Chemical manufacturing, munitions filling, and other military-support activities have resulted in the contamination of ground water, surface water, and soil in the Canal Creek area of Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. Chlorinated volatile organic compounds, including 1,1,2,2-tetrachloroethane and trichloroethylene, are widespread ground-water contaminants in two aquifers that are composed of unconsolidated sand and gravel. Distribution and fate of chlorinated organic compounds in the ground water has been affected by the movement and dissolution of solvents in their dense immiscible phase and by microbial degradation under anaerobic conditions. Detection of volatile organic contaminants in adjacent surface water indicates that shallow contaminated ground water discharges to surface water. Semivolatile organic compounds, especially polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, are the most prevalent organic contaminants in soils. Various trace elements, such as arsenic, cadmium, lead, and zinc, were found in elevated concentrations in ground water, surface water, and soil. Simulations with a ground-water-flow model and particle tracker postprocessor show that, without remedial pumpage, the contaminants will eventually migrate to Canal Creek and Gunpowder River. Simulations indicate that remedial pumpage of 2.0 million gallons per day from existing wells is needed to capture all particles originating in the contaminant plumes. Simulated pumpage from offsite wells screened in a lower confined aquifer does not affect the flow of contaminated ground water in the Canal Creek area.
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USGS Numbered Series
Contamination of ground water, surface water, and soil, and evaluation of selected ground-water pumping alternatives in the Canal Creek area of Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland