WorldWideScience

Sample records for vadose unsaturated zone

  1. 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

  2. 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)

  3. Optimization of remediation strategies using vadose zone monitoring systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dahan, Ofer

    2016-04-01

    In-situ bio-remediation of the vadose zone depends mainly on the ability to change the subsurface hydrological, physical and chemical conditions in order to enable development of specific, indigenous, pollutants degrading bacteria. As such the remediation efficiency is much dependent on the ability to implement optimal hydraulic and chemical conditions in deep sections of the vadose zone. These conditions are usually determined in laboratory experiments where parameters such as the chemical composition of the soil water solution, redox potential and water content of the sediment are fully controlled. Usually, implementation of desired optimal degradation conditions in deep vadose zone at full scale field setups is achieved through infiltration of water enriched with chemical additives on the land surface. It is assumed that deep percolation into the vadose zone would create chemical conditions that promote biodegradation of specific compounds. However, application of water with specific chemical conditions near land surface dose not necessarily results in promoting of desired chemical and hydraulic conditions in deep sections of the vadose zone. A vadose-zone monitoring system (VMS) that was recently developed allows continuous monitoring of the hydrological and chemical properties of deep sections of the unsaturated zone. The VMS includes flexible time-domain reflectometry (FTDR) probes which allow continuous monitoring of the temporal variation of the vadose zone water content, and vadose-zone sampling ports (VSPs) which are designed to allow frequent sampling of the sediment pore-water and gas at multiple depths. Implementation of the vadose zone monitoring system in sites that undergoes active remediation provides real time information on the actual chemical and hydrological conditions in the vadose zone as the remediation process progresses. Up-to-date the system has been successfully implemented in several studies on water flow and contaminant transport in

  4. Vadose Zone Journal: The first ten years

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vrugt, J.A.; Or, D.; Young, M.H.

    2013-01-01

    Celebrating ten years of publication, the authors introduce a special section commemorating the anniversary of Vadose Zone Journal and reviewing the journal’s role in an evolving understanding of vadose zone science.

  5. Vadose Zone Transport Field Study: Summary Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ward, Andy L.; Conrad, Mark E.; Daily, William D.; Fink, James B.; Freedman, Vicky L.; Gee, Glendon W.; Hoversten, Gary M.; Keller, Jason M.; Majer, Ernest L.; Murray, Christopher J.; White, Mark D.; Yabusaki, Steven B.; Zhang, Z. F.

    2006-07-31

    From FY 2000 through FY 2003, a series of vadose zone transport field experiments were conducted as part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Groundwater/Vadose Zone Integration Project Science and Technology Project, now known as the Remediation and Closure Science Project, and managed by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). The series of experiments included two major field campaigns, one at a 299-E24-11 injection test site near PUREX and a second at a clastic dike site off Army Loop Road. The goals of these experiments were to improve our understanding of vadose zone transport processes; to develop data sets to validate and calibrate vadose zone flow and transport models; and to identify advanced monitoring techniques useful for evaluating flow-and-transport mechanisms and delineating contaminant plumes in the vadose zone at the Hanford Site. This report summarizes the key findings from the field studies and demonstrates how data collected from these studies are being used to improve conceptual models and develop numerical models of flow and transport in Hanford’s vadose zone. Results of these tests have led to a better understanding of the vadose zone. Fine-scale geologic heterogeneities, including grain fabric and lamination, were observed to have a strong effect on the large-scale behavior of contaminant plumes, primarily through increased lateral spreading resulting from anisotropy. Conceptual models have been updated to include lateral spreading and numerical models of unsaturated flow and transport have revised accordingly. A new robust model based on the concept of a connectivity tensor was developed to describe saturation-dependent anisotropy in strongly heterogeneous soils and has been incorporated into PNNL’s Subsurface Transport Over Multiple Phases (STOMP) simulator. Application to field-scale transport problems have led to a better understanding plume behavior at a number of sites where lateral spreading may have dominated waste

  6. 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

  7. Optimization of Remediation Conditions using Vadose Zone Monitoring Technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dahan, O.; Mandelbaum, R.; Ronen, Z.

    2010-12-01

    Success of in-situ bio-remediation of the vadose zone depends mainly on the ability to change and control hydrological, physical and chemical conditions of subsurface. These manipulations enables the development of specific, indigenous, pollutants degrading bacteria or set the environmental conditions for seeded bacteria. As such, the remediation efficiency is dependent on the ability to implement optimal hydraulic and chemical conditions in deep sections of the vadose zone. Enhanced bioremediation of the vadose zone is achieved under field conditions through infiltration of water enriched with chemical additives. Yet, water percolation and solute transport in unsaturated conditions is a complex process and application of water with specific chemical conditions near land surface dose not necessarily result in promoting of desired chemical and hydraulic conditions in deeper sections of the vadose zone. A newly developed vadose-zone monitoring system (VMS) allows continuous monitoring of the hydrological and chemical properties of the percolating water along deep sections of the vadose zone. Implementation of the VMS at sites that undergoes active remediation provides real time information on the chemical and hydrological conditions in the vadose zone as the remediation process progresses. Manipulating subsurface conditions for optimal biodegradation of hydrocarbons is demonstrated through enhanced bio-remediation of the vadose zone at a site that has been contaminated with gasoline products in Tel Aviv. The vadose zone at the site is composed of 6 m clay layer overlying a sandy formation extending to the water table at depth of 20 m bls. The upper 5 m of contaminated soil were removed for ex-situ treatment, and the remaining 15 m vadose zone is treated in-situ through enhanced bioremedaition. Underground drip irrigation system was installed below the surface on the bottom of the excavation. Oxygen and nutrients releasing powder (EHCO, Adventus) was spread below the

  8. Advanced Vadose Zone Simulations Using TOUGH

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Finsterle, S.; Doughty, C.; Kowalsky, M.B.; Moridis, G.J.; Pan,L.; Xu, T.; Zhang, Y.; Pruess, K.

    2007-02-01

    The vadose zone can be characterized as a complex subsurfacesystem in which intricate physical and biogeochemical processes occur inresponse to a variety of natural forcings and human activities. Thismakes it difficult to describe, understand, and predict the behavior ofthis specific subsurface system. The TOUGH nonisothermal multiphase flowsimulators are well-suited to perform advanced vadose zone studies. Theconceptual models underlying the TOUGH simulators are capable ofrepresenting features specific to the vadose zone, and of addressing avariety of coupled phenomena. Moreover, the simulators are integratedinto software tools that enable advanced data analysis, optimization, andsystem-level modeling. We discuss fundamental and computationalchallenges in simulating vadose zone processes, review recent advances inmodeling such systems, and demonstrate some capabilities of the TOUGHsuite of codes using illustrative examples.

  9. DEEP VADOSE ZONE TREATABILITY TEST PLAN

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chronister, G.B.; Truex, M.J.

    2009-01-01

    (sm b ullet) Treatability test plan published in 2008 (sm b ullet) Outlines technology treatability activities for evaluating application of in situ technologies and surface barriers to deep vadose zone contamination (technetium and uranium) (sm b ullet) Key elements - Desiccation testing - Testing of gas-delivered reactants for in situ treatment of uranium - Evaluating surface barrier application to deep vadose zone - Evaluating in situ grouting and soil flushing

  10. Vadose zone characterisation at industrial contaminated sites

    OpenAIRE

    Fernandez de Vera, Natalia; Dahan, Ofer; Dassargues, Alain; Vanclooster, Marnik; Nguyen, Frédéric; Brouyère, Serge

    2015-01-01

    In order to improve risk characterization and remediation measures for soil and groundwater contamination, there is a need to improve in situ vadose zone characterization. However, most available technologies have been developed in the context of agricultural soils. Such methodologies are not applicable at industrial sites, where soils and contamination differ in origin and composition. To overcome such difficulties, a vadose zone experiment has been setup at a former industrial site in ...

  11. 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

  12. Vadose zone drilling at the NTS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Efurd, D.W.

    1994-01-01

    The Yucca Mountain Project has an opportunity to evaluate possible mobilization and transport of radioactive materials away from the storage horizon in the proposed repository. One scenario by which such transport could occur involves water leaving the storage area and carrying radioactive particulates of colloidal size. The colloids could move along the gas-liquid interface in partially filled fractures within the vadose zone. It should be possible to check the reality of this proposed scenario by examining ''anthropogenic analogs'' of the repository. These are sites of nuclear tests conducted in unsaturated tuff at the Nevada Test Site (NTS). We propose to drill under one or more such sites to determine if radionuclides have moved from their original confinement in the puddle- glass at the bottom of the cavity. This document examines the characteristics of an ideal test site for such a study, suggests several possible locations that have some of the desired characteristics, and recommends one of these sites for the proposed drilling

  13. Preliminary study of radioactive waste disposal in the vadose zone

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1978-09-01

    To investigate the characteristics of the vadose zone with respect to radioactive waste disposal, the mechanics of unsaturated flow in arid regions and the geohydrology of four areas with a deep water table were studied. The studies indicated that (1) arid sites with a water table deeper than 200 m can be found in at least three distinct geologic settings in the western United States, (2) the physics of unsaturated flow in soils and rock with interstitial porosity at low water contents, particularly under thermal gradients, is not yet completely understood, and (3) under certain conditions unsaturated flow can be so slow that analytic modeling of an unflawed repository is unnecessary to prove effective containment

  14. Preliminary study of radioactive waste disposal in the vadose zone

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1978-09-01

    To investigate the characteristics of the vadose zone with respect to radioactive waste disposal, the mechanics of unsaturated flow in arid regions and the geohydrology of four areas with a deep water table were studied. The studies indicated that (1) arid sites with a water table deeper than 200 m can be found in at least three distinct geologic settings in the western United States, (2) the physics of unsaturated flow in soils and rock with interstitial porosity at low water contents, particularly under thermal gradients, is not yet completely understood, and (3) under certain conditions unsaturated flow can be so slow that analytic modeling of an unflawed repository is unnecessary to prove effective containment.

  15. Enhanced phytoremediation in the vadose zone: Modeling and column studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sung, K.; Chang, Y.; Corapcioglu, M.; Cho, C.

    2002-05-01

    Phytoremediation is a plant-based technique with potential for enhancing the remediation of vadoese zone soils contaminated by pollutants. The use of deep-rooted plants is an alternative to conventional methodologies. However, when the phytoremediation is applied to the vadose zone, it might have some restrictions since it uses solely naturally driven energy and mechanisms in addition to the complesxity of the vadose zone. As a more innovative technique than conventional phytoremediation methods, air injected phytoremediation technique is introduced to enhance the remediation efficiency or to apply at the former soil vapor extraction or bio venting sites. Effects of air injection, vegetation treatment, and air injection with vegetation treatments on the removal of hydrocarbon were investigated by column studies to simulate the field situation. Both the removal efficiency and the microbial activity were highest in air-injected and vegetated column soils. It was suggested that increased microorganisms activity stimulated by plant root exudates enhanced biodegradation of hydrocarbon compounds. Air injection provided sufficient opportunity for promoting the microbial activity at depths where the conditions are anaerobic. Air injection can enhance the physicochemical properties of the medium and contaminant and increase the bioavailability i.e., the plant and microbial accessibility to the contaminant. A mathematical model that can be applied to phytoremediation, especially to air injected phytoremediation, for simulating the fate and the transport of a diesel contaminant in the vadose zone is developed. The approach includes a two-phase model of water flow in vegetated and unplanted vadose zone soil. A time-specific root distribution model and a microbial growth model in the rhizosphere of vegetated soil were combined with an unsaturated soil water flow equation as well as with a contaminant transport equation. The proposed model showed a satisfactory representation of

  16. Performance Evaluation of Automated Passive Capillary Sampler for Estimating Water Drainage in the Vadose Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Passive capillary samplers (PCAPs) are widely used to monitor, measure and sample drainage water under saturated and unsaturated soil conditions in the vadose zone. The objective of this study was to evaluate the performance and accuracy of automated passive capillary sampler for estimating drainage...

  17. Colloid Facilitated Transport of Radioactive Cations in the Vadose Zone: Field Experiments Oak Ridge

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    James E. Saiers

    2012-09-20

    The overarching goal of this study was to improve understanding of colloid-facilitated transport of radioactive cations through unsaturated soils and sediments. We conducted a suite of laboratory experiments and field experiments on the vadose-zone transport of colloids, organic matter, and associated contaminants of interest to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The laboratory and field experiments, together with transport modeling, were designed to accomplish the following detailed objectives: 1. Evaluation of the relative importance of inorganic colloids and organic matter to the facilitation of radioactive cation transport in the vadose zone; 2. Assessment of the role of adsorption and desorption kinetics in the facilitated transport of radioactive cations in the vadose zone; 3. Examination of the effects of rainfall and infiltration dynamics and in the facilitated transport of radioactive cations through the vadose zone; 4. Exploration of the role of soil heterogeneity and preferential flow paths (e.g., macropores) on the facilitated transport of radioactive cations in the vadose zone; 5. Development of a mathematical model of facilitated transport of contaminants in the vadose zone that accurately incorporates pore-scale and column-scale processes with the practicality of predicting transport with readily available parameters.

  18. 1999 vadose zone monitoring plan and guidance for subsequent years

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Horton, D.G.; Reidel, S.P.; Last, G.V.

    1998-08-01

    The US Department of Energy's Hanford Site has the most diverse and largest amounts of radioactive waste in the US. The majority of the liquid waste was disposed to the soil column where much of it remains today. This document provides the rationale and general framework for vadose zone monitoring at cribs, ditches, trenches and other disposal facilities to detect new sources of contamination and track the movement of existing contamination in the vadose zone for the protection of groundwater. The document provides guidance for subsequent site-specific vadose zone monitoring plans and includes a brief description of past vadose monitoring activities (Chapter 3); the results of the Data Quality Objective process used for this plan (Chapter 4); a prioritization of liquid waste disposal sites for vadose monitoring (Chapter 5 and Appendix B); a general Monitoring and Analysis Plan (Chapter 6); a general Quality Assurance Project Plan (Appendix A), and a description of vadose monitoring activities planned for FY 1999 (Appendix C)

  19. Hydrologic properties of the vadose zone at B292

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shinn, J.; Mallon, B.; Martins, S.

    1992-09-01

    A formula for the unsaturated hydraulic conductivity was derived for the vadose zone down to the 45-foot depth by analysis of data from 5 wells near B292. The formula gives the median hydraulic conductivity as a function of depth and soil-water content, and was obtained by parameterization of saturated hydraulic conductivity and the water-retention characteristics to the median particle diameter of soil samples. It was noted that the variation of median particle diameter among soil samples at the same depth, taken from 5 wells in close proximity to B292, would have a great effect on saturated hydraulic conductivity. The coefficient of variation of median particle diameter was estimated to be 1.23 at any depth, based on apparent log-normal frequency distribution. The coefficient of variation of measured and predicted saturated hydraulic conductivity was estimated to be 7.9; large values are found in the literature as well

  20. Colloid-Facilitated Transport of Radionuclides Through The Vadose Zone

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Markus Flury; James B. Harsh; John F. McCarthy' Peter C. Lichtner; John M. Zachara

    2007-01-01

    The main purpose of this project was to advance the basic scientific understanding of colloid and colloid-facilitated Cs transport of radionuclides in the vadose zone. We focused our research on the hydrological and geochemical conditions beneath the leaking waste tanks at the USDOE Hanford reservation. Specific objectives were (1) to determine the lability and thermodynamic stability of colloidal materials, which form after reacting Hanford sediments with simulated Hanford Tank Waste, (2) to characterize the interactions between colloidal particles and contaminants, i.e., Cs and Eu, (3) to determine the potential of Hanford sediments for in situ mobilization of colloids, (4) to evaluate colloid-facilitated radionuclide transport through sediments under unsaturated flow, (5) to implement colloid-facilitated contaminant transport mechanisms into a transport model, and (6) to improve conceptual characterization of colloid-contaminant-soil interactions and colloid-facilitated transport for clean-up procedures and long-term risk assessment

  1. 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.

  2. Deficiencies in Vadose Zone Understanding at the INEEL

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wood, Thomas Ronald; Bates, Dona Louise; Bishop, Carolyn Wagoner; Heard, Robert Eugene; Hubbell, Joel Michael; Hull, Laurence Charles; Lehman, Richard Michael; Magnuson, Swen O; Mattson, Earl Douglas; Mccarthy, James Michael; Porro, Indrek; Ritter, Paul David; Roddy, Michael Scott; Singler, Robert Edward; Smith, Richard Paul

    2000-08-01

    Subsurface contamination in the vadose zone, that portion of the subsurface pathway between land surface and an underlying aquifer, poses environmental problems at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) in eastern Idaho and across the U.S. Department of Energy complex. Assessing potential adverse impacts from these contaminated sites requires an understanding of the mechanisms controlling contaminant transport. Currently, vadose zone experts at the INEEL cannot with confidence predict the movement of water and contaminants in the complex, heterogeneous, fractured subsurface at the INEEL, especially within the vadose zone. In the draft version (Revision 1) of the Vadose Zone Deficiencies document, deficiencies in scientific understanding of flow and transport processes in the vadose zone at the INEEL were identified and grouped into 13 categories and recommendations were provided to address each of the deficiencies. The draft document provided the basis for an INEEL Vadose Zone Workshop that was conducted October 20 and 21, 1999, in Idaho Falls, Idaho. The workshop was conducted to group and rank the previously identified deficiencies and for the subsequent development of science plans to address the deficiencies that limit reliable predictions of water and contaminant movement in the subsurface. The workshop participants, comprising INEEL and scientists and project managers and non-INEEL scientists knowledgeable about the vadose zone, developed science- and technology-based recommendations derived through a series of technical sessions at the workshop. In this document, the final version of the Vadose Zone Deficiencies document, the draft document has been incorporated, largely intact, as well as the results from the workshop. The workshop participants grouped the deficiencies in vadose zone understanding at the INEEL into seven categories. These seven categories will be the focus areas of five science plans that are being developed to

  3. A vadose zone water fluxmeter with divergence control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gee, G.W.; Ward, A.L.; Caldwell, T.G.; Ritter, J.C.

    2002-01-01

    Unsaturated water flux densities are needed to quantify water and contaminant transfer within the vadose zone. However, water flux densities are seldom measured directly and often are predicted with uncertainties of an order or magnitude or more. A water fluxmeter was designed, constructed, and tested to directly measure drainage fluxes in field soils. The fluxmeter was designed to minimize divergence. It concentrates flow into a narrow sensing region filled with a fiberglass wick. The wick applies suction, proportional to its length, and passively drains the meter. The meter can be installed in an augured borehole at almost any depth below the root zone. Water flux through the meter is measured with a self‐calibrating tipping bucket, with a sensitivity of ∼4 mL tip−1. For our meter this is equivalent to detection limit of ∼0.1 mm. Passive‐wick devices previously have not properly corrected for flow divergence. Laboratory measurements supported predictions of a two‐dimensional (2‐D) numerical model, which showed that control of the collector height H and knowledge of soil hydraulic properties are required for improving divergence control, particularly at fluxes below 1000 mm yr−1. The water fluxmeter is simple in concept, is inexpensive, and has the capability of providing continuous and reliable monitoring of unsaturated water fluxes ranging from less than 1 mm yr−1 to more than 1000 mm yr−1.

  4. 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.

  5. COLLOID-FACILITATED TRANSPORT OF RADIONUCLIDES THROUGH THE VADOSE ZONE

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Flury, Markus

    2003-01-01

    Contaminants have leaked into the vadose zone at the USDOE Hanford reservation. It is important to understand the fate and transport of these contaminants to design remediation strategies and long-term waste management plans at the Hanford reservation. Colloids may play an important role in fate and transport of strongly sorbing contaminants, such as Cs or Pu. This project seeks to improve the basic understanding of colloid and colloid-facilitated transport of contaminants in the vadose zone. The specific objectives addressed are: (1) Determine the structure, composition, and surface charge characteristics of colloidal particles formed under conditions similar to those occurring during leakage of waste typical of Hanford tank supernatants into soils and sediments surrounding the tanks. (2) Characterize the mutual interactions between colloids, contaminant, and soil matrix in batch experiments under various ionic strength and pH conditions. We will investigate the nature of the solid-liquid interactions and the kinetics of the reactions. (3) Evaluate mobility of colloids through soil under different degrees of water saturation and solution chemistry (ionic strength and pH). (4) Determine the potential of colloids to act as carriers to transport the contaminant through the vadose zone and verify the results through comparison with field samples collected under leaking tanks. (5) Improve conceptual characterization of colloid-contaminant-soil interactions and colloid-facilitated transport for implementation into reactive chemical transport models. This project was in part supported by an NSF-IGERT grant to Washington State University. The IGERT grant provided funding for graduate student research and education, and two graduate students were involved in the EMSP project. The IGERT program also supported undergraduate internships. The project is part of a larger EMSP program to study fate and transport of contaminants under leaking Hanford waste tanks. The project has

  6. simulation of vertical water flow through vadose zone

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    HOD

    Simulation of vertical water flow representing the release of water from the vadose zone to the aquifer of surroundings ... ground water pollution from agricultural, industrial and municipal .... Peak Flow Characteristics of Wyoming. Streams: US ...

  7. VADOSE ZONE STUDIES AT AN INDUSTRIAL CONTAMINATED SITE: THE VADOSE ZONE MONITORING SYSTEM AND CROSS-HOLE GEOPHYSICS

    OpenAIRE

    Fernandez de Vera, Natalia; Beaujean, Jean; Jamin, Pierre; Nguyen, Frédéric; Dahan, Ofer; Vanclooster, Marnik; Brouyère, Serge

    2014-01-01

    In situ vadose zone characterization is essential to improve risk characterization and remediation measures for soil and groundwater contamination. However, most available technologies have been developed in the context of agricultural soils. Most of these methodologies are not applicable at industrial sites, where soils and contamination differ in origin and composition. In addition, they are applicable only in the first meters of soils, leaving deeper vadose zones with lack of informatio...

  8. A/M Area Vadose Zone Monitoring Plan (U)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kupar, J.; Jarosch, T.R.; Jackson, D.G. Jr.; Looney, B.B.; Jerome, K.M.; Riha, B.D.; Rossabi, J.; Van Pelt, R.S.

    1998-03-01

    Characterization and monitoring data from implementation and the first two and one half years of vadose zone remediation operations indicate that this activity has substantially improved the performance of the A/M Area Groundwater Corrective Action Program. During this period, vadose zone remediation removed approximately 225, 000 lbs (100,000 Kg) of chlorinated solvents (CVOCs) from the subsurface. Further, vadose zone remediation system operation increased the overall CVOC removal rate of the A/M Area Groundwater Corrective Action by 300% to 500% during this period versus the groundwater pump and treat system along. Various support activities have been performed to support operation and documentation of performance of the vadose zone remediation system. These activities address performance of existing systems (contaminant distributions, zone of influence, and process monitoring data), evaluation of suspect sources, evaluation of alternative/enhancement technologies, and initial development of remediation goals. In particular, the most recent A/M vadose zone remediation support activities (described in WSRC-RP-97-109) were completed and the results provide key documentation about system performance

  9. 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...

  10. Calibrating Vadose Zone Models with Time-Lapse Gravity Data

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christiansen, Lars; Hansen, A. B.; Looms, M. C.

    2009-01-01

    A change in soil water content is a change in mass stored in the subsurface. Given that the mass change is big enough, the change can be measured with a gravity meter. Attempts have been made with varying success over the last decades to use ground-based time-lapse gravity measurements to infer...... hydrogeological parameters. These studies focused on the saturated zone with specific yield as the most prominent target parameter. Any change in storage in the vadose zone has been considered as noise. Our modeling results show a measureable change in gravity from the vadose zone during a forced infiltration...... experiment on 10m by 10m grass land. Simulation studies show a potential for vadose zone model calibration using gravity data in conjunction with other geophysical data, e.g. cross-borehole georadar. We present early field data and calibration results from a forced infiltration experiment conducted over 30...

  11. Global Patterns of Legacy Nitrate Storage in the Vadose Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ascott, M.; Gooddy, D.; Wang, L.; Stuart, M.; Lewis, M.; Ward, R.; Binley, A. M.

    2017-12-01

    Global-scale nitrogen (N) budgets have been developed to quantify the impact of man's influence on the nitrogen cycle. However, these budgets often do not consider legacy effects such as accumulation of nitrate in the deep vadose zone. In this presentation we show that the vadose zone is an important store of nitrate which should be considered in future nitrogen budgets for effective policymaking. Using estimates of depth to groundwater and nitrate leaching for 1900-2000, we quantify for the first time the peak global storage of nitrate in the vadose zone, estimated as 605 - 1814 Teragrams (Tg). Estimates of nitrate storage are validated using previous national and basin scale estimates of N storage and observed groundwater nitrate data for North America and Europe. Nitrate accumulation per unit area is greatest in North America, China and Central and Eastern Europe where thick vadose zones are present and there is an extensive history of agriculture. In these areas the long solute travel time in the vadose zone means that the anticipated impact of changes in agricultural practices on groundwater quality may be substantially delayed. We argue that in these areas use of conventional nitrogen budget approaches is inappropriate and their continued use will lead to significant errors.

  12. Wildfire effects on vadose zone hydrology in forested boreal peatland microforms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Dan K.; Waddington, James M.

    2013-04-01

    SummaryPeatland vulnerability to wildfire disturbance has been shown to vary as a function of hummock and hollow microforms and vadose zone hydrology, with low-lying hollow microforms most susceptible to deep combustion of peat. To better understand how this microform induced pattern of burning alters vadose water storage, pore-water pressure, and water table relationships, we examined a paired burned and unburned peatland in the boreal plain region of north central Alberta. Water table response to rain events increased significantly after wildfire, resulting in a more variable unsaturated zone thickness that was more responsive to smaller rain events. Water storage losses in the vadose zone occurred primarily at depths greater than 15 cm. Large peat surface water loss occurred in hummock microforms in the early spring due to the presence of unsaturated frozen peat at depth, likely a result of a vapour gradient from the unfrozen peat into the frozen peat underneath. During this period, the loss of water storage in the vadose zone satisfied up to 25% of daily evaporative demand, compared to only 3-5% during ice-free periods. A similar but less severe drying was observed late in summer, with burned hummocks the most vulnerable with high pore-water pressures. The enhanced surface drying observed is a precursor to high pore-water pressure conditions that inhibit Sphagnum regeneration. Our observations point to a paradox where the hummocks, being most resistant to combustion, are themselves most prone to high pore-water pressures following wildfire. The harsher hummock environment may contribute to the observed delay in post-fire Sphagnum regeneration in hummocks compared to hollows.

  13. Transport and degradation of fuel compounds in the vadose zone

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christophersen, Mette; Broholm, Mette Martina; Kjeldsen, Peter

    2002-01-01

    Fuel has been spilled in the vadose zone at many sites. An artificial jet fuel source has been installed in a vadose zone at Airbase Værløse. The field experiment is conducted to investigate the natural attenuation potential in order to obtain better evaluations of the risk for groundwater...... contamination. Field data and calculations of mass in the pore air indicate a large loss within a short period of time. Laboratory experiments and isotopic analysis proves that biodegradation is occurring. The results indicate that for most compounds degradation is significant reducing the concentrations...

  14. Aerosol Delivery for Amendment Distribution in Contaminated Vadose Zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, R. J.; Murdoch, L.; Riha, B.; Looney, B.

    2011-12-01

    Remediation of contaminated vadose zones is often hindered by an inability to effectively distribute amendments. Many amendment-based approaches have been successful in saturated formations, however, have not been widely pursued when treating contaminated unsaturated materials due to amendment distribution limitations. Aerosol delivery is a promising new approach for distributing amendments in contaminated vadose zones. Amendments are aerosolized and injected through well screens. During injection the aerosol particles are transported with the gas and deposited on the surfaces of soil grains. Resulting distributions are radially and vertically broad, which could not be achieved by injecting pure liquid-phase solutions. The objectives of this work were A) to characterize transport and deposition behaviors of aerosols; and B) to develop capabilities for predicting results of aerosol injection scenarios. Aerosol transport and deposition processes were investigated by conducting lab-scale injection experiments. These experiments involved injection of aerosols through a 2m radius, sand-filled wedge. A particle analyzer was used to measure aerosol particle distributions with time, and sand samples were taken for amendment content analysis. Predictive capabilities were obtained by constructing a numerical model capable of simulating aerosol transport and deposition in porous media. Results from tests involving vegetable oil aerosol injection show that liquid contents appropriate for remedial applications could be readily achieved throughout the sand-filled wedge. Lab-scale tests conducted with aqueous aerosols show that liquid accumulation only occurs near the point of injection. Tests were also conducted using 200 g/L salt water as the aerosolized liquid. Liquid accumulations observed during salt water tests were minimal and similar to aqueous aerosol results. However, particles were measured, and salt deposited distal to the point of injection. Differences between

  15. Characterization of the vadose zone above a shallow aquifer contaminated with gas condensate hydrocarbons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sublette, K.; Duncan, K.; Thoma, G.; Todd, T.

    2002-01-01

    A gas production site in the Denver Basin near Ft. Lupton, Colorado has leaked gas condensate hydrocarbons from an underground concrete tank used to store produced water. The leak has contaminated a shallow aquifer. Although the source of pollution has been removed, a plume of hydrocarbon contamination still remains for nearly 46 m from the original source. An extensive monitoring program was conducted in 1993 of the groundwater and saturated sediments. The objective was to determine if intrinsic aerobic or anaerobic bioremediation of hydrocarbons occurred at the site at a rate that would support remediation. Geochemical indicators of hydrogen biodegradation by microorganisms in the saturated zone included oxygen depletion, increased alkalinity, sulfate depletion, methane production and Fe2+ production associated with hydrogen contamination. The presence of sulfate-reducing bacteria and methanogens was also much higher in the contaminated sediments. Degraded hydrocarbon metabolites were found in contaminated groundwater. An extensive characterization of the vadose zone was conducted in which the vadose zone was sample in increments of 15 cm from the surface to the water table at contaminated and non contaminated sites. The samples were tested for individual C3+ hydrocarbons, methane, CO2, total organic carbon, total inorganic carbon, and total petroleum hydrocarbons. The vadose zone consisted of an active and aerobic bioreactor fueled by condensate hydrocarbons transported into the unsaturated zone by evaporation of hydrocarbons at the water table. It was concluded that the unsaturated zone makes an important contribution to the natural attenuation of gas condensate hydrocarbons in the area. 17 refs., 2 tabs., 28 figs

  16. Vadose zone studies at an industrial contaminated site: the vadose zone monitoring system and cross-hole geophysics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandez de Vera, Natalia; Beaujean, Jean; Jamin, Pierre; Nguyen, Frédéric; Dahan, Ofer; Vanclooster, Marnik; Brouyère, Serge

    2014-05-01

    In order to improve risk characterization and remediation measures for soil and groundwater contamination, there is a need to improve in situ vadose zone characterization. However, most available technologies have been developed in the context of agricultural soils. Such methodologies are not applicable at industrial sites, where soils and contamination differ in origin and composition. In addition, most technologies are applicable only in the first meters of soils, leaving deeper vadose zones with lack of information, in particular on field scale heterogeneity. In order to overcome such difficulties, a vadose zone experiment has been setup at a former industrial site in Belgium. Industrial activities carried out on site left a legacy of soil and groundwater contamination in BTEX, PAH, cyanide and heavy metals. The experiment comprises the combination of two techniques: the Vadose Zone Monitoring System (VMS) and cross-hole geophysics. The VMS allows continuous measurements of water content and temperature at different depths of the vadose zone. In addition, it provides the possibility of pore water sampling at different depths. The system is formed by a flexible sleeve containing monitoring units along its depth which is installed in a slanted borehole. The flexible sleeve contains three types of monitoring units in the vadose zone: Time Domain Transmissometry (TDT), which allows water content measurements; Vadose Sampling Ports (VSP), used for collecting water samples coming from the matrix; the Fracture Samplers (FS), which are used for retrieving water samples from the fractures. Cross-hole geophysics techniques consist in the injection of an electrical current using electrodes installed in vertical boreholes. From measured potential differences, detailed spatial patterns about electrical properties of the subsurface can be inferred. Such spatial patterns are related with subsurface heterogeneities, water content and solute concentrations. Two VMS were

  17. Transport and degradation of perchlorate in deep vadose zone: implications from direct observations during bioremediation treatment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dahan, Ofer; Katz, Idan; Avishai, Lior; Ronen, Zeev

    2017-08-01

    An in situ bioremediation experiment of a deep vadose zone ( ˜ 40 m) contaminated with a high concentration of perchlorate (> 25 000 mg L-1) was conducted through a full-scale field operation. Favourable environmental conditions for microbiological reduction of perchlorate were sought by infiltrating an electron donor-enriched water solution using drip irrigation underlying an airtight sealing liner. A vadose zone monitoring system (VMS) was used for real-time tracking of the percolation process, the penetration depth of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), and the variation in perchlorate concentration across the entire soil depth. The experimental conditions for each infiltration event were adjusted according to insight gained from data obtained by the VMS in previous stages. Continuous monitoring of the vadose zone indicated that in the top 13 m of the cross section, perchlorate concentration is dramatically reduced from thousands of milligrams per litre to near-detection limits with a concurrent increase in chloride concentration. Nevertheless, in the deeper parts of the vadose zone (< 17 m), perchlorate concentration increased, suggesting its mobilization down through the cross section. Breakthrough of DOC and bromide at different depths across the unsaturated zone showed limited migration capacity of biologically consumable carbon and energy sources due to their enhanced biodegradation in the upper soil layers. Nevertheless, the increased DOC concentration with concurrent reduction in perchlorate and increase in the chloride-to-perchlorate ratio in the top 13 m indicate partial degradation of perchlorate in this zone. There was no evidence of improved degradation conditions in the deeper parts where the initial concentrations of perchlorate were significantly higher.

  18. Radiotracer technique to study pollutant behavior in the vadose zone for groundwater protection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kulkarni, U.P.; Sinha, U.K.; Navada, S.V.; Datta, P.S.; Sud, Y.K.; Kulkarni, K.M.; Aggrawal, P.; )

    2004-01-01

    Pollutants are generated either by industrial or agricultural activity. Pollutants produced due to industrial activities fall into point source category and those generated from agricultural are grouped into extended source category. Under an International Atomic Energy Agency/Coordinated Research Program study, emphasis has been given on transport of pollutants, generated from agricultural activities, in particular, due to the application of fertilizer inputs to a variety of crops. Pollutants take entry through the vadose zone and ultimately join the saturated zone. Once groundwater is polluted it is rather difficult or impossible to take remedial measures for groundwater protection. Groundwater being an important natural resource, it is important to protect it from getting polluted. It is hence essential to have a clear understanding of the complex processes (physical, biological and chemical etc.) undergoing in the unsaturated zone. Radiotracers give good insight about the pollutant behavior in the vadose zone. Tritiated water and 60 Co (a gamma emitting tracer in the cyanide complex form) were used as tracers and were injected at 60 cm depth in the vadose zone of IARI farm for pollutant transport study. Tritium and 60 Co tracer displacements were measured by liquid scintillation and sodium iodide scintillation method respectively. It was found that the tritium tracer moved up to 2.4 meters in six months and part of the tritium tracer was exchanged with immobile water in the soil, as three distinct peaks were observed in tritium profile. 60 Co and tritium tracers were found to move with the same velocity in the vadose zone. These tracer studies indicate that the pollutants may reach the groundwater in about three years. (author)

  19. Transport and degradation of perchlorate in deep vadose zone: implications from direct observations during bioremediation treatment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. Dahan

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available An in situ bioremediation experiment of a deep vadose zone ( ∼  40 m contaminated with a high concentration of perchlorate (> 25 000 mg L−1 was conducted through a full-scale field operation. Favourable environmental conditions for microbiological reduction of perchlorate were sought by infiltrating an electron donor-enriched water solution using drip irrigation underlying an airtight sealing liner. A vadose zone monitoring system (VMS was used for real-time tracking of the percolation process, the penetration depth of dissolved organic carbon (DOC, and the variation in perchlorate concentration across the entire soil depth. The experimental conditions for each infiltration event were adjusted according to insight gained from data obtained by the VMS in previous stages. Continuous monitoring of the vadose zone indicated that in the top 13 m of the cross section, perchlorate concentration is dramatically reduced from thousands of milligrams per litre to near-detection limits with a concurrent increase in chloride concentration. Nevertheless, in the deeper parts of the vadose zone (< 17 m, perchlorate concentration increased, suggesting its mobilization down through the cross section. Breakthrough of DOC and bromide at different depths across the unsaturated zone showed limited migration capacity of biologically consumable carbon and energy sources due to their enhanced biodegradation in the upper soil layers. Nevertheless, the increased DOC concentration with concurrent reduction in perchlorate and increase in the chloride-to-perchlorate ratio in the top 13 m indicate partial degradation of perchlorate in this zone. There was no evidence of improved degradation conditions in the deeper parts where the initial concentrations of perchlorate were significantly higher.

  20. Transport and degradation of contaminants in the vadose zone

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schotanus, D.

    2013-01-01

    Leaching of contaminants from the vadose zone to the groundwater depends on the soil properties and the infiltration rate. In this thesis, organic degradable contaminants were studied, such as de-icing chemicals (consisting of propylene glycol, PG) and pesticides. Heterogeneous soil properties

  1. Implementation of Solute Transport in the Vadose Zone into the `HYDRUS Package for MODFLOW'

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simunek, J.; Beegum, S.; Szymkiewicz, A.; Sudheer, K. P.

    2017-12-01

    The 'HYDRUS package for MODFLOW' was developed by Seo et al. (2007) and Twarakavi et al. (2008) to simultaneously evaluate transient water flow in both unsaturated and saturated zones. The package, which is based on the HYDRUS-1D model (Šimůnek et al., 2016) simulating unsaturated water flow in the vadose zone, was incorporated into MODFLOW (Harbaugh et al., 2000) simulating saturated groundwater flow. The HYDRUS package in the coupled model can be used to represent the effects of various unsaturated zone processes, including infiltration, evaporation, root water uptake, capillary rise, and recharge in homogeneous or layered soil profiles. The coupled model is effective in addressing spatially-variable saturated-unsaturated hydrological processes at the regional scale, allowing for complex layering in the unsaturated zone, spatially and temporarily variable water fluxes at the soil surface and in the root zone, and with alternating recharge and discharge fluxes (Twarakavi et al., 2008). One of the major limitations of the coupled model was that it could not be used to simulate at the same time solute transport. However, solute transport is highly dependent on water table fluctuations due to temporal and spatial variations in groundwater recharge. This is an important concern when the coupled model is used for analyzing groundwater contamination due to transport through the unsaturated zone. The objective of this study is to integrate the solute transport model (the solute transport part of HYDRUS-1D for the unsaturated zone and MT3DMS (Zheng and Wang, 1999; Zheng, 2009) for the saturated zone) into an existing coupled water flow model. The unsaturated zone component of the coupled model can consider solute transport involving many biogeochemical processes and reactions, including first-order degradation, volatilization, linear or nonlinear sorption, one-site kinetic sorption, two-site sorption, and two-kinetic sites sorption (Šimůnek and van Genuchten, 2008

  2. Preface: Research advances in vadose zone hydrology through simulations with the TOUGH codes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Finsterle, Stefan; Oldenburg, Curtis M.

    2004-01-01

    symposium, with special attention to issues related to the vadose zone and unsaturated flow systems. The first paper, written by the original developer of TOUGH, Karsten Pruess, provides an overview of the history of the TOUGH codes, the main physical processes considered, their mathematical and numerical implementation, and case studies. That paper is followed by a review article summarizing inverse modeling applications performed by iTOUGH2. A subsequent group of papers deals with diverse unsaturated zone systems, highlighting the versatility of the code to handle a variety of processes in different geologic settings. Simulation capabilities of the TOUGH codes are increasingly used for geologic carbon sequestration studies as testified by the next group of papers. The final series of papers demonstrates the use of the TOUGH codes in support of remediation and engineering applications. These studies discuss biological and reactive chemical transport simulations, the design of clean-up operations and landfill management, and the analysis of engineered soil stabilization. As guest editors, we thank the authors for their interesting contributions, and the many reviewers for their careful and constructive review comments. Finally, on behalf of all of the authors and ourselves, we express our sincerest appreciation to Rien van Genuchten for providing the opportunity to publish these papers together in a Special Section of ''Vadose Zone Journal''

  3. Calibrating vadose zone models with time-lapse gravity data

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christiansen, Lars; Binning, Philip John; Rosbjerg, Dan

    2011-01-01

    The vadose zone plays an important role in the hydrologic cycle. Various geophysical methods can determine soil water content variations in time and space in volumes ranging from a few cubic centimeters to several cubic meters. In contrast to the established methods, time-lapse gravity measurements...... of changes in soil water content do not rely on a petrophysical relationship between the measured quantity and the water content but give a direct measure of the mass change in the soil. Only recently has the vadose zone been systematically incorporated when ground-based gravity data are used to infer...... hydrologic information. In this study, changes in the soil water content gave rise to a measurable signal in a forced infiltration experiment on a 107-m2 grassland area. Time-lapse gravity data were able to constrain the van Genuchten soil hydraulic parameters in both a synthetic example and a field...

  4. The Mojave vadose zone: a subsurface biosphere analogue for Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbey, William; Salas, Everett; Bhartia, Rohit; Beegle, Luther W

    2013-07-01

    If life ever evolved on the surface of Mars, it is unlikely that it would still survive there today, but as Mars evolved from a wet planet to an arid one, the subsurface environment may have presented a refuge from increasingly hostile surface conditions. Since the last glacial maximum, the Mojave Desert has experienced a similar shift from a wet to a dry environment, giving us the opportunity to study here on Earth how subsurface ecosystems in an arid environment adapt to increasingly barren surface conditions. In this paper, we advocate studying the vadose zone ecosystem of the Mojave Desert as an analogue for possible subsurface biospheres on Mars. We also describe several examples of Mars-like terrain found in the Mojave region and discuss ecological insights that might be gained by a thorough examination of the vadose zone in these specific terrains. Examples described include distributary fans (deltas, alluvial fans, etc.), paleosols overlain by basaltic lava flows, and evaporite deposits.

  5. Groundwater/Vadose Zone Integration Project Management Plan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hughes, M. C.

    1999-01-01

    This Project Management Plan (PMP) defines the authorities, roles, and responsibilities of the US Department of Energy (DOE), Richland Operations Office (RL) and those contractor organizations participating in the Hanford Site' s Groundwater/Vadose Zone (GW/VZ) Integration Project. The PMP also describes the planning and control systems, business processes, and other management tools needed to properly and consistently conduct the Integration Project scope of work

  6. Colloid-Facilitated Transport of Radionuclides through the Vadose Zone

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Flury, Markus; Harsh, James B.; Zachara, John M.; McCarthy, John F.; Lichtner, Peter C.

    2006-01-01

    This project seeks to improve the basic understanding of the role of colloids in facilitating the transport of contaminants in the vadose zone. We focus on three major thrusts: (1) thermodynamic stability and mobility of colloids formed by reactions of sediments with highly alkaline tank waste solutions, (2) colloid-contaminant interactions, and (3) in-situ colloid mobilization and colloid facilitated contaminant transport occurring in both contaminated and uncontaminated Hanford sediments

  7. Vadose Zone Infiltration Rates from Sr isotope Measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maher, K.; Maher, K.; DePaolo, D. J.; DePaolo, D. J.; Conrad, M.

    2001-12-01

    Predicting infiltration rates and recharge through the vadose zone in arid regions is difficult and hence developing methods for the measurement of infiltration rates is important. We have been investigating the use of Sr isotope measurements for determining infiltration at the 200 Area plateau on the Hanford reservation in central Washington. In this context, infiltration affects the transport of contaminants to the water table as well as recharge of the groundwater system. Using Sr isotopes for this purpose requires drill core and water samples from the vadose zone, although leaches of the cores can substitute for water samples. Complementary information, including some constraints on regional recharge, can also be obtained using water samples from groundwater monitoring wells. The VZ method is based on the fact that the Sr isotope ratio of soil water just below the surface is often set by dissolution of aeolian material including carbonate, and this ratio is different from the average value in the deeper underlying vadose zone rock matrix. As water infiltrates, the Sr isotopic composition of the water changes toward the rock values as a result of Sr released from the rocks by weathering reactions. The rate of change with depth of the Sr isotope ratio of the vadose zone water is a function ultimately of q/R; the ratio of the infiltration flux (q) to the bulk rock weathering rate (R). Where it is possible to evaluate R, q can be estimated. As data accumulate it may be possible to improve the calibration of the method. At Hanford the vadose zone rock material is mostly unconsolidated sand, silt, and gravel of broadly granitic composition, which constitute the Hanford and Ringold formations. Annual precipitation is about 160 mm/yr. Drilling and coring of a ca. 70m hole to the water table in 1999 as part of the Hanford groundwater monitoring program, in a relatively undisturbed area of the site, allowed us to generate a unique Sr isotope data set. The Sr isotope

  8. Application of Vadose Zone Monitoring Technology for Characterization of Leachate Generation in Landfills

    Science.gov (United States)

    aharoni, imri; dahan, ofer

    2016-04-01

    Ground water contamination due to landfill leachate percolation is considered the most severe environmental threat related to municipal solid waste landfills. Natural waste degradation processes in landfills normally produce contaminated leachates up to decades after the waste has been buried. Studies have shown that understanding the mechanisms which govern attenuation processes and the fate of pollutants in the waste and in the underlying unsaturated zone is crucial for evaluation of environmental risks and selection of a restoration strategy. This work focuses on a closed landfill in the coastal plain of Israel that was active until 2002 without any lining infrastructure. A vadose zone monitoring system (VMS) that was implemented at the site enables continuous measurements across the waste body (15 m thick) and underlying sandy vadose zone (16 m thick). Data collected by the VMS included continuous measurements of water content as well as chemical composition of the leachates across the entire waste and vadose zone cross section. Results indicated that winter rain percolated through the waste, generating wetting waves which were observed across the waste and unsaturated sediment from land surface until groundwater at 31 m bls. Quick percolation and high fluxes were observed in spite of the clay cover that was implemented at the site as part of the rehabilitation scheme. The results show that the flow pattern is controlled by a preferential mechanism within the waste body. Specific sections showed rapid fluxes in response to rain events, while other sections remained unaffected. In the underlying sandy vadose zone the flow pattern exhibited characteristics of matrix flow. Yet, some sections received higher fluxes due to the uneven discharge of leachates from the overlying waste body. Water samples collected from the waste layer indicate production of highly polluted leachates over 14 years after the landfill was closed. The chemical composition within the waste

  9. A Catalog of Vadose Zone Hydraulic Properties for the Hanford Site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Freeman, Eugene J.; Khaleel, Raziuddin; Heller, Paula R.

