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Sample records for delineating vadose zone

  1. Rectangular Schlumberger resistivity arrays for delineating vadose zone clay-lined fractures in shallow tuff

    SciTech Connect

    Miele, M.; Laymon, D.; Gilkeson, R.; Michelotti, R.

    1996-05-01

    Rectangular Schlumberger arrays can be used for 2-dimensional lateral profiling of apparent resistivity at a unique current electrode separation, hence single depth of penetration. Numerous apparent resistivity measurements are collected moving the potential electrodes (fixed MN spacing) within a rectangle of defined dimensions. The method provides a fast, cost-effective means for the collection of dense resistivity data to provide high-resolution information on subsurface hydrogeologic conditions. Several rectangular Schlumberger resistivity arrays were employed at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) from 1989 through 1995 in an area adjacent to and downhill from an outfall pipe, septic tank, septic drainfield, and sump. Six rectangular arrays with 2 AB spacings were used to delineate lateral low resistivity anomalies that may be related to fractures that contain clay and/or vadose zone water. Duplicate arrays collected over a three year time period exhibited very good data repeatability. The properties of tritium make it an excellent groundwater tracer. Because tritium was present in discharged water from all of the anthropogenic sources in the vicinity it was used for this purpose. One major low resistivity anomaly correlates with relatively high tritium concentrations in the tuff. This was determined from borehole samples collected within and outside of the anomalous zone. The anomaly is interpreted to be due to fractures that contain clay from the soil profile. The clay was deposited in the fractures by aeolian processes and by surface water infiltration. The fractures likely served as a shallow vadose zone groundwater pathway.

  2. Vadose zone microbiology

    SciTech Connect

    Kieft, Thomas L.; Brockman, Fred J.

    2001-01-17

    The vadose zone is defined as the portion of the terrestrial subsurface that extends from the land surface downward to the water table. As such, it comprises the surface soil (the rooting zone), the underlying subsoil, and the capillary fringe that directly overlies the water table. The unsaturated zone between the rooting zone and the capillary fringe is termed the "intermediate zone" (Chapelle, 1993). The vadose zone has also been defined as the unsaturated zone, since the sediment pores and/or rock fractures are generally not completely water filled, but instead contain both water and air. The latter characteristic results in the term "zone of aeration" to describe the vadose zone. The terms "vadose zone," "unsaturated zone", and "zone of aeration" are nearly synonymous, except that the vadose zone may contain regions of perched water that are actually saturated. The term "subsoil" has also been used for studies of shallow areas of the subsurface immediately below the rooting zone. This review focuses almost exclusively on the unsaturated region beneath the soil layer since there is already an extensive body of literature on surface soil microbial communities and process, e.g., Paul and Clark (1989), Metting (1993), Richter and Markowitz, (1995), and Sylvia et al. (1998); whereas the deeper strata of the unsaturated zone have only recently come under scrutiny for their microbiological properties.

  3. Superposition of borehole-to-surface voltage residuals for Vadose Zone plume delineation.

    PubMed

    Osiensky, James L; Belknap, Willard J; Donaldson, Paul R

    2006-01-10

    An injected tracer field experiment was conducted at the University of Idaho Ground Water Field Laboratory to evaluate the application of borehole-to-surface voltage measurements for delineation of the tracer distribution in partially saturated, fractured basalt. A tap water tracer was injected into a fracture-dominated, salt-water plume formed during a previous salt-water injection experiment. The tap water tracer was injected into a central injection well under constant hydraulic head for 34 days. The injection well was surrounded by seven test boreholes. Each borehole contained several copper wire electrodes for borehole-to-surface potential measurements between a surface grid of 224 copper sulfate, porous pot electrodes. Eight pole-pole, borehole-to-surface voltage data sets were acquired during each measurement period by energization of a selected electrode in each of the eight boreholes. Predicted voltages for a uniform earth (homogeneous and isotropic) potential model (finite difference) were subtracted from each data set (for its respective current source location), and the voltage residuals superposed to create new data sets with greater measurement sensitivity and coverage, to aid in interpretation. These data sets were collected over four measurement periods during tap water injection and four measurement periods during the subsequent 64-day drainage phase. The data were interpreted with the use of three-dimensional models and by comparisons with other electrical and hydrological observations. Results indicate that superposition of multiple data sets of voltage residuals significantly improved the lateral resolution of subsurface bulk resistivity changes that occurred over time. PMID:16298016

  4. Vadose zone water fluxmeter

    DOEpatents

    Faybishenko, Boris A.

    2005-10-25

    A Vadose Zone Water Fluxmeter (WFM) or Direct Measurement WFM provides direct measurement of unsaturated water flow in the vadose zone. The fluxmeter is a cylindrical device that fits in a borehole or can be installed near the surface, or in pits, or in pile structures. The fluxmeter is primarily a combination of tensiometers and a porous element or plate in a water cell that is used for water injection or extraction under field conditions. The same water pressure measured outside and inside of the soil sheltered by the lower cylinder of the fluxmeter indicates that the water flux through the lower cylinder is similar to the water flux in the surrounding soil. The fluxmeter provides direct measurement of the water flow rate in the unsaturated soils and then determines the water flux, i.e. the water flow rate per unit area.

  5. In situ vadose zone bioremediation.

    PubMed

    Höhener, Patrick; Ponsin, Violaine

    2014-06-01

    Contamination of the vadose zone with various pollutants is a world-wide problem, and often technical or economic constraints impose remediation without excavation. In situ bioremediation in the vadose zone by bioventing has become a standard remediation technology for light spilled petroleum products. In this review, focus is given on new in situ bioremediation strategies in the vadose zone targeting a variety of other pollutants such as perchlorate, nitrate, uranium, chromium, halogenated solvents, explosives and pesticides. The techniques for biostimulation of either oxidative or reductive degradation pathways are presented, and biotransformations to immobile pollutants are discussed in cases of non-degradable pollutants. Furthermore, research on natural attenuation in the vadose zone is presented. PMID:24863890

  6. Vadose zone monitoring for hazardous waste sites

    SciTech Connect

    Everett, L.G.; Wilson, L.G.; Hoylman, E.W.

    1983-10-01

    This book describes the applicability of vadose zone monitoring techniques to hazardous waste site investigations. More than 70 different sampling and nonsampling vadose zone monitoring techniques are described in terms of their advantages and disadvantages. Physical, chemical, geologic, topographic, geohydrologic, and climatic constraints for vadose zone monitoring are quantitatively determined. Vadose zone monitoring techniques are categorized for premonitoring, active, and postclosure site assessments. Waste disposal methods are categorized for piles, landfills, impoundments, and land treatment. Conceptual vadose zone monitoring approaches are developed for specific waste disposal method categories.

  7. Vadose Zone Transport Field Study: Summary Report

    SciTech Connect

    Ward, Andy L.; Conrad, Mark E.; Daily, William D.; Fink, James B.; Freedman, Vicky L.; Gee, Glendon W.; Hoversten, Gary M.; Keller, Jason M.; Majer, Ernest L.; Murray, Christopher J.; White, Mark D.; Yabusaki, Steven B.; Zhang, Z. F.

    2006-07-31

    From FY 2000 through FY 2003, a series of vadose zone transport field experiments were conducted as part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Groundwater/Vadose Zone Integration Project Science and Technology Project, now known as the Remediation and Closure Science Project, and managed by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). The series of experiments included two major field campaigns, one at a 299-E24-11 injection test site near PUREX and a second at a clastic dike site off Army Loop Road. The goals of these experiments were to improve our understanding of vadose zone transport processes; to develop data sets to validate and calibrate vadose zone flow and transport models; and to identify advanced monitoring techniques useful for evaluating flow-and-transport mechanisms and delineating contaminant plumes in the vadose zone at the Hanford Site. This report summarizes the key findings from the field studies and demonstrates how data collected from these studies are being used to improve conceptual models and develop numerical models of flow and transport in Hanford’s vadose zone. Results of these tests have led to a better understanding of the vadose zone. Fine-scale geologic heterogeneities, including grain fabric and lamination, were observed to have a strong effect on the large-scale behavior of contaminant plumes, primarily through increased lateral spreading resulting from anisotropy. Conceptual models have been updated to include lateral spreading and numerical models of unsaturated flow and transport have revised accordingly. A new robust model based on the concept of a connectivity tensor was developed to describe saturation-dependent anisotropy in strongly heterogeneous soils and has been incorporated into PNNL’s Subsurface Transport Over Multiple Phases (STOMP) simulator. Application to field-scale transport problems have led to a better understanding plume behavior at a number of sites where lateral spreading may have dominated waste

  8. Vadose zone monitoring for hazardous waste sites

    SciTech Connect

    Everett, L.G.

    1984-01-01

    This book is a review and evaluation of vadose (unsaturated) zone monitoring. It describes the applicability of selected monitoring methods to hazardous waste disposal sites. Topics covered include: geohydrologic framework of the vadose zone; premonitoring of storage at disposal sites; premonitoring of water movement at disposal sites; active and abandoned site monitoring methods; waste source pollutant characterization; geohydrologic settings for waste disposals and conceptual vadose zone monitoring descriptions.

  9. Secondary porosity in a transient vadose zone

    SciTech Connect

    Frederick, W.T.; Grasso, T.X. Jr. )

    1993-03-01

    The Western New York Nuclear Service Center is the site of low and high level radioactive waster buried in a series of trenches excavated in a 28 m thick, Lavery-age silty clay diamicton that exhibits a 6 meter thick transient vadoes zone where exposed at the surface. Hydrostratigraphy of this till includes a 0.25 m thick poorly developed macroporous soil, a 3.5 m thick weathered zone of densely spaced and randomly orientated horizontal and vertical fractures, a 2 m thick unweathered zone of intermittently spaced fractures exhibiting east-west orientations, and a massive 23 m thick unweathered till zone that exhibits isolated, east-west orientated fractures. Bulk hydraulic conductivity of this active flow zone decreases with depth from 10[sup [minus]5] to 10[sup [minus]8] cm/s. The specific discharge of vertically flowing groundwater in the massive till zone is 1.25 cm/yr. A water surplus in the recharge season saturates the fractured zone to grade with up to 7.37 cm/yr of net infiltration. Tritium and radionuclides from the waste trenches and surrounding soil matrix hydrodynamically disperse into the field-saturated fracture network that contains meteoric recharge water. A soil moisture deficit in discharge season produces a vadose zone of widened fractures that via capillarity enhances the diffusion of contaminants into the soil matrix. These enlarged connecting conduits laterally channel the excess infiltration from the recharge season and diffused contaminants to local lowlands and incised streams that truncate the unweathered till. The current vadose and phreatic zone flow study will be used in numeric simulations that will delineate the areal extend and temporal duration of these seepage faces and the time frame of possible surfaces water contamination.

  10. Vadose Zone Transport Field Study: Status Report

    SciTech Connect

    Gee, Glendon W.; Ward, Anderson L.

    2001-11-30

    Studies were initiated at the Hanford Site to evaluate the process controlling the transport of fluids in the vadose zone and to develop a reliable database upon which vadose-zone transport models can be calibrated. These models are needed to evaluate contaminant migration through the vadose zone to underlying groundwaters at Hanford. A study site that had previously been extensively characterized using geophysical monitoring techniques was selected in the 200 E Area. Techniques used previously included neutron probe for water content, spectral gamma logging for radionuclide tracers, and gamma scattering for wet bulk density. Building on the characterization efforts of the past 20 years, the site was instrumented to facilitate the comparison of nine vadose-zone characterization methods: advanced tensiometers, neutron probe, electrical resistance tomography (ERT), high-resolution resistivity (HRR), electromagnetic induction imaging (EMI), cross-borehole radar (XBR), and cross-borehole seismic (XBS). Soil coring was used to obtain soil samples for analyzing ionic and isotopic tracers.

  11. Advanced Vadose Zone Simulations Using TOUGH

    SciTech Connect

    Finsterle, S.; Doughty, C.; Kowalsky, M.B.; Moridis, G.J.; Pan,L.; Xu, T.; Zhang, Y.; Pruess, K.

    2007-02-01

    The vadose zone can be characterized as a complex subsurfacesystem in which intricate physical and biogeochemical processes occur inresponse to a variety of natural forcings and human activities. Thismakes it difficult to describe, understand, and predict the behavior ofthis specific subsurface system. The TOUGH nonisothermal multiphase flowsimulators are well-suited to perform advanced vadose zone studies. Theconceptual models underlying the TOUGH simulators are capable ofrepresenting features specific to the vadose zone, and of addressing avariety of coupled phenomena. Moreover, the simulators are integratedinto software tools that enable advanced data analysis, optimization, andsystem-level modeling. We discuss fundamental and computationalchallenges in simulating vadose zone processes, review recent advances inmodeling such systems, and demonstrate some capabilities of the TOUGHsuite of codes using illustrative examples.

  12. DEEP VADOSE ZONE TREATABILITY TEST PLAN

    SciTech Connect

    GB CHRONISTER; MJ TRUEX

    2009-07-02

    {sm_bullet} Treatability test plan published in 2008 {sm_bullet} Outlines technology treatability activities for evaluating application of in situ technologies and surface barriers to deep vadose zone contamination (technetium and uranium) {sm_bullet} Key elements - Desiccation testing - Testing of gas-delivered reactants for in situ treatment of uranium - Evaluating surface barrier application to deep vadose zone - Evaluating in situ grouting and soil flushing

  13. THE DYNAMICS OF VADOSE ZONE TRANSPORT: A FIELD AND MODELING STUDY USING THE VADOSE ZONE OBSERVATORY

    EPA Science Inventory

    A stated need of the DOE EM program is a better understanding of basic vadose zone fluid flow and contaminant transport processes for the purpose of making improved estimates of contaminant release rates and fluxes across the vadose zone to the water table at DOE sites such as th...

  14. Monitoring Vadose Zone Desiccation with Geophysical Methods

    SciTech Connect

    Truex, Michael J.; Johnson, Timothy C.; Strickland, Christopher E.; Peterson, John E.; Hubbard, Susan S.

    2013-05-01

    Soil desiccation was recently field tested as a potential vadose zone remediation technology. Desiccation removes water from the vadose zone and significantly decreases the aqueous-phase permeability of the desiccated zone, thereby decreasing movement of moisture and contaminants. The 2-D and 3-D distribution of moisture content reduction over time provides valuable information for desiccation operations and for determining when treatment goals have been reached. This type of information can be obtained through use of geophysical methods. Neutron moisture logging, cross-hole electrical resistivity tomography, and cross-hole ground penetrating radar approaches were evaluated with respect to their ability to provide effective spatial and temporal monitoring of desiccation during a treatability study conducted in the vadose zone of the DOE Hanford Site in WA.

  15. Transport of through a Thick Vadose Zone.

    PubMed

    Arnaud, Emmanuelle; Best, Anna; Parker, Beth L; Aravena, Ramon; Dunfield, Kari

    2015-09-01

    Livestock manure applications on fields can be a source of contamination in water resources, including groundwater. Although fecal indicators like have often been detected in tile drainage systems, few studies have monitored groundwater at depth after manure treatments, especially at sites with a deep, heterogeneous vadose zone. Our hypothesis was that microbial transport through a thick vadose zone would be limited or nonexistent due to attenuation processes, subsurface thickness, and heterogeneity. This study tested this hypothesis by monitoring concentrations beneath a 12-m-thick vadose zone of coarse, heterogeneous glacial sediments after surface application of liquid swine manure. was detected on all 23 sample dates over the 5-mo period (4 Apr. 2012-13 Aug. 2012), with particularly elevated concentrations 1 wk after application and lasting for 5 wk. Variable low-level concentrations before and after the elevated period suggest remobilization and delayed transport of microorganisms to the water table without additional loadings within the flow field. These findings suggest preferential flow pathways allowing deep infiltration of manure bacteria as well as a continued source of bacteria, with variable retention and travel times, over several months. Preferential flow pathways at this site include soil macropores, depression focused infiltration, and pathways related to subsurface heterogeneity and/or fracture flow through finer-grained diamict beds. Further research is needed to confirm the relative contribution of sources, constrain travel times, and define specific transport pathways. PMID:26436260

  16. Optimization of remediation strategies using vadose zone monitoring systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dahan, Ofer

    2016-04-01

    In-situ bio-remediation of the vadose zone depends mainly on the ability to change the subsurface hydrological, physical and chemical conditions in order to enable development of specific, indigenous, pollutants degrading bacteria. As such the remediation efficiency is much dependent on the ability to implement optimal hydraulic and chemical conditions in deep sections of the vadose zone. These conditions are usually determined in laboratory experiments where parameters such as the chemical composition of the soil water solution, redox potential and water content of the sediment are fully controlled. Usually, implementation of desired optimal degradation conditions in deep vadose zone at full scale field setups is achieved through infiltration of water enriched with chemical additives on the land surface. It is assumed that deep percolation into the vadose zone would create chemical conditions that promote biodegradation of specific compounds. However, application of water with specific chemical conditions near land surface dose not necessarily results in promoting of desired chemical and hydraulic conditions in deep sections of the vadose zone. A vadose-zone monitoring system (VMS) that was recently developed allows continuous monitoring of the hydrological and chemical properties of deep sections of the unsaturated zone. The VMS includes flexible time-domain reflectometry (FTDR) probes which allow continuous monitoring of the temporal variation of the vadose zone water content, and vadose-zone sampling ports (VSPs) which are designed to allow frequent sampling of the sediment pore-water and gas at multiple depths. Implementation of the vadose zone monitoring system in sites that undergoes active remediation provides real time information on the actual chemical and hydrological conditions in the vadose zone as the remediation process progresses. Up-to-date the system has been successfully implemented in several studies on water flow and contaminant transport in

  17. Deficiencies in Vadose Zone Understanding at the INEEL

    SciTech Connect

    Wood, Thomas Ronald; Bates, Dona Louise; Bishop, Carolyn Wagoner; Heard, Robert Eugene; Hubbell, Joel Michael; Hull, Laurence Charles; Lehman, Richard Michael; Magnuson, Swen O; Mattson, Earl Douglas; Mccarthy, James Michael; Porro, Indrek; Ritter, Paul David; Roddy, Michael Scott; Singler, Robert Edward; Smith, Richard Paul

    2000-08-01

    Subsurface contamination in the vadose zone, that portion of the subsurface pathway between land surface and an underlying aquifer, poses environmental problems at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) in eastern Idaho and across the U.S. Department of Energy complex. Assessing potential adverse impacts from these contaminated sites requires an understanding of the mechanisms controlling contaminant transport. Currently, vadose zone experts at the INEEL cannot with confidence predict the movement of water and contaminants in the complex, heterogeneous, fractured subsurface at the INEEL, especially within the vadose zone. In the draft version (Revision 1) of the Vadose Zone Deficiencies document, deficiencies in scientific understanding of flow and transport processes in the vadose zone at the INEEL were identified and grouped into 13 categories and recommendations were provided to address each of the deficiencies. The draft document provided the basis for an INEEL Vadose Zone Workshop that was conducted October 20 and 21, 1999, in Idaho Falls, Idaho. The workshop was conducted to group and rank the previously identified deficiencies and for the subsequent development of science plans to address the deficiencies that limit reliable predictions of water and contaminant movement in the subsurface. The workshop participants, comprising INEEL and scientists and project managers and non-INEEL scientists knowledgeable about the vadose zone, developed science- and technology-based recommendations derived through a series of technical sessions at the workshop. In this document, the final version of the Vadose Zone Deficiencies document, the draft document has been incorporated, largely intact, as well as the results from the workshop. The workshop participants grouped the deficiencies in vadose zone understanding at the INEEL into seven categories. These seven categories will be the focus areas of five science plans that are being developed to

  18. Vadose zone drilling at the NTS

    SciTech Connect

    Efurd, D.W.

    1994-08-01

    The Yucca Mountain Project has an opportunity to evaluate possible mobilization and transport of radioactive materials away from the storage horizon in the proposed repository. One scenario by which such transport could occur involves water leaving the storage area and carrying radioactive particulates of colloidal size. The colloids could move along the gas-liquid interface in partially filled fractures within the vadose zone. It should be possible to check the reality of this proposed scenario by examining ``anthropogenic analogs`` of the repository. These are sites of nuclear tests conducted in unsaturated tuff at the Nevada Test Site (NTS). We propose to drill under one or more such sites to determine if radionuclides have moved from their original confinement in the puddle- glass at the bottom of the cavity. This document examines the characteristics of an ideal test site for such a study, suggests several possible locations that have some of the desired characteristics, and recommends one of these sites for the proposed drilling.

  19. Optimization of Remediation Conditions using Vadose Zone Monitoring Technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dahan, O.; Mandelbaum, R.; Ronen, Z.

    2010-12-01

    Success of in-situ bio-remediation of the vadose zone depends mainly on the ability to change and control hydrological, physical and chemical conditions of subsurface. These manipulations enables the development of specific, indigenous, pollutants degrading bacteria or set the environmental conditions for seeded bacteria. As such, the remediation efficiency is dependent on the ability to implement optimal hydraulic and chemical conditions in deep sections of the vadose zone. Enhanced bioremediation of the vadose zone is achieved under field conditions through infiltration of water enriched with chemical additives. Yet, water percolation and solute transport in unsaturated conditions is a complex process and application of water with specific chemical conditions near land surface dose not necessarily result in promoting of desired chemical and hydraulic conditions in deeper sections of the vadose zone. A newly developed vadose-zone monitoring system (VMS) allows continuous monitoring of the hydrological and chemical properties of the percolating water along deep sections of the vadose zone. Implementation of the VMS at sites that undergoes active remediation provides real time information on the chemical and hydrological conditions in the vadose zone as the remediation process progresses. Manipulating subsurface conditions for optimal biodegradation of hydrocarbons is demonstrated through enhanced bio-remediation of the vadose zone at a site that has been contaminated with gasoline products in Tel Aviv. The vadose zone at the site is composed of 6 m clay layer overlying a sandy formation extending to the water table at depth of 20 m bls. The upper 5 m of contaminated soil were removed for ex-situ treatment, and the remaining 15 m vadose zone is treated in-situ through enhanced bioremedaition. Underground drip irrigation system was installed below the surface on the bottom of the excavation. Oxygen and nutrients releasing powder (EHCO, Adventus) was spread below the

  20. A/M Area Vadose Zone Monitoring Plan

    SciTech Connect

    Kupar, J.; Jarosch, T.R.; Jackson, D.G. Jr.; Looney, B.B.; Jerome, K.M.; Riha, B.D.; Rossabi, J.; Van Pelt, R.S.

    1998-03-01

    Characterization and monitoring data from implementation and the first two and one half years of vadose zone remediation operations indicate that this activity has substantially improved the performance of the A/M Area Groundwater Corrective Action Program. During this period, vadose zone remediation removed approximately 225, 000 lbs (100,000 Kg) of chlorinated solvents (CVOCs) from the subsurface. Further, vadose zone remediation system operation increased the overall CVOC removal rate of the A/M Area Groundwater Corrective Action by 300% to 500% during this period versus the groundwater pump and treat system along. Various support activities have been performed to support operation and documentation of performance of the vadose zone remediation system. These activities address performance of existing systems (contaminant distributions, zone of influence, and process monitoring data), evaluation of suspect sources, evaluation of alternative/enhancement technologies, and initial development of remediation goals. In particular, the most recent A/M vadose zone remediation support activities (described in WSRC-RP-97-109) were completed and the results provide key documentation about system performance.

  1. 1999 vadose zone monitoring plan and guidance for subsequent years

    SciTech Connect

    Horton, D.G.; Reidel, S.P.; Last, G.V.

    1998-08-01

    The US Department of Energy`s Hanford Site has the most diverse and largest amounts of radioactive waste in the US. The majority of the liquid waste was disposed to the soil column where much of it remains today. This document provides the rationale and general framework for vadose zone monitoring at cribs, ditches, trenches and other disposal facilities to detect new sources of contamination and track the movement of existing contamination in the vadose zone for the protection of groundwater. The document provides guidance for subsequent site-specific vadose zone monitoring plans and includes a brief description of past vadose monitoring activities (Chapter 3); the results of the Data Quality Objective process used for this plan (Chapter 4); a prioritization of liquid waste disposal sites for vadose monitoring (Chapter 5 and Appendix B); a general Monitoring and Analysis Plan (Chapter 6); a general Quality Assurance Project Plan (Appendix A), and a description of vadose monitoring activities planned for FY 1999 (Appendix C).

  2. TECHNICAL BASIS FOR EVALUATING SURFACE BARRIERS TO PROTECT GROUNDWATER FROM DEEP VADOSE ZONE CONTAMINATION

    SciTech Connect

    FAYER JM; FREEDMAN VL; WARD AL; CHRONISTER GB

    2010-02-24

    The U.S. DOE and its predecessors released nearly 2 trillion liters (450 billion gallons) of contaminated liquid into the vadose zone at the Hanford Site. Some of the contaminants currently reside in the deeper parts of the vadose zone where they are much less accessible to characterization, monitoring, and typical remediation activities. The DOE Richland Operations Office (DOE-RL) prepared a treatability test plan in 2008 to examine remediation options for addressing contaminants in the deep vadose zone; one of the technologies identified was surface barriers (also known as engineered barriers, covers, and caps). In the typical configuration, the contaminants are located relatively close to the surface, generally within 15 m, and thus they are close to the base of the surface barrier. The proximity of the surface barrier under these conditions yielded few concerns about the effectiveness of the barrier at depth, particularly for cases in which the contaminants were in a lined facility. At Hanford, however, some unlined sites have contaminants located well below depths of 15 m. The issue raised about these sites is the degree of effectiveness of a surface barrier in isolating contaminants in the deep vadose zone. Previous studies by Hanford Site and PNNL researchers suggest that surface barriers have the potential to provide a significant degree of isolation of deep vadose zone contaminants. The studies show that the actual degree of isolation is site-specific and depends on many factors, including recharge rates, barrier size, depth of contaminants, geohydrologic properties ofthe sediments, and the geochemical interactions between the contaminants and the sediments. After the DOE-RL treatability test plan was published, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory was contracted to review the information available to support surface barrier evaluation for the deep vadose zone, identify gaps in the information and outcomes necessary to fill the data gaps, and outline

  3. Vadose Zone Monitoring System as a Tool for Groundwater Protection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dahan, O.

    2007-05-01

    Subsurface monitoring for groundwater protection from pollution hazards has traditionally been based on culling information from the groundwater. This information is usually retrieved from boreholes penetrating the saturated section of the groundwater. Accordingly, the entire path and fate of pollutants transported from land surface through the vadose zone to the groundwater is evaluated from the chemical and physical state of the water which has been sampled from a well. That monitoring procedure is well founded in both scientific studies and through legislative acts which enforce groundwater monitoring for potential sources of pollution. However, this creates a paradox since, by definition, identification of pollution in groundwater means that the groundwater is already polluted. Moreover, since vertical transport in the vadose zone and lateral flow in the groundwater are very slow processes, pollution identification in a well may take years or decades. As a result, the total mass of pollutant that has penetrated the subsurface may be extremely high by the time it has been identified. Finally, pollution identification in a well usually reveals only the edges of a much larger pollutant plume. Accordingly, identification of pollution in the vadose zone right under the pollution source, long before it shows up in the groundwater, should be the key to groundwater protection. The need for real-time information on the quality of percolating water led to the development of a new vadose- zone monitoring system. The new monitoring system is designed to provide continuous measurements of the soil water content and water potential, while allowing pore-water sampling all along the vadose-zone cross section. The installation technique allows monitoring of the vadose-zone cross section under relatively undisturbed soil conditions. The new monitoring system is comprised of special flexible TDR (FTDR) probes, assembled with special vadose-zone sampling ports (VSPs) that function

  4. Vadose zone transport field study: Detailed test plan for simulated leak tests

    SciTech Connect

    AL Ward; GW Gee

    2000-06-23

    The US Department of Energy (DOE) Groundwater/Vadose Zone Integration Project Science and Technology initiative was created in FY 1999 to reduce the uncertainty associated with vadose zone transport processes beneath waste sites at DOE's Hanford Site near Richland, Washington. This information is needed not only to evaluate the risks from transport, but also to support the adoption of measures for minimizing impacts to the groundwater and surrounding environment. The principal uncertainties in vadose zone transport are the current distribution of source contaminants and the natural heterogeneity of the soil in which the contaminants reside. Oversimplified conceptual models resulting from these uncertainties and limited use of hydrologic characterization and monitoring technologies have hampered the understanding contaminant migration through Hanford's vadose zone. Essential prerequisites for reducing vadose transport uncertainly include the development of accurate conceptual models and the development or adoption of monitoring techniques capable of delineating the current distributions of source contaminants and characterizing natural site heterogeneity. The Vadose Zone Transport Field Study (VZTFS) was conceived as part of the initiative to address the major uncertainties confronting vadose zone fate and transport predictions at the Hanford Site and to overcome the limitations of previous characterization attempts. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is managing the VZTFS for DOE. The VZTFS will conduct field investigations that will improve the understanding of field-scale transport and lead to the development or identification of efficient and cost-effective characterization methods. Ideally, these methods will capture the extent of contaminant plumes using existing infrastructure (i.e., more than 1,300 steel-cased boreholes). The objectives of the VZTFS are to conduct controlled transport experiments at well-instrumented field sites at Hanford to

  5. Deep Vadose Zone Applied Field Research Initiative (DVZ AFRI) - Overview

    SciTech Connect

    2011-02-01

    The Deep Vadoze Zone Applied Field Research Initiative (DVZ AFRI) was established to protect water resources and to address the challenge of preventing contamination in the deep vadose zone from reaching groundwater. This factsheet provides an overview of the initiative and the approach to integrate basic science and needs-driven applied research activities with cleanup operations.

  6. Vadose Zone Transport Field Study: FY 2002 Status Report

    SciTech Connect

    Ward, Anderson L.; Gee, Glendon W.; Zhang, Z. F.; Keller, Jason M.

    2003-01-02

    This work reported here is part of the U. S. Department of Energy’s Science and Technology Initiative to develop improved conceptual models of flow and transport in the vadose zone, particularly for the Hanford Site, Washington. The National Academy of Sciences has identified significant knowledge gaps in conceptual model development as one reason for discovery of subsurface contamination in unexpected places. Inadequate conceptualizations limits, not only the understanding of long-term fate and transport, but also the selection and design of remediation technologies. Current conceptual models are limited partly because they do not account for the random heterogeneity that occurs under the extremes of very nonlinear flow behavior typical of the Hanford vadose zone. A major improvement in conceptual modeling of the Hanford vadose zone includes a better understanding and description of soil anisotropy, a property that appears to control much of the subsurface flow and transport in layered sediments at the Hanford Site.

  7. Challenges for Deep Vadose Zone Remediation at the Hanford Site

    SciTech Connect

    Morse, J.G.; Charboneau, B.L.; Lober, R.W.; Triplett, M.B.

    2008-07-01

    The 'deep vadose zone' is defined as the region below the practical depth of surface remedy influence (e.g., excavation or barrier). At the Hanford Site, this region of the Central Plateau poses unique challenges for characterization and remediation. Currently, deep vadose zone characterization efforts and remedy selection are spread over multiple waste site Operable Units and tank farm Waste Management Areas. A particular challenge for this effort is the situation in which past leaks from single-shell tanks have become commingled with discharges from nearby liquid disposal sites. In addition, tests of potentially viable remediation technologies will be initiated in the next few years. The Hanford Site is working with all affected parties, including the Washington State Department of Ecology, the Environmental Protection Agency, DOE-RL, DOE-ORP, and multiple contractor organizations to develop remediation approaches. This effort addresses the complex and challenging technical and is evaluating the best strategy or combination of strategies for focusing technical investigations, including treatability studies to facilitate deep vadose zone remediation at the Hanford Site. In summary: Hanford's two DOE offices, Richland Operations and the Office of River Protection, are engaging the Site's regulators, EPA and the Washington State Department of Ecology, in a collaborative process to resolve one of Hanford's most challenging technical issues - investigation and remedy selection for the deep vadose zone. While this process has not reached its conclusion, several important findings are apparent. All parties agree that the current approach of addressing this problem is not likely to be successful and an alternative is needed. An essential initial step is to develop and then implement a deep vadose zone treatability test plan that logically organizes the testing of candidate technologies for application to the variety of Hanford's deep vadose zone problems. This plan is

  8. COLLOID-FACILITATED TRANSPORT OF RADIONUCLIDES THROUGH THE VADOSE ZONE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Radioactive and hazardous waste stored in the underground tanks at the Hanford site has leaked or is suspected to have leaked into the vadose zone. Radionuclides, which are normally considered to be strongly sorbed (e.g., Pu and Cs), have been detected at much deeper depth than ...

  9. SEQUESTRATION AND TREATMENT OF VADOSE ZONE SOLVENTS USING EDIBLE OILS

    SciTech Connect

    Riha, B; Brian02 Looney, B; Richard Hall , R

    2008-03-28

    Edible oils have emerged as an effective treatment amendment for a variety of contaminants. When applied to chlorinated volatile organic compounds (cVOCs) in the saturated zone, edible oils have been shown to enhance anaerobic bioremediation and sequester the contaminants. However, edible oils have not been applied to the vadose zone for contaminant treatment. Soybean oil was injected into the vadose zone in M-Area at the Department of Energy's (DOE) Savannah River Site (SRS) as a research study to evaluate the effectiveness of edible oils for solvent sequestration and the ability to change a vadose system from aerobic to anaerobic to initiate reductive dechlorination. The proposed use of this technique would be an enhanced attenuation/transition step after active remediation. The goals of the research were to evaluate oil emplacement methods and monitoring techniques to measure oil placement, partitioning and degradation. Gas sampling was the cornerstone for this evaluation. Analyses for cVOCs and biotransformation products were performed. Overall, the cVOC concentration/flux reduction was 75-85% in this vadose zone setting. Destruction of the cVOCs by biotic or abiotic process has not yet been verified at this site. No reductive dechlorination products have been measured. The deployment has resulted in a substantial generation of light hydrocarbon gases and geochemical conditions that would support cometabolism.

  10. Effects of remediation amendments on vadose zone microorganisms

    SciTech Connect

    Miller, Hannah M.; Tilton, Fred A.

    2012-08-10

    Surfactant-based foam delivery technology has been studied to remediate Hanford 200 area deep vadose zone sediment. However, the surfactants and remediation amendments have an unknown effect on indigenous subsurface microorganisms. Microbial populations are important factors to consider in remediation efforts due to their potential to alter soil geochemistry. This project focuses on measuring microbial metabolic responses to remediation amendments in batch and column studies using Deep Vadose Zone Sediments. Initial studies of the microbes from Hanford 200 area deep vadose zone sediment showed surfactants sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) and cocamidopropyl betaine (CAPB) and remediation amendment calcium polysulfide (CPS) had no affect on microbial growth using BiologTM Ecoplates. To move towards a more realistic field analog, soil columns were packed with Hanford 200 Area sediment. Once microbial growth in the column was verified by observing growth of the effluent solution on tryptic soy agar plates, remedial surfactants were injected into the columns, and the resulting metabolic diversity was measured. Results suggest surfactant sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) stimulates microbial growth. The soil columns were also visualized using X-ray microtomography to inspect soil packing and possibly probe for evidence of biofilms. Overall, BiologTM Ecoplates provide a rapid assay to predict effects of remediation amendments on Hanford 200 area deep vadose zone microorganisms.

  11. Vadose Zone Microbial Biobarriers Remove Nitrate from Percolating Groundwater

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Microbial biobarriers are an established technique for cleansing contaminants from aquifers. This study evaluated their use under well drained conditions within the vadose or unsaturated zone. Three sets of sand filled columns, the positive control, field-capacity, and sub-field-capacity groups, ...

  12. Characterization of Persistent Volatile Contaminant Sources in the Vadose Zone

    SciTech Connect

    Carroll, Kenneth C.; Truex, Michael J.; Brusseau, Mark L.; Parker, Kyle R.; Mackley, Rob D.; Rohay, Virginia J.

    2013-05-01

    Remediation activities over time will alter the subsurface distribution of contaminants and likely create significant changes in the source-zone architecture. A field method was demonstrated for use of data collected from multiple individual soil vapor extraction (SVE) system well tests to locate and characterize the distribution of persistent VOC sources in the vadose zone. Operational data collected at the Department of Energy’s Hanford site were used to examine source zone alteration over time due to SVE operation and to illustrate the source-zone characterization approach. Individual well test results confirmed a heterogeneous distribution of permeability and contaminant mass discharge throughout the vadose zone. The trends in mass discharge and concentration were analyzed to determine the location and extent of the primary source zone within a lower-permeability unit at the site. This information is useful to evaluate the performance of SVE operations, and support decisions concerning system alteration or closure based on risk assessments of the impact of vadose-zone sources on groundwater contamination or vapor intrusion.

  13. FOAM: NOVEL DELIVERY TECHNOLOGY FOR REMEDIATION OF VADOSE ZONE ENVIRONMENTS

    SciTech Connect

    Jansik, Danielle P.; Wellman, Dawn M.; Mattigod, Shas V.; Zhong, Lirong; Wu, Yuxin; Foote, Martin; Zhang, Z. F.; Hubbard, Susan

    2011-07-05

    Deep vadose zone environments can be a primary source and pathway for contaminant migration to groundwater. These environments present unique characterization and remediation challenges that necessitate scrutiny and research. The thickness, depth, and intricacies of the deep vadose zone, combined with a lack of understanding of the key subsurface processes (e.g., biogeochemical and hydrologic) affecting contaminant migration, make it difficult to create validated conceptual and predictive models of subsurface flow dynamics and contaminant behavior across multiple scales. These factors also make it difficult to design and deploy sustainable remedial approaches and monitor long-term contaminant behavior after remedial actions. Functionally, the methods for addressing contamination must remove and/or reduce transport of contaminants. This problem is particularly challenging in the arid western United States where the vadose zone is hundreds of feet thick, rendering transitional excavation methods exceedingly costly and ineffective. Delivery of remedial amendments is one of the most challenging and critical aspects for all remedy-based approaches. The conventional approach for delivery is through injection of aqueous remedial solutions. However, heterogeneous deep vadose zone environments present hydrologic and geochemical challenges which limit the effectiveness. Because the flow of solution infiltration is dominantly controlled by gravity and suction, injected liquid preferentially percolates through highly permeable pathways, by-passing low-permeability zones which frequently contain the majority of contamination. Moreover, the wetting front can readily mobilize and enhance contaminant transport to the underlying aquifer prior to stabilization. Development of innovative, in-situ technologies may be the only way to meet remedial action objectives and long-term stewardship goals. Surfactants can be used to lower the liquid surface tension and create stabile foams

  14. Vadose Zone Hydrology and Eco-hydrology in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Wenke

    2016-04-01

    Vadose zone hydrology has long been a concern regarding groundwater recharge, evaporation, pollution, and the ecological effects induced by groundwater and water & salt contents in the unsaturated zone. The greater difference between day and night temperatures in arid and semi-arid areas influences water movement and heat transport in the vadose zone, and further influences the water and heat fluxes between the water table and the atmosphere as well as ecological environment. Unfortunately, these studies are lack in a systematic viewpoint in China. One of the main reasons is that the movement of water, vapor and heat from the surface to the water table is very complex in the arid and semi-arid areas. Another reason is lack of long term field observations for water content, vapor, heat, and soil matrix potential in the vadose zone. Three field observation sites, designed by the author, were set up to measure the changes in climate, water content , temperature and soil matrix potential of the unsaturated zone and groundwater level under the different conditions of climate and soil types over the period of 1-5 years. They are located at the Zhunngger Basin of Xinjing Uygur Autonomous Region in northwestern China, the Guanzhong Basin of Shaanxi Province in central China, and the Ordos Basin of the Inner Monggol Autonomous Region in north China, respectively. These three field observation sites have different climate and soil types in the vadose zone and the water table depth are also varied. Based on the observation data of climate, groundwater level, water content, temperature and soil matrix potential in the vadose zone from the three sites in associated with the field survey and numerical simulation method, the water movement and heat transport in the vadose zone, and the evaporation of phreatic water for different groundwater depths and soil types have been well explored. The differences in water movement of unsaturated zone between the bare surface soil and

  15. Delineation of fault zones using imaging radar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Toksoz, M. N.; Gulen, L.; Prange, M.; Matarese, J.; Pettengill, G. H.; Ford, P. G.

    1986-01-01

    The assessment of earthquake hazards and mineral and oil potential of a given region requires a detailed knowledge of geological structure, including the configuration of faults. Delineation of faults is traditionally based on three types of data: (1) seismicity data, which shows the location and magnitude of earthquake activity; (2) field mapping, which in remote areas is typically incomplete and of insufficient accuracy; and (3) remote sensing, including LANDSAT images and high altitude photography. Recently, high resolution radar images of tectonically active regions have been obtained by SEASAT and Shuttle Imaging Radar (SIR-A and SIR-B) systems. These radar images are sensitive to terrain slope variations and emphasize the topographic signatures of fault zones. Techniques were developed for using the radar data in conjunction with the traditional types of data to delineate major faults in well-known test sites, and to extend interpretation techniques to remote areas.

  16. Enhanced phytoremediation in the vadose zone: Modeling and column studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sung, K.; Chang, Y.; Corapcioglu, M.; Cho, C.

    2002-05-01

    Phytoremediation is a plant-based technique with potential for enhancing the remediation of vadoese zone soils contaminated by pollutants. The use of deep-rooted plants is an alternative to conventional methodologies. However, when the phytoremediation is applied to the vadose zone, it might have some restrictions since it uses solely naturally driven energy and mechanisms in addition to the complesxity of the vadose zone. As a more innovative technique than conventional phytoremediation methods, air injected phytoremediation technique is introduced to enhance the remediation efficiency or to apply at the former soil vapor extraction or bio venting sites. Effects of air injection, vegetation treatment, and air injection with vegetation treatments on the removal of hydrocarbon were investigated by column studies to simulate the field situation. Both the removal efficiency and the microbial activity were highest in air-injected and vegetated column soils. It was suggested that increased microorganisms activity stimulated by plant root exudates enhanced biodegradation of hydrocarbon compounds. Air injection provided sufficient opportunity for promoting the microbial activity at depths where the conditions are anaerobic. Air injection can enhance the physicochemical properties of the medium and contaminant and increase the bioavailability i.e., the plant and microbial accessibility to the contaminant. A mathematical model that can be applied to phytoremediation, especially to air injected phytoremediation, for simulating the fate and the transport of a diesel contaminant in the vadose zone is developed. The approach includes a two-phase model of water flow in vegetated and unplanted vadose zone soil. A time-specific root distribution model and a microbial growth model in the rhizosphere of vegetated soil were combined with an unsaturated soil water flow equation as well as with a contaminant transport equation. The proposed model showed a satisfactory representation of

  17. Development of the INEEL Site Wide Vadose Zone Roadmap

    SciTech Connect

    Yonk, Alan Keith

    2001-09-01

    The INEEL Vadose Zone Roadmap was developed to identify inadquacies in current knowledge, to assist in contaminant management capabilities relative to the INEEL vadose zone, and to ensure that ongoing and planned Science and Technology developments will meet the risk management challenges facing the INEEL in coming years. The primary objective of the Roadmap is to determine the S&T needs that will facilitate monitoring, characterization, prediction, and assessment activities necessary to support INEEL risk management decisions and to ensure that long-term stewardship of contaminated sites at the INEEL is achieved. The mission of the Roadmap is to insure that the long-term S&T strategy is aligned with site programs, that it takes advantage of progress made to date, and that it can assist in meeting the milestones and budgets of operations.

  18. Colloid-Facilitated Transport of Radionuclides through the Vadose Zone

    SciTech Connect

    Flury, Markus; Harsh, James B.; Zachara, John M.; McCarthy, John F.; Lichtner, Peter C.

    2006-05-31

    This project seeks to improve the basic understanding of the role of colloids in facilitating the transport of contaminants in the vadose zone. We focus on three major thrusts: (1) thermodynamic stability and mobility of colloids formed by reactions of sediments with highly alkaline tank waste solutions, (2) colloid-contaminant interactions, and (3) in-situ colloid mobilization and colloid facilitated contaminant transport occurring in both contaminated and uncontaminated Hanford sediments.

  19. Project Work Plan Chromium Vadose Zone Characterization and Geochemistry

    SciTech Connect

    Ainsworth, Calvin C.

    2006-05-23

    The major objectives of the proposed study are to 1) determine the leaching characteristics of Cr(VI) from contaminated sediments collected from 100 area spill sites, 2) elucidate possible Cr(VI) mineral and/or chemical associations that may be responsible for Cr(VI) retention in the Hanford site 100 areas through the use of i) macroscopic solubility studies and ii) microscale characterization of contaminated sediments, and 3) from these data construct a conceptual model of Cr(VI) geochemistry in the Hanford 100 area vadose zone. These objectives are based on locating and obtaining contaminated sediment with depth and at varying Cr(VI) concentrations as we hypothesize that mineral/chemical-Cr(VI) associations should be related to the total Cr concentration and other master geochemical variables (e.g., pH, counter-cation type and concentration, and water content). In addressing these objectives, additional benefits accrued will be (1) a fuller understanding of Cr(VI) entrained in the vadose zone that will that can be utilized in modeling potential Cr(VI) source terms, and 2) accelerating the Columbia River 100 area corridor cleanup by developing remedial action based on a fundamental understanding of Cr(VI) vadose zone geochemistry.

  20. Contaminated vadose zone characterization using partitioning gas tracers

    SciTech Connect

    Whitley, G.A. Jr.; McKinney, D.C.; Pope, G.A.; Rouse, B.A.; Deeds, N.E.

    1999-06-01

    This paper describes laboratory research conducted to investigate the performance of partitioning tracers for the detection of nonaqueous-phase liquids (NAPLs) in vadose zones. Once evaluated, the tracers may be used for volume estimation of NAPLs and remediation performance assessment of vadose zones. These laboratory studies used glass chromatography columns packed with: (1) Ottawa sand; and then (2) in a separate experiment, soil extracted from the Chemical Waste Landfill at Sandia National Laboratories. The columns were prepared in a manner that resulted in a three-phase system of air, water, and NAPL in the columns. Conservative and partitioning gas tracers were injected into the columns, and their elution concentrations were analyzed. The method of moments was used to estimate partition coefficients between the air and NAPL phases for each of the tracers. The partition coefficients and retardation factors, also estimated during the study, are used to select appropriate tracers for NAPL detection. This research identified several suitable perfluorocarbon tracers and demonstrated the feasibility of using partitioning tracers as a tool for NAPL detection in the vadose zone.

  1. Vadose zone effects on snowmelt generated streamflow

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Processes of evaporation, transpiration and absorption of water within the rood one constitute a secondary control on the amount and timing of snowmelt-generated streamflow. Even in relatively small watersheds the timing and amount of snowmelt inputs to the root zone may be highly variable due to u...

  2. Vadose zone attenuation of organic compounds at a crude oil spill site - Interactions between biogeochemical reactions and multicomponent gas transport

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Molins, S.; Mayer, K.U.; Amos, R.T.; Bekins, B.A.

    2010-01-01

    Contaminant attenuation processes in the vadose zone of a crude oil spill site near Bemidji, MN have been simulated with a reactive transport model that includes multicomponent gas transport, solute transport, and the most relevant biogeochemical reactions. Dissolution and volatilization of oil components, their aerobic and anaerobic degradation coupled with sequential electron acceptor consumption, ingress of atmospheric O2, and the release of CH4 and CO2 from the smear zone generated by the floating oil were considered. The focus of the simulations was to assess the dynamics between biodegradation and gas transport processes in the vadose zone, to evaluate the rates and contributions of different electron accepting processes towards vadose zone natural attenuation, and to provide an estimate of the historical mass loss. Concentration distributions of reactive (O2, CH4, and CO2) and non-reactive (Ar and N2) gases served as key constraints for the model calibration. Simulation results confirm that as of 2007, the main degradation pathway can be attributed to methanogenic degradation of organic compounds in the smear zone and the vadose zone resulting in a contaminant plume dominated by high CH4 concentrations. In accordance with field observations, zones of volatilization and CH4 generation are correlated to slightly elevated total gas pressures and low partial pressures of N2 and Ar, while zones of aerobic CH4 oxidation are characterized by slightly reduced gas pressures and elevated concentrations of N2 and Ar. Diffusion is the most significant transport mechanism for gases in the vadose zone; however, the simulations also indicate that, despite very small pressure gradients, advection contributes up to 15% towards the net flux of CH4, and to a more limited extent to O2 ingress. Model calibration strongly suggests that transfer of biogenically generated gases from the smear zone provides a major control on vadose zone gas distributions and vadose zone carbon

  3. Technical and Policy Challenges in Deep Vadose Zone Remediation of Metals and Radionuclides

    SciTech Connect

    Wellman, Dawn M.; Truex, Michael J.; Freshley, Mark D.; Dresel, P. E.; Cantrell, Kirk J.

    2012-03-21

    Deep vadose zone contamination is a significant issue facing the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Environmental Management (EM). Contamination in the deep vadose zone is isolated from exposure such that direct contact is not a factor in risk to human health and the environment; rather, movement of contamination from the deep vadose zone to the groundwater creates the potential for exposure and risk to receptors. Transport of deep vadose zone contamination and discharge to the groundwater creates the potential for exposure and risk to receptors, so limiting flux to groundwater is key for protection of groundwater resources. Remediation approaches for the deep vadose zone need to be considered within the regulatory context, targeted at mitigating the source of contamination and reduce contaminant flux to groundwater. This paper reviews the processes for deep vadose zone metal and radionuclide remediation as well as challenges and opportunities for implementation.

  4. Effect of vadose zone on the steady-state leakage rates from landfill barrier systems

    SciTech Connect

    Celik, B. Rowe, R.K. Unlue, K.

    2009-01-15

    Leakage rates are evaluated for a landfill barrier system having a compacted clay liner (CCL) underlain by a vadose zone of variable thickness. A numerical unsaturated flow model SEEP/W is used to simulate the moisture flow regime and steady-state leakage rates for the cases of unsaturated zones with different soil types and thicknesses. The results of the simulations demonstrate that harmonic mean hydraulic conductivity of coarse textured vadose zones is 3-4 orders of magnitude less than saturated hydraulic conductivity; whereas, the difference is only one order of magnitude for fine textured vadose zones. For both coarse and fine textured vadose zones, the effective hydraulic conductivity of the barrier system and the leakage rate to an underlying aquifer increases with increasing thickness of the vadose zone and ultimately reaches an asymptotic value for a coarse textured vadose zone thickness of about 10 m and a fine textured vadose zone thickness of about 5 m. Therefore, the fine and coarse textured vadose zones thicker than about 5 m and 10 m, respectively, act as an effective part of the barrier systems examined. Although the thickness of vadose zone affects the effective hydraulic conductivity of the overall barrier system, the results demonstrated that the hydraulic conductivity of the CCL is the dominant factor controlling the steady-state leakage rates through barrier systems having single low permeability clay layers.

  5. A Catalog of Vadose Zone Hydraulic Properties for the Hanford Site

    SciTech Connect

    Freeman, Eugene J.; Khaleel, Raziuddin; Heller, Paula R.

    2001-09-24

    The purpose of this catalog is to integrate all available soil physics data and information from vadose zone characterization and performance assessments into one useable, scientifically defensible document.

