaye, C. B.; Jin, L.

    2013-12-01

    Inert and reactive tracers in moisture profiles provide considerable potential for the vadose zone to be used as an indicator of rapid environmental change. This indicator is particularly applicable in areas of water stress where long term (decade to century) scale records may be found in deep unsaturated zones in low rainfall areas and provide insights into recent recharge, climate variation and water-rock interactions which generate groundwater quality. Unsaturated zone Cl records obtained by elutriation of moisture are used widely for estimating recharge and water balance studies; isotope profiles (3H, δ2H, δ18O) from total water extraction procedures are used for investigation of residence times and hydrological processes. Apart from water taken using lysimeters, little work has been conducted directly on the geochemistry of pore fluids. This is mainly due to the difficulties of extraction of moisture from unsaturated material with low water contents (typically 2-6 wt%) and since dilution methods can create artifacts. Using immiscible liquid displacement techniques it is now possible to directly investigate the geochemistry of moisture from unsaturated zone materials. Profiles up to 35m from Quaternary sediments from dryland areas of the African Sahel (Nigeria, Senegal) as well as Inner Mongolia, China are used to illustrate the breadth of information obtainable from vadose zone profiles. Using pH, major and trace elements and comparing with isotopic data, a better understanding is gained of timescales of water movement, aquifer recharge, environmental records and climate history as well as water-rock interaction and contaminant behaviour. The usefulness of tritium as residence time indicator has now expired following cessation of atmospheric thermonuclear testing and through radioactive decay. Providing the rainfall Cl, moisture contents and bulk densities of the sediments are known, then Cl accumulation can be substituted to estimate timescales. Profiles

  10. Unsaturated flow characterization utilizing water content data collected within the capillary fringe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baehr, Arthur; Reilly, Timothy J.

    2014-01-01

    An analysis is presented to determine unsaturated zone hydraulic parameters based on detailed water content profiles, which can be readily acquired during hydrological investigations. Core samples taken through the unsaturated zone allow for the acquisition of gravimetrically determined water content data as a function of elevation at 3 inch intervals. This dense spacing of data provides several measurements of the water content within the capillary fringe, which are utilized to determine capillary pressure function parameters via least-squares calibration. The water content data collected above the capillary fringe are used to calculate dimensionless flow as a function of elevation providing a snapshot characterization of flow through the unsaturated zone. The water content at a flow stagnation point provides an in situ estimate of specific yield. In situ determinations of capillary pressure function parameters utilizing this method, together with particle-size distributions, can provide a valuable supplement to data libraries of unsaturated zone hydraulic parameters. The method is illustrated using data collected from plots within an agricultural research facility in Wisconsin.

  11. The transport and behaviour of isoproturon in unsaturated chalk cores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Besien, T. J.; Williams, R. J.; Johnson, A. C.

    2000-04-01

    A batch sorption study, a microcosm degradation study, and two separate column leaching studies were used to investigate the transport and fate of isoproturon in unsaturated chalk. The column leaching studies used undisturbed core material obtained from the field by dry percussion drilling. Each column leaching study used 25 cm long, 10 cm wide unsaturated chalk cores through which a pulse of isoproturon and bromide was eluted. The cores were set-up to simulate conditions in the unsaturated zone of the UK Chalk aquifer by applying a suction of 1 kPa (0.1 m H 2O) to the base of each column, and eluting at a rate corresponding to an average recharge rate through the unsaturated Chalk. A dye tracer indicated that the flow was through the matrix under these conditions. The results from the first column study showed high recovery rates for both isoproturon (73-92%) and bromide (93-96%), and that isoproturon was retarded by a factor of about 1.23 relative to bromide. In the second column study, two of the four columns were eluted with non-sterile groundwater in place of the sterile groundwater used on all other columns, and this study showed high recovery rates for bromide (85-92%) and lower recovery rates for isoproturon (66-79% — sterile groundwater, 48-61% — non-sterile groundwater). The enhanced degradation in the columns eluted with non-sterile groundwater indicated that groundwater microorganisms had increased the degradation rate within these columns. Overall, the reduced isoproturon recovery in the second column study was attributed to increased microbial degradation as a result of the longer study duration (162 vs. 105 days). The breakthrough curves (BTCs) for bromide had a characteristic convection-dispersion shape and were accurately simulated with the minimum of calibration using a simple convection-dispersion model (LEACHP). However, the isoproturon BTCs had an unusual shape and could not be accurately simulated.

  12. Damping Effect of an Unsaturated-Saturated System on Tempospatial Variations of Pressure Head and Specific Flux

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, C.; Zhang, Y. K.; Liang, X.

    2014-12-01

    Damping effect of an unsaturated-saturated system on tempospatialvariations of pressurehead and specificflux was investigated. The variance and covariance of both pressure head and specific flux in such a system due to a white noise infiltration were obtained by solving the moment equations of water flow in the system and verified with Monte Carlo simulations. It was found that both the pressure head and specific flux in this case are temporally non-stationary. The variance is zero at early time due to a deterministic initial condition used, then increases with time, and approaches anasymptotic limit at late time.Both pressure head and specific flux arealso non-stationary in space since the variance decreases from source to sink. The unsaturated-saturated systembehavesasa noise filterand it damps both the pressure head and specific flux, i.e., reduces their variations and enhances their correlation. The effect is stronger in upper unsaturated zone than in lower unsaturated zone and saturated zone. As a noise filter, the unsaturated-saturated system is mainly a low pass filter, filtering out the high frequency components in the time series of hydrological variables. The damping effect is much stronger in the saturated zone than in the saturated zone.

  13. Modeling field scale unsaturated flow and transport processes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gelhar, L.W.; Celia, M.A.; McLaughlin, D.

    1994-08-01

    The scales of concern in subsurface transport of contaminants from low-level radioactive waste disposal facilities are in the range of 1 to 1,000 m. Natural geologic materials generally show very substantial spatial variability in hydraulic properties over this range of scales. Such heterogeneity can significantly influence the migration of contaminants. It is also envisioned that complex earth structures will be constructed to isolate the waste and minimize infiltration of water into the facility. The flow of water and gases through such facilities must also be a concern. A stochastic theory describing unsaturated flow and contamination transport in naturally heterogeneous soils has been enhanced by adopting a more realistic characterization of soil variability. The enhanced theory is used to predict field-scale effective properties and variances of tension and moisture content. Applications illustrate the important effects of small-scale heterogeneity on large-scale anisotropy and hysteresis and demonstrate the feasibility of simulating two-dimensional flow systems at time and space scales of interest in radioactive waste disposal investigations. Numerical algorithms for predicting field scale unsaturated flow and contaminant transport have been improved by requiring them to respect fundamental physical principles such as mass conservation. These algorithms are able to provide realistic simulations of systems with very dry initial conditions and high degrees of heterogeneity. Numerical simulation of the movement of water and air in unsaturated soils has demonstrated the importance of air pathways for contaminant transport. The stochastic flow and transport theory has been used to develop a systematic approach to performance assessment and site characterization. Hypothesis-testing techniques have been used to determine whether model predictions are consistent with observed data

  14. Exploiting Soil Moisture, Precipitation, and Streamflow Observations to Evaluate Soil Moisture/Runoff Coupling in Land Surface Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crow, W. T.; Chen, F.; Reichle, R. H.; Xia, Y.; Liu, Q.

    2018-05-01

    Accurate partitioning of precipitation into infiltration and runoff is a fundamental objective of land surface models tasked with characterizing the surface water and energy balance. Temporal variability in this partitioning is due, in part, to changes in prestorm soil moisture, which determine soil infiltration capacity and unsaturated storage. Utilizing the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Soil Moisture Active Passive Level-4 soil moisture product in combination with streamflow and precipitation observations, we demonstrate that land surface models (LSMs) generally underestimate the strength of the positive rank correlation between prestorm soil moisture and event runoff coefficients (i.e., the fraction of rainfall accumulation volume converted into stormflow runoff during a storm event). Underestimation is largest for LSMs employing an infiltration-excess approach for stormflow runoff generation. More accurate coupling strength is found in LSMs that explicitly represent subsurface stormflow or saturation-excess runoff generation processes.

  15. Contributions of Precipitation and Soil Moisture Observations to the Skill of Soil Moisture Estimates in a Land Data Assimilation System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reichle, Rolf H.; Liu, Qing; Bindlish, Rajat; Cosh, Michael H.; Crow, Wade T.; deJeu, Richard; DeLannoy, Gabrielle J. M.; Huffman, George J.; Jackson, Thomas J.

    2011-01-01

    The contributions of precipitation and soil moisture observations to the skill of soil moisture estimates from a land data assimilation system are assessed. Relative to baseline estimates from the Modern Era Retrospective-analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA), the study investigates soil moisture skill derived from (i) model forcing corrections based on large-scale, gauge- and satellite-based precipitation observations and (ii) assimilation of surface soil moisture retrievals from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for the Earth Observing System (AMSR-E). Soil moisture skill is measured against in situ observations in the continental United States at 44 single-profile sites within the Soil Climate Analysis Network (SCAN) for which skillful AMSR-E retrievals are available and at four CalVal watersheds with high-quality distributed sensor networks that measure soil moisture at the scale of land model and satellite estimates. The average skill (in terms of the anomaly time series correlation coefficient R) of AMSR-E retrievals is R=0.39 versus SCAN and R=0.53 versus CalVal measurements. The skill of MERRA surface and root-zone soil moisture is R=0.42 and R=0.46, respectively, versus SCAN measurements, and MERRA surface moisture skill is R=0.56 versus CalVal measurements. Adding information from either precipitation observations or soil moisture retrievals increases surface soil moisture skill levels by IDDeltaR=0.06-0.08, and root zone soil moisture skill levels by DeltaR=0.05-0.07. Adding information from both sources increases surface soil moisture skill levels by DeltaR=0.13, and root zone soil moisture skill by DeltaR=0.11, demonstrating that precipitation corrections and assimilation of satellite soil moisture retrievals contribute similar and largely independent amounts of information.

  16. Moisture in Crawl Spaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anton TenWolde; Samuel V. Glass

    2013-01-01

    Crawl space foundations can be designed and built to avoid moisture problems. In this article we provide a brief overview of crawl spaces with emphasis on the physics of moisture. We review trends that have been observed in the research literature and summarize cur-rent recommendations for moisture control in crawl spaces.

  17. Evaluating Contaminant Flux from the Vadose Zone to the Groundwater in the Hanford Central Plateau. SX Tank Farms Case Study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Truex, Michael J. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Oostrom, Martinus [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Last, George V. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Strickland, Christopher E. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Tartakovsky, Guzel D. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)

    2015-09-01

    At the DOE Hanford Site, contaminants were discharged to the subsurface through engineered waste sites in the Hanford Central Plateau. Additional waste was released through waste storage tank leaks. Much of the contaminant inventory is still present within the unsaturated vadose zone sediments. The nature and extent of future groundwater contaminant plumes and the growth or decline of current groundwater plumes beneath the Hanford Central Plateau are a function of the contaminant flux from the vadose zone to the groundwater. In general, contaminant transport is slow through the vadose zone and it is difficult to directly measure contaminant flux in the vadose zone. Predictive analysis, supported by site characterization and monitoring data, was applied using a structured, systems-based approach to estimate the future contaminant flux to groundwater in support of remediation decisions for the vadose zone and groundwater (Truex and Carroll 2013). The SX Tank Farm was used as a case study because of the existing contaminant inventory in the vadose zone, observations of elevated moisture content in portions of the vadose zone, presence of a limited-extent groundwater plume, and the relatively large amount and wide variety of data available for the site. Although the SX Tank Farm case study is most representative of conditions at tank farm sites, the study has elements that are also relevant to other types of disposal sites in the Hanford Central Plateau.

  18. IDENTIFICATION AND COMPILATION OF UNSATURATED/VADOSE ZONE MODELS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Many ground-water contamination problems are derived from sources at or near the soil surface. Consequently, the physical and (bio-)chemical behavior of contaminants in the shallow subsurface is of critical importance to the development of protection and remediation strategies. M...

  19. Movement of contaminants in the unsaturated zone of the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    granite), with the natural water table more than 15 m below ground surface. ... appears to be negligible, with substantial treatment apparently taking place within the soakaway ...... observed to discard their grey water onto the ground surface at.

  20. Sediment properties and water movement through shallow unsaturated alluvium at an arid site for disposal of low-level radioactive waste near Beatty, Nye County, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Jeffrey M.

    1992-01-01

    A commercial disposal facility for low-level radioactive waste has been in operation near Beatty, Nevada, since 1962. The facility is in the arid Amargosa Desert where wastes are buried in trenches excavated into unsaturated alluvial sediments. Thick unsaturated zones in arid environments offer many potential advantages for disposal of radioactive wastes, but little is known about the natural movement of water near such facilities. Thus, a study was begun in 1982 to better define the direction and rates of water movement through the unsaturated zone in undisturbed sediments near the disposal facility. This report discusses the analyses of data collected between 1983 and 1988.

  1. The unsaturated bistable stochastic resonance system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Wenli; Wang, Juan; Wang, Linze

    2013-09-01

    We investigated the characteristics of the output saturation of the classical continuous bistable system (saturation bistable system) and its impact on stochastic resonance (SR). We further proposed a piecewise bistable SR system (unsaturated bistable system) and developed the expression of signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) using the adiabatic approximation theory. Compared with the saturation bistable system, the SNR is significantly improved in our unsaturated bistable SR system. The numerical simulation showed that the unsaturated bistable system performed better in extracting weak signals from strong background noise than the saturation bistable system.