    2001-09-24

    The purpose of this catalog is to integrate all available soil physics data and information from vadose zone characterization and performance assessments into one useable, scientifically defensible document.

  10. Managed aquifer recharge of treated wastewater: water quality changes resulting from infiltration through the vadose zone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bekele, Elise; Toze, Simon; Patterson, Bradley; Higginson, Simon

    2011-11-01

    Secondary treated wastewater was infiltrated through a 9 m-thick calcareous vadose zone during a 39 month managed aquifer recharge (MAR) field trial to determine potential improvements in the recycled water quality. The water quality improvements of the recycled water were based on changes in the chemistry and microbiology of (i) the recycled water prior to infiltration relative to (ii) groundwater immediately down-gradient from the infiltration gallery. Changes in the average concentrations of several constituents in the recycled water were identified with reductions of 30% for phosphorous, 66% for fluoride, 62% for iron and 51% for total organic carbon when the secondary treated wastewater was infiltrated at an applied rate of 17.5 L per minute with a residence time of approximately four days in the vadose zone and less than two days in the aquifer. Reductions were also noted for oxazepam and temazepam among the pharmaceuticals tested and for a range of microbial pathogens, but reductions were harder to quantify as their magnitudes varied over time. Total nitrogen and carbamazepine persisted in groundwater down-gradient from the infiltration galleries. Infiltration does potentially offer a range of water quality improvements over direct injection to the water table without passage through the unsaturated zone; however, additional treatment options for the non-potable water may still need to be considered, depending on the receiving environment or the end use of the recovered water. Crown Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Which key properties controls the preferential transport in the vadose zone under transient hydrological conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groh, J.; Vanderborght, J.; Puetz, T.; Gerke, H. H.; Rupp, H.; Wollschlaeger, U.; Stumpp, C.; Priesack, E.; Vereecken, H.

    2015-12-01

    Understanding water flow and solute transport in the unsaturated zone is of great importance for an appropriate land use management strategy. The quantification and prediction of water and solute fluxes through the vadose zone can help to improve management practices in order to limit potential risk on our fresh water resources. Water related solute transport and residence time is strongly affected by preferential flow paths in the soil. Water flow in soils depends on soil properties and site factors (climate or experiment conditions, land use) and are therefore important factors to understand preferential solute transport in the unsaturated zone. However our understanding and knowledge of which on-site properties or conditions define and enhance preferential flow and transport is still poor and mostly limited onto laboratory experimental conditions (small column length and steady state boundary conditions). Within the TERENO SOILCan lysimeter network, which was designed to study the effects of climate change on soil functions, a bromide tracer was applied on 62 lysimeter at eight different test sites between Dec. 2013 and Jan. 2014. The TERENO SOILCan infrastructure offers the unique possibility to study the occurrence of preferential flow and transport of various soil types under different natural transient hydrological conditions and land use (crop, bare and grassland) at eight TERENO SOILCan observatories. Working with lysimeter replicates at each observatory allows defining the spatial variability of preferential transport and flow. Additionally lysimeters in the network were transferred within and between observatories in order to subject them to different rainfall and temperature regimes and enable us to relate the soil type susceptibility of preferential flow and transport not only to site specific physical and land use properties, but also to different transient boundary conditions. Comparison and statistical analysis between preferential flow indicators 5

  12. TWRS vadose zone contamination issue expert panel status report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shafer, D.S.

    1997-01-01

    When members were first canvassed for participation in the Vadose Zone Expert Panel the stated purpose for convening the Panel was to review a controversial draft report, the SX Tank Farm Report. This report was produced by a DOE Grand Junction Project Office (GJPO) contractor, RUST Geotech, now MACTEC-ERS, for the DOE Richland Office (DOERL). Three meetings were planned for June, July and August, 1995 to review the draft report and to complete a Panel report by mid-September. The Expert Panel has found its efforts confounded by various non-technical issues. The Expert Panel has chosen to address some of the non-technical issues in this Preface rather than to dilute the technical discussion that follows in the body of this independent expert panel status report (Panel Report). Rather than performing a straightforward manuscript review, the Panel was asked to resolve conflicting interpretations of gamma-ray logging measurements performed in vadose zone boreholes (drywells) surrounding the high-level radioactive wastes of the SX tank farm. There are numerous and complex technical issues that must be evaluated before the vertical and radial extent of contaminant migration at the SX tank farm can be accurately assessed. When the Panel first met in early June, 1996, it quickly became apparent that the scientific and technical issues were obscured by policy and institutional affairs which have polarized discussion among various segments of the Hanford organization. This situation reflects the kinds of institutional problems described separately in reports by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS/NRC), The Hanford Tanks Environmental Impacts and Policy Choices and BmTiers to Science: Technical Management of the Department of Energy Environmental Remediation Program. The Vadose Zone Characterization Program, appears to be caught between conflicting pressures and organizational mandates, some imposed from outside DOE-RL and some self

  13. TWRS vadose zone contamination issue expert panel report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shafer, D.S.

    1997-05-01

    When members were first canvassed for participation in the Vadose Zone Expert Panel the stated purpose for convening the Panel was to review a controversial draft report, the SX Tank Farm Report. This report was produced by a DOE Grand Junction Project Office (GJPO) contractor, RUST Geotech, now MACTEC-ERS, for the DOE Richland Office (DOERL). Three meetings were planned for June, July and August, 1995 to review the draft report and to complete a Panel report by mid-September. The Expert Panel has found its efforts confounded by various non-technical issues. The Expert Panel has chosen to address some of the non-technical issues in this Preface rather than to dilute the technical discussion that follows in the body of this independent expert panel status report (Panel Report). Rather than performing a straightforward manuscript review, the Panel was asked to resolve conflicting interpretations of gamma-ray logging measurements performed in vadose zone boreholes (drywells) surrounding the high-level radioactive wastes of the SX tank farm. There are numerous and complex technical issues that must be evaluated before the vertical and radial extent of contaminant migration at the SX tank farm can be accurately assessed. When the Panel first met in early June, 1996, it quickly became apparent that the scientific and technical issues were obscured by policy and institutional affairs which have polarized discussion among various segments of the Hanford organization. This situation reflects the kinds of institutional problems described separately in reports by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS/NRC), The Hanford Tanks Environmental Impacts and Policy Choices and BmTiers to Science: Technical Management of the Department of Energy Environmental Remediation Program. The Vadose Zone Characterization Program, appears to be caught between conflicting pressures and organizational mandates, some imposed from outside DOE-RL and some self

  14. Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo Inversion of Time-Lapse Geophysical Data To Characterize the Vadose Zone

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Scholer, Marie; Irving, James; Zibar, Majken Caroline Looms

    Geophysical methods have the potential to provide valuable information on hydrological properties in the unsaturated zone. In particular, time-lapse geophysical data, when coupled with a hydrological model and inverted stochastically, may allow for the effective estimation of subsurface hydraulic...... parameters and their corresponding uncertainties. In this study, we use a Bayesian Markov-chain-Monte-Carlo (MCMC) inversion approach to investigate how much information regarding vadose zone hydraulic properties can be retrieved from time-lapse crosshole GPR data collected at the Arrenaes field site...

  15. Using the natural biodegradation potential of shallow soils for in-situ remediation of deep vadose zone and groundwater

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Avishai, Lior; Siebner, Hagar; Dahan, Ofer, E-mail: odahan@bgu.ac.il; Ronen, Zeev, E-mail: zeevrone@bgu.ac.il

    2017-02-15

    Highlights: • Integrated in-situ remediation treatment for soil, vadose zone and groundwater. • Turning the topsoil into an efficient bioreactor for perchlorate degradation. • Treating perchlorate leachate from the deep vadose zone in the topsoil. • Zero effluents discharge from the remediation process. - Abstract: In this study, we examined the ability of top soil to degrade perchlorate from infiltrating polluted groundwater under unsaturated conditions. Column experiments designed to simulate typical remediation operation of daily wetting and draining cycles of contaminated water amended with an electron donor. Covering the infiltration area with bentonite ensured anaerobic conditions. The soil remained unsaturated, and redox potential dropped to less than −200 mV. Perchlorate was reduced continuously from ∼1150 mg/L at the inlet to ∼300 mg/L at the outlet in daily cycles. Removal efficiency was between 60 and 84%. No signs of bioclogging were observed during three operation months although occasional iron reduction observed due to excess electron donor. Changes in perchlorate reducing bacteria numbers were inferred from an increased in pcrA gene abundances from ∼10{sup 5} to 10{sup 7} copied per gram at the end of the experiment indicating the growth of perchlorate-reducing bacteria. We proposed that the topsoil may serve as a bioreactor to treat high concentrations of perchlorate from the contaminated groundwater. The treated water that infiltrates from the topsoil through the vadose zone could be used to flush perchlorate from the deep vadose zone into the groundwater where it is retrieved again for treatment in the topsoil.

  16. Using the natural biodegradation potential of shallow soils for in-situ remediation of deep vadose zone and groundwater

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Avishai, Lior; Siebner, Hagar; Dahan, Ofer; Ronen, Zeev

    2017-01-01

    Highlights: • Integrated in-situ remediation treatment for soil, vadose zone and groundwater. • Turning the topsoil into an efficient bioreactor for perchlorate degradation. • Treating perchlorate leachate from the deep vadose zone in the topsoil. • Zero effluents discharge from the remediation process. - Abstract: In this study, we examined the ability of top soil to degrade perchlorate from infiltrating polluted groundwater under unsaturated conditions. Column experiments designed to simulate typical remediation operation of daily wetting and draining cycles of contaminated water amended with an electron donor. Covering the infiltration area with bentonite ensured anaerobic conditions. The soil remained unsaturated, and redox potential dropped to less than −200 mV. Perchlorate was reduced continuously from ∼1150 mg/L at the inlet to ∼300 mg/L at the outlet in daily cycles. Removal efficiency was between 60 and 84%. No signs of bioclogging were observed during three operation months although occasional iron reduction observed due to excess electron donor. Changes in perchlorate reducing bacteria numbers were inferred from an increased in pcrA gene abundances from ∼10"5 to 10"7 copied per gram at the end of the experiment indicating the growth of perchlorate-reducing bacteria. We proposed that the topsoil may serve as a bioreactor to treat high concentrations of perchlorate from the contaminated groundwater. The treated water that infiltrates from the topsoil through the vadose zone could be used to flush perchlorate from the deep vadose zone into the groundwater where it is retrieved again for treatment in the topsoil.

  17. In situ vadose zone remediation of petroleum-contaminated soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Greacen, J.R.; Finkel, D.J.

    1991-01-01

    This paper discusses a pilot-scale system treating vadose zone soils contaminated with petroleum products constructed and operated at a former petroleum bulk storage terminal in New England. A site investigation following decommissioning activities identified more than 100,000 yds of soil at the site contaminated by both No. 2 fuel oil and gasoline. Soil cleanup criteria of 50 ppm TPH and 0.25 ppm BTEX were established. A pilot-scale treatment unit with dimensions of 125 ft x 125 ft x 6 ft was constructed to evaluate the potential for in situ treatment of vadose zone soils. Contaminant levels in pilot cell soils ranged from 0 to 5,250 ppm TPH and 0.0 to 4.2 ppm BTEX. Two soil treatment methods n the pilot system were implemented; venting to treat the lighter petroleum fractions and bioremediation to treat the nonvolatile petroleum constituents. Seven soil gas probes were installed to monitor pressure and soil gas vapor concentrations in the subsurface. Changes in soil gas oxygen and carbon dioxide concentrations were used as an indirect measure of enhanced bioremediation of pilot cell soils. After operating the system for a period of 2.5 months, soil BTEX concentrations were reduced to concentrations below the remediation criteria for the site

  18. Tank waste remediation system vadose zone program plan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fredenburg, E.A.

    1998-01-01

    The objective of the vadose zone characterization under this program is to develop a better conceptual geohydrologic model of identified tank farms which will be characterized so that threats to human health and the environment from past leaks and spills, intentional liquid discharges, potential future leaks during retrieval, and from residual contaminants that may remain in tank farms at closure can be explicitly addressed in decision processes. This model will include geologic, hydrologic, and hydrochemical parameters as defined by the requirements of each of the TWRS programs identified here. The intent of this TWRS Vadose Zone Program Plan is to provide justification and an implementation plan for the following activities: Develop a sufficient understanding of subsurface conditions and transport processes to support decisions on management, cleanup, and containment of past leaks, spills, and intentional liquid discharges; Develop a sufficient understanding of transport processes to support decisions on controlling potential retrieval leaks; Develop a sufficient understanding of transport processes to support decisions on tank farm closure, including allowable residual waste that may remain at closure; and Provide new information on geotechnical properties in the 200 Area to supplement data used for design and performance assessment for immobilized low-activity waste disposal facilities

  19. Tank waste remediation system vadose zone program plan

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fredenburg, E.A.

    1998-07-27

    The objective of the vadose zone characterization under this program is to develop a better conceptual geohydrologic model of identified tank farms which will be characterized so that threats to human health and the environment from past leaks and spills, intentional liquid discharges, potential future leaks during retrieval, and from residual contaminants that may remain in tank farms at closure can be explicitly addressed in decision processes. This model will include geologic, hydrologic, and hydrochemical parameters as defined by the requirements of each of the TWRS programs identified here. The intent of this TWRS Vadose Zone Program Plan is to provide justification and an implementation plan for the following activities: Develop a sufficient understanding of subsurface conditions and transport processes to support decisions on management, cleanup, and containment of past leaks, spills, and intentional liquid discharges; Develop a sufficient understanding of transport processes to support decisions on controlling potential retrieval leaks; Develop a sufficient understanding of transport processes to support decisions on tank farm closure, including allowable residual waste that may remain at closure; and Provide new information on geotechnical properties in the 200 Area to supplement data used for design and performance assessment for immobilized low-activity waste disposal facilities.

  20. Challenges for Deep Vadose Zone Remediation at the Hanford Site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morse, John G.; Charboneau, Briant L.; Lober, Robert W.; Triplett, Mark B.

    2008-01-01

    The 'deep vadose zone' is defined as the region below the practical depth of surface remedy influence (e.g., excavation or barrier). At the Hanford Site, this region of the Central Plateau poses unique challenges for characterization and remediation. The contaminants in this region also pose a potentially significant continuing or future threat to groundwater. Currently, deep vadose zone characterization efforts and remedy selection are spread over multiple waste site Operable Units and tank farm Waste Management Areas. A particular challenge for this effort is the situation in which past leaks from single-shell tanks have become commingled with discharges from nearby liquid disposal sites. The Hanford Site is working with all affected parties, including the Washington State Department of Ecology, the Environmental Protection Agency, DOE-RL, DOE-ORP, and multiple contractor organizations to develop a unified approach to conducting work and reaching remediation decisions. This effort addresses the complex and challenging technical and regulatory issues within this environment. A true inter-Agency effort is evaluating the best strategy or combination of strategies for focusing technical investigations, including treatability studies, and for attaining remedy decisions on the Hanford Site

  1. HEAT AND MASS TRANSFER IN THE VADOSE ZONE WITH PLANT ROOTS. (R825414)

    Science.gov (United States)

    AbstractThe vadose zone is the intermediate medium between the atmosphere and groundwater. The modeling of the processes taking place in the vadose zone needs different approaches to those needed for groundwater transport problems because of the marked changes in envi...

  2. Deep Vadose Zone Treatability Test of Soil Desiccation for the Hanford Central Plateau: Final Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Truex, Michael J. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Chronister, Glen B. [CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Co., Richland, WA (United States); Strickland, Christopher E. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Johnson, Christian D. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Tartakovsky, Guzel D. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Oostrom, Martinus [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Clayton, Ray E. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Johnson, Timothy C. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Freedman, Vicky L. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Rockhold, Mark L. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Greenwood, William J. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Peterson, John E. [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Hubbard, Susan S. [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Ward, Anderson L. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)

    2018-02-20

    Some of the inorganic and radionuclide contaminants in the deep vadose zone at the Hanford Site are at depths where direct exposure pathways are not of concern, but may need to be remediated to protect groundwater. The Department of Energy developed a treatability test program for technologies to address Tc-99 and uranium in the deep vadose zone. These contaminants are mobile in the subsurface environment, have been detected at high concentrations deep in the vadose zone, and at some locations have reached groundwater. The treatability test of desiccation described herein was conducted as an element of the deep vadose zone treatability test program. Desiccation was shown to be a potentially effective vadose zone remediation technology to protect groundwater when used in conjunction with a surface infiltration barrier.

  3. Summary of Vadose -- Zone Conceptual Models for Flow and Contaminant Transport and 1999 - 2003 Progress on Resolving Deficiencies in Understanding the Vadose Zone at the INEEL

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Robert C. Starr; Dana L. Dettmers; Brennon R. Orr; Thomas R. Wood

    2003-12-01

    The thick vadose zone that underlies the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory has been recognized both as an avenue through which contaminants disposed at or near the ground surface can migrate to groundwater in the underlying Eastern Snake River Plain aquifer, and as a barrier to the movement of contaminants into the aquifer. Flow and contaminant transport in the vadose zone at the INEEL is complicated by the highly heterogeneous nature of the geologic framework and by the variations in the behavior of different contaminants in the subsurface. The state of knowledge concerning flow and contaminant transport in the vadose zone at and near the INEEL IN 1999 was summarized in Deficiencies in Vadose Zone Understanding at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (Wood et al., 2000). These authors identified deficiencies in knowledge of flow and contaminant transport processes in the vadose zone, and provided recommendations for additional work that should be conducted to address these deficiencies. In the period since (Wood et al., 2000) was prepared, research has been published that, to some degree, address these deficiencies. This document provides a bibliography of reports, journal articles, and conference proceedings published 1999 through mid-2003 that are relevant to the vadose zone at or near the INEEL and provides a brief description of each work. Publications that address specific deficiencies or recommendations are identified, and pertinent information from selected publications is presented.

  4. 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.

  5. Vadose Zone Modeling Workshop proceedings, March 29--30, 1993

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khaleel, R.

    1993-08-01

    At the Hanford Site, the record of decision for remediation of CERCLA sites is largely based on results of the baseline risk and performance assessment of the remedial action alternatives. These assessments require the ability to predict the fate and transport of contaminants along appropriate exposure pathways which, in case of the Hanford Site, includes the migration of contaminants through the vadose zone to the water table. Listed below are some of the requirements, as prescribed by the regulators, relative to CERCLA risk and performance assessment at Hanford. A workshop was organized by the Environmental Risk and Performance Assessment Group, Westinghouse Hanford Company on March 29--30, 1993 at the Richland Best Western Tower Inn. During the workshop, an assessment was made of the need for and scope of various tasks being conducted or planned as part of the Hanford Site waste isolation performance assessment/risk assessment activities. Three external, nationally-recognized experts served as part of a review panel for the workshop: (a) Professor Lynn Gelhar of MIT; (b) Professor Peter Wierenga of University of Arizona; and (c) Dr. Rien van Genuchten of US Salinity Laboratory, Riverside, California. The technical experts provided their perspectives on the current state-of-the-art in vadose zone flow and transport modeling. In addition, the technical experts provided an outside independent assessment of the work being performed or planned in support of various activities identified in TPA Milestone M-29-02. This document includes the following: Recommendations from the three peer reviewers; areas of expertise of the three peer reviewers; workshop agenda; copies of viewgraphs (where available) from presenters at the workshop; workshop minutes; and list of workshop attendees

  6. 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 ...

  7. Characterization of Direct Push Vadose Zone Sediments from the T and TY Waste Management Areas

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brown, Christopher F.; Valenta, Michelle M.; Serne, R. Jeffrey; Bjornstad, Bruce N.; Lanigan, David C.; Iovin, Cristian; Clayton, Ray E.; Geiszler, Keith N.; Clayton, Eric T.; Kutnyakov, Igor V.; Baum, Steven R.; Lindberg, Michael J.; Orr, Robert D.

    2007-06-08

    This report contains all the geochemical and selected physical characterization data collected on vadose zone sediment recovered from 5 direct push characterization holes emplaced to investigate vadose zone contamination associated with leaks from tanks 241-TY-105 (UPR-200-W-152) and 241-TY-106 (UPR-200-W-153). Tank 241-TY-105 is estimated to have leaked 35,000 gal of tributyl phosphate (TBP) waste from the uranium recovery process to the vadose zone in 1960. Tank 241-TY-106 is estimated to have leaked 20,000 gal of TBP-uranium recovery waste to the vadose zone in 1959. Although several drywells in the vicinity of tank 241-TY-106 contain measurable quantities of cesium-137 and/or cobalt-60, their relatively low concentrations indicate that the contaminant inventory in the vadose zone around tank 241-TY-106 is quite small. Additionally, this report contains all the geochemical and selected physical characterization data collected on vadose zone sediment recovered from 7 direct push characterization holes emplaced to investigate vadose zone contamination associated with an overfill event and leak from tank 241-T-101.

  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. Vadose Zone Monitoring of Dairy Green Water Lagoons using Soil Solution Samplers.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brainard, James R.; Coplen, Amy K

    2005-11-01

    Over the last decade, dairy farms in New Mexico have become an important component to the economy of many rural ranching and farming communities. Dairy operations are water intensive and use groundwater that otherwise would be used for irrigation purposes. Most dairies reuse their process/green water three times and utilize lined lagoons for temporary storage of green water. Leakage of water from lagoons can pose a risk to groundwater quality. Groundwater resource protection infrastructures at dairies are regulated by the New Mexico Environment Department which currently relies on monitoring wells installed in the saturated zone for detecting leakage of waste water lagoon liners. Here we present a proposal to monitor the unsaturated zone beneath the lagoons with soil water solution samplers to provide early detection of leaking liners. Early detection of leaking liners along with rapid repair can minimize contamination of aquifers and reduce dairy liability for aquifer remediation. Additionally, acceptance of vadose zone monitoring as a NMED requirement over saturated zone monitoring would very likely significantly reduce dairy startup and expansion costs. Acknowledgment Funding for this project was provided by the Sandia National Laboratories Small Business Assistance Program

  10. 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...

  11. In-situ bioaugmentation of vadose zone restoration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Myers, J.M.; Minkel, K.A.; Schepart, B.S.

    1992-01-01

    Leakage from an underground gasoline storage tank caused evacuation from a restaurant and an insurance company. An engineering consultant was engaged to correct the problem. Upon remedy of the habitability situation, a groundwater recovery system was designed to recover whatever open-quotes free productclose quotes gasoline could be collected. Since traditional open-quotes Pump and treatclose quotes remedial technologies are successful only to the extent that the contaminant is mobile, an alternative is necessary to effectively remediate that contamination which is recalcitrant. At this point, Waste Stream Technology was enlisted to propose an in-situ remedial action plan. Approximately five injection wells were installed around the perimeter and in the zone of influence of each of eight recovery wells. The injection wells were designed to distribute the bacteria at various depths in the vadose zone. Bacteria were cultured on site in Waste Stream's proprietary bioreactor. Bacterial and nutrient applications were injected on a weekly basis. Bacterial population dynamics and BETX levels were monitored throughout the course of the remediation. Although the remediation is currently in progress, disappearance of open-quotes free productclose quotes on the water table and elimination of benzene in the groundwater over a reasonable time period marked the success of this project

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Model Package Report: Central Plateau Vadose Zone Geoframework Version 1.0

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Springer, Sarah D.

    2018-03-27

    The purpose of the Central Plateau Vadose Zone (CPVZ) Geoframework model (GFM) is to provide a reasonable, consistent, and defensible three-dimensional (3D) representation of the vadose zone beneath the Central Plateau at the Hanford Site to support the Composite Analysis (CA) vadose zone contaminant fate and transport models. The GFM is a 3D representation of the subsurface geologic structure. From this 3D geologic model, exported results in the form of point, surface, and/or volumes are used as inputs to populate and assemble the various numerical model architectures, providing a 3D-layered grid that is consistent with the GFM. The objective of this report is to define the process used to produce a hydrostratigraphic model for the vadose zone beneath the Hanford Site Central Plateau and the corresponding CA domain.

  15. Using the natural biodegradation potential of shallow soils for in-situ remediation of deep vadose zone and groundwater.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avishai, Lior; Siebner, Hagar; Dahan, Ofer; Ronen, Zeev

    2017-02-15

    In this study, we examined the ability of top soil to degrade perchlorate from infiltrating polluted groundwater under unsaturated conditions. Column experiments designed to simulate typical remediation operation of daily wetting and draining cycles of contaminated water amended with an electron donor. Covering the infiltration area with bentonite ensured anaerobic conditions. The soil remained unsaturated, and redox potential dropped to less than -200mV. Perchlorate was reduced continuously from ∼1150mg/L at the inlet to ∼300mg/L at the outlet in daily cycles. Removal efficiency was between 60 and 84%. No signs of bioclogging were observed during three operation months although occasional iron reduction observed due to excess electron donor. Changes in perchlorate reducing bacteria numbers were inferred from an increased in pcrA gene abundances from ∼10 5 to 10 7 copied per gram at the end of the experiment indicating the growth of perchlorate-reducing bacteria. We proposed that the topsoil may serve as a bioreactor to treat high concentrations of perchlorate from the contaminated groundwater. The treated water that infiltrates from the topsoil through the vadose zone could be used to flush perchlorate from the deep vadose zone into the groundwater where it is retrieved again for treatment in the topsoil. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Evaluation of Soil Flushing for Application to the Deep Vadose Zone in the Hanford Central Plateau

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Truex, Michael J.; Oostrom, Martinus; Zhang, Z. F.; Carroll, Kenneth C.; Schramke, Janet A.; Wietsma, Thomas W.; Tartakovsky, Guzel D.; Gordon, Kathryn A.; Last, George V.

    2010-11-01

    Soil flushing was included in the Deep Vadose Zone Treatability Test Plan for the Hanford Central Plateau as a technology with the potential to remove contaminants from the vadose zone. Soil flushing operates through the addition of water, and if necessary an appropriate mobilizing agent, to mobilize contaminants and flush them from the vadose zone and into the groundwater where they are subsequently captured by a pump-and-treat system. There are uncertainties associated with applying soil flushing technology to contaminants in the deep vadose zone at the Hanford Central Plateau. The modeling and laboratory efforts reported herein are intended to provide a quantitative assessment of factors that impact water infiltration and contaminant flushing through the vadose zone and into the underlying groundwater. Once in the groundwater, capture of the contaminants would be necessary, but this aspect of implementing soil flushing was not evaluated in this effort. Soil flushing was evaluated primarily with respect to applications for technetium and uranium contaminants in the deep vadose zone of the Hanford Central Plateau.

  17. 3D vadose zone modeling using geostatistical inferences

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Knutson, C.F.; Lee, C.B.

    1991-01-01

    In developing a 3D model of the 600 ft thick interbedded basalt and sediment complex that constitutes the vadose zone at the Radioactive Waste Management Complex (RWMC) at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) geostatistical data were captured for 12--15 parameters (e.g. permeability, porosity, saturation, etc. and flow height, flow width, flow internal zonation, etc.). This two scale data set was generated from studies of subsurface core and geophysical log suites at RWMC and from surface outcrop exposures located at the Box Canyon of the Big Lost River and from Hell's Half Acre lava field all located in the general RWMC area. Based on these currently available data, it is possible to build a 3D stochastic model that utilizes: cumulative distribution functions obtained from the geostatistical data; backstripping and rebuilding of stratigraphic units; an ''expert'' system that incorporates rules based on expert geologic analysis and experimentally derived geostatistics for providing: (a) a structural and isopach map of each layer, (b) a realization of the flow geometry of each basalt flow unit, and (c) a realization of the internal flow parameters (eg permeability, porosity, and saturation) for each flow. 10 refs., 4 figs., 1 tab

  18. Vadose Zone Hydrogeology Data Package for Hanford Assessments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Last, George V.; Freeman, Eugene J.; Cantrell, Kirk J.; Fayer, Michael J.; Gee, Glendon W.; Nichols, William E.; Bjornstad, Bruce N.; Horton, Duane G.

    2006-06-01

    This data package documents the technical basis for selecting physical and geochemical parameters and input values that will be used in vadose zone modeling for Hanford assessments. This work was originally conducted as part of the Characterization of Systems Task of the Groundwater Remediation Project managed by Fluor Hanford, Inc., Richland, Washington, and revised as part of the Characterization of Systems Project managed by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) for the U.S. Department of Energy, Richland Operations Office (DOE-RL). This data package describes the geologic framework, the physical, hydrologic, and contaminant transport properties of the geologic materials, and deep drainage (i.e., recharge) estimates, and builds on the general framework developed for the initial assessment conducted using the System Assessment Capability (SAC) (Bryce et al. 2002). The general approach for this work was to update and provide incremental improvements over the previous SAC data package completed in 2001. As with the previous SAC data package, much of the data and interpreted information were extracted from existing documents and databases. Every attempt was made to provide traceability to the original source(s) of the data or interpretations.

  19. Foam-Delivery of Remedial Amendments for Enhanced Vadose Zone Metals and Radionuclides Remediation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhong, L.; Szecsody, J.E.; Dresel, P.E.; Zhang, Z.F.; Qafoku, N.P.

    2009-01-01

    The remediation of metals and radionuclides contamination, such as Cr(VI), Tc-99, and Sr-90 in the U.S. DOE Hanford Site vadose zone is a critical need. Water-based remedial amendments delivery to the deep vadose zone is facing significant technical challenges. Water-based delivery will easily leach out the highly mobile pollutants therefore contaminate the underlying aquifer. Preferential flow of the amendment-laden solution in the vadose zone due to the formation heterogeneity is difficult to overcome, resulting in bypassing of the less permeable zones. Foam has unique transport properties in the vadose zone that enable mitigation on the mobilization of mobile contaminants and enhance the sweeping over heterogeneous systems. Calcium polysulfide (CPS) is a remedial amendment that can be used to reduce and immobilize hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)] and other redox-sensitive radionuclides/metals in the vadose zone. The delivery of CPS to the vadose zone using foam and the immobilization of Cr(VI) via reduction by the foam-delivered CPS was investigated in this study. Batch tests were conducted to select the foam-generating CPS-surfactant solutions, to determine the solution foamability and the reducing potential of CPS-containing foams, and to study the influence of foam quality, surfactant concentration, and CPS concentration on foam stability. Column experiments were performed to test the foam delivery of CPS to sediments under conditions similar to field vadose zone, to study the foam transport and interaction with sediments, and to determine the extent of Cr(VI) immobilization using this novel delivery approach. CPS-containing foams with high reducing potential were prepared based on the batch tests. Sediment reduction by foam-delivered CPS was observed in the column studies. Significant mobilization of Cr(VI) from sediments occurred when CPS was delivered in aqueous solution. The Cr(VI) mobilization was minimized when CPS was delivered by foams, resulting in

  20. 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

  1. Monitoring the vadose zone in fractured tuff, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Montazer, P.; Weeks, E.P.; Thamir, F.; Yard, S.N.; Hofrichter, P.B.

    1985-01-01

    Unsaturated tuff beneath Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is being evaluated by the US Department of Energy as a host rock for a potential repository for high-level radioactive waste. As part of the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations Project of the US Department of Energy, the US Geological Survey has been conducting hydrologic, geologic, and geophysical investigations at Yucca Mountain and the surrounding region to provide data evaluation of the potential suitability of the site. Hydrologic investigations of the unsaturated zone at this site were started in 1982. A 17.5-inch- (44.5-centimeter-) diameter borehole (USW UZ-1) was drilled by the reverse-air vacuum-drilling technique to a depth of 1269 feet (387 meters). This borehole was instrumented at 33 depth levels. At 15 of the levels, 3 well screens were embedded in coarse-sand columns. The sand columns were isolated from each other by thin layers of bentonite, columns of silica flour, and isolation plugs consisting of expansive cement. Thermocouple psychrometers and pressure transducers were installed within the screens and connected to the data-acquisition system at the land surface through thermocouple and logging cables. Two of the screens at each level were equipped with access tubes to allow collection of pore-gas samples. In addition to these instruments, 18 heat-dissipation probes were installed within the columns of silica flour, some of which also had thermocouple psychrometers. 20 refs., 13 figs., 2 tabs

  2. LONG-TERM COLLOID MOBILIZATION AND COLLOID-FACILITATED TRANSPORT OF RADIONUCLIDES IN A SEMI-ARID VADOSE ZONE

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Markus Flury; James B. Harsh; Fred Zhang; Glendon W. Gee; Earl D. Mattson; Peter C. L

    2012-08-01

    The main purpose of this project was to improve the fundamental mechanistic understanding and quantification of long-term colloid mobilization and colloid-facilitated transport of radionuclides in the vadose zone, with special emphasis on the semi-arid Hanford site. While we focused some of the experiments on hydrogeological and geochemical conditions of the Hanford site, many of our results apply to colloid and colloid-facilitated transport in general. Specific objectives were (1) to determine the mechanisms of colloid mobilization and colloid-facilitated radionuclide transport in undisturbed Hanford sediments under unsaturated flow, (2) to quantify in situ colloid mobilization and colloid-facilitated radionuclidetransport from Hanford sediments under field conditions, and (3) to develop a field-scale conceptual and numerical model for colloid mobilization and transport at the Hanford vadose zone, and use that model to predict long-term colloid and colloid- facilitated radionuclide transport. To achieve these goals and objectives, we have used a combination of experimental, theoretical, and numerical methods at different spatial scales, ranging from microscopic investigationsof single particle attachment and detachment to larger-scale field experiments using outdoor lysimeters at the Hanford site. Microscopic and single particle investigations provided fundamental insight into mechanisms of colloid interactions with the air-water interface. We could show that a moving air water interface (such as a moving water front during infiltration and drainage) is very effective in removing and mobilizing particles from a stationary surface. We further demonstrated that it is particularly the advancing air-water interface which is mainly responsible for colloid mobilization. Forces acting on the colloids calculated from theory corroborated our experimental results, and confirm that the detachment forces (surface tension forces) during the advancing air-water interface

  3. Vadose Zone Nitrate Transport Dynamics Resulting from Agricultural Groundwater Banking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, N. P.; McLaughlin, S.; Dahlke, H. E.

    2017-12-01

    In recent years, California's increased reliance on groundwater resources to meet agricultural and municipal demands has resulted in significant overdraft and water quality issues. Agricultural groundwater banking (AGB) has emerged as a promising groundwater replenishment opportunity in California; AGB is a form of managed aquifer recharge where farmland is flooded during the winter using excess surface water in order to recharge the underlying groundwater. Suitable farmland that is connected to water delivery systems is available for AGB throughout the Central Valley. However, questions remain how AGB could be implemented on fertilized agricultural fields such that nitrate leaching from the root zone is minimized. Here, we present results from field and soil column studies that investigate the transport dynamics of nitrogen in the root and deeper vadose zone during flooding events. We are specifically interested in estimating how timing and duration of flooding events affect percolation rates, leaching and nitrification/denitrification processes in three soil types within the Central Valley. Laboratory and field measurements include nitrogen (NO3-, NH4+, NO2-, N2O), redox potentials, total organic carbon, dissolved oxygen, moisture content and EC. Soil cores are collected in the field before and after recharge events up to a depth of 4m, while other sensors monitor field conditions continuously. Preliminary results from the three field sites show that significant portions of the applied floodwater (12-62 cm) infiltrated below the root zone: 96.1% (Delhi), 88.6% (Modesto) and 76.8% (Orland). Analysis of the soil cores indicate that 70% of the residual nitrate was flushed from the sandy soil, while the fine sandy loam showed only a 5% loss and in some cores even an increase in soil nitrate (in the upper 20cm). Column experiments support these trends and indicate that increases in soil nitrate in the upper root zone might be due to organic nitrogen mineralization and

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Karst system vadose zone hydrodynamics highlighted by an integrative geophysical and hydrogeological monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watlet, A.; Van Camp, M. J.; Francis, O.; Poulain, A.; Hallet, V.; Rochez, G.; Kaufmann, O.

    2015-12-01

    The vadose zone of karst systems plays an important role on the water dynamics. In particular, temporary perched aquifers can appear in the subsurface due to changes of climate conditions, diminished evapotranspiration and differences of porosity relative to deeper layers. It is therefore crucial, but challenging, to separate the hydrological signature of the vadose zone from the one of the saturated zone for understanding hydrological processes that occur in the vadose zone. Although many difficulties are usually encountered when studying karst environments due to their heterogeneities, cave systems offer an outstanding opportunity to investigate vadose zone from the inside with various techniques. We present results covering two years of hydrogeological and geophysical monitoring at the Rochefort Cave Laboratory (RCL), located in the Variscan fold-and-thrust belt (Belgium), a region that shows many karstic networks within Devonian limestone units. Hydrogeological data such as flows and levels monitoring or tracer tests performed in both vadose and saturated zones bring valuable information on the hydrological context of the studied area. Combining those results with geophysical measurements allows validating and imaging them with more integrative techniques. A microgravimetric monitoring involves a superconducting gravimeter continuously measuring at the surface of the RCL. Early in 2015, a second relative gravimeter was installed in the underlying cave system located 35 meters below the surface. This set up allows highlighting vadose gravity changes. These relative measurements are calibrated using an absolute gravimeter. 12 additional stations (7 at the surface, 5 in the cave) are monitored on a monthly basis by a spring gravimeter. To complete these gravimetric measurements, the site has been equipped with a permanent Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT) monitoring system comprising an uncommon array of surface, borehole and cave electrodes. Although such

  7. Current challenges in quantifying preferential flow through the vadose zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koestel, John; Larsbo, Mats; Jarvis, Nick

    2017-04-01

    In this presentation, we give an overview of current challenges in quantifying preferential flow through the vadose zone. A review of the literature suggests that current generation models do not fully reflect the present state of process understanding and empirical knowledge of preferential flow. We believe that the development of improved models will be stimulated by the increasingly widespread application of novel imaging technologies as well as future advances in computational power and numerical techniques. One of the main challenges in this respect is to bridge the large gap between the scales at which preferential flow occurs (pore to Darcy scales) and the scale of interest for management (fields, catchments, regions). Studies at the pore scale are being supported by the development of 3-D non-invasive imaging and numerical simulation techniques. These studies are leading to a better understanding of how macropore network topology and initial/boundary conditions control key state variables like matric potential and thus the strength of preferential flow. Extrapolation of this knowledge to larger scales would require support from theoretical frameworks such as key concepts from percolation and network theory, since we lack measurement technologies to quantify macropore networks at these large scales. Linked hydro-geophysical measurement techniques that produce highly spatially and temporally resolved data enable investigation of the larger-scale heterogeneities that can generate preferential flow patterns at pedon, hillslope and field scales. At larger regional and global scales, improved methods of data-mining and analyses of large datasets (machine learning) may help in parameterizing models as well as lead to new insights into the relationships between soil susceptibility to preferential flow and site attributes (climate, land uses, soil types).

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Short-term and long-term Vadose zone monitoring: Current technologies, development, and applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Faybishenko, Boris

    1999-01-01

    At Hanford, Savannah River, Oak Ridge, Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL), and other DOE sites, field vadose zone observations have shown complex water seepage and mass transport behavior in a highly heterogeneous, thick vadose zone on a variety of scales. Recent investigation showed that severe contamination of soils and groundwater by organic contaminant and nuclear waste occurred because of water seepage and contaminant transport along localized, preferential, fast flow within the heterogeneous vadose zone. However, most of the existing characterization and monitoring methods are not able to locate these localized and persistent preferential pathways associated with specific heterogeneous geologic features, such as clastic dikes, caliche layers, or fractures. In addition, changes in the chemical composition of moving and indigenous solutes, particularly sodium concentration, redox conditions, biological transformation of organic materials, and high temperature, may significantly alter water, chemicals, and bio-transformation exchange between the zones of fast flow and the rest of the media. In this paper, using the data from Hanford and INEEL sites, we will (1) present evidence that central problems of the vadose zone investigations are associated with preferential, fast flow phenomena and accelerated migration of organic and radioactive elements, (2) identify gaps in current characterization and monitoring technologies, and (3) recommend actions for the development of advanced vadose zone characterization and monitoring methods using a combination of hydrologic, geochemical, and geophysical techniques

  11. Bioventing in the subarctic: Field scale implementation of soil heating to allow in situ vadose zone biodegradation throughout the year

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oram, D.E.; Winters, A.T.; Winsor, T.R.

    1994-01-01

    Bioventing is a technique of in situ bioremediation of contaminants in unsaturated zone soils that has advantages over other technologies such as soil vapor extraction. At locations where off-gas treatment would be required, bioventing can be a more cost-effective method of remediation. Using bioventing to remediate petroleum hydrocarbons in the vadose zone soils in extremely cold climates may be augmented by heating the subsurface soils. The US Air Force has conducted a bioventing feasibility study at Eielson Air Force Base since 1991. The feasibility study evaluated different methods of heating soils to maintain biodegradation rates through the winter. Results from this study were used to optimize the design of a full-scale bioventing system that incorporated a soil heating system. The system installed consists of the typical components of a bioventing system including an air injection blower, a system to distribute air in the vadose zone, and a monitoring system. To maintain biodegradation at a constant rate throughout the year, soil heating and temperature monitoring systems were also installed. Results to date indicate that summer soil temperatures and biodegradation of hydrocarbons have been maintained through the winter

  12. Vadose-zone instrumentation in coarse alluvial deposits of the Amargosa Desert near Beatty, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morgan, D.S.; Fischer, J.M.

    1984-01-01

    A vadose-zone monitoring shaft near Beatty, NV, is 1.52 m in diameter and penetrates nearly 14 m of unsaturated fluvial sediments. These sediments are comprised of silty sand, coarse sandy gravel, and poorly cemented sand, with gravel and occasional cobbles and boulders. Thirty-three lateral ports at 11 levels between 3 and 13 m deep allow access to undisturbed sediments outside the vertical shaft. The prefabricated metal shaft was emplaced in a 2.44-m-diameter hole excavated by using a crane drill with bucket and flight augers. Laboratory-calibrated thermocouple-psychrometers are being used to measure soil-matrix potential. A method of installing the phychrometers was developed which will allow their retrieval, after extended periods in the soil, for cleaning, recalibration, and reinstallation. Primary access holes 2.5 cm in diameter are drilled laterally outward from the monitoring shaft to a distance of approximately 4 m. The psychrometer is then inserted into the primary access hole and sealed into a smaller diameter boring in the undisturbed material at the outer end of the primary access hole. Data are collected and stored by a programmable measurement-control and data-logger system powered by photovoltaic cells. Magnetic-tape data storage is used to back up daily data retrieval via telecommunication with the project headquarters in Carson City, Nev., 520 km north of the study

  13. A modeling study of water flow in the vadose zone beneath the Radioactive Waste Management Complex

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baca, R.G.; Magnuson, S.O.; Nguyen, H.D.; Martian, P.

    1992-01-01

    A modeling study was conducted for the purpose of gaining insight into the nature of water flow in the vadose zone beneath the Radioactive Waste Management Complex (RWMC). The modeling study focused on three specific hydrologic aspects: (1) relationship between meteorologic conditions and net infiltration, (2) water movement associated with past flooding events, and (3) estimation of water travel-times through the vadose zone. This information is necessary for understanding how contaminants may be transported through the vadose zone. Evaluations of net infiltration at the RWMC were performed by modeling the processes of precipitation, evaporation, infiltration and soil-moisture redistribution. Water flow simulations were performed for two distinct time periods, namely 1955--1964 and 1984--1990. The patterns of infiltration were calculated for both the undisturbed (or natural sediments) and the pit/trench cover materials. Detailed simulations of the 1969 flooding of Pit 10 were performed to estimate the rate and extent of water movement through the vadose zone. Water travel-times through the vadose zone were estimated using a Monte Carlo simulation approach. The simulations accounted for variability of soil and rock hydraulic properties as well as variations in the infiltration rate

  14. 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.

  15. A National Roadmap for Vadose Zone Science and Technology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kowall, Stephen Jacob

    2001-08-01

    This roadmap is a means of achieving, to the best of our current knowledge, a reasonable scientific understanding of how contaminants of all forms move in the vadose geological environments. This understanding is needed to reduce the present uncertainties in predicting contaminant movement, which in turn will reduce the uncertainties in remediation decisions.

  16. Solute travel time in the vadose zone under RWMC at INEL

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liou, J.C.P.; Tian, J.

    1995-01-01

    Solute transport in the vadose zone under the Radioactive Waste Management Complex (RWMC) at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) is considered. The objective is to assess the relative importance of variables involved in modeling the travel time of a conservative solute from ground surface to water table. The vadose zone under RWMC is composed of several layers of basalt flows interceded with sediment layers. The thickness of the layers varies with location. The hydraulic properties also vary. The extents of the variations are large, with standard deviations exceed mean in some instances. The vadose zone is idealized as composed of horizontal layers. Solute transport starts at the ground surface and moves vertically downwards to the water table. The perceived process is one-dimensional. This study used VS2DT, a computer code developed by the US Geological Survey, for simulating solute transport in variably saturated porous media

  17. Deep Vadose Zone Characterization at the Hanford Site: Accomplishments from the Last Ten Years

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brown, Christopher F.; Serne, R. Jeffrey

    2008-01-01

    The overall goal of the Tank Farm Vadose Zone Project, led by CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc., is to define risks from past and future single-shell tank farm activities at Hanford. To meet this goal, CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc. tasked scientists from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) to perform detailed analyses on vadose zone sediments collected within/adjacent to the twelve single-shell tank farms contained within Hanford's Central Plateau region. This work has been performed under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Corrective Action Program and is associated with the Hanford Federal Facility Agreement and Consent Order. While there are many facets to the laboratory studies employed by PNNL, the four primary objectives of this work are to: identify the type and quantity of contamination present, understand the physical processes that affect the transport of contaminants in the vadose zone sediments, when practical, identify the source(s) of the contamination found in the sediment samples, and when practical, determine if a link can be made between the vadose zone contamination observed and any known groundwater contaminants in the vicinity. Since its inception in 1997, PNNL's Vadose Zone Characterization Project has evolved to better meet these four key objectives. The single-largest adaptation of the Vadose Zone Characterization Project over its ten years of operation was the advent of a tiered sample analysis approach. Use of a tiered approach allows resources to be focused on those samples/tests that provide the largest amount of scientific information to best meet the four key project objectives within the budget available. Another significant, but more recent, adaptation has been the implementation of a rapid turnaround characterization process in which sediment samples are analyzed in near real-time to aid drilling activities within the tank farms. This paper highlights details of the characterization activities performed as well

  18. Tank 241-AX-104 upper vadose zone cone penetrometer demonstration sampling and analysis plan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    FIELD, J.G.