  6. Effects of vadose zone on groundwater table fluctuations in unconfined aquifers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kong, Jun; Xin, Pei; Hua, Guo-Fen; Luo, Zhao-Yang; Shen, Cheng-Ji; Chen, Dan; Li, Ling

    2015-09-01

    Above a shallow unconfined aquifer, a considerable amount of water is stored in the vadose zone. Through water exchange with the underlying unconfined aquifer, the vadose zone affects the groundwater table dynamics and overall behavior of the aquifer. In this paper, we examine tide-induced groundwater table fluctuations in unconfined aquifers influenced by vadose zone of finite thickness. Under the condition of small aquifer thickness (D) compared with the groundwater wavelength (L) (i.e., μ2 =(D / L) 2 ≪ 1) and small boundary oscillation amplitude (a) (i.e., ε = a / D ≪ 1) (where μ2 and ε are two parameters), an approximate analytical solution was derived to quantify systematically the vadose zone effects, with a particular consideration of capping by the ground surface, i.e., the upper boundary of the vadose zone. Depending on the extent to which the capillary rise is truncated by the ground surface, the vadose zone enhances the groundwater table fluctuations in an unconfined aquifer. However, the mean groundwater table height and exchange between surface water and groundwater are reduced due to the presence of the vadose zone. These effects are intensified with increased capillary rise, but weakened as the vadose zone thickens. This study provides a criterion for assessing the importance of vadose zone in modulating the response of unconfined aquifers to low-frequency forcing oscillations such as tides.

  7. Soil moisture: applications and needs in vadose zone hydrology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vereecken, H.; Huisman, S.; Bogena, H.; Vanderborght, J.; Vrugt, J.; Hopmans, J. W.

    2007-12-01

    In this presentation, we address the state of the art in using soil moisture measurements to derive soil hydraulic properties, to quantify water and energy fluxes in the vadose zone, to retrieve spatial and temporal dynamics of soil moisture profiles, and to develop monitoring networks. We will discuss these issues at two different scales important in vadose zone hydrology: the field and the catchment scale. Analyzing the value of soil moisture measurements is motivated by our increasing ability to measure soil moisture due to the availability of novel non- invasive measurement techniques at the field and catchment scale, of remote sensing platforms and improved retrieval algorithms as well as of novel soil moisture network sensor technologies in providing high quality soil moisture data with high spatial and temporal resolution. We advocate that optimal use of soil moisture measurements will require further development of down- and upscaling algorithms to bridge the disparity in scales between hydrological measurements and mathematical models, to improve data assimilation techniques for retrieving the vertical and horizontal distribution of soil moisture including its temporal dynamics but also hydrological parameters driving the flow of water and to explore the potential in combining hydrogeophysical techniques with remote sensing measurement of soil moisture. With respect to the issue of upscaling we feel that stochastic upscaling theories developed in vadose zone research have not really been optimally used at scales larger than the field scale. This will be illustrated by applying stochastic theories in interpreting observed soil moisture fields. Applications of these theories might help in bridging the gap between model and measurement scale at larger scales.

  8. TWRS vadose zone contamination issue expert panel report

    SciTech Connect

    Shafer, D.S.

    1997-05-01

    When members were first canvassed for participation in the Vadose Zone Expert Panel the stated purpose for convening the Panel was to review a controversial draft report, the SX Tank Farm Report. This report was produced by a DOE Grand Junction Project Office (GJPO) contractor, RUST Geotech, now MACTEC-ERS, for the DOE Richland Office (DOERL). Three meetings were planned for June, July and August, 1995 to review the draft report and to complete a Panel report by mid-September. The Expert Panel has found its efforts confounded by various non-technical issues. The Expert Panel has chosen to address some of the non-technical issues in this Preface rather than to dilute the technical discussion that follows in the body of this independent expert panel status report (Panel Report). Rather than performing a straightforward manuscript review, the Panel was asked to resolve conflicting interpretations of gamma-ray logging measurements performed in vadose zone boreholes (drywells) surrounding the high-level radioactive wastes of the SX tank farm. There are numerous and complex technical issues that must be evaluated before the vertical and radial extent of contaminant migration at the SX tank farm can be accurately assessed. When the Panel first met in early June, 1996, it quickly became apparent that the scientific and technical issues were obscured by policy and institutional affairs which have polarized discussion among various segments of the Hanford organization. This situation reflects the kinds of institutional problems described separately in reports by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS/NRC), The Hanford Tanks Environmental Impacts and Policy Choices and BmTiers to Science: Technical Management of the Department of Energy Environmental Remediation Program. The Vadose Zone Characterization Program, appears to be caught between conflicting pressures and organizational mandates, some imposed from outside DOE-RL and some self

  9. Controlled field study for validation of vadose zone transport models

    SciTech Connect

    Wierenga, P.J.; Warrick, A.W.; Yeh, T.C.; Hills, R.G.

    1994-08-01

    Prediction of radionuclide migration through soil and groundwater requires models which have been tested under a variety of conditions. Unfortunately, many of the existing models have not been tested in the field, partly because such testing requires accurate and representative data. This report provides the design of a large scale field experiment representative, in terms of,surface area and depth of vadose zone, of an actual disposal area. Experiments are proposed which will yield documented data, of sufficient scale, to allow testing of a variety of models including effective media stochastic models and deterministic models. Details of the methodology and procedures to be used in the experiment are presented.

  10. Colloid-Facilitated Transport of Radionuclides through the Vadose Zone

    SciTech Connect

    Flury, Markus; Harsh, James B.; Zachara, John M.; Jin, Yan

    2002-06-01

    This project seeks to improve the basic understanding of colloid and colloid-facilitated transport of Cs in the vadose zone. The specific objectives are: (1) Determine the structure, composition, and surface charge characteristics of colloidal particles formed under conditions similar to those occurring during leakage of waste typical of Hanford tank supernatants into soils and sediments surrounding the tanks. (2) Characterize the mutual interactions between colloids, contaminant, and soil matrix in batch experiments under various ionic strength and pH conditions. We will investigate the nature of the solid-liquid interactions and the kinetics of the reactions. (3) Evaluate mobility of colloids through soil under different degrees of water saturation and solution chemistry (ionic strength and pH). (4) Determine the potential of colloids to act as carriers to transport the contaminant through the vadose zone and verify the results through comparison with field samples collected under leaking tanks. Results of this project will help to understand the fundamental mechanisms of Cs transport under the leaking Hanford tanks, and thus contribute to the long-term clean-up strategies at the Hanford site.

  11. Vadose Zone Characterization Techniques Developed by EMSP Research

    SciTech Connect

    Guillen, Donna P.

    2003-02-24

    This paper discusses research contributions made by Environmental Management Science Program (EMSP) research in the area of geophysical characterization of the subsurface. The goal of these EMSP research projects is to develop combined high-resolution measurement and interpretation packages that provide accurate, timely information needed to characterize the vadose zone. Various types of geophysical imaging techniques can be used to characterize the shallow subsurface. Since individual geophysical characterization tools all have specific limitations, many different techniques are being explored to provide more widespread applicability over a range of hydrogeologic settings. A combination of laboratory, field, theoretical, and computational studies are necessary to develop our understanding of how contaminants move through the vadose zone. This entails field tests with field-hardened systems, packaging and calibration of instrumentation, data processing and analysis algorithms, forward and inverse modeling, and so forth. DOE sites are seeking to team with EMSP researchers to leverage the basic science research investment and apply these advances to address subsurface contamination issues that plague many U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) sites.

  12. The Mojave vadose zone: a subsurface biosphere analogue for Mars.

    PubMed

    Abbey, William; Salas, Everett; Bhartia, Rohit; Beegle, Luther W

    2013-07-01

    If life ever evolved on the surface of Mars, it is unlikely that it would still survive there today, but as Mars evolved from a wet planet to an arid one, the subsurface environment may have presented a refuge from increasingly hostile surface conditions. Since the last glacial maximum, the Mojave Desert has experienced a similar shift from a wet to a dry environment, giving us the opportunity to study here on Earth how subsurface ecosystems in an arid environment adapt to increasingly barren surface conditions. In this paper, we advocate studying the vadose zone ecosystem of the Mojave Desert as an analogue for possible subsurface biospheres on Mars. We also describe several examples of Mars-like terrain found in the Mojave region and discuss ecological insights that might be gained by a thorough examination of the vadose zone in these specific terrains. Examples described include distributary fans (deltas, alluvial fans, etc.), paleosols overlain by basaltic lava flows, and evaporite deposits. PMID:23848498

  13. Tank waste remediation system vadose zone program plan

    SciTech Connect

    Fredenburg, E.A.

    1998-07-27

    The objective of the vadose zone characterization under this program is to develop a better conceptual geohydrologic model of identified tank farms which will be characterized so that threats to human health and the environment from past leaks and spills, intentional liquid discharges, potential future leaks during retrieval, and from residual contaminants that may remain in tank farms at closure can be explicitly addressed in decision processes. This model will include geologic, hydrologic, and hydrochemical parameters as defined by the requirements of each of the TWRS programs identified here. The intent of this TWRS Vadose Zone Program Plan is to provide justification and an implementation plan for the following activities: Develop a sufficient understanding of subsurface conditions and transport processes to support decisions on management, cleanup, and containment of past leaks, spills, and intentional liquid discharges; Develop a sufficient understanding of transport processes to support decisions on controlling potential retrieval leaks; Develop a sufficient understanding of transport processes to support decisions on tank farm closure, including allowable residual waste that may remain at closure; and Provide new information on geotechnical properties in the 200 Area to supplement data used for design and performance assessment for immobilized low-activity waste disposal facilities.

  14. STRATEGIES FOR IMMOBILIZATION OF DEEP VADOSE ZONE CONTAMINANTS AT THE HANFORD CENTRAL PLATEAU

    SciTech Connect

    CHRONISTER GB

    2011-01-14

    Deep vadose zone contamination poses some of the most difficult remediation challenges for the protection of groundwater at the Hanford Site in Richland, Washington. This paper describes processes and technologies being developed to use in the ongoing effort to remediate the contamination in the deep vadose zone at the Hanford Site.

  15. THE INFLUENCE OF CALCIUM CARBONATE GRAIN COATINGS ON CONTAMINANT REACTIVITY IN VADOSE ZONE SEDIMENTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Fundamental research is proposed to investigate the role of calcium carbonate grain coatings on the vadose zone chemical reactivity of key Hanford contaminants (i.e., 60Co2+, 90Sr2+, CrO42-, and 99TcO4-). Calcium carbonate is widely distributed through the Hanford vadose zone as...

  16. HEAT AND MASS TRANSFER IN THE VADOSE ZONE WITH PLANT ROOTS. (R825414)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Abstract

    The vadose zone is the intermediate medium between the atmosphere and groundwater. The modeling of the processes taking place in the vadose zone needs different approaches to those needed for groundwater transport problems because of the marked changes in envi...

  17. NATURE OF THE DRY SHADOW BELOW CAVITIES IN VADOSE ZONE

    SciTech Connect

    T.A. Ghezzehei; T.J. Kneafsey; G.W. Su

    2005-09-07

    Several theoretical studies have indicated that the presence of subsurface cavities in the vadose zone results in complete or partial diversion of flow around cavities. As a result, the region immediately below the cavities is partially shielded from the downward flux. This shadowing effect of cavities can be exploited in the design of dry subsurface storage facilities as an additional barrier to contain waste within or around the cavities. However, empirical evidence that supports these theories is lacking. This study is motivated by the inherent difficulty to make direct observation of the shadow zone as it occurs under very dry conditions. To aid future field and laboratory scale investigations of the shadow zone, we performed rigorous theoretical scrutiny of the conditions that result in the shadowing effect. We formulated relative permeability and saturation based criteria to identify the boundaries of the shadow zone. Analytical and numerical tools were used to develop dimensionless scaling laws that define the size of the shadow zone. Moreover, we analyzed the effect of natural perturbations (heterogeneity and fracturing) on the integrity of the shadow zone. The results will be used in selecting study sites; identifying observation locations and methods; and designing active tests to test the concept of shadow zone.

  18. Summary of Vadose -- Zone Conceptual Models for Flow and Contaminant Transport and 1999 - 2003 Progress on Resolving Deficiencies in Understanding the Vadose Zone at the INEEL

    SciTech Connect

    Robert C. Starr; Dana L. Dettmers; Brennon R. Orr; Thomas R. Wood

    2003-12-01

    The thick vadose zone that underlies the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory has been recognized both as an avenue through which contaminants disposed at or near the ground surface can migrate to groundwater in the underlying Eastern Snake River Plain aquifer, and as a barrier to the movement of contaminants into the aquifer. Flow and contaminant transport in the vadose zone at the INEEL is complicated by the highly heterogeneous nature of the geologic framework and by the variations in the behavior of different contaminants in the subsurface. The state of knowledge concerning flow and contaminant transport in the vadose zone at and near the INEEL IN 1999 was summarized in Deficiencies in Vadose Zone Understanding at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (Wood et al., 2000). These authors identified deficiencies in knowledge of flow and contaminant transport processes in the vadose zone, and provided recommendations for additional work that should be conducted to address these deficiencies. In the period since (Wood et al., 2000) was prepared, research has been published that, to some degree, address these deficiencies. This document provides a bibliography of reports, journal articles, and conference proceedings published 1999 through mid-2003 that are relevant to the vadose zone at or near the INEEL and provides a brief description of each work. Publications that address specific deficiencies or recommendations are identified, and pertinent information from selected publications is presented.

  19. COLLOID-FACILITATED TRANSPORT OF RADIONUCLIDES THROUGH THE VADOSE ZONE

    SciTech Connect

    Flury, Markus

    2003-09-14

    Contaminants have leaked into the vadose zone at the USDOE Hanford reservation. It is important to understand the fate and transport of these contaminants to design remediation strategies and long-term waste management plans at the Hanford reservation. Colloids may play an important role in fate and transport of strongly sorbing contaminants, such as Cs or Pu. This project seeks to improve the basic understanding of colloid and colloid-facilitated transport of contaminants in the vadose zone. The specific objectives addressed are: (1) Determine the structure, composition, and surface charge characteristics of colloidal particles formed under conditions similar to those occurring during leakage of waste typical of Hanford tank supernatants into soils and sediments surrounding the tanks. (2) Characterize the mutual interactions between colloids, contaminant, and soil matrix in batch experiments under various ionic strength and pH conditions. We will investigate the nature of the solid-liquid interactions and the kinetics of the reactions. (3) Evaluate mobility of colloids through soil under different degrees of water saturation and solution chemistry (ionic strength and pH). (4) Determine the potential of colloids to act as carriers to transport the contaminant through the vadose zone and verify the results through comparison with field samples collected under leaking tanks. (5) Improve conceptual characterization of colloid-contaminant-soil interactions and colloid-facilitated transport for implementation into reactive chemical transport models. This project was in part supported by an NSF-IGERT grant to Washington State University. The IGERT grant provided funding for graduate student research and education, and two graduate students were involved in the EMSP project. The IGERT program also supported undergraduate internships. The project is part of a larger EMSP program to study fate and transport of contaminants under leaking Hanford waste tanks. The project has

  20. Understanding Fluid and Contaminant Movement in the Unsaturated Zone Using the INEEL Vadose Zone Monitoring System

    SciTech Connect

    Hubbell, J. M.; Mattson, E. D.; Sisson, J. B.; Magnuson, S. O.

    2002-02-26

    DOE has hundreds of contaminated facilities and waste sites requiring cleanup and/or long-term monitoring. These contaminated sites reside in unsaturated soils (i.e. the vadose zone) above the water table. Some of these sites will require active remediation activities or removal while other sites will be placed under institutional controls. In either case, evaluating the effectiveness of the remediation strategy or institutional controls will require monitoring. Classical monitoring strategies implemented at RCRA/CERCLA sites require ground water sampling for 30 years following closure. The overall effectiveness of ground water sampling is diminished due to the fact that by the time you detect chemical transport from a waste site, a major contamination plume likely exists in the vadose zone and the aquifer. This paper suggests a more effective monitoring strategy through monitoring near the contaminant sites within the vadose zone. Vadose zone monitoring allows for quicker detection of potential contaminant transport. The INEEL Vadose Zone Monitoring System (VZMS) is becoming an accepted, cost effective monitoring technology for assessing contaminant transport at DOE facilities. This paper describes the technologies employed in the VZMS and describes how it was used at several DOE facilities. The INEEL VZMS has provided the information in developing and validating both conceptual and risk assessment models of contaminant transport at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Savannah River Site (SRS) and the Hanford site. These DOE sites exhibit a broad range of meteorologic, hydrologic and geologic conditions representative of various common geologic environments. The VZMS is comprised of advanced tensiometers, water content sensors, temperature sensors and soil and gas samplers. These instruments are placed at multiple depths in boreholes and allows for the detection of water movement in the

  1. Challenges for Deep Vadose Zone Remediation at the Hanford Site

    SciTech Connect

    Morse, John G.; Charboneau, Briant L.; Lober, Robert W.; Triplett, Mark B.

    2008-02-26

    The “deep vadose zone” is defined as the region below the practical depth of surface remedy influence (e.g., excavation or barrier). At the Hanford Site, this region of the Central Plateau poses unique challenges for characterization and remediation. The contaminants in this region also pose a potentially significant continuing or future threat to groundwater. Currently, deep vadose zone characterization efforts and remedy selection are spread over multiple waste site Operable Units and tank farm Waste Management Areas. A particular challenge for this effort is the situation in which past leaks from single-shell tanks have become commingled with discharges from nearby liquid disposal sites. The Hanford Site is working with all affected parties, including the Washington State Department of Ecology, the Environmental Protection Agency, DOE-RL, DOE-ORP, and multiple contractor organizations to develop a unified approach to conducting work and reaching remediation decisions. This effort addresses the complex and challenging technical and regulatory issues within this environment. A true inter-Agency effort is evaluating the best strategy or combination of strategies for focusing technical investigations, including treatability studies, and for attaining remedy decisions on the Hanford Site.

  2. EVALUATION OF VADOSE ZONE TREATMENT TECHNOLOGIES TO IMMOBILIZE TECHNETIUM-99

    SciTech Connect

    PETERSEN, S.W.

    2006-03-15

    The Hanford Site End State Vision document (DOE/RL-2003-59) states: ''There should be an aggressive plan to develop technology for remediation of the contamination that could get to the groundwater (particularly the technetium [{sup 99}Tc])''. In addition, there is strong support from the public and regulatory agencies for the above statement, with emphasis on investigation of treatment alternatives. In July 2004, PNNL completed a preliminary evaluation of remediation technologies with respect to their effectiveness and implementability for immobilization of {sup 99}Tc beneath the BC Cribs in the 200 West Area (Truex, 2004). As a result of this evaluation, PNNL recommended treatability testing of in situ soil desiccation, because it has the least uncertainty of those technologies evaluated in July 2004 (Treatability Test Outline, September 30, 2004). In 2005, DOE-RL and Fluor Hanford convened an independent technical panel to review alternative remediation technologies, including desiccation, at a three-day workshop in Richland, Washington. The panel was composed of experts in vadose-zone transport, infiltration control, hydrology, geochemistry, environmental engineering, and geology. Their backgrounds include employment in academia, government laboratories, industry, and consulting. Their review, presented in this document, is based upon written reports from Hanford, oral presentations from Hanford staff, and each panel members' years of experience in their particular field of expertise. The purpose of this report is to document the panel's evaluation of various treatment alternatives with potential for minimizing contaminant migration in the deep vadose zone at the Department of Energy Hanford Site. The panel was tasked with assessing the most viable and practical approach and making recommendations for testing. The evaluation of vadose-zone treatment alternatives was conducted to be broadly applicable at a variety of locations at Hanford. However, because of

  3. Water Flow and Solute Transport Processes in Deep Sandy Vadose Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rimon, Y.; Dahan, O.

    2010-12-01

    Water percolation and solute transport through an unsaturated sandy formation were investigated using a vadose-zone monitoring system (VMS) that enables in-situ, real-time, monitoring of the percolating water. The VMS includes flexible time-domain reflectometry (FTDR) probes which allow continuous monitoring of the temporal variations of the vadose zone water contents, and vadose-zone sampling ports (VSPs) which are designed to allow frequent sampling of the sediment pore-water as well as measurements of the pore-water pressure. Several years of continuous operation of the VMS provided insight into the dynamics of rainfall-induced infiltration events in a 22-m thick sandy formation. Measurements of the temporal variations in vadose-zone water contents as well as continuous monitoring of the vadose-zone pore water, allowed detailed tracking of the wetting fronts' propagation velocities and determination of flow patterns governing solute transport. It has been shown that the chemical composition of mobile flowing water along the vadose zone is not in equilibrium with the total soluble solute potential of the sediment. This phenomenon is usually attributed to preferential flow. However, wetting-front propagation patterns, as monitored continuously over four rainy seasons through the entire vadose zone, as well as a tracer experiment, showed relatively uniform wetting-front propagation with no direct evidence for significant preferential flow. These results were confirmed HYDRUS simulation. The contradictory observations on matrix and preferential flow as governing mechanisms led to conceptualization of the percolation process as pore-scale dual domain flow. Measurements of vadose zone water pressure through a separate set of VSPs, revealed the critical relationship between temporal variations in vadose zone water contents and water pressure, as well as the dynamic connectivity of the vadose zone gas phase to the atmosphere. As expected, variation in the sediments

  4. An alternative tensiometer design for deep vadose zone monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moradi, A. B.; Kandelous, M. M.; Hopmans, J. W.

    2015-12-01

    The conventional tensiometer is among the most accurate devices for soil water matric potential measurements, as well as for estimations of soil water flux from soil water potential gradients. Uncertainties associated with conventional tensiometers such as caused by ambient temperature effects and the draining of the tensiometer tube, as well as their limitation for deep soil monitoring has prevented their widespread use for vadose zone monitoring, despite their superior accuracy, in general. We introduce an alternative tensiometer design that offers the accuracy of the conventional tensiometer, while minimizing afore-mentioned uncertainties and limitations. The proposed alternative tensiometer largely eliminates temperature-induced diurnal fluctuations and uncertainties associated with the draining of the tensiometer tube, and removes the limitation in installation depth. In addition, the manufacturing costs of this alternative tensiometer design is close to that of the conventional tensiometer, while it is especially suited for monitoring of soil water potential gradients as required for soil water flux measurements.

  5. Vadose Zone Modeling Workshop proceedings, March 29--30, 1993

    SciTech Connect

    Khaleel, R.

    1993-08-01

    At the Hanford Site, the record of decision for remediation of CERCLA sites is largely based on results of the baseline risk and performance assessment of the remedial action alternatives. These assessments require the ability to predict the fate and transport of contaminants along appropriate exposure pathways which, in case of the Hanford Site, includes the migration of contaminants through the vadose zone to the water table. Listed below are some of the requirements, as prescribed by the regulators, relative to CERCLA risk and performance assessment at Hanford. A workshop was organized by the Environmental Risk and Performance Assessment Group, Westinghouse Hanford Company on March 29--30, 1993 at the Richland Best Western Tower Inn. During the workshop, an assessment was made of the need for and scope of various tasks being conducted or planned as part of the Hanford Site waste isolation performance assessment/risk assessment activities. Three external, nationally-recognized experts served as part of a review panel for the workshop: (a) Professor Lynn Gelhar of MIT; (b) Professor Peter Wierenga of University of Arizona; and (c) Dr. Rien van Genuchten of US Salinity Laboratory, Riverside, California. The technical experts provided their perspectives on the current state-of-the-art in vadose zone flow and transport modeling. In addition, the technical experts provided an outside independent assessment of the work being performed or planned in support of various activities identified in TPA Milestone M-29-02. This document includes the following: Recommendations from the three peer reviewers; areas of expertise of the three peer reviewers; workshop agenda; copies of viewgraphs (where available) from presenters at the workshop; workshop minutes; and list of workshop attendees.

  6. Characterization of Direct Push Vadose Zone Sediments from the T and TY Waste Management Areas

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, Christopher F.; Valenta, Michelle M.; Serne, R. Jeffrey; Bjornstad, Bruce N.; Lanigan, David C.; Iovin, Cristian; Clayton, Ray E.; Geiszler, Keith N.; Clayton, Eric T.; Kutnyakov, Igor V.; Baum, Steven R.; Lindberg, Michael J.; Orr, Robert D.

    2007-06-08

    This report contains all the geochemical and selected physical characterization data collected on vadose zone sediment recovered from 5 direct push characterization holes emplaced to investigate vadose zone contamination associated with leaks from tanks 241-TY-105 (UPR-200-W-152) and 241-TY-106 (UPR-200-W-153). Tank 241-TY-105 is estimated to have leaked 35,000 gal of tributyl phosphate (TBP) waste from the uranium recovery process to the vadose zone in 1960. Tank 241-TY-106 is estimated to have leaked 20,000 gal of TBP-uranium recovery waste to the vadose zone in 1959. Although several drywells in the vicinity of tank 241-TY-106 contain measurable quantities of cesium-137 and/or cobalt-60, their relatively low concentrations indicate that the contaminant inventory in the vadose zone around tank 241-TY-106 is quite small. Additionally, this report contains all the geochemical and selected physical characterization data collected on vadose zone sediment recovered from 7 direct push characterization holes emplaced to investigate vadose zone contamination associated with an overfill event and leak from tank 241-T-101.

  7. Integrated Strategy to Address Hanford’s Deep Vadose Zone Remediation Challenges

    SciTech Connect

    Triplett, Mark B.; Freshley, Mark D.; Truex, Michael J.; Wellman, Dawn M.; Gerdes, Kurt D.; Charboneau, Briant L.; Morse, John G.; Lober, Robert W.; Chronister, Glen B.

    2010-10-03

    A vast majority of Hanford’s remaining in-ground contaminants reside in the vadose zone of the Central Plateau, where reprocessing operations occurred. The vadose zone is comprised of about 75 meters of water-unsaturated sediments above groundwater. These contaminants have, and continue to release into groundwater that discharges to the Columbia River. If left untreated, these contaminants could remain a threat for centuries. Much of this contamination resides deep in the vadose zone, below the effective depth of tradition surface remedy influence. In 2008, the Department of Energy initiated deep vadose zone treatability testing to seek remedies for technetium-99 and uranium contamination. These tests include the application of desiccation for technetium-99 and reactive gas technologies for uranium. To complement these efforts, the Department of Energy has initiated a “defense-in-depth” approach to address the unique challenges for characterization and remediation of the deep vadose zone. This defense-in-depth approach will implement multiple approaches to understand and control contaminant flux from the deep vadose zone to the groundwater. Among these approaches is an increased investment in science and technology solutions to resolve deep vadose zone challenges including characterization, prediction, remediation, and monitoring.

  8. SENSITIVE PARAMETER EVALUATION FOR A VADOSE ZONE FATE AND TRANSPORT MODEL

    EPA Science Inventory

    This report presents information pertaining to quantitative evaluation of the potential impact of selected parameters on output of vadose zone transport and fate models used to describe the behavior of hazardous chemicals in soil. The Vadose 2one Interactive Processes (VIP) model...

  9. Technical Basis for Gas-Phase Vadose Zone Remediation Technologies at Hanford: A Review - 12186

    SciTech Connect

    Truex, M.J.; Oostrom, M.; Szecsody, J.E.; Strickland, C.E.; Chronister, G.B.; Benecke, M.W.

    2012-07-01

    In situ vadose zone remediation approaches are being evaluated as potential options to mitigate the transport of inorganic and radionuclide contaminants from the vadose zone to the groundwater. Some of the candidate approaches are based on changing the contaminant or subsurface conditions in a way that slows downward migration of the contaminants through the vadose zone using amendments delivered in the gas-phase. Two promising approaches that have undergone testing at Hanford include soil desiccation to address technetium-99 contamination and ammonia-induced sequestration of uranium. For soil desiccation, a dry gas is injected to desiccate a targeted portion of the subsurface and thereby decrease contaminant movement by removing moisture and decreasing the hydraulic conductivity of the desiccated zone. Ammonia-induced sequestration of uranium relies on changing the pore water chemistry, primarily through pH changes, to induce dissolution and precipitation processes that decrease the amount of mobile uranium in the vadose zone. (authors)

  10. Organic Carbon Inventories and Vertical Fluxes Through the Vadose Zone into Groundwater at the Rifle, Colorado River Floodplain Site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tokunaga, T. K.; Wan, J.; Dong, W.; Williams, K. H.; Robbins, M.; Kim, Y.; Faybishenko, B.; Conrad, M. E.; Christensen, J. N.; Gilbert, B.; Dayvault, R. D.; Long, P. E.; Hubbard, S. S.

    2013-12-01

    Understanding carbon inventories and fluxes within the vadose zone and groundwater of semi-arid regions is challenging because of their typically deep profiles, moderately low soil organic carbon (SOC) inventories, low dissolved organic carbon (DOC) fluxes, and slow changes in soil inorganic carbon (SIC) inventories. The remediated uranium/vanadium mill tailings site situated on a floodplain at Rifle, Colorado possesses a number of characteristics that facilitate investigation of subsurface carbon fluxes. These include locally derived fill soil having SOC and SIC concentrations representative of the region, established vegetation cover (perennial grasses and shrubs) on the fill, boundaries between the fill and underlying alluvium distinguishable through concentrations of SIC and other chemical components, predictable groundwater flow and interaction with the adjacent Colorado River, and a clearly delineated impermeable lower boundary (Wasatch Formation shale) at depths ranging from 6 to 7.5 m. Environmental characteristics of this site permit year-round sampling of both pore water and pore gas throughout most of the moderately deep (~ 3.5 m) vadose zone. Within this well-defined hydrological system, we recently installed a suite of tensiometers, pore water (vadose zone and groundwater) samplers, gas samplers, and neutron probe access tubes at three sites along a transect aligned with the groundwater flow direction in order to determine inventories and fluxes of water, carbon, and other components. The tensiometer and piezometer measurements are revealing impacts of infiltration and groundwater recharge events, evapotranspiration, and capillary fringe-groundwater interactions. The results of pore water analyses are showing relatively high concentrations of DOC (up to 4 mM) in the vadose zone, and particulate organic carbon (POC) mobile in the capillary fringe. Differences in DOC characteristics are being determined using a variety of analytical techniques. Hydraulic

  11. Bioremediation Potential of Perchlorate Contaminated Deep Vadose Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gal, H.; Ronen, Z.; Weisbrod, N.; Dahan, O.; Nativ, R.

    2007-12-01

    Widespread perchlorate contamination was found in the vadose zone near a plant that manufactures ammonium perchlorate above the coastal aquifer of Israel in Ramat Hasharon. As part of the plant's operations, untreated industrial wastewater was disposed of for over 30 years in unlined wastewater ponds and nearby washes, causing contamination of the unsaturated zone (up to 2200 mg kg-1 sediment at a depth of 20 m) and the groundwater below it (up to 300 mg L-1). In this study, we examined the potential for microbial metabolism of perchlorate reduction in the contaminated deep vadose zone profile by native microbial communities. Microbial reduction of perchlorate was found in three of the four sediment samples taken from different depths. The sediments taken from 1 m (shallowest) and 35 m (deepest- close to the water table) showed the fastest degradation rates, while the sediment taken from 15 m showed the slowest rate. No perchlorate reduction was observed in the sediment taken from 20 m, where perchlorate concentrations were highest. These results were correlated to the viable microorganism counts in the profile. In experiments in which the effect of nitrate was examined, the lag time for perchlorate degradation was found to be inversely correlated to the initial nitrate concentration, while the perchlorate-reduction rates were faster in treatments with higher initial nitrate concentrations. We found no perchlorate degradation as long as nitrate was present in the system: perchlorate reduction was initiated only after all of the nitrate had been reduced. Nitrate-reduction rates were correlated to the initial nitrate concentrations and no lag period was observed. Nitrite was temporarily accumulated during nitrate reduction and was totally reduced, like nitrate, after 4 days. Count of viable microbial communities as well as PCR analysis of the chlorite dismutase gene in the native microbial population exposed to high concentrations of perchlorate (10,000-20,000 mg L-1

  12. ANNUAL PROGRESS REPORT. HIGH FREQUENCY ELECTROMAGNETIC IMPEDANCE IMAGING FOR VADOSE ZONE AND GROUNDWATER CHARACTERIZATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    Accurate description of transport pathways on the gross scale, the location of contamination, and characterization of heterogeneity within the vadose zone, are now realized as vital for proper treatment, confinement and stabilization of subsurface contamination at Department of E...

  13. HIGH FREQUENCY ELECTROMAGNETIC IMPEDANCE IMAGING FOR VADOSE ZONE AND GROUNDWATER CHARACTERIZATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    Accurate description of transport pathways on the gross scale, the location of contamination, and characterization of heterogeneity within the vadose zone, are now realized as vital for proper treatment, confinement and stabilization of subsurface contamination at Department of E...

  14. HIGH FREQUENCY ELECTROMAGNETIC IMPEDANCE IMAGING FOR VADOSE ZONE AND GROUNDWATER CHARACTERIZATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    Accurate description of transport pathways on the gross scale, the location of contamination, and characterization of heterogeneity within the vadose zone, are now realized as vital for proper treatment, confinement and stabilization of subsurface contamination at DOE waste sites...

  15. A HYDROLOGIC-GEOPHYSICAL METHOD FOR CHARACTERIZING FLOW AND TRANSPORT PROCESSES WITHIN THE VADOSE ZONE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Predictive models have often been employed to estimate fluid flow and contaminant transport rates within the vadose zone, that lies beneath many DOE hazardous waste sites. Unfortunately, these schemes have often failed to provide accurate results and have underestimated transpor...

  16. Theoretical Modeling of Gpr Reflection from Vadose Zone in Silty Soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Halabe, Udaya B.

    2008-02-01

    Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) is routinely being used for subsurface investigations including detection of water table and contaminant flow pattern. Past laboratory studies on water table detection in silty soils has shown that GPR actually detects reflection from within the unsaturated capillary (vadose) zone, which is just above the water table. While this phenomenon has been observed from experimental studies, no attempt has been made so far to explain the theoretical basis for the occurrence of GPR reflection within the vadose zone above the water table and not at the level of the actual water table. Understanding this phenomenon from a theoretical stand point requires modeling of GPR reflection from the vadose zone where the moisture content varies with depth. This paper describes the theoretical model which includes discretization of the vadose zone into a number of thin layers with different moisture contents. The model also includes the dry soil above the vadose zone and the underlying fully saturated zone. The GPR waveforms are generated from this model by utilizing frequency domain synthesis algorithm which accounts for all the multiple reflections within the thin layers. These synthetic waveforms have been used to explain the phenomenon of GPR reflection from the vadose zone.

  17. MONITORING IN THE VADOSE ZONE: A REVIEW OF TECHNICAL ELEMENTS AND METHODS

    EPA Science Inventory

    This report covers the topics of (1) principles of pollutant movement in the vadose zone (zone of aeration or unsaturated zone), (2) basic chemical reactions of fluids in the zone, (3) state-of-the-art monitoring techniques, and (4) the relative advantages and disadvantages of th...

  18. Remedy Evaluation Framework for Inorganic, Non-Volatile Contaminants in the Vadose Zone

    SciTech Connect

    Truex, Michael J.; Carroll, Kenneth C.

    2013-05-01

    Contaminants in the vadose zone may act as a potential long-term source of groundwater contamination and need to be considered in remedy evaluations. In many cases, remediation decisions for the vadose zone will need to be made all or in part based on projected impacts to groundwater. Because there are significant natural attenuation processes inherent in vadose zone contaminant transport, remediation in the vadose zone to protect groundwater is functionally a combination of natural attenuation and use of other remediation techniques, as needed, to mitigate contaminant flux to groundwater. Attenuation processes include both hydrobiogeochemical processes that serve to retain contaminants within porous media and physical processes that mitigate the rate of water flux. In particular, the physical processes controlling fluid flow in the vadose zone are quite different and generally have a more significant attenuation impact on contaminant transport relative to those within the groundwater system. A remedy evaluation framework is presented herein that uses an adaptation of the established EPA Monitored Natural Attenuation (MNA) evaluation approach and a conceptual model based approach focused on identifying and quantifying features and processes that control contaminant flux through the vadose zone. A key concept for this framework is to recognize that MNA will comprise some portion of all remedies in the vadose zone. Thus, structuring evaluation of vadose zone waste sites to use an MNA-based approach provides information necessary to either select MNA as the remedy, if appropriate, or to quantify how much additional attenuation would need to be induced by a remedial action (e.g., technologies considered in a feasibility study) to augment the natural attenuation processes and meet groundwater protection goals.

  19. Evaluation of Soil Flushing for Application to the Deep Vadose Zone in the Hanford Central Plateau

    SciTech Connect

    Truex, Michael J.; Oostrom, Martinus; Zhang, Z. F.; Carroll, Kenneth C.; Schramke, Janet A.; Wietsma, Thomas W.; Tartakovsky, Guzel D.; Gordon, Kathryn A.; Last, George V.

    2010-11-01

    Soil flushing was included in the Deep Vadose Zone Treatability Test Plan for the Hanford Central Plateau as a technology with the potential to remove contaminants from the vadose zone. Soil flushing operates through the addition of water, and if necessary an appropriate mobilizing agent, to mobilize contaminants and flush them from the vadose zone and into the groundwater where they are subsequently captured by a pump-and-treat system. There are uncertainties associated with applying soil flushing technology to contaminants in the deep vadose zone at the Hanford Central Plateau. The modeling and laboratory efforts reported herein are intended to provide a quantitative assessment of factors that impact water infiltration and contaminant flushing through the vadose zone and into the underlying groundwater. Once in the groundwater, capture of the contaminants would be necessary, but this aspect of implementing soil flushing was not evaluated in this effort. Soil flushing was evaluated primarily with respect to applications for technetium and uranium contaminants in the deep vadose zone of the Hanford Central Plateau.

  20. Tracing long-term vadose zone processes at the Nevada Test Site, USA

    PubMed Central

    Hunt, James R.; Tompson, Andrew F. B.

    2010-01-01

    The nuclear weapons testing programme of the USA has released radionuclides to the subsurface at the Nevada Test Site. One of these tests has been used to study the hydrological transport of radionuclides for over 25 years in groundwater and the deep unsaturated zone. Ten years after the weapon’s test, a 16 year groundwater pumping experiment was initiated to study the mobility of radionuclides from that test in an alluvial aquifer. The continuously pumped groundwater was released into an unlined ditch where some of the water infiltrated into the 200 m deep vadose zone. The pumped groundwater had well-characterized tritium activities that were utilized to trace water migration in the shallow and deep vadose zones. Within the near-surface vadose zone, tritium levels in the soil water are modelled by a simple one-dimensional, analytical wetting front model. In the case of the near-surface soils at the Cambric Ditch experimental site, water flow and salt accumulation appear to be dominated by rooted vegetation, a mechanism not included within the wetting front model. Simulation results from a two-dimensional vadose groundwater flow model illustrate the dominance of vertical flow in the vadose zone and the recharge of the aquifer with the pumped groundwater. The long-time series of hydrological data provides opportunities to understand contaminant transport processes better in the vadose zone with an appropriate level of modelling. PMID:21785525

  1. Colloid Facilitated Transport of Radioactive Cations in the Vadose Zone: Field Experiments Oak Ridge

    SciTech Connect

    James E. Saiers

    2012-09-20

    The overarching goal of this study was to improve understanding of colloid-facilitated transport of radioactive cations through unsaturated soils and sediments. We conducted a suite of laboratory experiments and field experiments on the vadose-zone transport of colloids, organic matter, and associated contaminants of interest to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The laboratory and field experiments, together with transport modeling, were designed to accomplish the following detailed objectives: 1. Evaluation of the relative importance of inorganic colloids and organic matter to the facilitation of radioactive cation transport in the vadose zone; 2. Assessment of the role of adsorption and desorption kinetics in the facilitated transport of radioactive cations in the vadose zone; 3. Examination of the effects of rainfall and infiltration dynamics and in the facilitated transport of radioactive cations through the vadose zone; 4. Exploration of the role of soil heterogeneity and preferential flow paths (e.g., macropores) on the facilitated transport of radioactive cations in the vadose zone; 5. Development of a mathematical model of facilitated transport of contaminants in the vadose zone that accurately incorporates pore-scale and column-scale processes with the practicality of predicting transport with readily available parameters.

  2. Technical Basis for Evaluating Surface Barriers to Protect Groundwater from Deep Vadose Zone Contamination

    SciTech Connect

    Fayer, Michael J.; Ward, Anderson L.; Freedman, Vicky L.

    2010-02-03

    This document presents a strategy for evaluating the effectiveness of surface barriers for site-specific deep vadose zone remediation. The strategy provides a technically defensible approach to determine the depth to which a surface barrier can effectively isolate contaminants in the vadose at a specific site as a function of subsurface properties, contaminant distribution, barrier design, and infiltration control performance. The strategy also provides an assessment of additional data and information needs with respect to surface barrier performance for deep vadose zone applications. The strategy addresses the linkage between surface barriers and deep vadose zone in situ remediation activities, monitoring issues, and emerging science, technology, and regulatory objectives. In short, the report documents the existing knowledge base, identifies knowledge needs (based on data gaps), and suggests tasks whose outcomes will address those knowledge needs. More important, the report serves as a starting point to engage the regulator and stakeholder community on the viability of deploying surface barriers for deep vadose zone contamination. As that engagement unfolds, a systematic methodology can be formalized and instituted. The strategy is focused on deep vadose zone contamination and the methods needed to determine the impact to groundwater from those deep vadose zone contaminants. Processes that affect surface barrier performance, recharge in the areas surrounding the surface barrier, and the near-surface vadose zone beneath the barrier are acknowledged but are not addressed by this strategy. In addition, the collection of site-specific data on contaminant distribution and geologic structure and properties are programmatic responsibilities and are not provided by this strategy.

  3. Enhanced vadose zone nitrogen removal by poplar during dormancy.

    PubMed

    Ausland, Hayden; Ward, Adam; Licht, Louis; Just, Craig

    2015-01-01

    A pilot-scale, engineered poplar tree vadose zone system was utilized to determine effluent nitrate (NO3(-)) and ammonium concentrations resulting from intermittent dosing of a synthetic wastewater onto sandy soils at 4.5°C. The synthetic wastewater replicated that of an industrial food processor that irrigates onto sandy soils even during dormancy which can leave groundwater vulnerable to NO3(-) contamination. Data from a 21-day experiment was used to assess various Hydrus model parameterizations that simulated the impact of dormant roots. Bromide tracer data indicated that roots impacted the hydraulic properties of the packed sand by increasing effective dispersion, water content and residence time. The simulated effluent NO3(-) concentration on day 21 was 1.2 mg-N L(-1) in the rooted treatments compared to a measured value of 1.0 ± 0.72 mg-N L(-1). For the non-rooted treatment, the simulated NO3(-) concentration was 4.7 mg-N L(-1) compared to 5.1 ± 3.5 mg-N L(-1) measured on day 21. The model predicted a substantial "root benefit" toward protecting groundwater through increased denitrification in rooted treatments during a 21-day simulation with 8% of dosed nitrogen converted to N2 compared to 3.3% converted in the non-rooted test cells. Simulations at the 90-day timescale provided similar results, indicating increased denitrification in rooted treatments. PMID:26030360

  4. Spectroelectrochemical Sensor for Technetium Applicable to the Vadose Zone

    SciTech Connect

    William R. Heineman; Carl J. Seliskar; Samuel A. Bryan; Timothy L. Hubler

    2003-06-23

    The general aim of this project is to continue the design and implementation of a new sensor technology that offers the unprecedented levels of specificity needed for analysis of the complex chemical mixtures found at DOE sites nationwide. The new sensor concept combines the elements of electrochemistry, spectroscopy and selective partitioning into a single device that provides three levels of selectivity. The specific goal of this project is the development of a sensor for technetium (Tc) that is applicable to characterizing and monitoring the Vadose Zone and associated subsurface water at the Hanford site. The first goal is a sensor that determines technetium in the chemical form pertechnetate (TcO{sub 4}{sup -}). This report summarizes work during 6/16/01-6/15/02 of a three-year project that began on 9/15/99. During this period our efforts have focused on four areas that are discussed in the following sections. Electrochemistry of pertechnetate (TcO{sub 4}{sup -}) at bare ITO and film-coated ITO electrodes; Enhancing sensitivity by increasing analyte absorptivity; Development and characterization of selective films; and Improved field portable spectroelectrochemical sensor.

  5. Adaptive Fusion of Stochastic Information for Imaging Fractured Vadose Zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daniels, J.; Yeh, J.; Illman, W.; Harri, S.; Kruger, A.; Parashar, M.

    2004-12-01

    A stochastic information fusion methodology is developed to assimilate electrical resistivity tomography, high-frequency ground penetrating radar, mid-range-frequency radar, pneumatic/gas tracer tomography, and hydraulic/tracer tomography to image fractures, characterize hydrogeophysical properties, and monitor natural processes in the vadose zone. The information technology research will develop: 1) mechanisms and algorithms for fusion of large data volumes ; 2) parallel adaptive computational engines supporting parallel adaptive algorithms and multi-physics/multi-model computations; 3) adaptive runtime mechanisms for proactive and reactive runtime adaptation and optimization of geophysical and hydrological models of the subsurface; and 4) technologies and infrastructure for remote (pervasive) and collaborative access to computational capabilities for monitoring subsurface processes through interactive visualization tools. The combination of the stochastic fusion approach and information technology can lead to a new level of capability for both hydrologists and geophysicists enabling them to "see" into the earth at greater depths and resolutions than is possible today. Furthermore, the new computing strategies will make high resolution and large-scale hydrological and geophysical modeling feasible for the private sector, scientists, and engineers who are unable to access supercomputers, i.e., an effective paradigm for technology transfer.

  6. Vadose Zone Hydrogeology Data Package for Hanford Assessments

    SciTech Connect

    Last, George V.; Freeman, Eugene J.; Cantrell, Kirk J.; Fayer, Michael J.; Gee, Glendon W.; Nichols, William E.; Bjornstad, Bruce N.; Horton, Duane G.

    2006-06-01

    This data package documents the technical basis for selecting physical and geochemical parameters and input values that will be used in vadose zone modeling for Hanford assessments. This work was originally conducted as part of the Characterization of Systems Task of the Groundwater Remediation Project managed by Fluor Hanford, Inc., Richland, Washington, and revised as part of the Characterization of Systems Project managed by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) for the U.S. Department of Energy, Richland Operations Office (DOE-RL). This data package describes the geologic framework, the physical, hydrologic, and contaminant transport properties of the geologic materials, and deep drainage (i.e., recharge) estimates, and builds on the general framework developed for the initial assessment conducted using the System Assessment Capability (SAC) (Bryce et al. 2002). The general approach for this work was to update and provide incremental improvements over the previous SAC data package completed in 2001. As with the previous SAC data package, much of the data and interpreted information were extracted from existing documents and databases. Every attempt was made to provide traceability to the original source(s) of the data or interpretations.

  7. Multi-scale hydrogeological and hydrogeophysical approach to monitor vadose zone hydrodynamics of a karst system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watlet, Arnaud; Poulain, Amaël; Van Camp, Michel; Francis, Olivier; Triantafyllou, Antoine; Rochez, Gaëtan; Hallet, Vincent; Kaufmann, Olivier

    2016-04-01

    The vadose zone of karst systems plays an important role on the water dynamics. In particular, temporary perched aquifers can appear in the subsurface due to changes of weather conditions, reduced evapotranspiration and the vertical gradients of porosity and permeability. Although many difficulties are usually encountered when studying karst environments due to their heterogeneities, cave systems offer an outstanding opportunity to investigate vadose zone from the inside. We present a multi-scale study covering two years of hydrogeological and geophysical monitoring of the Lomme Karst System (LKS) located in the Variscan fold-and-thrust belt (Belgium), a region (~ 3000 ha) that shows many karstic networks within Devonian limestone units. Hydrogeological data cover the whole LKS and involve e.g. flows and levels monitoring or tracer tests performed in both vadose and saturated zones. Such data bring valuable information on the hydrological context of the studied area at the catchment scale. Combining those results with geophysical measurements allows validating and imaging them at a smaller scale, with more integrative techniques. Hydrogeophysical measurements are focused on only one cave system of the LKS, at the Rochefort site (~ 40 ha), taking benefit of the Rochefort Cave Laboratory (RCL) infrastructures. In this study, a microgravimetric monitoring and an Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT) monitoring are involved. The microgravimetric monitoring consists in a superconducting gravimeter continuously measuring gravity changes at the surface of the RCL and an additional relative gravimeter installed in the underlying cave located 35 meters below the surface. While gravimeters are sensible to changes that occur in both the vadose zone and the saturated zone of the whole cave system, combining their recorded signals allows enhancing vadose zone's gravity changes. Finally, the surface ERT monitoring provide valuable information at the (sub)-meter scale on the

  8. CONSTRAINTS AND CATEGORIES OF VADOSE ZONE MONITORING DEVICES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Traditional monitoring methods using chemical analysis of groundwater samples to detect pollutant migration are being superseded or used in conjunction with innovate approaches. A need to detect pollutants before they reach the water table has drawn interest to vadose (unsaturate...

  9. Atrazine retention and degradation in the vadose zone at a till plain site in central Indiana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bayless, E.R.

    2001-01-01

    The vadose zone was examined as an environmental compartment where significant quantities of atrazine and its degradation compounds may be stored and transformed. The vadose zone was targeted because regional studies in the White River Basin indicated a large discrepancy between the mass of atrazine applied to fields and the amount of the pesticide and its degradation compounds that are measured in ground and surface water. A study site was established in a rotationally cropped field in the till plain of central Indiana. Data were gathered during the 1994 growing season to characterize the site hydrogeology and the distribution of atrazine, desethylatrazine, deisopropylatrazine, didealkylatrazine and hydroxyatrazine in runoff, pore water, and ground water. The data indicated that atrazine and its degradation compounds were transported from land surface to a depth of 1.5 m within 60 days of application, but were undetected in the saturated zone at nearby monitoring wells. A numerical model was developed, based on the field data, to provide information about processes that could retain and degrade atrazine in the vadose zone. Simulations indicated that evapotranspiration is responsible for surface directed soil-moisture flow during much of the growing season. This process causes retention and degradation of atrazine in the vadose zone. Increased residence time in the vadose zone leads to nearly complete transformation of atrazine and its degradation products to unquantified degradation compounds. As a result of mascropore flow, small quantities of atrazine and its degradation compounds may reach the saturated zone.

  10. Karst system vadose zone hydrodynamics highlighted by an integrative geophysical and hydrogeological monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watlet, A.; Van Camp, M. J.; Francis, O.; Poulain, A.; Hallet, V.; Rochez, G.; Kaufmann, O.

    2015-12-01

    The vadose zone of karst systems plays an important role on the water dynamics. In particular, temporary perched aquifers can appear in the subsurface due to changes of climate conditions, diminished evapotranspiration and differences of porosity relative to deeper layers. It is therefore crucial, but challenging, to separate the hydrological signature of the vadose zone from the one of the saturated zone for understanding hydrological processes that occur in the vadose zone. Although many difficulties are usually encountered when studying karst environments due to their heterogeneities, cave systems offer an outstanding opportunity to investigate vadose zone from the inside with various techniques. We present results covering two years of hydrogeological and geophysical monitoring at the Rochefort Cave Laboratory (RCL), located in the Variscan fold-and-thrust belt (Belgium), a region that shows many karstic networks within Devonian limestone units. Hydrogeological data such as flows and levels monitoring or tracer tests performed in both vadose and saturated zones bring valuable information on the hydrological context of the studied area. Combining those results with geophysical measurements allows validating and imaging them with more integrative techniques. A microgravimetric monitoring involves a superconducting gravimeter continuously measuring at the surface of the RCL. Early in 2015, a second relative gravimeter was installed in the underlying cave system located 35 meters below the surface. This set up allows highlighting vadose gravity changes. These relative measurements are calibrated using an absolute gravimeter. 12 additional stations (7 at the surface, 5 in the cave) are monitored on a monthly basis by a spring gravimeter. To complete these gravimetric measurements, the site has been equipped with a permanent Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT) monitoring system comprising an uncommon array of surface, borehole and cave electrodes. Although such

  11. Foam-based delivery of amendments to immobilize metals and radionuclides in deep vadose zone environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Istok, J. D.; Jansik, D. P.; Foote, M.; Zhang, Z. F.; Wu, Y.; Hubbard, S. S.; Mattigod, S.; Zhong, L.; Wellman, D. M.