  2. MODELING COUPLED PROCESSES OF MULTIPHASE FLOW AND HEAT TRANSFER IN UNSATURATED FRACTURED ROCK

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Y. Wu; S. Mukhopadhyay; K. Zhang; G.S. Bodvarsson

    2006-01-01

    A mountain-scale, thermal-hydrologic (TH) numerical model is developed for investigating unsaturated flow behavior in response to decay heat from the radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA. The TH model, consisting of three-dimensional (3-D) representations of the unsaturated zone, is based on the current repository design, drift layout, and thermal loading scenario under estimated current and future climate conditions. More specifically, the TH model implements the current geological framework and hydrogeological conceptual models, and incorporates the most updated, best-estimated input parameters. This mountain-scale TH model simulates the coupled TH processes related to mountain-scale multiphase fluid flow, and evaluates the impact of radioactive waste heat on the hydrogeological system, including thermally perturbed liquid saturation, gas- and liquid-phase fluxes, and water and rock temperature elevations, as well as the changes in water flux driven by evaporation/condensation processes and drainage between drifts. For a better description of the ambient geothermal condition of the unsaturated zone system, the TH model is first calibrated against measured borehole temperature data. The ambient temperature calibration provides the necessary surface and water table boundary as well as initial conditions. Then, the TH model is used to obtain scientific understanding of TH processes in the Yucca Mountain unsaturated zone under the designed schedule of repository thermal load

  3. Design of dry barriers for containment of contaminants in unsaturated soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morris, C.E.; Thomson, B.M.; Stormont, J.C.

    1997-01-01

    A dry barrier is a region of very dry conditions in unsaturated soil that prevents vertical migration of water created by circulating dry air through the formation. Dry soil creates a barrier to vertical water movement by decreasing the soil's hydraulic conductivity, a concept also used in capillary barriers. A dry barrier may be a viable method for providing containment of a contaminant plume in a setting with a thick unsaturated zone and dry climate. The principal factors which determine the feasibility of a dry barrier include: (1) an and environment, (2) thick vadose zone, and (3) the ability to circulate air through the vadose zone. This study investigated the technical and economic considerations associated with creating a dry barrier to provide containment of a hypothetical 1 ha aqueous contaminant plume. The concept appears to be competitive with other interim containment methods such as ground freezing

  4. Unsaturated medium hydrocarbons pollution evaluation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Di Luise, G.

    1991-01-01

    When the so called porous unsaturated medium, that's the vertical subsoil section between both the ground and water-table level, is interested by a hydrocarbons spill, the problem to evaluate the pollution becomes difficult: considering, essentially, the natural coexistence in it of two fluids, air and water, and the interactions between them. This paper reports that the problems tend to increase when a third fluid, the pollutant, immiscible with water, is introduced into the medium: a three-phases flow, which presents several analogies with the flow conditions present in an oil-reservoir, will be established. In such a situation, it would be very useful to handle the matter by the commonly used parameters in the oil reservoirs studies such as: residual saturation, relative permeability, phases mobility, to derive a first semiquantitative estimation of the pollution. The subsoil pollution form hydrocarbons agents is one of the worldwide more diffused causes of contamination: such events are generally referable to two main effects: accidental (oil pipeline breakdowns, e.g.), and continuous (underground tanks breaks, industrial plants leakages, e.g.)

  5. Principles of Physical Modelling of Unsaturated Soils

    OpenAIRE

    CAICEDO, Bernardo; THOREL, Luc

    2014-01-01

    Centrifuge modelling has been widely used to simulate the performance of a variety of geotechnical works, most of them focusing on saturated clays or dry sands. On the other hand, the performance of some geotechnical works depends on the behaviour of shallow layers in the soil deposit where it is frequently unsaturated. Centrifuge modelling could be a powerful tool to study the performance of shallow geotechnical works. However all the experimental complexities related to unsaturated soils, w...

  6. Full-field dye concentration measurement within saturated/unsaturated thin slabs of porous media

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Norton, D.L.; Glass, R.J.

    1993-01-01

    This paper presents a full-field dye concentration measurement technique that extends our experimental capabilities to the measurement of transient dye concentration fields within steady state flow fields under unsaturated or saturated conditions. Simple light absorption theory provides a basis for translating images into high resolution dye concentration fields. A series of dye pulse experiments that demonstrate the combined use of the full-field saturation and dye concentration techniques was conducted at four different degrees of saturation. Each of these experimental sequences was evaluated with respect to mass balance, the results being within 5% of the known dye mass input. An image windowing technique allowed us to see increased dispersion due to decreasing moisture content, tailing of concentration at the rear of the dye pulse and slight velocity changes of the dispersive front due to changes in moisture content. The exceptional resolution of dye concentration in space and time provided by this laboratory technique allows systematic experimentation for examining basic processes affecting solute transport within saturated/unsaturated porous media. Future challenges for this work will be to use these techniques to analyze more complex systems involving heterogeneities, scaling laws, and detailed investigations of the relationship between transverse and longitudinal dispersion in unsaturated media

  7. Graphene oxide-facilitated transport of levofloxacin and ciprofloxacin in saturated and unsaturated porous media.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Kaixuan; Dong, Shunan; Sun, Yuanyuan; Gao, Bin; Du, Wenchao; Xu, Hongxia; Wu, Jichun

    2018-04-15

    In this work, effects of graphene oxide (GO) on the co-transport of the two typical Fluoroquinolones (FQs) - levofloxacin (LEV) and ciprofloxacin (CIP) in saturated and unsaturated quartz sand media were studied. The adsorption isotherms showed that GO had much larger sorption capacities to LEV and CIP than sand with the largest Langmuir adsorption capacity of 409 mg g -1 (CIP-GO); while the sorption affinity of the two FQs onto the two adsorbents might follow the order of CIP-sand > LEV-sand > LEV-GO > CIP-GO. GO promoted the mobility of the two FQs in both saturated and unsaturated porous media due to its strong mobility and sorption capacity. The GO-bound LEV/CIP was responsible for the LEV/CIP transport in the porous media, and transport of GO-bound FQs increased with the increasing of initial GO concentration. Under unsaturated conditions, moisture showed little effect on the transport of GO-bound CIP; however, the mobility of GO-bound LEV reduced with the decreasing of moisture content, suggesting the transport of adsorbed LEV from GO to air-water interface. GO sorption reduced the antibacterial ability of the two FQs, but they were still effective in inhibiting E. coli growth. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Ecohydrological Consequences of Critical Zone Structure in the Franciscan Formation, Northern California Coast Ranges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hahm, W. J.; Dietrich, W. E.; Dawson, T. E.; Lovill, S.; Rempe, D.

    2016-12-01

    Water availability regulates ecosystem function, particularly in seasonally dry climates where lack of moisture in the growing season acts as an ecological bottleneck. Water within hillslopes is extracted by plants during transpiration and also delivered to streams to support baseflow for riparian ecosystems and human use. How water is stored and then released from hillslopes is strongly influenced by the structure of the critical zone (CZ) that emerges from the complex interaction of lithology, climate, and tectonics. Here we show how contrasting CZ development has extreme ecohydrological consequences in the seasonally dry climate of the Northern California Coast Ranges. To explore how the CZ transmits and stores water, we studied hydrologic dynamics at two sites with similar climate across belts of the Franciscan Formation in the Eel River CZO. We monitored plant water use, precipitation inputs and stream runoff, groundwater and vadose zone moisture dynamics and documented near-surface hydraulic conductivity and runoff-generation processes. We investigated CZ structure via boreholes and geophysical methods. We find that CZ thickness determines the extent to which hillslopes `shed' or `store' wet season precipitation, and fundamentally controls the structure of plant communities and summer low-flows. In a climate where winter precipitation regularly exceeds 2000 mm, the thin CZ of the sheared argillite matrix Central belt rapidly fills, resulting in wet-season saturation overland flow that drives flashy winter runoff in channels that then quickly run dry in the early summer. The maximum unsaturated moisture storage of approximately 200 mm is sufficient to host an ecologically diverse yet sparsely forested oak savanna. In contrast, the thick CZ of the interbedded argillite and greywacke Coastal belt stores up to 600 mm of winter precipitation in the unsaturated zone and a seasonal groundwater system within fractured bedrock provides year-round flow to channels

  9. Photosynthesis in a sub-Antarctic shore-zone lichen

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smith, V.; Gremmen, N.J.M.

    2001-01-01

    Photosynthetic responses to moisture, light, temperature, salinity and inorganic nitrogen fertilization are reported for a shore-zone lichen Turgidiusculum complicatulum (formerly Mastodia tesselata), a possible recent introduction to sub-Antarctic Marion Island. Optimum moisture contents for net

  10. New technique of insitu soil moisture sampling for environmental isotope analysis applied at 'Pilat-dune' near Bordeaux

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thoma, G.; Esser, N.; Sonntag, C.; Weiss, W.; Rudolph, J.; Leveque, P.

    1978-01-01

    A new soil-air suction method with soil water vapor adsorption by 4 A-molecular sieve provides soil moisture samples from various depths for environmental isotope analysis and yields soil temperature profiles. A field tritium tracer experiment shows that this insitu sampling method has an isotope profile resolution of about 5-10 cm only. Application of this method in the Pilat sand dune (Bordeaux/France) yielded deuterium and tritium profiles down to 25 meters depth. Bomb tritium measurements of monthly lysimeter percolate samples available since 1961 show that the tritium response has a mean delay of 5 months in case of a sand lysimeter and of 2.5 years for a loess loam lysimeter. A simple HETP model simulates the layered downward movement of soil water and the longitudinal dispersion in the lysimeters. Field capacity and evapotranspiration taken as open parameters yield tritium concentration values of the lysimeters' percolate which are in close agreement with the experimental results. Based on local meteorological data the HETP model applied to tritium tracer experiments in the unsaturated zone further yiels an individual prediction of the momentary tracer position and of the soil moisture distribution. This prediction can be checked experimentally at selected intervals by coring. (orig.) [de

  11. Pore-water extraction from unsaturated tuff by triaxial and one-dimensional compression methods, Nevada Test Site, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mower, T.E.; Higgins, J.D.; Yang, In C.; Peters, C.A.

    1994-01-01

    The hydrologic system in the unsaturated tuff at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is being evaluated for the US Department of Energy by the Yucca Mountain Project Branch of the US Geological Survey as a potential site for a high-level radioactive-waste repository. Part of this investigation includes a hydrochemical study that is being made to assess characteristics of the hydrologic system such as: traveltime, direction of flow, recharge and source relations, and types and magnitudes of chemical reactions in the unsaturated tuff. In addition, this hydrochemical information will be used in the study of the dispersive and corrosive effects of unsaturated-zone water on the radioactive-waste storage canisters. This report describes the design and validation of laboratory experimental procedures for extracting representative samples of uncontaminated pore water from welded and nonwelded, unsaturated tuffs from the Nevada Test Site

  12. Moisture Management for High R-Value Walls

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lepage, R. [Building Science Corporation, Somerville, MA (United States); Schumacher, C. [Building Science Corporation, Somerville, MA (United States); Lukachko, A. [Building Science Corporation, Somerville, MA (United States)

    2013-11-01

    This report explains the moisture-related concerns for high R-value wall assemblies and discusses past Building America research work that informs this study. In this project, hygrothermal simulations were prepared for several common approaches to High R-value wall construction in six cities (Houston, Atlanta, Seattle, St. Louis, Chicago, and International Falls) representing a range of climate zones. The modeling program assessed the moisture durability of the wall assemblies based on three primary sources of moisture: construction moisture, air leakage condensation, and bulk water leakage; the report presents results of the study.

  13. Microcomputerized neutron moisture gauge

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu Shengkang; Mei Yu

    1987-01-01

    A microcomputerized neutron moisture gauge is introduced. This gauge consists of a neutron moisture sensor and instruments. It is developed from the neutron moisture gauge for concrete mixer. A TECH-81 single card microcomputer is used for count, computation and display. It has the function of computing compensated quantity of sand. It can acquire the data from several neutron sensors by the multichanneling sampling, therefore it can measure moisture values of sand in several hoppers simultaneously. The precision of the static state calibration curve is 0.24% wt. The error limits of the dynamic state check is < 0.50% wt

  14. Moisture Transport in Wood

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Astrup, Thomas; Hansen, Kurt Kielsgaard; Hoffmeyer, Preben

    2005-01-01

    Modelling of moisture transport in wood is of great importance as most mechanical and physical properties of wood depend on moisture content. Moisture transport in porous materials is often described by Ficks second law, but several observations indicate that this does not apply very well to wood....... Recently at the Technical University of Denmark, Department of Civil Engineering, a new model for moisture transport in wood has been developed. The model divides the transport into two phases, namely water vapour in the cell lumens and bound water in the cell walls....

  15. Homogeneously catalysed hydrogenation of unsaturated fatty acids to unsaturated fatty alcohols

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stouthamer, B.; Vlugter, J.C.

    1965-01-01

    The use of copper and cadmium oxides or soaps as catalysts for the hydrogenation of unsaturated fatty acids to unsaturated fatty alcohols has been investigated. It is shown that copper soaps homogeneously activate hydrogen. When copper and cadmium oxides are used as catalysts, they react with the

  16. Biodegradation of vapor-phase toluene in unsaturated porous media: Column experiments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khan, Ali M.; Wick, Lukas Y.; Harms, Hauke; Thullner, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Biodegradation of organic chemicals in the vapor phase of soils and vertical flow filters has gained attention as promising approach to clean up volatile organic compounds (VOC). The drivers of VOC biodegradation in unsaturated systems however still remain poorly understood. Here, we analyzed the processes controlling aerobic VOC biodegradation in a laboratory setup mimicking the unsaturated zone above a shallow aquifer. The setup allowed for diffusive vapor-phase transport and biodegradation of three VOC: non-deuterated and deuterated toluene as two compounds of highly differing biodegradability but (nearly) identical physical and chemical properties, and MTBE as (at the applied experimental conditions) non-biodegradable tracer and internal control. Our results showed for toluene an effective microbial degradation within centimeter VOC transport distances despite high gas-phase diffusivity. Degradation rates were controlled by the reactivity of the compounds while oxic conditions were found everywhere in the system. This confirms hypotheses that vadose zone biodegradation rates can be extremely high and are able to prevent the outgassing of VOC to the atmosphere within a centimeter range if compound properties and site conditions allow for sufficiently high degradation rates. - Highlights: • The column setup allows resolving vapor-phase VOC concentration gradients at cm scale resolution. • Vapor-phase and liquid-phase concentrations are measured simultaneously. • Isotopically labelled VOC was used as reference species of low biodegradability. • Biodegradation rates in the unsaturated zone can be very high and act at a cm scale. • Unsaturated material can be an effective bio-barrier avoiding biodegradable VOC emissions. - Microbial degradation activity can be sufficient to remove VOC from unsaturated porous media after a few centimeter of vapor-phase diffusive transport and mayeffectively avoid atmospheric emissions.

