A trichloroethylene (TCE) plume has been identified in the groundwater under a U.S. Air Force Base in the Central Valley of California. An areal, two-dimensional numerical solute transport model indicates that the movement of TCE due to advection, dispersion, and linear sorption is simulated over a 25-year historic period. The model is used in several ways: (1) to estimate the extent of the plume; (2) to confirm the likely sources of contamination as suggested by a soil organic vapor survey of the site; and (3) to make predictions about future movement of the plume. Despite the noisy and incomplete data set, the model reproduces the general trends in contamination at a number of observation wells. The analysis indicates that soil organic vapor monitoring is an effective tool for identifying contaminant source locations. Leaky sewer pipes and underground tanks are the indicated pathways for TCE to have entered the groundwater system. The chemical mass balance indicates that a total of about 100 gallons of TCE - a relatively small amount of organic solvent - has created the observed groundwater plume. ?? 1989.
Additional publication details
An analysis of trichloroethylene movement in groundwater at castle Air Force Base, California