    2011-12-01

    Vadose zone environments can be sources and pathways for contaminant migration to groundwater aquifers, when very deep (> ~ 50 m) contaminants are difficult to remediate using conventional methods (e.g. excavation). This problem is particularly challenging in the arid western United States where the vadose zone may be > 100 m thick, extremely dry (~ 5 % water content), and in some cases, contaminated with a mixture of metals, radionuclides, and a variety of organic and inorganic co-contaminants. Chemical amendments have been developed for use in immobilizing contaminants in groundwater aquifers e.g., adding base to increase pH and sorb metals and radionuclides from acidic plumes or adding growth substrates to stimulate indigenous microbial activity and create reducing conditions that precipitate contaminants in poorly soluble mineral phases. However, delivering chemical amendments to dry vadose zone environments by injecting aqueous solutions may potentially mobilize contaminants by increasing the sediment's water content. Development of alternative methods for delivering chemical amendments to the deep vadose zone is a potentially useful approach for meeting remediation goals at some sites. We are exploring the use of foams, formed from liquid surfactants and air, as an agent to deliver chemical amendments to the deep vadose zone at the Hanford Site where the targeted contaminants include U, Tc, and nitrate. Injected foams can carry chemical amendments with limited amounts of water, reducing the potential for contaminant mobilization. We will present the results of numerical modeling, and pore- to intermediate scale laboratory experiments aimed at formulating foams to deliver polyphosphate to deep vadose zone sediments contaminated with uranium. When phosphate, delivered by injected foam, reacts with vadose zone pore water, poorly soluble, apatite-like phosphate minerals precipitate and sequester U(VI), limiting its downward migration to the underlying groundwater

  12. A new general 1-D vadose zone flow solution method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ogden, Fred L.; Lai, Wencong; Steinke, Robert C.; Zhu, Jianting; Talbot, Cary A.; Wilson, John L.

    2015-06-01

    We have developed an alternative to the one-dimensional partial differential equation (PDE) attributed to Richards (1931) that describes unsaturated porous media flow in homogeneous soil layers. Our solution is a set of three ordinary differential equations (ODEs) derived from unsaturated flux and mass conservation principles. We used a hodograph transformation, the Method of Lines, and a finite water-content discretization to produce ODEs that accurately simulate infiltration, falling slugs, and groundwater table dynamic effects on vadose zone fluxes. This formulation, which we refer to as "finite water-content", simulates sharp fronts and is guaranteed to conserve mass using a finite-volume solution. Our ODE solution method is explicitly integrable, does not require iterations and therefore has no convergence limits and is computationally efficient. The method accepts boundary fluxes including arbitrary precipitation, bare soil evaporation, and evapotranspiration. The method can simulate heterogeneous soils using layers. Results are presented in terms of fluxes and water content profiles. Comparing our method against analytical solutions, laboratory data, and the Hydrus-1D solver, we find that predictive performance of our finite water-content ODE method is comparable to or in some cases exceeds that of the solution of Richards' equation, with or without a shallow water table. The presented ODE method is transformative in that it offers accuracy comparable to the Richards (1931) PDE numerical solution, without the numerical complexity, in a form that is robust, continuous, and suitable for use in large watershed and land-atmosphere simulation models, including regional-scale models of coupled climate and hydrology.

  13. Short-term and long-term Vadose zone monitoring: Current technologies, development, and applications

    SciTech Connect

    Faybishenko, Boris

    1999-05-01

    At Hanford, Savannah River, Oak Ridge, Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL), and other DOE sites, field vadose zone observations have shown complex water seepage and mass transport behavior in a highly heterogeneous, thick vadose zone on a variety of scales. Recent investigation showed that severe contamination of soils and groundwater by organic contaminant and nuclear waste occurred because of water seepage and contaminant transport along localized, preferential, fast flow within the heterogeneous vadose zone. However, most of the existing characterization and monitoring methods are not able to locate these localized and persistent preferential pathways associated with specific heterogeneous geologic features, such as clastic dikes, caliche layers, or fractures. In addition, changes in the chemical composition of moving and indigenous solutes, particularly sodium concentration, redox conditions, biological transformation of organic materials, and high temperature, may significantly alter water, chemicals, and bio-transformation exchange between the zones of fast flow and the rest of the media. In this paper, using the data from Hanford and INEEL sites, we will (1) present evidence that central problems of the vadose zone investigations are associated with preferential, fast flow phenomena and accelerated migration of organic and radioactive elements, (2) identify gaps in current characterization and monitoring technologies, and (3) recommend actions for the development of advanced vadose zone characterization and monitoring methods using a combination of hydrologic, geochemical, and geophysical techniques.

  14. Reducing Uncertainty in Characterization of the Vadose Zone for Modeling Groundwater Vulnerability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, R.; Merchant, J.; Chen, X.; Oglesby, R. J.; Gosselin, D. C.

    2009-12-01

    Groundwater is the principal source of drinking water for nearly two billion people. Modeling aquifer susceptibility to pollution is critical for implementing programs to protect groundwater quality. Such models typically involve geospatial analysis of the inter-relationships between landscape characteristics (e.g. depth-to-water, soils, aquifer properties, and recharge) that impact pollution risks. It has, however, been especially difficult to characterize the vadose zone, the unsaturated zone between the soil surface and the water table. Working in the Elkhorn River Basin, Nebraska, we demonstrate a novel GIS approach for characterizing the vadose zone such that the uncertainty in groundwater pollution risk assessment modeling is reduced. The method is implemented using standard, widely-available national and state geospatial data. The groundwater level data from 2000-2008 in the study area, retrieved by using Microsoft Excel based web-query from USGS Active Groundwater Level Network, were processed and stored in a geodatabase with uniform horizontal and vertical coordinate systems. GIS queries using an interpolated groundwater level raster layer determined the vadose zone depth at each test-hole location of the study area. The thickness of low-permeability materials within the vadose zone depth, like silt and clay, was calculated at each test-hole location, and then interpolated into the whole study area using the optimized variograph and kriging in GIS. This raster map resulting from geostatistical simulation was used to characterize the vadose zone for the aquifer susceptibility modeling. Different from the traditional qualitative approach, this one captures both horizontal spatial variability and vertical structure of the vadose zone regarding its pollution prevention properties. The results showed that the Lower Elkhorn River Basin has a thick (averages about 14 feet) low-permeability vadose zone generally associated with low pollutant-leaching potential

  15. Options To Cleanup Site-wide Vadose Zone Contamination At The Hanford Site, WA, State

    SciTech Connect

    Goswami, D.

    2008-07-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Hanford Site in south central Washington State lies along the Columbia River and is one of DOE's largest legacy waste management sites. Enormous radionuclide and chemical inventories exist below-ground. These include Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) storage facilities where hazardous and radioactive contaminants were discharged and leaked to the soil surface and to the deep vadose zone and groundwater. The vadose zone is also contaminated from facilities regulated by the RCRA and Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) Act. Hanford now contains as much as 28,300 cubic meters of soil contaminated with radionuclides from liquid wastes released near processing facilities. The Hanford Federal Facility Agreement and Consent Order, Tri-Party Agreement (TPA) has set the completion of the cleanup of these sites by 2024. There are numerous technical and regulatory challenges to cleanup of the vadose zone at the Hanford site. This paper attempts to identify the categories of deep vadose zone problem and identifies a few possible regulatory options to clean up the site under the mix of state and federal regulatory authorities. There are four major categories of vadose contamination areas at the Hanford Site. The first is laterally extensive with intermediate depth (ground surface to about 45 meters depth) mostly related to high volume effluent discharge into cribs, ponds and ditches of designated CERCLA facilities. The second is dominated by laterally less extensive mostly related to leaks from RCRA tank farms. The later contamination is often commingled at depth with wastes from adjacent CERCLA facilities. The third category is from the high volume CERCLA facilities extending from the surface to more than 60 meters below ground. Contamination from the later category crosses the entire thickness of the vadose zone and reached groundwater. The fourth category is the lower volume waste sites

  16. Use of a vadose zone biobarrier for removal of nitrate from percolating groundwater

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Over the past decade biobarriers, insoluble organic-rich zones introduced into the aquifer to stimulate microbial activity, have become an accepted method for removing contaminants from aquifer water. This study investigated the use of biobarriers in the unsaturated or vadose zone. In the 12-week-s...

  17. Three-Dimensional Simulation of Volatile Organic Compound Mass Flux from the Vadose Zone to Groundwater

    SciTech Connect

    Oostrom, Martinus; Truex, Michael J.; Tartakovsky, Guzel D.; Wietsma, Thomas W.

    2010-06-21

    Low permeability layers of the vadose zone containing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) may persist as source zones for long time periods and may provide contamination to groundwater. At sites with low recharge rates, where vapor migration is the dominant transport process, the impact of vadose zone sources on groundwater may be difficult to assess. Typical assessment methods include one-dimensional numerical and analytical techniques. The one-dimensional approaches only consider groundwater coupling options through boundary conditions at the water table and may yield artificially high mass flux results when transport is assumed to occur by gas-phase diffusion between a source and an interface with a zero concentration boundary condition. Improvements in mass flux assessments for VOCs originating from vadose zone sources may be obtained by coupling vadose zone gas transport and dissolved contaminant transport in the saturated zone and by incorporating the inherent three-dimensional nature of gas-phase transport, including the potential of density-driven advection. This paper describes a series of three-dimensional simulations using data from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Hanford Site, where carbon tetrachloride is present in a low permeability zone about 30 m above the groundwater. Results show that, for most cases, only a relatively small amount of the contaminant emanating from the source zone partitions into the groundwater and that density-driven advection is only important when relatively high source concentrations are considered.

  18. A National Roadmap for Vadose Zone Science and Technology

    SciTech Connect

    Kowall, Stephen Jacob

    2001-08-01

    This roadmap is a means of achieving, to the best of our current knowledge, a reasonable scientific understanding of how contaminants of all forms move in the vadose geological environments. This understanding is needed to reduce the present uncertainties in predicting contaminant movement, which in turn will reduce the uncertainties in remediation decisions.

  19. Vadose Zone Sampling Methods for Detection of Preferential Pesticides Transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peranginangin, N.; Richards, B. K.; Steenhuis, T. S.

    2003-12-01

    Leaching of agricultural applied chemicals through the vadose zone is a major cause for the occurrence of agrichemicals in groundwater. Accurate soil water sampling methods are needed to ensure meaningful monitoring results, especially for soils that have significant preferential flow paths. The purpose of this study was to assess the capability and the effectiveness of various soil water sampling methods in detecting preferential transport of pesticides in a strongly-structured silty clay loam (Hudson series) soil. Soil water sampling devices tested were wick pan and gravity pan lysimeters, tile lines, porous ceramic cups, and pipe lysimeters; all installed at 45 to105 cm depth below the ground surface. A reasonable worse-case scenario was tested by applying a simulated rain storm soon after pesticides were sprayed at agronomic rates. Herbicides atrazine (6-chloro-N2-ethyl-N4-isopropyl-1,3,5-triazine-2,4-diamine) and 2,4-D (2,4-dichloro-phenoxyacetic acid) were chosen as model compounds. Chloride (KCl) tracer was used to determine spatial and temporal distribution of non-reactive solute and water as well as a basis for determining the retardation in pesticides movement. Results show that observed pesticide mobility was much greater than would be predicted by uniform flow. Under relatively high soil moisture conditions, gravity and wick pan lysimeters had comparably good collection efficiencies, whereas the wick samplers had an advantage over gravity driven sampler when the soil moisture content was below field capacity. Pipe lysimeters had breakthrough patterns that were similar to pan samplers. At small plot scale, tile line samplers tended to underestimate solute concentration because of water dilution around the samplers. The use of porous cup samplers performed poorly because of their sensitivity to local profile characteristics: only by chance can they intercept and sample the preferential flow paths that are critical to transport. Wick sampler had the least

  20. Gas-Phase Treatment of Technetium in the Vadose Zone at the Hanford Site Central Plateau

    SciTech Connect

    Truex, Michael J.; Szecsody, James E.; Zhong, Lirong; Qafoku, Nikolla

    2014-09-01

    Technetium-99 (Tc-99) is present in the vadose zone of the Hanford Central Plateau and is a concern with respect to the protection of groundwater. The persistence, limited natural attenuation mechanisms, and geochemical behavior of Tc-99 in oxic vadose zone environments must be considered in developing effective alternatives for remediation. This report describes a new in situ geochemical manipulation technique for decreasing Tc-99 mobility using a combination of geochemical Tc-99 reduction with hydrogen sulfide gas and induced sediment mineral dissolution with ammonia vapor, which create conditions for deposition of stable precipitates that decrease the mobility of Tc-99. Laboratory experiments were conducted to examine changes in Tc-99 mobility in vadose zone sediment samples to evaluate the effectiveness of the treatment under a variety of operational and sediment conditions.

  1. Solute travel time in the vadose zone under RWMC at INEL

    SciTech Connect

    Liou, J.C.P.; Tian, J.

    1995-02-27

    Solute transport in the vadose zone under the Radioactive Waste Management Complex (RWMC) at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) is considered. The objective is to assess the relative importance of variables involved in modeling the travel time of a conservative solute from ground surface to water table. The vadose zone under RWMC is composed of several layers of basalt flows interceded with sediment layers. The thickness of the layers varies with location. The hydraulic properties also vary. The extents of the variations are large, with standard deviations exceed mean in some instances. The vadose zone is idealized as composed of horizontal layers. Solute transport starts at the ground surface and moves vertically downwards to the water table. The perceived process is one-dimensional. This study used VS2DT, a computer code developed by the US Geological Survey, for simulating solute transport in variably saturated porous media.

  2. Evaluation of deep vadose zone contaminant flux into groundwater: Approach and case study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oostrom, M.; Truex, M. J.; Last, G. V.; Strickland, C. E.; Tartakovsky, G. D.

    2016-06-01

    For sites with a contaminant source located in the vadose zone, the nature and extent of groundwater contaminant plumes are a function of the contaminant flux from the vadose zone to groundwater. Especially for thick vadose zones, transport may be relatively slow making it difficult to directly measure contaminant flux. An integrated assessment approach, supported by site characterization and monitoring data, is presented to explain current vadose zone contaminant distributions and to estimate future contaminant flux to groundwater in support of remediation decisions. The U.S. Department of Energy Hanford Site (WA, USA) SX Tank Farm was used as a case study because of a large existing contaminant inventory in its deep vadose zone, the presence of a limited-extent groundwater plume, and the relatively large amount of available data for the site. A predictive quantitative analysis was applied to refine a baseline conceptual model through the completion of a series of targeted simulations. The analysis revealed that site recharge is the most important flux-controlling process for future contaminant flux. Tank leak characteristics and subsurface heterogeneities appear to have a limited effect on long-term contaminant flux into groundwater. The occurrence of the current technetium-99 groundwater plume was explained by taking into account a considerable historical water-line leak adjacent to one of the tanks. The analysis further indicates that the vast majority of technetium-99 is expected to migrate into the groundwater during the next century. The approach provides a template for use in evaluating contaminant flux to groundwater using existing site data and has elements that are relevant to other disposal sites with a thick vadose zone.

  3. Evaluation of deep vadose zone contaminant flux into groundwater: Approach and case study.

    PubMed

    Oostrom, M; Truex, M J; Last, G V; Strickland, C E; Tartakovsky, G D

    2016-06-01

    For sites with a contaminant source located in the vadose zone, the nature and extent of groundwater contaminant plumes are a function of the contaminant flux from the vadose zone to groundwater. Especially for thick vadose zones, transport may be relatively slow making it difficult to directly measure contaminant flux. An integrated assessment approach, supported by site characterization and monitoring data, is presented to explain current vadose zone contaminant distributions and to estimate future contaminant flux to groundwater in support of remediation decisions. The U.S. Department of Energy Hanford Site (WA, USA) SX Tank Farm was used as a case study because of a large existing contaminant inventory in its deep vadose zone, the presence of a limited-extent groundwater plume, and the relatively large amount of available data for the site. A predictive quantitative analysis was applied to refine a baseline conceptual model through the completion of a series of targeted simulations. The analysis revealed that site recharge is the most important flux-controlling process for future contaminant flux. Tank leak characteristics and subsurface heterogeneities appear to have a limited effect on long-term contaminant flux into groundwater. The occurrence of the current technetium-99 groundwater plume was explained by taking into account a considerable historical water-line leak adjacent to one of the tanks. The analysis further indicates that the vast majority of technetium-99 is expected to migrate into the groundwater during the next century. The approach provides a template for use in evaluating contaminant flux to groundwater using existing site data and has elements that are relevant to other disposal sites with a thick vadose zone. PMID:27107320

  4. Deep Vadose Zone Characterization at the Hanford Site: Accomplishments from the Last Ten Years

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, C.F.; Serne, R.J.

    2008-07-01

    The overall goal of the Tank Farm Vadose Zone Project, led by CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc., is to define risks from past and future single-shell tank farm activities at Hanford. To meet this goal, CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc. tasked scientists from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) to perform detailed analyses on vadose zone sediments collected within/adjacent to the twelve single-shell tank farms contained within Hanford's Central Plateau region. This work has been performed under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Corrective Action Program and is associated with the Hanford Federal Facility Agreement and Consent Order. While there are many facets to the laboratory studies employed by PNNL, the four primary objectives of this work are to: identify the type and quantity of contamination present, understand the physical processes that affect the transport of contaminants in the vadose zone sediments, when practical, identify the source(s) of the contamination found in the sediment samples, and when practical, determine if a link can be made between the vadose zone contamination observed and any known groundwater contaminants in the vicinity. Since its inception in 1997, PNNL's Vadose Zone Characterization Project has evolved to better meet these four key objectives. The single-largest adaptation of the Vadose Zone Characterization Project over its ten years of operation was the advent of a tiered sample analysis approach. Use of a tiered approach allows resources to be focused on those samples/tests that provide the largest amount of scientific information to best meet the four key project objectives within the budget available. Another significant, but more recent, adaptation has been the implementation of a rapid turnaround characterization process in which sediment samples are analyzed in near real-time to aid drilling activities within the tank farms. This paper highlights details of the characterization activities performed as well

  5. Deep Vadose Zone Characterization at the Hanford Site: Accomplishments from the Last Ten Years

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, Christopher F.; Serne, R. Jeffrey

    2008-02-28

    The overall goal of the Tank Farm Vadose Zone Project, led by CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc., is to define risks from past and future single-shell tank farm activities at Hanford. To meet this goal, CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc. tasked scientists from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) to perform detailed analyses on vadose zone sediments collected within/adjacent to the twelve single-shell tank farms contained within Hanford’s Central Plateau region. This work has been performed under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Corrective Action Program and is associated with the Hanford Federal Facility Agreement and Consent Order. While there are many facets to the laboratory studies employed by PNNL, the four primary objectives of this work are to: identify the type and quantity of contamination present, understand the physical processes that affect the transport of contaminants in the vadose zone sediments, when practical, identify the source(s) of the contamination found in the sediment samples, and when practical, determine if a link can be made between the vadose zone contamination observed and any known groundwater contaminants in the vicinity. Since its inception in 1997, PNNL’s Vadose Zone Characterization Project has evolved to better meet these four key objectives. The single-largest adaptation of the Vadose Zone Characterization Project over its ten years of operation was the advent of a tiered sample analysis approach. Use of a tiered approach allows resources to be focused on those samples/tests that provide the largest amount of scientific information to best meet the four key project objectives within the budget available. Another significant, but more recent, adaptation has been the implementation of a rapid turnaround characterization process in which sediment samples are analyzed in near real-time to aid drilling activities within the tank farms. This paper highlights details of the characterization activities performed as

  6. Vadose Zone Remediation of CO2 Leakage from Geologic CO2 Storage Sites

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Yingqi; Oldenburg, Curtis M.; Benson, Sally M.

    2004-03-03

    In the unlikely event that CO2 leakage from deep geologic CO2 sequestration sites reaches the vadose zone, remediation measures for removing the CO2 gas plume may have to be undertaken. Carbon dioxide leakage plumes are similar in many ways to volatile organic compound (VOC) vapor plumes, and the same remediation approaches are applicable. We present here numerical simulation results of passive and active remediation strategies for CO2 leakage plumes in the vadose zone. The starting time for the remediation scenarios is assumed to be after a steady-state CO2 leakage plume is established in the vadose zone, and the source of this plume has been cut off. We consider first passive remediation, both with and without barometric pumping. Next, we consider active methods involving extraction wells in both vertical and horizontal configurations. To compare the effectiveness of the various remediation strategies, we define a half-life of the CO2 plume as a convenient measure of the CO2 removal rate. For CO2 removal by passive remediation approaches such as barometric pumping, thicker vadose zones generally require longer remediation times. However, for the case of a thin vadose zone where a significant fraction of the CO2 plume mass resides within the high liquid saturation region near the water table, the half-life of the CO2 plume without barometric pumping is longer than for somewhat thicker vadose zones. As for active strategies, results show that a combination of horizontal and vertical wells is the most effective among the strategies investigated, as the performance of commonly used multiple vertical wells was not investigated.

  7. Three-Dimensional Simulation of Volatile Organic Compound Mass Flux from the Vadose Zone to Groundwater

    SciTech Connect

    Oostrom, Martinus; Truex, Michael J.; Tartakovsky, Guzel D.; Wietsma, Thomas W.

    2010-01-01

    Source zones containing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in low permeability layers of the vadose zone may persist for long time periods and may provide a continuous supply of contamination to groundwater. At sites with low recharge rates where vapor migration is the dominant transport process, the impact of vadose zone sources on groundwater may be difficult to assess. Typical assessment methods include one-dimensional numerical and analytical techniques. The one-dimensional approaches do not consider groundwater coupling and yield artificially high mass fluxes because transport is assumed to occur by gas-phase diffusion between a source and an interface with a zero concentration boundary condition. Improvements in mass flux assessments for VOCs with vadose zone sources may be obtained by coupling vadose zone gas transport and dissolved contaminant transport in the saturated zone and by incorporating the inherent three-dimensional nature of gas-phase transport, including the potential of density-driven advection. In this paper, a series of three-dimensional simulations using data from the U.S. Department of Energy Hanford Site is described where carbon tetrachloride is present in a low permeability zone about 30 m above the groundwater. Results show that for most cases only a relatively small amount of the contaminant emanating from the source zone partitions into the groundwater and that density-driven advection is only important when relatively high source concentrations are considered. The introduction of vadose zone – groundwater coupling yields considerably lower mass fluxes than obtained with single-phase one-dimensional approaches.

  8. Tank 241-AX-104 upper vadose zone cone penetrometer demonstration sampling and analysis plan

    SciTech Connect

    FIELD, J.G.

    1999-02-02

    This sampling and analysis plan (SAP) is the primary document describing field and laboratory activities and requirements for the tank 241-AX-104 upper vadose zone cone penetrometer (CP) demonstration. It is written in accordance with Hanford Tank Initiative Tank 241-AX-104 Upper Vadose Zone Demonstration Data Quality Objective (Banning 1999). This technology demonstration, to be conducted at tank 241-AX-104, is being performed by the Hanford Tanks Initiative (HTI) Project as a part of Tank Waste Remediation System (TWRS) Retrieval Program (EM-30) and the Office of Science and Technology (EM-50) Tanks Focus Area. Sample results obtained as part of this demonstration will provide additional information for subsequent revisions to the Retrieval Performance Evaluation (RPE) report (Jacobs 1998). The RPE Report is the result of an evaluation of a single tank farm (AX Tank Farm) used as the basis for demonstrating a methodology for developing the data and analyses necessary to support making tank waste retrieval decisions within the context of tank farm closure requirements. The RPE includes a study of vadose zone contaminant transport mechanisms, including analysis of projected tank leak characteristics, hydrogeologic characteristics of tank farm soils, and the observed distribution of contaminants in the vadose zone in the tank farms. With limited characterization information available, large uncertainties exist as to the nature and extent of contaminants that may exist in the upper vadose zone in the AX Tank Farm. Traditionally, data has been collected from soils in the vadose zone through the installation of boreholes and wells. Soil samples are collected as the bore hole is advanced and samples are screened on site and/or sent to a laboratory for analysis. Some in-situ geophysical methods of contaminant analysis can be used to evaluate radionuclide levels in the soils adjacent to an existing borehole. However, geophysical methods require compensation for well

  9. Estimating the Impact of Vadose Zone Sources on Groundwater to Support Performance Assessment of Soil Vapor Extraction

    EPA Science Inventory

    Soil vapor extraction (SVE) is a prevalent remediation approach for volatile contaminants in the vadose zone. To support selection of an appropriate endpoint for the SVE remedy, an evaluation is needed to determine whether vadose zone contamination has been diminished sufficient...

  10. ANNUAL REPORT. INFLUENCE OF CLASTIC DIKES ON VERTICAL MIGRATION OF CONTAMINANTS IN THE VADOSE ZONE AT HANFORD

    EPA Science Inventory

    This research is testing the hypothesis that clastic dikes at the Hanford Site provide preferential pathways that enhance the vertical movement of moisture and contaminants through the vadose zone. Current flow and transport models of the vadose zone at the 200 Areas are based on...

  11. Evaluation of In Situ Grouting as a Potential Remediation Method for the Hanford Central Plateau Deep Vadose Zone

    SciTech Connect

    Truex, Michael J.; Pierce, Eric M.; Nimmons, Michael J.; Mattigod, Shas V.

    2011-01-11

    The Deep Vadose Zone Treatability Test Plan for the Hanford Central Plateau report identifies in situ grouting as a potential remediation technology for the deep vadose zone and includes a planned effort to evaluate in situ grouting to provide information for future feasibility studies. This report represents the first step in this evaluation effort.

  12. Monitoring of water and thermal transfers in the vadose zone of a carbonate reservoir formation.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cerepi, A.; Loisy, C.; Burlot, R.

    2009-04-01

    The aim of this study is the monitoring of water and thermal transfers in vadose zone of a carbonate reservoir formation during three hydrological cycles (August 2001- November 2004). The application of the Time Domain Reflectometry (TDR) and Self-Potential (SP) methods to determine the water content of porous rock has been widely investigated. More than 285 studied point measurements of rock water content observed during three hydrological cycles and distributed among an abandoned underground quarry in Gironde, France, show a permanently undersaturated limestone (between 35% and 50 %). We also investigated the unsaturated zone in a borehole between 0 and 20 m depth until the water table. 14 TDR and SP electrodes investigate the vadose zone. For the understanding of the streaming potential and electric behaviour from the SP method of a vadose zone we performed an experimental device which allows us to quantify the measurements of electrokinetic coupling coefficient at various saturation conditions. The results show that the vadose zone is characterized by three different sub-zones which are different water dynamics. The shallow zone down to a depth of seven meters corresponds to a zone with a significant variation of water saturation related to evapotranspiration dynamic water. The second zone (so-called transition zone) between seven to sixteen meters displays a high stability. The third zone (zone of capillary fringe) between sixteen to twenty meter shows a high and constant water saturation. Experimental results show three periods of maximum water content corresponding to three occurring effective precipitations. The dephasing and the amplitude attenuation of the hydraulic and thermal waves with the depth can be modelled and explained by the physical properties of the porous medium in an unsaturated zone such as the diffusivity, the water relative permeability, the capillarity pressure versus water saturation and the effective porosity.

  13. Estimating the Impact of Vadose Zone Sources on Groundwater to Support Performance Assessment of Soil Vapor Extraction

    SciTech Connect

    Oostrom, Martinus; Truex, Michael J.; Rice, Amy K.; Johnson, Christian D.; Carroll, Kenneth C.; Becker, Dave; Simon, Michelle A.

    2014-03-13

    Soil vapor extraction (SVE) is a prevalent remediation approach for volatile contaminants in the vadose zone. To support selection of an appropriate endpoint for the SVE remedy, an evaluation is needed to determine whether vadose zone contamination has been diminished sufficiently to protect groundwater. When vapor-phase transport is an important component of the overall contaminant fate and transport from a vadose zone source, the contaminant concentration expected in groundwater is controlled by a limited set of parameters, including specific site dimensions, vadose zone properties, and source characteristics. An approach was developed for estimating the contaminant concentration in groundwater resulting from a contaminant source in the vadose zone based on pre-modeling contaminant transport for a matrix of parameter value combinations covering a range of potential site conditions. An interpolation and scaling process are then applied to estimate groundwater impact for site-specific conditions.

  14. Impact of switching crop type on water and solute fluxes in deep vadose zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turkeltaub, T.; Kurtzman, D.; Russak, E. E.; Dahan, O.

    2015-12-01

    Switching crop type and consequently changing irrigation and fertilization regimes lead to alterations in deep percolation and solute concentrations of pore water. Herein, observations from the deep vadose zone and model simulations demonstrate the changes in water, chloride, and nitrate fluxes under a commercial greenhouse following the change from tomato to lettuce cropping. The site, located above a phreatic aquifer, was monitored for 5 years. A vadose-zone monitoring system was implemented under the greenhouse and provided continuous data on both temporal variations in water content and chemical composition of the pore water at multiple depths in the deep vadose zone (up to 20 m). Following crop switching, a significant reduction in chloride concentration and dramatic increase in nitrate were observed across the unsaturated zone. The changes in chemical composition of the vadose-zone pore water appeared as sequential breakthroughs across the unsaturated zone, initiating at land surface and propagating down toward the water table. Today, 3 years after switching the crops, penetration of the impact exceeds 10 m depth. Variations in the isotopic composition of nitrate (18O and 15N) in water samples obtained from the entire vadose zone clearly support a fast leaching process and mobilization of solutes across the unsaturated zone following the change in crop type. Water flow and chloride transport models were calibrated to observations acquired during an enhanced infiltration experiment. Forward simulation runs were performed with the calibrated models, constrained to tomato and lettuce cultivation regimes as surface boundary conditions. Predicted chloride and nitrate concentrations were in agreement with the observed concentrations. The simulated water drainage and nitrogen leaching implied that the observed changes are an outcome of recommended agricultural management practices.

  15. Deep arid system hydrodynamics: 1. Equilibrium states and response times in thick desert vadose zones

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Walvoord, M.A.; Plummer, M.A.; Phillips, F.M.; Wolfsberg, A.V.

    2002-01-01

    Quantifying moisture fluxes through deep desert soils remains difficult because of the small magnitude of the fluxes and the lack of a comprehensive model to describe flow and transport through such dry material. A particular challenge for such a model is reproducing both observed matric potential and chloride profiles. We propose a conceptual model for flow in desert vadose zones that includes isothermal and nonisothermal vapor transport and the role of desert vegetation in supporting a net upward moisture flux below the root zone. Numerical simulations incorporating this conceptual model match typical matric potential and chloride profiles. The modeling approach thereby reconciles the paradox between the recognized importance of plants, upward driving forces, and vapor flow processes in desert vadose zones and the inadequacy of the downward-only liquid flow assumption of the conventional chloride mass balance approach. Our work shows that water transport in thick desert vadose zones at steady state is usually dominated by upward vapor flow and that long response times, of the order of 104-105 years, are required to equilibrate to existing arid surface conditions. Simulation results indicate that most thick desert vadose zones have been locked in slow drying transients that began in response to a climate shift and establishment of desert vegetation many thousands of years ago.

  16. Electrical Resistivity Imaging for Studying Dynamics of Vadose Zone Processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mitchell, V.; Pidlisecky, A.; Knight, R. J.

    2010-12-01

    deployed. Acquisition geometries designed to target different regions of the subsurface were used to acquire measurements every 1.5 hours. In 2008-2009 ~2000 data sets were acquired; each data set included measurements from probes and surface lines. In 2009-2010 ~1000 data sets were acquired. Data were processed using an extended Kalman filter (EKF) approach. The EKF was chosen for processing time-series ERI data because it models evolution of the physical system and the observation process, incorporating previous information into data-inversion at each time-step. In this application, the first for surface-based ERI field data, we modify the classical Kalman filter cost functional to incorporate spatial smoothing and impose an update constraint to account for slow state evolution with respect to the sampling interval. Results identified more hydrologic complexity than was originally assumed and indicated that processes in the top 0.5 m of the subsurface control infiltration rates. The results of ERI monitoring demonstrate that integrating geophysics into hydrologic studies can provide increased information about spatial and temporal evolution of vadose zone processes.

  17. Regional Analysis of One Dimensional Nitrate Transport Through the Vadose Zone Using a Geographic Information System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sykes, J. F.; Scott, M. E.; Jyrkama, M. I.

    2005-05-01

    Wilmot Township is located in southwestern Ontario within the Grand River Watershed. The township is approximately 266 square kilometers, of which 80 percent is classified as farmland. A majority of the region relies on groundwater as the source of drinking water and it is therefore important to determine the effect of crop fertilization on the groundwater quality. The purpose of this study is to determine the one-dimensional transport of nitrate through the vadose zone to the water table with attenuation due to biodegradation. The model is simulated over a 30-year period to investigate the impact of seasonal applications of nitrate fertilizers on the concentration at the water table. Based on land use/land class maps, ArcView GIS is used to spatially define the location of fertilizer applications. Fertilizer sources are determined from Statistics Canada's Agricultural Census and include livestock manure and popular commercial fertilizers for the past 30 years. A physically based and readily implemented methodology for estimating recharge, as developed by Jyrkama (2003), is used to approximate the advective velocity through the soil column. This research methodology can be applied at the watershed scale. Future large-scale modeling will be performed on the Grand River Watershed, which is approximately 7000 square kilometers. Municipalities can utilize this model as a management tool to determine the extent of contamination and delineate site sensitive locations, such as well-head protection zones. This research is a first step in developing agricultural contaminant loadings for a regional scale surface water and groundwater model.

  18. Continuous monitoring of water flow and solute transport using vadose zone monitoring technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dahan, O.

    2009-04-01

    Groundwater contamination is usually attributed to pollution events that initiate on land surface. These may be related to various sources such as industrial, urban or agricultural, and may appear as point or non point sources, through a single accidental event or a continuous pollution process. In all cases, groundwater pollution is a consequence of pollutant transport processes that take place in the vadose zone above the water table. Attempts to control pollution events and prevent groundwater contamination usually involve groundwater monitoring programs. This, however, can not provide any protection against contamination since pollution identification in groundwater is clear evidence that the groundwater is already polluted and contaminants have already traversed the entire vadose zone. Accordingly, an efficient monitoring program that aims at providing information that may prevent groundwater pollution has to include vadose-zone monitoring systems. Such system should provide real-time information on the hydrological and chemical properties of the percolating water and serve as an early warning system capable of detecting pollution events in their early stages before arrival of contaminants to groundwater. Recently, a vadose-zone monitoring system (VMS) was developed to allow continuous monitoring of the hydrological and chemical properties of percolating water in the deep vadose zone. The VMS includes flexible time-domain reflectometry (FTDR) probes for continuous tracking of water content profiles, and vadose-zone sampling ports (VSPs) for frequent sampling of the deep vadose pore water at multiple depths. The monitoring probes and sampling ports are installed through uncased slanted boreholes using a flexible sleeve that allows attachment of the monitoring devices to the borehole walls while achieving good contact between the sensors and the undisturbed sediment column. The system has been successfully implemented in several studies on water flow and

  19. Tackling the Challenge of Deep Vadose Zone Remediation at the Hanford Site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morse, J. G.; Wellman, D. M.; Gephart, R.

    2010-12-01

    The Central Plateau of the Hanford Site in Washington State contains some 800 waste disposal sites where 1.7 trillion liters of contaminated water was once discharged into the subsurface. Most of these sites received liquids from the chemical reprocessing of spent uranium fuel to recover plutonium. In addition, 67 single shell tanks have leaked or are suspected to have leaked 3.8 million liters of high alkali and aluminate rich cesium-contaminated liquids into the sediment. Today, this inventory of subsurface contamination contains an estimated 550,000 curies of radioactivity and 150 million kg (165,000 tons) of metals and hazardous chemicals. Radionuclides range from mobile 99Tc to more immobilized 137Cs, 241Am, uranium, and plutonium. A significant fraction of these contaminants likely remain within the deep vadose zone. Plumes of groundwater containing tritium, nitrate, 129I and other contaminants have migrated through the vadose zone and now extend outward from the Central Plateau to the Columbia River. During most of Hanford Site history, subsurface studies focused on groundwater monitoring and characterization to support waste management decisions. Deep vadose zone studies were not a priority because waste practices relied upon that zone to buffer contaminant releases into the underlying aquifer. Remediation of the deep vadose zone is now central to Hanford Site cleanup because these sediments can provide an ongoing source of contamination to the aquifer and therefore to the Columbia River. However, characterization and remediation of the deep vadose zone pose some unique challenges. These include sediment thickness; contaminant depth; coupled geohydrologic, geochemical, and microbial processes controlling contaminant spread; limited availability and effectiveness of traditional characterization tools and cleanup remedies; and predicting contaminant behavior and remediation performance over long time periods and across molecular to field scales. The U

  20. INFLUENCE OF CLASTIC DIKES ON VERTICAL MIGRATION OF CONTAMINANTS IN THE VADOSE ZONE AT HANFORD

    EPA Science Inventory

    This research will test the hypothesis that clastic dikes at the Hanford Site provide preferential pathways that enhance the vertical movement of moisture and contaminants through the vadose zone. Studies indicate that contaminants have migrated to greater depths at the Hanford ...

  1. ANNUAL REPORT. TECHNETIUM ATTENUATION IN THE VADOSE ZONE: ROLE OF MINERAL INTERACTIONS

    EPA Science Inventory

    High-level waste (HLW) has leaked into the vadose zone from buried single-shell tanks at the Hanford Site. Contaminant plumes containing radionuclides are slowly migrating toward the groundwater table. The accepted model of contaminant migration places technetium (Tc) at the lead...

  2. Performance Evaluation of Automated Passive Capillary Sampler for Estimating Water Drainage in the Vadose Zone

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Passive capillary samplers (PCAPs) are widely used to monitor, measure and sample drainage water under saturated and unsaturated soil conditions in the vadose zone. The objective of this study was to evaluate the performance and accuracy of automated passive capillary sampler for estimating drainage...

  3. QUANTIFYING VADOSE ZONE FLOW AND TRANSPORT UNCERTAINTIES USING A UNIFIED, HIERARCHICAL APPROACH

    EPA Science Inventory

    Two of the primary factors complicating DOEs need to address vadose zone contamination are the natural heterogeneity or spatial variability of soils and sediments, and the difficulty of characterizing this variability at a sufficiently small scale. Much of the uncertainty in pre...

  4. ESTIMATION OF INFILTRATION RATE IN THE VADOSE ZONE: COMPILATION OF SIMPLE MATHEMATICAL MODELS - VOLUME I

    EPA Science Inventory

    The unsaturated or vadose zone provides a complex system for the simulation of water movement and contaminant transport and fate. Numerous models are available for performing simulations related to the movement of water. There exists extensive documentation of these models. Ho...

  5. Engineering report single-shell tank farms interim measures to limit infiltration through the vadose zone

    SciTech Connect

    HAASS, C.C.

    1999-10-14

    Identifies, evaluates and recommends interim measures for reducing or eliminating water sources and preferential pathways within the vadose zone of the single-shell tank farms. Features studied: surface water infiltration and leaking water lines that provide recharge moisture, and wells that could provide pathways for contaminant migration. An extensive data base, maps, recommended mitigations, and rough order of magnitude costs are included.

  6. Sampling and Hydrogeology of the Vadose Zone Beneath the 300 Area Process Ponds

    SciTech Connect

    Bjornstad, Bruce N.

    2004-08-31

    Four open pits were dug with a backhoe into the vadose zone beneath the former 300 Area Process Ponds in April 2003. Samples were collected about every 2 feet for physical, chemical, and/or microbiological characterization. This reports presents a stratigraphic and geohydrologic summary of the four excavations.

  7. THE USE OF RADAR METHODS TO DETERMINE MOISTURE CONTENT IN THE VADOSE ZONE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Moisture content is a critical parameter affecting both liquid-phase and vapor-phase contaminant transport in the vadose zone. This means that accurate estimates of in situ moisture content must be obtained in order to design for the appropriate handling or remediation of a cont...

  8. Impact of CO2 Intrusion into USDWs, the Vadose Zone, and Indoor Air

    EPA Science Inventory

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Water Research Program in the Office of Research and Development is conducting research to better detect and quantify leakage into USDWs, the vadose zone, the atmosphere, and buildings. Research in this initiative is focused in thr...

  9. The Use of Radar Methods to Determine Moisture Content in the Vadose Zone

    SciTech Connect

    Knight, Rosemary

    2003-06-01

    Moisture content is a critical parameter affecting both liquid-phase and vapor-phase contaminant transport in the vadose zone. The objective of our three-year research project is to determine the optimal way to use radar methods as a non-invasive means of determining in situ moisture content.

  10. PROGRESS REPORT. QUANTIFYING VADOSE ZONE FLOW AND TRANSPORT UNCERTAINTIES USING A UNIFIED, HIERARCHICAL APPROACH

    EPA Science Inventory

    The objective of this research is to develop and demonstrate a general approach for modeling flow and transport in the heterogeneous vadose zone. The approach uses similar media scaling, geostatistics, and conditional simulation methods to estimate soil hydraulic parameters at un...

  11. ANNUAL REPORT. QUANTIFYING VADOSE ZONE FLOW AND TRANSPORT UNCERTAINTIES USING A UNIFIED, HIERARCHICAL APPROACH

    EPA Science Inventory

    The objective of this research is to develop and demonstrate a general approach for modeling flow and transport in the heterogeneous vadose zone. The approach uses similar media scaling, geostatistics, and conditional simulation methods to estimate soil hydraulic parameters at un...

  12. Sensitivity of Vadose Zone Water Fluxes to Climate Shifts in Arid Settings

    SciTech Connect

    Pfletschinger, H.; Prömmel, K.; Schüth, C.; Herbst, M.; Engelhardt, I.

    2014-01-01

    Vadose zone water fluxes in arid settings are investigated regarding their sensitivity to hydraulic soil parameters and meteorological data. The study is based on the inverse modeling of highly defined soil column experiments and subsequent scenario modeling comparing different climate projections for a defined arid region. In arid regions, groundwater resources are prone to depletion due to excessive water use and little recharge potential. Especially in sand dune areas, groundwater recharge is highly dependent on vadose zone properties and corresponding water fluxes. Nevertheless, vadose zone water fluxes under arid conditions are hard to determine owing to, among other reasons, deep vadose zones with generally low fluxes and only sporadic high infiltration events. In this study, we present an inverse model of infiltration experiments accounting for variable saturated nonisothermal water fluxes to estimate effective hydraulic and thermal parameters of dune sands. A subsequent scenario modeling links the results of the inverse model with projections of a global climate model until 2100. The scenario modeling clearly showed the high dependency of groundwater recharge on precipitation amounts and intensities, whereas temperature increases are only of minor importance for deep infiltration. However, simulated precipitation rates are still affected by high uncertainties in the response to the hydrological input data of the climate model. Thus, higher certainty in the prediction of precipitation pattern is a major future goal for climate modeling to constrain future groundwater management strategies in arid regions.

  13. ESTIMATION OF INFILTRATION RATE IN THE VADOSE ZONE: APPLICATION OF SELECTED MATHEMATICAL MODELS - VOLUME II

    EPA Science Inventory

    Movement of water into and through the vadose zone is of great importance to the assessment of contaminant fate and transport, agricultural management, and natural resource protection. The process of water movement is very dynamic, changing dramatically over time and space. Inf...

  14. AN EXACT SOLUTION FOR THE ASSESSMENT OF NONEQUILIBRIUM SORPTION OF RADIONUCLIDES IN THE VADOSE ZONE

    EPA Science Inventory

    In a report on model evaluation, the authors ran the HYDRUS Code, among other transport codes, to evaluate the impacts of nonequilibrium sorption sites on the time-evolution of 99Tc and 90Sr through the vadose zone. Since our evaluation was based on a rather low, annual recharge...

  15. The Use of Radar Methods to Determine Moisture Content in the Vadose Zone

    SciTech Connect

    Knight, Rosemary

    2002-06-01

    Moisture content is a critical parameter affecting both liquid-phase and vapor-phase contaminant transport in the vadose zone. The objective of our three-year research project is to determine the optimal way to use radar methods as a non-invasive means of determining in situ moisture content.

  16. Characterization of Direct Push Vadose Zone Sediments from the 241-U Single-Shell Tank Farm

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, Christopher F.; Valenta, Michelle M.; Serne, R. Jeffrey; Bjornstad, Bruce N.; Lanigan, David C.; Iovin, Cristian; Clayton, Ray E.; Geiszler, Keith N.; Clayton, Eric T.; Kutnyakov, Igor V.; Baum, Steven R.; Lindberg, Michael J.; Orr, Robert D.

    2007-12-20

    The overall goals of the Tank Farm Vadose Zone Project, led by CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc., are 1) to define risks from past and future single-shell tank farm activities, 2) to identify and evaluate the efficacy of interim measures, and 3) to aid, via collection of geochemical information and data, the future decisions that must be made by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) regarding the near-term operations, future waste retrieval, and final closure activities for the single-shell tank Waste Management Areas (WMAs). For a more complete discussion of the goals of the Tank Farm Vadose Zone Project, see the overall work plan, Phase 1 RCRA Facility Investigation/Corrective Measures Study Work Plan for the Single-Shell Tank Waste Management Areas (DOE 1999). Specific details on the rationale for activities performed at WMA U are found in Crumpler (2003). To meet these goals, CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc., asked scientists from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) to perform detailed analyses of vadose zone sediment collected within the U Single-Shell Tank Farm. Specifically, this report contains all the geochemical and selected physical characterization data collected on vadose zone sediment recovered from ten direct push characterization holes emplaced to investigate vadose zone contamination associated with potential leaks within the 241-U Single-Shell Tank Farm. Specific tanks targeted during this characterization campaign included tanks 241-U-104/241-U-105, 241-U-110, and 241-U-112. Additionally, this report compiles data from direct push samples collected north of tank 241-U-201, as well as sediment collected from the background borehole (C3393). After evaluating all the characterization and analytical data, there is no question that the vadose zone in the vicinity of tanks 241-U-104 and 241-U-105 has been contaminated by tank-related waste. This observation is not new, as gamma logging of drywells in the area has identified uranium contamination at the

  17. Remediation Technologies Screening Report for the Deep Vadose Zone, Hanford's Central Plateau - 12414

    SciTech Connect

    Doornbos, Martin; Morse, John

    2012-07-01

    Deep Vadose Zone contamination is a significant issue because it represents a potential source for continued release of contamination to the groundwater and associated receptors. This contamination, which is the result of past waste disposal practices on the Hanford Site Central Plateau, occurs deep in the subsurface and is not easily remediated by typical surface remedies. The Deep Vadose Zone is defined as the sediment below the limit of typical surface-based remedies (such as, excavation or caps), but above the water table. The Central Plateau Deep Vadose Zone begins at a depth of approximately 15 m (50 ft) below ground surface and extends to a depth of approximately 76 m (250 ft) below ground surface. Cleanup of the Deep Vadose Zone is challenging because contamination is difficult to access and expensive to characterize; contaminants occur at different depths and soil types; conventional, surface-based remedies have limited effectiveness; and remedy performance is difficult to predict, test, and monitor. Typically, remedial technologies for Deep Vadose Zone contamination are less developed than for the shallow soil contamination or saturated groundwater contaminants. In addition, few remediation technologies have been tested in the field, and fewer still have been successfully implemented as full remedial actions. These challenges, along with the limited number of potentially applicable remediation technologies, complicate the decision-making process for evaluating and selecting Deep Vadose Zone remedial alternatives. The Deep Vadose Zone remediation technologies pre-screening involved a comprehensive review of potentially applicable technologies for remediating Deep Vadose Zone contamination in the Hanford Site's Central Plateau. The list of remediation technologies was developed from previous Hanford Site studies, science and technology databases, as well as other cleanup projects across the country that have similar conditions. The list of remediation

  18. Bioremediation of RDX in the vadose zone beneath the Pantex Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Shull, T.L.; Speitel, G.E. Jr.; McKinney, D.C.

    1999-01-01

    The presence of dissolved high explosives (HE), in particular RDX and HMX, is well documented in the perched aquifer beneath the Pantex Plant, but the distribution of HE in the vadose zone has not yet been well defined. Although current remediation activities focus on the contamination in the perched aquifer, eventually regulatory concern is likely to turn to the residual contamination in the vadose zone. Sources of HE include the infiltration of past wastewater discharges from several HE-processing facilities through the ditch drainage system and leachate from former Landfill 3. With limited existing data on the HE distribution in the vadose zone and without preventive action, it must be assumed that residual HE could be leached into infiltrating water, providing a continuing supply of contamination to the perched aquifer. The purpose of this project was to more closely examine the fate and transport of HE in the vadose zone through mathematical modeling and laboratory experimentation. In particular, this report focuses on biodegradation as one possible fate of HE. Biodegradation of RDX in the vadose zone was studied because it is both present in highest concentration and is likely to be of the greatest regulatory concern. This study had several objectives: determine if indigenous soil organisms are capable of RDX biodegradation; determine the impact of electron acceptor availability and nutrient addition on RDX biodegradation; determine the extent of RDX mineralization (i.e., conversion to inorganic carbon) during biodegradation; and estimate the kinetics of RDX biodegradation to provide information for mathematical modeling of fate and transport.

  19. Biotic and Abiotic Transformation of a Volatile Organics Plume in a Semi-Arid Vadose Zone

    SciTech Connect

    Studer, J.E.; Singletary, M.A.; Miller, D.R.

    1999-04-08

    An evaluation of biotic and abiotic attenuation processes potentially important to chlorinated and non-chlorinated volatile organic compound (VOC) fate and transport in the 148 meter thick vadose zone beneath the Chemical Waste Landfill (CWL) was conducted. A unique feature of this evaluation is the comparison of two estimates of VOC mass present in the soil gas, pore-water, and solid phases (but not including mass as non-aqueous phase liquid [NAPL]) of the vadose zone in 1993. One estimate, 1,800 kg, was obtained from vadose zone transport modeling that incorporated molecular diffusion and volatilization to the atmosphere, but not biotic or chemical processes. The other estimate, 2,120 kg, was obtained from the sum of VOC mass physically removed during soil vapor extraction and an estimate of VOC mass remaining in the vadose zone in 1998, both adjusted to exclude NAPL mass. This comparison indicates that biogeochemical processes were at best slightly important to historical VOC plume development. Some evidence of aerobic degradation of non-chlorinated VOCs and abiotic transformation of 1,1,1-Trichloroethane was identified. Despite potentially amenable site conditions, no evidence was found of cometabolic and anaerobic transformation pathways. Relying principally on soil-gas analytical results, an upper-bound estimate of 21% mass reduction due to natural biogeochemical processes was developed. Although available information for the CWL indicates that natural attenuation processes other than volatilization to the atmosphere did not effective y enhance groundwater protection, these processes could be important in significantly reducing groundwater contamination and exposure risks at other sites. More laboratory and field research is required to improve our collective ability to characterize and exploit natural VOC attenuation processes, especially with respect to the combination of relatively thick and dry vadose zones and chlorinated VOCs.