  17. Flow and transport in unsaturated fractured rock: Effects of multiscale heterogeneity of hydrogeologic properties

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhou, Quanlin; Liu, Hui-Hai; Bodvarsson, Gudmundur S.; Oldenburg, Curtis M.

    2002-01-01

    The heterogeneity of hydrogeologic properties at different scales may have different effects on flow and transport processes in a subsurface system. A model for the unsaturated zone of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is developed to represent complex heterogeneity at two different scales: (1) layer scale corresponding to geologic layering and (2) local scale. The layer-scale hydrogeologic properties are obtained using inverse modeling, based on the available measurements collected from the Yucca Mountain site. Calibration results show a significant lateral and vertical variability in matrix and fracture properties. Hydrogeologic property distributions in a two-dimensional, vertical cross section of the site are generated by combining the average layer-scale matrix and fracture properties with local-scale perturbations generated using a stochastic simulation method. The unsaturated water flow and conservative (nonsorbing) tracer transport through the cross section are simulated for different sets of matrix and fracture property fields. Comparison of simulation results indicates that the local-scale heterogeneity of matrix and fracture properties has a considerable effect on unsaturated flow processes, leading to fast flow paths in fractures and the matrix. These paths shorten the travel time of a conservative tracer from the source (repository) horizon in the unsaturated zone to the water table for small fractions of total released tracer mass. As a result, the local-scale heterogeneity also has a noticeable effect on global tracer transport processes, characterized by an average breakthrough curve at the water table, especially at the early arrival time of tracer mass. However, the effect is not significant at the later time after 20 percent tracer mass reaches the water table. The simulation results also verify that matrix diffusion plays an important role in overall solute transport processes in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain

  18. Moditored unsaturated soil transport processes as a support for large scale soil and water management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanclooster, Marnik

    2010-05-01

    The current societal demand for sustainable soil and water management is very large. The drivers of global and climate change exert many pressures on the soil and water ecosystems, endangering appropriate ecosystem functioning. The unsaturated soil transport processes play a key role in soil-water system functioning as it controls the fluxes of water and nutrients from the soil to plants (the pedo-biosphere link), the infiltration flux of precipitated water to groundwater and the evaporative flux, and hence the feed back from the soil to the climate system. Yet, unsaturated soil transport processes are difficult to quantify since they are affected by huge variability of the governing properties at different space-time scales and the intrinsic non-linearity of the transport processes. The incompatibility of the scales between the scale at which processes reasonably can be characterized, the scale at which the theoretical process correctly can be described and the scale at which the soil and water system need to be managed, calls for further development of scaling procedures in unsaturated zone science. It also calls for a better integration of theoretical and modelling approaches to elucidate transport processes at the appropriate scales, compatible with the sustainable soil and water management objective. Moditoring science, i.e the interdisciplinary research domain where modelling and monitoring science are linked, is currently evolving significantly in the unsaturated zone hydrology area. In this presentation, a review of current moditoring strategies/techniques will be given and illustrated for solving large scale soil and water management problems. This will also allow identifying research needs in the interdisciplinary domain of modelling and monitoring and to improve the integration of unsaturated zone science in solving soil and water management issues. A focus will be given on examples of large scale soil and water management problems in Europe.

  19. Method of coupling 1-D unsaturated flow with 3-D saturated flow on large scale

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan Zhu

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available A coupled unsaturated-saturated water flow numerical model was developed. The water flow in the unsaturated zone is considered the one-dimensional vertical flow, which changes in the horizontal direction according to the groundwater table and the atmospheric boundary conditions. The groundwater flow is treated as the three-dimensional water flow. The recharge flux to groundwater from soil water is considered the bottom flux for the numerical simulation in the unsaturated zone, and the upper flux for the groundwater simulation. It connects and unites the two separated water flow systems. The soil water equation is solved based on the assumed groundwater table and the subsequent predicted recharge flux. Then, the groundwater equation is solved with the predicted recharge flux as the upper boundary condition. Iteration continues until the discrepancy between the assumed and calculated groundwater nodal heads have a certain accuracy. Illustrative examples with different water flow scenarios regarding the Dirichlet boundary condition, the Neumann boundary condition, the atmospheric boundary condition, and the source or sink term were calculated by the coupled model. The results are compared with those of other models, including Hydrus-1D, SWMS-2D, and FEFLOW, which demonstrate that the coupled model is effective and accurate and can significantly reduce the computational time for the large number of nodes in saturated-unsaturated water flow simulation.

  20. Linking river, floodplain, and vadose zone hydrology to improve restoration of a coastal river affected by saltwater intrusion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaplan, D; Muñoz-Carpena, R; Wan, Y; Hedgepeth, M; Zheng, F; Roberts, R; Rossmanith, R

    2010-01-01

    Floodplain forests provide unique ecological structure and function, which are often degraded or lost when watershed hydrology is modified. Restoration of damaged ecosystems requires an understanding of surface water, groundwater, and vadose (unsaturated) zone hydrology in the floodplain. Soil moisture and porewater salinity are of particular importance for seed germination and seedling survival in systems affected by saltwater intrusion but are difficult to monitor and often overlooked. This study contributes to the understanding of floodplain hydrology in one of the last bald cypress [Taxodium distichum (L.) Rich.] floodplain swamps in southeast Florida. We investigated soil moisture and porewater salinity dynamics in the floodplain of the Loxahatchee River, where reduced freshwater flow has led to saltwater intrusion and a transition to salt-tolerant, mangrove-dominated communities. Twenty-four dielectric probes measuring soil moisture and porewater salinity every 30 min were installed along two transects-one in an upstream, freshwater location and one in a downstream tidal area. Complemented by surface water, groundwater, and meteorological data, these unique 4-yr datasets quantified the spatial variability and temporal dynamics of vadose zone hydrology. Results showed that soil moisture can be closely predicted based on river stage and topographic elevation (overall Nash-Sutcliffe coefficient of efficiency = 0.83). Porewater salinity rarely exceeded tolerance thresholds (0.3125 S m(-1)) for bald cypress upstream but did so in some downstream areas. This provided an explanation for observed vegetation changes that both surface water and groundwater salinity failed to explain. The results offer a methodological and analytical framework for floodplain monitoring in locations where restoration success depends on vadose zone hydrology and provide relationships for evaluating proposed restoration and management scenarios for the Loxahatchee River.

  1. Three-dimensional saturated-unsaturated flow with axial symmetry to a partially penetrating well in a compressible unconfined aquifer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tartakovsky, Guzel D.; Neuman, Shlomo P.

    2007-01-01

    A new analytical solution is presented for the delayed response process characterizing flow to a partially penetrating well in an unconfined aquifer. The new solution generalizes that of Neuman (1972, 1974) by accounting for unsaturated flow above the water table. Three-dimensional, axially symmetric flow in the unsaturated zone is described by a linearized version of Richards' equation in which hydraulic conductivity and water content vary exponentially with incremental capillary pressure head relative to its air entry value (defining the interface between the saturated and unsaturated zones). Unsaturated soil properties are characterized by an exponent κ having the dimension of inverse length or, equivalently, a dimensionless exponent κD = κb, where b is initial saturated thickness. Our treatment of the unsaturated zone is similar to that of Kroszynski and Dagan (1975), who, however, have ignored internal (artesian) aquifer storage. According to Kroszynski and Dagan, aquifers that are not excessively shallow have values of κD (their parameter a) much greater than 10. We find that in such typical cases, unsaturated flow has little impact on early and late dimensionless time drawdown a short distance below the water table. Unsaturated flow causes drawdown to increase slightly at intermediate dimensionless time values that represent transition from an early artesian-dominated to a late water-table-dominated flow regime. Delayed drainage from the unsaturated zone becomes less and less important as κD increases; as κD → ∞, this effect dies out, and drawdown is controlled entirely by delayed decline in the water table as in the model of Neuman. The unsaturated zone has a major impact on drawdown at intermediate time and a significant impact at early and late times, in the atypical case of κD ≤ 1, becoming the dominant factor as κD approaches zero (the soil water retention capacity becomes very large and/or saturated thickness becomes insignificant). Our

  2. Numerical study of damage in unsaturated Geological and Engineered barriers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arson, C.; Gatmiri, B.

    2011-01-01

    The theoretical framework of a damage model dedicated to non-isothermal unsaturated porous media is presented. The damage variable is a second-order tensor, and the model is formulated in independent state variables. The behavior laws are derived from a postulated expression of Helmholtz free energy. The damaged rigidities are computed by applying the Principle of Equivalent Elastic Energy (PEEE). Internal length parameters are introduced in the expressions of liquid water and vapor conductivities, to account for cracking effects on fluid flows. The damage model has been implemented in Θ-Stock Finite Element program. The mechanical aspect of the damage model is validated by simulating a triaxial compression test on a dry isothermal brittle material. Then, a sophisticated model of nuclear waste disposal, involving two non-isothermal unsaturated porous media, is reproduced. The results obtained in elasticity are in good agreement with the results presented in the corresponding reference article. A parametric study on initial damage is then performed to assess the influence of the Excavated Damaged Zone (EDZ) on the response of the nuclear waste repository during the heating phase. The trends meet the theoretical expectations. (authors)

  3. A simplified model of saltcake moisture distribution. Letter report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Simmons, C.S.

    1995-09-01

    This letter report describes the formulation of a simplified model for finding the moisture distribution in a saltcake waste profile that has been stabilized by pumping out the drainable interstitial liquid. The model is based on assuming that capillarity mainly governs the distribution of moisture in the porous saltcake waste. A stead upward flow of moisture driven by evaporation from the waste surface is conceptualized to occur for isothermal conditions. To obtain hydraulic parameters for unsaturated conditions, the model is calibrated or matched to the relative saturation distribution as measured by neutron probe scans. The model is demonstrated on Tanks 104-BY and 105-TX as examples. A value of the model is that it identifies the key physical parameters that control the surface moisture content in a waste profile. Moreover, the model can be used to estimate the brine application rate at the waste surface that would raise the moisture content there to a safe level. Thus, the model can be applied to help design a strategy for correcting the moisture conditions in a saltcake waste tank

  4. Electrokinetic extraction of chromate from unsaturated soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mattson, E.D.; Lindgren, E.R.

    1993-01-01

    Heavy-metal contamination of soil and groundwater is a widespread problem in industrial nations. Remediation by excavation of such sites may not be cost effective or politically acceptable. Electrokinetic remediation is one possible remediation technique for in situ removal of such contaminants from unsaturated soils. Previous papers discussing the work performed by researchers at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) and Sat-Unsat, Inc. (SUI) (Lindgren et al., 1991, 1992, 1993) focused on the transport of contaminants and dyes by electrokinetics in unsaturated soils. These experiments were conducted with graphite electrodes with no extraction system. As the contaminants migrated through the soil, they increased in concentration at the electrode creating a diffusion flux in the opposite direction. This paper discusses a technique to remove the contaminants from unsaturated soils once they have reached an electrode

  5. Electrokinetic extraction of chromate from unsaturated soils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mattson, E.D. [SAT-UNSAT, Inc., Albuquerque, NM (United States); Lindgren, E.R. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    1993-11-01

    Heavy-metal contamination of soil and groundwater is a widespread problem in industrial nations. Remediation by excavation of such sites may not be cost effective or politically acceptable. Electrokinetic remediation is one possible remediation technique for in situ removal of such contaminants from unsaturated soils. Previous papers discussing the work performed by researchers at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) and Sat-Unsat, Inc. (SUI) (Lindgren et al., 1991, 1992, 1993) focused on the transport of contaminants and dyes by electrokinetics in unsaturated soils. These experiments were conducted with graphite electrodes with no extraction system. As the contaminants migrated through the soil, they increased in concentration at the electrode creating a diffusion flux in the opposite direction. This paper discusses a technique to remove the contaminants from unsaturated soils once they have reached an electrode.

  6. In situ measurements of oxygen dynamics in unsaturated archaeological deposits

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Matthiesen, Henning; Hollesen, Jørgen; Dunlop, Rory

    2015-01-01

    Oxygen is a key parameter in the degradation of archaeological material, but little is known of its dynamics in situ. In this study, 10 optical oxygen sensors placed in a 2 m deep test pit in the cultural deposits at Bryggen in Bergen have monitored oxygen concentrations every half hour for more ...... of the soil exceeds 10–15% vol, while oxygen dissolved in infiltrating rainwater is of less importance for the supply of oxygen in the unsaturated zone....... than a year. It is shown that there is a significant spatial and temporal variation in the oxygen concentration, which is correlated to measured soil characteristics, precipitation, soil water content and degradation of organic material. In these deposits oxygen typically occurs when the air content...