    1999-01-01

    This sampling and analysis plan (SAP) is the primary document describing field and laboratory activities and requirements for the tank 241-AX-104 upper vadose zone cone penetrometer (CP) demonstration. It is written in accordance with Hanford Tank Initiative Tank 241-AX-104 Upper Vadose Zone Demonstration Data Quality Objective (Banning 1999). This technology demonstration, to be conducted at tank 241-AX-104, is being performed by the Hanford Tanks Initiative (HTI) Project as a part of Tank Waste Remediation System (TWRS) Retrieval Program (EM-30) and the Office of Science and Technology (EM-50) Tanks Focus Area. Sample results obtained as part of this demonstration will provide additional information for subsequent revisions to the Retrieval Performance Evaluation (RPE) report (Jacobs 1998). The RPE Report is the result of an evaluation of a single tank farm (AX Tank Farm) used as the basis for demonstrating a methodology for developing the data and analyses necessary to support making tank waste retrieval decisions within the context of tank farm closure requirements. The RPE includes a study of vadose zone contaminant transport mechanisms, including analysis of projected tank leak characteristics, hydrogeologic characteristics of tank farm soils, and the observed distribution of contaminants in the vadose zone in the tank farms. With limited characterization information available, large uncertainties exist as to the nature and extent of contaminants that may exist in the upper vadose zone in the AX Tank Farm. Traditionally, data has been collected from soils in the vadose zone through the installation of boreholes and wells. Soil samples are collected as the bore hole is advanced and samples are screened on site and/or sent to a laboratory for analysis. Some in-situ geophysical methods of contaminant analysis can be used to evaluate radionuclide levels in the soils adjacent to an existing borehole. However, geophysical methods require compensation for well

  19. High Frequency Electromagnetic Impedance Imaging for Vadose Zone and Groundwater Characterization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Newman, Greory A.; Alumbaugh, David L.; Hoversten, Michael; Nichols, Edward

    2003-01-01

    A geophysical experiment is described for characterizing the clastic dike systems, which are ubiquitous within the vadose zone at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. because the dikes possess a significant electrical contrast from the insulating host medium, we have applied controlled source audio magnetotelluric (CSAMT) measurements to map their geometric extent and to further clarify if the dike complex acts as a conduit for contaminant transport within the vadose zone. Because of cost and weak natural field signal levels, we employed controlled field sourcing using the STRATGEM acquisition system. Use of artificial fields often goes with the assumption that the data required in the far-field of the transmitter

  20. TECHNICAL BASIS FOR EVALUATING SURFACE BARRIERS TO PROTECT GROUNDWATER FROM DEEP VADOSE ZONE CONTAMINATION

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fayer, J.M.; Freedman, V.L.; Ward, A.L.; Chronister, G.B.

    2010-01-01

    The U.S. DOE and its predecessors released nearly 2 trillion liters (450 billion gallons) of contaminated liquid into the vadose zone at the Hanford Site. Some of the contaminants currently reside in the deeper parts of the vadose zone where they are much less accessible to characterization, monitoring, and typical remediation activities. The DOE Richland Operations Office (DOE-RL) prepared a treatability test plan in 2008 to examine remediation options for addressing contaminants in the deep vadose zone; one of the technologies identified was surface barriers (also known as engineered barriers, covers, and caps). In the typical configuration, the contaminants are located relatively close to the surface, generally within 15 m, and thus they are close to the base of the surface barrier. The proximity of the surface barrier under these conditions yielded few concerns about the effectiveness of the barrier at depth, particularly for cases in which the contaminants were in a lined facility. At Hanford, however, some unlined sites have contaminants located well below depths of 15 m. The issue raised about these sites is the degree of effectiveness of a surface barrier in isolating contaminants in the deep vadose zone. Previous studies by Hanford Site and PNNL researchers suggest that surface barriers have the potential to provide a significant degree of isolation of deep vadose zone contaminants. The studies show that the actual degree of isolation is site-specific and depends on many factors, including recharge rates, barrier size, depth of contaminants, geohydrologic properties ofthe sediments, and the geochemical interactions between the contaminants and the sediments. After the DOE-RL treatability test plan was published, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory was contracted to review the information available to support surface barrier evaluation for the deep vadose zone, identify gaps in the information and outcomes necessary to fill the data gaps, and outline

  1. Simulation of water seepage through a vadose zone in fractured rock

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fuentes, Nestor O.

    2003-01-01

    In order to improve our understanding of the vadose zone in fractured rock, obtaining useful tools to simulate, predict and prevent subsurface contamination, a three-dimensional model has been developed from the base of recent two-dimensional codes. Fracture systems are simulated by means of a dynamical evolution of a random-fuse network model, and the multiphase expression of Richards equation is used to describe fluid displacements. Physical situations presented here emphasized the importance of fracture connectivity and spatial variability on the seepage evolution through the vadose zone, and confirm the existence of dendritic patterns along localized preferential paths. (author)

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Fate of trace organic compounds during vadose zone soil treatment in an onsite wastewater system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conn, K.E.; Siegrist, R.L.; Barber, L.B.; Meyer, M.T.

    2010-01-01

    During onsite wastewater treatment, trace organic compounds are often present in the effluents applied to subsurface soils for advanced treatment during vadose zone percolation and groundwater recharge. The fate of the endocrine-disrupting surfactant metabolites 4-nonylphenol (NP), 4-nonylphenolmonoethoxylate (NP1EO), and 4-nonylphenolmonoethoxycarboxylate (NP1EC), metal-chelating agents ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) and nitrilotriacetic acid (NTA), antimicrobial agent triclosan, stimulant caffeine, and antibiotic sulfamethoxazole during transport through an unsaturated sandy loam soil was studied at a field-scale test site. To assess the effects of effluent quality and hydraulic loading rate (HLR) on compound fate in the soil profile, two effluents (septic tank or textile biofilter) were applied at two design HLRs (2 or 8 cm/d). Chemical concentrations were determined in the two effluents and soil pore water at 60, 120, and 240 cm below the soil infiltrative surface. Concentrations of trace organic compounds in septic tank effluent were reduced by more than 90% during transport through 240 cm (often within 60 cm) of soil, likely due to sorption and biotransformation. However, the concentration of NP increased with depth in the shallow soil profile. Additional treatment of anaerobic septic tank effluent with an aerobic textile biofilter reduced effluent concentrations of many compounds, but generally did not affect any changes in pore water concentrations. The soil profile receiving septic tank effluent (vs. textile biofilter effluent) generally had greater percent removal efficiencies. EDTA, NP, NP1EC, and sulfamethoxazole were measured in soil pore water, indicating the ability of some trace organic compounds to reach shallow groundwater. Risk is highly dependent on the degree of further treatment in the saturated zone and the types and proximity of uses for the receiving groundwater environment. ?? 2009 SETAC.

  5. Fate of trace organic compounds during vadose zone soil treatment in an onsite wastewater system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conn, Kathleen E; Siegrist, Robert L; Barber, Larry B; Meyer, Michael T

    2010-02-01

    During onsite wastewater treatment, trace organic compounds are often present in the effluents applied to subsurface soils for advanced treatment during vadose zone percolation and groundwater recharge. The fate of the endocrine-disrupting surfactant metabolites 4-nonylphenol (NP), 4-nonylphenolmonoethoxylate (NP1EO), and 4-nonylphenolmonoethoxycarboxylate (NP1EC), metal-chelating agents ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) and nitrilotriacetic acid (NTA), antimicrobial agent triclosan, stimulant caffeine, and antibiotic sulfamethoxazole during transport through an unsaturated sandy loam soil was studied at a field-scale test site. To assess the effects of effluent quality and hydraulic loading rate (HLR) on compound fate in the soil profile, two effluents (septic tank or textile biofilter) were applied at two design HLRs (2 or 8 cm/d). Chemical concentrations were determined in the two effluents and soil pore water at 60, 120, and 240 cm below the soil infiltrative surface. Concentrations of trace organic compounds in septic tank effluent were reduced by more than 90% during transport through 240 cm (often within 60 cm) of soil, likely due to sorption and biotransformation. However, the concentration of NP increased with depth in the shallow soil profile. Additional treatment of anaerobic septic tank effluent with an aerobic textile biofilter reduced effluent concentrations of many compounds, but generally did not affect any changes in pore water concentrations. The soil profile receiving septic tank effluent (vs. textile biofilter effluent) generally had greater percent removal efficiencies. EDTA, NP, NP1EC, and sulfamethoxazole were measured in soil pore water, indicating the ability of some trace organic compounds to reach shallow groundwater. Risk is highly dependent on the degree of further treatment in the saturated zone and the types and proximity of uses for the receiving groundwater environment. Copyright 2009 SETAC.

  6. 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

  7. Vadose zone transport field study: Detailed test plan for simulated leak tests

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    AL Ward; GW Gee

    2000-01-01

    The US Department of Energy (DOE) Groundwater/Vadose Zone Integration Project Science and Technology initiative was created in FY 1999 to reduce the uncertainty associated with vadose zone transport processes beneath waste sites at DOE's Hanford Site near Richland, Washington. This information is needed not only to evaluate the risks from transport, but also to support the adoption of measures for minimizing impacts to the groundwater and surrounding environment. The principal uncertainties in vadose zone transport are the current distribution of source contaminants and the natural heterogeneity of the soil in which the contaminants reside. Oversimplified conceptual models resulting from these uncertainties and limited use of hydrologic characterization and monitoring technologies have hampered the understanding contaminant migration through Hanford's vadose zone. Essential prerequisites for reducing vadose transport uncertainly include the development of accurate conceptual models and the development or adoption of monitoring techniques capable of delineating the current distributions of source contaminants and characterizing natural site heterogeneity. The Vadose Zone Transport Field Study (VZTFS) was conceived as part of the initiative to address the major uncertainties confronting vadose zone fate and transport predictions at the Hanford Site and to overcome the limitations of previous characterization attempts. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is managing the VZTFS for DOE. The VZTFS will conduct field investigations that will improve the understanding of field-scale transport and lead to the development or identification of efficient and cost-effective characterization methods. Ideally, these methods will capture the extent of contaminant plumes using existing infrastructure (i.e., more than 1,300 steel-cased boreholes). The objectives of the VZTFS are to conduct controlled transport experiments at well-instrumented field sites at Hanford to

  8. 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

  9. Tackling the Challenge of Deep Vadose Zone Remediation at the Hanford Site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morse, J. G.; Wellman, D. M.; Gephart, R.

    2010-12-01

    The Central Plateau of the Hanford Site in Washington State contains some 800 waste disposal sites where 1.7 trillion liters of contaminated water was once discharged into the subsurface. Most of these sites received liquids from the chemical reprocessing of spent uranium fuel to recover plutonium. In addition, 67 single shell tanks have leaked or are suspected to have leaked 3.8 million liters of high alkali and aluminate rich cesium-contaminated liquids into the sediment. Today, this inventory of subsurface contamination contains an estimated 550,000 curies of radioactivity and 150 million kg (165,000 tons) of metals and hazardous chemicals. Radionuclides range from mobile 99Tc to more immobilized 137Cs, 241Am, uranium, and plutonium. A significant fraction of these contaminants likely remain within the deep vadose zone. Plumes of groundwater containing tritium, nitrate, 129I and other contaminants have migrated through the vadose zone and now extend outward from the Central Plateau to the Columbia River. During most of Hanford Site history, subsurface studies focused on groundwater monitoring and characterization to support waste management decisions. Deep vadose zone studies were not a priority because waste practices relied upon that zone to buffer contaminant releases into the underlying aquifer. Remediation of the deep vadose zone is now central to Hanford Site cleanup because these sediments can provide an ongoing source of contamination to the aquifer and therefore to the Columbia River. However, characterization and remediation of the deep vadose zone pose some unique challenges. These include sediment thickness; contaminant depth; coupled geohydrologic, geochemical, and microbial processes controlling contaminant spread; limited availability and effectiveness of traditional characterization tools and cleanup remedies; and predicting contaminant behavior and remediation performance over long time periods and across molecular to field scales. The U

  10. Climate, soil, and vegetation controls on the temporal variability of vadose zone transport

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Harman, C.J.; Rao, P.S.C.; Basu, N.B.; McGrath, G.S.; Kumar, P.; Sivapalan, M.

    2011-01-01

    Temporal patterns of solute transport and transformation through the vadose zone are driven by the stochastic variability of water fluxes. This is determined by the hydrologic filtering of precipitation variability into infiltration, storage, drainage, and evapotranspiration. In this work we develop

  11. Sampling and Hydrogeology of the Vadose Zone Beneath the 300 Area Process Ponds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bjornstad, Bruce N.

    2004-01-01

    Four open pits were dug with a backhoe into the vadose zone beneath the former 300 Area Process Ponds in April 2003. Samples were collected about every 2 feet for physical, chemical, and/or microbiological characterization. This reports presents a stratigraphic and geohydrologic summary of the four excavations

  12. Engineering report single-shell tank farms interim measures to limit infiltration through the vadose zone

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    HAASS, C.C.

    1999-01-01

    Identifies, evaluates and recommends interim measures for reducing or eliminating water sources and preferential pathways within the vadose zone of the single-shell tank farms. Features studied: surface water infiltration and leaking water lines that provide recharge moisture, and wells that could provide pathways for contaminant migration. An extensive data base, maps, recommended mitigations, and rough order of magnitude costs are included

  13. Vadose zone investigations at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Superfund Site: An overview

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Iovenitti, J.L.; Nitao, J.J.; Bishop, D.J.

    1992-09-01

    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL)is investigating the fate and transport of vadose zone contaminants at their Livermore site in Livermore, California. The principal objectives of this work are to identify potential source areas at the Livermore site which require remediation, to prioritize those areas, and finally, to optimize the remediation process. Primary contaminants of interest for this investigation are volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and tritium. A fully integrated, three-part program, consisting of quantitative modeling, field studies, and laboratory measurements, is in progress. To evaluate and predict vadose zone contaminant migration, quantitative modeling is used. Our modeling capabilities are being enhanced through the development of a multicomponent,three-dimensional,nonaqueous phase liquid-liquid-vapor,nonisothermal flow and transport computer code. This code will be also used to evaluate vadose zone remediation requirements. Field studies to acquire LLNL site-specific soil (sediment) characteristics for computer code calibration and validation include subsurf ace lithologic and contaminant profiling, in situ soil moisture content, ground surface emission flux of VOCs and tritium, transpiration of tritium, and ground surface evapotranspiration of water. Multilevel vadose zone monitoring devices are used to monitor the gaseous and aqueous transport of contaminants

  14. Engineering report single-shell tank farms interim measures to limit infiltration through the vadose zone

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    HAASS, C.C.

    1999-10-14

    Identifies, evaluates and recommends interim measures for reducing or eliminating water sources and preferential pathways within the vadose zone of the single-shell tank farms. Features studied: surface water infiltration and leaking water lines that provide recharge moisture, and wells that could provide pathways for contaminant migration. An extensive data base, maps, recommended mitigations, and rough order of magnitude costs are included.

  15. Characterization of Direct Push Vadose Zone Sediments from the 241-U Single-Shell Tank Farm

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brown, Christopher F.; Valenta, Michelle M.; Serne, R. Jeffrey; Bjornstad, Bruce N.; Lanigan, David C.; Iovin, Cristian; Clayton, Ray E.; Geiszler, Keith N.; Clayton, Eric T.; Kutnyakov, Igor V.; Baum, Steven R.; Lindberg, Michael J.; Orr, Robert D.

    2007-12-20

    The overall goals of the Tank Farm Vadose Zone Project, led by CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc., are 1) to define risks from past and future single-shell tank farm activities, 2) to identify and evaluate the efficacy of interim measures, and 3) to aid, via collection of geochemical information and data, the future decisions that must be made by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) regarding the near-term operations, future waste retrieval, and final closure activities for the single-shell tank Waste Management Areas (WMAs). For a more complete discussion of the goals of the Tank Farm Vadose Zone Project, see the overall work plan, Phase 1 RCRA Facility Investigation/Corrective Measures Study Work Plan for the Single-Shell Tank Waste Management Areas (DOE 1999). Specific details on the rationale for activities performed at WMA U are found in Crumpler (2003). To meet these goals, CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc., asked scientists from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) to perform detailed analyses of vadose zone sediment collected within the U Single-Shell Tank Farm. Specifically, this report contains all the geochemical and selected physical characterization data collected on vadose zone sediment recovered from ten direct push characterization holes emplaced to investigate vadose zone contamination associated with potential leaks within the 241-U Single-Shell Tank Farm. Specific tanks targeted during this characterization campaign included tanks 241-U-104/241-U-105, 241-U-110, and 241-U-112. Additionally, this report compiles data from direct push samples collected north of tank 241-U-201, as well as sediment collected from the background borehole (C3393). After evaluating all the characterization and analytical data, there is no question that the vadose zone in the vicinity of tanks 241-U-104 and 241-U-105 has been contaminated by tank-related waste. This observation is not new, as gamma logging of drywells in the area has identified uranium contamination at the

  16. Climate variability and vadose zone controls on damping of transient recharge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corona, Claudia R.; Gurdak, Jason J.; Dickinson, Jesse; Ferré, T.P.A.; Maurer, Edwin P.

    2017-01-01

    Increasing demand on groundwater resources motivates understanding of the controls on recharge dynamics so model predictions under current and future climate may improve. Here we address questions about the nonlinear behavior of flux variability in the vadose zone that may explain previously reported teleconnections between global-scale climate variability and fluctuations in groundwater levels. We use hundreds of HYDRUS-1D simulations in a sensitivity analysis approach to evaluate the damping depth of transient recharge over a range of periodic boundary conditions and vadose zone geometries and hydraulic parameters that are representative of aquifer systems of the conterminous United States (U.S). Although the models were parameterized based on U.S. aquifers, findings from this study are applicable elsewhere that have mean recharge rates between 3.65 and 730 mm yr–1. We find that mean infiltration flux, period of time varying infiltration, and hydraulic conductivity are statistically significant predictors of damping depth. The resulting framework explains why some periodic infiltration fluxes associated with climate variability dampen with depth in the vadose zone, resulting in steady-state recharge, while other periodic surface fluxes do not dampen with depth, resulting in transient recharge. We find that transient recharge in response to the climate variability patterns could be detected at the depths of water levels in most U.S. aquifers. Our findings indicate that the damping behavior of transient infiltration fluxes is linear across soil layers for a range of texture combinations. The implications are that relatively simple, homogeneous models of the vadose zone may provide reasonable estimates of the damping depth of climate-varying transient recharge in some complex, layered vadose zone profiles.

  17. Bioremediation of RDX in the vadose zone beneath the Pantex Plant

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shull, T.L.; Speitel, G.E. Jr.; McKinney, D.C. [Univ. of Texas, Austin, TX (United States). Dept. of Civil Engineering

    1999-01-01

    The presence of dissolved high explosives (HE), in particular RDX and HMX, is well documented in the perched aquifer beneath the Pantex Plant, but the distribution of HE in the vadose zone has not yet been well defined. Although current remediation activities focus on the contamination in the perched aquifer, eventually regulatory concern is likely to turn to the residual contamination in the vadose zone. Sources of HE include the infiltration of past wastewater discharges from several HE-processing facilities through the ditch drainage system and leachate from former Landfill 3. With limited existing data on the HE distribution in the vadose zone and without preventive action, it must be assumed that residual HE could be leached into infiltrating water, providing a continuing supply of contamination to the perched aquifer. The purpose of this project was to more closely examine the fate and transport of HE in the vadose zone through mathematical modeling and laboratory experimentation. In particular, this report focuses on biodegradation as one possible fate of HE. Biodegradation of RDX in the vadose zone was studied because it is both present in highest concentration and is likely to be of the greatest regulatory concern. This study had several objectives: determine if indigenous soil organisms are capable of RDX biodegradation; determine the impact of electron acceptor availability and nutrient addition on RDX biodegradation; determine the extent of RDX mineralization (i.e., conversion to inorganic carbon) during biodegradation; and estimate the kinetics of RDX biodegradation to provide information for mathematical modeling of fate and transport.

  18. CMI Remedy Selection for HE- and Barium-Contaminated Vadose Zone and Alluvium at LANL

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hickmott, D.; Reid, K.; Pietz, J.; Ware, D.

    2008-12-01

    A high explosives (HE) machining building outfall at Los Alamos National Laboratory's Technical Area 16 discharged millions of gallons of HE- and barium-contaminated water into the Canon de Valle watershed. The effluent contaminated surface soils, the alluvial aquifer, vadose zone waters, and deep-perched and regional groundwaters with HE and barium, frequently at levels greater than regulatory standards. Site characterization studies began in 1995 and included extensive monitoring of surface water, groundwater, soils, and subsurface solid media. Hydrogeologic and geophysical studies were conducted to help understand contaminant transport mechanisms and pathways. Results from the characterization studies were used to develop a site conceptual model. In 2000 the principal source area was removed. The ongoing Corrective Measure Study (CMS) and Corrective Measure Implementation (CMI) focus on residual vadose zone contamination and on the contaminated alluvial system. Regulators recently selected a CMI remedy that combined: 1) augmented source removal; 2) grouting of an HE- contaminated surge bed; 3) deployment of Stormwater Management System (SMS) stormfilters in contaminated springs; and 4) permeable reactive barriers (PRBs) in contaminated alluvium. The hydrogeologic conceptual model for the vadose zone and alluvial system as well as the status of the canyon as habitat for the Mexican Spotted Owl were key factors in selection of these minimal-environmental-impact remedies. The heterogeneous vadose zone, characterized by flow and contaminant transport in fractures and in surge beds, requires contaminant treatment at a point of discharge. The canyon PRB is being installed to capture water and contaminants prior to infiltration into the vadose zone. Pilot-scale testing of the SMS and lab-scale batch and column tests of a range of media suggest that granular activated carbon, zeolite, and gypsum may be effective media for removal of HE and/or barium from contaminated

  19. Characterization of Vadose Zone Sediment: Uncontaminated RCRA Borehole Core Samples and Composite Samples

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Serne, R. Jeffrey; Bjornstad, Bruce N.; Schaef, Herbert T.; Williams, Bruce A.; Lanigan, David C.; Horton, Duane G.; Clayton, Ray E.; Mitroshkov, Alexandre V.; Legore, Virginia L.; O'Hara, Matthew J.; Brown, Christopher F.; Parker, Kent E.; Kutnyakov, Igor V.; Serne, Jennifer N.; Last, George V.; Smith, Steven C.; Lindenmeier, Clark W.; Zachara, John M.; Burke, Deborah Sd.

    2001-01-01

    The overall goal of the of the Tank Farm Vadose Zone Project, led by CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc., is to define risks from past and future single-shell tank farm activities. To meet this goal, CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc. asked scientists from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to perform detailed analyses on vadose zone sediment from within the S-SX Waste Management Area. This report is the first in a series of four reports to present the results of these analyses. Specifically, this report contains all the geologic, geochemical, and selected physical characterization data collected on vadose zone sediment recovered from RCRA borehole bore samples and composite samples. Intact cores from two RCRA boreholes (299-W22-48 and 299-W22-50) near the SX Tank Farm and four, large-quantity grab samples from outcrop sediment on and off the Hanford Site were sampled to better understand the fate of contaminants in the vadose zone beneath underground storage tanks at the Hanford Site. Borehole and outcrop samples analyzed for this report are located outside the tank farms, and therefore may be considered standard or background samples from which to compare contaminated sediments within the tank farms themselves. This report presents our interpretation of the physical, chemical, and mineralogical properties of the uncontaminated vadose zone sediments, and variations in the vertical distribution of these properties. The information presented in this report is intended to support preparation of the S-SX Field Investigation Report to be prepared by CH2M Hill Hanford Group, Inc. as well as future remediation actions at the S-SX Tank Farm

  20. 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

  1. Emerging organic pollutants in the vadose zone of a soil aquifer treatment system: Pore water extraction using positive displacement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sopilniak, Alexander; Elkayam, Roy; Rossin, Anna Voloshenko; Lev, Ovadia

    2018-01-01

    Trace organic compounds in effluents, water streams and aquifers are amply reported. However, the mobile pool of Emerging Organic Contaminants (EOCs) in the deep parts of the vadose zone is hard to estimate, due to difficulties in extraction of sufficient quantity of pore water. Here, we present a new methodology for depth profiling of EOCs in pore water by Positive Displacement Extraction (PDE): Pore water extraction from unsaturated soil samples is carried out by withdrawal of soil cores by direct-push drilling and infiltrating the core by organics free water. We show that EOC concentrations in the water eluted in the plateau region of the inverse breakthrough curve is equal to their pore water concentrations. The method was previously validated for DOC extraction, and here the scope of the methodology is extended to pore water extraction for organic pollutants analysis. Method characteristics and validation were carried out with atrazine, simazine, carbamazepine, venlafaxine, O-desmethylvenlafaxine and caffeine in the concentration range of several ng to several μg/liter. Validation was carried out by laboratory experiments on three different soils (sandy, sandy-clayey and clayey). Field studies in the vadose zone of a SAT system provided 27 m deep EOC profiles with less than 1.5 m spatial resolution. During the percolation treatment, carbamazepine remained persistent, while the other studied EOCs were attenuated to the extent of 50-99%.The highest degradation rate of all studied EOCs was in the aerobic zone. EOC levels based on PDE and extraction by centrifugation were compared, showing a positive bias for centrifugation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Foam - novel delivery technology for remediation of vadose zone environments - 59019

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jansik, Danielle; Wellman, Dawn M.; Mattigod, Shas V.; Zhong, Lirong; Zhang, Fred; Foote, Martin; Wu, Yuxin; Hubbard, Susan

    2012-01-01

    Deep vadose zone environments can be a primary source and pathway for contaminant migration to groundwater. These environments present unique characterization and remediation challenges that necessitate scrutiny and research. The thickness, depth, and intricacies of the deep vadose zone, combined with a lack of understanding of the key subsurface processes (e.g., biogeochemical and hydrologic) affecting contaminant migration, make it difficult to create validated conceptual and predictive models of subsurface flow dynamics and contaminant behavior across multiple scales. These factors also make it difficult to design and deploy sustainable remedial approaches and monitor long-term contaminant behavior after remedial actions. Functionally, methods for addressing contamination must remove and/or reduce transport of contaminants. This problem is particularly challenging in the arid western United States where the vadose zone is hundreds of feet thick, rendering transitional excavation methods exceedingly costly and ineffective. Delivery of remedial amendments is one of the most challenging and critical aspects for all remedy-based approaches. The conventional approach for delivery is through injection of aqueous remedial solutions. However, heterogeneous deep vadose zone environments present hydrologic and geochemical challenges that limit the effectiveness. Because the flow of solution infiltration is dominantly controlled by gravity and suction, injected liquid preferentially percolates through highly permeable pathways, by-passing low-permeability zones that frequently contain the majority of contamination. Moreover, the wetting front can readily mobilize and enhance contaminant transport to the underlying aquifer prior to stabilization. Development of innovative in-situ technologies may be the only means to meet remedial action objectives and long-term stewardship goals. Surfactants can be used to lower the liquid surface tension and create stabile foams, which

  3. Deep Vadose Zone-Applied Field Research Initiative Fiscal Year 2011 Annual Report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wellman, Dawn M.; Johnson, Timothy C.; Smith, Ronald M.; Truex, Michael J.; Matthews, Hope E.

    2011-01-01

    This annual report describes the background of the Deep Vadose Zone-Applied Field Research Initiative, and some of the programmatic approaches and transformational technologies in groundwater and deep vadose zone remediation developed during fiscal year 2011. The Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Technology Innovation and Development's (OTID) mission is to transform science into viable solutions for environmental cleanup. In 2010, OTID developed the Impact Plan, Science and Technology to Reduce the Life Cycle Cost of Closure to outline the benefits of research and development of the lifecycle cost of cleanup across the DOE complex. This plan outlines OTID's ability to reduce by $50 billion, the $200 billion life-cycle cost in waste processing, groundwater and soil, nuclear materials, and deactivation and decommissioning. The projected life-cycle costs and return on investment are based on actual savings realized from technology innovation, development, and insertion into remedial strategies and schedules at the Fernald, Mound, and Ashtabula sites. To achieve our goals, OTID developed Applied Field Research Initiatives to facilitate and accelerate collaborative development and implementation of new tools and approaches that reduce risk, cost and time for site closure. The primary mission of the Deep Vadose Zone-Applied Field Research Initiative (DVZ-AFRI) is to protect our nation's water resources, keeping them clean and safe for future generations. The DVZ-AFRI was established for the DOE to develop effective, science-based solutions for remediating, characterizing, monitoring, and predicting the behavior and fate of deep vadose zone contamination. Subsurface contaminants include radionuclides, metals, organics, and liquid waste that originated from various sources, including legacy waste from the nation's nuclear weapons complexes. The DVZ-AFRI project team is translating strategy into action by working to solve these complex challenges in a collaborative

  4. Research Plan: Foam Delivery of Remedial Amendments to Deep Vadose Zone for Metals and Radionuclides Remediation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhong, Lirong; Hart, Andrea T.; Szecsody, James E.; Zhang, Z.F.; Freedman, Vicky L.; Ankeny, Mark; Hull, Laurence; Oostrom, Martinus; Freshley, Mark D.; Wellman, Dawn M.

    2009-01-01

    Research proposals were submitted to the Scientific and Technical Basis for In Situ Treatment of Metals and Radionuclides Technical Working Group under the US Department of Energy (DOE) Environmental Management Office (specifically, EM-22). After a peer review and selection process, the proposal, 'Foam Delivery of Remedial Amendments to Deep Vadose Zone for Metals and Radionuclides Remediation,' submitted by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) was selected for support by the program. A research plan was requested for this EM funded project. The overall objective of this project is to develop foam delivery technology for the distribution of remedial amendments to deep vadose zone sediments for in situ immobilization of metal and radionuclide contaminants. The focus of this research in FY 2009 is on the physical aspects of the foam delivery approach. Specific objectives are to (1) study the foam quality (i.e. the gas volume fraction in foam) influence on injection pressure, (2) study the sediment air permeability influence on injection pressure, (3) investigate liquid uptake in sediment and determine whether a water front will be formed during foam delivery, (4) test amendment distance (and mass) delivery by foam from the injection point, (5) study the enhanced sweeping over heterogeneous systems (i.e., low K zones) by foam delivery relative to water-based delivery under vadose zone conditions, and (6) numerically simulate foam delivery processes in the vadose zone. Laboratory scale experiments will be conducted at PNNL to study a range of basic physical aspects of the foam propagation in sediments, including foam quality and sediment permeability influence on injection pressure, liquid uptake, and foam sweeping across heterogeneous systems. This study will be augmented with separate studies to be conducted at MSE Technology Applications, Inc. (MSE) to evaluate foam transport and amendment delivery at the intermediate-scale. The results of intermediate

  5. 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

  6. Vadose Zone Infiltration Rate at Hanford, Washington, Inferred from Sr Isotope Measurements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Maher, Katharine; DePaolo, Donald J.; Conrad, Mark E.; Serne, R. Jeffrey

    2003-01-01

    Sr isotope ratios were measured in the pore water, acid extracts, and sediments of a 70-m vadose zone core to obtain estimates of the long-term infiltration flux for a site in the Hanford/DOE complex in eastern Washington State. The 87Sr/86Sr values of the pore waters decrease systematically with depth, from a high value of 0.721 near the surface toward the bulk sediment average value of 0.711. Estimates of the bulk weathering rate combined with Sr isotopic data were used to constrain the long-term (century to millenial scale) natural diffuse infiltration flux for the site given both steady state and nonsteady state conditions. The models suggest that the infiltration fluc for the site is 7+- 3 mm/yr. The method shows potential for providing long-term in situ estimates of infiltration rates for deep heterogeneous vadose zones

  7. Experimental and Numerical Investigations of Soil Desiccation for Vadose Zone Remediation: Report for Fiscal Year 2007

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ward, Andy L.; Oostrom, Mart; Bacon, Diana H.

    2008-02-04

    Apart from source excavation, the options available for the remediation of vadose zone metal and radionuclide contaminants beyond the practical excavation depth (0 to 15 m) are quite limited. Of the available technologies, very few are applicable to the deep vadose zone with the top-ranked candidate being soil desiccation. An expert panel review of the work on infiltration control and supplemental technologies identified a number of knowledge gaps that would need to be overcome before soil desiccation could be deployed. The report documents some of the research conducted in the last year to fill these knowledge gaps. This work included 1) performing intermediate-scale laboratory flow cell experiments to demonstrate the desiccation process, 2) implementing a scalable version of Subsurface Transport Over Multiple Phases–Water-Air-Energy (STOMP-WAE), and 3) performing numerical experiments to identify the factors controlling the performance of a desiccation system.

  8. A comprehensive analysis of contaminant transport in the vadose zone beneath tank SX-109

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ward, A.L.; Gee, G.W.; White, M.D.

    1997-02-01

    The Vadose Zone Characterization Project is currently investigating the subsurface distribution of gamma-emitting radionuclides in S and SX Waste Management Area (WMA-S-SX) located in the 200 West Area of the US Department of Energy's Hanford Site in southeastern Washington State. Spectral-gamma logging of boreholes has detected elevated 137 Cs concentrations as deep as 38 m, a depth considered excessive based on the assumed geochemistry of 137 Cs in Hanford sediments. Routine groundwater sampling under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) have also detected elevated levels of site-specific contaminants downgradient of WMA-S-SX. The objective of this report is to explore the processes controlling the migration of 137 Cs, 99 Tc, and NO 3 through the vadose zone of WMA-S-SX, particularly beneath tank SX-109

  9. Remediation of Deep Vadose Zone Radionuclide and Metal Contamination: Status and Issues

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dresel, P. Evan; Truex, Michael J.; Cantrell, Keri

    2008-12-30

    This report documents the results of a PNNL literature review to report on the state of maturity of deep vadose zone remediation technologies for metal contaminants including some radionuclides. Its recommendations feed into decisionmakers need for scientific information and cost-effective in situ remediation technlogies needed under DOE's Environmental Management initiative Enhanced Remediation Methods: Scientific & Technical Basis for In Stu Treatment Systems for Metals and Radionuclides.

  10. IMPACT ASSESSMENT OF EXISTING VADOSE ZONE CONTAMINATION AT THE HANFORD SITE SX TANK FARM

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    KHALEEL R

    2007-01-01

    The USDOE has initiated an impact assessment of existing vadose zone contamination at the Hanford Site SX tank farm in southeastern Washington State. The assessment followed the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Corrective Action process to address the impacts of past tank waste releases to the vadose zone at the single-shell tank farm. Numerical models were developed that consider the extent of contamination presently within the vadose zone and predict contaminant movement through the vadose zone to groundwater. The transport of representative mobile (technetium-99) and immobile (cesium-137) constituents was evaluated in modeling. The model considered the accelerated movement of moisture around and beneath single-shell tanks that is attributed to bare, gravel surfaces resulting from the construction of the underground storage tanks. Infiltration, possibly nearing 100 mm yr -1 , is further amplified in the tank farm because of the umbrella effect created by percolating moisture being diverted by the impermeable, sloping surface of the large, 24-m-diameter, buried tank domes. For both the base case (no-action alternative) simulation and a simulation that considered placement of an interim surface barrier to minimize infiltration, predicted, groundwater concentrations for technetium-99 at the SX tank farm boundary were exceedingly high, on the order of 10 6 pCi L -1 . The predicted concentrations are, however, somewhat conservative because of our use of two-dimensional modeling for a three-dimensional problem. A series of simulations were performed, using recharge rates of 50, 30, and 10 mm yr -1 , and compared to the basecase(100 mm yr -1 ) results. As expected, lowering meteoric recharge delayed peak arrival times and reduced peak concentrations at the tank farm boundary

  11. Impact Assessment of Existing Vadose Zone Contamination at the Hanford Site SX Tank Farm

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khaleel, Raziuddin; White, Mark D.; Oostrom, Martinus; Wood, Marcus I.; Mann, Frederick M.; Kristofzski, John G.

    2007-01-01

    The USDOE has initiated an impact assessment of existing vadose zone contamination at the Hanford Site SX tank farm in southeastern Washington State. The assessment followed the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Corrective Action process to address the impacts of past tank waste releases to the vadose zone at the single-shell tank farm. Numerical models were developed that consider the extent of contamination presently within the vadose zone and predict contaminant movement through the vadose zone to groundwater. The transport of representative mobile (technetium-99) and immobile (cesium-137) constituents was evaluated in modeling. The model considered the accelerated movement of moisture around and beneath single-shell tanks that is attributed to bare, gravel surfaces resulting from the construction of the underground storage tanks. Infiltration, possibly nearing 100 mm yr -1 , is further amplified in the tank farm because of the umbrella effect created by percolating moisture being diverted by the impermeable, sloping surface of the large, 24-m-diameter, buried tank domes. For both the base case (no-action alternative) simulation and a simulation that considered placement of an interim surface barrier to minimize infiltration, predicted groundwater concentrations for technetium-99 at the SX tank farm boundary were exceedingly high, on the order of 106 pCi L-1. The predicted concentrations are, however, somewhat conservative because of our use of two-dimensional modeling for a three-dimensional problem. A series of simulations were performed, using recharge rates of 50, 30, and 10 mm yr -1 , and compared to the base case (100 mm yr -1 ) results. As expected, lowering meteoric recharge delayed peak arrival times and reduced peak concentrations at the tank farm boundary.

  12. Modeling foam delivery mechanisms in deep vadose-zone remediation using method of characteristics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roostapour, A.; Kam, S.I.

    2012-01-01

    Highlights: ► A new mathematical framework established for vadose-zone foam remediation. ► Graphical solutions presented by Method of Characteristics quantitatively. ► Effects of design parameters in the field applications thoroughly investigated. ► Implication of modeling study for successful field treatment discussed. - Abstract: This study investigates foam delivery mechanisms in vadose-zone remediation by using Method of Characteristics (MoC), a mathematical tool long been used for the analysis of miscible and immiscible flooding in porous media in petroleum industry. MoC converts the governing material-balance partial differential equations into a series of ordinary differential equations, and the resulting solutions are in a form of wave propagation (more specifically, for chemical species and phase saturations) through the system as a function of time and space. Deep vadose-zone remediation has special features compared to other conventional remediation applications. They include, not limited to, a high level of heterogeneity, a very dry initial condition with low water saturation (S w ), pollutants such as metals and radionuclides fully dissolved in groundwater, and a serious concern about downward migration during the remediation treatments. For the vadose-zone remediation processes to be successful, the injected aqueous phase should carry chemicals to react with pollutants and precipitate them for immobilization and stabilization purposes. As a result, foams are believed to be an effective means, and understanding foam flow mechanism in situ is a key to the optimal design of field applications. Results show that foam delivery mechanism is indeed very complicated, making the optimum injection condition field-specific. The five major parameters selected (i.e., initial saturation of the medium, injection foam quality, surfactant adsorption, foam strength, and foam stability) are shown to be all important, interacting with each other. Results also

  13. A vadose zone Transport Processes Investigation within the glacial till at the Fernald Environmental Management Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schwing, J.; Roepke, Craig Senninger; Brainard, James Robert; Glass, Robert John Jr.; Mann, Michael J.A.; Holt, Robert M..; Kriel, Kelly

    2007-01-01

    This report describes a model Transport Processes Investigation (TPI) where field-scale vadose zone flow and transport processes are identified and verified through a systematic field investigation at a contaminated DOE site. The objective of the TPI is to help with formulating accurate conceptual models and aid in implementing rational and cost effective site specific characterization strategies at contaminated sites with diverse hydrogeologic settings. Central to the TPI are Transport Processes Characterization (TPC) tests that incorporate field surveys and large-scale infiltration experiments. Hypotheses are formulated based on observed pedogenic and hydrogeologic features as well as information provided by literature searches. The field and literature information is then used to optimize the design of one or more infiltration experiments to field test the hypothesis. Findings from the field surveys and infiltration experiments are then synthesized to formulate accurate flow and transport conceptual models. Here we document a TPI implemented in the glacial till vadose zone at the Fernald Environmental Management Project (FEMP) in Fernald, Ohio, a US Department of Energy (DOE) uranium processing site. As a result of this TPI, the flow and transport mechanisms were identified through visualization of dye stain within extensive macro pore and fracture networks which provided the means for the infiltrate to bypass potential aquatards. Such mechanisms are not addressed in current vadose zone modeling and are generally missed by classical characterization methods

  14. TREATABILITY TEST PLAN FOR DEEP VADOSE ZONE REMEDIATION AT THE HANFORD'S SITE CENTRAL PLATEAU

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    PETERSEN SW; MORSE JG; TRUEX MJ; LAST GV

    2007-01-01

    A treatability test plan has been prepared to address options for remediating portions of the deep vadose zone beneath a portion of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Hanford Site. The vadose zone is the region of the subsurface that extends from the ground surface to the water table. The overriding objective of the treatability test plan is to recommend specific remediation technologies and laboratory and field tests to support the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 remedial decision-making process in the Central Plateau of the Hanford Site. Most of the technologies considered involve removing water from the vadose zone or immobilizing the contaminants to reduce the risk of contaminating groundwater. A multi-element approach to initial treatability testing is recommended, with the goal of providing the information needed to evaluate candidate technologies. The proposed tests focus on mitigating two contaminants--uranium and technetium. Specific technologies are recommended for testing at areas that may affect groundwater in the future, but a strategy to test other technologies is also presented

  15. Characterization of Vadose Zone Sediment: Uncontaminated RCRA Borehole Core Samples and Composite Samples

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Serne, R. Jeffrey; Bjornstad, Bruce N.; Schaef, Herbert T.; Williams, Bruce A.; Lanigan, David C.; Horton, Duane G.; Clayton, Ray E.; Mitroshkov, Alexandre V.; Legore, Virginia L.; O'Hara, Matthew J.; Brown, Christopher F.; Parker, Kent E.; Kutnyakov, Igor V.; Serne, Jennifer N.; Last, George V.; Smith, Steven C.; Lindenmeier, Clark W.; Zachara, John M.; Burke, Deborah S.

    2008-01-01

    This report was revised in September 2008 to remove acid-extractable sodium data from Tables 4.14, 4.16, 5.20, 5.22, 5.43, and 5.45. The sodium data was removed due to potential contamination introduced during the acid extraction process. The rest of the text remains unchanged from the original report issued in February 2002. The overall goal of the of the Tank Farm Vadose Zone Project, led by CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc., is to define risks from past and future single-shell tank farm activities. To meet this goal, CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc. asked scientists from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to perform detailed analyses on vadose zone sediment from within the S-SX Waste Management Area. This report is one in a series of four reports to present the results of these analyses. Specifically, this report contains all the geologic, geochemical, and selected physical characterization data collected on vadose zone sediment recovered from Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) borehole bore samples and composite samples

  16. Characterization of Vadose Zone Sediment: Uncontaminated RCRA Borehole Core Samples and Composite Samples

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Serne, R. Jeffrey; Bjornstad, Bruce N.; Schaef, Herbert T.; Williams, Bruce A.; Lanigan, David C.; Horton, Duane G.; Clayton, Ray E.; Mitroshkov, Alexandre V.; Legore, Virginia L.; O' Hara, Matthew J.; Brown, Christopher F.; Parker, Kent E.; Kutnyakov, Igor V.; Serne, Jennifer N.; Last, George V.; Smith, Steven C.; Lindenmeier, Clark W.; Zachara, John M.; Burke, Deborah S.

    2008-09-11

    This report was revised in September 2008 to remove acid-extractable sodium data from Tables 4.14, 4.16, 5.20, 5.22, 5.43, and 5.45. The sodium data was removed due to potential contamination introduced during the acid extraction process. The rest of the text remains unchanged from the original report issued in February 2002. The overall goal of the of the Tank Farm Vadose Zone Project, led by CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc., is to define risks from past and future single-shell tank farm activities. To meet this goal, CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc. asked scientists from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to perform detailed analyses on vadose zone sediment from within the S-SX Waste Management Area. This report is one in a series of four reports to present the results of these analyses. Specifically, this report contains all the geologic, geochemical, and selected physical characterization data collected on vadose zone sediment recovered from Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) borehole bore samples and composite samples.

  17. Deep Vadose Zone Applied Field Research Center: Transformational Technology Development For Environmental Remediation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wellman, Dawn M.; Triplett, Mark B.; Freshley, Mark D.; Truex, Michael J.; Gephart, Roy E.; Johnson, Timothy C.; Chronister, Glen B.; Gerdes, Kurt D.; Chamberlain, Skip; Marble, Justin; Ramirez, Rosa

    2011-01-01

    DOE-EM, Office of Groundwater and Soil Remediation and DOE Richland, in collaboration with the Hanford site and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, have established the Deep Vadose Zone Applied Field Research Center (DVZ-AFRC). The DVZ-AFRC leverages DOE investments in basic science from the Office of Science, applied research from DOE EM Office of Technology Innovation and Development, and site operation (e.g., site contractors [CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Contractor and Washington River Protection Solutions], DOE-EM RL and ORP) in a collaborative effort to address the complex region of the deep vadose zone. Although the aim, goal, motivation, and contractual obligation of each organization is different, the integration of these activities into the framework of the DVZ-AFRC brings the resources and creativity of many to provide sites with viable alternative remedial strategies to current baseline approaches for persistent contaminants and deep vadose zone contamination. This cooperative strategy removes stove pipes, prevents duplication of efforts, maximizes resources, and facilitates development of the scientific foundation needed to make sound and defensible remedial decisions that will successfully meet the target cleanup goals for one of DOE EM's most intractable problems, in a manner that is acceptable by regulators.