  20. Vadose Zone Monitoring as a Key to Groundwater Protection from Pollution Hazard

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dahan, Ofer

    2016-04-01

    Minimization subsurface pollution is much dependent on the capability to provide real-time information on the chemical and hydrological properties of the percolating water. Today, most monitoring programs are based on observation wells that enable data acquisitions from the saturated part of the subsurface. Unfortunately, identification of pollutants in well water is clear evidence that the contaminants already crossed the entire vadose-zone and accumulated in the aquifer water to detectable concentration. Therefore, effective monitoring programs that aim at protecting groundwater from pollution hazard should include vadose zone monitoring technologies that are capable to provide real-time information on the chemical composition of the percolating water. Obviously, identification of pollution process in the vadose zone may provide an early warning on potential risk to groundwater quality, long before contaminates reach the water-table and accumulate in the aquifers. Since productive agriculture must inherently include down leaching of excess lower quality water, understanding the mechanisms controlling transport and degradation of pollutants in the unsaturated is crucial for water resources management. A vadose-zone monitoring system (VMS), which was specially developed to enable continuous measurements of the hydrological and chemical properties of percolating water, was used to assess the impact of various agricultural setups on groundwater quality, including: (a) intensive organic and conventional greenhouses, (b) citrus orchard and open field crops , and (c) dairy farms. In these applications frequent sampling of vadose zone water for chemical and isotopic analysis along with continuous measurement of water content was used to assess the link between agricultural setups and groundwater pollution potential. Transient data on variation in water content along with solute breakthrough at multiple depths were used to calibrate flow and transport models. These models

  1. Borehole time domain reflectometry in layered sandstone: Impact of measurement technique on vadose zone process identification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jared West, L.; Truss, Steven W.

    2006-03-01

    The hydraulic behaviour of the vadose zone of a layered sandstone aquifer has been investigated using borehole-based Time Domain Reflectometry (TDR). Both a commercially available portable packer TDR system (TRIME-B3L Borehole Packer Probe) and specially designed borehole-emplaced TDR probes were used to monitor seasonal fluctuations in water content in the vadose zone of a layered sandstone over 1 year under natural rainfall loading. The data show that the vadose zone contains seasonal perched water tables that form when downward percolating water reaches layers of fine grained sandstone and siltstone and causes local saturation. The formation of perched water tables is likely to lead to lateral flow bypassing the less permeable, finer layers. This contrasts with behaviour inferred from previous studies of the same aquifer that used borehole radar and resistivity, which suggested its vadose zone behaviour was characterized by uniform downwards migration of wetting fronts. To investigate the impact of measurement technique on observed response, the TDR data reported here were used to produce simulated zero offset profile (ZOP) borehole radar responses. This simulation confirmed the limited ability of ZOP borehole radar to detect key vadose zone processes, because the phenomenon of critical refraction minimizes the sensitivity of the results to high water content layers. The ability of the resistivity method to detect perched water table responses is also limited, because of the relatively large sampling volume of the technique. The study illustrates that inappropriate technique selection results in hydrological process mis-identification, with serious consequences for the usefulness of data in hydrological modeling.

  2. Microbial Ecology of the Vadose Zone in the Vicinity of Residual Crude-Oil Contamination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bekins, B. A.; Godsy, E. M.; Warren, E.; Hostettler, F. D.

    2001-05-01

    We characterized the microbial population in an 8-meter-thick, hydrocarbon-contaminated vadose zone using Most Probable Number (MPN) estimates for four physiologic types: aerobes, heterotrophic fermenters, iron-reducers and methanogens. The site is a surficial sand and gravel aquifer near Bemidji, MN, that was contaminated in 1979 when crude oil infiltrated the subsurface from a broken pipeline. Substantial liquid and vapor-phase petroleum hydrocarbons remain in the vadose zone. We examined three vadose-zone profiles located in: 1) the residual oil, 2) a vapor-contaminated area, and 3) the capillary fringe above the contaminated aquifer. In the residual oil ~100 methanogens per gram dry weight of sediment (g-1) are present throughout the profile, and fermenter numbers g-1 are 10,000 times those of iron-reducers, suggesting that methanogenesis is now the dominant degradation process. Analyses of extracted oil from these sediments show that substantial degradation of C15 -C35 n-alkanes has occurred since 1983. Moreover, gas concentration measurements indicate that methane production in this location has been active since at least 1986, raising the possibility that significant degradation of C15 and higher n-alkanes has occurred under methanogenic conditions. In the vapor-contaminated profile, aerobe numbers g-1 are 10,000 times higher than uncontaminated background values. Methanotrophic activity also was detected in laboratory incubations of these sediments. Apparently, a substantial microbial population has developed that is supported by the hydrocarbon vapors and methane. Downgradient from the oil, where groundwater is contaminated but no hydrocarbon vapors are detected, fermenter and aerobe numbers g-1 above the capillary fringe match those of uncontaminated sediments (100-1,000 g-1). Within the capillary fringe, numbers increase rapidly with depth to values typically found in the contaminated saturated zone. In the vadose zone profiles with significant

  3. Evaluating Contaminant Flux from the Vadose Zone to the Groundwater in the Hanford Central Plateau. SX Tank Farms Case Study

    SciTech Connect

    Truex, Michael J.; Oostrom, Martinus; Last, George V.; Strickland, Christopher E.; Tartakovsky, Guzel D.

    2015-09-01

    At the DOE Hanford Site, contaminants were discharged to the subsurface through engineered waste sites in the Hanford Central Plateau. Additional waste was released through waste storage tank leaks. Much of the contaminant inventory is still present within the unsaturated vadose zone sediments. The nature and extent of future groundwater contaminant plumes and the growth or decline of current groundwater plumes beneath the Hanford Central Plateau are a function of the contaminant flux from the vadose zone to the groundwater. In general, contaminant transport is slow through the vadose zone and it is difficult to directly measure contaminant flux in the vadose zone. Predictive analysis, supported by site characterization and monitoring data, was applied using a structured, systems-based approach to estimate the future contaminant flux to groundwater in support of remediation decisions for the vadose zone and groundwater (Truex and Carroll 2013). The SX Tank Farm was used as a case study because of the existing contaminant inventory in the vadose zone, observations of elevated moisture content in portions of the vadose zone, presence of a limited-extent groundwater plume, and the relatively large amount and wide variety of data available for the site. Although the SX Tank Farm case study is most representative of conditions at tank farm sites, the study has elements that are also relevant to other types of disposal sites in the Hanford Central Plateau.

  4. Soil Flushing Through a Thick Vadose Zone: Perchlorate Removal Documented at Edwards AFB, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Battey, T. F.; Shepard, A. J.; Tait, R. J.

    2007-12-01

    There are currently few viable alternatives for perchlorate remediation in the vadose zone, particularly for the relatively thick vadose zones that are typical in the arid southwest where many perchlorate sites occur. Perchlorate in the vadose zone occurs in the form of highly soluble salts that may represent a risk to human or ecological receptors, and may also represent a threat to the underlying groundwater. A soil flushing treatability study was conducted at Edwards Air Force Base in the Mojave Desert of southern California at a site with a 129-foot thick vadose zone consisting primarily of clayey sand. This study utilized an infiltration gallery in conjunction with extraction, treatment, and re-injection of groundwater at the site, which contained perchlorate-contaminated soil and groundwater. The study objective was to evaluate the effectiveness of the infiltration gallery to 1) introduce treated groundwater back into the aquifer and 2) wash the perchlorate from the vadose zone soils to the aquifer. The infiltration gallery consisted of slotted PVC pipes within a highly permeable engineered bed of washed gravel. The initial water introduced into the gallery was amended with potassium bromide tracer. A downhole neutron probe was used to track the movement of the wetting front downward and outward from the gallery. Successive neutron measurements in vertical access tubes revealed that the introduced water reached the 125-foot bottom of the access tubes 14 weeks after the water was introduced into the gallery. The bromide tracer was detected in groundwater immediately below the gallery approximately 1 week later. The infiltration gallery was able to sustain an average flow rate of 2.3 gallons per minute. Prior to infiltration, the perchlorate concentration in groundwater below the gallery was 4,500 µg/L. Approximately 18 weeks after the start of infiltration, a perchlorate spike of 72,400 µg/L was detected below the gallery. The increase in perchlorate

  5. Analysis of vadose zone tritium transport from an underground storage tank release using numerical modeling and geostatistics

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, K.H.

    1997-09-01

    Numerical and geostatistical analyses show that the artificial smoothing effect of kriging removes high permeability flow paths from hydrogeologic data sets, reducing simulated contaminant transport rates in heterogeneous vadose zone systems. therefore, kriging alone is not recommended for estimating the spatial distribution of soil hydraulic properties for contaminant transport analysis at vadose zone sites. Vadose zone transport if modeled more effectively by combining kriging with stochastic simulation to better represent the high degree of spatial variability usually found in the hydraulic properties of field soils. However, kriging is a viable technique for estimating the initial mass distribution of contaminants in the subsurface.

  6. MANAGEMENT ZONE ANALYST (MZA): SOFTWARE FOR SUB-FIELD MANAGEMENT ZONE DELINEATION

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Producers using site-specific crop management (SSCM) have a need for strategies to delineate areas within fields that management can be tailored for. These areas are often referred to as "management zones." Quick and automated procedures are desirable for creating management zones and for testing ...

  7. Conception of vadose zone research in the area of Goczałkowice reservoir.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Czekaj, Joanna; Trepka, Kamil

    2013-09-01

    Goczałkowice reservoir is one of the main source of drinking water for Upper Silesia Region. In reference to Water Frame Directive matter since 2010 the strategic research project: "Integrated system supporting management and protection of dammed reservoir (ZiZoZap)”, which is being conducted on Goczałkowice reservoir, has been pursued. In the framework of this project complex groundwater monitoring is carried on. One aspect is vadose zone research, conducted to obtain information about changes in chemical composition of infiltrating water and mass transport within this zone. Based on historical data and the structural model of direct catchment of Goczałkowice reservoir location of the vadose zone research site was selected. At the end of November 2012 specially designed lysimeter was installed with 10 MacroRhizon samplers at each lithological variation in unsaturated zone. This lysimeter, together with nested observation wells, located in the direct proximity, create the vadose zone research site which main aim is specifying the amount of nitrate transport in the vertical profile.

  8. Field-Scale Assessment of Desiccation Implementation for Deep Vadose Zone Contaminants

    SciTech Connect

    Truex, Michael J.; Oostrom, Martinus; Strickland, Christopher E.; Chronister, Glen B.; Benecke, Mark W.; Johnson, Christian D.

    2012-11-01

    Desiccation of the vadose zone has the potential to reduce the flux of contaminants to underlying groundwater by removing moisture and decreasing the aqueous-phase permeability of the desiccated zone. However, data to evaluate implementation of desiccation are needed to enable consideration of desiccation as a potential remedy. Implementation of desiccation was field tested by injecting dry nitrogen gas to a target treatment zone and monitoring the spatial and temporal progress of the drying process. Aqueous waste discharges to disposal cribs approximately 50 years ago distributed water and contaminants, including primarily technetium-99 and nitrate, within the 100-m deep vadose zone at the test site. A field test location was selected adjacent to one of the former disposal cribs. The test was conducted in a contaminated portion of the vadose zone dominated by fine sands with lenses of silt material. Desiccation reduced volumetric moisture content to as low as 0.01. The lateral and vertical distribution of drying from the injection well was influenced by the subsurface heterogeneity. However, over time, desiccation occurred in the initially wetter, lower permeability lenses.

  9. Advanced Remedial Methods for Metals and Radionuclides in Vadose Zone Environments

    SciTech Connect

    Wellman, Dawn M.; Mattigod, Shas V.; Hubbard, Susan; Miracle, Ann L.; Zhong, Lirong; Foote, Martin; Wu, Yuxin; Jansik, Danielle P.

    2010-10-03

    Functionally, the methods for addressing contamination must remove and/or reduce transport or toxicity of contaminants. This problem is particularly challenging in arid environments where the vadose zone can be up to hundreds of feet thick, rendering transitional excavation methods exceedingly costly and ineffective. Delivery of remedial amendments is one of the most challenging and critical aspects for all remedy-based approaches. The conventional approach for delivery is through injection of aqueous remedial solutions. However, heterogeneous vadose zone environments present hydrologic and geochemical challenges that limit the effectiveness. Because the flow of solution infiltration is dominantly controlled by gravity and suction, injected liquid preferentially percolates through highly permeable pathways, by-passing low-permeability zones which frequently contain the majority of the contamination. Moreover, the wetting front can readily mobilize and enhance contaminant transport to underlying aquifers prior to stabilization. Development of innovative, in-situ technologies may be the only way to meet remedial action objectives and long-term stewardship goals. Shear-thinning fluids (i.e., surfactants) can be used to lower the liquid surface tension and create stabile foams, which readily penetrate low permeability zones. Although surfactant foams have been utilized for subsurface mobilization efforts in the oil and gas industry, so far, the concept of using foams as a delivery mechanism for transporting reactive remedial amendments into deep vadose zone environments to stabilize metal and long-lived radionuclide contaminants has not been explored. Foam flow can be directed by pressure gradients, rather than being dominated by gravity; and, foam delivery mechanisms limit the volume of water (< 20% vol.) required for remedy delivery and emplacement, thus mitigating contaminant mobilization. We will present the results of a numerical modeling and integrated laboratory

  10. Advanced Remedial Methods for Metals and Radionuclides in Vadose Zone Environments

    SciTech Connect

    Wellman, Dawn M.; Mattigod, Shas V.; Hubbard, Susan S.; Miracle, Ann L.; Zhong, Lirong; Foote, Martin W.; Wu, Yuxin; Jansik, Danielle P.

    2012-02-03

    Functionally, the methods for addressing contamination must remove and/or reduce transport or toxicity of contaminants. This problem is particularly challenging in arid environments where the vadose zone can be up to hundreds of feet thick, rendering transitional excavation methods exceedingly costly and ineffective. Delivery of remedial amendments is one of the most challenging and critical aspects for all remedy-based approaches. The conventional approach for delivery is through injection of aqueous remedial solutions. However, heterogeneous vadose zone environments present hydrologic and geochemical challenges that limit the effectiveness. Because the flow of solution infiltration is dominantly controlled by gravity and suction, injected liquid preferentially percolates through highly permeable pathways, bypassing low-permeability zones which frequently contain the majority of the contamination. Moreover, the wetting front can readily mobilize and enhance contaminant transport to underlying aquifers prior to stabilization. Development of innovative, in-situ technologies may be the only way to meet remedial action objectives and long-term stewardship goals. Shear-thinning fluids (i.e., surfactants) can be used to lower the liquid surface tension and create stabile foams, which readily penetrate low permeability zones. Although surfactant foams have been utilized for subsurface mobilization efforts in the oil and gas industry, so far, the concept of using foams as a delivery mechanism for transporting reactive remedial amendments into deep vadose zone environments to stabilize metal and long-lived radionuclide contaminants has not been explored. Foam flow can be directed by pressure gradients rather than being dominated by gravity, and, foam delivery mechanisms limit the volume of water (< 20% vol.) required for remedy delivery and emplacement, thus mitigating contaminant mobilization. We will present the results of an integrated laboratory- / intermediate

  11. Deep Vadose Zone-Applied Field Research Initiative Fiscal Year 2011 Annual Report

    SciTech Connect

    Wellman, Dawn M.; Johnson, Timothy C.; Smith, Ronald M.; Truex, Michael J.; Matthews, Hope E.

    2011-10-01

    This annual report describes the background of the Deep Vadose Zone-Applied Field Research Initiative, and some of the programmatic approaches and transformational technologies in groundwater and deep vadose zone remediation developed during fiscal year 2011. The Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Technology Innovation and Development's (OTID) mission is to transform science into viable solutions for environmental cleanup. In 2010, OTID developed the Impact Plan, Science and Technology to Reduce the Life Cycle Cost of Closure to outline the benefits of research and development of the lifecycle cost of cleanup across the DOE complex. This plan outlines OTID's ability to reduce by $50 billion, the $200 billion life-cycle cost in waste processing, groundwater and soil, nuclear materials, and deactivation and decommissioning. The projected life-cycle costs and return on investment are based on actual savings realized from technology innovation, development, and insertion into remedial strategies and schedules at the Fernald, Mound, and Ashtabula sites. To achieve our goals, OTID developed Applied Field Research Initiatives to facilitate and accelerate collaborative development and implementation of new tools and approaches that reduce risk, cost and time for site closure. The primary mission of the Deep Vadose Zone-Applied Field Research Initiative (DVZ-AFRI) is to protect our nation's water resources, keeping them clean and safe for future generations. The DVZ-AFRI was established for the DOE to develop effective, science-based solutions for remediating, characterizing, monitoring, and predicting the behavior and fate of deep vadose zone contamination. Subsurface contaminants include radionuclides, metals, organics, and liquid waste that originated from various sources, including legacy waste from the nation's nuclear weapons complexes. The DVZ-AFRI project team is translating strategy into action by working to solve these complex challenges in a collaborative

  12. Time lag estimates for nitrate travel through the vadose zone in Southland, New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, Scott; Chanut, Pierre; Ledgard, George; Rissmann, Clint

    2014-05-01

    A regional-scale study was carried out to calculate the travel time of a nitrate particle from the ground surface into shallow groundwater. The aim of the study was to obtain preliminary answers to two questions. Firstly, if leaching limits are set, how long would it take to see an improvement in shallow groundwater quality? Secondly, have groundwater nitrate concentrations reached equilibrium from recent dairy expansion in the region, or could we expect future increases? We applied a methodology that provides a balance between the detail and generalisation that is required for a regional-scale study. Steady-state advective transport through the vadose zone was modelled with water retention curves. These curves enable an estimate of the average volumetric water content of the vadose zone. The percentage saturation can then be used to calculate the vadose zone transit time if effective porosity, depth to the water table and annual average soil drainage are known. A time for mixing in the uppermost part of the aquifer has also been calculated. Two different vadose zone water retention curve models were used for comparison, the Brooks-Corey (1964), and the Van Genuchten (1980) methods. The water retention curves were parameterised by sediment texture via the Rawls and Brakensiek (1985) pedotransfer functions. Hydraulic properties were derived by positioning sediment textural descriptions on the Folk textural triangle, estimates of effective porosity from literature, and hydraulic conductivity values from aquifer tests. Uncertainty of parameter estimates was included by assigning standard deviations and appropriate probability distributions. Vadose zone saturation was modelled at 6,450 sites across the region with a Monte Carlo simulation involving 10,000 realisations. This generated a probability distribution of saturation for each site. Average volumetric water content of the vadose zone ranged from 8.5 to 40.7 % for the Brooks-Corey model and 12.9 to 36.3% for the

  13. Research Plan: Foam Delivery of Remedial Amendments to Deep Vadose Zone for Metals and Radionuclides Remediation

    SciTech Connect

    Zhong, Lirong; Hart, Andrea T.; Szecsody, James E.; Zhang, Z. F.; Freedman, Vicky L.; Ankeny, Mark; Hull, Laurence; Oostrom, Martinus; Freshley, Mark D.; Wellman, Dawn M.

    2009-01-16

    Research proposals were submitted to the Scientific and Technical Basis for In Situ Treatment of Metals and Radionuclides Technical Working Group under the US Department of Energy (DOE) Environmental Management Office (specifically, EM-22). After a peer review and selection process, the proposal, “Foam Delivery of Remedial Amendments to Deep Vadose Zone for Metals and Radionuclides Remediation,” submitted by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) was selected for support by the program. A research plan was requested for this EM funded project. The overall objective of this project is to develop foam delivery technology for the distribution of remedial amendments to deep vadose zone sediments for in situ immobilization of metal and radionuclide contaminants. The focus of this research in FY 2009 is on the physical aspects of the foam delivery approach. Specific objectives are to 1) study the foam quality (i.e. the gas volume fraction in foam) influence on injection pressure, 2) study the sediment air permeability influence on injection pressure, 3) investigate liquid uptake in sediment and determine whether a water front will be formed during foam delivery, 4) test amendment distance (and mass) delivery by foam from the injection point, 5) study the enhanced sweeping over heterogeneous systems (i.e., low K zones) by foam delivery relative to water-based delivery under vadose zone conditions, and 6) numerically simulate foam delivery processes in the vadose zone. Laboratory scale experiments will be conducted at PNNL to study a range of basic physical aspects of the foam propagation in sediments, including foam quality and sediment permeability influence on injection pressure, liquid uptake, and foam sweeping across heterogeneous systems. This study will be augmented with separate studies to be conducted at MSE Technology Applications, Inc. (MSE) to evaluate foam transport and amendment delivery at the intermediate-scale. The results of intermediate

  14. Vadose-zone recharge and weathering in an Eocene sand deposit, East Texas, U.S.A.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dutton, A. R.

    1990-03-01

    Weathering of terrigenous sand in the vadose zone of the Eocene Calvert Bluff Formation in Freestone County, Texas, appears to be controlled by vadose-water flow rate and kinetics of dissolution and precipitation of silicate minerals. Feldspar grains more commonly appear corroded by surface-reaction-controlled dissolution than argillized in situ. Kaolinite and smectite, which most likely precipitated from silica-rich vadose water, coat remaining framework grains. Where those grains are later dissolved, delicate clay molds remain. The relative abundances of feldspar and clay minerals are inversely related and vary with depth, reflecting the cumulative effect of feldspar weathering. Concentrations of dissolved and adsorbed cations generally are near massaction equilibrium. Recharge occurs from March to May (spring) and from October to November (autumn) when there is a net excess of water in the vadose zone. Dissolved ionic concentrations fluctuate seasonally with vadose-water residence time, suggesting that mass flux is close to mineral dissolution rate.

  15. Ocean-outfall mixing zone delineation using Doppler radar

    SciTech Connect

    Chin, D.A.; Ding, L.; Huang, H.

    1997-12-01

    A methodology has been developed to use data collected by ocean surface current radar (OSCR) systems to predict the fate and transport of pollutants released from ocean outfalls. The proposed OSCR-based transport model was validated at the Miami Central-District (MCD) outfall using data collected during the Southeast Florida Outfall Experiment 2 (SEFLOE 2). A comparison between the measured dye concentration versus distance from the outfall and the predictions of the OSCR-based transport model showed good agreement. A second validation test of the OSCR-based transport model compared the growth of variance versus time and diffusion coefficients versus length scale with the conventional Okubo diagrams for instantaneous tracer releases. This comparison indicated that the mixing characteristics simulated explicitly by the OSCR-based transport model are in good agreement with field measurements in the coastal ocean. Mixing zones based on worst-case and probabilistic criteria were delineated using the OSCR-based model. The results indicate that an OSCR-based transport model is a significant improvement over conventional models that are used to delineate mixing zones surrounding ocean outfalls with surfacing plumes. This claim is strongly supported by the field data collected during the SEFLOE 2 study in south Florida.

  16. Microbial Populations Associated with Phosphate-Mediated Vadose Zone Sequestration of Strontium and Uranium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, C. H.; Chou, J.; Fujita, Y.; Bill, M.; Brodie, E. L.; Andersen, G. L.; Hazen, T. C.; Conrad, M. S.

    2007-12-01

    Significant quantities of metals and radionuclides are contained in thick unsaturated zones at several contaminated sites in the western US. In many cases, this contamination has migrated to underlying groundwater, sometimes decades after being released into the subsurface. Because of the prohibitive costs associated with physically removing the contamination, an attractive remedy to this problem is to develop methods for long-term in situ stabilization of the contamination in the vadose zone. Our research focuses on developing a method of introducing gaseous compounds to stimulate precipitation of stable phosphate mineral phases in the vadose zone to immobilize soluble contaminants thus minimizing further transport to groundwater. Preliminary studies have demonstrated that biological precipitation of phosphate minerals can be stimulated under unsaturated conditions by injection of triethyl phosphate (TEP) gas. Microorganisms hydrolyze TEP, releasing inorganic phosphate, catalyzing the precipitation of metals and radionuclide-containing phosphate minerals. Our initial results demonstrate that a mixed culture of aerobic microorganisms from vadose zone sediments, enriched with TEP, produce significantly higher concentrations of inorganic phosphate than the no TEP control. A high-density microarray (PhyloChip) capable of detecting up to 9,000 prokaryotic taxa will be used to identify the microbial community composition of the enriched culture. In addition, the metabolically active organisms will be investigated through extraction and hybridization of ribosomal RNA. Organisms capable of hydrolyzing TEP to inorganic phosphate will be further characterized to determine the requirements for aerobic microbially-mediated radionuclide immobilization. The chemical and isotopic compositions of the reactants and products will be measured to enable in situ monitoring of microbial TEP utilization. The result of these studies will be the basis for unsaturated column experiments

  17. Biodegradation of chlorobenzene, 1,2-dichlorobenzene, and 1,4-dichlorobenzene in the vadose zone.

    PubMed

    Kurt, Zohre; Spain, Jim C

    2013-07-01

    Much of the microbial activity in nature takes place at interfaces, which are often associated with redox discontinuities. One example is the oxic/anoxic interface where polluted groundwater interacts with the overlying vadose zone. We tested whether microbes in the vadose zone can use synthetic chemicals as electron donors and thus protect the overlying air and buildings from groundwater pollutants. Samples from the vadose zone of a site contaminated with chlorobenzene (CB), 1,2-dichlorobenzene (12DCB), and 1,4-dichlorobenzene (14DCB) were packed in a multiport column to simulate the interface of the vadose zone with an underlying groundwater plume. A mixture of CB, 12DCB, and 14DCB in anoxic water was pumped continuously through the bottom of column to an outlet below the first sampling port to create an oxic/anoxic interface and a capillary fringe. Removal to below the detection limits by rapid biodegradation with rates of 21 ± 1 mg of CB • m(-2) • d(-1), 3.7 ± 0.5 mg of 12DCB • m(-2) • d(-1), and 7.4 ± 0.7 mg of 1.4 DCB • m(-2) • d(-1) indicated that natural attenuation in the capillary fringe can prevent the migration of CB, 12DCB, and 14DCB vapors. Enumeration of bacteria capable of degrading chlorobenzenes suggested that most of the biodegradation takes place within the first 10 cm above the saturated zone. Biodegradation also increased the upward flux of contaminants and thus enhanced their elimination from the underlying water. The results revealed a substantial biodegradation capacity for chlorinated aromatic compounds at the oxic/anoxic interface and illustrate the role of microbes in creating steep redox gradients. PMID:23473240

  18. Installation of Water Flux Meters to Measure the Temporal Variation in Water Flux Through the Vadose Zone

    SciTech Connect

    Nichols, R.L.

    2003-01-15

    The Savannah River Site has implemented a comprehensive vadose zone monitoring system at it's low level radioactive waste disposal facility in E-Area. The VSMS consists of nests of advanced tesiometers, water content reflectometers, suction lysimeters.

  19. SPECTROSCOPIC AND MICROSCOPIC CHARACTERIZATION OF CONTAMINANT UPTAKE AND RETENTION BY CARBONATES IN SOILS AND VADOSE ZONE SEDIMENTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The release and migration of toxic metals and radionuclides within the subsurface and vadose zones at various sites over the DOE Complex pose serious technological challenges for remediation. The design and implementation of cost-effective remediation strategies require knowledg...

  20. The Use of Radar Methods to Determine Moisture Content in the Vadose Zone

    SciTech Connect

    Rosemary Knight

    2003-12-28

    Water content is a critical parameter affecting both liquid-phase and vapor-phase contaminant transport in the vadose zone. This means that accurate estimate of in situ water content must be obtained in order to design for the appropriate handling or remediation of a contaminated region of the vadose zone. Traditional methods of sampling the subsurface by drilling and/or direct sampling are very time consuming, limited in terms of spatial coverage, and have the associated risk of contacting and increasing the size of the contaminated area. One solution is to use geophysical methods which can provide a high-resolution, non-invasive means of sampling or imagin the subsurface.

  1. A comprehensive analysis of contaminant transport in the vadose zone beneath tank SX-109

    SciTech Connect

    Ward, A.L.; Gee, G.W.; White, M.D.

    1997-02-01

    The Vadose Zone Characterization Project is currently investigating the subsurface distribution of gamma-emitting radionuclides in S and SX Waste Management Area (WMA-S-SX) located in the 200 West Area of the US Department of Energy`s Hanford Site in southeastern Washington State. Spectral-gamma logging of boreholes has detected elevated {sup 137}Cs concentrations as deep as 38 m, a depth considered excessive based on the assumed geochemistry of {sup 137}Cs in Hanford sediments. Routine groundwater sampling under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) have also detected elevated levels of site-specific contaminants downgradient of WMA-S-SX. The objective of this report is to explore the processes controlling the migration of {sup 137}Cs, {sup 99}Tc, and NO{sub 3} through the vadose zone of WMA-S-SX, particularly beneath tank SX-109.

  2. A macroscopic relationship for preferential flow in the vadose zone: Theory and Validation

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, H.H.; Zhang, R.D.

    2010-02-15

    Preferential flow commonly observed in unsaturated soils allows rapid movement of solute from the ground surface or vadose zone to the groundwater, bypassing a significant volume of unsaturated soil and increasing the risk of groundwater contamination. A variety of evidence indicates that complex preferential flow patterns observed from fields are fractals. This paper discusses a macroscopic rela-tionship for modeling preferential flow in the vadose zone. Conceptually, the flow domain can be di-vided into active and inactive regions. Flow occurs preferentially in the active region (characterized by fractals), and inactive region is simply bypassed. The portion of the active region was found to be a power function of saturation. The validity of this macroscopic relationship is demonstrated by its consistency with field observations and the related numerical experiments.

  3. Experimental and Numerical Investigations of Soil Desiccation for Vadose Zone Remediation: Report for Fiscal Year 2007

    SciTech Connect

    Ward, Andy L.; Oostrom, Mart; Bacon, Diana H.

    2008-02-04

    Apart from source excavation, the options available for the remediation of vadose zone metal and radionuclide contaminants beyond the practical excavation depth (0 to 15 m) are quite limited. Of the available technologies, very few are applicable to the deep vadose zone with the top-ranked candidate being soil desiccation. An expert panel review of the work on infiltration control and supplemental technologies identified a number of knowledge gaps that would need to be overcome before soil desiccation could be deployed. The report documents some of the research conducted in the last year to fill these knowledge gaps. This work included 1) performing intermediate-scale laboratory flow cell experiments to demonstrate the desiccation process, 2) implementing a scalable version of Subsurface Transport Over Multiple Phases–Water-Air-Energy (STOMP-WAE), and 3) performing numerical experiments to identify the factors controlling the performance of a desiccation system.

  4. Science Road Map for Phase 2 of the Tank-Farm Vadose Zone Program

    SciTech Connect

    Zachara, John M.; Freshley, Mark D.; Mann, Frederick M.

    2008-08-18

    Phase 1 of the Tank-Farm Vadose Zone Program (TFVZP) developed information on the nature and extent of vadose zone contamination in the tank farms through field studies, laboratory analyses and experiments, and historical data searches; assembled data and performed tank-farm risk analysis; and initiated interim corrective actions to lessen the impacts of tank leak contaminants. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory scientists and external collaborators at universities and U.S. Department of Energy user facilities sampled and analyzed contaminant plumes. These types of activities will continue during Phase 2 of the TFVZP to refine and expand scientific understanding of the subsurface beneath tank farms, especially of water movement, residual waste leaching, and contaminant transport.

  5. Vadose Zone-Attenuated Artificial Recharge for Input to a Ground Water Model

    SciTech Connect

    Nichols, William E.; Wurstner, Signe K.; Eslinger, Paul W.

    2007-07-31

    Accurate representation of artificial recharge is requisite to calibration of a ground water model of an unconfined aquifer. For semi-arid or arid sites with a thick vadose zone, attenuation of liquid transport by the vadose zone is an important consideration. Artificial recharge occurs in response to liquid disposal to the vadose zone in areas that are small relative to the ground water model domain. In contrast, natural recharge is spatially variable and occurs over the entire upper boundary of a typical unconfined ground water model. An improved technique for partitioning artificial recharge from simulated total recharge is presented. The improved technique is applied using data from the semi-arid Hanford Site in southeast Washington State. During the operational period from 1944 until the late 1980s, when Hanford’s mission was the production of nuclear materials, the quantities of liquid discharged from production facilities to the ground vastly exceeded natural recharge. Nearly all hydraulic head data available for use in calibrating a ground water model at this site were collected during this period or later, when the aquifer was under the subsiding influence of the massive water disposals. The vadose zone is typically 80 to 90 meters thick at the Central Plateau where most production facilities were located at this semi-arid site, and its attenuation of liquid transmission to the aquifer can be significant. The new technique is shown to improve the representation of artificial recharge and thereby contribute to improvement in the calibration of a site-wide ground water model.

  6. Wildfire effects on vadose zone hydrology in forested boreal peatland microforms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thompson, Dan K.; Waddington, James M.

    2013-04-01

    SummaryPeatland vulnerability to wildfire disturbance has been shown to vary as a function of hummock and hollow microforms and vadose zone hydrology, with low-lying hollow microforms most susceptible to deep combustion of peat. To better understand how this microform induced pattern of burning alters vadose water storage, pore-water pressure, and water table relationships, we examined a paired burned and unburned peatland in the boreal plain region of north central Alberta. Water table response to rain events increased significantly after wildfire, resulting in a more variable unsaturated zone thickness that was more responsive to smaller rain events. Water storage losses in the vadose zone occurred primarily at depths greater than 15 cm. Large peat surface water loss occurred in hummock microforms in the early spring due to the presence of unsaturated frozen peat at depth, likely a result of a vapour gradient from the unfrozen peat into the frozen peat underneath. During this period, the loss of water storage in the vadose zone satisfied up to 25% of daily evaporative demand, compared to only 3-5% during ice-free periods. A similar but less severe drying was observed late in summer, with burned hummocks the most vulnerable with high pore-water pressures. The enhanced surface drying observed is a precursor to high pore-water pressure conditions that inhibit Sphagnum regeneration. Our observations point to a paradox where the hummocks, being most resistant to combustion, are themselves most prone to high pore-water pressures following wildfire. The harsher hummock environment may contribute to the observed delay in post-fire Sphagnum regeneration in hummocks compared to hollows.

  7. Remediation of Deep Vadose Zone Radionuclide and Metal Contamination: Status and Issues

    SciTech Connect

    Dresel, P. Evan; Truex, Michael J.; Cantrell, Keri

    2008-12-30

    This report documents the results of a PNNL literature review to report on the state of maturity of deep vadose zone remediation technologies for metal contaminants including some radionuclides. Its recommendations feed into decisionmakers need for scientific information and cost-effective in situ remediation technlogies needed under DOE's Environmental Management initiative Enhanced Remediation Methods: Scientific & Technical Basis for In Stu Treatment Systems for Metals and Radionuclides.

  8. Impact Assessment of Existing Vadose Zone Contamination at the Hanford Site SX Tank Farm

    SciTech Connect

    Khaleel, Raziuddin; White, Mark D.; Oostrom, Martinus; Wood, Marcus I.; Mann, Frederick M.; Kristofzski, John G.

    2007-11-01

    The USDOE has initiated an impact assessment of existing vadose zone contamination at the Hanford Site SX tank farm in southeastern Washington State. The assessment followed the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Corrective Action process to address the impacts of past tank waste releases to the vadose zone at the single-shell tank farm. Numerical models were developed that consider the extent of contamination presently within the vadose zone and predict contaminant movement through the vadose zone to groundwater. The transport of representative mobile (technetium-99) and immobile (cesium-137) constituents was evaluated in modeling. The model considered the accelerated movement of moisture around and beneath single-shell tanks that is attributed to bare, gravel surfaces resulting from the construction of the underground storage tanks. Infiltration, possibly nearing 100 mm yr–1, is further amplified in the tank farm because of the umbrella effect created by percolating moisture being diverted by the impermeable, sloping surface of the large, 24-m-diameter, buried tank domes. For both the base case (no-action alternative) simulation and a simulation that considered placement of an interim surface barrier to minimize infiltration, predicted groundwater concentrations for technetium-99 at the SX tank farm boundary were exceedingly high, on the order of 106 pCi L–1. The predicted concentrations are, however, somewhat conservative because of our use of two-dimensional modeling for a three-dimensional problem. A series of simulations were performed, using recharge rates of 50, 30, and 10 mm yr–1, and compared to the base case (100 mm yr–1) results. As expected, lowering meteoric recharge delayed peak arrival times and reduced peak concentrations at the tank farm boundary.

  9. Heat and mass transfer in the vadose zone with plant roots

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sung, Kijune; Yavuz, Corapcioglu M.; Drew, Malcolm C.

    2002-07-01

    The vadose zone is the intermediate medium between the atmosphere and groundwater. The modeling of the processes taking place in the vadose zone needs different approaches to those needed for groundwater transport problems because of the marked changes in environmental conditions affecting the vadose zone. A mathematical model to simulate the water flow, and the fate and transport of recalcitrant contaminants was developed, which could be applied to various bioremediation methods such as phytoremediation and natural attenuation in the vadose zone. Two-phase flow equations and heat flux models were used to develop the model. Surface energy balance equations were used to estimate soil surface temperature, and root growth and root distribution models were incorporated to represent the special contribution of plant roots in the vegetated soils. Interactions between the roots and environmental conditions such as temperature and water content were treated by incorporating a feedback mechanism that made allowance for the effects of water and temperature stresses on root distribution and water uptake by roots. In conducting the modeling study, Johnson grass and unplanted soil were simulated to compare the effect of root water uptake on soil water content. After the numerical experiments were conducted to investigate model behavior, the proposed model was applied to estimate actual water flow and heat flow in field lysimeter experiments over a 1-year period. Root growth and distribution for Johnson grass and rye grass were simulated to compare the warm season grass to the cold season grass. A significant agreement was observed between the simulations and measured data.

  10. Approach to the vadose zone monitoring in hazardous and solid waste disposal facilities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Twardowska, Irena

    2004-03-01

    In the solid waste (SW)disposal sites, in particular at the unlined facilities, at the remediated or newly-constructed units equipped with novel protective/reactive permeable barriers or at lined facilities with leachate collection systems that are prone to failure, the vadose zone monitoring should comprise besides the natural soil layer beneath the landfill, also the anthropogenic vadose zone, i.e. the waste layer and pore solutions in the landfill. The vadose zone screening along the vertical profile of SW facilities with use of direct invasive soil-core and soil-pore liquid techniques shows vertical downward redistribution of inorganic (macroconstituents and heavy metals) and organic (PAHs) contaminant loads in water infiltrating through the waste layer. These loads can make ground water down-gradient of the dump unfit for any use. To avoid damage of protective/reactive permeable barriers and liners, an installation of stationary monitoring systems along the waste layer profile during the construction of a landfill, which are amenable to generate accurate data and information in a near-real time should be considered including:(i) permanent samplers of pore solution, with a periodic pump-induced transport of collected solution to the surface, preferably with instant field measurements;(ii)chemical sensors with continuous registration of critical parameters. These techniques would definitely provide an early alert in case when the chemical composition of pore solution percolating downward the waste profile shows unfavorable transformations, which indicate an excessive contaminant load approaching ground water. The problems concerning invasive and stationary monitoring of the vadose zone in SW disposal facilities will be discussed at the background of results of monitoring data and properties of permeable protective/reactive barriers considered for use.

  11. IMPACT ASSESSMENT OF EXISTING VADOSE ZONE CONTAMINATION AT THE HANFORD SITE SX TANK FARM

    SciTech Connect

    KHALEEL R

    2007-11-01

    The USDOE has initiated an impact assessment of existing vadose zone contamination at the Hanford Site SX tank farm in southeastern Washington State. The assessment followed the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Corrective Action process to address the impacts of past tank waste releases to the vadose zone at the single-shell tank farm. Numerical models were developed that consider the extent of contamination presently within the vadose zone and predict contaminant movement through the vadose zone to groundwater. The transport of representative mobile (technetium-99) and immobile (cesium-137) constituents was evaluated in modeling. The model considered the accelerated movement of moisture around and beneath single-shell tanks that is attributed to bare, gravel surfaces resulting from the construction of the underground storage tanks. Infiltration, possibly nearing 100 mm yr{sup -1}, is further amplified in the tank farm because of the umbrella effect created by percolating moisture being diverted by the impermeable, sloping surface of the large, 24-m-diameter, buried tank domes. For both the base case (no-action alternative) simulation and a simulation that considered placement of an interim surface barrier to minimize infiltration, predicted, groundwater concentrations for technetium-99 at the SX tank farm boundary were exceedingly high, on the order of 10{sup 6} pCi L{sup -1}. The predicted concentrations are, however, somewhat conservative because of our use of two-dimensional modeling for a three-dimensional problem. A series of simulations were performed, using recharge rates of 50, 30, and 10 mm yr{sup -1}, and compared to the basecase(100 mm yr{sup -1}) results. As expected, lowering meteoric recharge delayed peak arrival times and reduced peak concentrations at the tank farm boundary.

  12. Interfacial Reduction-Oxidation Mechanisms Governing Fate and Transport of Contaminants in the Vadose Zone

    SciTech Connect

    Deng, Baolin; Thornton, Edward C.; Cantrell, Kirk J.; Olsen, Khris B.; Amonette, James E.

    2003-06-01

    Immobilization of toxic and radioactive metals (e.g., Cr, Tc, and U) in the vadose zone by the In Situ Gaseous Reduction (ISGR) using hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is a promising technology for soil remediation. Earlier laboratory studies have shown that Cr(VI) in soil samples can be effectively immobilized by treatment with dilute gaseous H2S. A field test completed in 1999 at White Sand Missile Range, New Mexico, has shown a 70% immobilization of Cr(VI). The objective of this EMSP project is to characterize the interactions among H2S, the metal contaminants, and soil components. Understanding these interactions is needed to optimize the remediation system and to assess the long-term effectiveness of the technology. Proposed research tasks included: (A) Evaluation of the potential catalytic effect of mineral surfaces on the rate of Cr(VI) reduction by H2S and the rate of H2S oxidation by air; (B) Identification of the reactions of soil minerals with H2S and determination of associated reaction rates; (C) Evaluation of the role of soil water chemistry on the reduction of Cr(VI) by H2S; (D) Assessment of the reductive buffering capacity of H2S-reduced soil and the potential for emplacement of long-term vadose zone reactive barriers; and (E) Evaluation of the potential for immobilization of Tc and U in the vadose zone by reduction and an assessment of the potential for remobilization by subsequent reoxidation.

  13. Experimental and modeling study of pure terephthalic acid (PTA) wastewater transport in the vadose zone.

    PubMed

    Wang, Cuiling; Liu, Changli; Pei, Lixin; Pang, Yajie; Zhang, Yun; Hou, Hongbing

    2015-02-01

    PTA wastewater discharged from a factory was selected as the research object in this project and CODcr was selected as the characteristic pollution factor. Static adsorption and soil column leaching experiments of silty clay and clayey soil were carried out to study the adsorption, bio-degradation and dispersion coefficient of CODcr in PTA wastewater. Hydrus-1D was used to build the convection-diffusion model to demonstrate the migration of PTA wastewater in the vadose zone. The results indicate that silty clay and clayey soil in the vadose zone can adsorb, degrade and impede the contaminants in PTA wastewater; however, the coefficient of adsorption and degradation were very low, they were down to 0.0002 L g(-1), 0.0003 L g(-1) and 0.0097 d(-1), 0.0077 d(-1) for silty clay and clayey soil, respectively. Under the virtual condition that, wastewater in the sewage pool is 5 m deep, CODcr concentration is 4000 mg L(-1), vadose zone is 21 m, PTA wastewater will reach the phreatic surface after 20.87 years. When wastewater in the sewage pool is 7 m with other conditions unchanged, after 17.18 years PTA wastewater will reach groundwater. The results show that there is a higher pollution risk for groundwater if we do not take any anti-seepage measures. PMID:25524255

  14. A vadose zone Transport Processes Investigation within the glacial till at the Fernald Environmental Management Project.

    SciTech Connect

    Schwing, J.; Roepke, Craig Senninger; Brainard, James Robert; Glass, Robert John, Jr.; Mann, Michael J. A.; Holt, Robert M.; Kriel, Kelly

    2007-08-01

    This report describes a model Transport Processes Investigation (TPI) where field-scale vadose zone flow and transport processes are identified and verified through a systematic field investigation at a contaminated DOE site. The objective of the TPI is to help with formulating accurate conceptual models and aid in implementing rational and cost effective site specific characterization strategies at contaminated sites with diverse hydrogeologic settings. Central to the TPI are Transport Processes Characterization (TPC) tests that incorporate field surveys and large-scale infiltration experiments. Hypotheses are formulated based on observed pedogenic and hydrogeologic features as well as information provided by literature searches. The field and literature information is then used to optimize the design of one or more infiltration experiments to field test the hypothesis. Findings from the field surveys and infiltration experiments are then synthesized to formulate accurate flow and transport conceptual models. Here we document a TPI implemented in the glacial till vadose zone at the Fernald Environmental Management Project (FEMP) in Fernald, Ohio, a US Department of Energy (DOE) uranium processing site. As a result of this TPI, the flow and transport mechanisms were identified through visualization of dye stain within extensive macro pore and fracture networks which provided the means for the infiltrate to bypass potential aquatards. Such mechanisms are not addressed in current vadose zone modeling and are generally missed by classical characterization methods.

  15. DEEP VADOSE ZONE APPLIED FIELD RESEARCH CENTER: TRANSFORMATIONAL TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT FOR ENVIRONMENTAL REMEDIATION

    SciTech Connect

    Wellman, Dawn M.; Triplett, Mark B.; Freshley, Mark D.; Truex, Michael J.; Gephart, Roy E.; Johnson, Timothy C.; Chronister, Glen B.; Gerdes, Kurt D.; Chamberlain, Skip; Marble, Justin; Ramirez, Rosa

    2011-02-27

    DOE-EM, Office of Groundwater and Soil Remediation and DOE Richland, in collaboration with the Hanford site and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, have established the Deep Vadose Zone Applied Field Research Center (DVZ-AFRC). The DVZ-AFRC leverages DOE investments in basic science from the Office of Science, applied research from DOE EM Office of Technology Innovation and Development, and site operation (e.g., site contractors [CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Contractor and Washington River Protection Solutions], DOE-EM RL and ORP) in a collaborative effort to address the complex region of the deep vadose zone. Although the aim, goal, motivation, and contractual obligation of each organization is different, the integration of these activities into the framework of the DVZ-AFRC brings the resources and creativity of many to provide sites with viable alternative remedial strategies to current baseline approaches for persistent contaminants and deep vadose zone contamination. This cooperative strategy removes stove pipes, prevents duplication of efforts, maximizes resources, and facilitates development of the scientific foundation needed to make sound and defensible remedial decisions that will successfully meet the target cleanup goals for one of DOE EM's most intractable problems, in a manner that is acceptable by regulators.

  16. Vadose Zone Transport Field Study: Detailed Test Plan for Simulated Leak Tests

    SciTech Connect

    Ward, Anderson L.; Gee, Glendon W.

    2000-06-23

    This report describes controlled transport experiments at well-instrumented field tests to be conducted during FY 2000 in support of DOE?s Vadose Zone Transport Field Study (VZTFS). The VZTFS supports the Groundwater/Vadose Zone Integration Project Science and Technology Initiative. The field tests will improve understanding of field-scale transport and lead to the development or identification of efficient and cost-effective characterization methods. These methods will capture the extent of contaminant plumes using existing steel-cased boreholes. Specific objectives are to 1) identify mechanisms controlling transport processes in soils typical of the hydrogeologic conditions of Hanford?s waste disposal sites; 2) reduce uncertainty in conceptual models; 3) develop a detailed and accurate data base of hydraulic and transport parameters for validation of three-dimensional numerical models; and 4) identify and evaluate advanced, cost-effective characterization methods with the potential to assess changing conditions in the vadose zone, particularly as surrogates of currently undetectable high-risk contaminants. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) manages the VZTFS for DOE.

  17. Characterization of Vadose Zone Sediment: Uncontaminated RCRA Borehole Core Samples and Composite Samples

    SciTech Connect

    Serne, R. Jeffrey; Bjornstad, Bruce N.; Schaef, Herbert T.; Williams, Bruce A.; Lanigan, David C.; Horton, Duane G.; Clayton, Ray E.; Mitroshkov, Alexandre V.; Legore, Virginia L.; O'Hara, Matthew J.; Brown, Christopher F.; Parker, Kent E.; Kutnyakov, Igor V.; Serne, Jennifer N.; Last, George V.; Smith, Steven C.; Lindenmeier, Clark W.; Zachara, John M.; Burke, Deborah S.

    2008-09-11

    This report was revised in September 2008 to remove acid-extractable sodium data from Tables 4.14, 4.16, 5.20, 5.22, 5.43, and 5.45. The sodium data was removed due to potential contamination introduced during the acid extraction process. The rest of the text remains unchanged from the original report issued in February 2002. The overall goal of the of the Tank Farm Vadose Zone Project, led by CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc., is to define risks from past and future single-shell tank farm activities. To meet this goal, CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc. asked scientists from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to perform detailed analyses on vadose zone sediment from within the S-SX Waste Management Area. This report is one in a series of four reports to present the results of these analyses. Specifically, this report contains all the geologic, geochemical, and selected physical characterization data collected on vadose zone sediment recovered from Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) borehole bore samples and composite samples.

  18. Changes in water and solute fluxes in the vadose zone after switching crops

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turkeltaub, Tuvia; Dahan, Ofer; Kurtzman, Daniel

    2015-04-01

    Switching crop type and therefore changing irrigation and fertilization regimes leads to alternation in deep percolation and concentrations of solutes in pore water. Changes of fluxes of water, chloride and nitrate under a commercial greenhouse due to a change from tomato to green spices were observed. The site, located above the a coastal aquifer, was monitored for the last four years. A vadose-zone monitoring system (VMS) was implemented under the greenhouse and provided continuous data on both the temporal variation in water content and the chemical composition of pore water at multiple depths in the deep vadose zone (~20 m). Chloride and nitrate profiles, before and after the crop type switching, indicate on a clear alternation in soil water solutes concentrations. Before the switching of the crop type, the average chloride profile ranged from ~130 to ~210, while after the switching, the average profile ranged from ~34 to ~203 mg L-1, 22% reduction in chloride mass. Counter trend was observed for the nitrate concentrations, the average nitrate profile before switching ranged from ~11 to ~44 mg L-1, and after switching, the average profile ranged from ~500 to ~75 mg L-1, 400% increase in nitrate mass. A one dimensional unsaturated water flow and chloride transport model was calibrated to transient deep vadose zone data. A comparison between the simulation results under each of the surface boundary conditions of the vegetables and spices cultivation regime, clearly show a distinct alternation in the quantity and quality of groundwater recharge.

  19. Assessment of Non-Point Source Pollution in the Vadose Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corwin, L.; Loague, Keith; Ellsworth, R.

    Non-point source (NPS) pollution in the vadose zone (simply defined as the layer of soil extending from the soil surface to the groundwater table) is a global environmental problem. Characteristically, NPS pollutants are widespread and occasionally ubiquitous in extent, thus making remediation efforts difficult and complex; have the potential for maintaining a relatively long active presence in the global ecosystem; and may result in long-term, chronic health effects in humans and other life forms. Similar to other global environmental issues, the knowledge and information required to address the problem of NPS pollutants in the vadose zone cross several technological and subdisciplinary lines: spatial statistics, geographic information systems (GIS), hydrology, soil science, and remote sensing. Cooperation between disciplines and scientific societies is essential to address the problem. Evidence of such cooperation was the jointly sponsored American Geophysical Union Chapman/Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) Outreach Conference that occurred in October 1997, entitled "Applications of GIS, Remote Sensing, Geostatistics, and Solute Transport Modeling to the Assessment of Non-Point Source Pollution in the Vadose Zone." The objective of the conference and this book, which was developed from the conference, was to explore current multidisciplinary research for assessing NPS pollution in soil and groundwater resources.

  20. Limited hydrologic response to Pleistocene climate change in deep vadose zones — Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paces, James B.; Neymark, Leonid A.; Whelan, Joseph F.; Wooden, Joseph L.; Lund, Steven P.; Marshall, Brian D.