  7. Experimental Determination of Hydraulic Properties of Unsaturated Calcarenites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turturro, Antonietta Celeste; Andriani, Gioacchino Francesco; Clementina Caputo, Maria; Maggi, Sabino

    2013-04-01

    Understanding hydraulic properties is essential in the modeling of flow and solute transport through the vadose zone, to which problems of soil and groundwater pollution are related. The vadose zone, in fact, is of great importance in controlling groundwater recharge and transport of contaminants into and through the subsoil. The aim of this work is to determine experimentally in laboratory the hydraulic properties of unsaturated calcarenites using an approach including petrophysical determinations and methods for measuring water retention. For this purpose, samples of calcarenites belonging to the Calcarenite di Gravina Fm.(Pliocene-early Pleistocene), came from two different quarry districts located in Southern Italy (Canosa di Puglia and Massafra), were utilized. The water retention function, θ(h), which binds the water content, θ, to water potential, h, was determined in the laboratory by means two different experimental methods: the WP4-T psychrometer and the suction table. At last, a simple mathematical equation represented by van Genuchten's model is fitted to the experimental data and the unknown empirical parameters of this model are determined. Textural analysis on thin sections using optical petrographic microscopy and evaluation of total and effective porosity by means of standard geotechnical laboratory tests, mercury intrusion porosimetry and image analysis were also performed. In particular, a comparison between mercury porosimetry data and results of photomicrograph computer analysis through the methods of quantitative stereology was employed for providing pore size distributions. The results of this study identify the relationship between the hydraulic behavior, described by the water retention function, and pore size distribution for the calcarenites that are not easy to hydraulically characterize. This relationship could represent a useful tool to infer the unsaturated hydraulic properties of calcarenites and in general this approach could be

  8. Focused Flow During Infiltration Into Ethanol-Contaminated Unsaturated Porous Media

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jazwiec, A.; Smith, J. E.

    2017-12-01

    The increasing commercial and industrial use of ethanol, e.g. in biofuels, has generated increased incidents of vadose zone contamination by way of ethanol spills and releases. This has increased the interest in better understanding behaviors of ethanol in unsaturated porous media and it's multiphase interactions in the vadose zone. This study uses highly controlled laboratory experiments in a 2-D (0.6mx0.6mx0.01m) flow cell to investigate water infiltration behaviors into ethanol-contaminated porous media. Ethanol and water were applied by either constant head or constant flux methods onto the surface of sands homogenously packed into the flow cell. The constant flux experiments at both low and high application rates were conducted using a rainulator with a row of hypodermic needles connected to a peristaltic pump. The constant head experiments were conducted using an 8cm diameter tension disk infiltrometer set to both low and high tensions. The presence of ethanol contamination generated solute-dependent capillarity induced focused flow (SCIFF) of water infiltration, which was primarily due to decreases in interfacial tensions at the air-liquid interfaces in the unsaturated sands as a function of ethanol concentration. SCIFF was clearly expressed as an unsaturated water flow phenomenon comprised of narrowly focused vertical flow fingers of water within the initially ethanol contaminated porous media. Using analyses of photos and video, comparisons were made between constant flux and constant head application methods. Further comparisons were made between low and high infiltration rates and the two sand textures used. A high degree of sensitivity to minor heterogeneity in relatively homogeneous sands was also observed. The results of this research have implications for rainfall infiltration into ethanol contaminated vadose zones expressing SCIFF, including implications for associated mass fluxes and the nature of flushing of ethanol from the unsaturated zone to

  9. Assimilation of ambient seismic noise in hydrological models allows estimation of hydraulic conductivity in unsaturated media

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fores, B.; Champollion, C.; Mainsant, G.; Fort, A.; Albaric, J.

    2016-12-01

    Karstic hydrosystems represent one of the main water resources in the Mediterranean area but are challenging for geophysical methods. The GEK (Geodesy in Karstic Environment) observatory has been setup in 2011 to study the unsaturated zone of a karstic system in the south of France. The unsaturated zone (the epikarst) is thick and up to 100m on the site. Since 2011, gravity, rainfall and evapotranspiration are monitored. Together, they allow precise estimation of the global water storage changes but lack depth resolution. Surface waves velocity variations, obtained from ambient seismic noise monitoring are used here to overcome this lack. Indeed, velocities depend on saturation and the depths where changes occur can be defined as surface waves are dispersive. From October 2014 to November 2015, two seismometers have been recording noise. Velocity changes at a narrow frequency band (6-8 Hz) have shown a clear annual cycle. Minimum velocity is several months late on precipitations, which is coherent with a slow infiltration and a maximum sensitivity at -40m for these frequencies and this site. Models have been made with the Hydrus-1D software which allows modeling 1D-flow in variably saturated media. With a stochastic sampling, we have researched the underground parameters that reproduce the most the different observations (gravity, evapotranspiration and rainfall, and velocity changes). We show that velocity changes clearly constrain the hydraulic conductivity of the medium. Ambient seismic noise is therefore a promising method to study unsaturated zone which are too deep or too heterogeneous for classic methods.

  10. Measurement of unsaturated hydraulic properties and evaluation of property-transfer models for deep sedimentary interbeds, Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perkins, Kimberlie; Johnson, Brittany D.; Mirus, Benjamin B.

    2014-01-01

    Operations at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) have the potential to contaminate the underlying Eastern Snake River Plain (ESRP) aquifer. Methods to quantitatively characterize unsaturated flow and recharge to the ESRP aquifer are needed to inform water-resources management decisions at INL. In particular, hydraulic properties are needed to parameterize distributed hydrologic models of unsaturated flow and transport at INL, but these properties are often difficult and costly to obtain for large areas. The unsaturated zone overlying the ESRP aquifer consists of alternating sequences of thick fractured volcanic rocks that can rapidly transmit water flow and thinner sedimentary interbeds that transmit water much more slowly. Consequently, the sedimentary interbeds are of considerable interest because they primarily restrict the vertical movement of water through the unsaturated zone. Previous efforts by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) have included extensive laboratory characterization of the sedimentary interbeds and regression analyses to develop property-transfer models, which relate readily available physical properties of the sedimentary interbeds (bulk density, median particle diameter, and uniformity coefficient) to water retention and unsaturated hydraulic conductivity curves.

  11. Waste package performance in unsaturated rock

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pigford, T.H.; Lee, W.W.-L.

    1989-03-01

    The unsaturated rock and near-atmospheric pressure of the potential nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain present new problems of predicting waste package performance. In this paper we present some illustrations of predictions of waste package performance and discuss important data needs. 11 refs., 9 figs., 1 tab

  12. Oxygenation of saturated and unsaturated hydrocarbons with ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Unknown

    Oxygenation of saturated and unsaturated hydrocarbons with sodium periodate. 431. Table 1. Competitive oxygenation of tetralin and cyclooctene with sodium periodate catalyzed by different manga- .... Teacher Education University. My grateful thanks also extend to Dr D Mohajer for his useful sugges- tions. References. 1.

  13. an intermediate moisture meat

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    STORAGESEVER

    2008-07-04

    Jul 4, 2008 ... traditional SM muscle without compromising quality. ... technique is intermediate moisture food processing. ... Traditionally, most tsire suya producers use ..... quality of Chinese purebred and European X Chinese crossbred ...

  14. CPC Soil Moisture

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The monthly data set consists of a file containing 1/2 degree monthly averaged soil moisture water height equivalents for the globe from 1948 onwards. Values are...

  15. Application of vadose-zone monitoring system for real-time characterization of leachate percolation in and under a municipal landfill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aharoni, Imri; Siebner, Hagar; Dahan, Ofer

    2017-09-01

    Leachates from solid-waste landfills are considered a severe threat to groundwater quality. The fate of pollutants in the waste and underlying unsaturated zone is crucial for evaluating environmental risks and selecting a restoration strategy. In this study, a vadose-zone monitoring system (VMS) installed in a municipal landfill was used, for the first time, to continuously track leachates percolation dynamics and assess their chemical transformation across the entire thickness of the waste body (15m) and underlying unsaturated zone (16m) to the water table. Winter rains were found to quickly infiltrate through the waste and underlying vadose zone despite a clay cover that was implemented as part of a restoration and leachate-prevention strategy. Within the waste body, the flow pattern was controlled by preferential flow paths, which changed frequently. It is hypothesized that ongoing decomposition of the waste creates dynamic variations in the waste's physical structure and flow pattern. Water samples collected from the waste layer indicated the formation of highly polluted leachates. The chemical composition in the waste body showed extreme variability between sampling points with respect to DOC (407-31,464mg/L), BOD/COD ratios (0.07-0.55), Fe 2+ (6.8-1154mg/L), ammonium (68-2924mg/L) and heavy metal concentrations. Environmental hot spots creating concentrated, aggressive, "acid-phase" leachates still exist in the waste more than 13years after closing the landfill. However, continuous changes in the flow pattern and moisture distribution affected the creation and decay of such environments. In the underlying sandy vadose zone, some sections repeatedly exhibited stronger and faster flow characteristics than others. These local fluxes of concentrated leachates rapidly transported heavy contaminant loads toward the groundwater. However results showed evidence of continual attenuation processes in the deep vadose zone, with the anaerobic digestion of organic matter

  16. Buffer moisture protection system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ritola, J.; Peura, J.

    2013-11-01

    With the present knowledge, bentonite blocks have to be protected from the air relative humidity and from any moisture leakages in the environment that might cause swelling of the bentonite blocks during the 'open' installation phase before backfilling. The purpose of this work was to design the structural reference solution both for the bottom of the deposition hole and for the buffer moisture protection and dewatering system with their integrated equipment needed in the deposition hole. This report describes the Posiva's reference solution for the buffer moisture protection system and the bottom plate on basis of the demands and functional requirements set by long-term safety. The reference solution with structural details has been developed in research work made 2010-2011. The structural solution of the moisture protection system has not yet been tested in practice. On the bottom of the deposition hole a copper plate which protects the lowest bentonite block from the gathered water is installed straight to machined and even rock surface. The moisture protection sheet made of EPDM rubber is attached to the copper plate with an inflatable seal. The upper part of the moisture protection sheet is fixed to the collar structures of the lid which protects the deposition hole in the disposal tunnel. The main function of the moisture protection sheet is to protect bentonite blocks from the leaking water and from the influence of the air humidity at their installation stage. The leaking water is controlled by the dewatering and alarm system which has been integrated into the moisture protection liner. (orig.)

  17. Moisture transport in coated wood

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meel, P.A. van; Erich, S.J.F.; Huinink, H.P.; Kopinga, K.; Jong, J. DE; Adan, O.C.G.

    2011-01-01

    Moisture accumulation inside wood causes favorable conditions for decay. Application of a coating alters the moisture sorption of wood and prevents accumulation of moisture. This paper presents the results of a nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) study on the influence of a coating on the moisture

  18. Monitoring of Double Stud Wall Moisture Conditions in the Northeast

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ueno, K. [Building Science Corporation, Westford, MA (United States)

    2015-03-01

    Double-stud walls insulated with cellulose or low-density spray foam can have R-values of 40 or higher. However, double stud walls have a higher risk of interior-sourced condensation moisture damage, when compared with high-R approaches using exterior insulating sheathing.; Moisture conditions in double stud walls were monitored in Zone 5A (Massachusetts); three double stud assemblies were compared.

  19. Simulating the volatilization of solvents in unsaturated soils during laboratory and field infiltration experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, H. Jean; Jaffe, Peter R.; Smith, James A.

    1993-01-01

    This paper describes laboratory and field experiments which were conducted to study the dynamics of trichloroethylene (TCE) as it volatilized from contaminated groundwater and diffused in the presence of infiltrating water through the unsaturated soil zone to the land surface. The field experiments were conducted at the Picatinny Arsenal, which is part of the United States Geological Survey Toxic Substances Hydrology Program. In both laboratory and field settings the gas and water phase concentrations of TCE were not in equilibrium during infiltration. Gas-water mass transfer rate constants were calibrated to the experimental data using a model in which the water phase was treated as two phases: a mobile water phase and an immobile water phase. The mass transfer limitations of a volatile organic compound between the gas and liquid phases were described explicitly in the model. In the laboratory experiment the porous medium was nonsorbing, and water infiltration rates ranged from 0.076 to 0.28 cm h−1. In the field experiment the water infiltration rate was 0.34 cm h−1, and sorption onto the soil matrix was significant. The laboratory-calibrated gas-water mass transfer rate constant is 3.3×10−4 h−1 for an infiltration rate of 0.076 cm h−1 and 1.4×10−3 h−1 for an infiltration rate of 0.28 cm h−1. The overall mass transfer rate coefficients, incorporating the contribution of mass transfer between mobile and immobile water phases and the variation of interfacial area with moisture content, range from 3×10−4 h−1 to 1×10−2 h−1. A power law model relates the gas-water mass transfer rate constant to the infiltration rate and the fraction of the water phase which is mobile. It was found that the results from the laboratory experiments could not be extrapolated to the field. In order to simulate the field experiment the very slow desorption of TCE from the soil matrix was incorporated into the mathematical model. When desorption from the

  20. A free boundary problem describing the saturated-unsaturated flow in a porous medium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriela Marinoschi

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a functional approach to a nonlinear model describing the complete physical process of water infiltration into an unsaturated soil, including the saturation occurrence and the advance of the wetting front. The model introduced in this paper involves a multivalued operator covering the simultaneous saturated and unsaturated flow behaviors and enhances the study of the displacement of the free boundary between these two flow regimes. The model resides in Richards' equation written in pressure form with an initial condition and boundary conditions which in this work express the inflow due to the rain on the soil surface on the one hand, and characterize a certain permeability corresponding to the underground boundary, on the other hand. Existence, uniqueness, and regularity results for the transformed model in diffusive form, that is, for the moisture of the soil, and the existence of the weak solution for the pressure form are proved in the 3D case. The main part of the paper focuses on the existence of the free boundary between the saturated and unsaturated parts of the soil, and this is proved, in the 1D case, for certain stronger assumptions on the initial data and boundary conditions.

  1. Sampling silica and ferrihydrite colloids with fiberglass wicks under unsaturated conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shira, Jason M; Williams, Barbara C; Flury, Markus; Czigány, Szabolcs; Tuller, Markus

    2006-01-01

    The suitability of passive capillary samplers (PCAPS) for collection of representative colloid samples under partially saturated conditions was evaluated by investigating the transport of negatively and positively charged colloids in fiberglass wicks. A synthetic pore water solution was used to suspend silica microspheres (330 nm in diameter) and ferrihydrite (172 nm in diameter) for transport experiments on fiberglass wicks. Breakthrough curves were collected for three unsaturated flow rates with silica microspheres and one unsaturated flow rate with ferrihydrite colloids. A moisture characteristic curve, relating tensiometer measurements of matric potential to moisture content, was developed for the fiberglass wick. Results indicate that retention of the silica and the ferrihydrite on the wick occurred; that is, the wicks did not facilitate quantitative sampling of the colloids. For silica microspheres, 90% of the colloids were transmitted through the wicks. For ferrihydrite, 80 to 90% of the colloids were transmitted. The mechanisms responsible for the retention of the colloids on the fiberglass wicks appeared to be physicochemical attachment and not thin-film, triple-phase entrapment, or mechanical straining. Visualization of pathways by iron staining indicates that flow is preferential at the center of twisted bundles of filaments. Although axial preferential flow in PCAPS may enhance their hydraulic suitability for sampling mobile colloids, we conclude that without specific preparation to reduce attachment or retention, fiberglass wicks should only be used for qualitative sampling of pore water colloids.