  18. The effect of vadose zone heterogeneities on vapor phase migration and aquifer contamination by volatile organics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Seneviratne, A.; Findikakis, A.N. [Bechtel Corporation, San Francisco, CA (United States)

    1995-03-01

    Organic vapors migrating through the vadose zone and inter-phase transfer can contribute to the contamination of larger portions of aquifers than estimated by accounting only for dissolved phase transport through the saturated zone. Proper understanding of vapor phase migration pathways is important for the characterization of the extent of both vadose zone and the saturated zone contamination. The multiphase simulation code T2VOC is used to numerically investigate the effect of heterogeneties on the vapor phase migration of chlorobenzene at a hypothetical site where a vapor extraction system is used to remove contaminants. Different stratigraphies consisting of alternate layers of high and low permeability materials with soil properties representative of gravel, sandy silt and clays are evaluated. The effect of the extent and continuity of low permeability zones on vapor migration is evaluated. Numerical simulations are carried out for different soil properties and different boundary conditions. T2VOC simulations with zones of higher permeability were made to assess the role of how such zones in providing enhanced migration pathways for organic vapors. Similarly, the effect of the degree of saturation of the porous medium on vapor migration was for a range of saturation values. Increased saturation reduces the pore volume of the medium available for vapor diffusion. Stratigraphic units with higher aqueous saturation can retard the vapor phase migration significantly.

  19. Evidence of linked biogeochemical and hydrological processes in homogeneous and layered vadose zone systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGuire, J. T.; Hansen, D. J.; Mohanty, B. P.

    2010-12-01

    Understanding chemical fate and transport in the vadose zone is critical to protect groundwater resources and preserve ecosystem health. However, prediction can be challenging due to the dynamic hydrologic and biogeochemical nature of the vadose zone. Additional controls on hydrobiogeochemical processes are added by subsurface structural heterogeneity. This study uses repacked soil column experiments to quantify linkages between microbial activity, geochemical cycling and hydrologic flow. Three “short” laboratory soil columns were constructed to evaluate the effects of soil layering: a homogenized medium-grained sand, homogenized organic-rich loam, and a sand-over-loam layered column. In addition, two “long” columns were constructed using either gamma-irradiated (sterilized) or untreated sediments to evaluate the effects of both soil layers and the presence of microorganisms. The long columns were packed identically; a medium-grained sand matrix with two vertically separated and horizontally offset lenses of organic-rich loam. In all 5 columns, downward and upward infiltration of water was evaluated to simulate rainfall and rising water table events respectively. In-situ colocated probes were used to measure soil water content, matric potential, Eh, major anions, ammonium, Fe2+, and total sulfide. Enhanced biogeochemical cycling was observed in the short layered column versus the short, homogeneous columns, and enumerations of iron and sulfate reducing bacteria were 1-2 orders of magnitude greater. In the long columns, microbial activity caused mineral bands and produced insoluble gases that impeded water flow through the pores of the sediment. Capillary barriers, formed around the lenses due to soil textural differences, retarded water flow rates through the lenses. This allowed reducing conditions to develop, evidenced by the production of Fe2+ and S2-. At the fringes of the lenses, Fe2+ oxidized to form Fe(III)-oxide bands that further retarded water

  20. 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

  1. Biodegradation of organic compounds in vadose zone and aquifer sediments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Konopka, A.; Turco, R.

    1991-01-01

    The microbial processes that occur in the subsurface under a typical Midwest agricultural soil were studied. A 26-m bore was installed in November of 1988 at a site of the Purdue University Agronomy Research Center. Aseptic collections of soil materials were made at 17 different depths. Physical analysis indicated that the site contained up to 14 different strata. The site materials were primarily glacial tills with a high carbonate content. The N,P, and organic C contents of sediments tended to decrease with depth. Ambient water content was generally less than the water content, which corresponds to a -0.3-bar equivalent. No pesticides were detected in slurry incubations of up to 128 days. The sorption of atrazine and metolachlor was correlated with the clay content of the sediments. Microbial biomass (determined by direct microscopic count, viable count, and phospholipid assay) in the tills was lower than in either the surface materials or the aquifer located at 25 m. The biodegradation of glucose and phenol occurred rapidly and without a lag in samples from the aquifer capillary fringe, saturated zone, and surface soils. In contrast, lag periods and smaller biodegradation rates were found in the till samples. Subsurface sediments are rich in microbial numbers and activity. The most active strata appear to be transmissive layers in the saturated zone. This implies that the availability of water may limit activity in the profile

  2. 300 Area Treatability Test: Laboratory Development of Polyphosphate Remediation Technology for In Situ Treatment of Uranium Contamination in the Vadose Zone and Capillary Fringe

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wellman, Dawn M.; Pierce, Eric M.; Bacon, Diana H.; Oostrom, Martinus; Gunderson, Katie M.; Webb, Samuel M.; Bovaird, Chase C.; Cordova, Elsa A.; Clayton, Eric T.; Parker, Kent E.; Ermi, Ruby M.; Baum, Steven R.; Vermeul, Vincent R.; Fruchter, Jonathan S.

    2008-09-30

    This report presents results from bench-scale treatability studies conducted under site-specific conditions to optimize the polyphosphate amendment for implementation of a field-scale technology demonstration to stabilize uranium within the 300 Area vadose and smear zones of the Hanford Site. The general treatability testing approach consisted of conducting studies with site sediment and under site conditions, to develop an effective chemical formulation and infiltration approach for the polyphosphate amendment under site conditions. Laboratory-scale dynamic column tests were used to 1) quantify the retardation of polyphosphate and its degradation products as a function of water content, 2) determine the rate of polyphosphate degradation under unsaturated conditions, 3) develop an understanding of the mechanism of autunite formation via the reaction of solid phase calcite-bound uranium and aqueous polyphosphate remediation technology, 4) develop an understanding of the transformation mechanism, the identity of secondary phases, and the kinetics of the reaction between uranyl-carbonate and -silicate minerals with the polyphosphate remedy under solubility-limiting conditions, and 5) quantify the extent and rate of uranium released and immobilized based on the infiltration rate of the polyphosphate remedy and the effect of and periodic wet-dry cycling on the efficacy of polyphosphate remediation for uranium in the vadose zone and smear zone.

  3. 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

  4. Imaging groundwater infiltration dynamics in the karst vadose zone with long-term ERT monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watlet, Arnaud; Kaufmann, Olivier; Triantafyllou, Antoine; Poulain, Amaël; Chambers, Jonathan E.; Meldrum, Philip I.; Wilkinson, Paul B.; Hallet, Vincent; Quinif, Yves; Van Ruymbeke, Michel; Van Camp, Michel

    2018-03-01

    Water infiltration and recharge processes in karst systems are complex and difficult to measure with conventional hydrological methods. In particular, temporarily saturated groundwater reservoirs hosted in the vadose zone can play a buffering role in water infiltration. This results from the pronounced porosity and permeability contrasts created by local karstification processes of carbonate rocks. Analyses of time-lapse 2-D geoelectrical imaging over a period of 3 years at the Rochefort Cave Laboratory (RCL) site in south Belgium highlight variable hydrodynamics in a karst vadose zone. This represents the first long-term and permanently installed electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) monitoring in a karst landscape. The collected data were compared to conventional hydrological measurements (drip discharge monitoring, soil moisture and water conductivity data sets) and a detailed structural analysis of the local geological structures providing a thorough understanding of the groundwater infiltration. Seasonal changes affect all the imaged areas leading to increases in resistivity in spring and summer attributed to enhanced evapotranspiration, whereas winter is characterised by a general decrease in resistivity associated with a groundwater recharge of the vadose zone. Three types of hydrological dynamics, corresponding to areas with distinct lithological and structural features, could be identified via changes in resistivity: (D1) upper conductive layers, associated with clay-rich soil and epikarst, showing the highest variability related to weather conditions; (D2) deeper and more resistive limestone areas, characterised by variable degrees of porosity and clay contents, hence showing more diffuse seasonal variations; and (D3) a conductive fractured zone associated with damped seasonal dynamics, while showing a great variability similar to that of the upper layers in response to rainfall events. This study provides detailed images of the sources of drip

  5. Imaging groundwater infiltration dynamics in the karst vadose zone with long-term ERT monitoring

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Watlet

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Water infiltration and recharge processes in karst systems are complex and difficult to measure with conventional hydrological methods. In particular, temporarily saturated groundwater reservoirs hosted in the vadose zone can play a buffering role in water infiltration. This results from the pronounced porosity and permeability contrasts created by local karstification processes of carbonate rocks. Analyses of time-lapse 2-D geoelectrical imaging over a period of 3 years at the Rochefort Cave Laboratory (RCL site in south Belgium highlight variable hydrodynamics in a karst vadose zone. This represents the first long-term and permanently installed electrical resistivity tomography (ERT monitoring in a karst landscape. The collected data were compared to conventional hydrological measurements (drip discharge monitoring, soil moisture and water conductivity data sets and a detailed structural analysis of the local geological structures providing a thorough understanding of the groundwater infiltration. Seasonal changes affect all the imaged areas leading to increases in resistivity in spring and summer attributed to enhanced evapotranspiration, whereas winter is characterised by a general decrease in resistivity associated with a groundwater recharge of the vadose zone. Three types of hydrological dynamics, corresponding to areas with distinct lithological and structural features, could be identified via changes in resistivity: (D1 upper conductive layers, associated with clay-rich soil and epikarst, showing the highest variability related to weather conditions; (D2 deeper and more resistive limestone areas, characterised by variable degrees of porosity and clay contents, hence showing more diffuse seasonal variations; and (D3 a conductive fractured zone associated with damped seasonal dynamics, while showing a great variability similar to that of the upper layers in response to rainfall events. This study provides detailed images of

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Vadose zone monitoring plan using geophysical nuclear logging for radionuclides discharged to Hanford liquid waste disposal facilities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Price, R.K.

    1995-11-01

    During plutonium production at Hanford, large quantities of hazardous and radioactive liquid effluent waste have been discharged to the subsurface (vadose zone). These discharges at over 330 liquid effluent disposal facilities (ie. cribs, ditches, and ponds) account for over 3,000,000 curies of radioactive waste released into the subsurface. It is estimated that 10% of the contaminants have reached the groundwater in many places. Continuing migration may further impact groundwater quality in the future. Through the RCRA Operational Monitoring Program, a Radionuclide Logging System (RLS) has been obtained by Hanford Technical Services (HTS) and enhanced to measure the distribution of contaminants and monitor radionuclide movement in existing groundwater and vadose zone boreholes. Approximately 100 wells are logged by HTS each year in this program. In some cases, movement has been observed years after discharges were terminated. A similar program is in place to monitor the vadose zone at the Tank Farms. This monitoring plan describes Hanford Programs for monitoring the movement of radioactive contamination in the vadose zone. Program background, drivers, and strategy are presented. The objective of this program is to ensure that DOE-RL is aware of any migration of contaminants in the vadose zone, such that groundwater can be protected and early actions can be taken as needed

  10. Improvements to measuring water flux in the vadose zone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masarik, Kevin C; Norman, John M; Brye, Kristofor R; Baker, John M

    2004-01-01

    Evaluating the impact of land use practices on ground water quality has been difficult because few techniques are capable of monitoring the quality and quantity of soil water flow below the root zone without disturbing the soil profile and affecting natural flow processes. A recently introduced method, known as equilibrium tension lysimetry, was a major improvement but it was not a true equilibrium since it still required manual intervention to maintain proper lysimeter suction. We addressed this issue by developing an automated equilibrium tension lysimeter (AETL) system that continuously matches lysimeter tension to soil-water matric potential of the surrounding soil. The soil-water matric potential of the bulk soil is measured with a heat-dissipation sensor, and a small DC pump is used to apply suction to a lysimeter. The improved automated approach reported here was tested in the field for a 12-mo period. Powered by a small 12-V rechargeable battery, the AETLs were able to continuously match lysimeter suction to soil-water matric potential for 2-wk periods with minimal human attention, along with the added benefit of collecting continuous soil-water matric potential data. We also demonstrated, in the laboratory, methods for continuous measurement of water depth in the AETL, a capability that quantifies drainage on a 10-min interval, making it a true water-flux meter. Equilibrium tension lysimeters have already been demonstrated to be a reliable method of measuring drainage flux, and the further improvements have created a more effective device for studying water drainage and chemical leaching through the soil matrix.

  11. Vadose zone characterization project at the Hanford Tank Farms: U Tank Farm Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1997-05-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy Grand Junction Office (DOE-GJO) was tasked by the DOE Richland Operations Office (DOE-RL) to perform a baseline characterization of the gamma-ray-emitting radionuclides that are distributed in the vadose zone sediments beneath and around the single-shell tanks (SSTs) at the Hanford Site. The intent of this characterization is to determine the nature and extent of the contamination, to identify contamination sources when possible, and to develop a baseline of the contamination distribution that will permit future data comparisons. This characterization work also allows an initial assessment of the impacts of the vadose zone contamination as required by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). This characterization project involves acquiring information regarding vadose zone contamination with borehole geophysical logging methods and documenting that information in a series of reports. This information is presently limited to detection of gamma-emitting radionuclides from both natural and man-made sources. Data from boreholes surrounding each tank are compiled into individual Tank Summary Data Reports. The data from each tank in a tank farm are then compiled and summarized in a Tank Farm Report. This document is the Tank Farm Report for the U Tank Farm. Logging operations used high-purity germanium detection systems to acquire laboratory-quality assays of the gamma-emitting radionuclides in the sediments around and below the tanks. These assays were acquired in 59 boreholes that surround the U Tank Farm tanks. Logging of all boreholes was completed in December 1995, and the last Tank Summary Data Report for the U Tank Farm was issued in September 1996.

  12. Geochemical Processes Controlling Migration of High Level Wastes in Hanford's Vadose Zone

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zachara, John M.; Serne, R. Jeffrey; Freshley, Mark D.; Mann, Frederick M.; Anderson, Frank J.; Wood, Marcus I.; Jones, Thomas E.; Myers, David A.

    2007-01-01

    High level nuclear wastes (HLW) from Hanford's plutonium reprocessing are stored in massive, buried, single-shell tanks in eighteen tank farms. The wastes were initially hot because of radioactive decay, and many exhibited extreme chemical character in terms of pH, salinity, and radionuclide concentration. At present, 67 of the 149 single shell tanks are suspected to have released over 1.9 million L of tank waste to the vadose zone, with most leak events occurring between 1950 and 1975. Boreholes have been placed through the largest vadose zone plumes to define the extent of contaminant migration, and to develop conceptual models of processes governing the transformation, retardation, and overall transport of tank waste residuals. Laboratory studies with sediments so collected have shown that ion exchange, precipitation and dissolution, and surface complexation reactions have occurred between the HLW and subsurface sediments moderating their chemical character, and retarding the migration of select contaminants. Processes suspected to facilitate the far-field migration of immobile radionuclides including stable aqueous complex formation and mobile colloids were found to be potentially operative, but unlikely to occur in the field, with the exception of cyanide-facilitated migration of 60Co. Fission product oxyanions are the most mobile of tank waste constituents because their adsorption is suppressed by large concentrations of waste anions; the vadose zone clay fraction is negative in surface charge; and, unlike Cr, their reduced forms are unstable in oxidizing environments. Reaction/process-based transport modeling is beginning to be used for predictions of future contaminant mobility and plume evolution

  13. Significance of water fluxes in a deep arid-region vadose zone to waste disposal strategies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johnejack, K.R.; Blout, D.O.; Sully, M.J.; Emer, D.F.; Hammermeister, D.P.; Dever, L.G.; O'Neill, L.J.; Tyler, S.W.; Chapman, J.

    1994-01-01

    Recently collected subsurface site characterization data have led to the development of a conceptual model of water movement beneath the Area 5 Radioactive Waste Management Site (RWMS) at the Nevada Test Site (NTS) that differs significantly from the conceptual model of water movement inherent in Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulations. At the Area 5 RWMS, water fluxes in approximately the upper 75 m (250 ft) of the vadose zone point in the upward direction (rather than downward) which effectively isolates this region from the deep (approximately 250 m (820 ft)) uppermost aquifer. Standard RCRA approaches for detection and containment (groundwater monitoring and double liners/leachate collection/leak detection systems) are not able to fulfill their intended function in this rather unique hydrogeologic environment. In order to better fulfill the waste detection and containment intentions of RCRA for mixed waste disposal at the Area 5 RWMS, the Department of Energy, Nevada Operations Office (DOE/NV) is preparing a single petition for both a waiver from groundwater monitoring and an exemption from double liners with leachate collection/leak detection. DOE/NV proposes in this petition that the containment function of liners and leachate collection is better accomplished by the natural hydrogeologic processes operating in the upper vadose zone; and the detection function of groundwater monitoring and the leak detection system in liners is better fulfilled by an alternative vadose zone monitoring system. In addition, an alternative point of compliance is proposed that will aid in early detection, as well as limit the extent of potential contamination before detection. Finally, special cell design features and operation practices will be implemented to limit leachate formation, especially while the cell is open to the atmosphere during waste emplacement

  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. Experimental Plan: 300 Area Treatability Test: In Situ Treatment of the Vadose Zone and Smear Zone Uranium Contamination by Polyphosphate Infiltration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wellman, Dawn M.; Pierce, Eric M.; Oostrom, Mart; Fruchter, Jonathan S.

    2007-01-01

    The overall objectives of the treatability test is to evaluate and optimize polyphosphate remediation technology for infiltration either from ground surface, or some depth of excavation, providing direct stabilization of uranium within the deep vadose and capillary fringe above the 300 Area aquifer. Expected result from this experimental plan is a data package that includes: (1) quantification of the retardation of polyphosphate, (2) the rate of degradation and the retardation of degradation products as a function of water content, (3) an understanding of the mechanism of autunite formation via the reaction of solid phase calcite-bound uranium and aqueous polyphosphate remediation technology, (4) an understanding of the transformation mechanism, identity of secondary phases, and the kinetics of the reaction between uranyl-carbonate and silicate minerals with the polyphosphate remedy under solubility-limiting conditions, (5) quantification of the extent and rate of uranium released and immobilized based on the infiltration rate of the polyphosphate remedy and the effect of and periodic wet-dry cycling on the efficacy of polyphosphate remediation for uranium in the vadose zone and capillary fringe, and (6) quantification of reliable equilibrium solubility values for autunite under hydraulically unsaturated conditions allowing accurate prediction of the long-term stability of autunite. Moreover, results of intermediate scale testing will quantify the transport of polyphosphate and degradation products, and yield degradation rates, at a scale that is bridging the gap between the small-scale UFA studies and the field scale. These results will be used to test and verify a site-specific, variable saturation, reactive transport model and to aid in the design of a pilot-scale field test of this technology. In particular, the infiltration approach and monitoring strategy of the pilot test would be primarily based on results from intermediate-scale testing. Results from this

  17. Electrical Conductivity in the Vadose Zone beneath a Tamarisk Grove along the Virgin River in Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shillito, R.; Sueki, S.; Berli, M.; Healey, J. M.; Acharya, K.

    2013-12-01

    Thick tamarisk groves along river corridors of the Southwest can transpire vast quantities of water and, as an invasive species, compete with native plants for space and resources. It is hypothesized that tamarisk can outcompete other species by not only tolerating high soil salinity, but by increasing soil salinity due to transpiration of salt-rich near-surface groundwater. The goal of this study was to garner experimental evidence for salt accumulation around tamarisk trees in comparison with other species (mesquite) along the Virgin River near Riverside, NV. At the experimental site, electrical conductivity (EC), temperature (T), and volumetric water content (VWC) within the vadose zone were monitored using sensors at 20, 40, 60, 80 and 100 cm depth on 30-minute intervals within the tamarisk thicket where several mesquite trees are found. Nearby groundwater levels were monitored every 40 days. The 2012 - 2013 data reveal an unexpected EC profile between the surface and the groundwater table (average depth 100 cm). A crust was found within depressions on the surface with EC values as high as 18.8 mS/cm. In the vadose zone (0 to 80 cm depth), average EC values of 4.4 mS/cm were recorded. Most interestingly, in the capillary fringe immediately above the water table (80 to 100 cm depth) average EC values of only 1.25 mS/cm were found whereas the groundwater (>100 cm depth) showed considerably higher EC values averaging 8.8 mS/cm. Additionally, the surface beneath the tamarisk had double the EC as that beneath the mesquite. The contrast in the EC indicates an increase in the aquifer salinity, which may be due to leachate infiltration through the vadose zone concentrated by plant transpiration and direct deposition of saline tamarisk leaf litter and secretions onto the understory. Evapotranspiration and shedding of litter by the tamarisk accelerated the salinity concentrations in the uppermost part of the vadose zone. Ultimately, understanding the salinity regime as

  18. Site characterization for the in situ bioremediation of the vadose zone

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Montemagno, C.D.; Leo, A.; Craig, J.

    1993-01-01

    Studies were conducted to determine whether bioremediation can be used to treat a diesel fuel spill in the deep vadose zone (>30 m). After laboratory studies confirmed the ability of the natural population of organisms to degrade the diesel fuel, the technological issue of transporting the required mass of nutrients to the contaminated soils was addressed. Laboratory studies demonstrated that nutrient and oxygen transport can be enhanced by the addition of divalent cations to injected waters. This addition of minerals caused the observed hydraulic conductivity to be maintained at elevated levels that allowed the macronutrient nitrogen, provided as ammonium ion, to be more uniformly distributed to target soil domains

  19. Modeling foam delivery mechanisms in deep vadose-zone remediation using method of characteristics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Roostapour, A. [Craft and Hawkins Department of Petroleum Engineering, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803 (United States); Kam, S.I., E-mail: kam@lsu.edu [Craft and Hawkins Department of Petroleum Engineering, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803 (United States)

    2012-12-15

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer A new mathematical framework established for vadose-zone foam remediation. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Graphical solutions presented by Method of Characteristics quantitatively. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Effects of design parameters in the field applications thoroughly investigated. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Implication of modeling study for successful field treatment discussed. - Abstract: This study investigates foam delivery mechanisms in vadose-zone remediation by using Method of Characteristics (MoC), a mathematical tool long been used for the analysis of miscible and immiscible flooding in porous media in petroleum industry. MoC converts the governing material-balance partial differential equations into a series of ordinary differential equations, and the resulting solutions are in a form of wave propagation (more specifically, for chemical species and phase saturations) through the system as a function of time and space. Deep vadose-zone remediation has special features compared to other conventional remediation applications. They include, not limited to, a high level of heterogeneity, a very dry initial condition with low water saturation (S{sub w}), pollutants such as metals and radionuclides fully dissolved in groundwater, and a serious concern about downward migration during the remediation treatments. For the vadose-zone remediation processes to be successful, the injected aqueous phase should carry chemicals to react with pollutants and precipitate them for immobilization and stabilization purposes. As a result, foams are believed to be an effective means, and understanding foam flow mechanism in situ is a key to the optimal design of field applications. Results show that foam delivery mechanism is indeed very complicated, making the optimum injection condition field-specific. The five major parameters selected (i.e., initial saturation of the medium, injection foam quality, surfactant adsorption, foam

  20. Immobilization of Radionuclides in the Hanford Vadose Zone by Incorporation in Solid Phases

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brown, Gordon E. Jr.; Catalano, Jeffrey G.; Warner, Jeffrey A.; Samual Shaw; Daniel Grolimund

    2005-01-01

    The Department of Energy's Hanford Nuclear Site located in Washington State has accumulated over 2 million curies of radioactive waste from activities related to the production of plutonium (Ahearne, 1997). Sixty-seven of the single-shelled tanks located at the site are thought to have leaked, allowing between 2 and 4 million liters of waste fluids into the underlying vadose zone. The chemical processes employed at the Hanford Site to extract plutonium, as well as the need to minimize corrosion of the high-carbon steel storage tanks, resulted in uncharacterized hyperalkaline waste streams rich in radionuclides as well as other species including significant amounts of sodium and aluminum

  1. Vadose zone characterization project at the Hanford Tank Farms: BY Tank Farm report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kos, S.E.

    1997-02-01

    The US Department of Energy Grand Junction Office (GJO) was tasked by the DOE Richland Operations Office (DOE-RL) to perform a baseline characterization of the contamination distributed in the vadoze zone sediment beneath and around the single-shell tanks (SSTs) at the Hanford Site. The intent of this characterization is to determine the nature and extent of the contamination, to identify contamination sources, and to develop a baseline of the contamination distribution that will permit future data comparisons. This characterization work also allows an initial assessment of the impacts of the vadose zone contamination as required by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). This characterization project involves acquiring information about the vadose zone contamination with borehole geophysical logging methods and documenting that information in a series of reports. Data from boreholes surrounding each tank are compiled into individual Tank Summary Data Reports. The data from each tank farm are then compiled and summarized in a Tank Farm Report. This document is the Tank Farm Report for the BY Tank Farm

  2. Vadose zone characterization project at the Hanford Tank Farms: BY Tank Farm report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kos, S.E.

    1997-02-01

    The US Department of Energy Grand Junction Office (GJO) was tasked by the DOE Richland Operations Office (DOE-RL) to perform a baseline characterization of the contamination distributed in the vadoze zone sediment beneath and around the single-shell tanks (SSTs) at the Hanford Site. The intent of this characterization is to determine the nature and extent of the contamination, to identify contamination sources, and to develop a baseline of the contamination distribution that will permit future data comparisons. This characterization work also allows an initial assessment of the impacts of the vadose zone contamination as required by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). This characterization project involves acquiring information about the vadose zone contamination with borehole geophysical logging methods and documenting that information in a series of reports. Data from boreholes surrounding each tank are compiled into individual Tank Summary Data Reports. The data from each tank farm are then compiled and summarized in a Tank Farm Report. This document is the Tank Farm Report for the BY Tank Farm.

  3. Rectangular Schlumberger resistivity arrays for delineating vadose zone clay-lined fractures in shallow tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miele, M.; Laymon, D.; Gilkeson, R.; Michelotti, R.

    1996-01-01

    Rectangular Schlumberger arrays can be used for 2-dimensional lateral profiling of apparent resistivity at a unique current electrode separation, hence single depth of penetration. Numerous apparent resistivity measurements are collected moving the potential electrodes (fixed MN spacing) within a rectangle of defined dimensions. The method provides a fast, cost-effective means for the collection of dense resistivity data to provide high-resolution information on subsurface hydrogeologic conditions. Several rectangular Schlumberger resistivity arrays were employed at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) from 1989 through 1995 in an area adjacent to and downhill from an outfall pipe, septic tank, septic drainfield, and sump. Six rectangular arrays with 2 AB spacings were used to delineate lateral low resistivity anomalies that may be related to fractures that contain clay and/or vadose zone water. Duplicate arrays collected over a three year time period exhibited very good data repeatability. The properties of tritium make it an excellent groundwater tracer. Because tritium was present in discharged water from all of the anthropogenic sources in the vicinity it was used for this purpose. One major low resistivity anomaly correlates with relatively high tritium concentrations in the tuff. This was determined from borehole samples collected within and outside of the anomalous zone. The anomaly is interpreted to be due to fractures that contain clay from the soil profile. The clay was deposited in the fractures by aeolian processes and by surface water infiltration. The fractures likely served as a shallow vadose zone groundwater pathway

  4. Diffusive transport and evaporation to the atmosphere from a NAPL source in the vadose zone

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holtegaard, L.E.; Bjerre, T.; Christophersen, Mette

    2002-01-01

    To evaluate the risks concerned with the presence of volatile organic compounds in the unsaturated zone it is important to know how the compounds are transported in the soil. In this project the effective diffusion coefficient of 3-methylpentane, hexane, methyl-cyclopentane, iso-octane and methyl...

  5. 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.

  6. Characterization of Vadose Zone Sediments from C Waste Management Area: Investigation of the C-152 Transfer Line Leak

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brown, Christopher F.; Serne, R. Jeffrey; Bjornstad, Bruce N.; Valenta, Michelle M.; Lanigan, David C.; Vickerman, Tanya S.; Clayton, Ray E.; Geiszler, Keith N.; Iovin, Cristian; Clayton, Eric T.; Kutnyakov, Igor V.; Baum, Steven R.; Lindberg, Michael J.; Orr, Robert D.

    2008-09-11

    The sodium data was removed due to potential contamination introduced during the acid extraction process. The rest of the text remains unchanged from the original report issued in January 2007. The overall goal of the Tank Farm Vadose Zone Project, led by CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc., is to define risks from past and future single-shell tank farm activities at Hanford. To meet this goal, CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc., tasked scientists from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to perform detailed analyses on vadose zone sediments from within waste management area (WMA) C. Specifically, this report contains all the geologic, geochemical, and selected physiochemical characterization data compiled on vadose zone sediment recovered from direct-push samples collected around the site of an unplanned release (UPR), UPR-200-E-82, adjacent to the 241-C-152 Diversion Box located in WMA C.

  7. Deep Vadose Zone Treatability Test for the Hanford Central Plateau: Interim Post-Desiccation Monitoring Results, Fiscal Year 2014

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Truex, Michael J. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Strickland, Christopher E. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Johnson, Christian D. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Johnson, Timothy C. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Clayton, Ray E. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Chronister, Glen B. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)

    2014-09-01

    Over decades of operation, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and its predecessors have released nearly 2 trillion L (450 billion gal.) of liquid into the vadose zone at the Hanford Site. Much of this discharge of liquid waste into the vadose zone occurred in the Central Plateau, a 200 km2 (75 mi2) area that includes approximately 800 waste sites. Some of the inorganic and radionuclide contaminants in the deep vadose zone at the Hanford Site are at depths below the limit of direct exposure pathways, but may need to be remediated to protect groundwater. The Tri-Party Agencies (DOE, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and Washington State Department of Ecology) established Milestone M 015 50, which directed DOE to submit a treatability test plan for remediation of technetium-99 (Tc-99) and uranium in the deep vadose zone. These contaminants are mobile in the subsurface environment and have been detected at high concentrations deep in the vadose zone, and at some locations have reached groundwater. Testing technologies for remediating Tc-99 and uranium will also provide information relevant for remediating other contaminants in the vadose zone. A field test of desiccation is being conducted as an element of the DOE test plan published in March 2008 to meet Milestone M 015 50. The active desiccation portion of the test has been completed. Monitoring data have been collected at the field test site during the post-desiccation period and are reported herein. This is an interim data summary report that includes about 3 years of post-desiccation monitoring data. The DOE field test plan proscribes a total of 5 years of post-desiccation monitoring.

  8. Effects of Lime and Concrete Waste on Vadose Zone Carbon Cycling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thaysen, Eike Marie; Jessen, Søren; Postma, D.

    2014-01-01

    In this work we investigate how lime and crushed concrete waste (CCW) affect carbon cycling in the vadose zone and explore whether these amendments could be employed to mitigate climate change by increasing the transport of CO2 from the atmosphere to the groundwater. We use a combination of exper......In this work we investigate how lime and crushed concrete waste (CCW) affect carbon cycling in the vadose zone and explore whether these amendments could be employed to mitigate climate change by increasing the transport of CO2 from the atmosphere to the groundwater. We use a combination...... of experimental and modeling tools to determine ongoing biogeochemical processes. Our results demonstrate that lime and CCW amendments to acid soil contribute to the climate forcing by largely increasing the soil CO2 efflux to the atmosphere. In a series of mesocosm experiments, with barley (Hordeum vulgare L.......) grown on podzolic soil material, we have investigated inorganic carbon cycling through the gaseous and liquid phases and how it is affected by different soil amendments. The mesocosm amendments comprised the addition of 0, 9.6, or 21.2 kg m−2 of crushed concrete waste (CCW) or 1 kg lime m−2. The CCW...

  9. LNAPL infiltration in the vadose zone: Comparisons of physical and numerical simulations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pantazidou, M. [Carnegie Mellon Univ., Pittsburgh, PA (United States)

    1995-03-01

    The numerical model T2VOC was used to reproduce light, nonaqueous phase liquid (LNAPL) infiltration scenarios in the vadose zone. The numerical modeling results were compared to results from laboratory experiments simulating LNAPL spills in the vadose zone. Laboratory measurements included results from one-dimensional column and two-dimensional tank experiments using uniform sands of varying average grain sizes. The constitutive relationships for the sands were obtained from the one-dimensional experiments. The two-dimensional experiments simulated leakage of kerosene under constant head. The sensitivity of the numerical results to the constitutive relationships used and the specified boundary conditions was examined. For this purpose two different capillary pressure-saturation relationships were used for the same sand and both constant head and constant flux conditions were obtained for the two capillary pressure curves used. The constant flux boundary conditions produced a much better prediction. At the initial stages of infiltration the results for both capillary pressure curves were similar and in good agreement with the experimental results. However, as the LNAPL front approaches the capillary fringe the choice of the capillary pressure curve was found to influence the results.

  10. Automated Passive Capillary Lysimeters for Estimating Water Drainage in the Vadose Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jabro, J.; Evans, R.

    2009-04-01

    In this study, we demonstrated and evaluated the performance and accuracy of an automated PCAP lysimeters that we designed for in-situ continuous measuring and estimating of drainage water below the rootzone of a sugarbeet-potato-barley rotation under two irrigation frequencies. Twelve automated PCAPs with sampling surface dimensions of 31 cm width * 91 cm long and 87 cm in height were placed 90 cm below the soil surface in a Lihen sandy loam. Our state-of-the-art design incorporated Bluetooth wireless technology to enable an automated datalogger to transmit drainage water data simultaneously every 15 minutes to a remote host and had a greater efficiency than other types of lysimeters. It also offered a significantly larger coverage area (2700 cm2) than similarly designed vadose zone lysimeters. The cumulative manually extracted drainage water was compared with the cumulative volume of drainage water recorded by the datalogger from the tipping bucket using several statistical methods. Our results indicated that our automated PCAPs are accurate and provided convenient means for estimating water drainage in the vadose zone without the need for costly and manually time-consuming supportive systems.

  11. Bioventing - a new twist on soil vapor remediation of the vadose zone and shallow ground water

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yancheski, T.B.; McFarland, M.A.

    1992-01-01

    Bioventing, which is a combination of soil vapor remediation and bioremediation techniques, may be an innovative, cost-effective, and efficient remedial technology for addressing petroleum contamination in the vadose zone and shallow ground water. The objective of bioventing is to mobilize petroleum compounds from the soil and ground water into soil vapor using soil vapor extraction and injection technology, and to promote the migration of the soil vapor upward to the turf root zone for degradation by active near-surface microbiological activity. Promoting and maintaining optimum microbiological activity in the turf root rhizosphere is a key component to the bioventing technique. Preliminary ongoing USEPA bioventing pilot studies (Kampbell, 1991) have indicated that this technique is a promising remediation technology, although feasibility studies are not yet complete. However, based on the preliminary data, it appears that proper bioventing design and implementation will result in substantial reductions of petroleum compounds in the capillary zone and shallow ground water, complete degradation of petroleum compounds in the turf root zone, and no surface emissions. A bioventing system was installed at a site in southern Delaware with multiple leaking underground storage tanks in early 1992 to remediate vadose zone and shallow ground-water contaminated by petroleum compounds. The system consists of a series of soil vapor extraction and soil vapor/atmospheric air injection points placed in various contamination areas and a central core remediation area (a large grassy plot). This system was chosen for this site because it was least costly to implement and operate as compared to other remedial alternatives (soil vapor extraction with carbon or catalytic oxidation of off-gas treatment, insitu bioremediation, etc.), and results in the generation of no additional wastes

  12. Assessing the impact of dairy waste lagoons on groundwater quality using a spatial analysis of vadose zone and groundwater information in a coastal phreatic aquifer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baram, S; Kurtzman, D; Ronen, Z; Peeters, A; Dahan, O

    2014-01-01

    Dairy waste lagoons are considered to be point sources of groundwater contamination by chloride (Cl(-)), different nitrogen-species and pathogens/microorganisms. The objective of this work is to introduce a methodology to assess the past and future impacts of such lagoons on regional groundwater quality. The method is based on a spatial statistical analysis of Cl(-) and total nitrogen (TN) concentration distributions in the saturated and the vadose (unsaturated) zones. The method provides quantitative data on the relation between the locations of dairy lagoons and the spatial variability in Cl(-) and TN concentrations in groundwater. The method was applied to the Beer-Tuvia region, Israel, where intensive dairy farming has been practiced for over 50 years above the local phreatic aquifer. Mass balance calculations accounted for the various groundwater recharge and abstraction sources and sinks in the entire region. The mass balances showed that despite the small surface area covered by the dairy lagoons in this region (0.8%), leachates from lagoons have contributed 6.0% and 12.6% of the total mass of Cl(-) and TN (mainly as NO3(-)-N) added to the aquifer. The chemical composition of the aquifer and vadose zone water suggested that irrigated agricultural activity in the region is the main contributor of Cl(-) and TN to the groundwater. A low spatial correlation between the Cl(-) and NO3(-)-N concentrations in the groundwater and the on-land location of the dairy farms strengthened this assumption, despite the dairy waste lagoon being a point source for groundwater contamination by Cl(-) and NO3(-)-N. Mass balance calculations, for the vadose zone of the entire region, indicated that drying of the lagoons would decrease the regional groundwater salinization process (11% of the total Cl(-) load is stored under lagoons). A more considerable reduction in the groundwater contamination by NO3(-)-N is expected (25% of the NO3(-)-N load is stored under lagoons). Results

  13. Linking carbon and hydrologic fluxes in the critical zone: Observations from high-frequency monitoring of a weathered bedrock vadose zone

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

    A principle challenge in quantifying feedbacks between continental weathering and atmospheric CO2 is to improve understanding of how biogeochemical processes in the critical zone influence the distribution and mobility of organic and inorganic carbon. In particular, in landscapes characterized by thin soils and heterogeneous weathered and fractured bedrock, little data exist to inform and constrain predictive models for carbon dynamics. Here, we present the results of an intensive water and gas sampling campaign across an 18 m thick, variably saturated argillite weathering profile in the Eel River CZO. We monitor water content in situ and regularly collect samples of freely-draining water, tightly-held water, and gas through wet and dry seasons using a novel Vadose-zone Monitoring System (VMS) consisting of sensors and samplers distributed across a 20 m long inclined borehole. This novel approach facilitates the interception of gas and water during transport across the entire variably saturated weathering profile. The data demonstrate that seasonal changes in saturation control the vertical distribution and mobility of carbon in the fractured critical zone. Concentrations of gaseous CO2, O2, and dissolved organic and inorganic carbon fluctuate significantly and repeatably with seasonal additions of water infiltrating the weathered bedrock. A persistent vertical structure in the concentrations of dissolved phases and gas concentrations broadly corresponds to depths associated with unsaturated, seasonally saturated, and chronically saturated zones. Associated variations in the vertical structure of mineralogy and elemental composition, including solid phase organic carbon content, are observed in core obtained during drilling. Together, our observations indicate significant respiration of organic carbon at depths greater than the base of the soil, and thus motivate further investigation of the role of heterogeneous weathered, bedrock environments, which are needed to

  14. Interfacial Reduction-Oxidation Mechanisms Governing Fate and Transport of Contaminants in the Vadose Zone

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Principal Investigator: Baolin Deng, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO; Co-Principal Investigator: Silvia Sabine Jurisson, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO; Co-Principal Investigator: Edward C. Thornton, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Richland, WA; Co-Principal Investigator: Jeff Terry, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL

    2008-05-12

    There are many soil contamination sites at the Department of Energy (DOE) installations that contain radionuclides and toxic metals such as uranium (U), technetium (Tc), and chromium (Cr). Since these contaminants are the main 'risk drivers' at the Hanford site (WA) and some of them also pose significant risk at other DOE facilities (e.g., Oak Ridge Reservation - TN; Rocky Flats - CO), development of technologies for cost effective site remediation is needed. Current assessment indicates that complete removal of these contaminants for ex-situ disposal is infeasible, thus in-situ stabilization through reduction to insoluble species is considered one of the most important approaches for site remediation. In Situ Gaseous Reduction (ISGR) is a technology developed by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) for vadose zone soil remediation. The ISGR approach uses hydrogen sulfide (H{sub 2}S) for reductive immobilization of contaminants that show substantially lower mobility in their reduced forms (e.g., Tc, U, and Cr). The technology can be applied in two ways: (i) to immobilize or stabilize pre-existing contaminants in the vadose zone soils by direct H{sub 2}S treatment, or (ii) to create a permeable reactive barrier (PRB) that prevents the migration of contaminants. Direct treatment involves reduction of the contaminants by H{sub 2}S to less mobile species. Formation of a PRB is accomplished through reduction of ferric iron species in the vadose zone soils by H{sub 2}S to iron sulfides (e.g., FeS), which provides a means for capturing the contaminants entering the treated zone. Potential future releases may occur during tank closure activities. Thus, the placement of a permeable reactive barrier by ISGR treatment can be part of the leak mitigation program. Deployment of these ISGR approaches, however, requires a better understanding of the immobilization kinetics and mechanisms, and a better assessment of the long-term effectiveness of treatment. The

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Natural analogues for processes affecting disposal of high-level radioactive waste in the vadose zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuckless, J. S.

    2003-04-01

    Natural analogues can contribute to understanding and predicting the performance of subsystems and processes affecting a mined geologic repository for high-level radioactive waste in several ways. Most importantly, analogues provide tests for various aspects of systems of a repository at dimensional scales and time spans that cannot be attained by experimental study. In addition, they provide a means for the general public to judge the predicted performance of a potential high-level nuclear waste repository in familiar terms such that the average person can assess the anticipated long-term performance and other scientific conclusions. Hydrologists working on the Yucca Mountain Project (currently the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Repository Development) have modeled the flow of water through the vadose zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada and particularly the interaction of vadose-zone water with mined openings. Analogues from both natural and anthropogenic examples confirm the prediction that most of the water moving through the vadose zone will move through the host rock and around tunnels. This can be seen both quantitatively where direct comparison between seepage and net infiltration has been made and qualitatively by the excellent degree of preservation of archaeologic artifacts in underground openings. The latter include Paleolithic cave paintings in southwestern Europe, murals and artifacts in Egyptian tombs, painted subterranean Buddhist temples in India and China, and painted underground churches in Cappadocia, Turkey. Natural analogues also suggest that this diversion mechanism is more effective in porous media than in fractured media. Observations from natural analogues are also consistent with the modeled decrease in the percentage of infiltration that becomes seepage with a decrease in amount of infiltration. Finally, analogues, such as tombs that have ben partially filled by mud flows, suggest that the same capillary forces that keep water in the

  20. Plutonium Particle Migration in the Shallow Vadose Zone: The Nevada Test Site as an Analog Site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, J. R.; Smith, D. K.

    2004-12-01

    The upper meter of the vadose zone in desert environments is the horizon where wastes have been released and human exposure is determined through dermal, inhalation, and food uptake pathways. This region is also characterized by numerous coupled processes that determine contaminant transport, including precipitation infiltration, evapotranspiration, daily and annual temperature cycling, dust resuspension, animal burrowing, and geochemical weathering reactions. While there is considerable interest in colloidal transport of minerals, pathogenic organisms, and contaminants in the vadose zone, there are limited field sites where the actual occurrence of contaminant migration can be quantified over the appropriate spatial and temporal scales of interest. At the US Department of Energy Nevada Test Site, there have been numerous releases of radionuclides since the 1950's that have become field-scale tracer tests. One series of tests was the four safety shots conducted in an alluvial valley of Area 11 in the 1950's. These experiments tested the ability of nuclear materials to survive chemical explosions without initiating fission reactions. Four above-ground tests were conducted and they released plutonium and uranium on the desert valley floor with only one of the tests undergoing some fission. Shortly after the tests, the sites were surveyed for radionuclide distribution on the land surface using aerial surveys and with depth. Additional studies were conducted in the 1970's to better understand the fate of plutonium in the desert that included studies of depth distribution and dust resuspension. More recently, plutonium particle distribution in the soil profile was detected using autoradiography. The results to date demonstrate the vertical migration of plutonium particles to depths in excess of 30 cm in this arid vadose zone. While plutonium migration at the Nevada Test Site has been and continues to be a concern, these field experiments have become analog sites for the

  1. Vadose zone process that control landslide initiation and debris flow propagation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sidle, Roy C.

    2015-04-01

    Advances in the areas of geotechnical engineering, hydrology, mineralogy, geomorphology, geology, and biology have individually advanced our understanding of factors affecting slope stability; however, the interactions among these processes and attributes as they affect the initiation and propagation of landslides and debris flows are not well understood. Here the importance of interactive vadose zone processes is emphasized related to the mechanisms, initiation, mode, and timing of rainfall-initiated landslides that are triggered by positive pore water accretion, loss of soil suction and increase in overburden weight, and long-term cumulative rain water infiltration. Both large- and small-scale preferential flow pathways can both contribute to and mitigate instability, by respectively concentrating and dispersing subsurface flow. These mechanisms are influenced by soil structure, lithology, landforms, and biota. Conditions conducive to landslide initiation by infiltration versus exfiltration are discussed relative to bedrock structure and joints. The effects of rhizosphere processes on slope stability are examined, including root reinforcement of soil mantles, evapotranspiration, and how root structures affect preferential flow paths. At a larger scale, the nexus between hillslope landslides and in-channel debris flows is examined with emphasis on understanding the timing of debris flows relative to chronic and episodic infilling processes, as well as the episodic nature of large rainfall and related stormflow generation in headwater streams. The hydrogeomorphic processes and conditions that determine whether or not landslides immediately mobilize into debris flows is important for predicting the timing and extent of devastating debris flow runout in steep terrain. Given the spatial footprint of individual landslides, it is necessary to assess vadose zone processes at appropriate scales to ascertain impacts on mass wasting phenomena. Articulating the appropriate

  2. An Exact Solution for the Assessment of Nonequilibrium Sorption of Radionuclides in the Vadose Zone

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Drake, R. L.; Chen, J-S.