    2010-12-01

    Understanding the movement of water through thick vadose zones, especially on time scales encompassing long-term climate change, is increasingly important as societies utilize semi-arid environments for both water resources and sites viewed as favorable for long-term disposal or storage of hazardous waste. Hydrologic responses to Pleistocene climate change within a deep vadose zone in the eastern Mojave Desert at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, were evaluated by uranium-series dating of finely layered hyalitic opal using secondary ion mass spectrometry. Opal is present within cm-thick secondary hydrogenic mineral crusts coating floors of lithophysal cavities in fractured volcanic rocks at depths of 200 to 300 m below land surface. Uranium concentrations in opal fluctuate systematically between 5 and 550 μg/g. Age-calibrated profiles of uranium concentration correlate with regional climate records over the last 300,000 years and produce time-series spectral peaks that have distinct periodicities of 100- and 41-ka, consistent with planetary orbital parameters. These results indicate that the chemical compositions of percolating solutions varied in response to near-surface, climate-driven processes. However, slow (micrometers per thousand years), relatively uniform growth rates of secondary opal and calcite deposition spanning several glacial-interglacial climate cycles imply that water fluxes in the deep vadose zone remained low and generally buffered from the large fluctuations in available surface moisture during different climates.

  1. Limited hydrologic response to Pleistocene climate change in deep vadose zones - Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Paces, J.B.; Neymark, L.A.; Whelan, J.F.; Wooden, J.L.; Lund, S.P.; Marshall, B.D.

    2010-01-01

    Understanding the movement of water through thick vadose zones, especially on time scales encompassing long-term climate change, is increasingly important as societies utilize semi-arid environments for both water resources and sites viewed as favorable for long-term disposal or storage of hazardous waste. Hydrologic responses to Pleistocene climate change within a deep vadose zone in the eastern Mojave Desert at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, were evaluated by uranium-series dating of finely layered hyalitic opal using secondary ion mass spectrometry. Opal is present within cm-thick secondary hydrogenic mineral crusts coating floors of lithophysal cavities in fractured volcanic rocks at depths of 200 to 300 m below land surface. Uranium concentrations in opal fluctuate systematically between 5 and 550 μg/g. Age-calibrated profiles of uranium concentration correlate with regional climate records over the last 300,000 years and produce time-series spectral peaks that have distinct periodicities of 100- and 41-ka, consistent with planetary orbital parameters. These results indicate that the chemical compositions of percolating solutions varied in response to near-surface, climate-driven processes. However, slow (micrometers per thousand years), relatively uniform growth rates of secondary opal and calcite deposition spanning several glacial–interglacial climate cycles imply that water fluxes in the deep vadose zone remained low and generally buffered from the large fluctuations in available surface moisture during different climates.

  2. Evaluating Transport and Attenuation of Inorganic Contaminants in the Vadose Zone for Aqueous Waste Disposal Sites

    SciTech Connect

    Truex, Michael J.; Oostrom, Martinus; Tartakovsky, Guzel D.

    2015-09-01

    An approach was developed for evaluating vadose zone transport and attenuation of aqueous wastes containing inorganic (non-volatile) contaminants that were disposed of at the land surface (i.e., directly to the ground in cribs, trenches, tile fields, etc.) and their effect on the underlying groundwater. The approach provides a structured method for estimating transport of contaminants through the vadose zone and the resulting temporal profile of groundwater contaminant concentrations. The intent of the approach is also to provide a means for presenting and explaining the results of the transport analysis in the context of the site-specific waste disposal conditions and site properties, including heterogeneities and other complexities. The document includes considerations related to identifying appropriate monitoring to verify the estimated contaminant transport and associated predictions of groundwater contaminant concentrations. While primarily intended for evaluating contaminant transport under natural attenuation conditions, the approach can also be applied to identify types of, and targets for, mitigation approaches in the vadose zone that would reduce the temporal profile of contaminant concentrations in groundwater, if needed.

  3. TREATABILITY TEST PLAN FOR DEEP VADOSE ZONE REMEDIATION AT THE HANFORD SITE CENTRAL PLATEAU

    SciTech Connect

    PETERSEN SW; MORSE JG; TRUEX MJ; LAST GV

    2007-11-29

    A treatability test plan has been prepared to address options for remediating portions of the deep vadose zone beneath a portion of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Hanford Site. The vadose zone is the region of the subsurface that extends from the ground surface to the water table. The overriding objective of the treatability test plan is to recommend specific remediation technologies and laboratory and field tests to support the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 remedial decision-making process in the Central Plateau of the Hanford Site. Most of the technologies considered involve removing water from the vadose zone or immobilizing the contaminants to reduce the risk of contaminating groundwater. A multi-element approach to initial treatability testing is recommended, with the goal of providing the information needed to evaluate candidate technologies. The proposed tests focus on mitigating two contaminants--uranium and technetium. Specific technologies are recommended for testing at areas that may affect groundwater in the future, but a strategy to test other technologies is also presented.

  4. Treatability Test Plan for Deep Vadose Zone Remediation at the Hanford Site's Central Plateau

    SciTech Connect

    Petersen, S.W.; Morse, J.G.; Truex, M.J.; Last, G.V.

    2008-07-01

    A treatability test plan has been prepared to address options for remediating portions of the deep vadose zone beneath the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Hanford Site. The vadose zone is the region of the subsurface that extends from the ground surface to the water table. The overriding objective of the treatability test plan is to recommend specific remediation technologies and laboratory and field tests to support the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 remedial decision-making process in the Central Plateau of the Hanford Site. Most of the technologies considered involve removing water from the vadose zone or immobilizing the contaminants to reduce the risk of contaminating groundwater. A multi-element approach to initial treatability testing is recommended, with the goal of providing the information needed to evaluate candidate technologies. The proposed tests focus on mitigating two contaminants - uranium and technetium. Specific technologies are recommended for testing at areas that may affect groundwater in the future, but a strategy to test other technologies is also presented. (authors)

  5. Characterization and Remediation of Chlorinated Volatile Organic Contaminants in the Vadose Zone

    SciTech Connect

    Brusseau, Mark L.; Carroll, Kenneth C.; Truex, Michael J.; Becker, Dave

    2013-02-15

    Contamination of vadose-zone systems by chlorinated solvents is widespread, and poses significant potential risk to human health through impacts on groundwater quality and vapor intrusion. Soil vapor extraction (SVE) is the presumptive remedy for such contamination, and has been used successfully for innumerable sites. However, SVE operations typically exhibit reduced mass-removal effectiveness at some point due to the impact of poorly accessible contaminant mass and associated mass-transfer limitations. Assessment of SVE performance and closure is currently based on characterizing contaminant mass discharge associated with the vadose-zone source, and its impact on groundwater or vapor intrusion. These issues are addressed in this overview, with a focus on summarizing recent advances in our understanding of the transport, characterization, and remediation of chlorinated solvents in the vadose zone. The evolution of contaminant distribution over time and the associated impacts on remediation efficiency will be discussed, as will the potential impact of persistent sources on groundwater quality and vapor intrusion. In addition, alternative methods for site characterization and remediation will be addressed.

  6. IDENTIFICATION AND COMPILATION OF UNSATURATED/VADOSE ZONE MODELS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The present report contains the result of research and information processing activities supporting evaluation of the capabilities of various unsaturated zone flow and transport models in predicting the movement of hazardous chemicals through soils to ground water. t provides an ...

  7. Influence of hydro-climatic conditions, soil type, and application matrix on potential vadose zone export of PPCPs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gall, H. E.; Rao, P.; O'Connor, G.

    2013-12-01

    The land-application of biosolids and animal manure to agricultural fields has the potential to negatively impact the quality of nearby surface and subsurface water due to the presence of emerging contaminants in these residuals. We investigated the extent to which the vadose zone acts as a hydrologic and biogeochemical filter of two emerging contaminants, Triclosan (TCS) and estrone (E1) using a coupled source zone and vadose zone modeling approach. Monte Carlo simulations were run for a year following residual applications to explore the following research questions: (1) how does the application matrix (e.g., de-watered solids, liquid lagoon effluent, etc.) affect PPCP mass fluxes?; (2) how do hydro-climatic conditions and soil type affect PPCP mass fluxes?; (3) what role does the presence of macropore pathways play in PPCP export from the vadose zone; and (4) does the long-term, repeated application of residuals affect the ability of the vadose zone to act as an effective biogeochemical filter? The simulations were conducted for a sub-tropical climate with sand (e.g., Florida) and a humid climate with a silty clay loam (e.g., Midwestern United States). Simulation results suggest that the potential mobility of emerging contaminants increases linearly with increasing fraction applied to the mobile phase of the source zone (i.e., higher PPCP mass fraction in the dissolved phase during application). Following a single application, the total amount of PPCP mass exported from the source zone over the course of a year can be as high as 70% in a sub-tropical climate with sand soil. However, these types of soils do not have macropore flow pathways and the annual PPCP mass exported from the vadose zone is less than 1% of the mass applied. The higher organic carbon content in a silty clay loam reduces the amount of PPCP mass released from the source zone to less than 5% of the mass applied. In the presence of macropore pathways, the silty clay loam's vadose zone acts as a

  8. Carbon dioxide respiration in the deep vadose zone: Implications for groundwater age dating

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bacon, Diana Holford; Keller, C. Kent

    1998-11-01

    In the deep vadose zone at the Dalmeny site, subsurface gas samples were collected and analyzed for CO2 and the 13C and 14C ratios of that CO2. High concentrations of CO2 depleted in 14C near the water table necessitate the use of an open-system model of calcite dissolution to match observed dissolved inorganic carbon 14C ratios just below the water table. Groundwater age-dating models assuming closed-system calcite dissolution predict incorrect groundwater age dates at the Dalmeny site. These results and our field observations suggest that such errors may generally occur where deep-vadose generation of nonmodern CO2 is not accounted for in groundwater age-dating exercises.

  9. CO2 phase mutation by fluctuating water table in the vadose zone over a CCS site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joun, W.; Ha, S. W.; Kim, H. H.; Kim, T. W.; Lee, S. S.; Lee, K. K.

    2015-12-01

    Geological sequestration of carbon dioxide (CO2) is one of the feasible plans to control greenhouse gas emissions. In order to be more perfect, the plan has to prove that the injected CO2 gas will not be leaking. Even if CO2 leaking happens, we should possess a technique which provides information on specific aquifer system before critical effect to ground and subsurface environments. Many parameters have been utilized for early detection before risk to environments by sensing CO2 gas concentration, electric conductivity, pH, and ion analysis. However, these are not enough to all CCS sites for leakage detection. For example, the importance of gas leaking path is emphasized because finding the dominant gas flow path can reduce risk and provide a quick estimation. Herein, we investigate dissolved solute degassing and vertical flow from saturated zone to unsaturated zone in shallow depth aquifer. Especially we focused on the water table fluctuation effect. Based on field data and basic parameters, we perform a pilot scale gas injection test and calculate gas flow saturation with STOMP simulator. The CO2 gas concentrations at different depth levels according to amount of injected CO2 infused water, CO2 gas saturation in vadose zone have different concentration values. If we estimate this phenomenon in vadose zone by using CO2 gas detection method, we could presume that the CO2 dissolved in shallow groundwater is degassing and flow upward into vadose zone. However, the concentration level and change patterns are not same and will be changed according to the pattern of water table fluctuation. This study could be usefully applied to strategic CCS environmental monitoring of CO2 leakage.Acknowledgement: Financial support was provided by the "R&D Project on Environmental Management of Geologic CO2 Storage" from the KEITI (Project Number: 2014001810003).

  10. ModBack - simplified contaminant source zone delineation using backtracking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thielsch, K.; Herold, M.; Ptak, T.

    2012-12-01

    Contaminated groundwater poses a serious threat to drinking water resources all over the world. Even though contaminated water might be detected in observation wells, a proper clean up is often only successful if the source of the contamination is detected and subsequently removed, contained or remediated. The high costs of groundwater remediation could be possibly significantly reduced if, from the outset, a focus is placed on source zone detection. ModBack combines several existing modelling tools in one easy to use GIS-based interface helping to delineate potential contaminant source zones in the subsurface. The software is written in Visual Basic 3.5 and uses the ArcObjects library to implement all required GIS applications. It can run without modification on any Microsoft Windows based PC with sufficient RAM and at least Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5. Using ModBack requires additional installation of the following software: Processing Modflow Pro 7.0, ModPath, CSTREAM (Bayer-Raich et al., 2003), Golden Software Surfer and Microsoft Excel. The graphical user interface of ModBack is separated into four blocks of procedures dealing with: data input, groundwater modelling, backtracking and analyses. Geographical data input includes all georeferenced information pertaining to the study site. Information on subsurface contamination is gathered either by conventional sampling of monitoring wells or by conducting integral pumping tests at control planes with a specific sampling scheme. Hydraulic data from these pumping tests together with all other available information are then used to set up a groundwater flow model of the study site, which provides the flow field for transport simulations within the subsequent contamination backtracking procedures, starting from the defined control planes. The backtracking results are then analysed within ModBack. The potential areas of contamination source presence or absence are determined based on the procedure used by Jarsjö et

  11. Biodegradation of organic compounds in vadose zone and aquifer sediments

    SciTech Connect

    Konopka, A.; Turco, R. )

    1991-08-01

    The microbial processes that occur in the subsurface under a typical Midwest agricultural soil were studied. A 26-m bore was installed in November of 1988 at a site of the Purdue University Agronomy Research Center. Aseptic collections of soil materials were made at 17 different depths. Physical analysis indicated that the site contained up to 14 different strata. The site materials were primarily glacial tills with a high carbonate content. The N,P, and organic C contents of sediments tended to decrease with depth. Ambient water content was generally less than the water content, which corresponds to a -0.3-bar equivalent. No pesticides were detected in slurry incubations of up to 128 days. The sorption of atrazine and metolachlor was correlated with the clay content of the sediments. Microbial biomass (determined by direct microscopic count, viable count, and phospholipid assay) in the tills was lower than in either the surface materials or the aquifer located at 25 m. The biodegradation of glucose and phenol occurred rapidly and without a lag in samples from the aquifer capillary fringe, saturated zone, and surface soils. In contrast, lag periods and smaller biodegradation rates were found in the till samples. Subsurface sediments are rich in microbial numbers and activity. The most active strata appear to be transmissive layers in the saturated zone. This implies that the availability of water may limit activity in the profile.

  12. Real Time Monitoring of the Vadose Zone - Key to Groundwater Protection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dahan, Ofer

    2015-04-01

    Minimization subsurface pollution is much dependent on reliable and effective monitoring tools. Such monitoring tools should be capable to provide real-time information on the chemical and hydrological state of the percolating water, from land surface to the groundwater. Today, most monitoring programs are based on observation wells that enable collection of hydrological and chemical information from the saturated part of the subsurface. As a result, identification of pollution in well water is clear evidence that the contaminants already crossed the entire vadose-zone and accumulated in the aquifer. Unfortunately, only little can be done to fully remediate contaminated aquifers. Accordingly, effective monitoring program must include monitoring means that provide real-time information on the hydrological and chemical properties of the percolating in the unsaturated zone, long before contaminates reach the water-table and accumulate in the aquifers. Such monitoring programs may provide "early warning" for potential pollution processes that may risk groundwater quality. A vadose-zone monitoring system (VMS), which was developed recently, allows continuous monitoring of the hydrological and chemical properties of percolating water in the deep vadose zone. Data which is collected by the system allows direct measurements of the water percolation fluxes and detect the chemical evolution of the percolating water across the entire unsaturated domain. The VMS is designed for long term continuous operation in a time scale of years to decades. Up-to-date the system has been successfully implemented in several studies on water flow and contaminant transport in various hydrological and geological setups. These include research projects on: (a) floodwater infiltration and groundwater recharge from stream channels and reservoirs, (b) impact of various agricultural regimes on quality and quantity of groundwater recharge, (c) subsurface pollution of dairy farms, (d) chemical

  13. Geochemical Processes Controlling Chromium Transport in the Vadose Zone and Regional Aquifer, Los Alamos, New Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Longmire, P.; Ding, M.; Rearick, M.; Vaniman, D.; Katzman, D.

    2008-12-01

    The environmental aqueous geochemistry of Cr is of considerable interest to physical scientists and toxicologists in quantifying the fate and transport of this metal in surface and subsurface environments. Chromium(VI) solutions were released from cooling towers to a stream channel within Sandia Canyon at Los Alamos National Laboratory, NM from 1956 to 1971. These solutions have migrated 293 m depth through the vadose zone, containing several saturated zones, to the regional water table. Concentrations of total dissolved Cr, mainly as Cr(VI), in the regional aquifer range between 0.17 to 8.46 mM. The regional aquifer is characterized by calcium-sodium-bicarbonate solution, contains dissolved oxygen (0.09 to 0.22 mM), and has a circumneutral pH (6.8 to 8.3). Geochemical processes controlling the fate and transport of Cr in groundwater at Los Alamos include a combination of adsorption and precipitation reactions within aquifer systems. Vadose zone material containing hydrous ferric oxide, smectite, silica glass, and calcite widely range in their ability to adsorb Cr(VI) under basic pH conditions. Overall, the vadose zone at Los Alamos is relatively oxidizing, however, basalt flows are locally reducing with respect to Fe. Ferrous iron concentrated within the Cerros del Rio basalt has been shown through batch experiments to reduce Cr(VI) to Cr(III) resulting in precipitation of chromium(III) hydroxide. Regional aquifer material, consisting of silicates, oxides, and calcite, vary in the amount of Fe(II) available in reactive minerals to effectively reduce Cr(VI) to Cr(III). The results of our studies (1) directly assess the relationship between mineralogical characterization and transport behavior of Cr using site-specific hydrogeologic material and (2) provide site-specific adsorption and precipitation parameters obtained through the experiments to refine the fate and transport modeling of Cr within the vadose zone and regional aquifer. Natural attenuation of Cr at Los

  14. Effect of soil moisture on the sorption of trichloroethene vapor to vadose-zone soil at picatinny arsenal, New Jersey

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Smith, J.A.; Chiou, C.T.; Kammer, J.A.; Kile, D.E.

    1990-01-01

    This report presents data on the sorption of trichloroethene (TCE) vapor to vadose-zone soil above a contaminated water-table aquifer at Picatinny Arsenal in Morris County, NJ. To assess the impact of moisture on TCE sorption, batch experiments on the sorption of TCE vapor by the field soil were carried out as a function of relative humidity. The TCE sorption decreases as soil moisture content increases from zero to saturation soil moisture content (the soil moisture content in equilibrium with 100% relative humidity). The moisture content of soil samples collected from the vadose zone was found to be greater than the saturation soil-moisture content, suggesting that adsorption of TCE by the mineral fraction of the vadose-zone soil should be minimal relative to the partition uptake by soil organic matter. Analyses of soil and soil-gas samples collected from the field indicate that the ratio of the concentration of TCE on the vadose-zone soil to its concentration in the soil gas is 1-3 orders of magnitude greater than the ratio predicted by using an assumption of equilibrium conditions. This apparent disequilibrium presumably results from the slow desorption of TCE from the organic matter of the vadose-zone soil relative to the dissipation of TCE vapor from the soil gas.

  15. Improvements to measuring water flux in the vadose zone.

    PubMed

    Masarik, Kevin C; Norman, John M; Brye, Kristofor R; Baker, John M

    2004-01-01

    Evaluating the impact of land use practices on ground water quality has been difficult because few techniques are capable of monitoring the quality and quantity of soil water flow below the root zone without disturbing the soil profile and affecting natural flow processes. A recently introduced method, known as equilibrium tension lysimetry, was a major improvement but it was not a true equilibrium since it still required manual intervention to maintain proper lysimeter suction. We addressed this issue by developing an automated equilibrium tension lysimeter (AETL) system that continuously matches lysimeter tension to soil-water matric potential of the surrounding soil. The soil-water matric potential of the bulk soil is measured with a heat-dissipation sensor, and a small DC pump is used to apply suction to a lysimeter. The improved automated approach reported here was tested in the field for a 12-mo period. Powered by a small 12-V rechargeable battery, the AETLs were able to continuously match lysimeter suction to soil-water matric potential for 2-wk periods with minimal human attention, along with the added benefit of collecting continuous soil-water matric potential data. We also demonstrated, in the laboratory, methods for continuous measurement of water depth in the AETL, a capability that quantifies drainage on a 10-min interval, making it a true water-flux meter. Equilibrium tension lysimeters have already been demonstrated to be a reliable method of measuring drainage flux, and the further improvements have created a more effective device for studying water drainage and chemical leaching through the soil matrix. PMID:15224955

  16. Hornblendite delineates zones of mass transfer through the lower crust

    PubMed Central

    Daczko, Nathan R.; Piazolo, Sandra; Meek, Uvana; Stuart, Catherine A.; Elliott, Victoria

    2016-01-01

    Geochemical signatures throughout the layered Earth require significant mass transfer through the lower crust, yet geological pathways are under-recognized. Elongate bodies of basic to ultrabasic rocks are ubiquitous in exposures of the lower crust. Ultrabasic hornblendite bodies hosted within granulite facies gabbroic gneiss of the Pembroke Valley, Fiordland, New Zealand, are typical occurrences usually reported as igneous cumulate hornblendite. Their igneous features contrast with the metamorphic character of their host gabbroic gneiss. Both rock types have a common parent; field relationships are consistent with modification of host gabbroic gneiss into hornblendite. This precludes any interpretation involving cumulate processes in forming the hornblendite; these bodies are imposter cumulates. Instead, replacement of the host gabbroic gneiss formed hornblendite as a result of channeled high melt flux through the lower crust. High melt/rock ratios and disequilibrium between the migrating magma (granodiorite) and its host gabbroic gneiss induced dissolution (grain-scale magmatic assimilation) of gneiss and crystallization of mainly hornblende from the migrating magma. The extent of this reaction-replacement mechanism indicates that such hornblendite bodies delineate significant melt conduits. Accordingly, many of the ubiquitous basic to ultrabasic elongate bodies of the lower crust likely map the ‘missing’ mass transfer zones. PMID:27546342

  17. Hornblendite delineates zones of mass transfer through the lower crust.

    PubMed

    Daczko, Nathan R; Piazolo, Sandra; Meek, Uvana; Stuart, Catherine A; Elliott, Victoria

    2016-01-01

    Geochemical signatures throughout the layered Earth require significant mass transfer through the lower crust, yet geological pathways are under-recognized. Elongate bodies of basic to ultrabasic rocks are ubiquitous in exposures of the lower crust. Ultrabasic hornblendite bodies hosted within granulite facies gabbroic gneiss of the Pembroke Valley, Fiordland, New Zealand, are typical occurrences usually reported as igneous cumulate hornblendite. Their igneous features contrast with the metamorphic character of their host gabbroic gneiss. Both rock types have a common parent; field relationships are consistent with modification of host gabbroic gneiss into hornblendite. This precludes any interpretation involving cumulate processes in forming the hornblendite; these bodies are imposter cumulates. Instead, replacement of the host gabbroic gneiss formed hornblendite as a result of channeled high melt flux through the lower crust. High melt/rock ratios and disequilibrium between the migrating magma (granodiorite) and its host gabbroic gneiss induced dissolution (grain-scale magmatic assimilation) of gneiss and crystallization of mainly hornblende from the migrating magma. The extent of this reaction-replacement mechanism indicates that such hornblendite bodies delineate significant melt conduits. Accordingly, many of the ubiquitous basic to ultrabasic elongate bodies of the lower crust likely map the 'missing' mass transfer zones. PMID:27546342

  18. An Experimental Study of Diffusivity of Technetium-99 in Hanford Vadose Zone Sediments

    SciTech Connect

    Mattigod, Shas V.; Bovaird, Chase C.; Wellman, Dawn M.; Parker, Kent E.; Wood, Marcus I.

    2012-11-01

    One of the methods being considered at the Hanford site in Washington for safely disposing of low-level radioactive wastes (LLW) is to encase the waste in concrete and entomb the packages in the Hanford vadose zone sediments. The current plan for waste isolation consists of stacking low-level waste packages on a trench floor, surrounding the stacks with reinforced steel, and encasing these packages with concrete. Any failure of the concrete encasement may result in water intrusion and consequent mobilization of radionuclides from the waste packages. The mobilized radionuclides may escape from the encased concrete by mass flow and/or diffusion and move into the surrounding subsurface sediments. It is therefore necessary to conduct an assessment of the performance of the concrete encasement structure and the surrounding soil’s ability to retard radionuclide migration. The retardation factors for radionuclides contained in the waste packages can be determined from measurements of diffusion coefficients for these contaminants through concrete and fill material. Because of their anionic nature in aqueous solutions, the radionuclides, 99Tc and 129I were identified as long-term dose contributors in LLW. The leachability and/or diffusion of these radionuclide species must be measured in order to assess the long-term performance of waste grouts when contacted with vadose-zone porewater or groundwater. To measure the diffusivity, a set of experiments were conducted using 99Tc-spiked concrete (with 0 and 4% metallic iron additions) in contact with unsaturated soil half-cells that reflected the typical moisture contents of Hanford vadose zone sediments. The 99Tc diffusion profiles in the soil half cells were measured after a time lapse of ~1.9 yr. Using the concentration profiles, the 99Tc diffusivity coefficients were calculated based on Fick’s Second Law.

  19. The Use of Radar Methods to Determine Moisture Content in the Vadose Zone

    SciTech Connect

    Rosemary Knight

    2003-12-28

    Water content is a critical parameter affecting both liquid-phase and vapor-phase contaminant transport in the vadose zone. This means that accurate estimates of in situ water content must be obtained in order to design for the appropriate handling or remediation of a contaminated region of the vadose zone. Traditional methods of sampling the subsurface by drilling and/or direct sampling are very time consuming, limited in terms of spatial coverage, and have the associated risk of contacting and increasing the size of the contaminated area. One solution is to use geophysical methods which can provide a high-resolution, non-invasive means of sampling or imaging the subsurface. The overall objective of our research, defined at the start of this project, was to advance the usefulness of radar methods (ground-based and borehole) as a means of characterizing water content in the vadose zone. We have met this objective by providing research results that can be used to (1) improve the accuracy of water content estimates from radar measurements; (2) provide estimates of the potential error in water content estimates from radar measurements; (3) improve the clarity of radar images; (4) develop large-scale models of the subsurface ''architecture'' using radar images; (5) develop ways of quantifying the spatial heterogeneity of the subsurface through analysis of radar images. We have also been able to identify the critical areas where more research is needed in order to be able to use radar methods most effectively as an accurate means of subsurface characterization.

  20. Vadose zone characterization project at the Hanford Tank Farms: U Tank Farm Report

    SciTech Connect

    1997-05-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy Grand Junction Office (DOE-GJO) was tasked by the DOE Richland Operations Office (DOE-RL) to perform a baseline characterization of the gamma-ray-emitting radionuclides that are distributed in the vadose zone sediments beneath and around the single-shell tanks (SSTs) at the Hanford Site. The intent of this characterization is to determine the nature and extent of the contamination, to identify contamination sources when possible, and to develop a baseline of the contamination distribution that will permit future data comparisons. This characterization work also allows an initial assessment of the impacts of the vadose zone contamination as required by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). This characterization project involves acquiring information regarding vadose zone contamination with borehole geophysical logging methods and documenting that information in a series of reports. This information is presently limited to detection of gamma-emitting radionuclides from both natural and man-made sources. Data from boreholes surrounding each tank are compiled into individual Tank Summary Data Reports. The data from each tank in a tank farm are then compiled and summarized in a Tank Farm Report. This document is the Tank Farm Report for the U Tank Farm. Logging operations used high-purity germanium detection systems to acquire laboratory-quality assays of the gamma-emitting radionuclides in the sediments around and below the tanks. These assays were acquired in 59 boreholes that surround the U Tank Farm tanks. Logging of all boreholes was completed in December 1995, and the last Tank Summary Data Report for the U Tank Farm was issued in September 1996.

  1. Advanced information technologies for assessing nonpoint source pollution in the vadose zone: Conference overview

    SciTech Connect

    Corwin, D.L.; Loague, K.; Ellsworth, T.R.

    1999-03-01

    The information age has ushered in an awareness of and concern for global environmental problems such as climatic change, ozone depletion, deforestation, desertification, and nonpoint source (NPS) pollution. Nonpoint source pollution is the single greatest threat to surface and subsurface drinking water resources. Nonpoint source pollutants also pose a threat to sustainable agriculture, which is viewed as the most viable means of meeting the food demands of a world population that is expected to reach 9.4 billion by the middle of the next century. The ability to accurately assess present and future NPS pollution impacts on ecosystems ranging from local to global scales would provide a powerful tool for environmental stewardship and guiding future human activities. Assessing NPS pollutant is a multidisciplinary problem. To address the problem, advanced information technologies and methodologies are needed that draw from all areas of science and are applied in a spatial context. It was from this setting that the 1997 Joint AGU Chapman/SSSA Outreach Conference Application of GIS, Remote Sensing, Geostatistics, and Solute Transport Modeling for Assessing Nonpoint Source Pollutants in the Vadose Zone (19--24 Oct. 1997, Riverside, CA) materialized. The objective of the conference was to examine current multidisciplinary technologies and methodologies for assessing NPS pollutants in the vadose zone, and to explore new conceptual approaches. It was the conference`s goal to provide a forum to stimulate multidisciplinary interaction to enhance the development of techniques for the real-time measurement and modeling of NPS pollution in the vadose zone and subsurface waters.

  2. Innovative Technologies And Vadose Zone Treatment Of Chlorinated Volatile Organic Compounds - Case Study

    SciTech Connect

    NOONKESTER, JAY V.; NICHOLS, RALPH L.; DIXON, KENETH L.

    2005-08-02

    Over the last 10 years a mix of innovative and conventional characterization techniques has been used to assess the contamination of vadose zone sediments beneath the pilot-scale test facility known as TNX at the Savannah River Site (SRS) in South Carolina. Shallow soils and groundwater beneath the TNX facility are contaminated with chlorinated volatile organic compounds (CVOCs), trichloroethylene (TCE), carbon tetrachloride (CCl{sub 4}), perchloroethylene (PCE), and chloroform (CHCl{sub 3}). An interim pump and treat remediation system was placed in operation in 1996 to provide hydraulic containment of groundwater containing greater than 500 ug/L dissolved TCE. In 1994, a vadose zone study was initiated to determine the degree and extent of CVOC contamination above the contaminated groundwater. Headspace sampling and analysis, acoustic infrared spectroscopy, cone penetrometry, and vadose zone pumping tests were used to determine contaminant concentrations and physical properties related to soil vapor extraction. In 2001, soil vapor extraction (SVE), a presumptive remedy for CVOCs in soils similar to those present beneath TNX, was selected to treat the CVOC contamination. Cone Penetrometer Testing (CPT) with soil vapor sampling provided a detailed understanding of the subsurface geology and CVOC distribution which was essential for proper well design and placement. Twelve SVE wells were installed using direct push technology (DPT) and were tested to determine specific capacity and CVOC concentrations. This information was then used to develop a strategy for operating the SVE system. Based on the results of the baseline testing and previous studies, sets of 2 to 3 extraction wells will be treated using SVE at one month intervals. This will allow continuous operation of the SVE system and give individual wells up to 3 months for rebound between treatments. This method of operation is intended to maximize contaminant recovery from individual wells and reduce the

  3. Significance of water fluxes in a deep arid-region vadose zone to waste disposal strategies

    SciTech Connect

    Johnejack, K.R.; Blout, D.O.; Sully, M.J.; Emer, D.F.; Hammermeister, D.P.; Dever, L.G.; O`Neill, L.J.; Tyler, S.W.; Chapman, J.

    1994-03-01

    Recently collected subsurface site characterization data have led to the development of a conceptual model of water movement beneath the Area 5 Radioactive Waste Management Site (RWMS) at the Nevada Test Site (NTS) that differs significantly from the conceptual model of water movement inherent in Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulations. At the Area 5 RWMS, water fluxes in approximately the upper 75 m (250 ft) of the vadose zone point in the upward direction (rather than downward) which effectively isolates this region from the deep (approximately 250 m (820 ft)) uppermost aquifer. Standard RCRA approaches for detection and containment (groundwater monitoring and double liners/leachate collection/leak detection systems) are not able to fulfill their intended function in this rather unique hydrogeologic environment. In order to better fulfill the waste detection and containment intentions of RCRA for mixed waste disposal at the Area 5 RWMS, the Department of Energy, Nevada Operations Office (DOE/NV) is preparing a single petition for both a waiver from groundwater monitoring and an exemption from double liners with leachate collection/leak detection. DOE/NV proposes in this petition that the containment function of liners and leachate collection is better accomplished by the natural hydrogeologic processes operating in the upper vadose zone; and the detection function of groundwater monitoring and the leak detection system in liners is better fulfilled by an alternative vadose zone monitoring system. In addition, an alternative point of compliance is proposed that will aid in early detection, as well as limit the extent of potential contamination before detection. Finally, special cell design features and operation practices will be implemented to limit leachate formation, especially while the cell is open to the atmosphere during waste emplacement.

  4. Vertical Extent of 100 Area Vadose Zone Contamination of Metals at the Hanford Site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khaleel, R.; Mehta, S.

    2012-12-01

    The 100 Area is part of the U.S. Department of Energy Hanford Site in southeastern Washington and borders the Columbia River. The primary sources of contamination in the area are associated with the operation of nine former production reactors, the last one shutting down in 1988. The area is undergoing a CERCLA remedial investigation (RI) that will provide data to support final cleanup decisions. During reactor operations, cooling water contaminated with radioactive and hazardous chemicals was discharged to both the adjacent Columbia River and infiltration cribs and trenches. Contaminated solid wastes were disposed of in burial grounds; the estimated Lead-Cadmium used as "reactor poison" and disposed of in 100 Area burial grounds is 1103 metric tons, of which up to 1059 metric tons are Lead and 44 metric tons are Cadmium. We summarize vadose zone site characterization data for the recently drilled boreholes, including the vertical distribution of concentration profiles for metals (i.e., Lead, Arsenic and Mercury) under the near neutral pH and oxygenated conditions. The deep borehole measurements targeted in the RI work plan were identified with a bias towards locating contaminants throughout the vadose zone and targeted areas at or near the waste sites; i.e., the drilling as well as the sampling was biased towards capturing contamination within the "hot spots." Unlike non-reactive contaminants such as tritium, Arsenic, Mercury and Lead are known to have a higher distribution coefficient (Kd), expected to be relatively immobile, and have a long residence time within the vadose zone. However, a number of sediment samples located close to the water table exceed the background concentrations for Lead and Arsenic. Three conceptual models are postulated to explain the deeper than expected penetration for the metals.

  5. Immobilization of Radionuclides in the Hanford Vadose Zone by Incorporation in Solid Phases

    SciTech Connect

    Gordon E. Brown, Jr.; Jeffrey G. Catalano; Jeffrey A. Warner; Samual Shaw; Daniel Grolimund

    2005-01-24

    The Department of Energy's Hanford Nuclear Site located in Washington State has accumulated over 2 million curies of radioactive waste from activities related to the production of plutonium (Ahearne, 1997). Sixty-seven of the single-shelled tanks located at the site are thought to have leaked, allowing between 2 and 4 million liters of waste fluids into the underlying vadose zone. The chemical processes employed at the Hanford Site to extract plutonium, as well as the need to minimize corrosion of the high-carbon steel storage tanks, resulted in uncharacterized hyperalkaline waste streams rich in radionuclides as well as other species including significant amounts of sodium and aluminum.

  6. Interfacial Reduction-Oxidation Mechanisms Governing Fate and Transport of Contaminants in the Vadose Zone

    SciTech Connect

    Baolin Deng; Edward Thornton; Kirk Cantrell; Khris Olsen; James Amonette

    2004-01-11

    Immobilization of toxic and radioactive metals in the vadose zone by In Situ Gaseous Reduction (ISGR) using hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is a promising technology for soil remediation. Earlier laboratory and field studies have shown that Cr(VI) can be effectively immobilized by treatment with dilute gaseous H2S. The objective of this project is to characterize the interactions among H2S, the metal contaminants, and soil components. Understanding these interactions is needed to assess the long-term effectiveness of the technology and to optimize the remediation system.

  7. Heterogeneity and Scaling in Geologic Media: Applications to Transport in the Vadose and Saturated Zones

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, Stephen R.

    2003-06-01

    The DOE National Laboratories have extensive environmental remediation and operations centers as well as research teams specializing in environmental problems. These organizations are concerned largely with pollution prevention, safe disposal of hazardous materials, polluted site identification and characterization, and cleanup of polluted sites. These organizations, and the private-industry subcontractors they hire, require state of the art tools and techniques for characterization and monitoring. Our research will contribute to this effort by providing descriptions of heterogeneities and scaling properties in the vadose and saturated zones with particular emphasis on flow and transport. This work will also provide an important link between some geophysical measurements and fluid transport characteristics.

  8. Electrical Conductivity in the Vadose Zone beneath a Tamarisk Grove along the Virgin River in Nevada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shillito, R.; Sueki, S.; Berli, M.; Healey, J. M.; Acharya, K.

    2013-12-01

    Thick tamarisk groves along river corridors of the Southwest can transpire vast quantities of water and, as an invasive species, compete with native plants for space and resources. It is hypothesized that tamarisk can outcompete other species by not only tolerating high soil salinity, but by increasing soil salinity due to transpiration of salt-rich near-surface groundwater. The goal of this study was to garner experimental evidence for salt accumulation around tamarisk trees in comparison with other species (mesquite) along the Virgin River near Riverside, NV. At the experimental site, electrical conductivity (EC), temperature (T), and volumetric water content (VWC) within the vadose zone were monitored using sensors at 20, 40, 60, 80 and 100 cm depth on 30-minute intervals within the tamarisk thicket where several mesquite trees are found. Nearby groundwater levels were monitored every 40 days. The 2012 - 2013 data reveal an unexpected EC profile between the surface and the groundwater table (average depth 100 cm). A crust was found within depressions on the surface with EC values as high as 18.8 mS/cm. In the vadose zone (0 to 80 cm depth), average EC values of 4.4 mS/cm were recorded. Most interestingly, in the capillary fringe immediately above the water table (80 to 100 cm depth) average EC values of only 1.25 mS/cm were found whereas the groundwater (>100 cm depth) showed considerably higher EC values averaging 8.8 mS/cm. Additionally, the surface beneath the tamarisk had double the EC as that beneath the mesquite. The contrast in the EC indicates an increase in the aquifer salinity, which may be due to leachate infiltration through the vadose zone concentrated by plant transpiration and direct deposition of saline tamarisk leaf litter and secretions onto the understory. Evapotranspiration and shedding of litter by the tamarisk accelerated the salinity concentrations in the uppermost part of the vadose zone. Ultimately, understanding the salinity regime as

  9. Effects of Porous Medium Heterogeneity on Vadose Zone Desiccation: Intermediate-scale Laboratory Experiments and Simulations

    SciTech Connect

    Oostrom, Martinus; Freedman, Vicky L.; Wietsma, Thomas W.; Dane, Jacob H.; Truex, Michael J.

    2012-11-01

    Soil desiccation (drying), involving water evaporation induced by dry gas injection, is a potentially robust vadose zone remediation process to limit contaminant transport through the vadose zone. A series of four intermediate-scale flow cell experiments was conducted in homogeneous and simple layered heterogeneous porous medium systems to investigate the effects of heterogeneity on desiccation of unsaturated porous media. The permeability ratios of porous medium layers ranged from about five to almost two orders of magnitude. The insulated flow cell was equipped with twenty humidity and temperature sensors and a dual-energy gamma system was used to determine water saturations at various times. The multiphase code STOMP was used to simulate the desiccation process. Results show that injected dry gas flowed predominantly in the higher permeability layer and delayed water removal from the lower permeability material. For the configurations tested, water vapor diffusion from the lower to the higher permeability zone was considerable over the duration of the experiments, resulting in much larger relative humidity values of the outgoing air than based on permeability ratios alone. Acceptable numerical matches with the experimental data were obtained when an extension of the saturation-capillary pressure relation below the residual water saturation was used. The agreements between numerical and experimental results suggest that the correct physics are implemented in the simulator and that the thermal and hydraulic properties of the porous media, flow cell wall and insulation materials were properly represented.

  10. Vadose zone characterization project at the Hanford Tank Farms: BY Tank Farm report

    SciTech Connect

    Kos, S.E.

    1997-02-01

    The US Department of Energy Grand Junction Office (GJO) was tasked by the DOE Richland Operations Office (DOE-RL) to perform a baseline characterization of the contamination distributed in the vadoze zone sediment beneath and around the single-shell tanks (SSTs) at the Hanford Site. The intent of this characterization is to determine the nature and extent of the contamination, to identify contamination sources, and to develop a baseline of the contamination distribution that will permit future data comparisons. This characterization work also allows an initial assessment of the impacts of the vadose zone contamination as required by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). This characterization project involves acquiring information about the vadose zone contamination with borehole geophysical logging methods and documenting that information in a series of reports. Data from boreholes surrounding each tank are compiled into individual Tank Summary Data Reports. The data from each tank farm are then compiled and summarized in a Tank Farm Report. This document is the Tank Farm Report for the BY Tank Farm.

  11. Soil Moisture Flow and Nitrate Movement Simulation through Deep and Heterogeneous Vadose Zone using Dual-porosity Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yadav, B. K.; Tomar, J.; Harter, T.

    2014-12-01

    We investigate nitrate movement from non-point sources in deep, heterogeneous vadose zones, using multi-dimensional variably saturated flow and transport simulations. We hypothesize that porous media heterogeneity causes saturation variability that leads to preferential flow systems such that a significant portion of the vadose zone does not significantly contribute to flow. We solve Richards' equation and the advection-dispersion equation to simulate soil moisture and nitrate transport regimes in plot-scale experiments conducted in the San Joaquin Valley, California. We compare equilibrium against non-equilibrium (dual-porosity) approaches. In the equilibrium approach we consider each soil layer to have unique hydraulic properties as a whole, while in the dual-porosity approach we assume that large fractions of the porous flow domain are immobile. However we consider exchange of water and solute between mobile and immobile zone using the appropriate mass transfer terms. The results indicate that flow and transport in a nearly 16 m deep stratified vadose zone comprised of eight layers of unconsolidated alluvium experiences highly non-uniform, localized preferential flow and transport patterns leading to accelerated nitrate transfer. The equilibrium approach largely under-predicted the leaching of nitrate to groundwater while the dual-porosity approach showed higher rates of nitrate leaching, consistent with field observations. The dual-porosity approach slightly over-predicted nitrogen storage in the vadose zone, which may be the result of limited matrix flow or denitrification not accounted for in the model. Results of this study may be helpful to better predict fertilizer and pesticide retention times in deep vadose zone, prior to recharge into the groundwater flow system. Keywords: Nitrate, Preferential flow, Heterogeneous vadose zone, Dual-porosity approach

  12. Simulations of Groundwater Flow and Radionuclide Transport in the Vadose and Saturated Zones beneath Area G, Los Alamos National Laboratory

    SciTech Connect

    Kay H. Birdsell; Kathleen M. Bower; Andrew V. Wolfsberg; Wendy E. Soll; Terry A. Cherry; Tade W. Orr

    1999-07-01

    Numerical simulations are used to predict the migration of radionuclides from the disposal units at Material Disposal Area G through the vadose zone and into the main aquifer in support of a radiological performance assessment and composite analysis for the site. The calculations are performed with the finite element code, FEHM. The transport of nuclides through the vadose zone is computed using a three-dimensional model that describes the complex mesa top geology of the site. The model incorporates the positions and inventories of thirty-four disposal pits and four shaft fields located at Area G as well as those of proposed future pits and shafts. Only three nuclides, C-14, Tc-99, and I-129, proved to be of concern for the groundwater pathway over a 10,000-year period. The spatial and temporal flux of these three nuclides from the vadose zone is applied as a source term for the three-dimensional saturated zone model of the main aquifer that underlies the site. The movement of these nuclides in the aquifer to a downstream location is calculated, and aquifer concentrations are converted to doses. Doses related to aquifer concentrations are six or more orders of magnitude lower than allowable Department of Energy performance objectives for low-level radioactive waste sites. Numerical studies were used to better understand vadose-zone flow through the dry mesa-top environment at Area G. These studies helped define the final model used to model flow and transport through the vadose zone. The study of transient percolation indicates that a steady flow vadose-zone model is adequate for computing contaminant flux to the aquifer. The fracture flow studies and the investigation of the effect of basalt and pumice properties helped us define appropriate hydrologic properties for the modeling. Finally, the evaporation study helped to justify low infiltration rates.

  13. A "Fossil Vadose Zone" from the Triassic Cooper Canyon Formation (Dockum Group) of West Texas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holt, R. M.; Hughes, E.; Hubbell, J. M.; Grisak, G.; Cook, S.; Pickens, J.; Griffith, B. C.

    2008-12-01

    Hydrogeologic investigations at a proposed low-level radioactive waste disposal facility in Andrews County, Texas, have revealed evidence of a "fossil vadose zone" present within the redbeds of the Cooper Canyon Formation. The Cooper Canyon Formation is the uppermost stratigraphic unit in the Triassic Dockum Group in the study area and consists of very low permeability claystone and mudstone with several areally extensive siltstone/sandstone interbeds. Piezometers installed within two of the siltstone/sandstone zones show that water levels can rise up to about 20 m above the top of the zones and that uppermost of these zones is locally unsaturated. Waters in these zones have radiometric age dates of about 16,000 years. Recently twelve boreholes were drilled into the Cooper Canyon, cored, and sampled for in situ water potential (the sum of the matric and osmotic potential) and other hydraulic properties including moisture content, porosity, electrical conductivity of a saturated paste (EC), and chloride content. Water potential and saturation data show that Cooper Canyon mudstones are unsaturated to depths greater than 110 m with water potentials typically ranging from -2 MPa to -5 MPa. Very low water potentials (less than -1 MPa) occur within 0.1 m to 1 m of the upper and lower contacts of the siltstone/sandstone zones. Hydraulic gradients are outward from the siltstone/sandstone zones, and water potential values in the mudstones show one or more minima. These conditions preclude vertical flow between the land surface and underlying units and between siltstone/sandstone zones. The average air-entry pressure for Cooper Canyon rocks is about -1 MPa, and water saturation averages 83%. Chloride concentration profiles show a strong bulge in the sediments and rocks above the Cooper Canyon suggesting that very little Holocene recharge has reached the redbeds. Chloride concentrations within the siltstone/sandstone zones are higher than the surrounding mudstones, indicating

  14. Application of Vadose Zone Monitoring Technology for Characterization of Leachate Generation in Landfills

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    aharoni, imri; dahan, ofer

    2016-04-01

    Ground water contamination due to landfill leachate percolation is considered the most severe environmental threat related to municipal solid waste landfills. Natural waste degradation processes in landfills normally produce contaminated leachates up to decades after the waste has been buried. Studies have shown that understanding the mechanisms which govern attenuation processes and the fate of pollutants in the waste and in the underlying unsaturated zone is crucial for evaluation of environmental risks and selection of a restoration strategy. This work focuses on a closed landfill in the coastal plain of Israel that was active until 2002 without any lining infrastructure. A vadose zone monitoring system (VMS) that was implemented at the site enables continuous measurements across the waste body (15 m thick) and underlying sandy vadose zone (16 m thick). Data collected by the VMS included continuous measurements of water content as well as chemical composition of the leachates across the entire waste and vadose zone cross section. Results indicated that winter rain percolated through the waste, generating wetting waves which were observed across the waste and unsaturated sediment from land surface until groundwater at 31 m bls. Quick percolation and high fluxes were observed in spite of the clay cover that was implemented at the site as part of the rehabilitation scheme. The results show that the flow pattern is controlled by a preferential mechanism within the waste body. Specific sections showed rapid fluxes in response to rain events, while other sections remained unaffected. In the underlying sandy vadose zone the flow pattern exhibited characteristics of matrix flow. Yet, some sections received higher fluxes due to the uneven discharge of leachates from the overlying waste body. Water samples collected from the waste layer indicate production of highly polluted leachates over 14 years after the landfill was closed. The chemical composition within the waste

  15. Characterization of Vadose Zone Sediments from C Waste Management Area: Investigation of the C-152 Transfer Line Leak

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, Christopher F.; Serne, R. Jeffrey; Bjornstad, Bruce N.; Valenta, Michelle M.; Lanigan, David C.; Vickerman, Tanya S.; Clayton, Ray E.; Geiszler, Keith N.; Iovin, Cristian; Clayton, Eric T.; Kutnyakov, Igor V.; Baum, Steven R.; Lindberg, Michael J.; Orr, Robert D.

    2008-09-11

    The sodium data was removed due to potential contamination introduced during the acid extraction process. The rest of the text remains unchanged from the original report issued in January 2007. The overall goal of the Tank Farm Vadose Zone Project, led by CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc., is to define risks from past and future single-shell tank farm activities at Hanford. To meet this goal, CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc., tasked scientists from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to perform detailed analyses on vadose zone sediments from within waste management area (WMA) C. Specifically, this report contains all the geologic, geochemical, and selected physiochemical characterization data compiled on vadose zone sediment recovered from direct-push samples collected around the site of an unplanned release (UPR), UPR-200-E-82, adjacent to the 241-C-152 Diversion Box located in WMA C.

  16. Integrated Field, Laboratory, and Modeling Studies to Determine the Effects of Linked Microbial and Physical Spatial Heterogeneity on Engineered Vadose Zone Bioremediation

    SciTech Connect

    Brockman, Fred; Selker, John

    2001-06-01

    In situ bioremediation of contaminants can offer advantages in cost, speed, public acceptance, and final cleanup levels achieved relative to physical removal methods. However, microbial populations in the unsaturated zone are spatially discontinuous and sparse, especially in deep vadose zones and in arid climates with very low moisture and nutrient flux. In addition, there is a lack of knowledge on (1) the ability of microbes to colonize ''empty'' regions of the vadose zone in response to nutrient delivery and (2) how microbial colonization is controlled by hydrologic and physical features. These issues raise questions about the feasibility of deep vadose zone bioremediation and the accuracy of flow and transport models for vadose zone bioremediation. The goal of this research is to provide DOE with an increased understanding of the effect of interacting hydrologic and microbiological processes that control the feasibility of engineered bioremediation of chlorinated compounds in heterogeneous, microbially sparse deep vadose zones. The specific objectives are: (1) to conduct laboratory research on vadose zone microbial colonization processes as a function of hydrologic and physical features and use the information to develop an improved vadose zone reactive transport model; (2) to evaluate a gas-phase nutrient delivery approach for enhancing removal of carbon tetrachloride from the vadose zone.

  17. Geochemical monitoring of vadose zone retention ability on induced CO2 leakage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cohen, G.; Loisy, C.; Cerepi, A.

    2012-04-01

    CO2 emissions in the atmosphere are increasing continually, which are mainly originated from burning of fossil fuels. The Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change Special Report on Carbon Capture and Storage in 2005 identified various knowledge gaps that need to be resolved before the large-scale implementation of CO2 geological storage is possible. One of them is to determine what would be the impact of a CO2 leakage from a geological storage on vadose zone and near surface environment. The CO2-Vadose Project aims at developing a facility around a room of a former underground limestone quarry in Saint-Emilion (Gironde, France) to perform experimental releases of CO2 under controlled conditions in order to study CO2 transport and geochemical reactions along the vadose zone and to test near-surface detection techniques. Experimental site was set up among others with more than forty gas probe in order to follow CO2 concentrations before and after injection thanks to µGC and infrared analyser. These probes have been set at different depths spatially distributed: in the soil at ten centimetres, at the contact between soil and limestone at about 40 centimetres depth, in limestone at about 90 centimetres depth, and in limestone all around the injection chamber. Micro-climatic parameters were also recorded by a weather station at the site surface (precipitation, barometric pressure, temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, amount of sunshine) and around the injection room (barometric pressure, relative humidity, temperature). Natural ground and limestone CO2 concentrations were monitored during almost a year before CO2 injection. During this period, natural CO2 concentrations variations were observed in order to plot a natural baseline and so to determine the best period for the injection and to distinguish natural biogenic from injected CO2. Natural CO2 concentrations recorded vary between about 400 ppm in deeply limestone to more than 20,000 ppm in the upper part

  18. Deep Vadose Zone Treatability Test for the Hanford Central Plateau: Interim Post-Desiccation Monitoring Results, Fiscal Year 2014

    SciTech Connect

    Truex, Michael J.; Strickland, Christopher E.; Johnson, Christian D.; Johnson, Timothy C.; Clayton, Ray E.; Chronister, Glen B.