  2. Two-dimensional steady unsaturated flow through embedded elliptical layers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bakker, Mark; Nieber, John L.

    2004-12-01

    New analytic element solutions are presented for unsaturated, two-dimensional steady flow in vertical planes that include nonoverlapping impermeable elliptical layers and elliptical inhomogeneities. The hydraulic conductivity, which is represented by an exponential function of the pressure head, differs between the inside and outside of an elliptical inhomogeneity; both the saturated hydraulic conductivity and water retention parameters are allowed to differ between the inside and outside. The Richards equation is transformed, through the Kirchhoff transformation and a second standard transformation, into the modified Helmholtz equation. Analytic element solutions are obtained through separation of variables in elliptical coordinates. The resulting equations for the Kirchhoff potential consist of infinite sums of products of exponentials and modified Mathieu functions. In practical applications the series are truncated but still fulfill the differential equation exactly; boundary conditions are met approximately but up to machine accuracy, provided that enough terms are used. The pressure head, saturation, and flow may be computed analytically at any point in the vadose zone. Examples are given of the shadowing effect of an impermeable elliptical layer in a uniform flow field and funnel-type flow between two elliptical inhomogeneities. The presented solutions may be applied to study transport processes in vadose zones containing many impermeable elliptical layers or elliptical inhomogeneities.

  3. Appraisal of nuclear waste isolation in the vadose zone in arid and semiarid regions (with emphasis on the Nevada Test Site)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wollenberg, H.A.; Wang, J.S.Y.; Korbin, G.

    1983-05-01

    An appraisal was made of the concept of isolating high-level radioactive waste in the vadose zone of alluvial-filled valleys and tuffaceous rocks of the Basin and Range geomorphic province. Principal attributes of these terranes are: (1) low population density, (2) low moisture influx, (3) a deep water table, (4) the presence of sorptive rocks, and (5) relative ease of construction. Concerns about heat effects of waste on unsaturated rocks of relatively low thermal conductivity are considered. Calculations show that a standard 2000-acre repository with a thermal loading of 40 kW/acre in partially saturated alluvium or tuff would experience an average temperature rise of less than 100 0 C above the initial temperature. The actual maximum temperature would depend strongly on the emplacement geometry. Concerns about seismicity, volcanism, and future climatic change are also mitigated. The conclusion reached in this appraisal is that unsaturated zones in alluvium and tuff of arid regions should be investigated as comprehensively as other geologic settings considered to be potential repository sites

  4. Appraisal of nuclear waste isolation in the vadose zone in arid and semiarid regions (with emphasis on the Nevada Test Site)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wollenberg, H.A.; Wang, J.S.Y.; Korbin, G.

    1983-05-01

    An appraisal was made of the concept of isolating high-level radioactive waste in the vadose zone of alluvial-filled valleys and tuffaceous rocks of the Basin and Range geomorphic province. Principal attributes of these terranes are: (1) low population density, (2) low moisture influx, (3) a deep water table, (4) the presence of sorptive rocks, and (5) relative ease of construction. Concerns about heat effects of waste on unsaturated rocks of relatively low thermal conductivity are considered. Calculations show that a standard 2000-acre repository with a thermal loading of 40 kW/acre in partially saturated alluvium or tuff would experience an average temperature rise of less than 100{sup 0}C above the initial temperature. The actual maximum temperature would depend strongly on the emplacement geometry. Concerns about seismicity, volcanism, and future climatic change are also mitigated. The conclusion reached in this appraisal is that unsaturated zones in alluvium and tuff of arid regions should be investigated as comprehensively as other geologic settings considered to be potential repository sites.

  5. Multilayer moisture barrier

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pankow, Joel W; Jorgensen, Gary J; Terwilliger, Kent M; Glick, Stephen H; Isomaki, Nora; Harkonen, Kari; Turkulainen, Tommy

    2015-04-21

    A moisture barrier, device or product having a moisture barrier or a method of fabricating a moisture barrier having at least a polymer layer, and interfacial layer, and a barrier layer. The polymer layer may be fabricated from any suitable polymer including, but not limited to, fluoropolymers such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET) or polyethylene naphthalate (PEN), or ethylene-tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE). The interfacial layer may be formed by atomic layer deposition (ALD). In embodiments featuring an ALD interfacial layer, the deposited interfacial substance may be, but is not limited to, Al.sub.2O.sub.3, AlSiO.sub.x, TiO.sub.2, and an Al.sub.2O.sub.3/TiO.sub.2 laminate. The barrier layer associated with the interfacial layer may be deposited by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD). The barrier layer may be a SiO.sub.xN.sub.y film.

  6. Drift Scale Modeling: Study of Unsaturated Flow into a Drift Using a Stochastic Continuum Model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Birkholzer, J.T.; Tsang, C.F.; Tsang, Y.W.; Wang, J.S

    1996-01-01

    Unsaturated flow in heterogeneous fractured porous rock was simulated using a stochastic continuum model (SCM). In this model, both the more conductive fractures and the less permeable matrix are generated within the framework of a single continuum stochastic approach, based on non-parametric indicator statistics. High-permeable fracture zones are distinguished from low-permeable matrix zones in that they have assigned a long range correlation structure in prescribed directions. The SCM was applied to study small-scale flow in the vicinity of an access tunnel, which is currently being drilled in the unsaturated fractured tuff formations at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Extensive underground testing is underway in this tunnel to investigate the suitability of Yucca Mountain as an underground nuclear waste repository. Different flow scenarios were studied in the present paper, considering the flow conditions before and after the tunnel emplacement, and assuming steady-state net infiltration as well as episodic pulse infiltration. Although the capability of the stochastic continuum model has not yet been fully explored, it has been demonstrated that the SCM is a good alternative model feasible of describing heterogeneous flow processes in unsaturated fractured tuff at Yucca Mountain

  7. Moisture Management for High R-Value Walls

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lepage, R.; Schumacher, C.; Lukachko, A.

    2013-11-01

    The following report explains the moisture-related concerns for High R-value wall assemblies and discusses past Building America research work that informs this study. Hygrothermal simulations were prepared for several common approaches to High R-value wall construction in six cities (Houston, Atlanta, Seattle, St. Louis, Chicago, and International Falls) representing a range of climate zones (2, 3, 4C, 4, 5A, and 7, respectively). The simulations are informed by experience gained from past research in this area and validated by field measurement and forensic experience. The modeling program was developed to assess the moisture durability of the wall assemblies based on three primary sources of moisture: construction moisture, air leakage condensation, and bulk water leakage. The peak annual moisture content of the wood based exterior sheathing was used to comparatively analyze the response to the moisture loads for each of the walls in each given city. Walls which experienced sheathing moisture contents between 20% and 28% were identified as risky, whereas those exceeding 28% were identified as very high risk. All of the wall assemblies perform well under idealized conditions. However, only the walls with exterior insulation, or cavity insulation which provides a hygrothermal function similar to exterior insulation, perform adequately when exposed to moisture loads. Walls with only cavity insulation are particularly susceptible to air leakage condensation. None of the walls performed well when a precipitation based bulk water leak was introduced to the backside of the sheathing, emphasizing the importance of proper flashing details.

  8. Analysis of Joint Masonry Moisture Content Monitoring

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ueno, Kohta [Building Science Corporation, Westford, MA (United States)

    2015-10-01

    Adding insulation to the interior side of walls of masonry buildings in cold (and wet) climates may cause performance and durability problems. Some concerns, such as condensation and freeze-thaw, have known solutions, but wood members embedded in the masonry structure will be colder (and potentially wetter) after an interior insulation retrofit. Moisture content & relative humidity were monitored at joist ends in historic mass brick masonry walls retrofitted with interior insulation in a cold climate (Zone 5A); data were collected from 2012-2015. Eleven joist ends were monitored in all four orientations. One limitation of these results is that the renovation is still ongoing, with limited wintertime construction heating and no permanent occupancy to date. Measurements show that many joists ends remain at high moisture contents, especially at north- and east-facing orientations, with constant 100% RH conditions at the worst cases. These high moisture levels are not conducive for wood durability, but no evidence for actual structural damage has been observed. Insulated versus non-insulated joist pockets do not show large differences. South facing joists have safe (10-15%) moisture contents. Given the uncertainty pointed out by research, definitive guidance on the vulnerability of embedded wood members is difficult to formulate. In high-risk situations, or when a very conservative approach is warranted, the embedded wood member condition can be eliminated entirely, supporting the joist ends outside of the masonry pocket.

  9. Calibration of moisture monitors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gutierrez, R.L.

    1979-02-01

    A method for calibrating an aluminum oxide hygrometer against an optical chilled mirror dew-point hygrometer has been established. A theoretical cross-point line of dew points from both hygrometers and a maximum moisture content of 10 ppM/sub v/ are used to define an area for calibrating the sensor probes of the aluminum oxide hygrometer

  10. Aquifer Recharge Estimation In Unsaturated Porous Rock Using Darcian And Geophysical Methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nimmo, J. R.; De Carlo, L.; Masciale, R.; Turturro, A. C.; Perkins, K. S.; Caputo, M. C.

    2016-12-01

    Within the unsaturated zone a constant downward gravity-driven flux of water commonly exists at depths ranging from a few meters to tens of meters depending on climate, medium, and vegetation. In this case a steady-state application of Darcy's law can provide recharge rate estimates.We have applied an integrated approach that combines field geophysical measurements with laboratory hydraulic property measurements on core samples to produce accurate estimates of steady-state aquifer recharge, or, in cases where episodic recharge also occurs, the steady component of recharge. The method requires (1) measurement of the water content existing in the deep unsaturated zone at the location of a core sample retrieved for lab measurements, and (2) measurement of the core sample's unsaturated hydraulic conductivity over a range of water content that includes the value measured in situ. Both types of measurements must be done with high accuracy. Darcy's law applied with the measured unsaturated hydraulic conductivity and gravitational driving force provides recharge estimates.Aquifer recharge was estimated using Darcian and geophysical methods at a deep porous rock (calcarenite) experimental site in Canosa, southern Italy. Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT) and Vertical Electrical Sounding (VES) profiles were collected from the land surface to water table to provide data for Darcian recharge estimation. Volumetric water content was estimated from resistivity profiles using a laboratory-derived calibration function based on Archie's law for rock samples from the experimental site, where electrical conductivity of the rock was related to the porosity and water saturation. Multiple-depth core samples were evaluated using the Quasi-Steady Centrifuge (QSC) method to obtain hydraulic conductivity (K), matric potential (ψ), and water content (θ) estimates within this profile. Laboratory-determined unsaturated hydraulic conductivity ranged from 3.90 x 10-9 to 1.02 x 10-5 m

  11. An analysis of infiltration with moisture content distribution in a two-dimensional discretized water content domain

    KAUST Repository

    Yu, Han; Douglas, Craig C.

    2014-01-01

    On the basis of unsaturated Darcy's law, the Talbot-Ogden method provides a fast unconditional mass conservative algorithm to simulate groundwater infiltration in various unsaturated soil textures. Unlike advanced reservoir modelling methods that compute unsaturated flow in space, it only discretizes the moisture content domain into a suitable number of bins so that the vertical water movement is estimated piecewise in each bin. The dimensionality of the moisture content domain is extended from one dimensional to two dimensional in this study, which allows us to distinguish pore shapes within the same moisture content range. The vertical movement of water in the extended model imitates the infiltration phase in the Talbot-Ogden method. However, the difference in this extension is the directional redistribution, which represents the horizontal inter-bin flow and causes the water content distribution to have an effect on infiltration. Using this extension, we mathematically analyse the general relationship between infiltration and the moisture content distribution associated with wetting front depths in different bins. We show that a more negatively skewed moisture content distribution can produce a longer ponding time, whereas a higher overall flux cannot be guaranteed in this situation. It is proven on the basis of the water content probability distribution independent of soil textures. To illustrate this analysis, we also present numerical examples for both fine and coarse soil textures.

  12. An analysis of infiltration with moisture content distribution in a two-dimensional discretized water content domain

    KAUST Repository

    Yu, Han

    2014-06-11

    On the basis of unsaturated Darcy\\'s law, the Talbot-Ogden method provides a fast unconditional mass conservative algorithm to simulate groundwater infiltration in various unsaturated soil textures. Unlike advanced reservoir modelling methods that compute unsaturated flow in space, it only discretizes the moisture content domain into a suitable number of bins so that the vertical water movement is estimated piecewise in each bin. The dimensionality of the moisture content domain is extended from one dimensional to two dimensional in this study, which allows us to distinguish pore shapes within the same moisture content range. The vertical movement of water in the extended model imitates the infiltration phase in the Talbot-Ogden method. However, the difference in this extension is the directional redistribution, which represents the horizontal inter-bin flow and causes the water content distribution to have an effect on infiltration. Using this extension, we mathematically analyse the general relationship between infiltration and the moisture content distribution associated with wetting front depths in different bins. We show that a more negatively skewed moisture content distribution can produce a longer ponding time, whereas a higher overall flux cannot be guaranteed in this situation. It is proven on the basis of the water content probability distribution independent of soil textures. To illustrate this analysis, we also present numerical examples for both fine and coarse soil textures.

  13. A solution of coupled heat-moisture transfer in saturated-unsaturated media

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Geraminegad, M.; Saxena, S.K.