    2002-01-01

    In a report on model evaluation, the authors ran the HYDRUS Code, among other transport codes, to evaluate the impacts of nonequilibrium sorption sites on the time-evolution of 99Tc and 90Sr through the vadose zone. Since our evaluation was based on a rather low, annual recharge rate, many of the numerical results derived from HYDRUS indicated that the nonequilibrium sorption sites, in essence, acted as equilibrium sorption sites. To help explain these results, we considered a ''stripped-down'' version of the HYDRUS system. This ''stripped-down'' version possesses two dependent variables, one for the radionuclides in solution and the other for the radionuclides adsorbed to the nonequilibrium sites; and it possesses constant physical parameters. The resultant governing equation for the radionuclides in solution is a linear, advection-dispersion-reaction (i.e., radioactive decay) partial differential equation containing a history integral term accounting for the nonequilibrium sorption sites. It is this ''stripped-down'' version, which is the subject of this paper. We found an exact solution to this new version of the model. The exact solution is given in terms of a single definite integral of terms involving elementary functions of the independent variables and the system parameters. This integral possesses adequate convergence properties and is easy to evaluate, both in a quantitative matter and in a qualitative manner. The parameters that are considered in the system are as follows: the radionuclide's equilibrium partition coefficient between water and soil, the bulk density of the soil, the fractions of equilibrium/nonequilibrium sorption sites, the volumetric water content, the first order equilibrium adsorption rate constant, the first order radioactive decay rate constant, the liquid water soil tortuosity factor, the molecular diffusion coefficient in water, the longitudinal dispersivity factor, and the Darcian fluid flux density. In addition, the system

  3. Vadose zone monitoring at the Radioactive Waste Management Complex at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory, 1985--1989

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McElroy, D.L.

    1990-12-01

    Vadose zone monitoring at the Radioactive Waste Management Complex (RWMC) of the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) was implemented under the Subsurface Investigation Program Plan. The objective of the Subsurface Investigation Program was to characterize the subsurface at the RWMC in order to measure and predict radionuclide transport. Soil moisture sensors were installed to characterize the uniformity of water entry to the surficial sediments and moisture flux in the surficial sediments and the deeper stratigraphic units. From 1985 to 1987, a network of vadose zone instruments was installed in sediments at the RWMC. The instruments included psychrometers, gypsum blocks, heat-dissipation sensors (HDSs), tensiometers, lysimeters, and neutron access tubes. These instruments were placed at depths up to 230 ft below land surface (BLS) in a heterogeneous geologic system comprised of sediments that overlie and are intercalated with basalt flows. After organic contaminants were detected in the subsurface at the RWMC in 1988, the vadose zone monitoring project was incorporated into a broader characterization effort. This report presents the analyses of the vadose zone monitoring data collected from FY-1985 to FY-1989. The performance of the instruments are compared. Matric potential ranges and trends in the surficial sediments and interbeds are discussed. Hydraulic gradients are calculated to determine the direction of moisture movement. Using the neutron logging data in conjunction with the matric potential and hydraulic gradient data, infiltration is examined with respect to seasonal nature and source. 14 refs., 19 figs., 4 tabs

  4. Coupled effects of solution chemistry and hydrodynamics on the mobility and transport of quantum dot nanomaterials in the Vadose Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    To investigate the coupled effects of solution chemistry and vadose zone processes on the mobility of quantum dot (QD) nanoparticles, laboratory scale transport experiments were performed. The complex coupled effects of ionic strength, size of QD aggregates, surface tension, contact angle, infiltrat...

  5. Conceptual Model of Uranium in the Vadose Zone for Acidic and Alkaline Wastes Discharged at the Hanford Site Central Plateau

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Truex, Michael J. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Szecsody, James E. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Qafoku, Nikolla [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Serne, R. Jeffrey [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)

    2014-09-01

    Historically, uranium was disposed in waste solutions of varying waste chemistry at the Hanford Site Central Plateau. The character of how uranium was distributed in the vadose zone during disposal, how it has continued to migrate through the vadose zone, and the magnitude of potential impacts on groundwater are strongly influenced by geochemical reactions in the vadose zone. These geochemical reactions can be significantly influenced by the disposed-waste chemistry near the disposal location. This report provides conceptual models and supporting information to describe uranium fate and transport in the vadose zone for both acidic and alkaline wastes discharged at a substantial number of waste sites in the Hanford Site Central Plateau. The conceptual models include consideration of how co-disposed acidic or alkaline fluids influence uranium mobility in terms of induced dissolution/precipitation reactions and changes in uranium sorption with a focus on the conditions near the disposal site. This information, when combined with the extensive information describing uranium fate and transport at near background pH conditions, enables focused characterization to support effective fate and transport estimates for uranium in the subsurface.

  6. 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

  7. Vadose zone monitoring at the radioactive waste management complex, Idaho National Engineering Laboratory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McElroy, D.L.; Hubbell, J.M.

    1989-01-01

    A network of vadose zone instruments was installed in surficial sediments and sedimentary interbeds beneath the Radioactive Waste Management Complex (RWMC) of the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory. The network of instruments monitor moisture movement in a heterogeneous geologic system comprised of sediments which overlie and are intercalated with basalt flows. The general range of matric potentials in the surficial sediments (0 to 9.1 m) was from saturation to -3 bars. The basalt layer beneath the surficial sediments impedes downward water movement. The general range of matric potentials in the 9-, 34- and 73-m interbeds was from -0.3 to 1.7 bars. Preliminary results indicated downward moisture movement through the interbeds. 8 refs., 9 figs., 1 tab

  8. Deep Vadose Zone Treatability Test for the Hanford Central Plateau: Interim Post-Desiccation Monitoring Results

    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); Strickland, Christopher E. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Johnson, Timothy C. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Johnson, Christian D. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Clayton, Ray E. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Chronister, Glen B. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)

    2013-09-01

    A field test of desiccation is being conducted as an element of the deep vadose zone treatability test program. Desiccation technology relies on removal of water from a portion of the subsurface such that the resultant low moisture conditions inhibit downward movement of water and dissolved contaminants. Previously, a field test report (Truex et al. 2012a) was prepared describing the active desiccation portion of the test and initial post-desiccation monitoring data. Additional monitoring data have been collected at the field test site during the post-desiccation period and is reported herein along with interpretation with respect to desiccation performance. This is an interim report including about 2 years of post-desiccation monitoring data.

  9. Vadose zone characterization of highly radioactive contaminated soil at the Hanford Site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buckmaster, M.A.

    1993-05-01

    The Hanford Site in south-central Washington State contains over 1500 identified waste sites and numerous groundwater plumes that will be characterized and remediated over the next 30 years. As a result of the Hanford Federal Facility Agreement and Consent Order, the US Department of Energy has initiated a remedial investigation/feasibility study at the 200-BP-1 operable unit. The 200-BP-1 remedial investigation is the first Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 investigation on the Hanford Site that involves drilling into highly radioactive and chemically contaminated soils. The initial phase of site characterization was designed to assess the nature and extent of contamination associated with the source waste site within the 200-BP-1 operable unit. Characterization activities consisted of drilling and sampling the waste site, chemical and physical analysis of samples, and development of a conceptual vadose zone model. Predicted modeling concentrations compared favorably to analytical data collected during the initial characterization activities

  10. Inorganic carbon fluxes across the vadose zone of planted and unplanted soil mesocosms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thaysen, Eike Marie; Jacques, D.; Jessen, S.

    2014-01-01

    The efflux of carbon dioxide (CO2) from soils influences atmospheric CO2 concentrations and thereby climate change. The partitioning of inorganic carbon (C) fluxes in the vadose zone between emission to the atmosphere and to the groundwater was investigated to reveal controlling underlying...... mechanisms. Carbon dioxide partial pressure in the soil gas (pCO(2)), alkalinity, soil moisture and temperature were measured over depth and time in unplanted and planted (barley) mesocosms. The dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) percolation flux was calculated from the pCO(2), alkalinity and the water flux...... to calculate the soil CO2 production. Carbon dioxide fluxes were modeled using the HP1 module of the Hydrus 1-D software. The average CO2 effluxes to the atmosphere from unplanted and planted mesocosm ecosystems during 78 days of experiment were 0.1 +/- 0.07 and 4.9 +/- 0.07 mu mol Cm-2 s(-1), respectively...

  11. T-TY Tank Farm Interim Surface Barrier Demonstration - Vadose Zone Monitoring Plan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang, Z.F.; Strickland, Christopher E.; Field, Jim G.; Parker, Danny L.

    2010-01-01

    The Hanford Site has 149 underground single-shell tanks that store hazardous radioactive waste. Many of these tanks and their associated infrastructure (e.g., pipelines, diversion boxes) have leaked. Some of the leaked waste has entered the groundwater. The largest known leak occurred from the T-106 Tank of the 241-T Tank Farm in 1973. Five tanks are assumed to have leaked in the TY Farm. Many of the contaminants from those leaks still reside within the vadose zone within the T and TY Tank Farms. The Department of Energy's Office of River Protection seeks to minimize the movement of these contaminant plumes by placing interim barriers on the ground surface. Such barriers are expected to prevent infiltrating water from reaching the plumes and moving them further. The soil water regime is monitored to determine the effectiveness of the interim surface barriers. Soil-water content and water pressure are monitored using off-the-shelf equipment that can be installed by the hydraulic hammer technique. Four instrument nests were installed in the T Farm in fiscal year (FY) 2006 and FY2007; two nests were installed in the TY Farm in FY2010. Each instrument nest contains a neutron probe access tube, a capacitance probe, and four heat-dissipation units. A meteorological station has been installed at the north side of the fence of the T Farm. This document summarizes the monitoring methods, the instrument calibration and installation, and the vadose zone monitoring plan for interim barriers in T farm and TY Farm.

  12. Vadose Zone Fate and Transport Simulation of Chemicals Associated with Coal Seam Gas Extraction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simunek, J.; Mallants, D.; Jacques, D.; Van Genuchten, M.

    2017-12-01

    The HYDRUS-1D and HYDRUS (2D/3D) computer software packages are widely used finite element models for simulating the one-, and two- or three-dimensional movement of water, heat, and multiple solutes in variably-saturated media, respectively. While the standard HYDRUS models consider only the fate and transport of individual solutes or solutes subject to first-order degradation reactions, several specialized HYDRUS add-on modules can simulate far more complex biogeochemical processes. The objective of this presentation is to provide an overview of the HYDRUS models and their add-on modules, and to demonstrate applications of the software to the subsurface fate and transport of chemicals involved in coal seam gas extraction and water management operations. One application uses the standard HYDRUS model to evaluate the natural soil attenuation potential of hydraulic fracturing chemicals and their transformation products in case of an accidental release. By coupling the processes of retardation, first-order degradation and convective-dispersive transport of the biocide bronopol and its degradation products, we demonstrated how natural attenuation reduces initial concentrations by more than a factor of hundred in the top 5 cm of the vadose zone. A second application uses the UnsatChem module to explore the possible use of coal seam gas produced water for sustainable irrigation. Simulations with different irrigation waters (untreated, amended with surface water, and reverse osmosis treated) provided detailed results regarding chemical indicators of soil and plant health, notably SAR, EC and sodium concentrations. A third application uses the coupled HYDRUS-PHREEQC module to analyze trace metal transport involving cation exchange and surface complexation sorption reactions in the vadose zone leached with coal seam gas produced water following some accidental water release scenario. Results show that the main process responsible for trace metal migration is complexation of

  13. Experimental quantification of solute transport through the vadose zone under dynamic boundary conditions with dye tracers and optical methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cremer, Clemens; Neuweiler, Insa

    2017-04-01

    transport through the material interface which differs between the stationary (unilateral) and dynamic cases (bilateral). This qualitative observation is confirmed by breakthrough curves for dynamic experiments which generally show the trend of faster initial breakthrough and increased tailing when compared to stationary infiltration results. Literature Cremer, C.J.M., I. Neuweiler, M. Bechtold, J. Vanderborght (2016): Solute Transport in Heterogeneous Soil with Time-Dependent Boundary Conditions, Vadose Zone Journal 15 (6) DOI: 10.2136/vzj2015.11.0144

  14. 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.

  15. Characterization Activities to Determine the Extent of DNAPL in the Vadose Zone at the A-014 Outfall of A/M Area

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jackson, D.G.

    2000-01-01

    The purpose of this investigation was to perform characterization activities necessary to confirm the presence and extent of DNAPL in the shallow vadose zone near the headwaters of the A-014 Outfall. Following the characterization, additional soil vapor extraction wells and vadose monitoring probes were installed to promote and monitor remediation activities in regions of identified DNAPL

  16. Baseline mapping study of the Steed Pond aquifer and vadose zone beneath A/M Area, Savannah River Site, Aiken, South Carolina

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jackson, D.G. Jr.

    2000-01-01

    This report presents the second phase of a baseline mapping project conducted for the Environmental Restoration Department (ERD) at Savannah River Site. The purpose of this second phase is to map the structure and distribution of mud (clay and silt-sized sediment) within the vadose zone beneath A/M Area. The results presented in this report will assist future characterization and remediation activities in the vadose zone and upper aquifer zones in A/M Area

  17. Unintentional contaminant transfer from groundwater to the vadose zone during source zone remediation of volatile organic compounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chong, Andrea D; Mayer, K Ulrich

    2017-09-01

    Historical heavy use of chlorinated solvents in conjunction with improper disposal practices and accidental releases has resulted in widespread contamination of soils and groundwater in North America and worldwide. As a result, remediation of chlorinated solvents is required at many sites. For source zone treatment, common remediation strategies include in-situ chemical oxidation (ISCO) using potassium or sodium permanganate, and the enhancement of biodegradation by primary substrate addition. It is well known that these remediation methods tend to generate gas (carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) in the case of ISCO using permanganate, CO 2 and methane (CH 4 ) in the case of bioremediation). Vigorous gas generation in the presence of chlorinated solvents, which are categorized as volatile organic contaminants (VOCs), may cause gas exsolution, ebullition and stripping of the contaminants from the treatment zone. This process may lead to unintentional 'compartment transfer', whereby VOCs are transported away from the contaminated zone into overlying clean sediments and into the vadose zone. To this extent, benchtop column experiments were conducted to quantify the effect of gas generation during remediation of the common chlorinated solvent trichloroethylene (TCE/C 2 Cl 3 H). Both ISCO and enhanced bioremediation were considered as treatment methods. Results show that gas exsolution and ebullition occurs for both remediation technologies. Facilitated by ebullition, TCE was transported from the source zone into overlying clean groundwater and was subsequently released into the column headspace. For the case of enhanced bioremediation, the intermediate degradation product vinyl chloride (VC) was also stripped from the treatment zone. The concentrations measured in the headspace of the columns (TCE ∼300ppm in the ISCO column, TCE ∼500ppm and VC ∼1380ppm in the bioremediation column) indicate that substantial transfer of VOCs to the vadose zone is possible. These findings

  18. 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

  19. Geochemical Characterization of Chromate Contamination in the 100 Area Vadose Zone at the Hanford Site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dresel, P. Evan; Qafoku, Nikolla; McKinley, James P.; Fruchter, Jonathan S.; Ainsworth, Calvin C.; Liu, Chongxuan; Ilton, Eugene S.; Phillips, J. L.

    2008-07-16

    The major objectives of the proposed study were to: 1.) determine the leaching characteristics of hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)] from contaminated sediments collected from 100 Area spill sites; 2.) elucidate possible Cr(VI) mineral and/or chemical associations that may be responsible for Cr(VI) retention in the Hanford Site 100 Areas through the use of i.) macroscopic leaching studies and ii.) microscale characterization of contaminated sediments; and 3.) provide information to construct a conceptual model of Cr(VI) geochemistry in the Hanford 100 Area vadose zone. In addressing these objectives, additional benefits accrued were: (1) a fuller understanding of Cr(VI) entrained in the vadose zone that will that can be utilized in modeling potential Cr(VI) source terms, and (2) accelerating the Columbia River 100 Area corridor cleanup by providing valuable information to develop remedial action based on a fundamental understanding of Cr(VI) vadose zone geochemistry. A series of macroscopic column experiments were conducted with contaminated and uncontaminated sediments to study Cr(VI) desorption patterns in aged and freshly contaminated sediments, evaluate the transport characteristics of dichromate liquid retrieved from old pipelines of the 100 Area; and estimate the effect of strongly reducing liquid on the reduction and transport of Cr(VI). Column experiments used the < 2 mm fraction of the sediment samples and simulated Hanford groundwater solution. Periodic stop-flow events were applied to evaluate the change in elemental concentration during time periods of no flow and greater fluid residence time. The results were fit using a two-site, one dimensional reactive transport model. Sediments were characterized for the spatial and mineralogical associations of the contamination using an array of microscale techniques such as XRD, SEM, EDS, XPS, XMP, and XANES. The following are important conclusions and implications. Results from column experiments indicated that most

  20. 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)

  1. Water and Solute Transport in Arid Vadose Zones: Innovations in Measurement and Analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tyler, S W.; Scanlon, Bridget R.; Gee, Glendon W.; Allison, G B.; Parlange, M. B.; Hopmans, J. W.

    1999-01-01

    Understanding the physics of flow and transport through the vadose zone has advanced significantly in the last three decades. These advances have been made primarily in humid regions or in irrigated agricultural settings. While some of the techniques are useful, many are not suited to arid regions. The fluxes of water and solutes typically found in arid regions are often orders of magnitude smaller than those found in agricultural settings, while the time scales for transport can be orders of magnitude larger. The depth over which transport must be characterized is also often much greater than in humid regions. Rather than relying on advances in applied tracers, arid-zone researchers have developed natural tracer techniques that are capable of quantifying transport over tens to thousands of years. Techniques have been developed to measure the hydraulic properties of sediments at all water contents, including the very dry range and at far greater depths. As arid and semiarid regions come under increased development pressures for such activities as hazardous- and radioactive-waste disposal, the development of techniques and the understanding of water and solute transport have become crucial components in defining the environmental impacts of activities at the landsurface

  2. Interpretation of vadose zone monitoring system data near Engineered Trench 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Flach, G. P. [Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States). Savannah River National Lab. (SRNL); Whiteside, T. S. [Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States). Savannah River National Lab. (SRNL)

    2016-12-12

    The E-Area Vadose Zone Monitoring System (VZMS) includes lysimeter sampling points at many locations alongside and angling beneath the Engineered Trench #1 (ET1) disposal unit footprint. The sampling points for ET1 were selected for this study because collectively they showed consistently higher tritium (H-3) concentrations than lysimeters associated with other trench units. The VZMS tritium dataset for ET1 from 2001 through 2015 comprises concentrations at or near background levels at approximately half of locations through time, concentrations up to about 600 pCi/mL at a few locations, and concentrations at two locations that have exceeded 1000 pCi/mL. The highest three values through 2015 were 6472 pCi/mL in 2014 and 4533 pCi/mL in 2013 at location VL-17, and 3152 pCi/mL in 2007 at location VL-15. As a point of reference, the drinking water standard for tritium and a DOE Order 435.1 performance objective in the saturated zone at the distant 100-meter facility perimeter is 20 pCi/mL. The purpose of this study is to assess whether these elevated concentrations are indicative of a general trend that could challenge 2008 E-Area Performance Assessment (PA) conclusions, or are isolated perturbations that when considered in the context of an entire disposal unit would support PA conclusions.

  3. Aquifer recharge with stormwater runoff in urban areas: Influence of vadose zone thickness on nutrient and bacterial transfers from the surface of infiltration basins to groundwater.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voisin, Jérémy; Cournoyer, Benoit; Vienney, Antonin; Mermillod-Blondin, Florian

    2018-05-16

    Stormwater infiltration systems (SIS) have been built in urban areas to reduce the environmental impacts of stormwater runoff. Infiltration basins allow the transfer of stormwater runoff to aquifers but their abilities to retain contaminants depend on vadose zone properties. This study assessed the influence of vadose zone thickness (VZT) on the transfer of inorganic nutrients (PO 4 3- , NO 3 - , NH 4 + ), dissolved organic carbon (total -DOC- and biodegradable -BDOC-) and bacteria. A field experiment was conducted on three SIS with a thin vadose zone (zone (>10 m). Water samples were collected at three times during a rainy period of 10 days in each infiltration basin (stormwater runoff), in the aquifer impacted by infiltration (impacted groundwater) and in the same aquifer but upstream of the infiltration area (non-impacted groundwater). Inorganic nutrients, organic matter, and dissolved oxygen (DO) were measured on all water samples. Bacterial community structures were investigated on water samples through a next-generation sequencing (NGS) scheme of 16S rRNA gene amplicons (V5-V6). The concentrations of DO and phosphate measured in SIS-impacted groundwaters were significantly influenced by VZT due to distinct biogeochemical processes occurring in the vadose zone. DOC and BDOC were efficiently retained in the vadose zone, regardless of its thickness. Bacterial transfers to the aquifer were overall low, but data obtained on day 10 indicated a significant bacterial transfer in SIS with a thin vadose zone. Water transit time and water saturation of the vadose zone were found important parameters for bacterial transfers. Most bacterial taxa (>60%) from impacted groundwaters were not detected in stormwater runoff and in non-impacted groundwaters, indicating that groundwater bacterial communities were significantly modified by processes associated with infiltration (remobilization of bacteria from vadose zone and/or species sorting). Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B

  4. Petrophysical characteristics of basalt in the vadose zone, Idaho National Engineering Laboratory, Eastern Snake River Plain, Idaho

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Knutson, C.F.; Harrison, W.E.; Smith, R.P.

    1989-01-01

    We have used a core characterization system to measure bulk densities, porosities, and permeabilities of basalt lavas from the vadose zone at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL). At the INEL, basalt lava flows with intercalated alluvial, aeolian, and lacustrine sediments extend to depths of one kilometer or more. Individual lava flows are generally less than 15 meters thick and commonly have vesicular tops and bottoms with massive basalt in their interiors. Petrophysical characterization is essential to an understanding of fluid movement in the vadose zone and in the saturated zone. Many hundreds of closely spaced permeability/porosity/bulk density measurements have defined the variability of these parameters within and between individual basalt flows. Based on geological logging and porosity/permeability measurements made on many hundred feet of core, we feel that a rather sophisticated and rigorous logging program is necessary to characterize these complex and highly variable basaltic flow units. This paper endeavors to provide a petrophysical/geological conceptual model of the Snake River Plain basalts from the vadose zone under the Radioactive Waste Management Complex area at the INEL. We hope that this model will aid in subsequent geotechnical logging in this portion of the Eastern Snake River Plain. 8 refs., 14 figs., 2 tabs

  5. Integrated Field, Laboratory, and Modeling Studies to Determine the Effects of Linked Microbial and Physical Spatial Heterogeneity on Engineered Vadose Zone Bioremediation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fred Brokman; John Selker; Mark Rockhold

    2004-01-26

    While numerous techniques exist for remediation of contaminant plumes in groundwater or near the soil surface, remediation methods in the deep vadose zone are less established due to complex transport dynamics and sparse microbial populations. There is a lack of knowledge on how physical and hydrologic features of the vadose zone control microbial growth and colonization in response to nutrient delivery during bioremediation. Yet pollution in the vadose zone poses a serious threat to the groundwater resources lying deeper in the sediment. While the contaminants may be slowly degraded by native microbial communities, microbial degradation rates rarely keep pace with the spread of the pollutant. It is crucial to increase indigenous microbial degradation in the vadose zone to combat groundwater contamination.

  6. Integrated Field, Laboratory, and Modeling Studies to Determine the Effects of Linked Microbial and Physical Spatial Heterogeneity on Engineered Vadose Zone Bioremediation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brockman, Fred J.; Selker, John S.; Rockhold, Mark L.

    2004-10-31

    Executive Summary - While numerous techniques exist for remediation of contaminant plumes in groundwater or near the soil surface, remediation methods in the deep vadose zone are less established due to complex transport dynamics and sparse microbial populations. There is a lack of knowledge on how physical and hydrologic features of the vadose zone control microbial growth and colonization in response to nutrient delivery during bioremediation. Yet pollution in the vadose zone poses a serious threat to the groundwater resources lying deeper in the sediment. While the contaminants may be slowly degraded by native microbial communities, microbial degradation rates rarely keep pace with the spread of the pollutant. It is crucial to increase indigenous microbial degradation in the vadose zone to combat groundwater contamination...

  7. Notice of Construction for Tank Waste Remediation System Vadose Zone Characterization

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    HILL, J.S.

    2000-04-20

    The following description and any attachments and references are provided to the Washington State Department of Health (WDOH), Division of Radiation Protection, Air Emissions and Defense Waste Section as a notice of construction (NOC) in accordance with Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 246-247, Radiation Protection-Air Emissions. The WAC 246-247-060, ''Applications, registration, and licensing'', states ''This section describes the information requirements for approval to construct, modify, and operate an emission unit. Any NOC requires the submittal of information listed in Appendix A.'' Appendix A (WAC 246-247-1 10) lists the requirements that must be addressed. The original NOC was submitted in May of 1999 as DOm-99-34. Additionally, the following description, attachments and references are provided to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as an NOC, in accordance with Title 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 61, ''National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants.'' The information required for submittal to the EPA is specified in 40 CFR 61.07. The potential emissions from this activity are estimated to provide less than 0.1 milliredyear total effective dose equivalent (TEDE) to the hypothetical offsite maximally exposed individual (MEI), and commencement is needed within a short time frame. Therefore, this application is also intended to provide notification of the anticipated date of initial start-up in accordance with the requirement listed in 40 CFR 61.09(a)(1), and it is requested that approval of this application will also constitute EPA acceptance of this initial start-up notification. Written notification of the actual date of initial startup, in accordance with the requirement listed in 40 CFR 61.09(a)(2) will be provided at a later date. This NOC covers the activities associated with vadose zone characterization within the Single-Shell Tank Farms located in the 200

  8. Notice of Construction for Tank Waste Remediation System Vadose Zone Characterization

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    HILL, J.S.

    2000-03-08

    The following description and any attachments and references are provided to the Washington State Department of Health (WDOH), Division of Radiation Protection, Air Emissions & Defense Waste Section as a notice of construction (NOC) in accordance with Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 246-247, Radiation Protection--Air Emissions. The WAC 246-247-060, ''Applications, registration, and licensing'', states ''This section describes the information requirements for approval to construct, modify, and operate an emission unit. Any NOC requires the submittal of information listed in Appendix A,'' Appendix A (WAC 246-247-1 10) lists the requirements that must be addressed. The original NOC was submitted in May of 1999 as DOE/TU-99-34. Additionally, the following description, attachments and references are provided to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as an NOC, in accordance with Title 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 61, ''National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants.'' The information required for submittal to the EPA is specified in 40 CFR 61.07. The potential emissions from this activity are estimated to provide less than 0.1 millirem/year total effective dose equivalent (TEDE) to the hypothetical offsite maximally exposed individual (MEI), and commencement is needed within a short time frame. Therefore, this application is also intended to provide notification of the anticipated date of initial startup in accordance with the requirement listed in 40 CFR 61.09(axl), and it is requested that approval of this application will also constitute EPA acceptance of this initial start-up notification. Written notification of the actual date of initial startup, in accordance with the requirement listed in 40 CFR 61.09(a)(2) will be provided at a later date. This NOC covers the activities associated with vadose zone characterization within the Single-Shell Tank Farms located in the

  9. Notice of Construction for Tank Waste Remediation System Vadose Zone Characterization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    HILL, J.S.

    2000-01-01

    The following description and any attachments and references are provided to the Washington State Department of Health (WDOH), Division of Radiation Protection, Air Emissions and Defense Waste Section as a notice of construction (NOC) in accordance with Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 246-247, Radiation Protection--Air Emissions. The WAC 246-247-060, ''Applications, registration, and licensing'', states ''This section describes the information requirements for approval to construct, modify, and operate an emission unit. Any NOC requires the submittal of information listed in Appendix A,'' Appendix A (WAC 246-247-1 10) lists the requirements that must be addressed. The original NOC was submitted in May of 1999 as DOE/TU-99-34. Additionally, the following description, attachments and references are provided to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as an NOC, in accordance with Title 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 61, ''National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants.'' The information required for submittal to the EPA is specified in 40 CFR 61.07. The potential emissions from this activity are estimated to provide less than 0.1 millirem/year total effective dose equivalent (TEDE) to the hypothetical offsite maximally exposed individual (MEI), and commencement is needed within a short time frame. Therefore, this application is also intended to provide notification of the anticipated date of initial startup in accordance with the requirement listed in 40 CFR 61.09(axl), and it is requested that approval of this application will also constitute EPA acceptance of this initial start-up notification. Written notification of the actual date of initial startup, in accordance with the requirement listed in 40 CFR 61.09(a)(2) will be provided at a later date. This NOC covers the activities associated with vadose zone characterization within the Single-Shell Tank Farms located in the 200-East and 200-West Areas of the Hanford Site. Vadose zone

  10. DNAPL Surface Chemistry: Its Impact on DNAPL Distribution in the Vadose Zone and its Manipulation to Enhance Remediation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Suan Power; Stefan Grimberg; Miles Denham

    2003-06-16

    The remediation of DNAPLs in subsurface environments is often limited by the heterogeneous distribution of the organic fluid. The fraction of DNAPL that is in the high conductivity regions of the subsurface can often be recovered relatively easily, although DNAPL in lower conductivity regions is much more difficult to extract, either through direct pumping or remediation measures based on interface mass transfer. The distribution of DNAPL within the vadose zone is affected by a complex interplay of heterogeneities in the porous matrix and the interfacial properties defining the interactions among all fluid and solid phases. Decreasing the interfacial tension between a DNAPL and water in the vadose zone could change the spreading of the DNAPL, thereby increase the surface area for mass transfer and the effectiveness of soil vapor extraction remediation.

  11. Deep Vadose Zone Treatability Test for the Hanford Central Plateau. Interim Post-Desiccation Monitoring Results, Fiscal Year 2015

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Truex, Michael J. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Strickland, Christopher E. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Oostrom, Martinus [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Johnson, Christian D. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Tartakovsky, Guzel D. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Johnson, Timothy C. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Clayton, Ray E. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Chronister, Glen B. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)

    2015-09-01

    A field test of desiccation is being conducted as an element of the Deep Vadose Zone Treatability Test Program. The active desiccation portion of the test has been completed. Monitoring data have been collected at the field test site during the post-desiccation period and are reported herein. This is an interim data summary report that includes about 4 years of post-desiccation monitoring data. The DOE field test plan proscribes a total of 5 years of post-desiccation monitoring.

  12. E-Area Low-Level Waste Facility Vadose Zone Model: Confirmation of Water Mass Balance for Subsidence Scenarios

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dyer, J. A. [Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States). Savannah River National Lab. (SRNL)

    2017-11-30

    In preparation for the next revision of the E-Area Low-Level Waste Facility (LLWF) Performance Assessment (PA), a mass balance model was developed in Microsoft Excel to confirm correct implementation of intact- and subsided-area infiltration profiles for the proposed closure cap in the PORFLOW vadose-zone model. The infiltration profiles are based on the results of Hydrologic Evaluation of Landfill Performance (HELP) model simulations for both intact and subsided cases.

  13. 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.

  14. Seasonal Variability in Vadose zone biodegradation at a crude oil pipeline rupture site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sihota, Natasha J.; Trost, Jared J.; Bekins, Barbara; Berg, Andrew M.; Delin, Geoffrey N.; Mason, Brent E.; Warren, Ean; Mayer, K. Ulrich

    2016-01-01

    Understanding seasonal changes in natural attenuation processes is critical for evaluating source-zone longevity and informing management decisions. The seasonal variations of natural attenuation were investigated through measurements of surficial CO2 effluxes, shallow soil CO2 radiocarbon contents, subsurface gas concentrations, soil temperature, and volumetric water contents during a 2-yr period. Surficial CO2 effluxes varied seasonally, with peak values of total soil respiration (TSR) occurring in the late spring and summer. Efflux and radiocarbon data indicated that the fractional contributions of natural soil respiration (NSR) and contaminant soil respiration (CSR) to TSR varied seasonally. The NSR dominated in the spring and summer, and CSR dominated in the fall and winter. Subsurface gas concentrations also varied seasonally, with peak values of CO2 and CH4 occurring in the fall and winter. Vadose zone temperatures and subsurface CO2 concentrations revealed a correlation between contaminant respiration and temperature. A time lag of 5 to 7 mo between peak subsurface CO2 concentrations and peak surface efflux is consistent with travel-time estimates for subsurface gas migration. Periods of frozen soils coincided with depressed surface CO2 effluxes and elevated CO2 concentrations, pointing to the temporary presence of an ice layer that inhibited gas transport. Quantitative reactive transport simulations demonstrated aspects of the conceptual model developed from field measurements. Overall, results indicated that source-zone natural attenuation (SZNA) rates and gas transport processes varied seasonally and that the average annual SZNA rate estimated from periodic surface efflux measurements is 60% lower than rates determined from measurements during the summer.

  15. Modeling potential migration of petroleum hydrocarbons from a mixed-waste disposal site in the vadose zone

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rawson, S.A.; Walton, J.C.; Baca, R.G.

    1989-01-01

    Environmental monitoring of a mixed-waste disposal site at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory has confirmed release and migration into the vadose zone of: (1) chlorinated hydrocarbons in the vapor phase and (2) trace levels of certain transuranic elements. The finding has prompted an evaluation of the potential role of waste petroleum hydrocarbons in mediating or influencing contaminant migration from the disposal site. Disposal records indicate that a large volume of machine oil contaminated with transuranic isotopes was disposed at the site along with the chlorinated solvents and other radioactive wastes. A multiphase flow model was used to assess the possible extent of oil and vapor movement through the 177 m thick vadose zone. One dimensional simulations were performed to estimate the vertical distribution of the vapor phase, the aqueous phase, and immiscible free liquid as a function of time. The simulations indicate that the oil may migrate slowly through the vadose zone, to potentially significant depths. Calculated transport rates support the following ranking with regard to relative mobility: vapor phase > aqueous phase > free liquid. 21 refs., 7 figs., 2 tabs

  16. Characterization of Vadose Zone Sediment: Slant Borehole SX-108 in the S-SX Waste Management Area

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Serne, R. Jeffrey; Last, George V.; Schaef, Herbert T.; Lanigan, David C.; Lindenmeier, Clark W.; Ainsworth, Calvin C.; Clayton, Ray E.; Legore, Virginia L.; O'Hara, Matthew J.; Brown, Christopher F.; Orr, Robert D.; Kutnyakov, Igor V.; Wilson, Teresa C.; Wagnon, Kenneth B.; Williams, Bruce A.; Burke, Deborah S.

    2008-01-01

    This report was revised in September 2008 to remove acid-extractable sodium data from Table 4.17. The sodium data was removed due to potential contamination introduced during the acid extraction process. The rest of the text remains unchanged from the original report issued in February 2002. The overall goal of the of the Tank Farm Vadose Zone Project, led by CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc., is to define risks from past and future single-shell tank farm activities. To meet this goal, CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc., asked scientists from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to perform detailed analyses on vadose zone sediment from within the S-SX Waste Management Area. This report is the fourth in a series of four reports to present the results of these analyses. Specifically, this report contains all the geologic, geochemical, and selected physical characterization data collected on vadose zone sediment recovered from a slant borehole installed beneath tank SX-108 (or simply SX-108 slant borehole)

  17. Characterization of Vadose Zone Sediment: Borehole 41-09-39 in the S-SX Waste Management Area

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Serne, R. Jeffrey; Last, George V.; Schaef, Herbert T.; Lanigan, David C.; Lindenmeier, Clark W.; Ainsworth, Calvin C.; Clayton, Ray E.; Legore, Virginia L.; O' Hara, Matthew J.; Brown, Christopher F.; Orr, Robert D.; Kutnyakov, Igor V.; Wilson, Teresa C.; Wagnon, Kenneth B.; Williams, Bruce A.; Burke, Deborah S.

    2008-09-11

    This report was revised in September 2008 to remove acid-extractable sodium data from Table 5.15. The sodium data was removed due to potential contamination introduced during the acid extraction process. The rest of the text remains unchanged from the original report issued in February 2002. The overall goal of the of the Tank Farm Vadose Zone Project, led by CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc., is to define risks from past and future single-shell tank farm activities. To meet this goal, CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc., asked scientists from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to perform detailed analyses on vadose zone sediment from within the S-SX Waste Management Area. This report is one in a series of four reports to present the results of these analyses. Specifically, this report contains all the geologic, geochemical, and selected physical characterization data collected on vadose zone sediment recovered from borehole 41-09-39 installed adjacent to tank SX-109.

  18. Characterization of Vadose Zone Sediment: Slant Borehole SX-108 in the S-SX Waste Management Area

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Serne, R. Jeffrey; Last, George V.; Schaef, Herbert T.; Lanigan, David C.; Lindenmeier, Clark W.; Ainsworth, Calvin C.; Clayton, Ray E.; Legore, Virginia L.; O' Hara, Matthew J.; Brown, Christopher F.; Orr, Robert D.; Kutnyakov, Igor V.; Wilson, Teresa C.; Wagnon, Kenneth B.; Williams, Bruce A.; Burke, Deborah S.

    2008-09-11

    This report was revised in September 2008 to remove acid-extractable sodium data from Table 4.17. The sodium data was removed due to potential contamination introduced during the acid extraction process. The rest of the text remains unchanged from the original report issued in February 2002. The overall goal of the of the Tank Farm Vadose Zone Project, led by CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc., is to define risks from past and future single-shell tank farm activities. To meet this goal, CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc., asked scientists from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to perform detailed analyses on vadose zone sediment from within the S-SX Waste Management Area. This report is the fourth in a series of four reports to present the results of these analyses. Specifically, this report contains all the geologic, geochemical, and selected physical characterization data collected on vadose zone sediment recovered from a slant borehole installed beneath tank SX-108 (or simply SX-108 slant borehole).

  19. 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

  20. 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)

  1. Underground Corrosion of Activated Metals in an Arid Vadose Zone Environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Adler Flitton, M.K; Mizia, R.E.; Bishop, C.W.

    2001-01-01

    The subsurface radioactive disposal site located at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory contains neutron-activated metals from nonfuel nuclear-reactor- core components. A long-term corrosion test is being conducted to obtain site-specific corrosion rates to support efforts to more accurately estimate the transfer of activated elements in an arid vadose zone environment. The tests use nonradioactive metal coupons representing the prominent neutron-activated material buried at the disposal location, namely, Type 304L stainless steel, Type 315L stainless steel, nickel-chromium alloy (UNS NO7718), beryllium, aluminum 6061-T6, and a zirconium alloy, (UNS R60804). In addition, carbon steel (the material presently used in the cask disposal liners and other disposal containers) and a duplex stainless steel (UNS S32550) (the proposed material for the high- integrity disposal containers) are also included in the test program. This paper briefly describes the test program and presents the early corrosion rate results after 1 year and 3 years of underground exposure

  2. Waste storage in the vadose zone affected by water vapor condensation and leaching

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cary, J.W.; Gee, G.W.; Whyatt, G.A.

    1990-08-01

    One of the major concerns associated with waste storage in the vadose zone is that toxic materials may somehow be leached and transported by advecting water down to the water table and reach the accessible environment through either a well or discharge to a river. Consequently, care is taken to provide barriers over and around the storage sites to reduce contact between infiltrating water and the buried waste form. In some cases, it is important to consider the intrusion of water vapor as well as water in the liquid phase. Water vapor diffuses through porous material along vapor pressure gradients. A slightly low temperature, or the presence of water-soluble components in the waste, favors water condensation resulting in leaching of the waste form and advection of water-soluble components to the water table. A simple analysis is presented that allows one to estimate the rate of vapor condensation as a function of waste composition and backfill materials. An example using a waste form surrounded by concrete and gravel layers is presented. The use of thermal gradients to offset condensation effects of water-soluble components in the waste form is discussed. Thermal gradients may be controlled by design factors that alter the atmospheric energy exchange across the soil surface or that interrupt the geothermal heat field. 7 refs., 2 figs., 1 tab

  3. Characterization and Potential Remediation Approaches for Vadose Zone Contamination at Hanford 241-SX Tank Farm - 13235

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eberlein, Susan J.; Sydnor, Harold A.; Parker, Danny L.; Glaser, Danney R. [Washington River Protection Solutions, P.O. Box 850, Richland, WA, 99352 (United States)

    2013-07-01

    Unplanned releases of radioactive and hazardous wastes have occurred at the 241-SX Tank Farm on the U.S. Department of Energy Hanford Site in southeast Washington State. Interim and long-term mitigation efforts are currently under evaluation for 241-SX Tank Farm. Two contiguous interim surface barriers have been designed for deployment at 241-SX Tank Farm to reduce future moisture infiltration; however, construction of the surface barriers has been deferred to allow testing of alternative technologies for soil moisture reduction and possibly contaminant source term reduction. Previous tests performed by other organizations at the Hanford Site have demonstrated that: vadose zone desiccation using large diameter (greater than 4 inch) boreholes is feasible; under certain circumstances, mobile contaminants may be removed in addition to water vapor; and small diameter (approximately 2 inch) boreholes (such as those placed by the direct push hydraulic hammer) can be used to perform vapor extractions. Evaluation of the previous work combined with laboratory test results have led to the design of a field proof-of-principle test to remove water and possibly mobile contaminants at greater depths, using small boreholes placed with the direct push unit. (authors)

  4. Characterization and Potential Remediation Approaches for Vadose Zone Contamination at Hanford 241-SX Tank Farm-13235

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eberlein, Susan J.; Sydnor, Harold A.; Parker, Danny L.; Glaser, Danney R.

    2013-01-01

    Unplanned releases of radioactive and hazardous wastes have occurred at the 241-SX Tank Farm on the U.S. Department of Energy Hanford Site in southeast Washington State. Interim and long-term mitigation efforts are currently under evaluation for 241-SX Tank Farm. Two contiguous interim surface barriers have been designed for deployment at 241-SX Tank Farm to reduce future moisture infiltration; however, construction of the surface barriers has been deferred to allow testing of alternative technologies for soil moisture reduction and possibly contaminant source term reduction. Previous tests performed by other organizations at the Hanford Site have demonstrated that: vadose zone desiccation using large diameter (greater than 4 inch) boreholes is feasible; under certain circumstances, mobile contaminants may be removed in addition to water vapor; and small diameter (approximately 2 inch) boreholes (such as those placed by the direct push hydraulic hammer) can be used to perform vapor extractions. Evaluation of the previous work combined with laboratory test results have led to the design of a field proof-of-principle test to remove water and possibly mobile contaminants at greater depths, using small boreholes placed with the direct push unit

  5. T Tank Farm Interim Surface Barrier Demonstration--Vadose Zone Monitoring Plan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang, Z. F.; Keller, Jason M.; Strickland, Christopher E.

    2007-01-01

    The Hanford Site has 149 underground single-shell tanks that store hazardous radioactive waste. Many of these tanks and their associated infrastructure (e.g., pipelines, diversion boxes) have leaked. Some of the leaked waste has entered the groundwater. The largest known leak occurred from the T-106 Tank in 1973. Many of the contaminants from that leak still reside within the vadose zone beneath the T Tank Farm. CH2M Hill Hanford Group, Inc. seeks to minimize movement of this residual contaminant plume by placing an interim barrier on the surface. Such a barrier is expected to prevent infiltrating water from reaching the plume and moving it further. A plan has been prepared to monitor and determine the effectiveness of the interim surface barrier. Soil water content and water pressure will be monitored using off-the-shelf equipment that can be installed by the hydraulic hammer technique. In fiscal year 2006, two instrument nests were installed. Each instrument nest contains a neutron probe access tube, a capacitance probe, four heat-dissipation units, and a drain gauge to measure soil water flux. A meteorological station has been installed outside of the fence. In fiscal year 2007, two additional instrument nests are planned to be installed beneath the proposed barrier.

  6. Assessing toxic levels of hydrocarbons on microbial degrader communities in vadose zone fill soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schoenberg, T.H.; Long, S.C.

    1995-01-01

    Authentic fill samples were collected from the vadose zone at a highway travel plaza. The contamination at the site is a combination of gasoline, diesel, and waste oil resulting from leaking underground storage tanks. Microbial assessments including plate counts and specific-degrader enumerations were performed to establish the presence of degrader microbial communities, and thus bioremediation potential. Contaminant levels were estimated in samples by quantifying headspace VOCs in collection jars. Physical soil characteristics including soil grain size distribution and moisture content were measured to evaluate the potential ecological variables that would affect implementation of a bioremediation technology. Toxicity screening using the Microtox trademark acute toxicity assay was used to compare the level of toxicity present among samples. These analyses were used to assess the potential for using in situ bioventing remediation to clean-up the leaking underground storage tank spill study site. High contaminant levels appear to have exerted a toxic effect and resulted in smaller total microbial community sizes in highly contaminated areas (thousands of ppmv) of the site. Microtox trademark EC50 results generally corroborated with the trends of the enumeration experiments. Microbial characterization results indicate that in situ bioremediation would be possible at the study site. Soil heterogeneity appears to pose the greatest challenges to the design and implementation of bioremediation at this site

  7. Pedotransfer functions for isoproturon sorption on soils and vadose zone materials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moeys, Julien; Bergheaud, Valérie; Coquet, Yves

    2011-10-01

    Sorption coefficients (the linear K(D) or the non-linear K(F) and N(F)) are critical parameters in models of pesticide transport to groundwater or surface water. In this work, a dataset of isoproturon sorption coefficients and corresponding soil properties (264 K(D) and 55 K(F)) was compiled, and pedotransfer functions were built for predicting isoproturon sorption in soils and vadose zone materials. These were benchmarked against various other prediction methods. The results show that the organic carbon content (OC) and pH are the two main soil properties influencing isoproturon K(D) . The pedotransfer function is K(D) = 1.7822 + 0.0162 OC(1.5) - 0.1958 pH (K(D) in L kg(-1) and OC in g kg(-1)). For low-OC soils (OC isoproturon sorption in soils in unsampled locations should rely, whenever possible, and by order of preference, on (a) site- or soil-specific pedotransfer functions, (b) pedotransfer functions calibrated on a large dataset, (c) K(OC) values calculated on a large dataset or (d) K(OC) values taken from existing pesticide properties databases. Copyright © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry.