    2014-09-01

    Over decades of operation, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and its predecessors have released nearly 2 trillion L (450 billion gal.) of liquid into the vadose zone at the Hanford Site. Much of this discharge of liquid waste into the vadose zone occurred in the Central Plateau, a 200 km2 (75 mi2) area that includes approximately 800 waste sites. Some of the inorganic and radionuclide contaminants in the deep vadose zone at the Hanford Site are at depths below the limit of direct exposure pathways, but may need to be remediated to protect groundwater. The Tri-Party Agencies (DOE, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and Washington State Department of Ecology) established Milestone M 015 50, which directed DOE to submit a treatability test plan for remediation of technetium-99 (Tc-99) and uranium in the deep vadose zone. These contaminants are mobile in the subsurface environment and have been detected at high concentrations deep in the vadose zone, and at some locations have reached groundwater. Testing technologies for remediating Tc-99 and uranium will also provide information relevant for remediating other contaminants in the vadose zone. A field test of desiccation is being conducted as an element of the DOE test plan published in March 2008 to meet Milestone M 015 50. The active desiccation portion of the test has been completed. Monitoring data have been collected at the field test site during the post-desiccation period and are reported herein. This is an interim data summary report that includes about 3 years of post-desiccation monitoring data. The DOE field test plan proscribes a total of 5 years of post-desiccation monitoring.

  19. Establishing a Geochemical Heterogeneity Model for a Contaminated Vadose Zone-Aquifer System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murray, C. J.; Zachara, J. M.; McKinley, J. P.; Bott, Y.

    2010-12-01

    The Hanford Integrated Field Research Center (IFRC) is investigating multiscale mass-transfer processes that control seasonally variable concentrations in the 300 Area uranium plume. The plume has displayed remarkable persistence over the past 20 years, and questions remain as to whether causes are hydrologic or geochemical. Key to the understanding and simulation of these questions is information on the spatial distribution of U(VI) contaminant concentrations, and reaction properties that determine solid-liquid distribution. About 750 grab samples were collected during the installation of 35 wells within the 1600 sq m IFRC site. Particle size distribution was measured, and the <2 mm fraction characterized for the following properties: total U, 1000 h bicarbonate extractable U, surface area, and ammonium oxalate- and hydroxyl amine-extractable Fe(III). Adsorption distribution ratios (Kd’s) were measured from synthetic groundwater on bicarbonate extracted sediments that had been washed repeatedly to remove residual bicarbonate. Desorption Kd’s, were measured in eight successive equilibrations with synthetic site groundwater. Correlations between the variables were evaluated, and a geostatistical analysis was performed that included generation of stochastic realizations of the spatial distribution of key properties and variables in the lower vadose zone and upper saturated zone of the IFRC site for reactive transport modeling. We found that high extractable U (> 7.5 µg-U/g of sediment) was localized to middle vadose zone hot spots that did not correlate with grain-size distribution. A secondary maximum of adsorbed U (~5 µg-U/g of sediment) occurred in the lower vadose zone, with concentrations increasing upward to the maximum elevation of the current water table (the “smear zone”). Adsorbed U(VI) was low but detectable in the saturated zone where the plume exists. Monte Carlo analysis was used to estimate the mass of extractable U present in the smear zone

  20. The CO2 Vadose Project - Buffering capacity of a carbonate vadose zone on induced CO2 leakage. Part 2: reversed numerical simulation with PHREEQC

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loisy, Corinne; Cohen, Grégory; Le roux, Olivier; Garcia, Bruno; Rouchon, Virgile; Delaplace, Philippe; Cérepi, Adrian

    2013-04-01

    The interest in CO2 capture and storage as a method of reducing CO2 emissions has underlined the need for more knowledge regarding the geological storage capacity. Because the ultimate failure of geologic CO2 storage occurs when CO2 seeps out of the ground into the atmospheric surface layer, it is of primary interest to understand how much vadose zone could buffer a CO2 leakage. To assess the buffering capacity of the carbonate vadose zone with respect to this diffuse CO2 leakage, numerical simulation using PHREEQC were performed with data obtained from CO2 leakage experiment. One of the aims of the CO2-Vadose Project is to perform an experimental release of CO2 and associated tracers (He and Kr) in order to study CO2 transport and geochemical reactions along the carbonate vadose zone. Experimental site, which is a cavity of about 9 m3 located at about 7 m in depth in a former underground limestone quarry in Saint-Emilion (Gironde, France), was set up with more than ten gas probes around the injection cavity in order to follow CO2 concentrations before and after injection thanks to micro-GC and infrared analyser. Micro-climatic parameters were also recorded by a weather station at the site surface and around the injection room (barometric pressure, relative humidity, temperature). About 11 m3 of gas mixture was released in the injection room and different concentrations of CO2 were observed inside and all around the cavity, in limestone. At the end of the gas mixture injection, the observed CO2 concentrations were about 90 % in the experimental cavity. A few meters away from the source, CO2 concentrations varied from atmospheric level (about 400 ppm) to about 11,000 ppm. Numerical simulations were done with PHREEQC to understand the kinetic and thermodynamic equilibrium of reactions occurring in limestone, to figure out how the carbonate vadose zone could buffer this CO2 leakage. Field characterisation data, moisture content data, pore-water analyses results and CO

  1. Field Evidence for Strong Chemical Separation of Contaminants in the Hanford Vadose Zone

    SciTech Connect

    Conrad, Mark E.; Depaolo, D. J.; Maher, Katharine; Gee, Glendon W.; Ward, Anderson L.

    2007-11-01

    Water and chemical transport from a point source within vadose zone sediments at the Hanford Site in Washington State were examined with a leak test consisting of five 3800-L aliquots of water released at 4.5-m depth every week over a 4-wk period. The third aliquot contained bromide, D2O, and 87Sr. Movement of the tracers was monitored for 9 mo by measuring pore water compositions of samples from boreholes drilled 2 to 8 m from the injection point. Graded sedimentary layers acting as natural capillary barriers caused significant lateral spreading of the leak water. Shortly after injections were completed, D2O was found at the 9- to 11-m depth at levels in excess of 50% of the tracer aliquot concentration, while sediment layers with elevated water content at the 6- to 7-m depth had less than 3% of the D2O tracer concentration, suggesting deep penetration of the D2O tracer and limited mixing between different aliquots of leak fluids. Initially, high bromide concentrations decreased more rapidly over time than D2O, suggesting enhanced transport of bromide due to anion exclusion. No significant increase in 87Sr was detected in the sampled pore water, indicating strong retardation of Sr by the sediments. These results highlight some of the processes strongly affecting chemical transport in the vadose zone and demonstrate the significant separation of contaminant plumes that can occur.

  2. 32Si in Wet and Dry Deposition as an Input to the Vadose Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Einloth, S. L.; Ekwurzel, B.; Eastoe, C.; Lal, D.

    2002-12-01

    Silicon-32 (32Si) is a cosmogenic isotope produced in the atmosphere by spallation of argon with a global production rate of 5x10-4 atoms cm-2 sec-1 (Kharkar et al., 1966). This isotope is valuable for examining century-scale processes due to its half-life of 140 +/- 10 yr, which is particularly relevant for recharge processes in semi-arid regions. 32Si is ideal for this purpose because, unlike other tracers, there are no subsurface or {\\in-situ} contributions. In order to characterize the potential recharge input of 32Si to the vadose zone in the southwestern United States, precipitation samples were collected that represent monsoon, winter, and snow conditions. These are the first measurements of 32Si in composite wet and dry deposition. Previous studies have considered only precipitation, and preliminary results suggest the dry deposition can be significant, particularly in a semi-arid region. Capturing the entire input function is critical to accurately model the 32Si system in the vadose zone. Kharkar, D.P., V.N. Nijumpurkar, and D. Lal. The global fallout of Si32 produced by cosmic rays. Geochim. Et Cosmochim. Acta, 1966, v30, 621-631.

  3. Foam, a promising vehicle to deliver nanoparticles for vadose zone remediation

    SciTech Connect

    Shen, Xin; Zhao, Lin; Ding, Yuanzhao; Liu, Bo; Zeng, Hui; Zhong, Lirong; Li, Xiqing

    2011-02-23

    Foam delivery of remedial amendments for in-situ immobilization of deep vadose zone contaminants can overcome the intrinsic problems associated with solution-based delivery, such as preferential flow and contaminant mobilization. In this work, the feasibility of using foam to deliver nanoparticles in unsaturated porous media was investigated. Carboxyl-modified polystyrene latex microspheres were used as surrogates for nanoparticles of remediation purposes. Foams generated from the solutions of six commonly available surfactants all had excellent abilities to carry the microspheres. The presence of the microspheres did not reduce the stabilities of the foams. When microsphere-laden foam was injected through the unsaturated columns, the fractions of microspheres exiting the column were much higher than that when the microsphere water suspensions were injected through the columns. The enhanced microsphere transport implies that foam delivery could significantly increase the radius of influence of injected nanoparticles of remediation purposes. Reduced tension at air-water interfaces by the surfactant and increased driving forces imparted on the microspheres at the interfaces by the flowing foam bubbles may have both contributed to the enhanced transport. Preliminary tests also demonstrated that foam can carry significant fractions of zero valent iron nanoparticles at concentrations relevant to field remediation conditions (up to 5.3 g L-1). As such, this study demonstrates that surfactant foam is potentially a promising vehicle to deliver nanoparticles for vadose zone remediation.

  4. The effect of subsurface military detonations on vadose zone hydraulic conductivity, contaminant transport and aquifer recharge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lewis, Jeffrey; Burman, Jan; Edlund, Christina; Simonsson, Louise; Berglind, Rune; Leffler, Per; Qvarfort, Ulf; Thiboutot, Sonia; Ampleman, Guy; Meuken, Denise; Duvalois, Willem; Martel, Richard; Sjöström, Jan

    2013-03-01

    Live fire military training involves the detonation of explosive warheads on training ranges. The purpose of this experiment is to evaluate the hydrogeological changes to the vadose zone caused by military training with high explosive ammunition. In particular, this study investigates artillery ammunition which penetrates underground prior to exploding, either by design or by defective fuze mechanisms. A 105 mm artillery round was detonated 2.6 m underground, and hydraulic conductivity measurements were taken before and after the explosion. A total of 114 hydraulic conductivity measurements were obtained within a radius of 3 m from the detonation point, at four different depths and at three different time periods separated by 18 months. This data was used to produce a three dimensional numerical model of the soil affected by the exploding artillery round. This model was then used to investigate potential changes to aquifer recharge and contaminant transport caused by the detonating round. The results indicate that an exploding artillery round can strongly affect the hydraulic conductivity in the vadose zone, increasing it locally by over an order of magnitude. These variations, however, appear to cause relatively small changes to both local groundwater recharge and contaminant transport.

  5. Implementation Plan for the Deep Vadose Zone-Applied Field Research Center

    SciTech Connect

    Wellman, Dawn M.; Truex, Michael J.; Freshley, Mark D.; Gephart, Roy E.; Triplett, Mark B.; Johnson, Timothy C.

    2011-02-11

    The Long-Range Deep Vadose Zone Program Plan was published in October 2010. It summarized the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) state-of-knowledge about the contaminant remediation challenges facing the deep vadose zone (DVZ) beneath the Central Plateau of the Hanford Site and their approach to solving those challenges. Developing an implementation plan is the next step to address the knowledge and capabilities required to solve DVZ challenges when needed. This multi-year plan (FY-11 through FY-20) identifies the short to long-term research, management, and execution plans required to solve those problems facing the DVZ-Applied Field Research Center (DVZ-AFRC). The schedule supporting implementation overlies existing activities and milestones from Hanford’s DOE-Environmental Management (EM) end-user projects. Success relies upon multi-project teams focused on coordinated subsurface projects undertaken across the DOE Complex combined with facilitated, problem-focused, research investments implemented through the DVZ-AFRC.

  6. Non-isothermal water flow in the vadose zone of arid and semi-arid environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mallants, Dirk; Gerke, Kirill; Cook, Peter

    2013-04-01

    In desert environments thermally-driven vapour flow can be an important component of the total water flux in soils. As such, vapour flow can have considerable impact on recharge estimation, with small errors in soil water flow rates resulting in relatively larger errors in the recharge estimates since recharge is a very small fraction of rainfall. The additional effects of vegetation and temperature contributions may also impact soil water movement and thus calculated recharge rates in arid and semi-arid vadose zones. Currently most methods for estimating large-scale recharge rates do not consider these various processes, which adds an unknown degree of uncertainty to recharge estimation. The HYDRUS-1D numerical simulator was used to simulate coupled isothermal liquid, isothermal vapour, non-isothermal liquid and vapour flow, and heat flow in deep variably saturated vadose zones. The considered climatic conditions are characteristic of central Australia with approximate mean annual precipitation and potential evapotranspiration rates of 300 and 3000 mm, respectively. A time series of 130 years of daily climate data provides the upper boundary conditions. Groundwater recharge under highly erratic rainfall conditions is hypothesized to be primarily episodic and linked to flood events which may be significant only once every few years. The combined effect of vegetation and temperature on water flow and soil water redistribution is discussed for both vegetated and bare soils.

  7. Effects of atmospheric pressures on gas transport in the vadose zone

    SciTech Connect

    Massmann, J. ); Farrier, D.F. )

    1992-03-01

    Temporal variations in barometric pressure due to weather patterns may induce air intrusion into the subsurface. This air intrusion can affect monitoring activities aimed at characterizing the composition and movement of gases in the vadose zone. Expressions are presented to estimate gas fluxes due to the combined effects of Knudsen diffusion, multicomponent molecular diffusion, and viscous flow. These expressions are used to evaluate the validity of the single-component advection-dispersion equation for simulating gas transport in the presence of atmospheric pressure variations. The single-component equation provides reasonable results when used to simulate transport in media with relatively high gas permeability. Computer simulations of vertical transport at sites with homogeneous soils indicate that fresh' air can migrate several meters into the subsurface during a typical barometric pressure cycle. Horizontal pressure gradients can develop at sites with near-surface heterogeneities. These gradients may cause fresh air to intrude meters or tens of meters into the vadose zone during a storm event.

  8. Flow and Transport in the Hanford 300 Area Vadose Zone-Aquifer-River System

    SciTech Connect

    Waichler, Scott R.; Yabusaki, Steven B.

    2005-07-13

    Contaminant migration in the 300 Area unconfined aquifer is strongly coupled to fluctuations in the Columbia River stage. To better understand the interaction between the river, aquifer, and vadose zone, a 2-D saturated-unsaturated flow and transport model was developed for a vertical cross-section aligned west-east across the Hanford Site 300 Area, nearly perpendicular to the river. The model was used to investigate water flow and tracer transport in the vadose zone-aquifer-river flow system, in support of the ongoing study of the 300 Area uranium plume. The STOMP simulator was used to model 1-year from 3/1/92 to 2/28/93, a period when hourly data were available for both groundwater and river levels. Net water flow to the river (per 1-meter width of shoreline) was 182 m3/y in the base case, but the cumulative exchange or total flow back and forth across the riverbed was 30 times greater. The low river case had approximately double the net water and Groundwater tracer flux into the river as compared to the base case.

  9. CALCITE PRECIPITATION AND TRACE METAL PARTITIONING IN GROUNDWATER AND THE VADOSE ZONE: REMEDIATION OF STRONTIUM-90 AND OTHER DIVALENT METALS AND RADIONUCLIDES IN ARID WESTERN ENVIRONMENTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Radionuclide and metal contaminants are present in the vadose zone and groundwater throughout the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) weapons complex. Demonstrating in situ immobilization of these contaminants in vadose zones or groundwater plumes is a cost-effective remediation str...

  10. Foam as a Delivery Vehicle in Vadose Zone Remediation: Transport; Amendment Distribution; and Tc-99 Immobilization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhong, L.; Szecsody, J.; Wellman, D. M.; Zhang, Z. F.; Mattigod, S.; Pierce, E. M.

    2009-12-01

    Foam is a promising low water content advection technology for the distribution of remedial amendments to the deep vadose zone for metals and radionuclides remediation. Foam flow in the vadose zone can be directed by manipulating the pressure field, therefore the foam delivery technology allows more even distribution of remedial amendments under vadose zone conditions than water-based delivery. With minimal water content in foam flow, foam delivery minimizes the potential for contaminant mobilization and spreading. Laboratory scale experiments were conducted to investigate the physical aspects of foam transport in sediments under vadose zone conditions, to study the (poly)phosphate amendment foam-delivery; and to evaluate technetium-99 immobilization by foam-delivered calcium polysulfide. Foam quality (percentage of gas volume in total foam volume) between 95% and 99% was tested to study its influence on foam injection pressure. It was observed that the injection pressure increased inversely as a function of foam quality. The effect of sediment permeability on foam injection pressure was evaluated in sediments with a range of permeabilities. Results suggested that when the foam injection rate was low, the injection pressure increased with sediment permeability; but when the foam injection rate was high, the injection pressure versus permeability relationship was reversed. Foam bubbles rupture at the foam-flow-front in the unsaturated sediments. The front of the gas injected with foam traveled significantly faster (~ 8 times) than the foam front observed in the sediment. The liquid carried by foam was left behind the foam front. In addition a water accumulation front developed in sediment ahead of the foam-flow-front, i.e. sediment not swept by foam flow, as native pore water was displaced by the foam front. The water content in this liquid accumulation front increased with the increasing of initial water content in the sediment. However, the water content in the

  11. Preferential Flow and Transport of Cryptosporidium Parvum Oocysts Through Vadose Zone: Experiments and Modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Darnault, C. J.; Darnault, C. J.; Garnier, P.; Kim, Y.; Oveson, K.; Jenkins, M.; Ghiorse, W.; Baveye, P.; Parlange, J.; Steenhuis, T.

    2001-12-01

    Oocysts of the protozoan Cryptosporidium parvum, when they contaminate drinking water supplies, can cause outbreaks of Cryptosporidiosis, a common waterborne disease. Of the different pathways by which oocysts can wind up in drinking water, one has received very little attention to date; because soils are often considered to be perfect filters, the transport of oocysts through the subsoil to groundwater by preferential flow is generally ignored. To evaluate its significance, three set of laboratory experiments investigated transport of oocysts through vadose zone. Experiment set I was carried out in a vertical 50 cm-long column filled with silica sand, under conditions known to foster fingered flow. Experiment set II investigates the effect of gas-water interfaces by modifying the hydrodynamical conditions in the sand columns with water-repellent sand barriers. Experiment III involved undisturbed soil columns subjected to macropores flow. The sand and soil columns were subjected to artificial rainfall and were allowed to reach steady-state. At that point, feces of contaminated calves were applied at the surface, along with a known amount of KCl to serve as tracer, and rainfall was continued at the same rate. The breakthrough of oocysts and Cl-, monitored in the effluent, demonstrate the importance of preferential flow - fingered flow and macropore flow - on the transport of oocysts through vadose zone. Peak oocyst concentrations were not appreciably delayed, compared to Cl-, and in some cases, occurred even before the Cl- peak. However, the numbers of oocysts present in the effluents were still orders of magnitude higher than the 5 to 10 oocysts per liter that are considerable sufficient to cause cryptosporidiosis in healthy adults. The transport of oocysts was simulated based on a partitioning the soil profile in both a distribution zone and a preferential zone, In particular, the model simulates accurately the markedly asymmetric breakthrough patterns, and the

  12. Analysis of Radionuclide Migration Through a 200-m Vadose Zone Following a 16-Year Infiltration Event

    SciTech Connect

    Tompson, A F B; Smith, D K; Hudson, G B

    2002-01-31

    The CAMBRIC nuclear test was conducted beneath Frenchman Flat at the Nevada Test Site on May 14, 1965. The nuclear device was emplaced in heterogeneous alluvium, approximately 70 m beneath the ambient water table, which is itself 220 m beneath the ground surface. Approximately 10 years later, groundwater adjacent to the test was pumped steadily for 16 years to elicit information on radionuclide migration in the saturated zone. The pumping well effluent--containing mostly soluble radionuclides such as tritium, {sup 14}C, {sup 36}Cl, {sup 85}Kr, {sup 129}I, and {sup 106}Ru--was monitored, discharged to an unlined ditch, and allowed to flow towards Frenchman Lake just over one kilometer away. Water discharged into the ditch infiltrated into the ground during flow along the ditch. This created an unexpected and remarkable second experiment in which the migration of the effluent through the 220 meters of unsaturated media, or ''vadose zone'', back to the water table, could be studied. In this paper, the pumping and effluent data are being utilized in conjunction with a series of geologic data, new radionuclide measurements, isotopic age-dating estimates, and vadose zone flow and transport models to better understand the movement of radionuclides between the ditch and the water table. Measurements of radionuclide concentrations in water samples produced from a water table monitoring well 100m away from the ditch indicate rising levels of tritium since 1993. The detection of tritium in the monitoring well occurs approximately 16 years after its initial discharge into the ditch. Modeling and tritium age dating have suggested 3 to 5 years of this 16-year transit time occurred solely in the vadose zone. They also suggest considerable recirculation of the pumping well discharge back into the original pumping well. Surprisingly, no {sup 14}C was observed at the water table, suggesting its preferential retention, possibly due to precipitation or other chemical reaction, during

  13. Characterization and Extraction of Uranium Contamination Perched within the Deep Vadose Zone at the Hanford Site, Washington State

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, B. A.; Rohay, V. J.; Benecke, M. W.; Chronister, G. B.; Doornbos, M. H.; Morse, J.

    2012-12-01

    A highly contaminated perched water zone has been discovered in the deep vadose zone above the unconfined aquifer during drilling of wells to characterize groundwater contamination within the 200 East Area of the U.S. Department of Energy's Hanford Site in southeast Washington. The perched water, which contains nitrate, uranium, and technetium-99 at concentrations that have exceeded 100,000 μg/L, 70,000 μg/L, and 45,000 pCi/L respectively, is providing contamination to the underlying unconfined aquifer. A perched zone extraction well has been installed and is successfully recovering the contaminated perched water as an early remedial measure to reduce impacts to the unconfined aquifer. The integration and interpretation of various borehole hydrogeologic, geochemical, and geophysical data sets obtained during drilling facilitated the delineation of the perching horizon and determination of the nature and extent of the perched contamination. Integration of the borehole geologic and geophysical logs defined the structural elevation and thickness of the perching low permeability silt interval. Borehole geophysical moisture logs, gamma logs, and sample data allowed detailed determination of the elevation and thickness of the oversaturated zone above the perching horizon, and the extent and magnitude of the radiological uranium contamination within the perching interval. Together, these data sets resolved the nature of the perching horizon and the location and extent of the contaminated perched water within the perching zone, allowing an estimation of remaining contaminant extent. The resulting conceptual model indicates that the contaminated perched water is contained within a localized sand lens deposited in a structural low on top of a semi-regional low-permeability silt layer. The top of the sand lens is approximately 72 m (235 ft) below ground surface; the maximum thickness of the sand lens is approximately 3 m (10 ft). The lateral and vertical extent of the

  14. Microscale controls on the fate of contaminant uranium in the vadose zone, Hanford Site, Washington

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKinley, James P.; Zachara, John M.; Liu, Chongxuan; Heald, Steven C.; Prenitzer, Brenda I.; Kempshall, Brian W.

    2006-04-01

    microfracture environment within the presently unsaturated Vadose Zone.

  15. Which key properties controls the preferential transport in the vadose zone under transient hydrological conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Groh, J.; Vanderborght, J.; Puetz, T.; Gerke, H. H.; Rupp, H.; Wollschlaeger, U.; Stumpp, C.; Priesack, E.; Vereecken, H.

    2015-12-01

    Understanding water flow and solute transport in the unsaturated zone is of great importance for an appropriate land use management strategy. The quantification and prediction of water and solute fluxes through the vadose zone can help to improve management practices in order to limit potential risk on our fresh water resources. Water related solute transport and residence time is strongly affected by preferential flow paths in the soil. Water flow in soils depends on soil properties and site factors (climate or experiment conditions, land use) and are therefore important factors to understand preferential solute transport in the unsaturated zone. However our understanding and knowledge of which on-site properties or conditions define and enhance preferential flow and transport is still poor and mostly limited onto laboratory experimental conditions (small column length and steady state boundary conditions). Within the TERENO SOILCan lysimeter network, which was designed to study the effects of climate change on soil functions, a bromide tracer was applied on 62 lysimeter at eight different test sites between Dec. 2013 and Jan. 2014. The TERENO SOILCan infrastructure offers the unique possibility to study the occurrence of preferential flow and transport of various soil types under different natural transient hydrological conditions and land use (crop, bare and grassland) at eight TERENO SOILCan observatories. Working with lysimeter replicates at each observatory allows defining the spatial variability of preferential transport and flow. Additionally lysimeters in the network were transferred within and between observatories in order to subject them to different rainfall and temperature regimes and enable us to relate the soil type susceptibility of preferential flow and transport not only to site specific physical and land use properties, but also to different transient boundary conditions. Comparison and statistical analysis between preferential flow indicators 5

  16. Robust quantitative parameter estimation by advanced CMP measurements for vadose zone hydrological studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koyama, C.; Wang, H.; Khuut, T.; Kawai, T.; Sato, M.

    2015-12-01

    Soil moisture plays a crucial role in the understanding of processes in the vadose zone hydrology. In the last two decades ground penetrating radar (GPR) has been widely discussed has nondestructive measurement technique for soil moisture data. Especially the common mid-point (CMP) technique, which has been used in both seismic and GPR surveys to investigate the vertical velocity profiles, has a very high potential for quantitaive obervsations from the root zone to the ground water aquifer. However, the use is still rather limited today and algorithms for robust quantitative paramter estimation are lacking. In this study we develop an advanced processing scheme for operational soil moisture reetrieval at various depth. Using improved signal processing, together with a semblance - non-normalized cross-correlation sum combined stacking approach and the Dix formula, the interval velocities for multiple soil layers are obtained from the RMS velocities allowing for more accurate estimation of the permittivity at the reflecting point. Where the presence of a water saturated layer, like a groundwater aquifer, can be easily identified by its RMS velocity due to the high contrast compared to the unsaturated zone. By using a new semi-automated measurement technique the acquisition time for a full CMP gather with 1 cm intervals along a 10 m profile can be reduced significantly to under 2 minutes. The method is tested and validated under laboratory conditions in a sand-pit as well as on agricultural fields and beach sand in the Sendai city area. Comparison between CMP estimates and TDR measurements yield a very good agreement with RMSE of 1.5 Vol.-%. The accuracy of depth estimation is validated with errors smaller than 2%. Finally, we demonstrate application of the method in a test site in semi-arid Mongolia, namely the Orkhon River catchment in Bulgan, using commercial 100 MHz and 500 MHz RAMAC GPR antennas. The results demonstrate the suitability of the proposed method for

  17. The DOE Vadose Zone Science and Technology Roadmap: A National Program to Address Characeterization, Monitoring and Simulation of Subsurface Contaminant Fate and Transport

    SciTech Connect

    Kowall, Stephen Jacob

    2001-02-01

    The vadose zone comprises the region lying between the earth’s surface and the top of the regional seasonal aquifer. Until recently contamination in the vadose zone was believed to remain relatively immobile. Thus, little attention was paid to understanding the nature of the vadose zone or the potential pathways for contaminants to migrate through it to the water table or other accessible environments. However, recent discoveries of contaminants migrating considerable distances through the vadose zone at several Department of Energy (DOE) sites have changed many assumptions both about the nature and function of the vadose zone and the importance we place on understanding this region. As a result of several vadose zone surprises, DOE Environmental Management (EM) tasked the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) to lead the development of a vadose zone science and technology roadmap. The roadmap is focused on identifying research spanning the next 25 years necessary to be able to better predict the fate and transport of contaminants in the vadose zone. This in turn will provide the basis for reducing scientific uncertainty in environmental remediation and, especially, vadose zone related long-term stewardship decisions across the DOE complex. Vadose zone issues are now recognized as a national problem affecting other federal agencies as well as state and municipal sites with similar problems. Over the next few decades, dramatic and fundamental advances in computing, communication, electronics and micro-engineered systems will transform our understanding of many aspects of the scientific and technical challenges we face today. The roadmap will serve to develop a common perspective on possible future science and technology needs in an effort to help make better R&D investment decisions.

  18. Monitoring water storage variations in the vadose zone with gravimeters - quantifying the influence of observatory buildings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reich, Marvin; Güntner, Andreas; Mikolaj, Michal; Blume, Theresa

    2016-04-01

    Time-lapse ground-based measurements of gravity have been shown to be sensitive to water storage variations in the surroundings of the gravimeter. They thus have the potential to serve as an integrative observation of storage changes in the vadose zone. However, in almost all cases of continuous gravity measurements, the gravimeter is located within a building which seals the soil beneath it from natural hydrological processes like infiltration and evapotranspiration. As water storage changes in close vicinity of the gravimeter have the strongest influence on the measured signal, it is important to understand the hydrology in the unsaturated soil zone just beneath the impervious building. For this reason, TDR soil moisture sensors were installed in several vertical profiles up to a depth of 2 m underneath the planned new gravimeter building at the Geodetic Observatory Wettzell (southeast Germany). In this study, we assess the influence of the observatory building on infiltration and subsurface flow patterns and thus the damping effect on gravimeter data in a two-way approach. Firstly, soil moisture time series of sensors outside of the building area are correlated with corresponding sensors of the same depth beneath the building. The resulting correlation coefficients, time lags and signal to noise relationships are used to find out how and where infiltrating water moves laterally beneath the building and towards its centre. Secondly, a physically based hydrological model (HYDRUS) with high discretization in space and time is set up for the 20 by 20 m area around and beneath the gravimeter building. The simulated spatial distribution of soil moisture in combination with the observed point data help to identify where and to what extent water storage changes and thus mass transport occurs beneath the building and how much this differs to the dynamics of the surroundings. This allows to define the umbrella space, i.e., the volume of the vadose zone where no mass

  19. Interfacial Reduction-Oxidation Mechanisms Governing Fate and Transport of Contaminants in the Vadose Zone

    SciTech Connect

    Principal Investigator: Baolin Deng, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO; Co-Principal Investigator: Silvia Sabine Jurisson, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO; Co-Principal Investigator: Edward C. Thornton, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Richland, WA; Co-Principal Investigator: Jeff Terry, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL

    2008-05-12

    There are many soil contamination sites at the Department of Energy (DOE) installations that contain radionuclides and toxic metals such as uranium (U), technetium (Tc), and chromium (Cr). Since these contaminants are the main 'risk drivers' at the Hanford site (WA) and some of them also pose significant risk at other DOE facilities (e.g., Oak Ridge Reservation - TN; Rocky Flats - CO), development of technologies for cost effective site remediation is needed. Current assessment indicates that complete removal of these contaminants for ex-situ disposal is infeasible, thus in-situ stabilization through reduction to insoluble species is considered one of the most important approaches for site remediation. In Situ Gaseous Reduction (ISGR) is a technology developed by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) for vadose zone soil remediation. The ISGR approach uses hydrogen sulfide (H{sub 2}S) for reductive immobilization of contaminants that show substantially lower mobility in their reduced forms (e.g., Tc, U, and Cr). The technology can be applied in two ways: (i) to immobilize or stabilize pre-existing contaminants in the vadose zone soils by direct H{sub 2}S treatment, or (ii) to create a permeable reactive barrier (PRB) that prevents the migration of contaminants. Direct treatment involves reduction of the contaminants by H{sub 2}S to less mobile species. Formation of a PRB is accomplished through reduction of ferric iron species in the vadose zone soils by H{sub 2}S to iron sulfides (e.g., FeS), which provides a means for capturing the contaminants entering the treated zone. Potential future releases may occur during tank closure activities. Thus, the placement of a permeable reactive barrier by ISGR treatment can be part of the leak mitigation program. Deployment of these ISGR approaches, however, requires a better understanding of the immobilization kinetics and mechanisms, and a better assessment of the long-term effectiveness of treatment. The primary

  20. Analysis of Contaminant Transport through the Vadose and Saturated Zones for Source Screening

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bedekar, V.; Neville, C. J.; Tonkin, M. J.

    2010-12-01

    At complex sites there may be many potential source areas. Screening level analyses are useful to identify which of the source areas should be the focus of detailed investigation and analysis. A screening tool has been developed to evaluate the threat posed by waste sites on groundwater quality. This tool implements analytical solutions to simulate contaminant transport through the vadose and saturated zones and predict time-varying concentrations at potential groundwater receptors. The screening tool is developed within a user friendly, Microsoft ExcelTM based interface; however, care has been taken to implement rigorous solutions. The screening tool considers the following mechanisms: (a) Partitioning of soil contamination in to an equivalent dissolved concentration. For a time-invariant source, the solution is generalized from [3] for sorption and decay. For a time-varying source, the solution represents a special, degenerate, case of a solution implemented in ATRANS [2]; (b) One-dimensional (1D) transport of the dissolved contamination through the vadose zone considering 1D dispersion, equilibrium sorption, and first order transformation reactions. Steady state infiltration and moisture content are assumed; (c) Blending (mixing) of ambient water quality in the saturated zone with the contaminated water leaching from the vadose zone; and (d) Three-dimensional (3D) transport through the saturated zone using the formulation provided in [2], considering advection, dispersion, sorption, and first-order transformation reactions. The solution is derived using integral transform methods, following approaches adopted in [1] and [4]. Independent verification showed that the analytical techniques implemented in this study generate solutions that closely approximate those obtained using sophisticated numerical approaches, with a systematic over-estimate of the likely impact to groundwater that (predictably) stems from the use of a 1D approximation in the vadose zone. As a

  1. Hydrologic Processes Controlling the Transport of Radionuclides Through the Hanford Vadose Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayes, M. A.; Jardine, P. M.; Pace, M. N.; Fendorf, S. E.; Mehlhorn, T. L.; Roh, Y.; Ladd, J. L.; Bjornstad, B. N.

    2001-12-01

    At the U.S. Department of Energy's Hanford Reservation in south central Washington, accelerated migration of radionuclides has been observed in the vadose zone beneath the Hanford Tank Farms. The goal of this research was to provide an improved understanding and predictive capability of the coupled hydrological and geochemical mechanisms that are responsible for contaminant mobility in the vadose zone. The research strategy consisted of collecting undisturbed sediment cores (0.3 m diameter x 0.3 m length) in order to perform laboratory-scale, multiple nonreactive and reactive transport experiments at a variety of different water contents. Cores were collected from the Miocene-Pliocene age Upper Ringold Formation, which consists of fine sand, silt and clay. Cores were acquired both parallel and perpendicular to bedding. Two units within the U. Ringold were sampled, a horizontally-bedded, laminated Upper Silt and a cross-bedded Lower Silty Sand. Unsaturated transport experiments were performed using the nonreactive tracers Br-, PFBA, and PIPES, which differ in their free-water molecular diffusion coefficients. Unsaturated transport experiments through cores with discontinuous layering resulted in the formation of an unstable wetting front characterized by preferential finger flow and the development of zones of perched water. Media bypass is inferred by early breakthrough of tracers relative to saturated flow, while the presence of perched water is suggested by decreasing core matric potential. Further, observed separation of tracers (Br-> PFBA > PIPES) suggests that diffusional processes can contribute to contaminant transport. Conversely, transport through cores composed of laterally continuous beds did not result in preferential flow, the development of perched water, or tracer separation regardless of saturation. This suggests a propensity for lateral flow beneath the tank farms. Preferential vertical finger flow may be initiated by intersection with lithologic

  2. Ecotonal Control on Vadose-Zone Fluxes in Arid Regions Over Very Long Time Scales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phillips, F. M.; Walvoord, M. A.; Sandvig, R.

    2003-12-01

    Recent studies indicate that vegetation plays an important role in regulating recharge in semiarid and arid basins over very long time scales. Several lines of evidence from desert floor environments in the southwestern United States suggest that vegetation has established essentially permanent upward hydraulic gradients, effectively precluding diffuse recharge since the transition from woodland to xeric scrub in the early Holocene. However, less xeric vegetation (such as the pygmy piñon and juniper forest) may support significant diffuse recharge. We show comparative water potential and porewater chemistry profiles collected from various vegetation communities in the Chihuahuan Desert of west Texas. The modeled soil water (vapor and liquid) flux regimes illustrate a conversion from substantial downward fluxes under the mixed woodland to upward fluxes under grassland and xeric scrub. Model results also indicated a trend in increasing drying front propagation depth from the grassland to recently-encroached xeric scrub to well-established xeric scrub. Drying fronts are the result of upward soil water fluxes initiated up to 16 thousand years ago in the xeric scrub community. In contrast, the nearby woodland community supports active, and likely episodic, recharge on the order of 5 to 15 mm yr-1. The mechanism by which some vegetation takes up essentially all seasonally available moisture within the root zone, preventing downward soil water fluxes for periods of thousands of years, but adjacent vegetation communities regularly permit downward fluxes, remains to be determined. Nevertheless, these results suggest that understanding the relation between vegetation community and vadose-zone hydrological processes may be the most profitable avenue toward quantifying diffuse groundwater recharge. We hypothesize that vegetation type may be a reasonable proxy for estimating recharge in semiarid and arid basins. Ongoing research is intended to test the hypothesis of ecotonal

  3. Preplanning for D and D: Monitoring the Vadose Zone at Radioactive Waste Trenches

    SciTech Connect

    Wyatt, Douglas

    2008-01-15

    Planning for ultimate Decontamination and Decommissioning (D and D) of a nuclear facility is as much a part of a successful nuclear strategy as is the ultimate disposal of radioactive waste. As facilities, in this case radioactive waste disposal trenches, are closed and abandoned leading to ultimate decommissioning, long term monitoring may be required. However, preplanning by characterizing, modeling, and monitoring the environment around the facility prior to and during operations will allow a performance assessment to be made and future behavior predicted. In the radioactive waste burial grounds of the Savannah River Site new slit trenches were constructed to receive demolition debris associated with site foot print reduction. Some of the construction debris and associated process waste contained small amounts of tritium. Since the trenches were constructed over an existing tritium groundwater plume the monitoring and performance assessment of the trench, particularly with respect to tritium contributions to the vadose zone and groundwater, were important. These disposal trenches vary in length and width but are typically constructed within the upper 7 to 8 meters (21 to 24 feet) of the local sediments. The unconfined aquifer (water table) typically underlies the area at depths varying from 20 to 24 meters (60 to 72 feet), depending on elevation. Therefore, with downward flow and 13 to 16 meters (40 to 48 feet) of unsaturated sediments separating the base of the waste trenches from the unconfined aquifer, there was potential for an environmental impact to the sediments within the vadose zone and to the underlying groundwater. Monitoring and predicting this impact can support ultimate D and D activities and future performance assessment evaluation. From this work several key observations were made that will support long term monitoring and subsequent D and D: - The observed lateral variation of thinly bedded sands and clays may be less than 20 meters particularly

  4. Plutonium Particle Migration in the Shallow Vadose Zone: The Nevada Test Site as an Analog Site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hunt, J. R.; Smith, D. K.

    2004-12-01

    The upper meter of the vadose zone in desert environments is the horizon where wastes have been released and human exposure is determined through dermal, inhalation, and food uptake pathways. This region is also characterized by numerous coupled processes that determine contaminant transport, including precipitation infiltration, evapotranspiration, daily and annual temperature cycling, dust resuspension, animal burrowing, and geochemical weathering reactions. While there is considerable interest in colloidal transport of minerals, pathogenic organisms, and contaminants in the vadose zone, there are limited field sites where the actual occurrence of contaminant migration can be quantified over the appropriate spatial and temporal scales of interest. At the US Department of Energy Nevada Test Site, there have been numerous releases of radionuclides since the 1950's that have become field-scale tracer tests. One series of tests was the four safety shots conducted in an alluvial valley of Area 11 in the 1950's. These experiments tested the ability of nuclear materials to survive chemical explosions without initiating fission reactions. Four above-ground tests were conducted and they released plutonium and uranium on the desert valley floor with only one of the tests undergoing some fission. Shortly after the tests, the sites were surveyed for radionuclide distribution on the land surface using aerial surveys and with depth. Additional studies were conducted in the 1970's to better understand the fate of plutonium in the desert that included studies of depth distribution and dust resuspension. More recently, plutonium particle distribution in the soil profile was detected using autoradiography. The results to date demonstrate the vertical migration of plutonium particles to depths in excess of 30 cm in this arid vadose zone. While plutonium migration at the Nevada Test Site has been and continues to be a concern, these field experiments have become analog sites for the

  5. Numerical Investigations of Vadose Zone Transport of Saturated Sodium Thiosulfate Solutions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, M. D.; Ward, A. L.

    2001-12-01

    Compared with water, hypersaline liquid wastes ([NaNO3] > 10 N) from the reduction-oxidation (REDOX) process at the Hanford site have elevated viscosity (μ > 1.2 cP), density (ρ > 1.4 gm/cm3), and surface tension (σ > 100 dyn/cm). Such liquids have infiltrated into the vadose zone at Hanford from leaking underground storage tanks. The migration behavior of saturated or hypersaline salt solutions through unsaturated soils is largely unknown. Laboratory tests with tank-waste simulants suggest that the elevated density, viscosity, and surface tension properties of these liquids can influence the wetting front behavior, altering its shape and migration rate. Conditions under which these mechanisms are active in the field and the extent to which they contribute to transport through the vadose zone are largely unknown, making it impossible to accurately predict the post-leak distribution of these fluids in the field. To investigate the effects of fluid properties on subsurface migration of hypersaline saline solutions, numerical simulations were conducted of a field-scale, tank-leak experiment. The field experiments consisted of five 4000-L injections, at a depth of 5 m, of saturated sodium thiosulfate brine (used as a surrogate for REDOX type wastes) over a 5-week period, followed by three 4000-L injections of Columbia River water. Pre-test modeling of river water injections at this Hanford field site predicted significant lateral spreading of the moisture plume and were confirmed by geophysical logging. A series of three-dimensional, multifluid (i.e., aqueous and gas phases) numerical simulations were conducted that systematically considered the effects of elevated density, viscosity, and surface tension, and reduced vapor pressure on vadose-zone transport. Hydrologic properties were determined from cores collected at the field site and calibrated using river-water injection experiments. Isothermal conditions were assumed for the simulations, however, the effects of

  6. Vegetation as a Mechanism for Increased Vadose Zone Infiltration in the Pacific Lowlands of Nicaragua

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niemeyer, R. J.; Fremier, A. K.; Heinse, R.; DeClerck, F.; Chávez Huamán, W.

    2011-12-01

    Expansion of agricultural land in the Pacific Lowlands of Nicaragua coupled with intense seasonal rains increases vulnerabilities to the adverse effects of altered surface and vadose zone hydrologic processes seen in flooding, increased soil loss, as well as pollution of rivers and lakes. A primary hydrologic vadose zone process that is altered with land conversion is infiltration often due to changes in bulk density, soil structure, and vertical vegetation structure. Our aim was to study how vegetation affects the soil physical properties that determine infiltration in the vadose zone. We hypothesized that vegetation would increase saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks) in more forested plots due to preferential pathways in the soil from root and fauna activity. We determined Ks using a Guelph Permeameter in fifteen plots, including, two pastures, two cultivated areas, and eleven plots of varying degrees of forestation in Rivas, Nicaragua. To quantify the effects of soil physical properties and vegetation on Ks we measured sand, silt, clay, bulk density, and soil organic matter as well as vegetation measurements leaf area index (LAI) and total plot tree basal area (DBH>10cm). We applied the Rosetta pedotransfer function (USDA Salinity Lab) to model Ks from sand, silt, clay, and bulk density measurements. We performed a blue dye tracer study in a pasture and a primary forest plot to explore possible mechanisms for changes in Ks between forest and pasture plots. Clay, sand, LAI, and basal area were all individually significant (p<0.0001) in the regression model. The pedotransfer function modeling resulted in 25.7% of the Ks values from low and medium LAI plots (LAI<3.5) being under predicted (i.e. observed value greater than modeled value), whereas 66.7% of Ks values from high LAI plots were under predicted, partially attributed to increased preferential pathways. The blue dye tracer study revealed 10 times more preferential pathways in the forested plot than in the

  7. Tier II Analysis of Vadose Zone Sediments from UPRS 200-E-81 and 200-E-86

    SciTech Connect

    Valenta, Michelle M.; Geiszler, Keith N.; Bjornstad, Bruce N.; Schaef, Herbert T.; Brown, Christopher F.

    2009-04-01

    The overall goals of the Tank Farm Vadose Zone Project, led by Washington River Protection Solutions, are to define risks from past and future single-shell tank farm activities; identify and evaluate the efficacy of interim measures; and aid, via collection of geochemical information and data, the future decisions that must be made by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) regarding the near-term operations, future waste retrieval, and final closure activities for the single-shell tank waste management areas (WMAs). To meet the investigative goals of the Tank Farm Vadose Zone Project, the Environmental Sciences Laboratory performed geochemical analyses on vadose zone sediments collected within Waste Management Area C. Tier one analyses of UPR-200-E-86, which includes direct push probe holes C5952, C5958 and C5960, were performed between 3/25/08 and 4/14/08. Preliminary results were presented to CH2M Hill Hanford Group on 6/5/08. As a result of the tier one investigations, further tier two analyses were requested. Tier two investigations include particle size and mineralogy analyses on samples collected between 80 to 120 feet below ground surface that were found to contain high concentrations of chloride and sulfate. Tier one analyses on sediments retrieved near UPR-200-E-81, direct push probe hole C6394, were performed between 6/20/08 and 7/22/08. Preliminary results of the tier one analyses were presented on 8/15/08. As a result of the tier one investigations, further tier two analyses were requested. Tier two analyses include determining whether U-236 exists in samples at approximately 42 feet below the ground surface. Confirmation of U-236 will determine whether the U-238 seen in the leaches performed on samples at that depth is a result of contamination and not from leaching natural uranium. Using the water and acid extract U-238 concentrations from the tier one analysis, equilibrium Kd values were requested to be calculated. Additional tier two analysis includes

  8. Vadose zone process that control landslide initiation and debris flow propagation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sidle, Roy C.

    2015-04-01

    Advances in the areas of geotechnical engineering, hydrology, mineralogy, geomorphology, geology, and biology have individually advanced our understanding of factors affecting slope stability; however, the interactions among these processes and attributes as they affect the initiation and propagation of landslides and debris flows are not well understood. Here the importance of interactive vadose zone processes is emphasized related to the mechanisms, initiation, mode, and timing of rainfall-initiated landslides that are triggered by positive pore water accretion, loss of soil suction and increase in overburden weight, and long-term cumulative rain water infiltration. Both large- and small-scale preferential flow pathways can both contribute to and mitigate instability, by respectively concentrating and dispersing subsurface flow. These mechanisms are influenced by soil structure, lithology, landforms, and biota. Conditions conducive to landslide initiation by infiltration versus exfiltration are discussed relative to bedrock structure and joints. The effects of rhizosphere processes on slope stability are examined, including root reinforcement of soil mantles, evapotranspiration, and how root structures affect preferential flow paths. At a larger scale, the nexus between hillslope landslides and in-channel debris flows is examined with emphasis on understanding the timing of debris flows relative to chronic and episodic infilling processes, as well as the episodic nature of large rainfall and related stormflow generation in headwater streams. The hydrogeomorphic processes and conditions that determine whether or not landslides immediately mobilize into debris flows is important for predicting the timing and extent of devastating debris flow runout in steep terrain. Given the spatial footprint of individual landslides, it is necessary to assess vadose zone processes at appropriate scales to ascertain impacts on mass wasting phenomena. Articulating the appropriate

  9. EVALUATION OF A TECHNETIUM-99 DETECTOR BASED ON LABORATORY TESTING FOR USE IN IN-SITU VADOSE ZONE APPLICATIONS

    SciTech Connect

    MANN FM; MYERS DA

    2009-09-11

    This document evaluates the feasibility of in-situ detection of technetium-99 in Hanford Site vadose zone soils (the soils between the surface and groundwater) using laboratory tests. The detector system performs adequately for high technetium concentration, but more development and laboratory testing is needed before field demonstration is performed.

  10. Engineering Report Single Shell Tank (SST) Farms Interim Measures to Limit Infiltration through the Vadose Zone [SEC 1 & 2 & 3

    SciTech Connect

    ANDERSON, F.J.

    2001-05-07

    Identifies, evaluates and recommends interim measures for reducing or eliminating water sources and preferential pathways within the vadose zone of the single-shell tank farms. Features studied: surface water infiltration and leaking water lines that provide recharge moisture, and wells that could provide pathway for contaminant migration. An extensive data base, maps, recommended mitigations, and rough order of magnitude costs are included.

  11. PROGRESS REPORT. INFLUENCE OF CLASTIC DIKES ON VERTICAL MIGRATION OF CONTAMINANTS IN THE VADOSE ZONE AT HANFORD

    EPA Science Inventory

    This research project addresses the effect of clastic dikes on contaminant transport in the vadose zone. Clastic dikes are vertically oriented subsurface heterogeneities that are common at the Hanford Site, including the subsurface sediments below the tank farms in the 200 West A...

  12. Passive capillary sampler for measuring soil water drainage and flux in the vadose zone: Design, performance and enhancement

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Various soil water samplers are used to monitor, measure and estimate drainage water, fluxes and solute transport in the soil vadose zone. Passive capillary samplers (PCAPs) have shown potential to provide better measurements and estimates of soil water drainage and fluxes than other lysimeters and ...

  13. FINAL REPORT. INTERFACIAL REDUCTION-OXIDATION MECHANISMS GOVERNING FATE AND TRANSPORT OF CONTAMINANTS IN THE VADOSE ZONE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Immobilization of toxic and radioactive metals (e.g., Cr, Tc, and U) in the vadose zone by In Situ Gaseous reduction (ISGR) using hydrogen sulfide. The objective of this project is to characterize the interactions among H2S, the metal contaminants, and soil components. Underst...

  14. Conceptual Model of Uranium in the Vadose Zone for Acidic and Alkaline Wastes Discharged at the Hanford Site Central Plateau

    SciTech Connect

    Truex, Michael J.; Szecsody, James E.; Qafoku, Nikolla; Serne, R. Jeffrey

    2014-09-01

    Historically, uranium was disposed in waste solutions of varying waste chemistry at the Hanford Site Central Plateau. The character of how uranium was distributed in the vadose zone during disposal, how it has continued to migrate through the vadose zone, and the magnitude of potential impacts on groundwater are strongly influenced by geochemical reactions in the vadose zone. These geochemical reactions can be significantly influenced by the disposed-waste chemistry near the disposal location. This report provides conceptual models and supporting information to describe uranium fate and transport in the vadose zone for both acidic and alkaline wastes discharged at a substantial number of waste sites in the Hanford Site Central Plateau. The conceptual models include consideration of how co-disposed acidic or alkaline fluids influence uranium mobility in terms of induced dissolution/precipitation reactions and changes in uranium sorption with a focus on the conditions near the disposal site. This information, when combined with the extensive information describing uranium fate and transport at near background pH conditions, enables focused characterization to support effective fate and transport estimates for uranium in the subsurface.

  15. FINAL REPORT. A HYBRID HYDROLOGIC-GEOPHYSICAL INVERSE TECHNIQUE FOR THE ASSESSMENT AND MONITORING OF LEACHATES IN THE VADOSE ZONE

    EPA Science Inventory

    The research conducted under this project has led to the development of a new, integrated Hybrid
    Hydrologic-Geophysical Inverse Technique (HHGIT) for characterization of the vadose zone at
    contaminated sites. The HHGIT combines information from geophysical measurements, sta...

