Modeling contamination of shallow unconfined aquifers through infiltration beds

Water Resources Research



We model the transport of a simply reactive contaminant through an infiltration bed and underlying shallow, one-dimensional, unconfined aquifer with a plane, steeply sloping bottom in the assumed absence of dispersion and downgradient dilution. The effluent discharge and ambient groundwater flow under the infiltration beds are presumed to form a vertically mixed plume marked by an appreciable radial velocity component in the near field flow region. The near field analysis routes effluent contamination as a single linear reservoir whose output forms a source plane for the one-dimensional, far field flow region downgradient of the facility; the location and width of the source plane reflect the relative strengths of ambient flow and effluent discharge. We model far field contaminant transport, using an existing method of characteristics solution with frame speeds modified by recharge, bottom slope, and linear adsorption, and concentrations reflecting first-order reaction kinetics. The near and far field models simulate transport of synthetic detergents, chloride, total nitrogen, and boron in a contaminant plume at the Otis Air Force Base sewage treatment plant in Barnstable County, Massachusetts, with reasonable accuracy.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Modeling contamination of shallow unconfined aquifers through infiltration beds
Series title Water Resources Research
DOI 10.1029/WR022i003p00375
Volume 22
Issue 3
Year Published 1986
Language English
Publisher American Geophysical Union
Contributing office(s) Toxic Substances Hydrology Program
Description 8 p.
First page 375
Last page 382
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Barnstable County
Other Geospatial Otis Air Force Base
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page