This study concerns the possible use of boundary layer (BL) approach for the analysis and evaluation of contaminant transport in groundwater due to contaminant penetration into the groundwater aquifer through a site of limited size. The contaminant penetration may occur through either the upper (surface) or lower (bedrock) boundary of the aquifer. Two general cases of contaminant penetration mechanisms are considered: (1) the contaminant is transferred through an interface between a contaminating and freshwater fluid phases, and (2) the contaminant arrives at groundwater by leakage and percolation. For the purpose of BL evaluation the contaminant plume is divided into three different sections: (1) the penetration section, (2) the extension-expansion section, and (3) the spearhead section. In each section a different BL method approach yields simple analytical expressions for the description of the contaminant plume migration and contaminant transport. Previous studies of the BL method can be directly applied to the evaluation of contaminant transport at the contaminant penetration section. The present study extends those studies and concerns the contaminant transport in the two other sections, which are located downstream of the penetration section. This study shows that the contaminant concentration profiles in sections 2 and 3 incorporate two BLs: (1) an inner BL adjacent to the aquifer bottom or surface boundary, and (2) an outer BL, which develops above or below the inner one. The method developed in the present study has been applied to practical issues concerning salinity penetration into groundwater in south central Kansas.
Additional Publication Details
Groundwater contamination downstream of a contaminant penetration site. I. Extension-expansion of the contaminant plume
Journal of Environmental Science and Health - Part A Toxic/Hazardous Substances and Environmental Engineering