    1985-01-01

    Two formulations of coupled heat and mass flow in the porous media are presented and solved numerically using finite element method. This paper concludes that the formulation based on Phillip and de Vries better estimates heat flow, and, the non-linear behavior of soil parameters significantly affects heat and mass flow in the porous media

  14. Bioactivity of Several Herbicides on the Nanogram Level Under Different Soil Moisture Conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jung, S C; Kuk, Y I; Senseman, S A; Ahn, H G; Seong, C N; Lee, D J

    2015-01-01

    In this study, a double-tube centrifuge method was employed to determine the effects of soil moisture on the bioactivity of cafenstrole, pretilachlor, benfuresate, oxyfluorfen and simetryn. In general, the available herbicide concentration in soil solution (ACSS) showed little change as soil moisture increased for herbicides. The total available herbicide in soil solution (TASS) typically increased as soil moisture increased for all herbicides. The relationship between TASS and % growth rate based on dry weight showed strong linear relationships for both cafenstrole and pretilachlor, with r2 values of 0.95 and 0.84, respectively. Increasing TASS values were consistent with increasing herbicide water solubility, with the exception of the ionizable herbicide simetryn. Plant absorption and % growth rate exhibited a strong linear relationship with TASS. According to the results suggested that TASS was a better predictor of herbicidal bioactivity than ACSS for all herbicides under unsaturated soil moisture conditions.

  15. Fast determination of soil behavior in the capillary zone using simple laboratory tests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-12-01

    Frost heave and thaw weakening are typical problems for engineers building in northern regions. These unsaturated-soil behaviors are : caused by water flowing through the capillary zone to a freezing front, where it forms ice lenses. Although suction...

  16. Estimating the timing and location of shallow rainfall-induced landslides using a model for transient, unsaturated infiltration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baum, Rex L.; Godt, Jonathan W.; Savage, William Z.

    2010-01-01

    Shallow rainfall-induced landslides commonly occur under conditions of transient infiltration into initially unsaturated soils. In an effort to predict the timing and location of such landslides, we developed a model of the infiltration process using a two-layer system that consists of an unsaturated zone above a saturated zone and implemented this model in a geographic information system (GIS) framework. The model links analytical solutions for transient, unsaturated, vertical infiltration above the water table to pressure-diffusion solutions for pressure changes below the water table. The solutions are coupled through a transient water table that rises as water accumulates at the base of the unsaturated zone. This scheme, though limited to simplified soil-water characteristics and moist initial conditions, greatly improves computational efficiency over numerical models in spatially distributed modeling applications. Pore pressures computed by these coupled models are subsequently used in one-dimensional slope-stability computations to estimate the timing and locations of slope failures. Applied over a digital landscape near Seattle, Washington, for an hourly rainfall history known to trigger shallow landslides, the model computes a factor of safety for each grid cell at any time during a rainstorm. The unsaturated layer attenuates and delays the rainfall-induced pore-pressure response of the model at depth, consistent with observations at an instrumented hillside near Edmonds, Washington. This attenuation results in realistic estimates of timing for the onset of slope instability (7 h earlier than observed landslides, on average). By considering the spatial distribution of physical properties, the model predicts the primary source areas of landslides.

  17. Coupled Hydromechanical and Electromagnetic Responses in Unsaturated Porous Media: Theory, Observation, and Numerical Simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahardika, Harry

    Hydromechanical energy can be partially converted into electromagnetic energy due to electrokinetic effect, where mechanical energy causes the relative displacement of the charged pore water with respect to the solid skeleton of the porous material and generated electrical current density. An application of this phenomenon is seismoelectric method, a geophysical method in which electromagnetic signals are recorded and associated with the propagation of seismic waves. Due to its coupling nature, seismoelectric method promises advantages in characterizing the subsurface properties and geometry compared to independent employments of seismic or electromagnetic acquisition alone. Since the recorded seismoelectric signal are sensitive to water content changes this method have been applied for groundwater studies to delineates vadoze zone-aquifer boundary since the last twenty years. The problem, however, the existing governing equations of coupled seismic and electromagnetic are not accounted for unsaturated conditions and its petrophysical sensitivity to water content. In this thesis we extend the applications of seismoelectric method for unsaturated porous medium for several geophysical problems. (1) We begin our study with numerical study to localize and characterize a seismic event induced by hydraulic fracturing operation sedimentary rocks. In this problem, we use the fully-saturated case of seismoelectric method and we propose a new joint inversion scheme (seismic and seismoelectric) to determine the position and moment tensor that event. (2) We expand the seismoelectric theory for unsaturated condition and show that the generation of electrical current density are depend on several important petrophysical properties that are sensitive to water content. This new expansion of governing equation provide us theory for developing a new approach for seismoelectric method to image the oil water encroachment front during water flooding of an oil reservoir or an aquifer

  18. Validation of the TRACR3D code for soil water flow under saturated/unsaturated conditions in three experiments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Perkins, B.; Travis, B.; DePoorter, G.

    1985-01-01

    Validation of the TRACR3D code in a one-dimensional form was obtained for flow of soil water in three experiments. In the first experiment, a pulse of water entered a crushed-tuff soil and initially moved under conditions of saturated flow, quickly followed by unsaturated flow. In the second experiment, steady-state unsaturated flow took place. In the final experiment, two slugs of water entered crushed tuff under field conditions. In all three experiments, experimentally measured data for volumetric water content agreed, within experimental errors, with the volumetric water content predicted by the code simulations. The experiments and simulations indicated the need for accurate knowledge of boundary and initial conditions, amount and duration of moisture input, and relevant material properties as input into the computer code. During the validation experiments, limitations on monitoring of water movement in waste burial sites were also noted. 5 references, 34 figures, 9 tables

  19. Analysis of Rainfall Infiltration Law in Unsaturated Soil Slope

    OpenAIRE

    Zhang, Gui-rong; Qian, Ya-jun; Wang, Zhang-chun; Zhao, Bo

    2014-01-01

    In the study of unsaturated soil slope stability under rainfall infiltration, it is worth continuing to explore how much rainfall infiltrates into the slope in a rain process, and the amount of rainfall infiltrating into slope is the important factor influencing the stability. Therefore, rainfall infiltration capacity is an important issue of unsaturated seepage analysis for slope. On the basis of previous studies, rainfall infiltration law of unsaturated soil slope is analyzed. Considering t...

  20. Unsaturated fatty acids in the diet of inpatients

    OpenAIRE

    KONHEFROVÁ, Veronika

    2015-01-01

    The thesis with the name "Unsaturated fatty acids in the diet of inpatients" is divided into a theoretical and a research parts. The theoretical part is focused on sorting out lipids and the recommended daily dosing. Next there are described the chemical structure of fatty acids and basic differences between saturated (SFA) and unsaturated (trans and cis) fatty acids. The biggest part of the theory is formed by the unsaturated fatty acids, their characteristics, food source and their effect o...

  1. Barriers to bacterial motility on unsaturated surfaces

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dechesne, Arnaud; Smets, Barth F.

    2013-01-01

    Our knowledge of the spatial organization and spatial dynamics of microbial populations in soil at a scale close to that of the microorganisms is scarce. While passive dispersal via water ow or soil biota is probably a major dispersal route, it is reasonable to consider that active dispersal also...... and their isogenic mutants unable to express various type of motility we aimed to quantify the physical limits of bacterial motility. Our results demonstrate how hydration controls bacterial motility under unsaturated conditions. They can form the base of improved biodegradation models that include microbial...

  2. Moisture Metrics Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schuchmann, Mark

    2011-08-31

    the goal of this project was to determine the optimum moisture levels for biomass processing for pellets commercially, by correlating data taken from numerous points in the process, and across several different feedstock materials produced and harvested using a variety of different management practices. This was to be done by correlating energy consumption and material through put rates with the moisture content of incoming biomass ( corn & wheat stubble, native grasses, weeds, & grass straws), and the quality of the final pellet product.This project disseminated the data through a public website, and answering questions form universities across Missouri that are engaged in biomass conversion technologies. Student interns from a local university were employed to help collect data, which enabled them to learn firsthand about biomass processing.

  3. Linking soil moisture balance and source-responsive models to estimate diffuse and preferential components of groundwater recharge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuthbert, M.O.; Mackay, R.; Nimmo, J.R.

    2012-01-01

    Results are presented of a detailed study into the vadose zone and shallow water table hydrodynamics of a field site in Shropshire, UK. A conceptual model is developed and tested using a range of numerical models, including a modified soil moisture balance model (SMBM) for estimating groundwater recharge in the presence of both diffuse and preferential flow components. Tensiometry reveals that the loamy sand topsoil wets up via macropore flow and subsequent redistribution of moisture into the soil matrix. Recharge does not occur until near-positive pressures are achieved at the top of the sandy glaciofluvial outwash material that underlies the topsoil, about 1 m above the water table. Once this occurs, very rapid water table rises follow. This threshold behaviour is attributed to the vertical discontinuity in the macropore system due to seasonal ploughing of the topsoil, and a lower permeability plough/iron pan restricting matrix flow between the topsoil and the lower outwash deposits. Although the wetting process in the topsoil is complex, a SMBM is shown to be effective in predicting the initiation of preferential flow from the base of the topsoil into the lower outwash horizon. The rapidity of the response at the water table and a water table rise during the summer period while flow gradients in the unsaturated profile were upward suggest that preferential flow is also occurring within the outwash deposits below the topsoil. A variation of the source-responsive model proposed by Nimmo (2010) is shown to reproduce the observed water table dynamics well in the lower outwash horizon when linked to a SMBM that quantifies the potential recharge from the topsoil. The results reveal new insights into preferential flow processes in cultivated soils and provide a useful and practical approach to accounting for preferential flow in studies of groundwater recharge estimation.

  4. Linking soil moisture balance and source-responsive models to estimate diffuse and preferential components of groundwater recharge

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. O. Cuthbert

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Results are presented of a detailed study into the vadose zone and shallow water table hydrodynamics of a field site in Shropshire, UK. A conceptual model is presented and tested using a range of numerical models, including a modified soil moisture balance model (SMBM for estimating groundwater recharge in the presence of both diffuse and preferential flow components. Tensiometry reveals that the loamy sand topsoil wets up via preferential flow and subsequent redistribution of moisture into the soil matrix. Recharge does not occur until near-positive pressures are achieved at the top of the sandy glaciofluvial outwash material that underlies the topsoil, about 1 m above the water table. Once this occurs, very rapid water table rises follow. This threshold behaviour is attributed to the vertical discontinuity in preferential flow pathways due to seasonal ploughing of the topsoil and to a lower permeability plough/iron pan restricting matrix flow between the topsoil and the lower outwash deposits. Although the wetting process in the topsoil is complex, a SMBM is shown to be effective in predicting the initiation of preferential flow from the base of the topsoil into the lower outwash horizon. The rapidity of the response at the water table and a water table rise during the summer period while flow gradients in the unsaturated profile were upward suggest that preferential flow is also occurring within the outwash deposits below the topsoil. A variation of the source-responsive model proposed by Nimmo (2010 is shown to reproduce the observed water table dynamics well in the lower outwash horizon when linked to a SMBM that quantifies the potential recharge from the topsoil. The results reveal new insights into preferential flow processes in cultivated soils and provide a useful and practical approach to accounting for preferential flow in studies of groundwater recharge estimation.

  5. EDITORIAL: Microwave Moisture Measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaatze, Udo; Kupfer, Klaus; Hübner, Christof

    2007-04-01

    Microwave moisture measurements refer to a methodology by which the water content of materials is non-invasively determined using electromagnetic fields of radio and microwave frequencies. Being the omnipresent liquid on our planet, water occurs as a component in most materials and often exercises a significant influence on their properties. Precise measurements of the water content are thus extremely useful in pure sciences, particularly in biochemistry and biophysics. They are likewise important in many agricultural, technical and industrial fields. Applications are broad and diverse, and include the quality assessment of foodstuffs, the determination of water content in paper, cardboard and textile production, the monitoring of moisture in sands, gravels, soils and constructions, as well as the measurement of water admixtures to coal and crude oil in reservoirs and in pipelines. Microwave moisture measurements and evaluations require insights in various disciplines, such as materials science, dielectrics, the physical chemistry of water, electrodynamics and microwave techniques. The cooperation of experts from the different fields of science is thus necessary for the efficient development of this complex discipline. In order to advance cooperation the Workshop on Electromagnetic Wave Interaction with Water and Moist Substances was held in 1993 in Atlanta. It initiated a series of international conferences, of which the last one was held in 2005 in Weimar. The meeting brought together 130 scientists and engineers from all over the world. This special issue presents a collection of some selected papers that were given at the event. The papers cover most topics of the conference, featuring dielectric properties of aqueous materials, electromagnetic wave interactions, measurement methods and sensors, and various applications. The special issue is dedicated to Dr Andrzej W Kraszewski, who died in July 2006 after a distinguished career of 48 years in the research of

  6. Estimation of deep infiltration in unsaturated limestone environments using cave lidar and drip count data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahmud, K.; Mariethoz, G.; Baker, A.; Treble, P. C.; Markowska, M.; McGuire, E.

    2016-01-01

    Limestone aeolianites constitute karstic aquifers covering much of the western and southern Australian coastal fringe. They are a key groundwater resource for a range of industries such as winery and tourism, and provide important ecosystem services such as habitat for stygofauna. Moreover, recharge estimation is important for understanding the water cycle, for contaminant transport, for water management, and for stalagmite-based paleoclimate reconstructions. Caves offer a natural inception point to observe both the long-term groundwater recharge and the preferential movement of water through the unsaturated zone of such limestone. With the availability of automated drip rate logging systems and remote sensing techniques, it is now possible to deploy the combination of these methods for larger-scale studies of infiltration processes within a cave. In this study, we utilize a spatial survey of automated cave drip monitoring in two large chambers of Golgotha Cave, south-western Western Australia (SWWA), with the aim of better understanding infiltration water movement and the relationship between infiltration, stalactite morphology, and unsaturated zone recharge. By applying morphological analysis of ceiling features from Terrestrial LiDAR (T-LiDAR) data, coupled with drip time series and climate data from 2012 to 2014, we demonstrate the nature of the relationships between infiltration through fractures in the limestone and unsaturated zone recharge. Similarities between drip rate time series are interpreted in terms of flow patterns, cave chamber morphology, and lithology. Moreover, we develop a new technique to estimate recharge in large-scale caves, engaging flow classification to determine the cave ceiling area covered by each flow category and drip data for the entire observation period, to calculate the total volume of cave discharge. This new technique can be applied to other cave sites to identify highly focussed areas of recharge and can help to better

  7. Soil characterization methods for unsaturated low-level waste sites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wierenga, P.J.; Young, M.H.; Hills, R.G.