  8. DOE capabilities for in-situ characterization and monitoring of formation properties in the vadose zone

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hearst, J.R.; Brodeur, J.R.; Koizumi, C.J.; Conaway, J.G.; Mikesell, J.L.; Nelson, P.H.; Stromswold, D.C.; Wilson, R.D.

    1993-09-01

    The DOE Environmental Restoration (ER) Program faces the difficult task of characterizing the properties of the subsurface and identifying and mapping a large number of contaminants at landfills, surface disposal areas, spill sites, nuclear waste tanks, and subsurface contaminant plumes throughout the complex of DOE facilities. Geophysical borehole logs can measure formation properties such as bulk density, water content, and lithology, and can quantitatively analyze for radionuclides and such elements as chlorine and heavy metals. Since these measurements can be replaced as desired, they can be used for both initial characterization and monitoring of changes in contaminant concentration and water content (sometimes linked to contaminant migration), at a fraction of the cost of conventional sampling. The techniques develop at several DOE laboratories, and the experience that the authors have gained in making in-situ measurements in the vadose zone, are applicable to problems at many other DOE sites. Moreover, they can capitalize on existing inventories of boreholes. By building on this experience workers involved in ER projects at those sites should be able to obtain high-quality data at substantial reductions in cost and time

  9. Use of Gas Transported Reactants for Uranium Remediation in Vadose Zone Sediments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Szecsody, James E.; Zhong, Lirong; Truex, Michael J.; Resch, Charles T.; Williams, Mark D.

    2010-01-01

    This laboratory-scale investigation is focused on decreasing mobility of uranium in subsurface contaminated sediments in the vadose zone by in situ geochemical manipulation at low water content. This geochemical manipulation of the sediment surface phases included reduction, pH change (acidic and alkaline), and additions of chemicals (phosphate, ferric iron) to form specific precipitates. Reactants were advected into 1-D columns packed with Hanford 200 area U-contaminated sediment as a reactive gas (for CO2, NH3, H2S, SO2), with a 0.1% water content mist (for NaOH, Fe(III), HCl, PO4) and with a 1% water content foam (for PO4). Because uranium is present in the sediment in multiple phases, changes in U surface phases were evaluated with a series of liquid extractions that dissolve progressively less soluble phases and electron microbe identification of mineral phases. In terms of the short-term decrease in U mobility (in decreasing order), NH3, NaOH mist, CO2, HCl mist, and Fe(III) mist showed 20% to 35% change in U surface phases. The two reductive gas treatments (H2S and SO2) showed little change. For long-term decrease in U transport, mineral phases created that had low solubility (phosphates, silicates) were desired, so NH3, phosphates (mist and foam delivered), and NaOH mist showed the greatest formation of these minerals.

  10. Summary of Uranium Solubility Studies in Concrete Waste Forms and Vadose Zone Environments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Golovich, Elizabeth C.; Wellman, Dawn M.; Serne, R. Jeffrey; Bovaird, Chase C.

    2011-09-30

    One of the methods being considered for safely disposing of Category 3 low-level radioactive wastes is to encase the waste in concrete. Concrete encasement would contain and isolate the waste packages from the hydrologic environment and act as an intrusion barrier. The current plan for waste isolation consists of stacking low-level waste packages on a trench floor, surrounding the stacks with reinforced steel, and encasing these packages in concrete. These concrete-encased waste stacks are expected to vary in size with maximum dimensions of 6.4 m long, 2.7 m wide, and 4 m high. The waste stacks are expected to have a surrounding minimum thickness of 15 cm of concrete encasement. These concrete-encased waste packages are expected to withstand environmental exposure (solar radiation, temperature variations, and precipitation) until an interim soil cover or permanent closure cover is installed and to remain largely intact thereafter. Any failure of concrete encasement may result in water intrusion and consequent mobilization of radionuclides from the waste packages. This report presents the results of investigations elucidating the uranium mineral phases controlling the long-term fate of uranium within concrete waste forms and the solubility of these phases in concrete pore waters and alkaline, circum-neutral vadose zone environments.

  11. Accurate measurements of vadose zone fluxes using automated equilibrium tension plate lysimeters: A synopsis of results from the Spydia research facility, New Zealand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wöhling, Thomas; Barkle, Greg; Stenger, Roland; Moorhead, Brian; Wall, Aaron; Clague, Juliet

    2014-05-01

    Automated equilibrium tension plate lysimeters (AETLs) are arguably the most accurate method to measure unsaturated water and contaminant fluxes below the root zone at the scale of up to 1 m². The AETL technique utilizes a porous sintered stainless-steel plate to provide a comparatively large sampling area with a continuously controlled vacuum that is in "equilibrium" with the surrounding vadose zone matric pressure to ensure measured fluxes represent those under undisturbed conditions. This novel lysimeter technique was used at an intensive research site for investigations of contaminant pathways from the land surface to the groundwater on a sheep and beef farm under pastoral land use in the Tutaeuaua subcatchment, New Zealand. The Spydia research facility was constructed in 2005 and was fully operational between 2006 and 2011. Extending from a central access caisson, 15 separately controlled AETLs with 0.2 m² surface area were installed at five depths between 0.4 m and 5.1 m into the undisturbed volcanic vadose zone materials. The unique setup of the facility ensured minimum interference of the experimental equipment and external factors with the measurements. Over the period of more than five years, a comprehensive data set was collected at each of the 15 AETL locations which comprises of time series of soil water flux, pressure head, volumetric water contents, and soil temperature. The soil water was regularly analysed for EC, pH, dissolved carbon, various nitrogen compounds (including nitrate, ammonia, and organic N), phosphorus, bromide, chloride, sulphate, silica, and a range of other major ions, as well as for various metals. Climate data was measured directly at the site (rainfall) and a climate station at 500m distance. The shallow groundwater was sampled at three different depths directly from the Spydia caisson and at various observation wells surrounding the facility. Two tracer experiments were conducted at the site in 2009 and 2010. In the 2009

  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. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Surface and subsurface continuous gravimetric monitoring of groundwater recharge processes through the karst vadose zone at Rochefort Cave (Belgium)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watlet, A.; Van Camp, M. J.; Francis, O.; Poulain, A.; Hallet, V.; Triantafyllou, A.; Delforge, D.; Quinif, Y.; Van Ruymbeke, M.; Kaufmann, O.

    2017-12-01

    Ground-based gravimetry is a non-invasive and integrated tool to characterize hydrological processes in complex environments such as karsts or volcanoes. A problem in ground-based gravity measurements however concerns the lack of sensitivity in the first meters below the topographical surface, added to limited infiltration below the gravimeter building (umbrella effect). Such limitations disappear when measuring underground. Coupling surface and subsurface gravity measurements therefore allow isolating hydrological signals occurring in the zone between the two gravimeters. We present a coupled surface/subsurface continuous gravimetric monitoring of 2 years at the Rochefort Cave Laboratory (Belgium). The gravity record includes surface measurements of a GWR superconducting gravimeter and subsurface measurements of a Micro-g LaCoste gPhone gravimeter, installed in a cave 35 m below the surface station. The recharge of karstic aquifers is extremely complex to model, mostly because karst hydrological systems are composed of strongly heterogeneous flows. Most of the problem comes from the inadequacy of conventional measuring tools to correctly sample such heterogeneous media, and particularly the existence of a duality of flow types infiltrating the vadose zone: from rapid flows via open conduits to slow seepage through porous matrix. Using the surface/subsurface gravity difference, we were able to identify a significant seasonal groundwater recharge within the karst vadose zone. Seasonal or perennial perched reservoirs have already been proven to exist in several karst areas due to the heterogeneity of the porosity and permeability gradient in karstified carbonated rocks. Our gravimetric experiment allows assessing more precisely the recharge processes of such reservoirs. The gravity variations were also compared with surface and in-cave hydrogeological monitoring (i.e. soil moisture, in-cave percolating water discharges, water levels of the saturated zone). Combined

  16. Heterogeneity and Scaling in Geologic Media: Applications to Transport in the Vadose and Saturated Zones

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brown, Stephen R.

    2003-06-01

    Heterogeneity and Scaling in Geologic Media: Applications to Transport in the Vadose and Saturated Zones Stephen Brown, Gregory Boitnott, and Martin Smith New England Research In rocks and soils, the bulk geophysical and transport properties of the matrix and of fracture systems are determined by the juxtaposition of geometric features at many length scales. For sedimentary materials the length scales are: the pore scale (irregularities in grain surface roughness and cementation), the scale of grain packing faults (and the resulting correlated porosity structures), the scale dominated by sorting or winnowing due to depositional processes, and the scale of geomorphology at the time of deposition. We are studying the heterogeneity and anisotropy in geometry, permeability, and geophysical response from the pore (microscopic), laboratory (mesoscopic), and backyard field (macroscopic) scales. In turn these data are being described and synthesized for development of mathematical models. Eventually, we will perform parameter studies to explore these models in the context of transport in the vadose and saturated zones. We have developed a multi-probe physical properties scanner which allows for the mapping of geophysical properties on a slabbed sample or core. This device allows for detailed study of heterogeneity at those length scales most difficult to quantify using standard field and laboratory practices. The measurement head consists of a variety of probes designed to make local measurements of various properties, including: gas permeability, acoustic velocities (compressional and shear), complex electrical impedance (4 electrode, wide frequency coverage), and ultrasonic reflection (ultrasonic impedance and permeability). We can thus routinely generate detailed geophysical maps of a particular sample. With the exception of the acoustic velocity, we are testing and modifying these probes as necessary for use on soil samples. As a baseline study we have been

  17. A Low-Level Real-Time In Situ Monitoring System for Tritium in Groundwater and Vadose Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santo, J. T.; Levitt, D. G.

    2002-12-01

    Tritium is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen produced as a by-product of the nuclear fuel cycle. It is also an integral part of the nuclear weapons industry and has been released into the environment through both the production and testing of nuclear weapons. There are many sites across the DOE complex where tritium has been released into the subsurface through the disposal of radioactive waste and at the Nevada Test Site, through the underground testing of nuclear weapons. Numerous DOE facilities have an on-going regulatory need to be able to monitor tritium concentrations in groundwater within deep hydrologic zones and in the shallower non-saturated vadose zone beneath waste disposal pits and shafts and other release sites. Typical access to groundwater is through deep monitoring wells and situated in remote locations. In response to this need, Science and Engineering Associates, Inc. (SEA) and its subcontractor, the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) Harry Reid Center (HRC) for Environmental Studies has conducted the applied research and engineering and produced a real time, in situ monitoring system for the detection and measurement of low levels of tritium in the groundwater and in the shallower vadose zone. The monitoring system has been deployed to measure tritium in both the vadose zone near a subsurface radioactive waste package and the groundwater in a deep hydrologic reservoir at the Nevada Test Site. The monitoring system has been designed to detect tritium in the subsurface below federal and/or state regulatory limits for safe drinking water and has been successfully demonstrated. The development effort is being funded through the U.S. Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory and the DOE Nevada Operations Office Advanced Monitoring Systems Initiative (AMSI).

  18. Geochemical evolution of highly alkaline and saline tank waste plumes during seepage through vadose zone sediments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wan, Jiamin; Tokunaga, Tetsu K.; Larsen, Joern T.; Serne, R. JEFFREY

    2004-01-01

    Leakage of highly saline and alkaline radioactive waste from storage tanks into underlying sediments is a serious environmental problem at the Hanford Site in Washington State. This study focuses on geochemical evolution of tank waste plumes resulting from interactions between the waste solution and sediment. A synthetic tank waste solution was infused into unsaturated Hanford sediment columns (0.2, 0.6, and 2 m) maintained at 70C to simulate the field contamination process. Spatially and temporally resolved geochemical profiles of the waste plume were obtained. Thorough OH neutralization (from an initial pH 14 down to 6.3) was observed. Three broad zones of pore solutions were identified to categorize the dominant geochemical reactions: the silicate dissolution zone (pH > 10), pH-neutralized zone (pH 10 to 6.5), and displaced native sediment pore water (pH 6.5 to 8). Elevated concentrations of Si, Fe, and K in plume fluids and their depleted concentrations in plume sediments reflected dissolution of primary minerals within the silicate dissolution zone. The very high Na concentrations in the waste solution resulted in rapid and complete cation exchange, reflected in high concentrations of Ca and Mg at the plume front. The plume-sediment profiles also showed deposition of hydrated solids and carbonates. Fair correspondence was obtained between these results and analyses of field borehole samples from a waste plume at the Hanford Site. Results of this study provide a well-defined framework for understanding waste plumes in the more complex field setting and for understanding geochemical factors controlling transport of contaminant species carried in waste solutions that leaked from single-shell storage tanks in the past

  19. An isotopic view of water and nitrate transport through the vadose zone in Oregon's southern Willamette Valley's Groundwater Management Area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, J. R.; Pearlstein, S.; Hutchins, S.; Faulkner, B. R.; Rugh, W.; Willard, K.; Coulombe, R.; Compton, J.

    2017-12-01

    Groundwater nitrate contamination affects thousands of households in Oregon's southern Willamette Valley and many more across the USA. The southern Willamette Valley Groundwater Management Area (GWMA) was established in 2004 due to nitrate levels in the groundwater exceeding the human health standard of 10 mg nitrate-N L-1. Much of the nitrogen (N) inputs to the GWMA comes from agricultural fertilizers, and thus efforts to reduce N inputs to groundwater are focused upon improving N management. However, the effectiveness of these improvements on groundwater quality is unclear because of the complexity of nutrient transport through the vadose zone and long groundwater residence times. Our objective was to focus on vadose zone transport and understand the dynamics and timing of N and water movement below the rooting zone in relation to N management and water inputs. Stable isotopes are a powerful tool for tracking water movement, and understanding N transformations. In partnership with local farmers and state agencies, we established lysimeters and groundwater wells in multiple agricultural fields in the GWMA, and have monitored nitrate, nitrate isotopes, and water isotopes weekly for multiple years. Our results indicate that vadose zone transport is highly complex, and the residence time of water collected in lysimeters was much longer than expected. While input precipitation water isotopes were highly variable over time, lysimeter water isotopes were surprisingly consistent, more closely resembling long-term precipitation isotope means rather than recent precipitation isotopic signatures. However, some particularly large precipitation events with unique isotopic signatures revealed high spatial variability in transport, with some lysimeters showing greater proportions of recent precipitation inputs than others. In one installation where we have groundwater wells and lysimeters at multiple depths, nitrate/nitrite concentrations decreased with depth. N concentrations

  20. An analytical solution to assess the SH seismoelectric response of the vadose zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monachesi, L. B.; Zyserman, F. I.; Jouniaux, L.

    2018-03-01

    We derive an analytical solution of the seismoelectric conversions generated in the vadose zone, when this region is crossed by a pure shear horizontal (SH) wave. Seismoelectric conversions are induced by electrokinetic effects linked to relative motions between fluid and porous media. The considered model assumes a one-dimensional soil constituted by a single layer on top of a half space in contact at the water table, and a shearing force located at the earth's surface as the wave source. The water table is an interface expected to induce a seismoelectric interfacial response (IR). The top layer represents a porous rock which porous space is partially saturated by water and air, while the half-space is completely saturated with water, representing the saturated zone. The analytical expressions for the coseismic fields and the interface responses, both electric and magnetic, are derived by solving Pride's equations with proper boundary conditions. An approximate analytical expression of the solution is also obtained, which is very simple and applicable in a fairly broad set of situations. Hypothetical scenarios are proposed to study and analyse the dependence of the electromagnetic fields on various parameters of the medium. An analysis of the approximate solution is also made together with a comparison to the exact solution. The main result of the present analysis is that the amplitude of the interface response generated at the water table is found to be proportional to the jump in the electric current density, which in turn depends on the saturation contrast, poro-mechanical and electrical properties of the medium and on the amplitude of the solid displacement produced by the source. This result is in agreement with the one numerically obtained by the authors, which has been published in a recent work. We also predict the existence of an interface response located at the surface, and that the electric interface response is several orders of magnitude bigger than

  1. An analytical solution to assess the SH seismoelectric response of the vadose zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monachesi, L. B.; Zyserman, F. I.; Jouniaux, L.

    2018-06-01

    We derive an analytical solution of the seismoelectric conversions generated in the vadose zone, when this region is crossed by a pure shear horizontal (SH) wave. Seismoelectric conversions are induced by electrokinetic effects linked to relative motions between fluid and porous media. The considered model assumes a 1D soil constituted by a single layer on top of a half-space in contact at the water table, and a shearing force located at the earth's surface as the wave source. The water table is an interface expected to induce a seismoelectric interfacial response (IR). The top layer represents a porous rock in which porous space is partially saturated by water and air, while the half-space is completely saturated with water, representing the saturated zone. The analytical expressions for the coseismic fields and the interface responses, both electric and magnetic, are derived by solving Pride's equations with proper boundary conditions. An approximate analytical expression of the solution is also obtained, which is very simple and applicable in a fairly broad set of situations. Hypothetical scenarios are proposed to study and analyse the dependence of the electromagnetic fields on various parameters of the medium. An analysis of the approximate solution is also made together with a comparison to the exact solution. The main result of the present analysis is that the amplitude of the interface response generated at the water table is found to be proportional to the jump in the electric current density, which in turn depends on the saturation contrast, poro-mechanical and electrical properties of the medium and on the amplitude of the solid displacement produced by the source. This result is in agreement with the one numerically obtained by the authors, which has been published in a recent work. We also predict the existence of an interface response located at the surface, and that the electric interface response is several orders of magnitude bigger than the

  2. Installation of a Hydrologic Characterization Network for Vadose Zone Monitoring of a Single-Shell Tank Farm at the U. S. Department of Energy Hanford Site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gee, Glendon W.; Ward, Anderson L.; Ritter, Jason C.; Sisson, James B.; Hubbell, Joel M.; Sydnor, Harold A.

    2001-01-01

    The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, in collaboration with the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory and Duratek Federal Services, deployed a suite of vadose-zone instruments at the B Tank Farm in the 200 E Area of the Hanford Site, near Richland, Washington, during the last quarter of FY 2001. The purpose of the deployment was to obtain in situ hydrologic characterization data within the vadose zone of a high-level-waste tank farm. Eight sensor nests, ranging in depth from 67 m (220 ft) below ground surface (bgs) to 0.9 m (3 ft) bgs were placed in contact with vadose-zone sediments inside a recently drilled, uncased, borehole (C3360) located adjacent to Tank B-110. The sensor sets are part of the Vadose Zone Monitoring System and include advanced tensiometers, heat dissipation units, frequency domain reflectometers, thermal probes, and vadose zone solution samplers. Within the top meter of the surface, a water flux meter was deployed to estimate net infiltration from meteoric water (rain and snowmelt) sources. In addition, a rain gage was located within the tank farm to document on-site precipitation events. All sensor units, with the exception of the solution samplers, were connected to a solar-powered data logger located within the tank farm. Data collected from these sensors are currently being accessed by modem and cell phone and will be analyzed as part of the DOE RL31SS31 project during the coming year (FY 2001)

  3. Determining flow, recharge, and vadose zone drainage in an unconfined aquifer from groundwater strontium isotope measurements, Pasco Basin, WA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2004-01-01

    Strontium isotope compositions (87Sr/86Sr) measured in groundwater samples from 273 wells in the Pasco Basin unconfined aquifer below the Hanford Site show large and systematic variations that provide constraints on groundwater recharge, weathering rates of the aquifer host rocks, communication between unconfined and deeper confined aquifers, and vadose zone-groundwater interaction. The impact of millions of cubic meters of wastewater discharged to the vadose zone (103-105 times higher than ambient drainage) shows up strikingly on maps of groundwater 87Sr/86Sr. Extensive access through the many groundwater monitoring wells at the site allows for an unprecedented opportunity to evaluate the strontium geochemistry of a major aquifer, hosted primarily in unconsolidated sediments, and relate it to both long term properties and recent disturbances. Groundwater 87Sr/86Sr increases systematically from 0.707 to 0.712 from west to east across the Hanford Site, in the general direction of groundwater flow, as a result of addition of Sr from the weathering of aquifer sediments and from diffuse drainage through the vadose zone. The lower 87Sr/86Sr groundwater reflects recharge waters that have acquired Sr from Columbia River Basalts. Based on a steady-state model of Sr reactive transport and drainage, there is an average natural drainage flux of 0-1.4 mm/yr near the western margin of the Hanford Site, and ambient drainage may be up to 30 mm/yr in the center of the site assuming an average bulk rock weathering rate of 10-7.5 g/g/yr

  4. Influence of colloids on the attenuation and transport of phosphorus in alluvial gravel aquifer and vadose zone media.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pang, Liping; Lafogler, Mark; Knorr, Bastian; McGill, Erin; Saunders, Darren; Baumann, Thomas; Abraham, Phillip; Close, Murray

    2016-04-15

    Phosphorous (P) leaching (e.g., from effluents, fertilizers) and transport in highly permeable subsurface media can be an important pathway that contributes to eutrophication of receiving surface waters as groundwater recharges the base-flow of surface waters. Here we investigated attenuation and transport of orthophosphate-P in gravel aquifer and vadose zone media in the presence and absence of model colloids (Escherichia coli, kaolinite, goethite). Experiments were conducted using repacked aquifer media in a large column (2m long, 0.19m in diameter) and intact cores (0.4m long, 0.24m in diameter) of vadose zone media under typical field flow rates. In the absence of the model colloids, P was readily traveled through the aquifer media with little attenuation (up to 100% recovery) and retardation, and P adsorption was highly reversible. Conversely, addition of the model colloids generally resulted in reduced P concentration and mass recovery (down to 28% recovery), and increased retardation and adsorption irreversibility in both aquifer and vadose zone media. The degree of colloid-assisted P attenuation was most significant in the presence of fine material and Fe-containing colloids at low flow rate but was least significant in the presence of coarse gravels and E. coli at high flow rate. Based on the experimental results, setback distances of 49-53m were estimated to allow a reduction of P concentrations in groundwater to acceptable levels in the receiving water. These estimates were consistent with field observations in the same aquifer media. Colloid-assisted P attenuation can be utilized to develop mitigation strategies to better manage effluent applications in gravelly soils. To efficiently retain P within soil matrix and reduce P leaching to groundwater, it is recommended to select soils that are rich in iron oxides, to periodically disturb soil preferential flow paths by tillage, and to apply a low irrigation rate. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights

  5. Evaluating the role of soil variability on groundwater pollution and recharge at regional scale by integrating a process-based vadose zone model in a stochastic approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coppola, Antonio; Comegna, Alessandro; Dragonetti, Giovanna; Lamaddalena, Nicola; Zdruli, Pandi

    2013-04-01

    Interpreting and predicting the evolution of water resources and soils at regional scale are continuing challenges for natural scientists. Examples include non-point source (NPS) pollution of soil and surface and subsurface water from agricultural chemicals and pathogens, as well as overexploitation of groundwater resources. The presence and build up of NPS pollutants may be harmful for both soil and groundwater resources. The accumulation of salts and trace elements in soils can significantly impact crop productivity, while loading of salts, nitrates, trace elements and pesticides into groundwater supplies can deteriorate a source of drinking and irrigation water. Consequently, predicting the spatial distribution and fate of NPS pollutants in soils at applicative scales is now considered crucial for maintaining the fragile balance between crop productivity and the negative environmental impacts of NPS pollutants, which is a basis of sustainable agriculture. Soil scientists and hydrologists are regularly asked to assist state agencies to understand these critical environmental issues. The most frequent inquiries are related to the development of mathematical models needed for analyzing the impacts of alternative land-use and best management use and management of soil and water resources. Different modelling solutions exist, mainly differing on the role of the vadose zone and its horizontal and vertical variability in the predictive models. The vadose zone (the region from the soil surface to the groundwater surface) is a complex physical, chemical and biological ecosystem that controls the passage of NPS pollutants from the soil surface where they have been deposited or accumulated due to agricultural activities, to groundwater. Physically based distributed hydrological models require the internal variability of the vadose zone be explored at a variety of scales. The equations describing fluxes and storage of water and solutes in the unsaturated zone used in these

  6. 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.

  7. Estimation of percolating water dynamics through the vadose zone of the Postojna cave on the basis of isotope composition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Janja Kogovšek

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available Within the scope of monitoring water percolation through the 100-m thick vadose zone in the area of Postojnska jama continuous measurements of precipitation were carried out on the surface, and continuous measurements of water flowandphysicalandchemicalparametersof selected water trickles were performed under the surface. Occasional samples of percolating waters were taken for the analysis of water oxygen isotope composition. An exponential model of groundwater flowwaselaborated,bymeansofwhichtheretentiontime of water in individual trickles was estimated. Modelled retention times of groundwater range from 2.5 months to over one year.

  8. 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...

  9. Advective Removal of Intraparticle Uranium from Contaminated Vadose Zone Sediments, Hanford, USA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ilton, Eugene S.; Qafoku, Nikolla; Liu, Chongxuan; Moore, D. A.; Zachara, John M.

    2008-01-01

    A column study on U contaminated vadose zone sediments from the Hanford Site, WA, was performed in order to aid the development of a model for predicting U(VI) release rates under a dynamic flow regime and for variable geochemical conditions. The sediments of interest are adjacent to and below tank BX-102, part of the BX tank farm that contained high level liquid radioactive waste. Two sediments, with different U(VI) loadings and intraparticle large fracture vs. smaller fracture ratios, were reacted with three different solutions. The primary reservoir for U(VI) appears to be a micron-sized nanocrystalline Na-U-Si phase, possibly Na-boltwoodite, that nucleated and grew on plagioclase grains that line fractures within sand-sized granitic clasts. The solutions were all calcite saturated and in equilibrium with atmospheric CO2, where one solution was simply DI-water, the second was a synthetic ground water (SGW) with elevated Na, and the third was the same SGW but with both elevated Na and Si. The latter two solutions were employed, in part, to test the effect of saturation state on U(VI) release. For both sediments and all three electrolytes, there was an initial rapid release of U(VI) to the advecting solution followed by a plateau of low U(VI) concentration. U(VI) effluent concentration increased during subsequent stop flow (SF) events. The electrolytes with elevated Na and Si appreciably depressed U(VI) concentrations relative to DI water. The effluent data for both sediments and all three electrolytes was simulated reasonably well by a three domain model (the advecting fluid, fractures, and matrix) that coupled U(VI) dissolution rates, intraparticle U(VI) diffusion, and interparticle advective transport of U(VI); where key transport and dissolution processes had been parameterized in previous batch studies. For the calcite-saturated DI-water, U(VI) concentrations in the effluent remained far below saturation with respect to Na-boltwoodite and release of U(VI) to

  10. Bayesian Markov-Chain-Monte-Carlo inversion of time-lapse crosshole GPR data to characterize the vadose zone at the Arrenaes Site, Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Scholer, Marie; Irving, James; Zibar, Majken Caroline Looms

    2012-01-01

    We examined to what extent time-lapse crosshole ground-penetrating radar traveltimes, measured during a forced infiltration experiment at the Arreneas field site in Denmark, could help to quantify vadose zone hydraulic properties and their corresponding uncertainties using a Bayesian Markov...... distributions compared with the corresponding priors, which in turn significantly improves knowledge of soil hydraulic properties. Overall, the results obtained clearly demonstrate the value of the information contained in time-lapse GPR data for characterizing vadose zone dynamics.......-chain-Monte-Carlo inversion approach with different priors. The ground-penetrating radar (GPR) geophysical method has the potential to provide valuable information on the hydraulic properties of the vadose zone because of its strong sensitivity to soil water content. In particular, recent evidence has suggested...

  11. Integration of ground-water and vadose-zone geochemistry to investigate hydrochemical evolution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fisher, R.S.; Mullican, W.F.

    1990-01-01

    This paper summarizes the results of an extensive groundwater-sampling program conducted in the Hueco Bolson and Diablo Plateau area of West Texas. The origin, hydrochemical evolution, and age of groundwater in arid lands of Trans-Pecos Texas were investigated by combining mineralogic analyses of soils and aquifer matrix, chemical analyses of readily soluble materials in soils and water extracted from the thick, unsaturated zone, and chemical and isotopic analyses of groundwater from three principal aquifers, the Diablo Plateau, Hueco Bolson, and Rio Grande alluvial aquifers. Repeated groundwater sampling over a 3-year period and quarterly sampling of selected wells revealed no significant short-term chemical or isotopic variability. Groundwater ages range from recent to nearly 28,000 years; the distribution of ages reflects relative permeability (transmissivity) of the aquifers. Most groundwaters evolve from calcium-bicarbonate to sodium-sulfate types because of carbonate and sulfate mineral dissolution coupled with exchange of aqueous calcium and magnesium for sodium on clay minerals. Water in the Rio Grande alluvial aquifer evolved to a sodium-chloride type as a result of extensive evapotranspiration on irrigated fields. The appendices list detailed results of field measurements of temperature, pH, Eh, dissolved oxygen, and major ion concentrations

  12. 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

  13. Building Conceptual Models of Field-Scale Uranium Reactive Transport in a Dynamic Vadose Zone-Aquifer-River System

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yabusaki, Steven B.; Fang, Yilin; Waichler, Scott R.

    2008-01-01

    Subsurface simulation is being used to build, test, and couple conceptual process models to better understand controls on a 0.4 km by 1.0 km uranium plume that has persisted above the drinking water standard in the groundwater of the Hanford 300 Area over the last 15 years. At this site, uranium-contaminated sediments in the vadose zone and aquifer are subject to significant variations in water levels and velocities driven by the diurnal, weekly, seasonal, and episodic Columbia River stage dynamics. Groundwater flow reversals typically occur twice a day with significant exchange of river water and groundwater in the near-river aquifer. Mixing of the dilute solution chemistry of the river with the groundwater complicates the uranium sorption behavior as the mobility of U(VI) has been shown experimentally to be a function of pH, carbonate, calcium, and uranium. Furthermore, uranium mass transfer between solid and aqueous phases has been observed to be rate-limited in the context of the high groundwater velocities resulting from the river stage fluctuations and the highly transmissive sediments (hydraulic conductivities ∼1500 m/d). One- and two-dimensional vertical cross-sectional simulations of variably-saturated flow and reactive transport, based on laboratory-derived models of distributed rate mass transfer and equilibrium multicomponent surface complexation, are used to assess uranium transport at the dynamic vadose zone aquifer interface as well as changes to uranium mobility due to incursions of river water into the aquifer

  14. Colloid Genesis/Transport and Flow Pathway Alterations Resulting From Interactions of Reactive Waste Solutions and Hanford Vadose Zone Sediments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wan, Jiamin; Tokunaga, Tetsu K.

    2001-01-01

    Leakage of underground tanks containing high-level nuclear waste solutions has been identified at various DOE facilities. The Hanford Site is one the main facilities of concern, with about 2,300 to 3,400 m3 of leaked waste liquids. Radionuclides and other contaminants have been found in elevated concentrations in the vadose zone and groundwater underneath single shell tank farms. We do not currently know the mechanisms responsible for the unexpected deep migration of some contaminants through the vadose zone, and such understanding is urgently needed for planning remediation. Due to the extreme chemical conditions of the tank waste solutions (very high pH, aluminum concentration, and ionic strength), interactions between the highly reactive waste solutions and sediments underneath the tanks can result in dissolution of primary minerals of the sediments and precipitation of secondary phases including colloidal particles. Contaminants can sorb onto and/or co-precipitate with the secondary phases. Therefore transport of strongly associated contaminants on mobile colloids can be substantially greater than without colloids. The overall objective of this research is to improve our understanding on the effects of interactions between the tank waste solution and sediments on deep contaminant migration under Hanford Site conditions. This objective will be achieved through the following four tasks: (1) colloid generation and transport studies, (2) studies on sediment permeability and chemical composition alterations, (3) quantifying associations of contaminants with secondary colloids, and (4) studies on the combined effects of the aforementioned processes on deep contaminant migration

  15. Geochemical Processes Data Package for the Vadose Zone in the Single-Shell Tank Waste Management Areas at the Hanford Site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cantrell, Kirk J.; Zachara, John M.; Dresel, P. Evan; Krupka, Kenneth M.; Serne, R. Jeffrey

    2007-09-28

    This data package discusses the geochemistry of vadose zone sediments beneath the single-shell tank farms at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Hanford Site. The purpose of the report is to provide a review of the most recent and relevant geochemical process information available for the vadose zone beneath the single-shell tank farms and the Integrated Disposal Facility. Two companion reports to this one were recently published which discuss the geology of the farms (Reidel and Chamness 2007) and groundwater flow and contamination beneath the farms (Horton 2007).

  16. T Tank Farm Interim Surface Barrier Demonstration -- Vadose Zone Monitoring FY07 Report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang, Z. F.; Strickland, Christopher E.; Keller, Jason M.; Wittreich, Curtis D.; Sydnor, Harold A.

    2008-01-01

    CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc. is currently in the process of constructing a temporary surface barrier over a portion of the T Tank Farm as part of the T farm Interim Surface Barrier Demonstration Project. The surface barrier is designed to prevent the infiltration of precipitation into the contaminated soil zone created by the Tank T-106 leak and minimize movement of the contamination. As part of the demonstration effort, vadose zone moisture monitoring is being performed to assess the effectiveness of the barrier at reducing soil moisture. A solar-powered and remotely-controlled system was installed to continuously monitor soil water conditions in four instrument nests (i.e., A, B, C, and D) and the site meteorological condition. Each instrument nest was composed of a capacitance probe with multiple sensors, multiple heat-dissipation units, a neutron probe access tube and a datalogger. Nests A and B also contained a drain gauge each. The principle variables monitored for this purpose are soil-water content, soil-water pressure, and soil-water flux. In addition to these, soil temperature, precipitation, and air temperature are measured. Data from each of the dataloggers were transmitted remotely to the receiving computer. The neutron probe access tube was used to perform quarterly manual measurements of soil-water content using a neutron probe. This monitoring system was used to assess the soil water conditions in the soil outside and within the footprint of the surface barrier to be emplaced in the Hanford T Tank Farm. Data to date is baseline under the condition without the interim surface barrier in place. All the instruments except the two drain gauges were functional in FY07. The capacitance-probe measurements showed that the soil-moisture content at relatively shallow depths (e.g., 0.6 and 0.9 m) was increasing since October 2006 and reached the highest in early January 2007 followed by a slight decrease. Soil-moisture contents at the depths of 1.3 m and

  17. 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.

  18. 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)

  19. 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

  20. Three-dimensional modeling of nitrate-N transport in vadose zone: Roles of soil heterogeneity and groundwater flux

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akbariyeh, Simin; Bartelt-Hunt, Shannon; Snow, Daniel; Li, Xu; Tang, Zhenghong; Li, Yusong

    2018-04-01

    Contamination of groundwater from nitrogen fertilizers in agricultural lands is an important environmental and water quality management issue. It is well recognized that in agriculturally intensive areas, fertilizers and pesticides may leach through the vadose zone and eventually reach groundwater. While numerical models are commonly used to simulate fate and transport of agricultural contaminants, few models have considered a controlled field work to investigate the influence of soil heterogeneity and groundwater flow on nitrate-N distribution in both root zone and deep vadose zone. In this work, a numerical model was developed to simulate nitrate-N transport and transformation beneath a center pivot-irrigated corn field on Nebraska Management System Evaluation area over a three-year period. The model was based on a realistic three-dimensional sediment lithology, as well as carefully controlled irrigation and fertilizer application plans. In parallel, a homogeneous soil domain, containing the major sediment type of the site (i.e. sandy loam), was developed to conduct the same water flow and nitrate-N leaching simulations. Simulated nitrate-N concentrations were compared with the monitored nitrate-N concentrations in 10 multi-level sampling wells over a three-year period. Although soil heterogeneity was mainly observed from top soil to 3 m below the surface, heterogeneity controlled the spatial distribution of nitrate-N concentration. Soil heterogeneity, however, has minimal impact on the total mass of nitrate-N in the domain. In the deeper saturated zone, short-term variations of nitrate-N concentration correlated with the groundwater level fluctuations.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Chaotic-Dynamical Conceptual Model to Describe Fluid Flow and Contaminant Transport in a Fractured Vadose Zone

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Faybishenko, Boris; Doughty, Christine; Geller, Jil T.

    1999-01-01

    DOE faces the remediation of numerous contaminated sites, such as those at Hanford, INEEL, LLNL, and LBNL, where organic and/or radioactive wastes were intentionally or accidentally released to the vadose zone from surface spills, underground tanks, cribs, shallow ponds, and deep wells. Migration of these contaminants through the vadose zone has led to the contamination of (or threatens to contaminate) underlying groundwater. A key issue in choosing a corrective action plan to clean up contaminated sites is the determination of the location, total mass, mobility and travel time to receptors for contaminants moving in the vadose zone. These problems are difficult to solve in a technically defensible and accurate manner because contaminants travel downward intermittently, through narrow pathways, driven by variations in environmental conditions. These preferential flow pathways can be difficult to find and predict. The primary objective of this project is to determine if and when dynamical chaos theory can be used to investigate infiltration of fluid and contaminant transport in heterogeneous soils and fractured rocks. The objective of this project is being achieved through the following activities: Development of multi scale conceptual models and mathematical and numerical algorithms for flow and transport, which incorporate both (a) the spatial variability of heterogeneous porous and fractured media and (b) the temporal dynamics of flow and transport; Development of appropriate experimental field and laboratory techniques needed to detect diagnostic parameters for chaotic behavior of flow; Evaluation of chaotic behavior of flow in laboratory and field experiments using methods from non-linear dynamics; Evaluation of the impact these dynamics may have on contaminant transport through heterogeneous fractured rocks and soils and remediation efforts. This approach is based on the consideration of multi scale spatial heterogeneity and flow phenomena that are affected by

  4. Recommendations for computer code selection of a flow and transport code to be used in undisturbed vadose zone calculations for TWRS immobilized wastes environmental analyses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    VOOGD, J.A.

    1999-01-01

    An analysis of three software proposals is performed to recommend a computer code for immobilized low activity waste flow and transport modeling. The document uses criteria restablished in HNF-1839, ''Computer Code Selection Criteria for Flow and Transport Codes to be Used in Undisturbed Vadose Zone Calculation for TWRS Environmental Analyses'' as the basis for this analysis

  5. H51E-1535: Biogeochemical factors influencing the transport and fate of colloids and colloid-associated contaminants in the vadose zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    The vadose zone exhibits large spatial and temporal variability in many physical, chemical, and biological factors that strongly influence the transport and fate of colloids (e.g., microbes, nanoparticles, clays, and dissolved organic matter) and colloid-associated contaminants (e.g., heavy metals, ...

  6. A BENCHMARKING ANALYSIS FOR FIVE RADIONUCLIDE VADOSE ZONE MODELS (CHAIN, MULTIMED_DP, FECTUZ, HYDRUS, AND CHAIN 2D) IN SOIL SCREENING LEVEL CALCULATIONS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Five radionuclide vadose zone models with different degrees of complexity (CHAIN, MULTIMED_DP, FECTUZ, HYDRUS, and CHAIN 2D) were selected for use in soil screening level (SSL) calculations. A benchmarking analysis between the models was conducted for a radionuclide (99Tc) rele...

  7. Characterization of Vadose Zone Sediments Below the C Tank Farm: Borehole C4297 and RCRA Borehole 299-E27-22

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brown, Christopher F.; Serne, R. Jeffrey; Bjornstad, Bruce N.; Horton, Duane G.; Lanigan, David C.; Clayton, Ray E.; Valenta, Michelle M.; Vickerman, Tanya S.; Kutnyakov, Igor V.; Geiszler, Keith N.; Baum, Steven R.; Parker, Kent E.; Lindberg, Michael J.

    2008-01-01

    This report was revised in September 2008 to remove acid-extractable sodium data from Tables 4.7 and 4.25. The sodium data was removed due to potential contamination introduced during the acid extraction process. The rest of the text remains unchanged from the original report issued in September 2006. The overall goal of the Tank Farm Vadose Zone Project, led by CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc., is to define risks from past and future single-shell tank farm activities at the Hanford Site. To meet this goal, CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc. tasked scientists from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) to perform detailed analyses on vadose zone sediments from within Waste Management Area (WMA) C. This report is the first of two reports written to present the results of these analyses. Specifically, this report contains all the geologic, geochemical, and selected physiochemical characterization data collected on vadose zone sediment recovered from borehole C4297, installed adjacent to tank C-105, and from borehole 299-E27-22, installed directly north of the C Tank Farm. This report also presents the interpretation of data in the context of sediment types, the vertical extent of contamination, the migration potential of the contaminants, and the likely source of the contamination in the vadose zone below the C Tank Farm. The information presented in this report supports the WMA A-AX, C, and U field investigation report in preparation by CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc

  8. Characterization of Vadose Zone Sediments Below the C Tank Farm: Borehole C4297 and RCRA Borehole 299-E27-22

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brown, Christopher F.; Serne, R. Jeffrey; Bjornstad, Bruce N.; Horton, Duane G.; Lanigan, David C.; Clayton, Ray E.; Valenta, Michelle M.; Vickerman, Tanya S.; Kutnyakov, Igor V.; Geiszler, Keith N.; Baum, Steven R.; Parker, Kent E.; Lindberg, Michael J.

    2008-09-11

    This report was revised in September 2008 to remove acid-extractable sodium data from Tables 4.7 and 4.25. The sodium data was removed due to potential contamination introduced during the acid extraction process. The rest of the text remains unchanged from the original report issued in September 2006. The overall goal of the Tank Farm Vadose Zone Project, led by CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc., is to define risks from past and future single-shell tank farm activities at the Hanford Site. To meet this goal, CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc. tasked scientists from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) to perform detailed analyses on vadose zone sediments from within Waste Management Area (WMA) C. This report is the first of two reports written to present the results of these analyses. Specifically, this report contains all the geologic, geochemical, and selected physiochemical characterization data collected on vadose zone sediment recovered from borehole C4297, installed adjacent to tank C-105, and from borehole 299-E27-22, installed directly north of the C Tank Farm. This report also presents the interpretation of data in the context of sediment types, the vertical extent of contamination, the migration potential of the contaminants, and the likely source of the contamination in the vadose zone below the C Tank Farm. The information presented in this report supports the WMA A-AX, C, and U field investigation report in preparation by CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc.

  9. 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

  10. 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).

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. A Catalog of Vadose Zone Hydraulic Properties for the Hanford Site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Freeman, Eugene J.; Khaleel, Raziuddin; Heller, Paula R.

    2002-09-30

    To predict contaminant release to the groundwater, it is necessary to understand the hydraulic properties of the material between the release point and the water table. Measurements of the hydraulic properties of the Hanford unsaturated sediments that buffer the water table are available from many areas of the site; however, the documentation is not well cataloged nor is it easily accessible. The purpose of this report is to identify what data is available for characterization of the unsaturated hydraulic properties at Hanford and Where these data can be found.

  15. Analysing the mechanisms of soil water and vapour transport in the desert vadose zone of the extremely arid region of northern China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Chaoyang; Yu, Jingjie; Wang, Ping; Zhang, Yichi

    2018-03-01

    The transport of water and vapour in the desert vadose zone plays a critical role in the overall water and energy balances of near-surface environments in arid regions. However, field measurements in extremely dry environments face many difficulties and challenges, so few studies have examined water and vapour transport processes in the desert vadose zone. The main objective of this study is to analyse the mechanisms of soil water and vapour transport in the desert vadose zone (depth of ∼350 cm) by using measured and modelled data in an extremely arid environment. The field experiments are implemented in an area of the Gobi desert in northwestern China to measure the soil properties, daily soil moisture and temperature, daily water-table depth and temperature, and daily meteorological records from DOYs (Days of Year) 114-212 in 2014 (growing season). The Hydrus-1D model, which simulates the coupled transport of water, vapour and heat in the vadose zone, is employed to simulate the layered soil moisture and temperature regimes and analyse the transport processes of soil water and vapour. The measured results show that the soil water and temperatures near the land surface have visible daily fluctuations across the entire soil profile. Thermal vapour movement is the most important component of the total water flux and the soil temperature gradient is the major driving factor that affects vapour transport in the desert vadose zone. The most active water and heat exchange occurs in the upper soil layer (depths of 0-25 cm). The matric potential change from the precipitation mainly re-draws the spatio-temporal distribution of the isothermal liquid water in the soil near the land surface. The matric potential has little effect on the isothermal vapour and thermal liquid water flux. These findings offer new insights into the liquid water and vapour movement processes in the extremely arid environment.

  16. 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)

  17. 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

  18. 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)

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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)

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Characterization of Vadose Zone Sediments from C Waste Management Area: Investigation of the C-152 Transfer Line Leak

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brown, Christopher F; Serne, R JEFFREY; Bjornstad, Bruce N; Valenta, Michelle M; Lanigan, David C; Vickerman, Tanya S; Clayton, Ray E; Geiszler, Keith N; Iovin, Cristian; Clayton, Eric T; Kutynakov, I V; Baum, Steven R; Lindberg, Michael J; Orr, Robert D

    2007-02-05

    A geologic/geochemical investigation in the vicinity of UPR-200-E-82 was performed using pairs of cone-penetrometer probe holes. A total of 41 direct-push cone-penetrometer borings (19 pairs to investigate different high moisture zones in the same sampling location and 3 individual) were advanced to characterize vadose zone moisture and the distribution of contaminants. A total of twenty sample sets, containing up to two split-spoon liners and one grab sample, were delivered to the laboratory for characterization and analysis. The samples were collected around the documented location of the C-152 pipeline leak, and created an approximately 120-ft diameter circle around the waste site. UPR-200-E-82 was a loss of approximately 2,600 gallons of Cs-137 Recovery Process feed solution containing an estimated 11,300 Ci of cesium-137 and 5 Ci of technetium-99. Several key parameters that are used to identify subsurface contamination were measured, including: water extract pH, electrical conductivity, nitrate, technetium-99, sodium, and uranium concentrations and technetium-99 and uranium concentrations in acid extracts. All of the parameters, with the exception of electrical conductivity, were elevated in at least some of the samples analyzed as part of this study. Specifically, soil pH was elevated (from 8.69 to 9.99) in five samples collected northeast and southwest of the C-152 pipeline leak. Similarly, samples collected from these same cone-pentrometer holes contained significantly more water-extractable sodium (more than 50 g/g of dry sediment), uranium (as much as 7.66E-01 g/g of dry sediment), nitrate (up to 30 g/g of dry sediment), and technetium-99 (up to 3.34 pCi/g of dry sediment). Most of the samples containing elevated concentrations of water-extractable sodium also had decreased levels of water extractable calcium and or magnesium, indicating that tank-related fluids that were high in sodium did seep into the vadose zone near these probe holes. Several of the

  9. 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

  10. 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)

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Electrical Resistance Tomography to monitor vadose water movement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ramirez, A.; Daily, W.; LaBrecque, D.

