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A conceptual framework for ground-water solute-transport studies with emphasis on physical mechanisms of solute movement

Water-Resources Investigations Report 87-4191

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Abstract

Analysis of solute transport in groundwater systems involves a complex, multi-discipline study that requires intensive and costly investigation. Groundwater contamination, particularly from point sources, has been growing in importance in recent years. This report examines the physical mechanisms of solute transport, advection and dispersion, and explains how they relate to one another and the scale of study. The approach uses a preliminary analysis prior to collection of new data to focus on the technical problems to be addressed and to direct the initial collection of new data if warranted. The field investigation (collection of new data) progresses in stages that use the new knowledge and understanding gained from the preceding data collection to aid in further data collection as the study proceeds. A major premise of the approach is that the foundation of any analysis is a detailed quantitative definition of: (1) the groundwater flow field in three dimensions, and (2) the distribution of solutes in the contaminant plume in three dimensions at one point in time, or preferably at more than features of the groundwater flow field, and is an important tool for analysis. However, the scale of analysis for solute transport studies is usually much finer than the scale of analysis for groundwater flow alone. Therefore, an increase in detail of the velocity field is needed to provide for accurate calculations of pathlines in three-dimensional heterogeneous groundwater systems. (Lantz-PTT)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
A conceptual framework for ground-water solute-transport studies with emphasis on physical mechanisms of solute movement
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
87-4191
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1987
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey,
Description:
v, 44 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.