    1993-01-01

    To support a license application for the disposal of low-level radioactive waste (LLW), applicants must characterize the unsaturated zone and demonstrate that waste will not migrate from the facility boundary. This document provides a strategy for developing this characterization plan. It describes principles of contaminant flow and transport, site characterization and monitoring strategies, and data management. It also discusses methods and practices that are currently used to monitor properties and conditions in the soil profile, how these properties influence water and waste migration, and why they are important to the license application. The methods part of the document is divided into sections on laboratory and field-based properties, then further subdivided into the description of methods for determining 18 physical, flow, and transport properties. Because of the availability of detailed procedures in many texts and journal articles, the reader is often directed for details to the available literature. References are made to experiments performed at the Las Cruces Trench site, New Mexico, that support LLW site characterization activities. A major contribution from the Las Cruces study is the experience gained in handling data sets for site characterization and the subsequent use of these data sets in modeling studies

  8. Upscaling of Constitutive Relations In Unsaturated Heterogeneous Porous Media

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu, H. H.; Bodvarsson, G. S.

    2001-01-01

    When numerical model are used for modeling field scale flow and transport processes in the subsurface, the problem of ''upscaling'' arises. Typical scales, corresponding to spatial resolutions of subsurface heterogeneity in numerical models, are generally much larger than the measurement scale of the parameters and physical processes involved. The upscaling problems is, then, one of assigning parameters to gridblock scale based on parameter values measured on small scales. The focus of this study is to develop an approach to determine large-scale (upscaled) constitutive relations (relationships among relative permeability, capillary pressure and saturation) from small-scale measurements for porous media for a range of air entry values that are typical for the tuff matrix in the unsaturated zone of Yucca Mountain. For porous media with large air entry values, capillary forces play a key role in determining spatial water distribution at large-scales. Therefore, a relatively uniform capillary pressure approximately exists even for a large gridblock scale under steady state flow conditions. Based on these reasoning, we developed formulations that relate upscaled constitutive relations to ones measured at core-scale. Numerical experiments with stochastically generated heterogeneous porous media were used to evaluate the upscaling formulations

  9. Two-phase unsaturated flow at Yucca Mountain, Nevada - A Report on Current Understanding

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pruess, K.

    1998-01-01

    The U.S. civilian nuclear waste program is unique in its focus on disposal of high-level wastes in the unsaturated zone (UZ), above the water table. The potential repository site currently under investigation is located in a semi-arid region of the southwestern U.S. at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The geology of the site consists of layered sequences of faulted, fractured, and bedded tuffs. The groundwater table is approximately 600 m beneath the land surface, while the proposed repository horizon is at a nominal depth of approximately 375 m. In this kind of environment, two-phase flow is not just a localized perturbation to natural conditions, as in the saturated zone, but is the predominant mode of water and gas flow. The purpose of this report is to review the current understanding of gas and water flow, and mass transport, in the unique hydrogeologic environment of Yucca Mountain. Characteristics of the Yucca Mountain site are examined, and concepts and mathematical modeling approaches are described for variably saturated flow in thick unsaturated zones of fractured rock. The paper includes a brief summary of the disposal concept and repository design, as developed by a team of engineering contractors to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), with strong participation from the DOE National Laboratories

  10. Estimate of dispersion in an unsaturated aquifer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephenson, D.; De Jesus, A. S. M.

    1985-10-01

    The Nuclear Development Corporation of South Africa (Pty) Ltd. (NUCOR) is constructing a low-level radioactive waste disposal site near Springbok in Namaqualand, an arid region to the west of South Africa. A groundwater model was developed which required site-specific data and this work describes procedures developed to assess the dispersivity of the soil in the vicinity of the proposed site. Preliminary laboratory tests, carried out using a sodium chloride solution, indicated the order of magnitude of the dispersivity for saturated soil at various levels. This enabled site tests to be designed. The site tests were done by injecting a pulse of scandium-46 into a hole and monitoring the displacement of the radioactive cloud as it moved down under gravity and spread laterally. A mathematical model was developed to predict the behaviour of the cloud and calibration of the model yielded vertical and horizontal dispersivities. The dispersion of radioactivity at the cloud front was assumed to occur in unsaturated medium while the continuously injected water behind the radioactivity was assumed to disperse in a saturated medium. Thus monitoring the concentration of both yielded approximate values for the effective dispersivities in unsaturated and saturated media.

  11. Hydrogeophysical investigations of unsaturated flow and transport

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Haarder, Eline Bojsen

    -dimensional cross-borehole electrical resistivity tomography (ERT). In another experiment GPR and microgravimetry measurements were used for monitoring the moisture content changes arising from a forced infiltration of water across a large area. Results from both of these experiments showed that small changes...

  12. On-line moisture analysis

    CERN Document Server

    Cutmore, N G

    2002-01-01

    Measurement of the moisture content of iron ore has become a key issue for controlling moisture additions for dust suppression. In most cases moisture content is still determined by manual or automatic sampling of the ore stream, followed by conventional laboratory analysis by oven drying. Although this procedure enables the moisture content to be routinely monitored, it is too slow for control purposes. This has generated renewed interest in on-line techniques for the accurate and rapid measurement of moisture in iron ore on conveyors. Microwave transmission techniques have emerged over the past 40 years as the dominant technology for on-line measurement of moisture in bulk materials, including iron ores. Alternative technologies have their limitations. Infra-red analysers are used in a variety of process industries, but rely on the measurement of absorption by moisture in a very thin surface layer. Consequently such probes may be compromised by particle size effects and biased presentation of the bulk mater...

  13. (Bio-)remediation of VCHC contaminants in a Technosol under unsaturated conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baumgarten, W; Fleige, H; Peth, S; Horn, R

    2013-07-01

    The remediation of dense non-aqueous phase liquids has always been a concern of both public and scientific interest groups. In this research work a modified physical concept of (bio)remediation of a volatile chlorinated hydrocarbon (VCHC) contamination was elaborated under laboratory conditions and modeled with HYDRUS-2D. In field dechlorination is influenced by both physicochemical and hydraulic properties of the substrate, e.g. texture, pore size distribution, pore liquid characteristics, e.g. viscosity, pH, surface tension, and dependent on the degree of saturation of the vadose zone. Undisturbed soil cores (100 cm³) were sampled from a Spolic Technosol. Considering hydraulic properties and functions, unsaturated percolation was performed with vertically and horizontally structured samples. VCHC concentrations were calculated prior, during, and after each percolation cycle. According to laboratory findings, microemulsion showed the most efficient results with regard to flow behavior in the unsaturated porous media and its accessibility for bacteria as nutrient. The efficiency of VCHC remediation could be increased by the application of a modified pump-and-treat system: the injection of bacteria Dehalococcoides ethanogenes with microemulsion, and extraction at a constant matric potential level of -6 kPa. Achieved data was used for HYDRUS-2D simulations, modeling in situ conditions, demonstrating the practical relevance (field scale) of performed unsaturated percolation (core scale), and in order to exclude capillary barrier effects.

  14. Continuum model for water movement in an unsaturated fractured rock mass

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peters, R.R.; Klavetter, E.A.

    1988-01-01

    The movement of fluids in a fractured, porous medium has been the subject of considerable study. This paper presents a continuum model that may be used to evaluate the isothermal movement of water in an unsaturated, fractured, porous medium under slowly changing conditions. This continuum model was developed for use in evaluating the unsaturated zone at the Yucca Mountain site as a potential repository for high-level nuclear waste. Thus its development has been influenced by the conditions thought to be present at Yucca Mountain. A macroscopic approach and a microscopic approach are used to develop a continuum model to evaluate water movement in a fractured rock mass. Both approaches assume that the pressure head in the fractures and the matrix are identical in a plane perpendicular to flow. Both approaches lead to a single-flow equation for a fractured rock mass. The two approaches are used to calculate unsaturated hydrologic properties, i.e., relative permeability and saturation as a function of pressure head, for several types of tuff underlying Yucca Mountain, using the best available hydrologic data for the matrix and the fractures. Rock mass properties calculated by both approaches are similar

  15. Pyrite oxidation in unsaturated aquifer sediments. Reaction stoichiometry and rate of oxidation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Martin Søgaard; Larsen, Flemming; Postma, Diederik Jan

    2001-01-01

    The oxidation of pyrite (FeS2) contained in unsaturated aquifer sediment was studied by sediment incubation in gas impermeable polymer laminate bags. Reaction progress was followed over a period of nearly 2 months by monitoring the gas composition within the laminate bag. The gas phase in the inc......The oxidation of pyrite (FeS2) contained in unsaturated aquifer sediment was studied by sediment incubation in gas impermeable polymer laminate bags. Reaction progress was followed over a period of nearly 2 months by monitoring the gas composition within the laminate bag. The gas phase...... in the incubation bags became depleted in O2 and enriched in CO2 and N2 and was interpreted as due to pyrite oxidation in combination with calcite dissolution. Sediment incubation provides a new method to estimate low rates of pyrite oxidation in unsaturated zone aquifer sediments. Oxidation rates of up to 9.4â10......-10 mol FeS2/gâs are measured, and the rates are only weakly correlated with the sediment pyrite content. The reactivity of pyrite, including the inhibition by FeOOH layers formed on its surface, apparently has a major effect on the rate of oxidation. The code PHREEQC 2.0 was used to calculate...

  16. Numerical prediction of 239Pu migration in unsaturated porous media under infiltration scenario

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu Dongxu; Si Gaohua; Wang Qinghai; Yu Jing

    2011-01-01

    In terms of the study on site selection of a radioactive waste disposal repository in northwest China, a numerical prediction of 239 Pu migration for potential groundwater pollution in the unsaturated zone was conducted with the HYDRUS-1D model. The results showed that the groundwater will not be contaminated by the migration of soluble 239 Pu. And there is little possibility that 239 Pu migration through groundwater path might have an unacceptable impact on exosphere. Measurements of the distribution coefficient, K d , are critical in the determination of sorption-induced retardation of radionuclide transport. (authors)

  17. On the infiltration of a liquid front in an unsaturated, fractured porous medium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nitao, J.; Buscheck, T.

    1989-08-01

    The unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is currently under scientific investigation as a proposed site for the permanent storage of high-level nuclear waste. A deeper understanding of fracture-matrix interaction needed for the prediction of water movement around an in the repository. We show that the liquid front movement can be classified into physically interpretable, distinctive flow regimes. Asymptotic solutions for the front movement are given for each flow period and comparisons with numerical solutions are made. In addition to applications in nuclear waste storage, the results of our study is relevant to hazardous waste disposal, petroleum recovery, and flow in soil macropores. 17 refs., 13 figs., 6 tabs

  18. UNSAT-H, an unsaturated soil water flow code for use at the Hanford site: code documentation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fayer, M.J.; Gee, G.W.

    1985-10-01

    The unsaturated soil moisture flow code, UNSAT-H, which was developed at Pacific Northwest Laboratory for assessing water movement at waste sites on the Hanford site, is documented in this report. This code is used in simulating the water dynamics of arid sites under consideration for waste disposal. The results of an example simulation of constant infiltration show excellent agreement with an analytical solution and another numerical solution, thus providing some verification of the UNSAT-H code. Areas of the code are identified for future work and include runoff, snowmelt, long-term climate and plant models, and parameter measurement. 29 refs., 7 figs., 2 tabs

  19. Oxidation of volatile organic compound vapours by potassium permanganate in a horizontal permeable reactive barrier under unsaturated conditions: experiments and modeling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ghareh Mahmoodlu, Mojtaba|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/357287746

    2014-01-01

    In this research we evaluated the potential of using solid potassium permanganate to create a horizontal permeable reactive barrier (HPRB) for oxidizing VOC vapours in the unsaturated zone. We have performed batch experiments, short column, and long column experiments, and have fully analyzed the

  20. MICHIGAN SOIL VAPOR EXTRACTION REMEDIATION (MISER) MODEL: A COMPUTER PROGRAM TO MODEL SOIL VAPOR EXTRACTION AND BIOVENTING OF ORGANIC CHEMICALS IN UNSATURATED GEOLOGICAL MATERIAL

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soil vapor extraction (SVE) and bioventing (BV) are proven strategies for remediation of unsaturated zone soils. Mathematical models are powerful tools that can be used to integrate and quantify the interaction of physical, chemical, and biological processes occurring in field sc...

  1. Deuterium labelling studies with unsaturated acids and nitriles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Desai, U.V.; Mane, R.B.

    1986-01-01

    α-Deuteriated α,β-unsaturated acids have been prepared by Knoevenagel condensation of aldehydes with deuteriated malonic acid. The decarboxylation of α,β-unsaturated cyano acid with pyridine/D 2 O yields α- and γ-labelled nitriles. The deuterium incorporation is studied by pmr spectroscopy. (author). 8 refs

  2. Managing soil moisture on waste burial sites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anderson, J.E.; Ratzlaff, T.D.