    1991-01-01

    We report results of one test in which Electrical Resistance Tomography (ERT) was used to map the changes in electrical resistivity in the vadose zone as a function of time while water infiltration occurred. The ERT images were used to infer shape and movement of the infiltration plume in the unsaturated soil. We supplied a continuous water source at a point about 10 feet below the surface (at the end of a shallow screened hole) for only a short time--2.5 hours. This pulsed source introduced a open-quote slug close-quote of water whose infiltration was followed to about 60 foot depth during a 23 hour period. The ERT images show resistivity decreases as the water content of the vadose zone increased while water was added to the soil; the resistivity of the soil later increased after the supply of water was cut-off and the induced soil moisture began to subside

  14. Conceptual Models for Migration of Key Groundwater Contaminants Through the Vadose Zone and Into the Upper Unconfined Aquifer Below the B-Complex

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Serne, R. Jeffrey; Bjornstad, Bruce N.; Keller, Jason M.; Thorne, Paul D.; Lanigan, David C.; Christensen, J. N.; Thomas, Gregory S.

    2010-07-01

    The B-Complex contains 3 major crib and trench disposal sites and 3 SST farms that have released nearly 346 mega-liters of waste liquids containing the following high groundwater risk drivers: ~14,000 kg of CN, 29,000 kg of Cr, 12,000 kg of U and 145 Ci of Tc-99. After a thorough review of available vadose zone sediment and pore water, groundwater plume, field gamma logging, field electrical resistivity studies, we developed conceptual models for which facilities have been the significant sources of the contaminants in the groundwater and estimated the masses of these contaminants remaining in the vadose zone and currently present in the groundwater in comparison to the totals released. This allowed us to make mass balance calculations on how consistent our knowledge is on the current deep vadose zone and groundwater distribution of contaminants. Strengths and weaknesses of the conceptual models are discussed as well as implications on future groundwater and deep vadose zone remediation alternatives. Our hypothesized conceptual models attribute the source of all of the cyanide and most of the Tc-99 currently in the groundwater to the BY cribs. The source of the uranium is the BX-102 tank overfill event and the source of most of the chromium is the B-7-A&B and B-8 cribs. Our mass balance estimates suggest that there are much larger masses of U, CN, and Tc remaining in the deep vadose zone within ~20 ft of the water table than is currently in the groundwater plumes below the B-Complex. This hypothesis needs to be carefully considered before future remediation efforts are chosen. The masses of these groundwater risk drivers in the the groundwater plumes have been increasing over the last decade and the groundwater plumes are migrating to the northwest towards the Gable Gap. The groundwater flow rate appears to flucuate in response to seasonal changes in hydraulic gradient. The flux of contaminants out of the deep vadose zone from the three proposed sources also

  15. 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.

  16. Scale-Up Information for Gas-Phase Ammonia Treatment of Uranium in the Vadose Zone at the Hanford Site Central Plateau

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Truex, Michael J. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Szecsody, James E. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Zhong, Lirong [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Thomle, Jonathan N. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Johnson, Timothy C. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)

    2014-09-01

    Uranium is present in the vadose zone at the Hanford Central Plateau and is of concern for protection of groundwater. The Deep Vadose Zone Treatability Test Plan for the Hanford Central Plateau identified gas-phase treatment and geochemical manipulation as potentially effective treatment approaches for uranium and technetium in the Hanford Central Plateau vadose zone. Based on laboratory evaluation, use of ammonia vapor was selected as the most promising uranium treatment candidate for further development and field testing. While laboratory tests have shown that ammonia treatment effectively reduces the mobility of uranium, additional information is needed to enable deployment of this technology for remediation. Of importance for field applications are aspects of the technology associated with effective distribution of ammonia to a targeted treatment zone, understanding the fate of injected ammonia and its impact on subsurface conditions, and identifying effective monitoring approaches. In addition, information is needed to select equipment and operational parameters for a field design. As part of development efforts for the ammonia technology for remediation of vadose zone uranium contamination, field scale-up issues were identified and have been addressed through a series of laboratory and modeling efforts. This report presents a conceptual description for field application of the ammonia treatment process, engineering calculations to support treatment design, ammonia transport information, field application monitoring approaches, and a discussion of processes affecting the fate of ammonia in the subsurface. The report compiles this information from previous publications and from recent research and development activities. The intent of this report is to provide technical information about these scale-up elements to support the design and operation of a field test for the ammonia treatment technology.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Perched-Water Evaluation for the Deep Vadose Zone Beneath the B, BX, and BY Tank Farms Area of the Hanford Site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Truex, Michael J.; Oostrom, Martinus; Carroll, KC; Chronister, Glen B.

    2013-06-28

    Perched-water conditions have been observed in the vadose zone above a fine-grained zone that is located a few meters above the water table within the B, BX, and BY Tank Farms area. The perched water contains elevated concentrations of uranium and technetium-99. This perched-water zone is important to consider in evaluating the future flux of contaminated water into the groundwater. The study described in this report was conducted to examine the perched-water conditions and quantitatively evaluate 1) factors that control perching behavior, 2) contaminant flux toward groundwater, and 3) associated groundwater impact.

  5. Characterization of Vadose Zone Sediment: Borehole 299-E33-45 Near BX-102 in the B-BX-BY Waste Management Area

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Serne, R JEFFREY.; Last, George V.; Gee, Glendon W.; Schaef, Herbert T.; Lanigan, David C.; Lindenmeier, Clark W.; Lindberg, Michael J.; Clayton, Ray E.; Legore, Virginia L.; Orr, Robert D.; Kutnyakov, Igor V.; Baum, Steven R.; Geiszler, Keith N.; Brown, Christopher F.; Valenta, Michelle M.; Vickerman, Tanya S.

    2002-01-01

    The goal of the Tank Farm Vadose Zone Project is to define risks from past and future single-shell tank farm activities. This report contains all the geologic, geochemical, and selected physical characterization data collected on vadose zone sediment recovered from a borehole installed northeast of tank BX-102 (borehole 299-E33-45). This report also presents data on the sediment lithologies, the vertical extent of contamination, their migration potential, and the source of the contamination in the vadose zone and perched water east of the BX Tank Farm. The near horizontally bedded, northeasterly dipping sediment likely caused horizontal flow of the migrating contaminants. At borehole 299-E33-45, there are several fine-grained lens within the H2 unit that cause horizontally spreading of percolating fluids. The 21-ft thick Plio-pleistocene fine grained silt/clay unit is also an important horizontal flow conduit as evidenced by the perched water between 227-232 ft bgs. Based on comparing the depth of penetration of contaminants and comparing the percentages that are water leachable, uranium migrates slower than technetium-99 and nitrate. The technetium-99 desorption data are consistently near zero, meaning that the technetium-99 is not interacting with the sediment. In summary, the moisture content, pH, electrical conductivity, sodium, tritium, and uranium profiles do not suggest that plume has penetrated below 170 ft bgs. In general, the majority of the ratios of constituents found in the porewater in the Hanford formation sediments are closer to being from the 1951 metals waste solution that escaped tank BX-102 during a cascading accident. There may be a source of water, containing nitrate but not technetium, that is feeding the perched water zone. The deep vadose, perched and groundwater data do not present a clear picture on what might be occurring in the Pliopleistocene units

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. A Hydrologic-geophysical Method for Characterizing Flow and Transport Processes Within The Vadose Zone

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alumbaugh, David; LaBrecque, Douglas; Brainard, James; Yeh, T.C.-Jim

    2004-01-01

    The primary purpose of this project was to employ two geophysical imaging techniques, electrical resistivity tomography and cross-borehole ground penetrating radar, to image a controlled infiltration of a saline tracer under unsaturated flow conditions. The geophysical techniques have been correlated to other more traditional hydrologic measurements including neutron moisture measurements and induction conductivity logs. Images that resulted during two successive infiltrations indicate the development of what appear to be preferential pathways through the finer grained materials, although the results could also be produced by cationic capture of free ions in clays. In addition the site as well as the developing solute plume exhibits electrical anisotropy which is likely related to flow properties. However the geologic significance of this phenomenon is still under investigation

  9. A Hydrologic-geophysical Method for Characterizing Flow and Transport Processes Within The Vadose Zone

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    David Alumbaugh; Douglas LaBrecque; James Brainard; T.C. (Jim) Yeh

    2004-01-22

    The primary purpose of this project was to employ two geophysical imaging techniques, electrical resistivity tomography and cross-borehole ground penetrating radar, to image a controlled infiltration of a saline tracer under unsaturated flow conditions. The geophysical techniques have been correlated to other more traditional hydrologic measurements including neutron moisture measurements and induction conductivity logs. Images that resulted during two successive infiltrations indicate the development of what appear to be preferential pathways through the finer grained materials, although the results could also be produced by cationic capture of free ions in clays. In addition the site as well as the developing solute plume exhibits electrical anisotropy which is likely related to flow properties. However the geologic significance of this phenomenon is still under investigation.

  10. Characterization of Vadose Zone Sediments Below the TX Tank Farm: Boreholes C3830, C3831, C3832 and RCRA Borehole 299-W10-27

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Serne, R. Jeffrey; Bjornstad, Bruce N.; Horton, Duane G.; Lanigan, David C.; Lindenmeier, Clark W.; Lindberg, Michael J.; Clayton, Ray E.; Legore, Virginia L.; Orr, Robert D.; Kutnyakov, Igor V.; Baum, Steven R.; Geiszler, Keith N.; Valenta, Michelle M.; Vickerman, Tanya S.

    2008-09-11

    This report was revised in September 2008 to remove acid-extractable sodium data from Tables 4.8, 4.28,4.43, and 4.59. The sodium data was removed due to potential contamination introduced during the acid extraction process. The rest of the text remains unchanged from the original report issued in April 2004. The overall goal of the Tank Farm Vadose Zone Project, led by CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc., is to define risks from past and future single-shell tank farm activities at Hanford. To meet this goal, CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc. tasked scientists from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to perform detailed analyses on vadose zone sediments from within Waste Management Area (WMA) T-TX-TY. This report is the first of two reports written to present the results of these analyses. Specifically, this report contains all the geologic, geochemical, and selected physical characterization data collected on vadose zone sediment recovered from boreholes C3830, C3831, and C3832 in the TX Tank Farm, and from borehole 299-W-10-27 installed northeast of the TY Tank Farm.

  11. Characterization of Vadose Zone Sediment: Borehole 299-E33-46 Near B 110 in the B BX-BY Waste Management Area

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Serne, R. Jeffrey; Bjornstad, Bruce N.; Gee, Glendon W.; Schaef, Herbert T.; Lanigan, David C.; mccain, r. G.; Lindenmeier, Clark W.; Orr, Robert D.; Legore, Virginia L.; Clayton, Ray E.; Lindberg, Michael J.; Kutynakov, I. V.; Baum, Steven R.; Geiszler, Keith N.; Valenta, Michelle M.; Vickerman, Tanya S.; Royack, Lisa J.

    2008-09-11

    This report was revised in September 2008 to remove acid-ectractable sodium data from Table 4.17. The sodium data was removed due to potential contamination introduced during the acid extraction process. The rest of the text remains unchanged from the original report issued in December 2002. The overall goal of the of the Tank Farm Vadose Zone Project, led by CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc., is to define risks from past and future single-shell tank farm activities. To meet this goal, CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc., asked scientists from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to perform detailed analyses on vadose zone sediment from within the B-BX-BY Waste Management Area. This report is the third in a series of three reports to present the results of these analyses. Specifically, this report contains all the geologic, geochemical, and selected physical characterization data collected on vadose zone sediment recovered from a borehole installed approximately 4.5 m (15 ft) northeast of tank B- 110 (borehole 299-E33-46).

  12. Characterization of Vadose Zone Sediments Below the T Tank Farm: Boreholes C4104, C4105, 299-W10-196, and RCRA Borehole 299-W11-39

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Serne, R. Jeffrey; Bjornstad, Bruce N.; Horton, Duane G.; Lanigan, David C.; Schaef, Herbert T.; Lindenmeier, Clark W.; Lindberg, Michael J.; Clayton, Ray E.; Legore, Virginia L.; Geiszler, Keith N.; Baum, Steven R.; Valenta, Michelle M.; Kutnyakov, Igor V.; Vickerman, Tanya S.; Orr, Robert D.; Brown, Christopher F.

    2008-09-11

    This report was revised in September 2008 to remove acid-extractable sodium data from Tables 4.8, 4.28, and 4.52. The sodium data was removed due to potential contamination introduced during the acid extraction process. The rest of the text remains unchanged from the original report issued in September 2004. The overall goal of the Tank Farm Vadose Zone Project, led by CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc., is to define risks from past and future single-shell tank farm activities at Hanford. To meet this goal, CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc. tasked scientists from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to perform detailed analyses on vadose zone sediments from within Waste Management Area (WMA) T-TX-TY. This report is the second of two reports written to present the results of these analyses. Specifically, this report contains all the geologic, geochemical, and selected physical characterization data collected on vadose zone sediment recovered from boreholes C4104 and C4105 in the T Tank Farm, and from borehole 299-W-11-39 installed northeast of the T Tank Farm. Finally, the measurements on sediments from borehole C4104 are compared with a nearby borehole drilled in 1993, 299- W10-196, through the tank T-106 leak plume.

  13. Water and vapor transfer in vadose zone of Gobi desert and riparian in the hyper arid environment of Ejina, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, C.; Yu, J.; Sun, F.; Liu, X.

    2015-12-01

    To reveal how water and vapor transfer in vadose zone affect evapotranspiration in Gobi desert and riparian in hyper arid region is important for understanding eco-hydrological process. Field studies and numerical simulations were imported to evaluate the water and vapor movement processes under non isothermal and lower water content conditions. The soil profiles (12 layers) in Gobi desert and riparian sites of Ejina were installed with sensors to monitor soil moisture and temperature for 1 year. The meteorological conditions and water table were measured by micro weather stations and mini-Divers respectively in the two sites. Soil properties, including particles composition, moisture, bulk density, water retention curve, and saturated hydraulic conductivity of two site soil profiles, was measured. The observations showed that soil temperatures for the two sites displayed large diurnal and seasonal fluctuations. Temperature gradients with depth resulted in a downward in summer and upward in winter and became driving force for thermal vapor movement. Soil moistures in Gobi desert site were very low and varied slowly with time. While the soil moistures in riparian site were complicated due to root distribution but water potentials remained uniform with time. The hydrus-1D was employed to simulate evapotranspiration processes. The simulation results showed the significant difference of evaporation rate in the Gobi desert and riparian sites.

  14. Spectroscopic and Microscopic Characterization of Contaminant Uptake and Retention by Carbonates in the Soil and Vadose Zone

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reeder, Richard J.; Fisher, Nicholas S.; Hess, Wayne P.; Beck, Kenneth M.

    2003-01-01

    The research focus of this previous EMSP grant was assessment of the role that carbonate minerals play in the uptake and sequestration of metal and radionuclide contaminants in soils and the vadose zone for conditions relevant to the Hanford Site and other sites in the DOE Complex. The project was a collaboration among researchers at SUNY-Stony Brook and EMSL/PNNL. Carbonates, particularly calcite, are present in the Hanford subsurface as grain coatings, disseminated particles, and dense caliche layers. Calcite is also predicted to be forming beneath leaking tanks. A range of metal and radionuclide species that pose risks at Hanford and other DOE sites were considered, including U(VI), Cr(CV), Cs, Pb(II), and selected lanthanides (as models for trivalent actinides). Batch sorption and co-precipitation experiments of these metals with pre-equilibrated calcite and selected uptake experiments on natural caliche formed the basis to determine the mechanisms of metal/radionuclide binding and to assess the effect on the stability of the sorbed species and the potential for remobilization. Our results provide ne information that can benefit DOE clean-up methodology and potentially provide new approaches for uptake of selected heavy metals

  15. Poly-use multi-level sampling system for soil-gas transport analysis in the vadose zone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nauer, Philipp A; Chiri, Eleonora; Schroth, Martin H

    2013-10-01

    Soil-gas turnover is important in the global cycling of greenhouse gases. The analysis of soil-gas profiles provides quantitative information on below-ground turnover and fluxes. We developed a poly-use multi-level sampling system (PMLS) for soil-gas sampling, water-content and temperature measurement with high depth resolution and minimal soil disturbance. It is based on perforated access tubes (ATs) permanently installed in the soil. A multi-level sampler allows extraction of soil-gas samples from 20 locations within 1 m depth, while a capacitance probe is used to measure volumetric water contents. During idle times, the ATs are sealed and can be equipped with temperature sensors. Proof-of-concept experiments in a field lysimeter showed good agreement of soil-gas samples and water-content measurements compared with conventional techniques, while a successfully performed gas-tracer test demonstrated the feasibility of the PMLS to determine soil-gas diffusion coefficients in situ. A field application of the PMLS to quantify oxidation of atmospheric CH4 in a field lysimeter and in the forefield of a receding glacier yielded activity coefficients and soil-atmosphere fluxes well in agreement with previous studies. With numerous options for customization, the presented tool extends the methodological choices to investigate soil-gas transport in the vadose zone.

  16. Factors Effecting the Fate and Transport of CL-20 in the Vadose Zone and Groundwater: Final Report 2002 - 2004 SERDP Project CP-1255

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Szecsody, James E.; Riley, Robert G.; Devary, Brooks J.; Girvin, Donald C.; Resch, Charles T.; Campbell, James A.; Fredrickson, Herbert L.; Thompson, Karen T.; Crocker, Fiona H.; Qasim, Mohammad M.; Gamerdinger, Amy P.; Lemond, Luke A.

    2005-06-01

    This SERDP-funded project was initiated to investigate the fate of CL-20 in the subsurface environment, with a focus on identification and quantification of geochemical and microbial reactions of CL-20. CL-20 can be released to the surface and subsurface terrestrial environment by: a) manufacturing processes, b) munition storage, and c) use with low order detonation or unexploded ordnance. The risk of far-field subsurface migration was assessed through labora-tory experiments with a variety of sediments and subsurface materials to quantify processes that control CL-20 sorption-limited migration and degradation. Results of this study show that CL-20 will exhibit differing behavior in the subsurface terrestrial environment: 1. CL-20 on the sediment surface will photodegrade and interact with plants/animals (described in other SERDP projects CU 1254, 1256). CL-20 will exhibit greater sorption in humid sediments to organic matter. Transport will be solubility limited (i.e., low CL-20 aqueous solubility). 2. CL-20 infiltration into soils (<2 m) from spills will be subject to sorption to soil organic matter (if present), and low to high biodegradation rates (weeks to years) depending on the microbial population (greater in humid environment). 3. CL-20 in the vadose zone (>2 m) will be, in most cases, subject to low sorption and low degradation rates, so would persist in the subsurface environment and be at risk for deep migration. Low water content in arid regions will result in a decrease in both sorption and the degradation rate. Measured degradation rates in unsaturated sediments of years would result in significant subsurface migration distances. 4. CL-20 in groundwater will be subject to some sorption but likely very slow degradation rates. CL-20 sorption will be greater than RDX. Most CL-20 degradation will be abiotic (ferrous iron and other transition metals), because most deep subsurface systems have extremely low natural microbial populations. Degradation rates

  17. 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

  18. Characterization of Vadose Zone Sediments Below the TX Tank Farm: Probe Holes C3830, C3831, C3832 and 299-W10-27

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Serne, R JEFFREY.; Bjornstad, Bruce N.; Horton, Duane G.; Lanigan, David C.; Lindenmeier, Clark W.; Lindberg, Michael J.; Clayton, Ray E.; LeGore, Virginia L.; Orr, Robert D.; Kutnyakov, Igor V.; Baum, Steven R.; Geiszler, Keith N.; Valenta, Michelle M.; Vickerman, Tanya S.

    2004-04-01

    Pacific Northwest National Laboratory performed detailed analyses on vadose zone sediments from within Waste Management Area T-TX-TY. This report contains all the geologic, geochemical, and selected physical characterization data collected on vadose zone sediment recovered from three probe holes (C3830, C3831, and C3832) in the TX Tank Farm, and from borehole 299-W-10-27. Sediments from borehole 299-W-10-27 are considered to be uncontaminated sediments that can be compared with contaminated sediments. This report also presents our interpretation of the sediment lithologies, the vertical extent of contamination, the migration potential of the contaminants, and the likely source of the contamination in the vadose zone and groundwater below the TX Tank Farm. Sediment from the probe holes was analyzed for: moisture, radionuclide and carbon contents;, one-to-one water extracts (soil pH, electrical conductivity, cation, trace metal, and anion data), and 8 M nitric acid extracts. Overall, our analyses showed that common ion exchange is a key mechanism that influences the distribution of contaminants within that portion of the vadose zone affected by tank liquor. We did not observe significant indications of caustic alteration of the sediment mineralogy or porosity, or significant zones of slightly elevated pH values in the probe holes. The sediments do show that sodium-, nitrate-, and sulfate-dominated fluids are present. The fluids are more dilute than tank fluids observed below tanks at the SX and BX Tank Farms. Three primary stratigraphic units were encountered in each probe hole: (1) backfill material, (2) the Hanford formation, and (3) the Cold Creek unit. Each of the probe holes contain thin fine-grained layers in the Hanford H2 stratigraphic unit that may impact the flow of leaked fluids and effect irregular and horizontal flow. The probe holes could not penetrate below the enriched calcium carbonate strata of the Cold Creek lower subunit; therefore, we did not

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Modeling non-steady state radioisotope transport in the vadose zone--A case study using uranium isotopes at Pena Blanca, Mexico

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ku, T.L.; Luo, S.; Goldstein, S.J.; Murrell, M.T.; Chu, W.L.; Dobson, P.F.

    2009-01-01

    Current models using U- and Th-series disequilibria to study radioisotope transport in groundwater systems mostly consider a steady-state situation. These models have limited applicability to the vadose zone (UZ) where the concentration and migratory behavior of radioisotopes in fluid are often transitory. We present here, as a first attempt of its kind, a model simulating the non-steady state, intermittent fluid transport in vadose layers. It provides quantitative constraints on in-situ migration of dissolved and colloidal radioisotopes in terms of retardation factor and rock-water interaction (or water transit) time. For uranium, the simulation predicts that intermittent flushing in the UZ leads to a linear relationship between reciprocal U concentration and 234 U/ 238 U ratio in percolating waters, with the intercept and slope bearing information on the rates of dissolution and α-recoil of U isotopes, respectively. The general validity of the model appears to be borne out by the measurement of uranium isotopes in UZ waters collected at various times over a period during 1995-2006 from a site in the Pena Blanca mining district, Mexico, where the Nopal I uranium deposit is located. Enhanced 234 U/ 238 U ratios in vadose-zone waters resulting from lengthened non-flushing time as prescribed by the model provide an interpretative basis for using 234 U/ 238 U in cave calcites to reconstruct the regional changes in hydrology and climate. We also provide a theoretical account of the model's potential applications using radium isotopes.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Vadose zone microbial community structure and activity in metal/radionuclide contaminated sediments. Final technical report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Balkwill, David L.

    2002-08-17

    This final technical report describes the research carried out during the final two months of the no-cost extension ending 11/14/01. The primary goals of the project were (1) to determine the potential for transformation of Cr(VI) (oxidized, mobile) to Cr(III) (reduced, immobile) under unsaturated conditions as a function of different levels and combinations of (a) chromium, (b) nitrate (co-disposed with Cr), and (c) molasses (inexpensive bioremediation substrate), and (2) to determine population structure and activity in experimental treatments by characterization of the microbial community by signature biomarker analysis and by RT-PCR and terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) and 16S ribosomal RNA genes. It was determined early in the one-year no-cost extension period that the T-RFLP approach was problematic in regard to providing information on the identities of microorganisms in the samples examined. As a result, it could not provide the detailed information on microbial community structure that was needed to assess the effects of treatments with chromium, nitrate, and/or molasses. Therefore, we decided to obtain the desired information by amplifying (using TR-PCR, with the same primers used for T-RFLP) and cloning 16S rRNA gene sequences from the same RNA extracts that were used for T-RFLP analysis. We also decided to use a restriction enzyme digest procedure (fingerprinting procedure) to place the clones into types. The primary focus of the research carried out during this report period was twofold: (a) to complete the sequencing of the clones, and (b) to analyze the clone sequences phylogenetically in order to determine the relatedness of the bacteria detected in the samples to each other and to previously described genera and species.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Vadose zone processes delay groundwater nitrate reduction response to BMP implementation as observed in paired cultivated vs. uncultivated potato rotation fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Y.; Nyiraneza, J.; Murray, B. J.; Chapman, S.; Malenica, A.; Parker, B.

    2017-12-01

    Nitrate leaching from crop production contributes to groundwater contamination and subsequent eutrophication of the receiving surface water. A study was conducted in a 7-ha potato-grain-forages rotation field in Prince Edward Island (PEI), Canada during 2011-2016 to link potato rotation practices and groundwater quality. The field consists of fine sandy loam soil and is underlain by 7-9 m of glacial till, which overlies the regional fractured ;red-bed; sandstone aquifer. The water table is generally located in overburden close to the bedrock interface. Field treatments included one field zone taken out of production in 2011 with the remaining zones kept under a conventional potato rotation. Agronomy data including crop tissue, soil, and tile-drain water quality were collected. Hydrogeology data including multilevel monitoring of groundwater nitrate and hydraulic head and data from rock coring for nitrate distribution in overburden and bedrock matrix were also collected. A significant amount of nitrate leached below the soil profile after potato plant kill (referred to as topkill) in 2011, most of it from fertilizer N. A high level of nitrate was also detected in the till vadose zone through coring in December 2012 and through multilevel groundwater sampling from January to May 2014 in both cultivated and uncultivated field zones. Groundwater nitrate concentrations increased for about 2.5 years after the overlying potato field was removed from production. Pressure-driven uniform flow processes dominate water and nitrate transport in the vadose zone, producing an apparently instant water table response but a delayed groundwater quality response to nitrate leaching events. These data suggest that the uniform flow dominated vadose zone in agricultural landscapes can cause the accumulation of a significant amount of nitrate originated from previous farming activities, and the long travel time of this legacy nitrate in the vadose zone can result in substantially delayed

  9. 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

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Enhanced biogeochemical cycling and subsequent reduction of hydraulic conductivity associated with soil-layer interfaces in the vadose zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, David J.; McGuire, Jennifer T.; Mohanty, Binayak P.

    2013-01-01

    Biogeochemical dynamics in the vadose zone are poorly understood due to the transient nature of chemical and hydrologic conditions, but are nonetheless critical to understanding chemical fate and transport. This study explored the effects of a soil layer on linked geochemical, hydrological, and microbiological processes. Three laboratory soil columns were constructed: a homogenized medium-grained sand, a homogenized organic-rich loam, and a sand-over-loam layered column. Upward and downward infiltration of water was evaluated during experiments to simulate rising water table and rainfall events respectively. In-situ collocated probes measured soil water content, matric potential, and Eh while water samples collected from the same locations were analyzed for Br−, Cl−, NO3−, SO42−, NH4+, Fe2+, and total sulfide. Compared to homogenous columns, the presence of a soil layer altered the biogeochemistry and water flow of the system considerably. Enhanced biogeochemical cycling was observed in the layered column over the texturally homogeneous soil columns. Enumerations of iron and sulfate reducing bacteria showed 1-2 orders of magnitude greater community numbers in the layered column. Mineral and soil aggregate composites were most abundant near the soil-layer interface; the presence of which, likely contributed to an observed order-of-magnitude decrease in hydraulic conductivity. These findings show that quantifying coupled hydrologic-biogeochemical processes occurring at small-scale soil interfaces is critical to accurately describing and predicting chemical changes at the larger system scale. Findings also provide justification for considering soil layering in contaminant fate and transport models because of its potential to increase biodegradation and/or slow the rate of transport of contaminants. PMID:22031578

  15. Use of Large-Scale Multi-Configuration EMI Measurements to Characterize Subsurface Structures of the Vadose Zone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huisman, J. A.; Brogi, C.; Pätzold, S.; Weihermueller, L.; von Hebel, C.; Van Der Kruk, J.; Vereecken, H.

    2017-12-01

    Subsurface structures of the vadose zone can play a key role in crop yield potential, especially during water stress periods. Geophysical techniques like electromagnetic induction EMI can provide information about dominant shallow subsurface features. However, previous studies with EMI have typically not reached beyond the field scale. We used high-resolution large-scale multi-configuration EMI measurements to characterize patterns of soil structural organization (layering and texture) and their impact on crop productivity at the km2 scale. We collected EMI data on an agricultural area of 1 km2 (102 ha) near Selhausen (NRW, Germany). The area consists of 51 agricultural fields cropped in rotation. Therefore, measurements were collected between April and December 2016, preferably within few days after the harvest. EMI data were automatically filtered, temperature corrected, and interpolated onto a common grid of 1 m resolution. Inspecting the ECa maps, we identified three main sub-areas with different subsurface heterogeneity. We also identified small-scale geomorphological structures as well as anthropogenic activities such as soil management and buried drainage networks. To identify areas with similar subsurface structures, we applied image classification techniques. We fused ECa maps obtained with different coil distances in a multiband image and applied supervised and unsupervised classification methodologies. Both showed good results in reconstructing observed patterns in plant productivity and the subsurface structures associated with them. However, the supervised methodology proved more efficient in classifying the whole study area. In a second step, we selected hundred locations within the study area and obtained a soil profile description with type, depth, and thickness of the soil horizons. Using this ground truth data it was possible to assign a typical soil profile to each of the main classes obtained from the classification. The proposed methodology was

  16. Remediation of Uranium in the Hanford Vadose Zone Using Ammonia Gas: FY 2010 Laboratory-Scale Experiments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Szecsody, James E.; Truex, Michael J.; Zhong, Lirong; Qafoku, Nikolla; Williams, Mark D.; McKinley, James P.; Wang, Zheming; Bargar, John; Faurie, Danielle K.; Resch, Charles T.; Phillips, Jerry L.

    2010-01-01

    This investigation is focused on refining an in situ technology for vadose zone remediation of uranium by the addition of ammonia (NH3) gas. Objectives are to: (a) refine the technique of ammonia gas treatment of low water content sediments to minimize uranium mobility by changing uranium surface phases (or coat surface phases), (b) identify the geochemical changes in uranium surface phases during ammonia gas treatment, (c) identify broader geochemical changes that occur in sediment during ammonia gas treatment, and (d) predict and test injection of ammonia gas for intermediate-scale systems to identify process interactions that occur at a larger scale and could impact field scale implementation. Overall, NH3 gas treatment of low-water content sediments appears quite effective at decreasing aqueous, adsorbed uranium concentrations. The NH3 gas treatment is also fairly effective for decreasing the mobility of U-carbonate coprecipitates, but shows mixed success for U present in Na-boltwoodite. There are some changes in U-carbonate surface phases that were identified by surface phase analysis, but no changes observed for Na-boltwoodite. It is likely that dissolution of sediment minerals (predominantly montmorillonite, muscovite, kaolinite) under the alkaline conditions created and subsequent precipitation as the pH returns to natural conditions coat some of the uranium surface phases, although a greater understanding of these processes is needed to predict the long term impact on uranium mobility. Injection of NH3 gas into sediments at low water content (1% to 16% water content) can effectively treat a large area without water addition, so there is little uranium mobilization (i.e., transport over cm or larger scale) during the injection phase.

  17. Remediation of Uranium in the Hanford Vadose Zone Using Ammonia Gas: FY 2010 Laboratory-Scale Experiments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Szecsody, James E.; Truex, Michael J.; Zhong, Lirong; Qafoku, Nikolla; Williams, Mark D.; McKinley, James P.; Wang, Zheming; Bargar, John; Faurie, Danielle K.; Resch, Charles T.; Phillips, Jerry L.

    2010-12-01

    This investigation is focused on refining an in situ technology for vadose zone remediation of uranium by the addition of ammonia (NH3) gas. Objectives are to: a) refine the technique of ammonia gas treatment of low water content sediments to minimize uranium mobility by changing uranium surface phases (or coat surface phases), b) identify the geochemical changes in uranium surface phases during ammonia gas treatment, c) identify broader geochemical changes that occur in sediment during ammonia gas treatment, and d) predict and test injection of ammonia gas for intermediate-scale systems to identify process interactions that occur at a larger scale and could impact field scale implementation.Overall, NH3 gas treatment of low-water content sediments appears quite effective at decreasing aqueous, adsorbed uranium concentrations. The NH3 gas treatment is also fairly effective for decreasing the mobility of U-carbonate coprecipitates, but shows mixed success for U present in Na-boltwoodite. There are some changes in U-carbonate surface phases that were identified by surface phase analysis, but no changes observed for Na-boltwoodite. It is likely that dissolution of sediment minerals (predominantly montmorillonite, muscovite, kaolinite) under the alkaline conditions created and subsequent precipitation as the pH returns to natural conditions coat some of the uranium surface phases, although a greater understanding of these processes is needed to predict the long term impact on uranium mobility. Injection of NH3 gas into sediments at low water content (1% to 16% water content) can effectively treat a large area without water addition, so there is little uranium mobilization (i.e., transport over cm or larger scale) during the injection phase.

  18. CO2 leakage monitoring and analysis to understand the variation of CO2 concentration in vadose zone by natural effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joun, Won-Tak; Ha, Seung-Wook; Kim, Hyun Jung; Ju, YeoJin; Lee, Sung-Sun; Lee, Kang-Kun

    2017-04-01

    Controlled ex-situ experiments and continuous CO2 monitoring in the field are significant implications for detecting and monitoring potential leakage from CO2 sequestration reservoir. However, it is difficult to understand the observed parameters because the natural disturbance will fluctuate the signal of detections in given local system. To identify the original source leaking from sequestration reservoir and to distinguish the camouflaged signal of CO2 concentration, the artificial leakage test was conducted in shallow groundwater environment and long-term monitoring have been performed. The monitoring system included several parameters such as pH, temperature, groundwater level, CO2 gas concentration, wind speed and direction, atmospheric pressure, borehole pressure, and rainfall event etc. Especially in this study, focused on understanding a relationship among the CO2 concentration, wind speed, rainfall and pressure difference. The results represent that changes of CO2 concentration in vadose zone could be influenced by physical parameters and this reason is helpful in identifying the camouflaged signal of CO2 concentrations. The 1-D column laboratory experiment also was conducted to understand the sparking-peak as shown in observed data plot. The results showed a similar peak plot and could consider two assumptions why the sparking-peak was shown. First, the trapped CO2 gas was escaped when the water table was changed. Second, the pressure equivalence between CO2 gas and water was broken when the water table was changed. These field data analysis and laboratory experiment need to advance due to comprehensively quantify local long-term dynamics of the artificial CO2 leaking aquifer. Acknowledgement Financial support was provided by the "R&D Project on Environmental Management of Geologic CO2 Storage" from the KEITI (Project Number: 2014001810003)

  19. Hanford Tank Farms Vadose Zone, Addendum to the TX Tank Farm Report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Spatz, R.

    2000-01-01

    This addendum to the TX Tank Farm Report (GJO-97-13-TAR, GJO-HAN-11) published in September 1997 incorporates the results of high-rate and repeat logging activities along with shape factor analysis of the logging data. A high-rate logging system was developed and deployed in the TX Tank Farm to measure cesium-137 concentration levels in high gamma flux zones where the spectral gamma logging system was unable to collect usable data because of high dead times and detector saturation. This report presents additional data and revised visualizations of subsurface contaminant distribution in the TX Tank Farm at the DOE Hanford Site in the state of Washington

  20. Hanford Tank Farms Vadose Zone, Addendum to the T Tank Farm Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Spatz, Robert

    2000-07-01

    This addendum to the T Tank Farm Report (GJO-99-101-TARA, GJO-HAN-27) published in September 1999 incorporates the results of high-rate and repeat logging activities along with shape factor analysis of the logging incorporates the results of high-rate and repeat logging activities along with shape factor analysis of the logging data. A high-rate logging system was developed and deployed in the T Tank Farm to measure cesium-137 concentration levels in high gamma flux zones where the spectral gamma logging system was unable to collect usable data because of high dead times and detector saturation. This report presents additional data and revised visualizations of subsurface contaminant distribution in the T Tank Farm at the DOE Hanford Site in the state of Washington.

  1. 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)

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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)

  5. In-situ active/passive bioreclamation of vadose zone soils contaminated with gasoline and waste oil using soil vapor extraction/bioventing: Laboratory pilot study to full scale site operation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zachary, S.P.; Everett, L.G.

    1993-01-01

    The use of soil venting to supply oxygen and remove metabolites from the biodegradation of light hydrocarbons is a cost effective in-situ remediation approach. To date, little data exists on the effective in-situ bioreclamation of vadose zone soil contaminated with waste/hydraulic oil without excavation or the addition of water or nutrients to degrade the heavy petroleum contaminants. Gasoline and waste/hydraulic oil contaminated soils below an active commercial building required an in-situ non-disruptive remediation approach. Initial soil vapor samples collected from the vadose zone revealed CO 2 concentrations in excess of 16% and O 2 concentrations of less than 1% by volume. Soil samples were collected from below the building within the contaminated vadose zone for laboratory chemical and physical analysis as well as to conduct a laboratory biotreatability study. The laboratory biotreatability study was conducted for 30 days to simulate vadose zone bioventing conditions using soil taken from the contaminated vadose zone. Results of the biotreatability study revealed that the waste oil concentrations had been reduced from 960 mg/Kg to non-detectable concentrations within 30 days and the volatile hydrocarbon content had decreased exponentially to less than 0.1% of the original concentration. Post treatability study biological enumeration revealed an increase in the microbial population of two orders of magnitude

  6. Water movement and solute transport in deep vadose zone under four irrigated agricultural land-use types in the North China Plain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Min, Leilei; Shen, Yanjun; Pei, Hongwei; Wang, Ping

    2018-04-01

    Groundwater-fed agriculture has caused water table declines and groundwater quality degradation in the North China Plain. Based on sediment sampling in deep vadose zone (with a maximum depth of 11.0 m), groundwater recharge, seepage velocity, solute inventory and transport under four typical irrigated agricultural land-use types (winter wheat and summer maize, WM; pear orchards, PO; outdoor vegetables, VE; and cotton, CO) were investigated in this study. The results reveal that there are many solutes stored in the vadose zone. Nitrate storage per unit depth in the vadose zone is highest under PO (1703 kg/ha), followed by VE (970 kg/ha), WM (736 kg/ha) and CO (727 kg/ha). However, the amount of annual leached nitrate under the four land-use types results in a different order (VE, 404 kg/ha; WM, 108 kg/ha; PO, 23 kg/ha; CO, 13 kg/ha). The estimated average recharge rates are 180 mm/yr for WM, 27 mm/yr for CO, 320 mm/yr for VE and 49 mm/yr for PO. The seepage velocity under VE (2.22 m/yr) exceeds the values under the other three land-use types (WM, 0.85 m/yr; PO, 0.49 m/yr; CO, 0.09 m/yr). The highest seepage velocity under VE caused significant nitrate contamination in groundwater, whereas the other two land-use types (WM and PO) had no direct influence on groundwater quality. The results of this work could be used for groundwater resources management.

  7. 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

  8. Characterization of Vadose Zone Sediments Below the C Tank Farm: Borehole C4297 and RCRA Borehole 299-E27-22

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brown, Christopher F.; Serne, R. JEFFREY; Bjornstad, Bruce N.; Horton, Duane G.; Lanigan, David C.; Clayton, Ray E.; Valenta, Michelle M.; Vickerman, Tanya S.; Kutnyakov, Igor V.; Geiszler, Keith N.; Baum, Steven R.; Parker, Kent E.; Lindberg, Michael J.

    2006-10-18

    The overall goal of the Tank Farm Vadose Zone Project, led by CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc., is to define risks from past and future single-shell tank farm activities at Hanford. To meet this goal, CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc. tasked scientists from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to perform detailed analyses on vadose zone sediments from within Waste Management Area (WMA) C. This report is the first of two reports written to present the results of these analyses. Specifically, this report contains all the geologic, geochemical, and selected physical characterization data collected on vadose zone sediment recovered from borehole C4297, installed adjacent to Tank C-105, and from borehole 299-E27-22, installed directly north of the C Tank Farm. Sediments from borehole 299-E27-22 were considered to be background uncontaminated sediments against which to compare contaminated sediments for the C Tank Farm characterization effort. This report also presents our interpretation of the data in the context of sediment types, the vertical extent of contamination, the migration potential of the contaminants, and the likely source of the contamination in the vadose zone and groundwater below the C Tank Farm. The information presented in this report supports the A-AX, C and U Waste Management Area field investigation report(a) in preparation by CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc. A core log was generated for both boreholes and a geologic evaluation of all core samples was performed at the time of opening. Aliquots of sediment from the borehole core samples were analyzed and characterized in the laboratory for the following parameters: moisture content, gamma-emitting radionuclides, one-to-one water extracts (which provide soil pH, electrical conductivity, cation, trace metal, and anion data), total carbon and inorganic carbon content, and 8 M nitric acid extracts (which provide a measure of the total leachable sediment content of contaminants). Two key radiocontaminants

  9. Soil Desiccation Techniques Strategies For Immobilization Of Deep Vadose Contaminants At The Hanford Central Plateau

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Benecke, M.W.; Chronister, G.B.; Truex, M.J.

    2012-01-01

    Deep vadose zone contamination poses some of the most difficult remediation challenges for the protection of groundwater at the Hanford Site where processes and technologies are being developed and tested for use in the on-going effort to remediate mobile contamination in the deep vadose zone, the area deep beneath the surface. Historically, contaminants were discharged to the soil along with significant amounts of water, which continues to drive contaminants deeper in the vadose zone toward groundwater. Soil desiccation is a potential in situ remedial technology well suited for the arid conditions and the thick vadose zone at the Hanford Site. Desiccation techniques could reduce the advance of contaminants by removing the pore water to slow the rate of contaminants movement toward groundwater. Desiccation technologies have the potential to halt or slow the advance of contaminants in unsaturated systems, as well as aid in reduction of contaminants from these same areas. Besides reducing the water flux, desiccation also establishes capillary breaks that would require extensive rewetting to resume pore water transport. More importantly, these techniques have widespread application, whether the need is to isolate radio nuclides or address chemical contaminant issues. Three different desiccation techniques are currently being studied at Hanford.

  10. An analytical model for predicting transport in a coupled vadose/phreatic system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tomasko, D.

    1997-05-01

    A simple analytical model is presented for predicting the transport of a contaminant in both the unsaturated (vadose) and saturated (phreatic) zones following a surficial spill. The model incorporates advection, dispersion, adsorption, and first-order decay in both zones and couples the transport processes at the water table. The governing equation is solved by using the method of Laplace transforms, with numerical inversion of the Laplace space equation for concentration. Because of the complexity of the functional form for the Laplace space solution, a numerical methodology using the real and imaginary parts of a Fourier series was implemented. To reduce conservatism in the model, dilution at the water table was also included. Verification of the model is demonstrated by its ability to reproduce the source history at the surface and to replicate appropriate one-dimensional transport through either the vadose or phreatic zone. Because of its simplicity and lack of detailed input data requirements, the model is recommended for scoping calculations

  11. Characterisation, quantification and modelling of CO2 transport and interactions in a carbonate vadose zone: application to a CO2 diffusive leakage in a geological sequestration context

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cohen, Gregory

    2013-01-01

    Global warming is related to atmospheric greenhouse gas concentration increase and especially anthropogenic CO 2 emissions. Geologic sequestration has the potential capacity and the longevity to significantly diminish anthropogenic CO 2 emissions. This sequestration in deep geological formation induces leakage risks from the geological reservoir. Several leakage scenarios have been imagined. Since it could continue for a long period, inducing environmental issues and risks for human, the scenario of a diffusive leakage is the most worrying. Thus, monitoring tools and protocols are needed to set up a near-surface monitoring plan. The present thesis deals with this problematic. The aims are the characterisation, the quantification and the modelling of transport and interactions of CO 2 in a carbonate unsaturated zone. This was achieved following an experimental approach on a natural pilot site in Saint-Emilion (Gironde, France), where diffusive gas leakage experiments were set up in a carbonate unsaturated zone. Different aspects were investigated during the study: natural pilot site description and instrumentation; the physical and chemical characterisation of carbonate reservoir heterogeneity; the natural functioning of the carbonate unsaturated zone and especially the set-up of a CO 2 concentrations baseline; the characterisation of gas plume extension following induced diffusive leakage in the carbonate unsaturated zone and the study of gas-water-rock interactions during a CO 2 diffusive leakage in a carbonate unsaturated zone through numerical simulations. The results show the importance of the carbonate reservoir heterogeneity characterisation as well as the sampling and analysing methods for the different phases. The baseline set-up is of main interest since it allows discrimination between the induced and the natural CO 2 concentrations variations. The transfer of CO 2 in a carbonate unsaturated zone is varying in function of physical and chemical properties

  12. You Don't Need Richards'... A New General 1-D Vadose Zone Solution Method that is Reliable

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogden, F. L.; Lai, W.; Zhu, J.; Steinke, R. C.; Talbot, C. A.

    2015-12-01

    Hydrologic modelers and mathematicians have strived to improve 1-D Richards' equation (RE) solution reliability for predicting vadose zone fluxes. Despite advances in computing power and the numerical solution of partial differential equations since Richards first published the RE in 1931, the solution remains unreliable. That is to say that there is no guarantee that for a particular set of soil constitutive relations, moisture profile conditions, or forcing input that a numerical RE solver will converge to an answer. This risk of non-convergence renders prohibitive the use of RE solvers in hydrological models that need perhaps millions of infiltration solutions. In lieu of using unreliable numerical RE solutions, researchers have developed a wide array of approximate solutions that more-or-less mimic the behavior of the RE, with some notable deficiencies such as parameter insensitivity or divergence over time. The improved Talbot-Ogden (T-O) finite water-content scheme was shown by Ogden et al. (2015) to be an extremely good approximation of the 1-D RE solution, with a difference in cumulative infiltration of only 0.2 percent over an 8 month simulation comparing the improved T-O scheme with a RE numerical solver. The reason is that the newly-derived fundamental flow equation that underpins the improved T-O method is equivalent to the RE minus a term that is equal to the diffusive flux divided by the slope of the wetting front. Because the diffusive flux has zero mean, this term is not important in calculating the mean flux. The wetting front slope is near infinite (sharp) in coarser soils that produce more significant hydrological interactions between surface and ground waters, which also makes this missing term 1) disappear in the limit, and, 2) create stability challenges for the numerical solution of RE. The improved T-O method is a replacement for the 1-D RE in soils that can be simulated as homogeneous layers, where the user is willing to neglect the effects

  13. Monitoring and Modeling the Fate and Transport of Nitrate in the Vadose Zone beneath a Suwannee River Basin Vegetable Farm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albert, M. A.; Graham, W. D.; Graetz, D.

    2002-05-01

    The Suwannee River basin has received much attention in recent years due to increased nitrogen levels in the groundwater-fed rivers of the basin that could seriously affect the welfare of this ecosystem. Nitrogen levels have increased from 0.1mg/l NO3-N to more than 5 mg/L NO3-N in many springs in the Suwannee Basin over the past 40 years. Nitrate concentrations in the Suwannee River itself have been increasing at the rate of .02 mg/L per year over the past 20 years. Suwannee River nitrate loads increase from 2300 kg/day to 6000 kg/day over a 33 mile stretch of the river between Dowling Park and Branford, Florida. Within this stretch of river, 89% of the nitrate loading appeared to come from the lower two-thirds, where agriculture is the dominant land use. The objective of this research is to monitor and model the impacts of alternative nutrient and water management practices on soil water quality, groundwater quality and crop yield at a commercial vegetable farm in the Suwannee River Basin. Groundwater monitoring wells, suction lysimeters, soil cores and TDR probes are used to monitor water and nitrogen transport at the site. Periodic plant biomass sampling is conducted to determine nitrogen uptake by the plants and to estimate crop yield. Field data show that two-thirds of the nitrogen applied to the spring 2001 potato crop leached to groundwater due to excessive irrigation and poor nitrogen uptake efficiency by the potatoes. The DSSAT35-Potato Crop model and the LEACHM vadose-zone model were calibrated for the spring 2001 potato crop and used to predict nitrogen leaching and crop yield for alternative management practices. Simulation results show that by reducing the duration of irrigation, reducing the fertilizer application rate, and improving the timing of fertilizer applications, nitrogen leaching can be reduced by approximately 50% while maintaining acceptable crop yields. Results of this project will ultimately be used to develop best management practices

  14. Utilizing High-Performance Computing to Investigate Parameter Sensitivity of an Inversion Model for Vadose Zone Flow and Transport

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, Z.; Ward, A. L.; Fang, Y.; Yabusaki, S.

    2011-12-01

    High-resolution geologic models have proven effective in improving the accuracy of subsurface flow and transport predictions. However, many of the parameters in subsurface flow and transport models cannot be determined directly at the scale of interest and must be estimated through inverse modeling. A major challenge, particularly in vadose zone flow and transport, is the inversion of the highly-nonlinear, high-dimensional problem as current methods are not readily scalable for large-scale, multi-process models. In this paper we describe the implementation of a fully automated approach for addressing complex parameter optimization and sensitivity issues on massively parallel multi- and many-core systems. The approach is based on the integration of PNNL's extreme scale Subsurface Transport Over Multiple Phases (eSTOMP) simulator, which uses the Global Array toolkit, with the Beowulf-Cluster inspired parallel nonlinear parameter estimation software, BeoPEST in the MPI mode. In the eSTOMP/BeoPEST implementation, a pre-processor generates all of the PEST input files based on the eSTOMP input file. Simulation results for comparison with observations are extracted automatically at each time step eliminating the need for post-process data extractions. The inversion framework was tested with three different experimental data sets: one-dimensional water flow at Hanford Grass Site; irrigation and infiltration experiment at the Andelfingen Site; and a three-dimensional injection experiment at Hanford's Sisson and Lu Site. Good agreements are achieved in all three applications between observations and simulations in both parameter estimates and water dynamics reproduction. Results show that eSTOMP/BeoPEST approach is highly scalable and can be run efficiently with hundreds or thousands of processors. BeoPEST is fault tolerant and new nodes can be dynamically added and removed. A major advantage of this approach is the ability to use high-resolution geologic models to preserve

  15. Characterization of Direct-Push Vadose Zone Sediments from the 241-B and 241-BX Tank Farms

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brown, Christopher F.; Icenhower, Jonathan P.; Um, Wooyong; Bjornstad, Bruce N.; Valenta, Michelle M.; Iovin, Cristian; Lanigan, David C.; Clayton, Ray E.; Geiszler, Keith N.; Clayton, Eric T.; Kutnyakov, Igor V.; Baum, Steven R.; Lindberg, Michael J.; Orr, Robert D.

    2007-01-01

    Geochemical tests provide evidence for the transit of a plume of caustic waste solution through the sediment column at the Hanford 241-B and -BX Tank Farms. Direct-push samples recovered from boreholes surrounding Tanks 241-B-110 and 241-BX-102 and related waste transfer lines and diversion boxes included sediments typical of those previously recovered from other localities on the Hanford Site. The Hanford formation sediments are dominantly quartzo-feldspathic sands strewn with lithic fragments, displaying a range of particle size distributions and sorting characteristics. Some moderately well-sorted, fine-grained lithologies are interpreted as lenticular bodies irregularly dispersed in coarser-grained, more poorly sorted sediments. Tier I tests conducted on the vadose zone sediments revealed an inverse correlation between moisture content and sediment size fraction (i.e., there is greater moisture content in finer-grained sediments). The Tier I tests also showed that the pore water solutions were likely sodium-rich, moderately saline, and possessed higher pH values than background (untainted) sediments. These data are characteristic of sediments that have encountered sodium-rich, saline, caustic waste solution, as documented in other reports at other suspect contamination sites around Hanford. Analyses of solutions from 1:1 water extracts reveal relatively balanced cation and anion concentrations, indicating that most of the geochemical species have been accounted for. The water extract data for affected sediments also indicate unusually high concentrations of aluminum, iron, and phosphorus. The relatively high concentrations of aluminum and iron may be the result of dissolution of secondary amorphous phases that precipitated after a reactive plume partially dissolved aluminum- and iron-bearing phases as it migrated through the sediment column. On the other hand, the presence of elevated concentrations of phosphorous may be the tell-tale signature of wastes

  16. Characterization of Direct-Push Vadose Zone Sediments from the 241-B and 241-BX Tank Farms

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brown, Christopher F.; Icenhower, Jonathan P.; Um, Wooyong; Bjornstad, Bruce N.; Valenta, Michelle M.; Iovin, Cristian; Lanigan, David C.; Clayton, Ray E.; Geiszler, Keith N.; Clayton, Eric T.; Kutnyakov, Igor V.; Baum, Steven R.; Lindberg, Michael J.; Orr, Robert D.

    2007-12-21

    Geochemical tests provide evidence for the transit of a plume of caustic waste solution through the sediment column at the Hanford 241-B and -BX Tank Farms. Direct-push samples recovered from boreholes surrounding Tanks 241-B-110 and 241-BX-102 and related waste transfer lines and diversion boxes included sediments typical of those previously recovered from other localities on the Hanford Site. The Hanford formation sediments are dominantly quartzo-feldspathic sands strewn with lithic fragments, displaying a range of particle size distributions and sorting characteristics. Some moderately well-sorted, fine-grained lithologies are interpreted as lenticular bodies irregularly dispersed in coarser-grained, more poorly sorted sediments. Tier I tests conducted on the vadose zone sediments revealed an inverse correlation between moisture content and sediment size fraction (i.e., there is greater moisture content in finer-grained sediments). The Tier I tests also showed that the pore water solutions were likely sodium-rich, moderately saline, and possessed higher pH values than background (untainted) sediments. These data are characteristic of sediments that have encountered sodium-rich, saline, caustic waste solution, as documented in other reports at other suspect contamination sites around Hanford. Analyses of solutions from 1:1 water extracts reveal relatively balanced cation and anion concentrations, indicating that most of the geochemical species have been accounted for. The water extract data for affected sediments also indicate unusually high concentrations of aluminum, iron, and phosphorus. The relatively high concentrations of aluminum and iron may be the result of dissolution of secondary amorphous phases that precipitated after a reactive plume partially dissolved aluminum- and iron-bearing phases as it migrated through the sediment column. On the other hand, the presence of elevated concentrations of phosphorous may be the tell-tale signature of wastes

  17. 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

  18. Part 2: A field study of enhanced remediation of Toluene in the vadose zone using a nutrient solution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tindall, J.A.; Weeks, E.P.; Friedel, M.

    2005-01-01

    The objective of this study was to test the effectiveness of a nitrate-rich nutrient solution and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) to enhance in-situ microbial remediation of toluene in the unsaturated zone. Three sand-filled plots were tested in three phases (each phase lasting approximately 2 weeks). During the control phase, toluene was applied uniformly via sprinkler irrigation. Passive remediation was allowed to occur during this phase. A modified Hoagland nutrient solution, concentrated in 150 L of water, was tested during the second phase. The final phase involved addition of 230 moles of H2O2 in 150 L of water to increase the available oxygen needed for aerobic biodegradation. During the first phase, measured toluene concentrations in soil gas were reduced from 120 ppm to 25 ppm in 14 days. After the addition of nutrients during the second phase, concentrations were reduced from 90 ppm to about 8 ppm within 14 days, and for the third phase (H 2O2), toluene concentrations were about 1 ppm after only 5 days. Initial results suggest that this method could be an effective means of remediating a contaminated site, directly after a BTEX spill, without the intrusiveness and high cost of other abatement technologies such as bioventing or soil-vapor extraction. However, further tests need to be completed to determine the effect of each of the BTEX components. ?? Springer 2005.

  19. Modeling non-steady state radioisotope transport in the vadose zone--A case study using uranium isotopes at Pena Blanca, Mexico

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ku, T. L.; Luo, S.; Goldstein, S. J.; Murrell, M. T.; Chu, W. L.; Dobson, P. F.

    2009-06-01

    Current models using U- and Th-series disequilibria to study radioisotope transport in groundwater systems mostly consider a steady-state situation. These models have limited applicability to the vadose zone (UZ) where the concentration and migratory behavior of radioisotopes in fluid are often transitory. We present here, as a first attempt of its kind, a model simulating the non-steady state, intermittent fluid transport in vadose layers. It provides quantitative constraints on in-situ migration of dissolved and colloidal radioisotopes in terms of retardation factor and rock-water interaction (or water transit) time. For uranium, the simulation predicts that intermittent flushing in the UZ leads to a linear relationship between reciprocal U concentration and {sup 234}U/{sup 238}U ratio in percolating waters, with the intercept and slope bearing information on the rates of dissolution and {alpha}-recoil of U isotopes, respectively. The general validity of the model appears to be borne out by the measurement of uranium isotopes in UZ waters collected at various times over a period during 1995-2006 from a site in the Pena Blanca mining district, Mexico, where the Nopal I uranium deposit is located. Enhanced {sup 234}U/{sup 238}U ratios in vadose-zone waters resulting from lengthened non-flushing time as prescribed by the model provide an interpretative basis for using {sup 234}U/{sup 238}U in cave calcites to reconstruct the regional changes in hydrology and climate. We also provide a theoretical account of the model's potential applications using radium isotopes.

  20. Modeling non-steady state radioisotope transport in the vadose zone - A case study using uranium isotopes at Peña Blanca, Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ku, T. L.; Luo, S.; Goldstein, S. J.; Murrell, M. T.; Chu, W. L.; Dobson, P. F.

    2009-10-01

    Current models using U- and Th-series disequilibria to study radioisotope transport in groundwater systems mostly consider a steady-state situation. These models have limited applicability to the vadose zone (UZ) where the concentration and migratory behavior of radioisotopes in fluid are often transitory. We present here, as a first attempt of its kind, a model simulating the non-steady state, intermittent fluid transport in vadose layers. It provides quantitative constraints on in-situ migration of dissolved and colloidal radioisotopes in terms of retardation factor and rock-water interaction (or water transit) time. For uranium, the simulation predicts that intermittent flushing in the UZ leads to a linear relationship between reciprocal U concentration and 234U/ 238U ratio in percolating waters, with the intercept and slope bearing information on the rates of dissolution and α-recoil of U isotopes, respectively. The general validity of the model appears to be borne out by the measurement of uranium isotopes in UZ waters collected at various times over a period during 1995-2006 from a site in the Peña Blanca mining district, Mexico, where the Nopal I uranium deposit is located. Enhanced 234U/ 238U ratios in vadose-zone waters resulting from lengthened non-flushing time as prescribed by the model provide an interpretative basis for using 234U/ 238U in cave calcites to reconstruct the regional changes in hydrology and climate. We also provide a theoretical account of the model's potential applications using radium isotopes.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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)

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. VAMOS: The verification and monitoring options study: Current research options for in-situ monitoring and verification of contaminant remediation and containment within the vadose zone

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Betsill, J.D.; Gruebel, R.D.

    1995-09-01

    The Verification and Monitoring Options Study Project (VAMOS) was established to identify high-priority options for future vadose-zone environmental research in the areas of in-situ remediation monitoring, post-closure monitoring, and containment emplacement and verification monitoring. VAMOS examined projected needs not currently being met with applied technology in order to develop viable monitoring and verification research options. The study emphasized a compatible systems approach to reinforce the need for utilizing compatible components to provide user friendly site monitoring systems. To identify the needs and research options related to vadose-zone environmental monitoring and verification, a literature search and expert panel forums were conducted. The search included present drivers for environmental monitoring technology, technology applications, and research efforts. The forums included scientific, academic, industry, and regulatory environmental professionals as well as end users of environmental technology. The experts evaluated current and future monitoring and verification needs, methods for meeting these needs, and viable research options and directions. A variety of high-priority technology development, user facility, and technology guidance research options were developed and presented as an outcome of the literature search and expert panel forums

  9. Estimating fate and transport of multiple contaminants in the vadose zone using a multi-layered soil column and three-phase equilibrium partitioning model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rucker, Gregory G.

    2007-01-01

    Soils at waste sites must be evaluated for the potential of residual soil contamination to leach and migrate to the groundwater beneath the disposal area. If migration to the aquifer occurs, contaminants can travel vast distances and pollute drinking water wells, thus exposing human receptors to harmful levels of toxins and carcinogens. To prevent groundwater contamination, a contaminant fate and transport analysis is necessary to assess the migration potential of residual soil contaminants. This type of migration analysis is usually performed using a vadose zone model to account for complex geotechnical and chemical variables including: decay processes, infiltration rate, soil properties, vadose zone thickness, and chemical behavior. The distinct advantage of using a complex model is that less restrictive, but still protective, soil threshold levels may be determined avoiding the unnecessary and costly remediation of marginally contaminated soils. However, the disadvantage of such modeling is the additional cost for data collection and labor required to apply these models. In order to allay these higher costs and to achieve a less restrictive but still protective clean-up level, a multiple contaminant and multi layered soil column equilibrium partitioning model was developed which is faster, simpler and less expensive to use. (authors)

  10. A hybrid hydrologic-geophysical inverse technique for the assessment and monitoring of leachates in the vadose zone. 1997 annual progress report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alumbaugh, D.L.

    1997-01-01

    'It is the objective of this proposed study to develop and field test a new, integrated Hybrid Hydrologic-Geophysical Inverse Technique (HHGIT) for characterization of the vadose zone at contaminated sites. This fundamentally new approach to site characterization and monitoring will provide detailed knowledge about hydrological properties, geological heterogeneity and the extent and movement of contamination. HHGIT combines electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) to geophysically sense a 3D volume, statistical information about fabric of geological formations, and sparse data on moisture and contaminant distributions. Combining these three types of information into a single inversion process will provide much better estimates of spatially varied hydraulic properties and three-dimensional contaminant distributions than could be obtained from interpreting the data types individually. Furthermore, HHGIT will be a geostatistically based estimation technique; the estimates represent conditional mean hydraulic property fields and contaminant distributions. Thus, this method will also quantify the uncertainty of the estimates as well as the estimates themselves. The knowledge of this uncertainty is necessary to determine the likelihood of success of remediation efforts and the risk posed by hazardous materials. Controlled field experiments will be conducted to provide critical data sets for evaluation of these methodologies, for better understanding of mechanisms controlling contaminant movement in the vadose zone, and for evaluation of the HHGIT method as a long term monitoring strategy.'

  11. Characterization of Vadose Zone Sediment: RCRA Borehole 299-E33-338 Located Near the B-BX-BY Waste Management Area

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lindenmeier, Clark W.; Serne, R. Jeffrey; Bjornstad, Bruce N.; Gee, Glendon W.; Schaef, Herbert T.; Lanigan, David C.; Lindberg, Michael J.; Clayton, Ray E.; Legore, Virginia L.; Kutnyakov, Igor V.; Baum, Steven R.; Geiszler, Keith N.; Brown, Christopher F.; Valenta, Michelle M.; Vickerman, Tanya S.; Royack, Lisa J.

    2008-09-11

    This report was revised in September 2008 to remove acid-extractable sodium data from Table 4.8. The sodium data was removed due to potential contamination introduced during the acid extraction process. The rest of the text remains unchanged from the original report issued in June 2003. The overall goals of the of the Tank Farm Vadose Zone Project, led by CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc., are: 1) to define risks from past and future single-shell tank farm activities, 2) to identify and evaluate the efficacy of interim measures, and 3) to aid via collection of geotechnical information and data, future decisions that must be made by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) regarding the near-term operations, future waste retrieval, and final closure activities for the single-shell tank waste management areas. For a more complete discussion of the goals of the Tank Farm Vadose Zone Project, see the overall work plan, Phase 1 RCRA Facility Investigation/Corrective Measures Study Work Plan for the Single-Shell Tank Waste Management Areas (DOE 1999). Specific details on the rationale for activities performed at the B-BX-BY tank farm waste management area are found in CH2M HILL (2000).

  12. 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

  13. Parallel inversion of a massive ERT data set to characterize deep vadose zone contamination beneath former nuclear waste infiltration galleries at the Hanford Site B-Complex (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, T.; Rucker, D. F.; Wellman, D.

    2013-12-01

    The Hanford Site, located in south-central Washington, USA, originated in the early 1940's as part of the Manhattan Project and produced plutonium used to build the United States nuclear weapons stockpile. In accordance with accepted industrial practice of that time, a substantial portion of relatively low-activity liquid radioactive waste was disposed of by direct discharge to either surface soil or into near-surface infiltration galleries such as cribs and trenches. This practice was supported by early investigations beginning in the 1940s, including studies by Geological Survey (USGS) experts, whose investigations found vadose zone soils at the site suitable for retaining radionuclides to the extent necessary to protect workers and members of the general public based on the standards of that time. That general disposal practice has long since been discontinued, and the US Department of Energy (USDOE) is now investigating residual contamination at former infiltration galleries as part of its overall environmental management and remediation program. Most of the liquid wastes released into the subsurface were highly ionic and electrically conductive, and therefore present an excellent target for imaging by Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT) within the low-conductivity sands and gravels comprising Hanford's vadose zone. In 2006, USDOE commissioned a large scale surface ERT survey to characterize vadose zone contamination beneath the Hanford Site B-Complex, which contained 8 infiltration trenches, 12 cribs, and one tile field. The ERT data were collected in a pole-pole configuration with 18 north-south trending lines, and 18 east-west trending lines ranging from 417m to 816m in length. The final data set consisted of 208,411 measurements collected on 4859 electrodes, covering an area of 600m x 600m. Given the computational demands of inverting this massive data set as a whole, the data were initially inverted in parts with a shared memory inversion code, which

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Characterization of Vadose Zone Sediment: Borehole C3103 Located in the 216-B-7A Crib Near the B Tank Farm

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lindenmeier, Clark W.; Serne, R JEFFREY.; Bjornstad, Bruce N.; Last, George V.; Lanigan, David C.; Lindberg, Michael J.; Clayton, Ray E.; Legore, Virginia L.; Kutnyakov, Igor V.; Baum, Steven R.; Geiszler, Keith N.; Valenta, Michelle M.; Vickerman, Tanya S.

    2002-12-01

    This report summarizes data collected from samples in borehole C3103. Borehole C3103 was completed to further characterize the nature and extent of vadose zone contaminants supplied by intentional liquid discharges into the crib 216-B7A/7B between 1954 and 1967. These cribs received dilute waste streams from the bismuth phosphate fuel reprocessing program in the 1950's and decontamination waste in the 1960's. Elevated concentrations of several constituents were primarily measured at different depth intervals. The primary radionuclides present in this borehole are cesium-137 and uranium near the top of the borehole. Chemical characteristics attributed to wastewater-soil interaction at different locations within this zone are elevated pH, sodium, fluoride, carbonate nitrate, and sulphate

  17. Characterization of Vadose Zone Sediment: Borehole 299-E33-46 Near Tank B-110 in the B-BX-BY Waste Management Area

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Serne, R JEFFREY.; Bjornstad, Bruce N.; Gee, Glendon W.; Schaef, Herbert T.; Lanigan, David C.; Mccain, Richard G.; Lindenmeier, Clark W.; Orr, Robert D.; Legore, Virginia L.; Clayton, Ray E.; Lindberg, Michael J.; Kutnyakov, Igor V.; Baum, Steven R.; Geiszler, Keith N.; Valenta, Michelle M.; Vickerman, Tanya S.; Royack, Lisa J.

    2002-01-01

    This report presents vadose sediment characterization data that improves understanding of the nature and extent of past releases in the B tank farm. A vertical borehole, located approximately 15 ft (5 m) from the northeast edge of single-shell tank 241-B-110 was drilled to a total depth of 264.4 ft bgs, the groundwater table was encountered at 255.8 ft bgs. During drilling, a total of 3 two-ft long, 4-inch diameter split-spoon core samples were collected between 10 and 254 ft bgs-an average of every 7.5 ft. Grab samples were collected between these core sample intervals to yield near continuous samples to a depth of 78.3 m (257 ft). Geologic logging occurred after each core segment was emptied into an open plastic container, followed by photographing and sub-sampling for physical and chemical characterization. In addition, 54 out of a total of 120 composite grab samples were opened, sub-sampled, logged, and photographed. Immediately following the geologic examination, the core an d selected grab samples were sub-sampled for moisture content, gamma-emission radiocounting, tritium and strontium-90 determinations, total carbon and inorganic carbon content, and 8 M nitric acid extracts (which provide a measure of the total leachable sediment content of contaminants) and one-to-one sediment to water extracts (which provide soil pH, electrical conductivity, cation, and anion data and water soluble contaminant data). Later, additional aliquots of selected sleeves or grab samples were removed to measure particle size distribution and mineralogy and to squeeze porewater. Major conclusions follow. Vadose zone contamination levels were lower than generally anticipated prior to the initiation of the field investigation. Strong evidence of extensive vadose zone lateral migration in WMA BBXBY exists. There are indications that such lateral migration may have extended into WMA B-BX-BY from adjacent past practice discharge sites. Ponding of runoff from natural precipitation in the

  18. 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

  19. Computer code selection criteria for flow and transport code(s) to be used in undisturbed vadose zone calculations for TWRS environmental analyses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mann, F.M.

    1998-01-01

    The Tank Waste Remediation System (TWRS) is responsible for the safe storage, retrieval, and disposal of waste currently being held in 177 underground tanks at the Hanford Site. In order to successfully carry out its mission, TWRS must perform environmental analyses describing the consequences of tank contents leaking from tanks and associated facilities during the storage, retrieval, or closure periods and immobilized low-activity tank waste contaminants leaving disposal facilities. Because of the large size of the facilities and the great depth of the dry zone (known as the vadose zone) underneath the facilities, sophisticated computer codes are needed to model the transport of the tank contents or contaminants. This document presents the code selection criteria for those vadose zone analyses (a subset of the above analyses) where the hydraulic properties of the vadose zone are constant in time the geochemical behavior of the contaminant-soil interaction can be described by simple models, and the geologic or engineered structures are complicated enough to require a two-or three dimensional model. Thus, simple analyses would not need to use the fairly sophisticated codes which would meet the selection criteria in this document. Similarly, those analyses which involve complex chemical modeling (such as those analyses involving large tank leaks or those analyses involving the modeling of contaminant release from glass waste forms) are excluded. The analyses covered here are those where the movement of contaminants can be relatively simply calculated from the moisture flow. These code selection criteria are based on the information from the low-level waste programs of the US Department of Energy (DOE) and of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission as well as experience gained in the DOE Complex in applying these criteria. Appendix table A-1 provides a comparison between the criteria in these documents and those used here. This document does not define the models (that

  20. 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

  1. Electrical Resistivity Correlation to Vadose Zone Sediment and Pore-Water Composition for the BC Cribs and Trenches Area

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Serne, R. Jeffrey; Ward, Anderson L.; Um, Wooyong; Bjornstad, Bruce N.; Rucker, Dale F.; Lanigan, David C.; Benecke, Mark W.

    2009-01-01

    This technical report documents the results of geochemical and soil resistivity characterization of sediment obtained from four boreholes drilled in the BC Cribs and Trench area. Vadose zone sediment samples were obtained at a frequency of about every 2.5 ft from approximately 5 ft bgs to borehole total depth. In total, 505 grab samples and 39 six-inch long cores were obtained for characterization. The pore-water chemical composition data, laboratory-scale soil resistivity and other ancillary physical and hydrologic measurements and analyses described in this report are designed to provide a crucial link between direct measurements on sediments and the surface-based electrical-resistivity information obtained via field surveys. A second goal of the sediment characterization was to measure the total and water-leachable concentrations of key contaminants of concern as a function of depth and distance from the footprints of inactive disposal facilities. The total and water-leachable concentrations of key contaminants will be used to update contaminant distribution conceptual models and to provide more data for improving base-line risk predictions and remedial alternative selections. The ERC 'ground truthing' exercise for the individual boreholes showed mixed results. In general, the high concentrations of dissolved salts in the pore waters of sediments from C5923, C5924 and C4191 produced a low resistivity 'target' in the processed resistivity field surveys, and variability could be seen in the resistivity data that could relate to the variability in pore- water concentrations but the correlations (regression R2 were mediocre ranging from 0.2 to 0.7 at best; where perfect correlation is 1.0). The field-based geophysical data also seemed to suffer from a sort of vertigo, where looking down from the ground surface, the target (e.g., maximum pore-water salt concentration) depth was difficult to resolve. The best correlations between the field electrical resistivity

  2. Electrical Resistivity Correlation to Vadose Zone Sediment and Pore-Water Composition for the BC Cribs and Trenches Area

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Serne, R. Jeffrey; Ward, Anderson L.; Um, Wooyong; Bjornstad, Bruce N.; Rucker, Dale F.; Lanigan, David C.; Benecke, Mark W.

    2009-06-01

    This technical report documents the results of geochemical and soil resistivity characterization of sediment obtained from four boreholes drilled in the BC Cribs and Trench area. Vadose zone sediment samples were obtained at a frequency of about every 2.5 ft from approximately 5 ft bgs to borehole total depth. In total, 505 grab samples and 39 six-inch long cores were obtained for characterization. The pore-water chemical composition data, laboratory-scale soil resistivity and other ancillary physical and hydrologic measurements and analyses described in this report are designed to provide a crucial link between direct measurements on sediments and the surface-based electrical-resistivity information obtained via field surveys. A second goal of the sediment characterization was to measure the total and water-leachable concentrations of key contaminants of concern as a function of depth and distance from the footprints of inactive disposal facilities. The total and water-leachable concentrations of key contaminants will be used to update contaminant distribution conceptual models and to provide more data for improving base-line risk predictions and remedial alternative selections. The ERC “ground truthing” exercise for the individual boreholes showed mixed results. In general, the high concentrations of dissolved salts in the pore waters of sediments from C5923, C5924 and C4191 produced a low resistivity “target” in the processed resistivity field surveys, and variability could be seen in the resistivity data that could relate to the variability in pore- water concentrations but the correlations (regression R2 were mediocre ranging from 0.2 to 0.7 at best; where perfect correlation is 1.0). The field-based geophysical data also seemed to suffer from a sort of vertigo, where looking down from the ground surface, the target (e.g., maximum pore-water salt concentration) depth was difficult to resolve. The best correlations between the field electrical

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Chaotic-dynamical conceptual model to describe fluid flow and contaminant transport in a fractured vadose zone. 1998 annual progress report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Doughty, C.; Dragila, M.I.; Faybishenko, B.; Podgorney, R.K.; Stoops, T.M.; Wheatcraft, S.W.; Wood, T.R.

    1998-01-01

    'DOE faces the remediation of numerous contaminated sites, such as those at Hanford, INEEL, LLNL, and LBNL, where organic and/or radioactive wastes were intentionally or accidentally released to the vadose zone from surface spills, underground tanks, cribs, shallow ponds, and deep wells. Migration of these contaminants through the vadose zone has lead to the contamination of or threatens to contaminate underlying groundwater. A key issue in choosing a corrective action plan to clean up contaminated sites is to determine the location, total mass, mobility and travel time to receptors for contaminants moving in the vadose zone. These problems are difficult to solve in a technically defensible and accurate manner because contaminants travel downward intermittently through narrow pathways driven by variations in environmental conditions. These preferential pathways can be difficult to find and predict. The primary objective of this project is to determine if and when dynamical chaos theory can be used to investigate infiltration of fluid and contaminant transport in heterogeneous soils and fractured rocks. The objective of this project is being achieved through the following Activities (1) Evaluation of chaotic behavior of flow in laboratory and field experiments using methods from non-linear dynamics; (2) Evaluation of the impact these dynamics may have on contaminant transport through heterogeneous fractured rocks and soils, and how it can be used to guide remediation efforts; (3) Development of a conceptual model and mathematical and numerical algorithms for flow and transport, which incorporate both: (a) the spatial variability of heterogeneous porous and fractured media, and (b) the description of the temporal dynamics of flow and transport, which may be chaotic; and (4) Development of appropriate experimental field and laboratory techniques needed to detect diagnostic parameters for chaotic behavior of flow. This approach is based on the assumption that spatial

  6. Laboratory investigations of the effects of nitrification-induced acidification on Cr cycling in vadose zone material partially derived from ultramafic rocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mills, Christopher T.; Goldhaber, Martin B.

    2012-01-01

    Sacramento Valley (California, USA) soils and sediments have high concentrations of Cr(III) because they are partially derived from ultramafic material. Some Cr(III) is oxidized to more toxic and mobile Cr(VI) by soil Mn oxides. Valley soils typically have neutral to alkaline pH at which Cr(III) is highly immobile. Much of the valley is under cultivation and is both fertilized and irrigated. A series of laboratory incubation experiments were conducted to assess how cultivation might impact Cr cycling in shallow vadose zone material from the valley. The first experiments employed low (7.1 mmol N per kg soil) and high (35 mmol N kg− 1) concentrations of applied (NH4)2SO4. Initially, Cr(VI) concentrations were up to 45 and 60% greater than controls in low and high incubations, respectively. After microbially-mediated oxidation of all NH4+, Cr(VI) concentrations dropped below control values. Increased nitrifying bacterial populations (estimated by measurement of phospholipid fatty acids) may have increased the Cr(VI) reduction capacity of the vadose zone material resulting in the observed decreases in Cr(VI). Another series of incubations employed vadose zone material from a different location to which low (45 meq kg− 1) and high (128 meq kg− 1) amounts of NH4Cl, KCl, and CaCl2 were applied. All treatments, except high concentration KCl, resulted in mean soil Cr(VI) concentrations that were greater than the control. High concentrations of water-leachable Ba2 + (mean 38 μmol kg− 1) in this treatment may have limited Cr(VI) solubility. A final set of incubations were amended with low (7.1 mmol N kg− 1) and high (35 mmol N kg− 1) concentrations of commercial liquid ammonium polyphosphate (APP) fertilizer which contained high concentrations of Cr(III). Soil Cr(VI) in the low APP incubations increased to a concentration of 1.8 μmol kg− 1 (5 × control) over 109 days suggesting that Cr(III) added with the APP fertilizer was more

  7. 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

  8. Deep Vadose Zone–Applied Field Research Initiative Fiscal Year 2012 Annual Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wellman, Dawn M.; Truex, Michael J.; Johnson, Timothy C.; Bunn, Amoret L.; Golovich, Elizabeth C.

    2013-03-14

    This annual report describes the background of the Deep Vadose Zone-Applied Field Research Initiative, and some of the programmatic approaches and transformational technologies in groundwater and deep vadose zone remediation developed during fiscal year 2012.

  9. 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.

  10. Characterization of Vadose Zone Sediment: Borehole 299-W23-19[SX -115] in the S-SX Waste Management Area

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Serne, R. Jeffrey; Schaef, Herbert T.; Bjornstad, Bruce N.; Lanigan, David C.; Gee, Glendon W.; Lindenmeier, Clark W.; Clayton, Ray E.; Legore, Virginia L.; Orr, Robert D.; O'Hara, Matthew J.; Brown, Christopher F.; Last, George V.; Kutnyakov, Igor V.; Burke, Deborah Sd; Wilson, Teresa C.; Williams, Bruce A.

    2001-01-01

    The Tank Farm Vadose Zone Project is led by CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc. Their goals include defining risks from past and future single-shell tank farm activities, identifying and evaluating the efficacy of interim measures, and collecting geo-technical information and data. The purpose of these activities is to support future decisions made by the U.S. Department of Energy regarding near-term operations, future waste retrieval, and final closure activities for the single-shell tank Waste Management Areas. To help in this effort, CH2M HILL contracted with scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to analyze sediment samples collected from borehole 299-W23-19. The conclusions reached from this study support specific mechanisms influencing subsurface migration of contaminants. The mechanisms are supported by the distributions of contaminants beneath tank farms. These observations will help DOE and CH2M HILL identify and implement viable remediation and closure activities

  11. 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.

  12. 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)

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. System-Scale Model of Aquifer, Vadose Zone, and River Interactions for the Hanford 300 Area - Application to Uranium Reactive Transport

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rockhold, Mark L.; Bacon, Diana H.; Freedman, Vicky L.; Parker, Kyle R.; Waichler, Scott R.; Williams, Mark D.

    2013-10-01

    This report represents a synthesis and integration of basic and applied research into a system-scale model of the Hanford 300 Area groundwater uranium plume, supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Richland Operations (DOE-RL) office. The report integrates research findings and data from DOE Office of Science (DOE-SC), Office of Environmental Management (DOE-EM), and DOE-RL projects, and from the site remediation and closure contractor, Washington Closure Hanford, LLC (WCH). The three-dimensional, system-scale model addresses water flow and reactive transport of uranium for the coupled vadose zone, unconfined aquifer, and Columbia River shoreline of the Hanford 300 Area. The system-scale model of the 300 Area was developed to be a decision-support tool to evaluate processes of the total system affecting the groundwater uranium plume. The model can also be used to address “what if” questions regarding different remediation endpoints, and to assist in design and evaluation of field remediation efforts. For example, the proposed cleanup plan for the Hanford 300 Area includes removal, treatment, and disposal of contaminated sediments from known waste sites, enhanced attenuation of uranium hot spots in the vadose and periodically rewetted zone, and continued monitoring of groundwater with institutional controls. Illustrative simulations of polyphosphate infiltration were performed to demonstrate the ability of the system-scale model to address these types of questions. The use of this model in conjunction with continued field monitoring is expected to provide a rigorous basis for developing operational strategies for field remediation and for defining defensible remediation endpoints.

  1. Trace Metals in Groundwater and the Vadose Zone Calcite: In Situ Containment and Stabilization of Strontium-90 and Other Divalent Metals and Radionuclides at Arid West DOE

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smith, Robert W.

    2004-01-01

    Radionuclide and metal contaminants such as strontium-90 are present beneath U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) lands in both the groundwater (e.g., 100-N area at Hanford, WA) and vadose zone (e.g., Idaho Nuclear Technology and Engineering Center at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory). In situ containment and stabilization of these contaminants is a cost-effective treatment strategy. However, implementing in situ containment and stabilization approaches requires definition of the mechanisms that control contaminant sequestration. We are investigating the in situ immobilization of radionuclides or contaminant metals (e.g., strontium-90) by their facilitated co-precipitation with calcium carbonate in groundwater and vadose zone systems. Our facilitated approach, shown schematically in Figure 1, relies upon the hydrolysis of introduced urea to cause the acceleration of calcium carbonate precipitation (and trace metal co-precipitation) by increasing pH and alkalinity. Subsurface urea hydrolysis is catalyzed by the urease enzyme, which may be either introduced with the urea or produced in situ by ubiquitous subsurface urea hydrolyzing microorganisms. Because the precipitation process tends to be irreversible and many western aquifers are saturated with respect to calcite, the co-precipitated metals and radionuclides will be effectively removed from the aqueous phase over the long-term. Another advantage of the ureolysis approach is that the ammonium ions produced by the reaction can exchange with radionuclides sorbed to subsurface minerals, thereby enhancing the availability of the radionuclides for re-capture in a more stable solid phase (co-precipitation rather than adsorption)

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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)

  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. Cave breakdown by vadose weathering.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Osborne R. Armstrong L.

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available Vadose weathering is a significant mechanism for initiating breakdown in caves. Vadose weathering of ore bodies, mineral veins, palaeokarst deposits, non-carbonate keystones and impure, altered or fractured bedrock, which is intersected by caves, will frequently result in breakdown. Breakdown is an active, ongoing process. Breakdown occurs throughout the vadose zone, and is not restricted to large diameter passages, or to cave ceilings. The surfaces of disarticulated blocks are commonly coated, rather than having fresh broken faces, and blocks continue to disintegrate after separating from the bedrock. Not only gypsum, but also hydromagnesite and aragonite are responsible for crystal wedging. It is impossible to study or identify potential breakdown foci by surface surveys alone, in-cave observation and mapping are essential.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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)

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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)

  18. Chromium(VI) generation in vadose zone soils and alluvial sediments of the southwestern Sacramento Valley, California: A potential source of geogenic Cr(VI) to groundwater

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mills, Christopher T.; Morrison, Jean M.; Goldhaber, Martin B.; Ellefsen, Karl J.

    2011-01-01

    g kg -1 , representing a minute fraction of total Cr. Chromium(VI) content was typically below detection in surface soils (top 10 cm) where soil organic matter was high, and increased with increasing depth in the soil auger cores as organic matter decreased. Maximum concentrations of Cr(VI) were up to 3 times greater in the deeper drill core samples than the shallow auger cores. Although Cr(VI) in these vadose zone soils and sediments was only a very small fraction of the total solid phase Cr, they are a potentially important source for Cr(VI) to groundwater. Enhanced groundwater recharge through the vadose zone due to irrigation could carry Cr(VI) from the vadose zone to the groundwater and may be the mechanism responsible for the correlation observed between elevated Cr(VI) and NO 3 - concentrations in previously published data for valley groundwaters. Incubation of a valley subsoil showed a Cr(VI) production rate of 24 μg kg -1 a -1 suggesting that field Cr(VI) concentrations could be regenerated annually. Increased Cr(VI) production rates in H + -amended soil incubations indicate that soil acidification processes such as nitrification of ammonium in fertilizers could potentially increase the occurrence of geogenic Cr(VI) in groundwater. Thus, despite the natural origin of the Cr, Cr(VI) generation in the Sacramento Valley soils and sediments has the potential to be influenced by human activities.

  19. Chromium(VI) generation in vadose zone soils and alluvial sediments of the southwestern Sacramento Valley, California: a potential source of geogenic Cr(VI) to groundwater

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mills, Christopher T.; Morrison, Jean M.; Goldhaber, Martin B.; Ellefsen, Karl J.

    2011-01-01

    Concentrations of geogenic Cr(VI) in groundwater that exceed the World Health Organization’s maximum contaminant level for drinking water (50 μg L−1) occur in several locations globally. The major mechanism for mobilization of this Cr(VI) at these sites is the weathering of Cr(III) from ultramafic rocks and its subsequent oxidation on Mn oxides. This process may be occurring in the southern Sacramento Valley of California where Cr(VI) concentrations in groundwater can approach or exceed 50 μg L−1. To characterize Cr geochemistry in the area, samples from several soil auger cores (approximately 4 m deep) and drill cores (approximately 25 m deep) were analyzed for total concentrations of 44 major, minor and trace elements, Cr associated with labile Mn and Fe oxides, and Cr(VI). Total concentrations of Cr in these samples ranged from 140 to 2220 mg per kg soil. Between 9 and 70 mg per kg soil was released by selective extractions that target Fe oxides, but essentially no Cr was associated with the abundant reactive Mn oxides (up to ~1000 mg hydroxylamine-reducible Mn per kg soil was present). Both borehole magnetic susceptibility surveys performed at some of the drill core sites and relative differences between Cr released in a 4-acid digestion versus total Cr (lithium metaborate fusion digestion) suggest that the majority of total Cr in the samples is present in refractory chromite minerals transported from ultramafic exposures in the Coast Range Mountains. Chromium(VI) in the samples studied ranged from 0 to 42 μg kg−1, representing a minute fraction of total Cr. Chromium(VI) content was typically below detection in surface soils (top 10 cm) where soil organic matter was high, and increased with increasing depth in the soil auger cores as organic matter decreased. Maximum concentrations of Cr(VI) were up to 3 times greater in the deeper drill core samples than the shallow auger cores. Although Cr(VI) in these vadose zone soils and sediments was only a

  20. Chromium(VI) generation in vadose zone soils and alluvial sediments of the southwestern Sacramento Valley, California: A potential source of geogenic Cr(VI) to groundwater

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mills, Christopher T., E-mail: cmills@usgs.gov [United States Geological Survey, Crustal Geophysics and Geochemistry Science Center, Denver Federal Center, MS 964D, Denver, CO 80225 (United States); Morrison, Jean M.; Goldhaber, Martin B.; Ellefsen, Karl J. [United States Geological Survey, Crustal Geophysics and Geochemistry Science Center, Denver Federal Center, MS 964D, Denver, CO 80225 (United States)

    2011-08-15

    from 0 to 42 {mu}g kg{sup -1}, representing a minute fraction of total Cr. Chromium(VI) content was typically below detection in surface soils (top 10 cm) where soil organic matter was high, and increased with increasing depth in the soil auger cores as organic matter decreased. Maximum concentrations of Cr(VI) were up to 3 times greater in the deeper drill core samples than the shallow auger cores. Although Cr(VI) in these vadose zone soils and sediments was only a very small fraction of the total solid phase Cr, they are a potentially important source for Cr(VI) to groundwater. Enhanced groundwater recharge through the vadose zone due to irrigation could carry Cr(VI) from the vadose zone to the groundwater and may be the mechanism responsible for the correlation observed between elevated Cr(VI) and NO{sub 3}{sup -} concentrations in previously published data for valley groundwaters. Incubation of a valley subsoil showed a Cr(VI) production rate of 24 {mu}g kg{sup -1} a{sup -1} suggesting that field Cr(VI) concentrations could be regenerated annually. Increased Cr(VI) production rates in H{sup +}-amended soil incubations indicate that soil acidification processes such as nitrification of ammonium in fertilizers could potentially increase the occurrence of geogenic Cr(VI) in groundwater. Thus, despite the natural origin of the Cr, Cr(VI) generation in the Sacramento Valley soils and sediments has the potential to be influenced by human activities.

  1. 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.

  2. 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)

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Influence of Wetting and Mass Transfer Properties of Organic Chemical Mixtures in Vadose Zone Materials on Groundwater Contamination by Nonaqueous Phase Liquids

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Charles J Werth; Albert J Valocchi, Hongkyu Yoon

    2011-05-21

    Previous studies have found that organic acids, organic bases, and detergent-like chemicals change surface wettability. The wastewater and NAPL mixtures discharged at the Hanford site contain such chemicals, and their proportions likely change over time due to reaction-facilitated aging. The specific objectives of this work were to (1) determine the effect of organic chemical mixtures on surface wettability, (2) determine the effect of organic chemical mixtures on CCl4 volatilization rates from NAPL, and (3) accurately determine the migration, entrapment, and volatilization of organic chemical mixtures. Five tasks were proposed to achieve the project objectives. These are to (1) prepare representative batches of fresh and aged NAPL-wastewater mixtures, (2) to measure interfacial tension, contact angle, and capillary pressure-saturation profiles for the same mixtures, (3) to measure interphase mass transfer rates for the same mixtures using micromodels, (4) to measure multiphase flow and interphase mass transfer in large flow cell experiments, all using the same mixtures, and (5) to modify the multiphase flow simulator STOMP in order to account for updated P-S and interphase mass transfer relationships, and to simulate the impact of CCl4 in the vadose zone on groundwater contamination. Results and findings from these tasks and summarized in the attached final report.

  8. Characterization of Vadose Zone Sediment: Borehole 299-W23-19 [SX-115] in the S-SX Waste Management Area

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Serne, R. Jeffrey; Bjornstad, Bruce N.; Lanigan, David C.; Gee, Glendon W.; Lindenmeier, Clark W.; Clayton, Ray E.; Legore, Virginia L.; O' Hara, Matthew J.; Brown, Christopher F.; Last, George V.; Kutnyakov, Igor V.; Burke, Deborah S.; Wilson, Teresa C.; Williams, Bruce A.

    2008-09-11

    This report was revised in September 2008 to remove acid-extractable sodium data from Tables 4.15 and 4.19. The sodium data was removed due to potential contamination introduced during the acid extraction process. The rest of the text remains unchanged from the original report issued in February 2002. The Tank Farm Vadose Zone Project is led by CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc. Their goals include defining risks from past and future single-shell tank farm activities, identifying and evaluating the efficacy of interim measures, and collecting geotechnical information and data. The purpose of these activities is to support future decisions made by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) regarding near-term operations, future waste retrieval, and final closure activities for the single-shell tank Waste Management Areas. To help in this effort, CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc. contracted with scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to analyze sediment samples collected from borehole 299-W23-19.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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 techn