    1991-11-01

    Shallow land burial is a common method of disposing of industrial, municipal, and low-level radioactive waste. The exclusion of water from buried wastes is a primary objective in designing and managing waste disposal sites. If wastes are not adequately isolated, water from precipitation may move through the landfill cover and into the wastes. The presence of water in the waste zone may promote the growth of plant roots to that depth and result in the transport of toxic materials to above-ground foliage. Furthermore, percolation of water through the waste zone may transport contaminants into ground water. This report presents results from a field study designed to assess the the potential for using vegetation to deplete soil moisture and prevent water from reaching buried wastes at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL). Our results show that this approach may provide an economical means of limiting the intrusion of water on waste sites

  3. SOIL moisture data intercomparison

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerr, Yann; Rodriguez-Frenandez, Nemesio; Al-Yaari, Amen; Parens, Marie; Molero, Beatriz; Mahmoodi, Ali; Mialon, Arnaud; Richaume, Philippe; Bindlish, Rajat; Mecklenburg, Susanne; Wigneron, Jean-Pierre

    2016-04-01

    The Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity satellite (SMOS) was launched in November 2009 and started delivering data in January 2010. Subsequently, the satellite has been in operation for over 6 years while the retrieval algorithms from Level 1 to Level 2 underwent significant evolutions as knowledge improved. Other approaches for retrieval at Level 2 over land were also investigated while Level 3 and 4 were initiated. In this présentation these improvements are assessed by inter-comparisons of the current Level 2 (V620) against the previous version (V551) and new products either using neural networks or Level 3. In addition a global evaluation of different SMOS soil moisture (SM) products is performed comparing products with those of model simulations and other satellites (AMSR E/ AMSR2 and ASCAT). Finally, all products were evaluated against in situ measurements of soil moisture (SM). The study demonstrated that the V620 shows a significant improvement (including those at level1 improving level2)) with respect to the earlier version V551. Results also show that neural network based approaches can yield excellent results over areas where other products are poor. Finally, global comparison indicates that SMOS behaves very well when compared to other sensors/approaches and gives consistent results over all surfaces from very dry (African Sahel, Arizona), to wet (tropical rain forests). RFI (Radio Frequency Interference) is still an issue even though detection has been greatly improved while RFI sources in several areas of the world are significantly reduced. When compared to other satellite products, the analysis shows that SMOS achieves its expected goals and is globally consistent over different eco climate regions from low to high latitudes and throughout the seasons.

  4. On-line moisture analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cutmore, N.G.; Mijak, D.G

    2002-01-01

    Measurement of the moisture content of iron ore has become a key issue for controlling moisture additions for dust suppression. In most cases moisture content is still determined by manual or automatic sampling of the ore stream, followed by conventional laboratory analysis by oven drying. Although this procedure enables the moisture content to be routinely monitored, it is too slow for control purposes. This has generated renewed interest in on-line techniques for the accurate and rapid measurement of moisture in iron ore on conveyors. Microwave transmission techniques have emerged over the past 40 years as the dominant technology for on-line measurement of moisture in bulk materials, including iron ores. Alternative technologies have their limitations. Infra-red analysers are used in a variety of process industries, but rely on the measurement of absorption by moisture in a very thin surface layer. Consequently such probes may be compromised by particle size effects and biased presentation of the bulk material. Nuclear-based analysers measure the total hydrogen content in the sample and do not differentiate between free and combined moisture. Such analysers may also be sensitive to material presentation and elemental composition. Very low frequency electromagnetic probes, such as capacitance or conductance probes, operate in the frequency region where the DC conductivity dominates much of the response, which is a function not only of moisture content but also of ionic composition and chemistry. These problems are overcome using microwave transmission techniques, which also have the following advantages, as a true bulk moisture analysis is obtained, because a high percentage of the bulk material is analysed; the moisture estimate is mostly insensitive to any biased presentation of moisture, for example due to stratification of bulk material with different moisture content and because no physical contact is made between the sensor and the bulk material. This is

  5. Arbuscular Mycorrhiza Improves Substrate Hydraulic Conductivity in the Plant Available Moisture Range Under Root Growth Exclusion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bitterlich, Michael; Franken, Philipp; Graefe, Jan

    2018-01-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) proliferate in soils and are known to affect soil structure. Although their contribution to structure is extensively investigated, the consequences of those processes for soil water extractability and transport has, so far, gained surprisingly little attention. Therefore we asked, whether AMF can affect water retention and unsaturated hydraulic conductivity under exclusion of root ingrowth, in order to minimize plant driven effects. We carried out experiments with tomato inoculated with Rhizoglomus irregulare in a soil substrate with sand and vermiculite that created variation in colonization by mixed pots with wild type (WT) plants and mycorrhiza resistant (RMC) mutants. Sampling cores were introduced and used to assess substrate moisture retention dynamics and modeling of substrate water retention and hydraulic conductivity. AMF reduced the saturated water content and total porosity, but maintained air filled porosity in soil spheres that excluded root ingrowth. The water content between field capacity and the permanent wilting point (6-1500 kPa) was only reduced in mycorrhizal substrates that contained at least one RMC mutant. Plant available water contents correlated positively with soil protein contents. Soil protein contents were highest in pots that possessed the strongest hyphal colonization, but not significantly affected. Substrate conductivity increased up to 50% in colonized substrates in the physiologically important water potential range between 6 and 10 kPa. The improvements in hydraulic conductivity are restricted to substrates where at least one WT plant was available for the fungus, indicating a necessity of a functional symbiosis for this effect. We conclude that functional mycorrhiza alleviates the resistance to water movement through the substrate in substrate areas outside of the root zone.

  6. Preliminary Evaluation of the SMAP Radiometer Soil Moisture Product over China Using In Situ Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yayong Sun

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available The Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP satellite makes coincident global measurements of soil moisture using an L-band radar instrument and an L-band radiometer. It is crucial to evaluate the errors in the newest L-band SMAP satellite-derived soil moisture products, before they are routinely used in scientific research and applications. This study represents the first evaluation of the SMAP radiometer soil moisture product over China. In this paper, a preliminary evaluation was performed using sparse in situ measurements from 655 China Meteorological Administration (CMA monitoring stations between 1 April 2015 and 31 August 2016. The SMAP radiometer-derived soil moisture product was evaluated against two schemes of original soil moisture and the soil moisture anomaly in different geographical zones and land cover types. Four performance metrics, i.e., bias, root mean square error (RMSE, unbiased root mean square error (ubRMSE, and the correlation coefficient (R, were used in the accuracy evaluation. The results indicated that the SMAP radiometer-derived soil moisture product agreed relatively well with the in situ measurements, with ubRMSE values of 0.058 cm3·cm−3 and 0.039 cm3·cm−3 based on original data and anomaly data, respectively. The values of the SMAP radiometer-based soil moisture product were overestimated in wet areas, especially in the Southwest China, South China, Southeast China, East China, and Central China zones. The accuracies over croplands and in Northeast China were the worst. Soil moisture, surface roughness, and vegetation are crucial factors contributing to the error in the soil moisture product. Moreover, radio frequency interference contributes to the overestimation over the northern portion of the East China zone. This study provides guidelines for the application of the SMAP-derived soil moisture product in China and acts as a reference for improving the retrieval algorithm.

  7. Moisture content measurement in paddy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klomklao, P.; Kuntinugunetanon, S.; Wongkokua, W.

    2017-09-01

    Moisture content is an important quantity for agriculture product, especially in paddy. In principle, the moisture content can be measured by a gravimetric method which is a direct method. However, the gravimetric method is time-consuming. There are indirect methods such as resistance and capacitance methods. In this work, we developed an indirect method based on a 555 integrated circuit timer. The moisture content sensor was capacitive parallel plates using the dielectric constant property of the moisture. The instrument generated the output frequency that depended on the capacitance of the sensor. We fitted a linear relation between periods and moisture contents. The measurement results have a standard uncertainty of 1.23 % of the moisture content in the range of 14 % to 20 %.

  8. Three-dimensional modeling of unsaturated flow in the vicinity of proposed exploratory shaft facilities at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rockhold, M.L.; Sagar, B.; Connelly, M.P.

    1992-04-01

    This report describes the results of a study to investigate the influence of proposed exploratory shafts on the moisture distribution within unsaturated, fractured rock at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The long-term effects of exploratory shafts at Yucca Mountain are important in the estimation of potential waste migration and fate, while short-term effects may be important in the planning and interpretation of tests performed at the site. The PORFLO-3 computer code was used for simulation of moisture flow through the geologic units adjacent to the ESF. Rather than represent fractures as discrete elements, an equivalent continuum was stipulated, in which the fractured units were assigned equivalent or composite hydrologic properties. Explicit treatment of fractures is not feasible because of the extremely large number of fractures contained in the site-scale problem and the difficulties in characterizing and modeling the fracture geometries

  9. Analysis of Joist Masonry Moisture Content Monitoring

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ueno, Kohta [Building Science Corporation, Westford, MA (United States)

    2015-10-08

    There are many existing buildings with load-bearing mass masonry walls, whose energy performance could be improved with the retrofit of insulation. However, adding insulation to the interior side of walls of such masonry buildings in cold (and wet) climates may cause performance and durability problems. Some concerns, such as condensation and freeze-thaw have known solutions. But wood members embedded in the masonry structure will be colder (and potentially wetter) after an interior insulation retrofit. Moisture content & relative humidity were monitored at joist ends in historic mass brick masonry walls retrofitted with interior insulation in a cold climate (Zone 5A); data were collected from 2012-2015. Eleven joist ends were monitored in all four orientations. One limitation of these results is that the renovation is still ongoing, with limited wintertime construction heating and no permanent occupancy to date. Measurements show that many joists ends remain at high moisture contents, especially at north- and east-facing orientations, with constant 100% RH conditions at the worst cases. These high moisture levels are not conducive for wood durability, but no evidence for actual structural damage has been observed. Insulated vs. non-insulated joist pockets do not show large differences. South facing joists have safe (10-15%) moisture contents. Given the uncertainty pointed out by research, definitive guidance on the vulnerability of embedded wood members is difficult to formulate. In high-risk situations, or when a very conservative approach is warranted, the embedded wood member condition can be eliminated entirely, supporting the joist ends outside of the masonry pocket.

  10. Moisture dynamics in building envelopes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Peuhkuri, R.

    2003-07-01

    The overall scope of this Thesis 'Moisture dynamics in building envelopes' has been to characterise how the various porous insulation materials investigated performed hygro thermally under conditions similar to those in a typical building envelope. As a result of the changing temperature and moisture conditions in the exterior weather and indoor climate the materials dynamically absorb and release moisture. The complexity of the impact of these conditions on the resulting moisture transport and content of the materials has been studied in this Thesis with controlled laboratory tests. (au)

  11. Moisture Dynamics in Building Envelopes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Peuhkuri, Ruut Hannele

    2003-01-01

    The overall scope of this Thesis "Moisture dynamics in building envelopes" has been to characterise how the various porous insulation materials investigated performed hygrothermally under conditions similar to those in a typical building envelope. As a result of the changing temperature...... part of the Thesis consists of a theory and literature review on the moisture storage and transport processes (Chapter 2), on the non-Fickian moisture transport (Chapter 3)and on the methods for determining the moisture properties (Chapter 4). In the second part, the conducted experimental work...

  12. Hydrocarbons biodegradation in unsaturated porous medium; Biodegradation des hydrocarbures en milieu poreux insature

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gautier, C

    2007-12-15

    Biological processes are expected to play an important role in the degradation of petroleum hydrocarbons in contaminated soils. However, factors influencing the kinetics of biodegradation are still not well known, especially in the unsaturated zone. To address these biodegradation questions in the unsaturated zone an innovative experimental set up based on a physical column model was developed. This experimental set up appeared to be an excellent tool for elaboration of a structured porous medium, with well defined porous network and adjusted water/oil saturations. Homogeneous repartition of both liquid phases (i.e., aqueous and non aqueous) in the soil pores, which also contain air, was achieved using ceramic membranes placed at the bottom of the soil column. Reproducible interfaces (and connectivity) are developed between gas, and both non mobile water and NAPL phases, depending on the above-defined characteristics of the porous media and on the partial saturations of these three phases (NAPL, water and gas). A respirometric apparatus was coupled to the column. Such experimental set up have been validated with hexadecane in dilution in an HMN phase. This approach allowed detailed information concerning n-hexadecane biodegradation, in aerobic condition, through the profile of the oxygen consumption rate. We have taken benefit of this technique, varying experimental conditions, to determine the main parameters influencing the biodegradation kinetics and compositional evolution of hydrocarbons, under steady state unsaturated conditions and with respect to aerobic metabolism. Impacts of the nitrogen quantity and of three different grain sizes have been examined. Biodegradation of petroleum cut, as diesel cut and middle distillate without aromatic fraction, were, also studied. (author)

  13. Initializing numerical weather prediction models with satellite-derived surface soil moisture: Data assimilation experiments with ECMWF's Integrated Forecast System and the TMI soil moisture data set

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drusch, M.

    2007-02-01

    Satellite-derived surface soil moisture data sets are readily available and have been used successfully in hydrological applications. In many operational numerical weather prediction systems the initial soil moisture conditions are analyzed from the modeled background and 2 m temperature and relative humidity. This approach has proven its efficiency to improve surface latent and sensible heat fluxes and consequently the forecast on large geographical domains. However, since soil moisture is not always related to screen level variables, model errors and uncertainties in the forcing data can accumulate in root zone soil moisture. Remotely sensed surface soil moisture is directly linked to the model's uppermost soil layer and therefore is a stronger constraint for the soil moisture analysis. For this study, three data assimilation experiments with the Integrated Forecast System (IFS) of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) have been performed for the 2-month period of June and July 2002: a control run based on the operational soil moisture analysis, an open loop run with freely evolving soil moisture, and an experimental run incorporating TMI (TRMM Microwave Imager) derived soil moisture over the southern United States. In this experimental run the satellite-derived soil moisture product is introduced through a nudging scheme using 6-hourly increments. Apart from the soil moisture analysis, the system setup reflects the operational forecast configuration including the atmospheric 4D-Var analysis. Soil moisture analyzed in the nudging experiment is the most accurate estimate when compared against in situ observations from the Oklahoma Mesonet. The corresponding forecast for 2 m temperature and relative humidity is almost as accurate as in the control experiment. Furthermore, it is shown that the soil moisture analysis influences local weather parameters including the planetary boundary layer height and cloud coverage.

  14. Vertical and lateral soil moisture patterns on a Mediterranean karst hillslope