  16. SCREENING MODEL FOR NONAQUEOUS PHASE LIQUID TRANS- PORT IN THE VADOSE ZONE USING GREEN-AMPT AND KINEMATIC WAVE THEORY

    EPA Science Inventory

    In this paper, a screening model for flow of a nonaqueous phase liquid (NAPL) and associated chemical transport in the vadose zone is developed. The model is based on kinematic approximation of the governing equations for both the NAPL and a partitionable chemical constituent. Th...

  17. Coupled effects of solution chemistry and hydrodynamics on the mobility and transport of quantum dot nanomaterials in the Vadose Zone

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    To investigate the coupled effects of solution chemistry and vadose zone processes on the mobility of quantum dot (QD) nanoparticles, laboratory scale transport experiments were performed. The complex coupled effects of ionic strength, size of QD aggregates, surface tension, contact angle, infiltrat...

  18. Dissolution rates and vadose zone drainage from strontium isotope measurements of groundwater in the Pasco Basin, WA unconfined aquifer

    SciTech Connect

    Singleton, Michael J.; Maher, Katharine; DePaolo, Donald J.; Conrad, Mark E.; Dresel, P. EVAN

    2006-04-30

    Strontium isotope compositions measured in groundwater samples from 273 wells in the Pasco Basin unconfined aquifer below the Hanford Site show large and systematic variations that provide constraints on groundwater recharge, weathering rates of the aquifer host rocks, communication between unconfined and deeper confined aquifers, and vadose zone-groundwater interaction. This article describes the evaluation of strontium geochemistry of a major aquifer.

  19. SCREENING MODEL FOR NONAQUEOUS PHASE-LIQUID TRANSPORT IN THE VADOSE ZONE USING GREEN-AMPT AND KINEMATIC WAVE THEORY

    EPA Science Inventory

    In this paper, a screening model for flow of a nonaqueous phase liquid (NAPL) and associated chemical transport in the vadose zone is developed. he model is based on kinematic approximation of the governing equations for both the NAPL and a partitionable chemical constituent. he ...

  20. A HYBRID HYDROLOGIC-GEOPHYSICAL INVERSE TECHNIQUE FOR THE ASSESSMENT AND MONITORING OF LEACHATES IN THE VADOSE ZONE

    EPA Science Inventory

    It is the objective of this proposed study to develop and field test a new, integrated Hybrid Hydrologic-Geophysical Inverse Technique (HHGIT) for characterization of the vadose zone at contaminated sites. This fundamentally new approach to site characterization and monitoring wi...

  1. PROGRESS REPORT. A HYDROLOGIC-GEOPHYSICAL METHOD FOR CHARACTERIZING FLOW AND TRANSPORT PROCESSES WITHIN THE VADOSE ZONE

    EPA Science Inventory

    The objective of this study is to analyze flow and transport within the vadose zone during a mid-scale hydrologic infiltration experiment to characterize in-situ transport processes. This project will employ numerical and experimental tools developed under a previously funded EMS...

  2. Establishing a geochemical heterogeneity model for a contaminated vadose zone--aquifer system.

    PubMed

    Murray, Christopher J; Zachara, John M; McKinley, James P; Ward, Andy; Bott, Yi-Ju; Draper, Kate; Moore, Dean

    2013-10-01

    A large set of sediment samples from a 1600 m² experimental plot within a 2.2 km² vadose zone and groundwater uranium (VI) plume was subject to physical, chemical, and mineralogic characterization. The plot is being used for field experimentation on U(VI) recharge and transport processes within a persistent groundwater plume that exists in the groundwater-river interaction zone of the Columbia River at the U.S. DOE Hanford site. The samples were obtained during the installation of 35 tightly spaced (10 m separation) groundwater monitoring wells. The characterization measurements for each sample included total contaminant concentrations (U and Cu primarily), bicarbonate extractable U(VI), sequential ²³⁸U(VI) contaminant desorption Kd, ²³³U(VI) adsorption K(d), grain size distribution, surface area, extractable poorly crystalline Fe(III) oxides, and mineralogy. The characterization objective was to inform a conceptual model of coupled processes controlling the anomalous longevity of the plume, and to quantify the spatial heterogeneity of the contaminant inventory and the primary properties effecting reactive transport. Correlations were drawn between chemical, physical, and reaction properties, and Gaussian simulation was used to compute multiple 3-D realizations of extractable U(VI), the ²³³U(VI) adsorption K(d), and the distribution of the reactive <2 mm fraction. Adsorbed contaminant U(VI) was highest in the vadose zone and the zone of seasonal water table fluctuation lying at its base. Adsorbed U(VI) was measureable, but low, in the groundwater plume region where very high hydraulic conductivities existed. The distribution of adsorbed U(VI) displayed no apparent correlation with sediment physical or chemical properties. Desorption [²³⁸U(IV)] and adsorption [²³³U(VI)] K(d) values showed appreciable differences due to mass transfer controlled surface complexation and the effects of long subsurface residence times. The ²³³U(VI) adsorption K

  3. Establishing a geochemical heterogeneity model for a contaminated vadose zone - Aquifer system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murray, Christopher J.; Zachara, John M.; McKinley, James P.; Ward, Andy; Bott, Yi-Ju; Draper, Kate; Moore, Dean

    2013-10-01

    A large set of sediment samples from a 1600 m2 experimental plot within a 2.2 km2 vadose zone and groundwater uranium (VI) plume was subject to physical, chemical, and mineralogic characterization. The plot is being used for field experimentation on U(VI) recharge and transport processes within a persistent groundwater plume that exists in the groundwater-river interaction zone of the Columbia River at the U.S. DOE Hanford site. The samples were obtained during the installation of 35 tightly spaced (10 m separation) groundwater monitoring wells. The characterization measurements for each sample included total contaminant concentrations (U and Cu primarily), bicarbonate extractable U(VI), sequential 238U(VI) contaminant desorption Kd, 233U(VI) adsorption Kd, grain size distribution, surface area, extractable poorly crystalline Fe(III) oxides, and mineralogy. The characterization objective was to inform a conceptual model of coupled processes controlling the anomalous longevity of the plume, and to quantify the spatial heterogeneity of the contaminant inventory and the primary properties effecting reactive transport. Correlations were drawn between chemical, physical, and reaction properties, and Gaussian simulation was used to compute multiple 3-D realizations of extractable U(VI), the 233U(VI) adsorption Kd, and the distribution of the reactive < 2 mm fraction. Adsorbed contaminant U(VI) was highest in the vadose zone and the zone of seasonal water table fluctuation lying at its base. Adsorbed U(VI) was measureable, but low, in the groundwater plume region where very high hydraulic conductivities existed. The distribution of adsorbed U(VI) displayed no apparent correlation with sediment physical or chemical properties. Desorption [238U(IV)] and adsorption [233U(VI)] Kd values showed appreciable differences due to mass transfer controlled surface complexation and the effects of long subsurface residence times. The 233U(VI) adsorption Kd, a combined measure of

  4. The Use of Radar Methods to Determine Moisture Content in the Vadose Zone

    SciTech Connect

    Knight, Rosemary

    2000-06-01

    The objective of our three-year research project is to determine the optimal way to use radar methods to obtain information about moisture content in the vadose zone. In our research we will focus on two specific aspects of the link between radar images and moisture content. The first aspect or question we address is: Can we use a measure of the dielectric constant of a volume of the subsurface to determine the moisture content of that volume? The second question we address is involved specifically with the issue of spatial heterogeneity. Rather than using radar data to get estimates of moisture content at specific locations, can we use the radar data to directly obtain information about the way in which the level of moisture content varies spatially?

  5. Vadose zone characterization of highly radioactive contaminated soil at the Hanford Site

    SciTech Connect

    Buckmaster, M.A.

    1993-05-01

    The Hanford Site in south-central Washington State contains over 1500 identified waste sites and numerous groundwater plumes that will be characterized and remediated over the next 30 years. As a result of the Hanford Federal Facility Agreement and Consent Order, the US Department of Energy has initiated a remedial investigation/feasibility study at the 200-BP-1 operable unit. The 200-BP-1 remedial investigation is the first Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 investigation on the Hanford Site that involves drilling into highly radioactive and chemically contaminated soils. The initial phase of site characterization was designed to assess the nature and extent of contamination associated with the source waste site within the 200-BP-1 operable unit. Characterization activities consisted of drilling and sampling the waste site, chemical and physical analysis of samples, and development of a conceptual vadose zone model. Predicted modeling concentrations compared favorably to analytical data collected during the initial characterization activities.

  6. Deep Vadose Zone Treatability Test for the Hanford Central Plateau: Interim Post-Desiccation Monitoring Results

    SciTech Connect

    Truex, Michael J.; Oostrom, Martinus; Strickland, Christopher E.; Johnson, Timothy C.; Johnson, Christian D.; Clayton, Ray E.; Chronister, Glen B.

    2013-09-01

    A field test of desiccation is being conducted as an element of the deep vadose zone treatability test program. Desiccation technology relies on removal of water from a portion of the subsurface such that the resultant low moisture conditions inhibit downward movement of water and dissolved contaminants. Previously, a field test report (Truex et al. 2012a) was prepared describing the active desiccation portion of the test and initial post-desiccation monitoring data. Additional monitoring data have been collected at the field test site during the post-desiccation period and is reported herein along with interpretation with respect to desiccation performance. This is an interim report including about 2 years of post-desiccation monitoring data.

  7. Interfacial Reduction-Oxidation Mechanisms Governing Fate and Transport of Contaminants in the Vadose Zone

    SciTech Connect

    Thornton, Edward C.; Baolin Deng; Jurisson, Silvia Sabine; Terry, Jeff

    2006-06-01

    The mobility of many contaminants is redox sensitive and thus related to the reduction oxidation characteristics of the environment. Immobilization of certain contaminants (e.g., chromium, uranium, and technetium) can be achieved by reducing the contaminant. One remediation approach to achieving this is the application of diluted hydrogen sulfide gas mixtures, which may have particular value in vadose zone applications. Previous work has shown this approach to be viable for Cr(VI) remediation of soil waste sites. The primary objective of the current research is to assess the potential of in situ gaseous treatment to the immobilization of U(VI) and Tc(VII). This work also addresses basic science aspects of understanding the redox-related aspects of the mobility of these contaminants in the natural environment, thus providing a mechanistic-based understanding needed to successfully achieve remediation.

  8. The Use of Radar Methods to Determine Moisture Content in the Vadose Zone

    SciTech Connect

    Knight, Rosemary

    2001-06-01

    Moisture content is a critical parameter affecting both liquid-phase and vapor-phase contaminant transport in the vadose zone. The objective of our three-year research project is to determine the optimal way to use of radar methods--both surface and borehole--as a noninvasive means of determining in situ moisture content. In our research we focus on two specific aspects of the link between radar images and moisture content. The first question we address is: Can we use a measure of the dielectric constant of a volume of the subsurface to determine the moisture content of that volume? The second question we address is: Can we use the radar data to characterize the spatial variability in moisture content?

  9. Vadose Zone Monitoring of Dairy Green Water Lagoons using Soil Solution Samplers.

    SciTech Connect

    Brainard, James R.; Coplen, Amy K

    2005-11-01

    Over the last decade, dairy farms in New Mexico have become an important component to the economy of many rural ranching and farming communities. Dairy operations are water intensive and use groundwater that otherwise would be used for irrigation purposes. Most dairies reuse their process/green water three times and utilize lined lagoons for temporary storage of green water. Leakage of water from lagoons can pose a risk to groundwater quality. Groundwater resource protection infrastructures at dairies are regulated by the New Mexico Environment Department which currently relies on monitoring wells installed in the saturated zone for detecting leakage of waste water lagoon liners. Here we present a proposal to monitor the unsaturated zone beneath the lagoons with soil water solution samplers to provide early detection of leaking liners. Early detection of leaking liners along with rapid repair can minimize contamination of aquifers and reduce dairy liability for aquifer remediation. Additionally, acceptance of vadose zone monitoring as a NMED requirement over saturated zone monitoring would very likely significantly reduce dairy startup and expansion costs. Acknowledgment Funding for this project was provided by the Sandia National Laboratories Small Business Assistance Program

  10. Microbial abundance and activities in relation to water potential in the vadose zones of arid and semiarid sites.

    PubMed

    Kieft, T L; Amy, P S; Brockman, F J; Fredrickson, J K; Bjornstad, B N; Rosacker, L L

    1993-07-01

    Numbers and activities of microorganisms were measured in the vadose zones of three arid and semiarid areas of the western United States, and the influence of water availability was determined. These low-moisture environments have vadose zones that are commonly hundreds of meters thick. The specific sampling locations chosen were on or near U.S. Department of Energy facilities: the Nevada Test Site (NTS), the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL), and the Hanford Site (HS) in southcentral Washington State. Most of the sampling locations were uncontaminated, but geologically representative of nearby locations with storage and/or leakage of waste compounds in the vadose zone. Lithologies of samples included volcanic tuff, basalt, glaciofluvial and fluvial sediments, and paleosols (buried soils). Samples were collected aseptically, either by drilling bore-holes (INEL and HS), or by excavation within tunnels (NTS) and outcrop faces (paleosols near the HS). Total numbers of microorganisms were counted using direct microscopy, and numbers of culturable microorganisms were determined using plate-count methods. Desiccation-tolerant microorganisms were quantified by plate counts performed after 24 h desiccation of the samples. Mineralization of (14)C-labeled glucose and acetate was quantified in samples at their ambient moisture contents, in dried samples, and in moistened samples, to test the hypothesis that water limits microbial activities in vadose zones. Total numbers of microorganisms ranged from log 4.5 to 7.1 cells g(-1) dry wt. Culturable counts ranged from log <2 to 6.7 CFU g(-1) dry wt, with the highest densities occurring in paleosol (buried soil) samples. Culturable cells appeared to be desiccation-tolerant in nearly all samples that had detectable viable heterotrophs. Water limited mineralization in some, but not all samples, suggesting that an inorganic nutrient or other factor may limit microbial activities in some vadose zone environments. PMID

  11. Vadose Zone Characterization and Monitoring Beneath Waste Disposal Pits Using Horizontal Boreholes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McLin, S. G.; Newman, B. D.; Broxton, D. E.

    2004-12-01

    Vadose zone characterization and monitoring immediately below landfills using horizontal boreholes is an emerging technology. However, this topic has received little attention in the peer-reviewed literature. The value of this approach is that activities are conducted below the waste, providing clear and rapid verification of containment. Here we report on two studies that examined the utility of horizontal boreholes for environmental characterization and monitoring under radioactive waste disposal pits. Both studies used core sample analyses to determine the presence of various radionuclides, organics, or metals. At one borehole site, water content and pore-water chloride concentrations were also used to interpret vadose zone behavior. At another site, we examined the feasibility of using flexible membrane liners in uncased boreholes for periodic monitoring. For this demonstration, these retrievable liners were air-injected into boreholes on multiple occasions carrying different combinations of environmental surveillance equipment. Instrument packages included a neutron logging device to measure volumetric water at regular intervals, high-absorbency collectors that wicked available water from borehole walls, or vent tubes that were used to measure air permeability and collect air samples. The flexible and retrievable liner system was an effective way to monitor water content and collect air permeability data. The high-absorbency collectors were efficient at extracting liquid water for contaminant analyses even at volumetric water contents below 10 percent, and revealed vapor-phase tritium migration at one disposal pit. Both demonstration studies proved that effective characterization and periodic monitoring in horizontal boreholes is both feasible and adaptable to many waste disposal problems and locations.

  12. T-TY Tank Farm Interim Surface Barrier Demonstration—Vadose Zone Monitoring Plan

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Z. F.; Strickland, Christopher E.; Field, Jim G.; Parker, Danny L.

    2010-09-27

    The Hanford Site has 149 underground single-shell tanks that store hazardous radioactive waste. Many of these tanks and their associated infrastructure (e.g., pipelines, diversion boxes) have leaked. Some of the leaked waste has entered the groundwater. The largest known leak occurred from the T-106 Tank of the 241-T Tank Farm in 1973. Five tanks are assumed to have leaked in the TY Farm. Many of the contaminants from those leaks still reside within the vadose zone within the T and TY Tank Farms. The Department of Energy’s Office of River Protection seeks to minimize the movement of these contaminant plumes by placing interim barriers on the ground surface. Such barriers are expected to prevent infiltrating water from reaching the plumes and moving them further. The soil water regime is monitored to determine the effectiveness of the interim surface barriers. Soil-water content and water pressure are monitored using off-the-shelf equipment that can be installed by the hydraulic hammer technique. Four instrument nests were installed in the T Farm in fiscal year (FY) 2006 and FY2007; two nests were installed in the TY Farm in FY2010. Each instrument nest contains a neutron probe access tube, a capacitance probe, and four heat-dissipation units. A meteorological station has been installed at the north side of the fence of the T Farm. This document summarizes the monitoring methods, the instrument calibration and installation, and the vadose zone monitoring plan for interim barriers in T farm and TY Farm.

  13. Estimating Vadose Zone Drainage From a Capped Seepage Basin, F Area, Savannah River Site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wan, J.; Tokunaga, T. K.; Denham, M.

    2011-12-01

    Large volumes of waste solutions were commonly discharged into unlined seepage basins at many different facilities in the past. Plutonium was extracted from depleted uranium from 1955 to 1988 at the F-Area within the Savannah River Site, with contaminated process waters disposed of in permeable seepage basins. The primarily acidic solutions contained radioactive components (including tritium, 129I, and multiple isotopes of U, Pu, Sr, and Cs), elevated nitrate, and some metals (Hg, Pb, Cd). Basin 3 was the largest F-Area seepage basin, covering 2.0 hectare, with the water table typically at about 20 m below the soil surface. The local groundwater flows at an average velocity of 200 m/y in the approximately 10 m thick shallow aquifer, and is underlain by the low permeability Tan Clay. We used nearly 20 years of groundwater quality data from a monitoring well immediately downstream of Basin 3 to estimate the post-closure drainage of waste solutions through its underlying vadose zone, into the shallow aquifer. The measurements of tritium, nitrate, and specific conductance, were used as plume tracers in our estimates of vadose zone drainage. These calculations indicate that early stages of post-closure waste drainage occurred with high fluxes (≈ 1 m/y), and quickly declined. However, even after 20 years, drainage continues at a low but significant rate of several cm/y. These estimated drainage fluxes can help constrain predictions on the waste plume behavior, especially with respect to its emerging trailing gradient and anticipated time scales suitable for monitored natural attenuation.

  14. Spectroscopic evidence for uranium bearing precipitates in vadose zone sediments at the Hanford 300-area site

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Arai, Y.; Marcus, M.A.; Tamura, N.; Davis, J.A.; Zachara, J.M.

    2007-01-01

    Uranium (U) solid-state speciation in vadose zone sediments collected beneath the former North Process Pond (NPP) in the 300 Area of the Hanford site (Washington) was investigated using multi-scale techniques. In 30 day batch experiments, only a small fraction of total U (???7.4%) was released to artificial groundwater solutions equilibrated with 1% pCO2. Synchrotron-based micro-X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy analyses showed that U was distributed among at least two types of species: (i) U discrete grains associated with Cu and (ii) areas with intermediate U concentrations on grains and grain coatings. Metatorbernite (Cu[UO2]2[PO 4]2??8H2O) and uranophane (Ca[UO 2]2[SiO3(OH)]2?? 5H 2O) at some U discrete grains, and muscovite at U intermediate concentration areas, were identified in synchrotron-based micro-X-ray diffraction. Scanning electron microscopy/energy dispersive X-ray analyses revealed 8-10 ??m size metatorbernite particles that were embedded in C-, Al-, and Si-rich coatings on quartz and albite grains. In ??- and bulk-X-ray absorption structure (??-XAS and XAS) spectroscopy analyses, the structure of metatorbernite with additional U-C and U-U coordination environments was consistently observed at U discrete grains with high U concentrations. The consistency of the ??- and bulk-XAS analyses suggests that metatorbernite may comprise a significant fraction of the total U in the sample. The entrapped, micrometer-sized metatorbernite particles in C-, Al-, and Si-rich coatings, along with the more soluble precipitated uranyl carbonates and uranophane, likely control the long-term release of U to water associated with the vadose zone sediments. ?? 2007 American Chemical Society.

  15. Data Assimilation for Vadose Zone Flow Modeling Using the Ensemble Kalman Filter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Y.; Schaap, M. G.; Zha, Y.; Xue, L.

    2015-12-01

    The natural system is open and complex and the hydraulic parameters needed for describing flow and transport in the vadose zone are often poorly known, making it prone to multiple interpretations, mathematical descriptions and uncertainty. Quite often a reasonable "handle" on a sites flow characteristics can be gained only through direct observation of the flow processes itself, determination of the spatial- and probability distributions of material properties combined with computationally expensive inversions of the Richards equation. In groundwater systems, the ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF) has proven to be an effective alternative to model inversions by assimilating observations directly into an ensemble of groundwater models from which time and/or space-variable variable probabilistic quantities of the flow process can be derived. Application of EnKF to Richards equation-type unsaturated flow problems, however, is more challenging than in groundwater systems because the relation of state and model parameters is strongly nonlinear. In addition, the type of functional dependence of moisture content and hydraulic conductivity on matric potential leads to high-dimensional (in the parameter space) problems even under conditions where closed-form expressions of these models such as van Genuchten-Mualem formulations are used. In this study, we updated soil water retention parameters and hydraulic conductivity together and used Restart EnKF, which rerun the nonlinear model from the initial time to obtain the updated state variables, in synthetic cases to explore the factors that may influence estimation results, including the initial estimate, the ensemble size, the observation error, and the assimilation interval. We embedded the EnKF into the Bayesian model averaging framework to enhance the model reliability and reduce predictive uncertainties. This approach is evaluated from a 15 m deep semi-arid highly heterogeneous and anisotropic vadose zone site at the

  16. Alternative Methods for Assessing Contaminant Transport from the Vadose Zone to Indoor Air

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baylor, K. J.; Lee, A.; Reddy, P.; Plate, M.

    2010-12-01

    Vapor intrusion, which is the transport of contaminant vapors from groundwater and the vadose zone to indoor air, has emerged as a significant human health risk near hazardous waste sites. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as trichloroethylene (TCE) and tetrachloroethylene (PCE) can volatilize from groundwater and from residual sources in the vadose zone and enter homes and commercial buildings through cracks in the slab, plumbing conduits, or other preferential pathways. Assessment of the vapor intrusion pathway typically requires collection of groundwater, soil gas, and indoor air samples, a process which can be expensive and time-consuming. We evaluated three alternative vapor intrusion assessment methods, including 1) use of radon as a surrogate for vapor intrusion, 2) use of pressure differential measurements between indoor/outdoor and indoor/subslab to assess the potential for vapor intrusion, and 3) use of passive, longer-duration sorbent methods to measure indoor air VOC concentrations. The primary test site, located approximately 30 miles south of San Francisco, was selected due to the presence of TCE (10 - 300 ug/L) in shallow groundwater (5 to 10 feet bgs). At this test site, we found that radon was not a suitable surrogate to asses vapor intrusion and that pressure differential measurements are challenging to implement and equipment-intensive. More significantly, we found that the passive, longer-duration sorbent methods are easy to deploy and compared well quantitatively with standard indoor air sampling methods. The sorbent technique is less than half the cost of typical indoor air methods, and also provides a longer duration sample, typically 3 to 14 days rather than 8 to 24 hours for standard methods. The passive sorbent methods can be a reliable, cost-effective, and easy way to sample for TCE, PCE and other VOCs as part of a vapor intrusion investigation.

  17. Notice of construction for tank waste remediation system vadose zone characterization

    SciTech Connect

    HILL, J.S.

    1999-05-04

    The following description and any attachments and references are provided to the Washington State Department of Health (WDOH), Division of Radiation Protection, Air Emissions & Defense Waste Section as a notice of constriction (NOC) in accordance with Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 246-247, Radiation Protection - Air Emissions. The WAC 246-247-060, ''Applications, registration, and licensing'', states ''This section describes the information requirements for approval to construct, modify, and operate an emission unit. Any NOC requires the submittal of information listed in Appendix A.'' Appendix A (WAC 246-247-1 10) lists the requirements that must be addressed. Additionally, the following description, attachments and references are provided to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as an NOC, in accordance with Title 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 61, ''National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants.'' The information required for submittal to the EPA is specified in 40 CFR 61.07. The potential emissions from this activity are estimated to provide less than 0.1 millirem/year total effective dose equivalent (TEDE) to the hypothetical offsite maximally exposed individual (MEI), and commencement is needed within a short time frame. Therefore, this application is also intended to provide notification of the anticipated date of initial startup in accordance with the requirement listed in 40 CFR 61.09(a)(1), and it is requested that approval of this application will also constitute EPA acceptance of this initial start-up notification. Written notification of the actual date of initial startup, in accordance with the requirement listed in 40 CFR 61.09(a)(2) will be provided at a later date. This NOC covers the activities associated with vadose zone characterization within the Single-Shell Tank Farms located in the 200-East and 200-West Areas of the Hanford Site. Vadose zone characterization activities include the drilling and sampling

  18. Real-time monitoring of nitrate transport in the deep vadose zone under a crop field - implications for groundwater protection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turkeltaub, Tuvia; Kurtzman, Daniel; Dahan, Ofer

    2016-08-01

    Nitrate is considered the most common non-point pollutant in groundwater. It is often attributed to agricultural management, when excess application of nitrogen fertilizer leaches below the root zone and is eventually transported as nitrate through the unsaturated zone to the water table. A lag time of years to decades between processes occurring in the root zone and their final imprint on groundwater quality prevents proper decision-making on land use and groundwater-resource management. This study implemented the vadose-zone monitoring system (VMS) under a commercial crop field. Data obtained by the VMS for 6 years allowed, for the first time known to us, a unique detailed tracking of water percolation and nitrate migration from the surface through the entire vadose zone to the water table at 18.5 m depth. A nitrate concentration time series, which varied with time and depth, revealed - in real time - a major pulse of nitrate mass propagating down through the vadose zone from the root zone toward the water table. Analysis of stable nitrate isotopes indicated that manure is the prevalent source of nitrate in the deep vadose zone and that nitrogen transformation processes have little effect on nitrate isotopic signature. The total nitrogen mass calculations emphasized the nitrate mass migration towards the water table. Furthermore, the simulated pore-water velocity through analytical solution of the convection-dispersion equation shows that nitrate migration time from land surface to groundwater is relatively rapid, approximately 5.9 years. Ultimately, agricultural land uses, which are constrained to high nitrogen application rates and coarse soil texture, are prone to inducing substantial nitrate leaching.

  19. Characterization Activities to Determine the Extent of DNAPL in the Vadose Zone at the A-014 Outfall of A/M Area

    SciTech Connect

    Jackson, D.G.

    2000-09-05

    The purpose of this investigation was to perform characterization activities necessary to confirm the presence and extent of DNAPL in the shallow vadose zone near the headwaters of the A-014 Outfall. Following the characterization, additional soil vapor extraction wells and vadose monitoring probes were installed to promote and monitor remediation activities in regions of identified DNAPL.

  20. Baseline mapping study of the Steed Pond aquifer and vadose zone beneath A/M Area, Savannah River Site, Aiken, South Carolina

    SciTech Connect

    Jackson, D.G. Jr.

    2000-01-27

    This report presents the second phase of a baseline mapping project conducted for the Environmental Restoration Department (ERD) at Savannah River Site. The purpose of this second phase is to map the structure and distribution of mud (clay and silt-sized sediment) within the vadose zone beneath A/M Area. The results presented in this report will assist future characterization and remediation activities in the vadose zone and upper aquifer zones in A/M Area.

  1. Vadose Zone Remediation Assessment: M-Area Process Sewer Soil Vapor Extraction Units 782-5M, 782-7M, and 782-8M

    SciTech Connect

    Riha, B.D.

    2001-04-20

    This study focuses on the status of the vadose zone remediation along 1600 ft of the process sewer line between the M-Area security fence and the M-Area settling basin. Three soil vapor extraction (SVE) units 782-5M, 782-7M, and 782-8M, connected to 4 vertical wells and 3 horizontal wells have been addressing the vadose zone volatile organic contamination (VOC) since 1995. The specific objectives of this study were to obtain soil gas and sediment samples, evaluate SVE units and vadose zone remediation, and make recommendations to address further remediation needs.

  2. Analysis of Radionuclide Migration through a 200-m Vadose Zone Following a 16-year Infiltration Event

    SciTech Connect

    Tompson, A B; Hudson, G B; Smith, D K; Hunt, J R

    2004-09-21

    The CAMBRIC nuclear test was conducted beneath Frenchman Flat at the Nevada Test Site on May 14, 1965. The nuclear device was emplaced in heterogeneous alluvium, approximately 70 m beneath the ambient water table, which is itself 220 m beneath the ground surface. Approximately 10 years later, groundwater adjacent to the test was pumped steadily for 16 years to elicit information on the migration of residual radionuclide migration through the saturated zone. The pumping well effluent--containing mostly soluble radionuclides such as tritium, {sup 14}C, {sup 36}Cl, {sup 85}Kr, {sup 129}I, and {sup 106}Ru--was monitored, discharged to an unlined ditch, and allowed to flow towards Frenchman Lake over one kilometer away. Discharged water and radionuclides infiltrated into the ground and created an unexpected second experiment in which the migration of the effluent through the unsaturated zone back to the water table could be studied. In this paper, the pumping and effluent data are being utilized in conjunction with a series of geologic data, new radionuclide measurements, isotopic age-dating estimates, and vadose zone flow and transport models to better understand the movement of radionuclides between the ditch and the water table. Measurements of radionuclide concentrations in water samples produced from a water table monitoring well 100 m away from the ditch indicate rising levels of tritium since 1993. The detection of tritium in the monitoring well occurs approximately 16 years after its initial discharge into the ditch. Modeling and tritium age dating have suggested 3 to 5 years of this 16-year transit time occurred solely in the vadose zone. They also suggest considerable recirculation of the pumping well discharge back into the original pumping well. Notably, there have been no observations of {sup 14}C or {sup 85}Kr at the water table, suggesting their preferential retention or volatilization during transit to the water table. Overall, the long term nature of

  3. Geochemical Characterization of Chromate Contamination in the 100 Area Vadose Zone at the Hanford Site

    SciTech Connect

    Dresel, P. Evan; Qafoku, Nikolla; McKinley, James P.; Fruchter, Jonathan S.; Ainsworth, Calvin C.; Liu, Chongxuan; Ilton, Eugene S.; Phillips, J. L.

    2008-07-16

    The major objectives of the proposed study were to: 1.) determine the leaching characteristics of hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)] from contaminated sediments collected from 100 Area spill sites; 2.) elucidate possible Cr(VI) mineral and/or chemical associations that may be responsible for Cr(VI) retention in the Hanford Site 100 Areas through the use of i.) macroscopic leaching studies and ii.) microscale characterization of contaminated sediments; and 3.) provide information to construct a conceptual model of Cr(VI) geochemistry in the Hanford 100 Area vadose zone. In addressing these objectives, additional benefits accrued were: (1) a fuller understanding of Cr(VI) entrained in the vadose zone that will that can be utilized in modeling potential Cr(VI) source terms, and (2) accelerating the Columbia River 100 Area corridor cleanup by providing valuable information to develop remedial action based on a fundamental understanding of Cr(VI) vadose zone geochemistry. A series of macroscopic column experiments were conducted with contaminated and uncontaminated sediments to study Cr(VI) desorption patterns in aged and freshly contaminated sediments, evaluate the transport characteristics of dichromate liquid retrieved from old pipelines of the 100 Area; and estimate the effect of strongly reducing liquid on the reduction and transport of Cr(VI). Column experiments used the < 2 mm fraction of the sediment samples and simulated Hanford groundwater solution. Periodic stop-flow events were applied to evaluate the change in elemental concentration during time periods of no flow and greater fluid residence time. The results were fit using a two-site, one dimensional reactive transport model. Sediments were characterized for the spatial and mineralogical associations of the contamination using an array of microscale techniques such as XRD, SEM, EDS, XPS, XMP, and XANES. The following are important conclusions and implications. Results from column experiments indicated that most

  4. Standardization of Borehole Data to Support Vadose Zone Flow and Transport Modeling

    SciTech Connect

    Last, George V.; Murray, Christopher J.; Bush, Debbie A.; Sullivan, E. C.; Rockhold, Mark L.; Mackley, Rob D.; Bjornstad, Bruce N.

    2007-11-30

    Numerical representation of the geologic framework and its hydrologic and geochemical properties is an integral part of all vadose zone flow and transport modeling. Historically, the geologic framework and the physical distribution of flow and transport properties have been represented by simple homogeneous and horizontally stratified hydrogeologic units. To capture more of the heterogeneity, small-scale variability, and uncertainty within a model, the physical and geochemical parameters may be represented by probability density functions loosely correlated to individual hydrogeologic units. As computer-processing capabilities have become more advanced, there has been more emphasis on improving spatial resolution and quantifying uncertainty in key model parameters. One of the more popular approaches has focused on geostatistical simulation of the flow and transport properties themselves, with little regard to the geologic strata and sedimentary sequences. However, newer approaches are focusing more on geostatistical simulation of the sequence-stratigraphic relations of lithofacies and the geostatistical distributions of flow and transport properties within those facies. These approaches require more rigorous quantitative treatment of geologic data than are normally supported by the mostly qualitative nature of borehole geologic information. Thus at the Hanford Site, efforts are being made to systematize borehole geologic data to be used in a more quantitative way to define the spatial distribution of flow and transport properties in support of vadose flow and transport simulations. New detailed procedures translate qualitative descriptive information into categorical data, and translate inconsistent quantitative and semi-quantitative data into common parametric data sets. A geologic data management system is being developed to manage and integrate these new interpreted categorical data sets with other existing databases to support synergistic analysis and to

  5. Are faults preferential flow paths through semiarid and arid vadose zones?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sigda, John M.; Wilson, John L.

    2003-08-01

    Numerous faults crosscut the poorly lithified, basin-fill sands found in New Mexico's Rio Grande rift and in other extensional regimes. The deformational processes that created these faults sharply reduced both fault porosity and fault saturated hydraulic conductivity by altering grains and pores, particularly in structures referred to as deformation bands. The resulting pore distribution changes, which create barriers to saturated flow, should enhance fault unsaturated flow relative to parent sand under the relatively dry conditions of the semiarid southwest. We report the first measurements of unsaturated hydraulic properties for undisturbed fault materials, using samples from a small-displacement normal fault and parent sands in the Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge, central New Mexico. Fault samples were taken from a narrow zone of deformation bands. The unsaturated flow apparatus (UFA) centrifuge system was used to measure both relative permeability and moisture retention curves. We compared these relations and fitted hydraulic conductivity-matric potential models to test whether the fault has significantly different unsaturated hydraulic properties than its parent sand. Saturated conductivity is 3 orders of magnitude less in the fault than the undeformed sand. As matric potential decreases from 0 to -200 cm, unsaturated conductivity decreases roughly 1 order of magnitude in the fault but 5-6 orders of magnitude in undeformed sands. Fault conductivity is greater by 2-6 orders of magnitude at matric potentials between -200 and -1000 cm, which are typical potentials for semiarid and arid vadose zones. Fault deformation bands have much higher air-entry matric potential values than parent sands and remain close to saturation well after the parent sands have begun to approach residual moisture content. Under steady state, one-dimensional, gravity-driven flow conditions, moisture transport and solute advection is 102-106 times larger in the fault material than

  6. A modular subsurface borehole-tower for deep vadose zone monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Breitenstein, Daniel; Or, Dani

    2016-04-01

    Some of the most urgent contemporary societal challenges ranging from climate change to ecosystem services and food security are strongly linked to processes taking place in the vadose zone. The growing interest in this critical zone prompted a massive deployment of eco-hydrological networks (TERENO, CZO, and more) focusing on long term and highly resolved monitoring of key variables such as soil moisture, pressure, temperature, gas fluxes and more. A challenge in all these endeavors remains the reliable and consistent acquisition of variables to depths of eco-hydrological interest (a few meters in some cases), especially soil moisture. In the absence of off-the-shelf sensor systems capable of vertically resolved acquisition of these variables, we developed a prototype of a modular borehole-based tower for simultaneous monitoring of water content, temperature, oxygen and CO2 gas concentrations, and potentially other variables (relative humidity, capillary pressure). The modular tower is made up of 1.5 m sections of 75 mm PVC tubing with TDR waveguides mounted on outer walls. Each paired waveguides (0.15 m in length) were installed on two opposing sides of inflatable sections along the modular unit to ensure contact with the borehole walls. Oxygen and CO2 are measured using solid-state and optical gas sensors that could be periodically calibrated for potential drift. A prototype that could be extended to 6 m depth and preliminary calibration results will be presented (as a potential design for future CZO's). We welcome suggestions for expansion and improvements.

  7. T Tank Farm Interim Surface Barrier Demonstration - Vadose Zone Monitoring FY08 Report

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Z. F.; Strickland, Christopher E.; Field, Jim G.; Parker, Danny L.

    2009-02-01

    DOE’s Office of River Protection constructed a temporary surface barrier over a portion of the T Tank Farm as part of the T Farm Interim Surface Barrier Demonstration Project. The surface barrier is designed to minimize the infiltration of precipitation into the contaminated soil zone created by the Tank T-106 leak and minimize movement of the contamination. As part of the demonstration effort, vadose zone moisture is being monitored to assess the effectiveness of the barrier at reducing soil moisture. A solar-powered system was installed to continuously monitor soil water conditions at four locations (i.e., instrument Nests A, B, C, and D) beneath the barrier and outside the barrier footprint as well as site meteorological conditions. Nest A is placed in the area outside the barrier footprint and serves as a control, providing subsurface conditions outside the influence of the surface barrier. Nest B provides subsurface measurements to assess surface-barrier edge effects. Nests C and D are used to assess changes in soil-moisture conditions beneath the interim surface barrier.

  8. Field evidence for strong chemical separation of contaminants inthe Hanford Vadose Zone

    SciTech Connect

    Conrad, Mark E.; DePaolo, Donald J.; Maher, Katharine; Gee,Glendon W.; Ward, Anderson L.

    2007-04-10

    Water and chemical transport from a point source withinvadose zone sediments at Hanford were examined with a leak testconsisting of five 3800-liter aliquots of water released at 4.5 m depthevery week over a 4-week period. The third aliquot contained bromide, D2Oand 87Sr. Movement of the tracers was monitored for 9 months by measuringpore water compositions of samples from boreholes drilled 2-8 m from theinjection point. Graded sedimentary layers acting as natural capillarybarriers caused significant lateral spreading of the leak water. D2Oconcentrations>50 percent of the concentration in the tracer aliquotwere detected at 9-11 m depth. However, increased water contents, lowerd18O values, and geophysical monitoring of moisture changes at otherdepths signified high concentrations of leak fluids were added where D2Oconcentrations were<3 percent above background, suggesting limitedmixing between different aliquots of the leak fluids. Initially highbromide concentrations decreased more rapidly over time than D2O,suggesting enhanced transport of bromide due to anion exclusion. Nosignificant increase in 87Sr was detected in the sampled pore water,indicating strong retardation of Sr by the sediments. These resultshighlight some of the processes strongly affecting chemical transport inthe vadose zone and demonstrate the significant separation of contaminantplumes that can occur.

  9. T-TY Tank Farm Interim Surface Barrier Demonstration - Vadose Zone Monitoring FY10 Report

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Z. F.; Strickland, Christopher E.; Field, Jim G.; Parker, Danny L.

    2011-01-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of River Protection has constructed interim surface barriers over a portion of the T and TY tank farms as part of the Interim Surface Barrier Demonstration Project. The interim surface barriers (hereafter referred to as the surface barriers or barriers) are designed to minimize the infiltration of precipitation into the soil zones containing radioactive contaminants and minimize the movement of the contaminants. As part of the demonstration effort, vadose zone moisture is being monitored to assess the effectiveness of the barriers at reducing soil moisture. Solar-powered systems were installed to continuously monitor soil water conditions at four locations in the T (i.e., instrument Nests TA, TB, TC, and TD) and the TY (i.e., instrument Nests TYA and TYB) Farms beneath the barriers and outside the barrier footprint as well as site meteorological conditions. Nests TA and TYA are placed in the area outside the barrier footprint and serve as controls, providing subsurface conditions outside the influence of the surface barriers. Nest TB provides subsurface measurements to assess surface-barrier edge effects. Nests TC, TD, and TYB are used to assess changes in soil-moisture conditions beneath the interim surface barriers.

  10. IMMOBILIZATION OF RADIONUCLIDES IN THE HANFORD VADOSE ZONE BY INCORPORATION IN SOLID PHASES

    SciTech Connect

    Traina, Samuel J.

    2000-06-01

    We propose to investigate (1) the effect of aging on the stability of sorption complexes on Al-oxide and Al-oxyhydroxide surfaces formed from neutralization and homogeneous nucleation of alkaline aluminate solutions; (2) the sorption/coprecipitation of these elements in solids formed from reaction of alkaline aluminate solutions with simple systems of representative minerals and mineral coatings found in the soils and sediments underlying the Hanford Tank Farm (e.g., quartz, feldspars, biotite, muscovite, chlorite,clay mineral, augite, hornblende, ilmenite, magnetite, hematite, Fe(III)- oxyhydroxides, and Mn(IV)-(hydr)oxides); and (3) the sorption/coprecipitation of these elements in solids formed from reaction of alkaline aluminate solutions with soil and sediment samples obtained from the Hanford site. (4) To couple these laboratory studies to precipitation processes occurring in the Hanford vadose zone beneath the Tank Farm, we also propose to characterize the particle coatings and precipitate phases in core samples from this zone. These investigations will utilize X-ray Absorption Fine Structure (XAFS) spectroscopy, vibrational spectroscopy, NMR spectroscopy, electron and X-ray microprobe analyses, transmission electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and other characterization studies of the speciation and spatial distribution of the these ions in several model systems chosen to simulate the natural systems.

  11. IMMOBILIZATION OF RADIONUCLIDES IN THE HANFORD VADOSE ZONE BY INCORPORATION IN SOLID PHASES

    SciTech Connect

    Traina, Samuel J.; Grandinetti, Philip; Brown Jr., Gordon E. Ainsworth, Calvin C.; Szecsody, Jim E.

    2001-06-01

    Specific objectives are to investigate (1) the effect of aging on the stability of sorption complexes on Al-oxide and Al-oxyhydroxide surfaces formed from neutralization and homogeneous nucleation of alkaline aluminate solutions; (2) the sorption/coprecipitation of these elements in solids formed from reaction of alkaline aluminate solutions with simple systems of representative minerals and mineral coatings found in the soils and sediments underlying the Hanford Tank Farm (e.g., quartz, feldspars, biotite, muscovite, chlorite,clay mineral, augite, hornblende, ilmenite, magnetite, hematite, Fe(III)- oxyhydroxides, and Mn(IV)-(hydr)oxides); and (3) the sorption/coprecipitation of these elements in solids formed from reaction of alkaline aluminate solutions with soil and sediment samples obtained from the Hanford site. (4) To couple these laboratory studies to precipitation processes occurring in the Hanford vadose zone beneath the Tank Farm, we also propose to characterize the particle coatings and precipitate phases in core samples from this zone. These investigations will utilize X-ray Absorption Fine Structure (XAFS) spectroscopy, vibrational spectroscopy, NMR spectroscopy, electron and X-ray microprobe analyses, transmission electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and other characterization studies of the speciation and spatial distribution of the these ions in several model systems chosen to simulate the natural systems.

  12. Plant aided bioremediation in the vadose zone: model development and applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sung, Kijune; Corapcioglu, M. Yavuz; Drew, Malcolm C.

    2004-09-01

    Phytoremediation has the potential to enhance clean up of land contaminated by various pollutants. A mathematical model that includes a two-fluid phase flow model of water flow as well as a two-region soil model of contaminant reactions was developed and applied to various bioremediation scenarios in the unsaturated zone, especially to plant-aided bioremediation. To investigate model behavior and determine the main parameters and mechanisms that affect bioremediation in unplanted and planted soils, numerical simulations of theoretical scenarios were conducted before applying the model to field data. It is observed from the results that parameters affecting the contaminant concentration in the water phase, such as aqueous solubility, the octanol-water partition coefficient, and organic carbon content of the soil controlled the contaminant fate in the vadose zone. Simulation using the developed model also characterized the fate and transport of the contaminants both in planted and unplanted soils satisfactorily for field applications. Although phytoremediation has the potential for remediation of contaminated soils, results from both modeling and field studies suggested that plants may not always enhance the remediation efficiency when the soil already has a high microbial concentration, when the contaminant bioavailability is low, or when the overall reaction is mass transfer-limited. Therefore, other steps to increase contaminant bioavailability are needed in phytoremediation applications; natural purification mechanisms such as aging, volatilization, and natural bioremediation should be considered to maximize the plant effect and minimize the cost.

  13. Microscale Controls on the Fate of Contaminant Uranium in the Vadose Zone, Hanford Site, Washington

    SciTech Connect

    McKinley, James P.; Zachara, John M.; Liu, Chongxuan; Heald, Steve M.; Prenitzer, Brenda I.; Kempshall, Brian

    2006-04-15

    An alkaline brine containing uranyl (UO22+) leaked to the thick unsaturated zone at the Hanford Site. X-ray and electron microprobe imaging showed that the uranium was associated with a minority of clasts, specifically granitic clasts occupying less than four percent of the sediment volume. XANES analysis at micron resolution showed the uranium to be hexavalent. The uranium was precipitated in microfractures as radiating clusters of uranyl silicates, and sorbed uranium was not observed on other surfaces. Compositional determinations of the 1-3 µm precipitates were difficult, but indicated a sodium potassium uranyl silicate, likely sodium boltwoodite. Observations suggested that uranyl was removed from pore waters by diffusion and precipitation in microfractures, where dissolved silica within the granite-equilibrated solution would cause supersaturation with respect to sodium boltwoodite. This hypothesis was tested using a diffusion reaction model operating at microscale. Conditions favoring precipitation were simulated to be transient, and driven by the compositional contrast between pore and fracture space. Pore-space conditions, including alkaline pH, were eventually imposed on the microfracture environment. However, conditions favoring precipitation were prolonged within the microfracture by reaction at the silicate mineral surface to buffer pH in a solubility limiting acidic state, and to replenish dissolved silica. During this time, uranyl was additionally removed to the fracture space by diffusion from pore space. Uranyl is effectively immobilized within the microfracture environment within the presently unsaturated vadose zone.

  14. Experimental and modeling of the unsaturated transports of S-metolachlor and its metabolites in glaciofluvial vadose zone solids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sidoli, Pauline; Lassabatere, Laurent; Angulo-Jaramillo, Rafael; Baran, Nicole

    2016-07-01

    The transport of pesticides to groundwater is assumed to be impacted by flow processes and geochemical interactions occurring in the vadose zone. In this study, the transport of S-metolachlor (SMOC) and its two metabolites ESA-metolachlor (MESA) and OXA-metolachlor (MOXA) in vadose zone materials of a glaciofluvial aquifer is studied at laboratory scale. Column experiments are used to study the leaching of a conservative tracer (bromide) and SMOC, MESA and MOXA under unsaturated conditions in two lithofacies, a bimodal gravel (Gcm,b) and a sand (S-x). Tracer experiments showed water fractionation into mobile and immobile compartments more pronounced in bimodal gravel columns. In both lithofacies columns, SMOC outflow is delayed (retardation factor > 2) and mass balance reveals depletion (mass balance of 0.59 and 0.77 in bimodal gravel and sand, respectively). However, complete mass elution associated with retardation factors close to unity shows that there is no adsorption of MESA and MOXA in either lithofacies. SMOC transport is characterized by non-equilibrium sorption and sink term in both bimodal gravel and sand columns. Batch experiments carried out using agitation times consistent with column water residence times confirmed a time-dependence of SMOC sorption and high adsorption rates (> 80%) of applied concentrations. Desorption experiments confirm the irreversibility of a major part of the SMOC adsorption onto particles, corresponding to the sink term in columns. In the bimodal gravel column, SMOC adsorption occurs mainly on reactive particles in contact with mobile water because of flow regionalization whereas in the sand column, there is pesticide diffusion to the immobile water. Such results clearly show that sorption mechanisms in the vadose zone solids below the soil are both solute and contact-time-dependent and are impacted by hydrodynamic conditions. The more rapid transport of MESA and MOXA to the aquifer would be controlled mainly by water flow

  15. Method of estimating delay time for groundwater recharge through vadose zone in the Hancheon watershed in Jeju island, South Korea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Nam Won; Na, Hanna; Chung, Il-Moon; Lee, Jeongwoo

    2014-05-01

    In this work, the delay time for groundwater recharge was estimated by comparing simulated groundwater recharge by means of SWAT(Soil and Water Assessment Tool) model and WTF(Water Table Fluctuation) method. SWAT model uses the delay time for groundwater recharge when the water from rainfall travelled through vadose zone just after getting out of soil zone bottom. Since measuring delay time is almost impossible, we had to choose the method of comparing the estimated values from modeling(SWAT) and analytic method(WTF). The test site is Hancheon watershed which has 8 groundwater measurement stations. The results show that the altitude has a linear relationship with the estimated delay time values. To validate these results, we conducted corelation analysis between transformed groundwater levels and observed ones. The results showed that computed groundwater levels have good correlation. The estimated delay time would be used for the groundwater behaviour characteristics in vadose zone. keywords: Water Table Fluctuation, vadose zone, groundwater recharge, Soil and Water Assessment Tool Acknowledgements This research was supported by the Regional Innovative Technology Project 2B from KICTTEP.

  16. Field-scale investigation of enhanced petroleum hydrocarbon biodegradation in the vadose zone combining soil venting as an oxygen source with moisture and nutrient addition. Appendices. Doctoral thesis

    SciTech Connect

    Miller, R.N.

    1990-01-01

    This document contains appendices regarding a reprint on a field scale investigation of enhanced petroleum hydrocarbon biodegradation in the vadose zone combining soil venting as a oxygen source with moisture and nutrient addition.

  17. Integrated Field, Laboratory, and Modeling Studies to Determine the Effects of Linked Microbial and Physical Spatial Heterogeneity on Engineered Vadose Zone Bioremediation

    SciTech Connect

    Fred Brokman; John Selker; Mark Rockhold

    2004-01-26

    While numerous techniques exist for remediation of contaminant plumes in groundwater or near the soil surface, remediation methods in the deep vadose zone are less established due to complex transport dynamics and sparse microbial populations. There is a lack of knowledge on how physical and hydrologic features of the vadose zone control microbial growth and colonization in response to nutrient delivery during bioremediation. Yet pollution in the vadose zone poses a serious threat to the groundwater resources lying deeper in the sediment. While the contaminants may be slowly degraded by native microbial communities, microbial degradation rates rarely keep pace with the spread of the pollutant. It is crucial to increase indigenous microbial degradation in the vadose zone to combat groundwater contamination.

  18. Integrated Field, Laboratory, and Modeling Studies to Determine the Effects of Linked Microbial and Physical Spatial Heterogeneity on Engineered Vadose Zone Bioremediation

    SciTech Connect

    Brockman, Fred J.; Selker, John S.; Rockhold, Mark L.

    2004-10-31

    Executive Summary - While numerous techniques exist for remediation of contaminant plumes in groundwater or near the soil surface, remediation methods in the deep vadose zone are less established due to complex transport dynamics and sparse microbial populations. There is a lack of knowledge on how physical and hydrologic features of the vadose zone control microbial growth and colonization in response to nutrient delivery during bioremediation. Yet pollution in the vadose zone poses a serious threat to the groundwater resources lying deeper in the sediment. While the contaminants may be slowly degraded by native microbial communities, microbial degradation rates rarely keep pace with the spread of the pollutant. It is crucial to increase indigenous microbial degradation in the vadose zone to combat groundwater contamination...

  19. CO2 migration in the vadose zone: experimental and numerical modelling of controlled gas injection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    gasparini, andrea; credoz, anthony; grandia, fidel; garcia, david angel; bruno, jordi

    2014-05-01

    The mobility of CO2 in the vadose zone and its subsequent transfer to the atmosphere is a matter of concern in the risk assessment of the geological storage of CO2. In this study the experimental and modelling results of controlled CO2 injection are reported to better understanding of the physical processes affecting CO2 and transport in the vadose zone. CO2 was injected through 16 micro-injectors during 49 days of experiments in a 35 m3 experimental unit filled with sandy material, in the PISCO2 facilities at the ES.CO2 centre in Ponferrada (North Spain). Surface CO2 flux were monitored and mapped periodically to assess the evolution of CO2 migration through the soil and to the atmosphere. Numerical simulations were run to reproduce the experimental results, using TOUGH2 code with EOS7CA research module considering two phases (gas and liquid) and three components (H2O, CO2, air). Five numerical models were developed following step by step the injection procedure done at PISCO2. The reference case (Model A) simulates the injection into a homogeneous soil(homogeneous distribution of permeability and porosity in the near-surface area, 0.8 to 0.3 m deep from the atmosphere). In another model (Model B), four additional soil layers with four specific permeabilities and porosities were included to predict the effect of differential compaction on soil. To account for the effect of higher soil temperature, an isothermal simulation called Model C was also performed. Finally, the assessment of the rainfall effects (soil water saturation) on CO2 emission on surface was performed in models called Model D and E. The combined experimental and modelling approach shows that CO2 leakage in the vadose zone quickly comes out through preferential migration pathways and spots with the ranges of fluxes in the ground/surface interface from 2.5 to 600 g·m-2·day-1. This gas channelling is mainly related to soil compaction and climatic perturbation. This has significant implications to

  20. The Effects of Clastic Dikes on Vadose Zone Transport at the Hanford Site, Southcentral Washington

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murray, C. J.; Ward, A. L.; Wilson, J. L.; Long, P. E.; Lechler, B. J.; Clement, W. P.; Kannberg, P. K.; Gee, G. W.

    2001-12-01

    Clastic dikes are common sedimentary structures in the vadose zone at the Hanford Site, a U.S. Department of Energy facility in Washington State. The dikes consist of vertically oriented sand and silt bands that are often contorted and irregular and cut the subhorizontal sand and silt beds of the Hanford and Ringold formations. Evidence from recent drilling indicates that clastic dikes penetrate to depths exceeding 50 m. Our field investigations have quantified several structural and textural features associated with clastic dikes that will impact vadose zone transport. The clay content is 5 to 10 percent higher within the dike than it is in the adjacent sediments. The average grain size of the dikes is finer and the air permeability is about an order of magnitude less within the dikes than it is in the adjacent matrix. Field measurements of saturated hydraulic conductivity also showed an order of magnitude difference between the dike and the matrix. However, variability within the dikes is high. The grain size within adjacent bands of the dikes varies from silt to medium sand and the air permeability associated with the sand and silt bands varies over at least two orders of magnitude. Evidence from measurements and infrared imaging of the bands within excavated dikes indicates that they are not continuous horizontally or vertically, with most bands terminated within a meter or two by the anastamosing network of low permeability clay and silt laminae that bound the dikes and their internal bands. Fine-grained clastic sills projecting from the dikes are also common, and were found to exert a strong influence on subsurface transport of moisture. In recent infiltration experiments, moisture traveled several meters laterally within a fine-grained sill that intercepted a portion of the infiltrating moisture. The sill had high moisture levels prior to the injection experiment, as indicated by neutron probe data and cone penetrometer data, which may have increased the

  1. Notice of Construction for Tank Waste Remediation System Vadose Zone Characterization

    SciTech Connect

    HILL, J.S.

    2000-04-20

    The following description and any attachments and references are provided to the Washington State Department of Health (WDOH), Division of Radiation Protection, Air Emissions and Defense Waste Section as a notice of construction (NOC) in accordance with Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 246-247, Radiation Protection-Air Emissions. The WAC 246-247-060, ''Applications, registration, and licensing'', states ''This section describes the information requirements for approval to construct, modify, and operate an emission unit. Any NOC requires the submittal of information listed in Appendix A.'' Appendix A (WAC 246-247-1 10) lists the requirements that must be addressed. The original NOC was submitted in May of 1999 as DOm-99-34. Additionally, the following description, attachments and references are provided to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as an NOC, in accordance with Title 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 61, ''National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants.'' The information required for submittal to the EPA is specified in 40 CFR 61.07. The potential emissions from this activity are estimated to provide less than 0.1 milliredyear total effective dose equivalent (TEDE) to the hypothetical offsite maximally exposed individual (MEI), and commencement is needed within a short time frame. Therefore, this application is also intended to provide notification of the anticipated date of initial start-up in accordance with the requirement listed in 40 CFR 61.09(a)(1), and it is requested that approval of this application will also constitute EPA acceptance of this initial start-up notification. Written notification of the actual date of initial startup, in accordance with the requirement listed in 40 CFR 61.09(a)(2) will be provided at a later date. This NOC covers the activities associated with vadose zone characterization within the Single-Shell Tank Farms located in the 200-East and 200-West Areas of the Hanford Site. Vadose zone

  2. Probing Microbial Activity in a Perched Water Body Located in a Deep Vadose Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujita, Y.; Taylor, J. L.; Henriksen, J. R.; Delwiche, M.; Gebrehiwet, T.; Hubbard, S. S.; Spycher, N.; Weathers, T. S.; Ginn, T. R.; Pfiffner, S. M.; Smith, R. W.

    2011-12-01

    Waste releases to the vadose zone are a legacy of past activities at a number of Department of Energy (DOE) facilities. At the Idaho National Laboratory (INL), 90Sr has been detected in perched water bodies underlying the Idaho Nuclear Technology and Engineering Center (INTEC) facility. Microbially induced calcite precipitation (MICP) using urea-hydrolyzing microbes is one proposed approach for immobilization of 90Sr in the subsurface. The sequestration mechanism is co-precipitation in calcite, promoted by the production of carbonate alkalinity from ureolysis. In order to assess the potential efficacy of MICP at INTEC a field study was conducted at the INL Vadose Zone Research Park (VZRP). The VZRP is located approximately 3 km from INTEC and shares many of the same hydrologic and lithologic features but in a non-contaminated setting. We conducted experiments over two field seasons in a perched water body located approximately 15 meters below land surface, using a 5-spot wellfield design. During the first season amendments (molasses and urea) were injected into the central well and water was extracted from two wells on either side, located along a diagonal. Water samples were characterized for microbial abundance, ureolytic activity and ureC gene numbers, along with solution composition. Before, during and after the injections cross-borehole geophysical imaging was performed, using various combinations of the available wells. During the second field season in situ static experiments were conducted to specifically characterize attached and unattached microbial communities, using surrogate substrates colonized during a 12 week incubation. Based on the field data a first order in situ urea hydrolysis rate constant of 0.034 d-1 was estimated. This was more than an order of magnitude higher than rate constants estimated above-ground using water samples, suggesting that attached microorganisms were responsible for >90% of the observed urea hydrolysis activity. The

  3. Notice of Construction for Tank Waste Remediation System Vadose Zone Characterization

    SciTech Connect

    HILL, J.S.

    2000-03-08

    The following description and any attachments and references are provided to the Washington State Department of Health (WDOH), Division of Radiation Protection, Air Emissions & Defense Waste Section as a notice of construction (NOC) in accordance with Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 246-247, Radiation Protection--Air Emissions. The WAC 246-247-060, ''Applications, registration, and licensing'', states ''This section describes the information requirements for approval to construct, modify, and operate an emission unit. Any NOC requires the submittal of information listed in Appendix A,'' Appendix A (WAC 246-247-1 10) lists the requirements that must be addressed. The original NOC was submitted in May of 1999 as DOE/TU-99-34. Additionally, the following description, attachments and references are provided to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as an NOC, in accordance with Title 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 61, ''National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants.'' The information required for submittal to the EPA is specified in 40 CFR 61.07. The potential emissions from this activity are estimated to provide less than 0.1 millirem/year total effective dose equivalent (TEDE) to the hypothetical offsite maximally exposed individual (MEI), and commencement is needed within a short time frame. Therefore, this application is also intended to provide notification of the anticipated date of initial startup in accordance with the requirement listed in 40 CFR 61.09(axl), and it is requested that approval of this application will also constitute EPA acceptance of this initial start-up notification. Written notification of the actual date of initial startup, in accordance with the requirement listed in 40 CFR 61.09(a)(2) will be provided at a later date. This NOC covers the activities associated with vadose zone characterization within the Single-Shell Tank Farms located in the 200-East and 200-West Areas of the Hanford Site. Vadose zone

  4. DNAPL Surface Chemistry: Its Impact on DNAPL Distribution in the Vadose Zone and its Manipulation to Enhance Remediation

    SciTech Connect

    Suan Power; Stefan Grimberg; Miles Denham

    2003-06-16

    The remediation of DNAPLs in subsurface environments is often limited by the heterogeneous distribution of the organic fluid. The fraction of DNAPL that is in the high conductivity regions of the subsurface can often be recovered relatively easily, although DNAPL in lower conductivity regions is much more difficult to extract, either through direct pumping or remediation measures based on interface mass transfer. The distribution of DNAPL within the vadose zone is affected by a complex interplay of heterogeneities in the porous matrix and the interfacial properties defining the interactions among all fluid and solid phases. Decreasing the interfacial tension between a DNAPL and water in the vadose zone could change the spreading of the DNAPL, thereby increase the surface area for mass transfer and the effectiveness of soil vapor extraction remediation.

  5. A Hybrid Hydrologic-Geophysical Inverse Technique for the Assessment and Monitoring of Leachates in the Vadose Zone

    SciTech Connect

    ALUMBAUGH,DAVID L.; YEH,JIM; LABRECQUE,DOUG; GLASS,ROBERT J.; BRAINARD,JAMES; RAUTMAN,CHRIS

    1999-06-15

    The objective of this study is to develop and field test a new, integrated Hybrid Hydrologic-Geophysical Inverse Technique (HHGIT) for characterization of the vadose zone at contaminated sites. This new approach to site characterization and monitoring can provide detailed maps of hydrogeological heterogeneity and the extent of contamination by combining information from 3D electric resistivity tomography (ERT) and/or 2D cross borehole ground penetrating radar (XBGPR) surveys, statistical information about heterogeneity and hydrologic processes, and sparse hydrologic data. Because the electrical conductivity and dielectric constant of the vadose zone (from the ERT and XBGPR measurements, respectively) can be correlated to the fluid saturation and/or contaminant concentration, the hydrologic and geophysical measurements are related.

  6. The Role of Natural Organic Matter and Mineral Colloids in the Transport of Contaminants through Heterogeneous Vadose-Zone Environments

    SciTech Connect

    James Saiers, Yale University; Joseph Ryan, University of Colorado

    2009-01-31

    Our research was guided by a key objective of the Environmental Management Science Program (EMSP), which is to improve conceptual and predictive models for contaminant movement in complex vadose zone environments. In this report, increases in the understanding of colloidcontaminant interactions, colloid mobilization, and colloid deposition within unsaturated soils are cited as requisite needs for predicting contaminant fate and distribution in the vadose zone. We addressed these needs by pursuing three key goals: 1. Identify the mechanisms that govern OM and mineral-colloid reaction and transport in heterogeneous, unsaturated porous media; 2. Quantify the role of OM and mineral colloids in scavenging and facilitating the transport of contaminants of concern to DOE; and 3. Develop and test a mathematical model suitable for simulating the movement of OM- and colloid-associated contaminants through heterogeneous, unsaturated porous media.

  7. Geochemical Characterization Data Package for the Vadose Zone in the Single-Shell Tank Waste Management Areas at the Hanford Site

    SciTech Connect

    Cantrell, Kirk J.; Brown, Christopher F.; Serne, R. Jeffrey; Krupka, Kenneth M.

    2008-01-07

    This data package discusses the geochemistry of vadose zone sediments beneath the single-shell tank (SST) farms at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Hanford Site. The purpose of the report is to provide a review of the most recent and relevant geochemical information available for the vadose zone beneath the SST farms and the Integrated Disposal Facility (IDF).

  8. Quasi 3D modeling of water flow and solute transport in vadose zone and groundwater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yakirevich, A.; Kuznetsov, M.; Weisbrod, N.; Pachepsky, Y. A.

    2013-12-01

    The complexity of subsurface flow systems calls for a variety of concepts leading to the multiplicity of simplified flow models. One commonly used simplification is based on the assumption that lateral flow and transport in unsaturated zone is insignificant unless the capillary fringe is involved. In such cases the flow and transport in the unsaturated zone above groundwater level can be simulated as a 1D phenomenon, whereas through groundwater they are viewed as 2D or 3D phenomena. A new approach for a numerical scheme for 3D variably saturated flow and transport is presented. A Quasi-3D approach allows representing flow in the 'vadose zone - aquifer' system by a series of 1D Richards' equations solved in variably-saturated zone and by 3D-saturated flow equation in groundwater (modified MODFLOW code). The 1D and 3D equations are coupled at the phreatic surface in a way that aquifer replenishment is calculated using the Richards' equation, and solving for the moving water table does not require definition of the specific yield parameter. The 3D advection-dispersion equation is solved in the entire domain by the MT3D code. Using implicit finite differences approximation to couple processes in the vadose zone and groundwater provides mass conservation and increase of computational efficiency. The above model was applied to simulate the impact of irrigation on groundwater salinity in the Alto Piura aquifer (Northern Peru). Studies on changing groundwater quality in arid and semi-arid lands show that irrigation return flow is one of the major factors contributing to aquifer salinization. Existing mathematical models do not account explicitly for the solute recycling during irrigation on a daily scale. Recycling occurs throughout the unsaturated and saturated zones, as function of the solute mass extracted from pumping wells. Salt concentration in irrigation water is calculated at each time step as a function of concentration of both surface water and groundwater

  9. Groundwater Recharge Estimates under Agricultural Lands based on Deep Vadose Zone Sampling, Monitoring and Modeling, Mediterranean Climate, Israel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kurtzman, D.; Turkeltub, T.; Shapira, R.; Dahan, O.

    2011-12-01

    Models of unsaturated flow and chloride transport under different agricultural settings were calibrated to deep vadose-zone samples or monitoring systems' data. The land settings include irrigated citrus orchards in light and heavy soils, a rain-fed winter crop field, an irrigated summer crop field and a bare sand dune. Vadose zone monitoring system (VMS), which enables continuous measurements of the vadose zone water content and frequent sampling of pore water at selected points across the entire vadose zone were used in three sites. In other sites direct push rigs were used for obtaining continuous core to depths ~ 10 m, and all physical and chemical characterization were derived in the lab. Hydrus 1D code was used for calibrating the models, validation runs (only in monitored sites) and simulations. In orchards, large variability of rechrge rates within the same orchard was observed. On average, relatively low recharge rates were calculated (~10% of precipitation+ irrigation), and high masses of chloride accumulations are found in many profiles obtained under orchards. Recharge variability within the same crop-field was usually smaller than the variability found in orchards while average relative recharge rates are usually higher than in orchards. Calibrated models were used for simulation of long periods and some simple precipitation-recharge statistics for the different land uses were obtained. Scenarios of land-use and climate change where used to produce estimates of the effects of these changes on recharge (e.g. 25% drop in rainfall will lead to ~50% drop in recharge under rain-fed crop).

  10. Impact of wastewater irrigation on the dynamics of metal concentration in the vadose zone: simulation with NETPATH--part II.

    PubMed

    Deshmukh, Santosh K; Singh, Anil Kumar; Datta, Siba Prasad

    2015-12-01

    Understanding and quantification of geochemical processes in vadose zone of sewage-effluent-irrigated soils are helpful in predicting the transference of metals and other ions to food chain and groundwater. Hence, an attempt has been made to simulate various geochemical processes occurring in the flow path of infiltrating sewage water down the vadose zone with the help of Net Geochemical Reaction Along the Flow Path (NETPATH). This study area was located in Western Delhi, India, where sewage effluents originating from Keshopur Sewage Treatment plant have been used for irrigation since 1979. Agricultural lands receiving irrigation through sewage and tube well water were selected for this study. The results indicated that groundwater of 20- and 10-year sewage-irrigated lands was slightly oversaturated in respect of calcite and dolomite, and undersaturated in respect of gypsum. The shallow groundwater of 5-year sewage-irrigated field was undersaturated in case of calcite, dolomite, and gypsum. Among the metals, major focus was given on Fe and Mn as these two metals are redox prone and relatively more mobile than other metals under saturated conditions. There was reduction in concentration of Fe and Mn in groundwater samples of 20-year sewage-irrigated field as compared to that in sewage effluent. Such reduction in concentration of Fe and Mn could be ascribed to the formation of goethite and manganite in vadose zone, respectively, as revealed by simulation with NETPATH. Similarly, in case of 10- and 5-year sewage-irrigated fields, increase in Fe and Mn concentrations in groundwater was due to dissolution of siderite and pyrulusite, respectively. NETPATH software could explain the variation in diethylene triamine pentaacetic acid (DTPA)-extractable Fe and Mn content in vadose zone to the extent of 94 and 65%, respectively. PMID:26585958

  11. Experimental and Theoretical Assessment of the Lifetime of a Gaseous-Reduced Vadose Zone Permeable Reactive Barrier

    SciTech Connect

    Thornton, Edward C.; Zhong, Lirong; Oostrom, Mart; Deng, Baolin

    2007-11-20

    The feasibility of using gaseous reduction to establish a vadose zone permeable reactive barrier was evaluated through a combination of laboratory testing activities and consideration of fundamental vadose zone transport concepts. For the experimental evaluation, a series of laboratory column tests were conducted in which sediment was first treated with diluted hydrogen sulfide. Water containing dissolved oxygen was then pumped through the columns at different flow rates to determine the reoxidation rate and the reductive capacity of the treated sediment. The results indicated that the treated sediment has a significant reductive capacity consistent with the basic reactions associated with the treatment and reoxidation processes. The observed reductive capacity was found to be dependent on the flow rate of water during the reoxidation phase of the tests. At lower flow rates, the reductive capacity approached the maximum value predicted on the basis of the treatment reaction. Thus, laboratory treatment tests should reliably predict the reductive capacity of the barrier under field conditions. A theoretical approach was undertaken to estimate the lifetime of the vadose zone barrier. An initial model assumed that the barrier lifetime is determined by the reoxidation of the barrier owing to the transport of oxygen through a vadose zone interval in which all sediment is unsaturated. The results of this evaluation suggest that barrier reoxidation is primarily related to diffusion of oxygen through the gas-filled portion of the sediment pore space. If so, the barrier lifetime could be fairly short (several years). However, the presence of finer grained strata with higher moisture content could potentially increase the barrier lifetime to 100 years or more owing to a decrease in the effective diffusion coefficient for oxygen. Thus, detailed stratagraphic characterization and modeling is needed to provide an accurate assessment of barrier lifetime at specific sites.

  12. Multiresponse multilayer vadose zone model calibration using Markov chain Monte Carlo simulation and field water retention data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    WöHling, Thomas; Vrugt, Jasper A.

    2011-04-01

    In the past two decades significant progress has been made toward the application of inverse modeling to estimate the water retention and hydraulic conductivity functions of the vadose zone at different spatial scales. Many of these contributions have focused on estimating only a few soil hydraulic parameters, without recourse to appropriately capturing and addressing spatial variability. The assumption of a homogeneous medium significantly simplifies the complexity of the resulting inverse problem, allowing the use of classical parameter estimation algorithms. Here we present an inverse modeling study with a high degree of vertical complexity that involves calibration of a 25 parameter Richards'-based HYDRUS-1D model using in situ measurements of volumetric water content and pressure head from multiple depths in a heterogeneous vadose zone in New Zealand. We first determine the trade-off in the fitting of both data types using the AMALGAM multiple objective evolutionary search algorithm. Then we adopt a Bayesian framework and derive posterior probability density functions of parameter and model predictive uncertainty using the recently developed differential evolution adaptive metropolis, DREAMZS adaptive Markov chain Monte Carlo scheme. We use four different formulations of the likelihood function each differing in their underlying assumption about the statistical properties of the error residual and data used for calibration. We show that AMALGAM and DREAMZS can solve for the 25 hydraulic parameters describing the water retention and hydraulic conductivity functions of the multilayer heterogeneous vadose zone. Our study clearly highlights that multiple data types are simultaneously required in the likelihood function to result in an accurate soil hydraulic characterization of the vadose zone of interest. Remaining error residuals are most likely caused by model deficiencies that are not encapsulated by the multilayer model and can not be accessed by the

  13. Deep Vadose Zone Treatability Test for the Hanford Central Plateau. Interim Post-Desiccation Monitoring Results, Fiscal Year 2015

    SciTech Connect

    Truex, Michael J.; Strickland, Christopher E.; Oostrom, Martinus; Johnson, Christian D.; Tartakovsky, Guzel D.; Johnson, Timothy C.; Clayton, Ray E.; Chronister, Glen B.

    2015-09-01

    A field test of desiccation is being conducted as an element of the Deep Vadose Zone Treatability Test Program. The active desiccation portion of the test has been completed. Monitoring data have been collected at the field test site during the post-desiccation period and are reported herein. This is an interim data summary report that includes about 4 years of post-desiccation monitoring data. The DOE field test plan proscribes a total of 5 years of post-desiccation monitoring.

  14. Microfoams as Reactant Transport Media for In-Situ Immobilization of Radionuclide and Metallic Contaminants in Deep Vadose Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wellman, D. M.; Zhong, L.; Mattigod, S.; Jansik, D.

    2009-12-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is currently addressing issues related to remediation of Cr, U and Tc contamination in the deep vadose zone at the Hanford Site in Washington State. One of the transformational technology alternatives being considered by the DOE Office of Environmental Management, is the use of Reactant Carrier Microfoams (RCM) for in-situ immobilization of contaminants. Foam injection technology for Enhance Oil Recovery (EOR) has well-established pedigree. Use of surfactant foams have also been explored for mobilizing DNAPL from sediments. However, the novel concept of using RCM for in situ immobilization contaminants in the deep vadose zone has not been explored, therefore, presents many daunting challenges for successful implementation. Scienists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), leveraged previous EMSP-funded studies on microfoams conducted at LBNL with the goal to formulate robust stable microfoams for delivering reductive and/or precipitating reactants to the deep subsurface. Following an extensive literature review, a protocol was deisnged to select appropriate surfactant blends, and tested three different methods of foam generation namely, Venturi foam generato , high-speed gas entrainment and porous plate method. The resulting RCMs were characterized as to their quality, stability, bubble size distribution, surface tension and viscosity. The foam stabilities as a function of reactant (polyphosphate and polysulfides) concentrations and entrained polyatomic gases were also examined. Based on these experiments, optimal carrier foam compositions were identified for each Hanford deep vadose zone Contaminant of Concern (COC) namely U(VI) and Cr(VI). Finally, MSE Technology Applications, Inc (MSE) in collaboration with PNNL, conducted a series of scale-up reactant carrier foam injection tests to evaluate the efficacy of this technology for potential deep vadose zone remediation.

  15. Effect of NAPL Source Morphology on Mass Transfer in the Vadose Zone.

    PubMed

    Petri, Benjamin G; Fučík, Radek; Illangasekare, Tissa H; Smits, Kathleen M; Christ, John A; Sakaki, Toshihiro; Sauck, Carolyn C

    2015-01-01

    The generation of vapor-phase contaminant plumes within the vadose zone is of interest for contaminated site management. Therefore, it is important to understand vapor sources such as non-aqueous-phase liquids (NAPLs) and processes that govern their volatilization. The distribution of NAPL, gas, and water phases within a source zone is expected to influence the rate of volatilization. However, the effect of this distribution morphology on volatilization has not been thoroughly quantified. Because field quantification of NAPL volatilization is often infeasible, a controlled laboratory experiment was conducted in a two-dimensional tank (28 cm × 15.5 cm × 2.5 cm) with water-wet sandy media and an emplaced trichloroethylene (TCE) source. The source was emplaced in two configurations to represent morphologies encountered in field settings: (1) NAPL pools directly exposed to the air phase and (2) NAPLs trapped in water-saturated zones that were occluded from the air phase. Airflow was passed through the tank and effluent concentrations of TCE were quantified. Models were used to analyze results, which indicated that mass transfer from directly exposed NAPL was fast and controlled by advective-dispersive-diffusive transport in the gas phase. However, sources occluded by pore water showed strong rate limitations and slower effective mass transfer. This difference is explained by diffusional resistance within the aqueous phase. Results demonstrate that vapor generation rates from a NAPL source will be influenced by the soil water content distribution within the source. The implications of the NAPL morphology on volatilization in the context of a dynamic water table or climate are discussed. PMID:25535651

  16. Seasonal Variability in Vadose zone biodegradation at a crude oil pipeline rupture site

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sihota, Natasha J.; Trost, Jared J.; Bekins, Barbara; Berg, Andrew M.; Delin, Geoffrey N.; Mason, Brent E.; Warren, Ean; Mayer, K. Ulrich

    2016-01-01

    Understanding seasonal changes in natural attenuation processes is critical for evaluating source-zone longevity and informing management decisions. The seasonal variations of natural attenuation were investigated through measurements of surficial CO2 effluxes, shallow soil CO2 radiocarbon contents, subsurface gas concentrations, soil temperature, and volumetric water contents during a 2-yr period. Surficial CO2 effluxes varied seasonally, with peak values of total soil respiration (TSR) occurring in the late spring and summer. Efflux and radiocarbon data indicated that the fractional contributions of natural soil respiration (NSR) and contaminant soil respiration (CSR) to TSR varied seasonally. The NSR dominated in the spring and summer, and CSR dominated in the fall and winter. Subsurface gas concentrations also varied seasonally, with peak values of CO2 and CH4 occurring in the fall and winter. Vadose zone temperatures and subsurface CO2 concentrations revealed a correlation between contaminant respiration and temperature. A time lag of 5 to 7 mo between peak subsurface CO2 concentrations and peak surface efflux is consistent with travel-time estimates for subsurface gas migration. Periods of frozen soils coincided with depressed surface CO2 effluxes and elevated CO2 concentrations, pointing to the temporary presence of an ice layer that inhibited gas transport. Quantitative reactive transport simulations demonstrated aspects of the conceptual model developed from field measurements. Overall, results indicated that source-zone natural attenuation (SZNA) rates and gas transport processes varied seasonally and that the average annual SZNA rate estimated from periodic surface efflux measurements is 60% lower than rates determined from measurements during the summer.

  17. Transit times of water particles in the vadose zone across catchment states and catchments functional units

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sprenger, Matthias; Weiler, Markus

    2014-05-01

    Understanding the water movement in the vadose zone and its associated transport of solutes are of major interest to reduce nutrient leaching, pollution transport or other risks to water quality. Soil physical models are widely used to asses such transport processes, while the site specific parameterization of these models remains challenging. Inverse modeling is a common method to adjust the soil physical parameters in a way that the observed water movement or soil water dynamics are reproduced by the simulation. We have shown that the pore water stable isotope concentration can serve as an additional fitting target to simulate the solute transport and water balance in the unsaturated zone. In the presented study, the Mualem- van Genuchten parameters for the Richards equation and diffusivity parameter for the convection-dispersion equation have been parameterized using the inverse model approach with Hydrus-1D for 46 experimental sites of different land use, topography, pedology and geology in the Attert basin in Luxembourg. With the best parameter set we simulated the transport of a conservative solute that was introduced via a pulse input at different points in time. Thus, the transit times in the upper 2 m of the soil for different catchment states could be inferred for each location. It has been shown that the time a particle needs to pass the -2 m depth plane highly varies from the systems state and the systems forcing during and after infiltration of that particle. Differences in transit times among the study sites within the Attert basin were investigated with regards to its governing factors to test the concept of functional units. The study shows the potential of pore water stable isotope concentration for residence times and transport analyses in the unsaturated zone leading to a better understanding of the time variable subsurface processes across the catchment.

  18. Laboratory Development of Polyphosphate Remediation Technology for In Situ Treatment of Uranium Contamination in the Vadose Zone and Capillary Fringe

    SciTech Connect

    Wellman, Dawn M.; Pierce, Eric M.; Bovaird, Chase C.; Griswold, Kimberly M.; Gunderson, Katie M.; Webb, Samuel M.; Bargar, John R.

    2009-04-08

    A laboratory testing program has been conducted to optimize polyphosphate remediation technology for implementation through a field-scale technology infiltration demonstration to stabilize soluble, uranium-bearing source phases in the vadose zone and capillary fringe. Source treatment in the deep vadose zone will accelerate the natural attenuation of uranium to more thermodynamically stable uranium-phosphate minerals, enhancing the performance of the proposed polyphosphate remediation within the 300 Area aquifer. The objective of this investigation was to develop polyphosphate remediation technology to treat uranium contamination contained within the deep vadose zone and capillary fringe. This chapter presents the results of an investigation that evaluated the rate and extent of reaction between polyphosphate and the uranium mineral phases present within the 300 Area, and autunite formation as a function of polyphosphate formulation and concentration. This information is critical for identifying the optimum implementation approach and controlling the flux of uranium to the underlying aquifer during remediation. Results from this investigation may be used to design a full-scale remediation of uranium at the 300 Area of the Hanford Site.

  19. Characterization of Vadose Zone Sediment: Borehole 41-09-39 in the S-SX Waste Management Area

    SciTech Connect

    Serne, R. Jeffrey; Last, George V.; Schaef, Herbert T.; Lanigan, David C.; Lindenmeier, Clark W.; Ainsworth, Calvin C.; Clayton, Ray E.; Legore, Virginia L.; O'Hara, Matthew J.; Brown, Christopher F.; Orr, Robert D.; Kutnyakov, Igor V.; Wilson, Teresa C.; Wagnon, Kenneth B.; Williams, Bruce A.; Burke, Deborah S.

    2008-09-11

    This report was revised in September 2008 to remove acid-extractable sodium data from Table 5.15. The sodium data was removed due to potential contamination introduced during the acid extraction process. The rest of the text remains unchanged from the original report issued in February 2002. The overall goal of the of the Tank Farm Vadose Zone Project, led by CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc., is to define risks from past and future single-shell tank farm activities. To meet this goal, CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc., asked scientists from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to perform detailed analyses on vadose zone sediment from within the S-SX Waste Management Area. This report is one in a series of four reports to present the results of these analyses. Specifically, this report contains all the geologic, geochemical, and selected physical characterization data collected on vadose zone sediment recovered from borehole 41-09-39 installed adjacent to tank SX-109.

  20. Characterization of Vadose Zone Sediment: Slant Borehole SX-108 in the S-SX Waste Management Area

    SciTech Connect

    Serne, R. Jeffrey; Last, George V.; Schaef, Herbert T.; Lanigan, David C.; Lindenmeier, Clark W.; Ainsworth, Calvin C.; Clayton, Ray E.; Legore, Virginia L.; O'Hara, Matthew J.; Brown, Christopher F.; Orr, Robert D.; Kutnyakov, Igor V.; Wilson, Teresa C.; Wagnon, Kenneth B.; Williams, Bruce A.; Burke, Deborah S.

    2008-09-11

    This report was revised in September 2008 to remove acid-extractable sodium data from Table 4.17. The sodium data was removed due to potential contamination introduced during the acid extraction process. The rest of the text remains unchanged from the original report issued in February 2002. The overall goal of the of the Tank Farm Vadose Zone Project, led by CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc., is to define risks from past and future single-shell tank farm activities. To meet this goal, CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc., asked scientists from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to perform detailed analyses on vadose zone sediment from within the S-SX Waste Management Area. This report is the fourth in a series of four reports to present the results of these analyses. Specifically, this report contains all the geologic, geochemical, and selected physical characterization data collected on vadose zone sediment recovered from a slant borehole installed beneath tank SX-108 (or simply SX-108 slant borehole).

  1. Influences of Flow Transients and Porous Medium Heterogeneity on Colloid-Associated Contaminant Transport in the Vadose Zone

    SciTech Connect

    James Saiers

    2006-06-28

    Radionuclides, metals, and dense non-aqueous phase liquids have contaminated about six billion cubic meters of soil at Department of Energy (DOE) sites. The subsurface transport of many of these contaminants is facilitated by colloids (i.e., microscopic, waterborne particles). The first step in the transport of contaminants from their sources to off-site surface water and groundwater is migration through the vadose zone. Developing our understanding of the migration of colloids and colloid-associated contaminants through the vadose zone is critical to assessing and controlling the release of contaminants from DOE sites. In this study, we examined the mobilization, transport, and filtration (retention) of mineral colloids and colloid-associated radionuclides within unsaturated porous media. This investigation involved laboratory column experiments designed to identify properties that affect colloid mobilization and retention and pore-scale visualization experiments designed to elucidate mechanisms that govern these colloid-mass transfer processes. The experiments on colloid mobilization and retention were supplemented with experiments on radionuclide transport through porous media and on radionuclide adsorption to mineral colloids. Observations from all of these experiments – the column and visualization experiments with colloids and the experiments with radionuclides – were used to guide the development of mathematical models appropriate for describing colloids and colloid-facilitated radionuclide transport through the vadose zone.

  2. Influences of Flow Transients and Porous Medium Heterogeneity on Colloid-Associated Contaminant Transport in the Vadose Zone

    SciTech Connect

    James Saiers; Joseph Ryan

    2006-07-02

    Radionuclides, metals, and dense non-aqueous phase liquids have contaminated about six billion cubic meters of soil at Department of Energy (DOE) sites. The subsurface transport of many of these contaminants is facilitated by colloids (i.e., microscopic, waterborne particles). The first step in the transport of contaminants from their sources to off-site surface water and groundwater is migration through the vadose zone. Developing our understanding of the migration of colloids and colloid-associated contaminants through the vadose zone is critical to assessing and controlling the release of contaminants from DOE sites. In this study, we examined the mobilization, transport, and filtration (retention) of mineral colloids and colloidassociated radionuclides within unsaturated porous media. This investigation involved laboratory column experiments designed to identify properties that affect colloid mobilization and retention and pore-scale visualization experiments designed to elucidate mechanisms that govern these colloid-mass transfer processes. The experiments on colloid mobilization and retention were supplemented with experiments on radionuclide transport through porous media and on radionuclide adsorption to mineral colloids. Observations from all of these experiments – the column and visualization experiments with colloids and the experiments with radionuclides – were used to guide the development of mathematical models appropriate for describing colloids and colloid-facilitated radionuclide transport through the vadose zone.

  3. Influences of Flow Transients and Porous Medium Heterogeneity on Colloid-Associated Contaminant Transport in the Vadose Zone

    SciTech Connect

    Saiers, James; Ryan, Joseph

    2005-06-01

    Our research is guided by an EMSP objective to improve conceptual and predictive models of contaminant movement in vadose-zone environments. As described in the report National Roadmap for Vadose-Zone Science and Technology [DOE, 2001], soil-water colloids are capable of adsorbing contaminants, such as radionuclides and metals, and facilitating their migration through the vadose zone and towards groundwater reservoirs. Our research centers on advancing understanding of this phenomenon. In particular, we are combining mathematical modeling with laboratory experimentation at pore and column scales to (1) elucidate the effects of porewater-flow transients on colloid mobilization in unsaturated porous media; (2) explore the sensitivity of colloid deposition rates to changes in porewater chemistry and colloid mineralogy; (3) develop mathematical models appropriate for simulating colloid mobilization, transport, and deposition under both steady-flow and transient-flow conditions; (4) identify mechanisms that govern mineral-colloid mobilization and deposition in unsaturated porous media; (5) quantify the effects of mineral-grain geometry and surface roughness on colloid-filtration rates; and (6) evaluate the influences of colloids on the transport of strontium and cesium (i.e., DOE-contaminants-of-concern) through soils and sediments.

  4. Characterization and Remediation of Chlorinated Volatile Organic Contaminants in the Vadose Zone: An Overview of Issues and Approaches

    PubMed Central

    Brusseau, Mark L.; Carroll, Kenneth C.; Truex, Michael J.; Becker, David J.

    2014-01-01

    Contamination of vadose-zone systems by chlorinated solvents is widespread, and poses significant potential risk to human health through impacts on groundwater quality and vapor intrusion. Soil vapor extraction (SVE) is the presumptive remedy for such contamination, and has been used successfully for innumerable sites. However, SVE operations typically exhibit reduced mass-removal effectiveness at some point due to the impact of poorly accessible contaminant mass and associated mass-transfer limitations. Assessment of SVE performance and closure is currently based on characterizing contaminant mass discharge associated with the vadose-zone source, and its impact on groundwater or vapor intrusion. These issues are addressed in this overview, with a focus on summarizing recent advances in our understanding of the transport, characterization, and remediation of chlorinated solvents in the vadose zone. The evolution of contaminant distribution over time and the associated impacts on remediation efficiency will be discussed, as will the potential impact of persistent sources on groundwater quality and vapor intrusion. In addition, alternative methods for site characterization and remediation will be addressed. PMID:25383058

  5. Estimating the Impact of Vadose Zone Sources on Groundwater to Support Performance Assessment of Soil Vapor Extraction

    SciTech Connect

    Oostrom, Martinus; Truex, Michael J.; Rice, Amy K.; Johnson, Christian D.; Carroll, Kenneth C.; Becker, Dave; Simon, Michelle A.

    2014-03-13

    A generalized conceptual model approach was developed that can be used to estimate the impact of volatile contaminant sources in the vadose zone on groundwater for sites where soil vapor extraction (SVE) operations have diminished source strength. The model has the potential to be broadly applicable for sites where vapor-phase transport dominates. The primary target for this conceptual model and related numerical modeling estimate of groundwater impact is for sites where contaminants have been removed from readily accessible portions of the subsurface, but where contaminants may persist in localized portions of the vadose zone. This paper describes the conceptual model, uses numerical simulations to evaluate the parameters controlling impact to groundwater, and presents estimated results for a range of input conditions. Over the implied ranges, the compliance well concentrations showed (inverse) proportionality with source concentration, Henry’s Law constant, and well screen length. An increase in site recharge caused a linear response in well concentration, with slopes dependent on the groundwater velocity. All other tested parameters resulted in nonlinear responses. The functional relationship between dimensional and transport parameters and resulting groundwater concentrations provide a basis for establishing a structured approach to evaluating the potential risk to groundwater posed by a vadose zone source. This type of evaluation is particularly important to sites where SVE has been applied and reduced contaminant concentrations, but has reached a condition of diminishing returns such that a site must consider whether continuation of SVE, remedy modifications, or closure is warranted.

  6. Vadose zone monitoring system installation report for McClellan AFB

    SciTech Connect

    Zawislanski, P.; Faybishenko, B.; James, A.; Freifeld, B.; Salve, R.

    1996-10-31

    Two vadose zone monitoring systems (VZMS) have been installed at Site S-7, in Investigation Cluster 34 (IC 34), in Operable Unit A (OU A) of McClellan AFB. The two boreholes, VZMS-A and VZMS-B were instrumented at depths ranging from approximately 6 ft to 113 ft. Instruments were installed in clusters using a custom-made stainless steel cage with a spring-loaded mechanism allowing instruments to be in contact with the well bore wall once in place. Each cluster contains a tensiometer, suction lysimeter, soil gas probe and thermistor for measuring hydraulic potential, liquid- and gas-phase pressure, temperature of the formation and for collecting samples for chemical analyses in both the liquid and gas phases. Neutron probe logging is performed in two separate, smaller borings, VZMS-NP-1 and VZMS-NP-2, to obtain soil moisture content data. Preliminary details of soil gas analyses, laboratory field testing of soil samples, particle size analyses and neutron probe data are presented.

  7. Summary of Uranium Solubility Studies in Concrete Waste Forms and Vadose Zone Environments

    SciTech Connect

    Golovich, Elizabeth C.; Wellman, Dawn M.; Serne, R. Jeffrey; Bovaird, Chase C.

    2011-09-30

    One of the methods being considered for safely disposing of Category 3 low-level radioactive wastes is to encase the waste in concrete. Concrete encasement would contain and isolate the waste packages from the hydrologic environment and act as an intrusion barrier. The current plan for waste isolation consists of stacking low-level waste packages on a trench floor, surrounding the stacks with reinforced steel, and encasing these packages in concrete. These concrete-encased waste stacks are expected to vary in size with maximum dimensions of 6.4 m long, 2.7 m wide, and 4 m high. The waste stacks are expected to have a surrounding minimum thickness of 15 cm of concrete encasement. These concrete-encased waste packages are expected to withstand environmental exposure (solar radiation, temperature variations, and precipitation) until an interim soil cover or permanent closure cover is installed and to remain largely intact thereafter. Any failure of concrete encasement may result in water intrusion and consequent mobilization of radionuclides from the waste packages. This report presents the results of investigations elucidating the uranium mineral phases controlling the long-term fate of uranium within concrete waste forms and the solubility of these phases in concrete pore waters and alkaline, circum-neutral vadose zone environments.

  8. The Influence of Calcium Carbonate Grain Coatings on Contaminant Reactivity in Vadose Zone Sediments

    SciTech Connect

    Zachara, John M.; Chambers, Scott; Brown Jr., Gordon E.; Eggleston, Carrick M.

    2001-06-01

    Calcium carbonate (CaCO3) is widely distributed through the Hanford vadose zone as a minor phase. As a result of current and past geochemical processes, CaCO3 exists as grain coatings, intergrain fill, and distinct caliche layers in select locations. Calcium carbonate may also precipitate when high-level wastes react with naturally Ca- and Mg-saturated Hanford sediments. Calcium carbonate is a very reactive mineral phase. Sorption reactions on its surface may slow the migration of certain contaminants (Co, Sr), but its surface coatings on other mineral phases may diminish contaminant retardation (for example, Cr) by blocking surface reaction sites of the substrate. This project explores the behavior of calcium carbonate grain coatings, including how they form and dissolve, their reactivity toward key Hanford contaminants, their impact (as surface coatings) on the reactivity of other mineral substrates, and on their in-ground composition and minor element enrichment. The importance of CaCO3 as a contaminant sorbent will be defined in all of its different manifestations in Hanford sediments: dispersed minor lithic fragments, pedogenic carbonate coatings on gravel and stringers in silt, and nodules in clay and paleosols. Mass action models will be developed that allow understanding and prediction of the geochemical effects of CaCO3 on contaminant retardation in Hanford sediments.

  9. T Tank Farm Interim Surface Barrier Demonstration--Vadose Zone Monitoring Plan

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Z. F.; Keller, Jason M.; Strickland, Christopher E.

    2007-04-01

    The Hanford Site has 149 underground single-shell tanks that store hazardous radioactive waste. Many of these tanks and their associated infrastructure (e.g., pipelines, diversion boxes) have leaked. Some of the leaked waste has entered the groundwater. The largest known leak occurred from the T-106 Tank in 1973. Many of the contaminants from that leak still reside within the vadose zone beneath the T Tank Farm. CH2M Hill Hanford Group, Inc. seeks to minimize movement of this residual contaminant plume by placing an interim barrier on the surface. Such a barrier is expected to prevent infiltrating water from reaching the plume and moving it further. A plan has been prepared to monitor and determine the effectiveness of the interim surface barrier. Soil water content and water pressure will be monitored using off-the-shelf equipment that can be installed by the hydraulic hammer technique. In fiscal year 2006, two instrument nests were installed. Each instrument nest contains a neutron probe access tube, a capacitance probe, four heat-dissipation units, and a drain gauge to measure soil water flux. A meteorological station has been installed outside of the fence. In fiscal year 2007, two additional instrument nests are planned to be installed beneath the proposed barrier.

  10. Transport of europium colloids in vadose zone lysimeters at the semiarid Hanford site.

    PubMed

    Liu, Ziru; Flury, Markus; Zhang, Z Fred; Harsh, James B; Gee, Glendon W; Strickland, Chris E; Clayton, Ray E

    2013-03-01

    The objective of this study was to quantify transport of Eu colloids in the vadose zone at the semiarid Hanford site. Eu-hydroxy-carbonate colloids, Eu(OH)(CO3), were applied to the surface of field lysimeters, and migration of the colloids through the sediments was monitored using wick samplers. The lysimeters were exposed to natural precipitation (145-231 mm/year) or artificial irrigation (124-348 mm/year). Wick outflow was analyzed for Eu concentrations, supplemented by electron microscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray analysis. Small amounts of Eu colloids (<1%) were detected in the deepest wick sampler (2.14 m depth) 2.5 months after application and cumulative precipitation of only 20 mm. We observed rapid transport of Eu colloids under both natural precipitation and artificial irrigation; that is, the leading edge of the Eu colloids moved at a velocity of 3 cm/day within the first 2 months after application. Episodic infiltration (e.g., Chinook snowmelt events) caused peaks of Eu in the wick outflow. While a fraction of Eu moved consistent with long-term recharge estimates at the site, the main mass of Eu remained in the top 30 cm of the sediments. This study illustrates that, under field conditions, near-surface colloid mobilization and transport occurred in Hanford sediments. PMID:23373984

  11. Impact of Dissolved Organic Matter on Colloid Transport in the Vadose Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morales, V. L.; Gao, B.; Steenhuis, T. S.

    2008-05-01

    Mobile soil colloids can facilitate contaminant transport through the soil profile through complexation of pollutants previously thought to have very limited mobility in soil. Much work has been done to define the governing transport mechanisms of colloids in unsaturated media, and have demonstrated that the release, transport, and retention of colloidal particles in soil are very sensitive to flow chemistry. However, better understanding of the physicochemical interactions between dissolved organic matter (DOM) and soil colloids is clearly needed, as the transport in manure rich soils has been observed to be much greater than originally suspected. The goal of this study is to fill this knowledge gap by elucidating the role of DOM on the transport and retention of colloidal particles in the vadose zone through multi-scale investigations. The initial phase of the experimental work consists of collecting concomitant visual (with Bright Field Microscopy and Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy) and breakthrough data from medium sized (d50 = 0.4 mm) quartz sand filled chambers of 10x2x2 cm and 1 cm diameter x 10 cm length. Pulses of synthetic and clay colloid suspensions will be individually injected into the flow chambers at various concentrations of DOM (i.e. extracted humic acid from manure). Results from these experiments indicate that DOM can increase colloid stability in water and thereby potentially facilitate the transport of contaminants adsorbed onto suspended and mobile colloids.

  12. Assessing toxic levels of hydrocarbons on microbial degrader communities in vadose zone fill soils

    SciTech Connect

    Schoenberg, T.H.; Long, S.C.

    1995-12-31

    Authentic fill samples were collected from the vadose zone at a highway travel plaza. The contamination at the site is a combination of gasoline, diesel, and waste oil resulting from leaking underground storage tanks. Microbial assessments including plate counts and specific-degrader enumerations were performed to establish the presence of degrader microbial communities, and thus bioremediation potential. Contaminant levels were estimated in samples by quantifying headspace VOCs in collection jars. Physical soil characteristics including soil grain size distribution and moisture content were measured to evaluate the potential ecological variables that would affect implementation of a bioremediation technology. Toxicity screening using the Microtox{trademark} acute toxicity assay was used to compare the level of toxicity present among samples. These analyses were used to assess the potential for using in situ bioventing remediation to clean-up the leaking underground storage tank spill study site. High contaminant levels appear to have exerted a toxic effect and resulted in smaller total microbial community sizes in highly contaminated areas (thousands of ppmv) of the site. Microtox{trademark} EC50 results generally corroborated with the trends of the enumeration experiments. Microbial characterization results indicate that in situ bioremediation would be possible at the study site. Soil heterogeneity appears to pose the greatest challenges to the design and implementation of bioremediation at this site.

  13. Transport of Europium Colloids in Vadose Zone Lysimeters at the Semiarid Hanford Site

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, Ziru; Flury, Markus; Zhang, Z. Fred; Harsh, James B.; Gee, Glendon W.; Strickland, Chris E.; Clayton, Ray E.

    2013-03-05

    The objective of this study was to quantify transport of Eu colloids in the vadose zone at the semiarid Hanford site. Eu-hydroxy-carbonate colloids, Eu(OH)-(CO3), were applied to the surface of field lysimeters, and migration of the colloids through the sediments was monitored using wick samplers. The lysimeters were exposed to natural precipitation (145-231 mm/year) or artificial irrigation (124-348 mm/year). Wick outflow was analyzed for Eu concentrations, supplemented by electron microscopy and energy-dispersive X-ray analysis. Small amounts of Eu colloids (<1%) were detected in the deepest wick sampler (2.14 m depth) 2.5 months after application and cumulative precipitation of only 20 mm. We observed rapid transport of Eu colloids under both natural precipitation and artificial irrigation; that is, the leading edge of the Eu colloids moved at a velocity of 3 cm/day within the first 2 months after application. Episodic infiltration (e.g., Chinook snowmelt events) caused peaks of Eu in the wick outflow. While a fraction of Eu moved consistent with long-term recharge estimates at the site, the main mass of Eu remained in the top 30 cm of the sediments. This study illustrates that, under field conditions, near-surface colloid mobilization and transport occurred in Hanford sediments.

  14. Newly recognized hosts for uranium in the Hanford Site vadose zone

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stubbs, J.E.; Veblen, L.A.; Elbert, D.C.; Zachara, J.M.; Davis, J.A.; Veblen, D.R.

    2009-01-01

    Uranium contaminated sediments from the U.S. Department of Energy's Hanford Site have been investigated using electron microscopy. Six classes of solid hosts for uranium were identified. Preliminary sediment characterization was carried out using optical petrography, and electron microprobe analysis (EMPA) was used to locate materials that host uranium. All of the hosts are fine-grained and intergrown with other materials at spatial scales smaller than the analytical volume of the electron microprobe. A focused ion beam (FIB) was used to prepare electron-transparent specimens of each host for the transmission electron microscope (TEM). The hosts were identified as: (1) metatorbernite [Cu(UO2)2(PO4)2??8H2O]; (2) coatings on sediment clasts comprised mainly of phyllosilicates; (3) an amorphous zirconium (oxyhydr)oxide found in clast coatings; (4) amorphous and poorly crystalline materials that line voids within basalt lithic fragments; (5) amorphous palagonite surrounding fragments of basaltic glass; and (6) Fe- and Mn-oxides. These findings demonstrate the effectiveness of combining EMPA, FIB, and TEM to identify solid-phase contaminant hosts. Furthermore, they highlight the complexity of U geochemistry in the Hanford vadose zone, and illustrate the importance of microscopic transport in controlling the fate of contaminant metals in the environment. ?? 2008 Elsevier Ltd.

  15. Modeling potential vadose-zone transport of nitrogen from onsite wastewater systems at the development scale.

    PubMed

    Heatwole, Kirkley K; McCray, John E

    2007-04-01

    Water in the urban front-range corridor of Colorado has become an increasingly critical resource as the state faces both supply issues as well as anthropogenic degradation of water quality in several aquifers used for drinking water. A proposed development (up to 1100 homes over two quarter-quarter sections) at Todd Creek, Colorado, a suburb of Westminster located about 20 miles northeast of Denver, is considering use of onsite wastewater systems (OWS) to treat and remove domestic wastewater. Local health and environmental agencies have concerns for potential impacts to local water quality. Nitrogen treatment in the vadose zone and subsequent transport to ground water at a development scale is the focus of this investigation. The numerical model HYDRUS 1D was used, with input based on site-specific data and several transport parameters estimated from statistical distribution, to simulate nitrate concentrations reaching ground water. The model predictions were highly sensitive to mass-loading of nitrogen from OWS and the denitrification rate coefficient. The mass loading is relatively certain for the large number of proposed OWS. However, reasonable values for the denitrification rate coefficients vary over three orders of magnitude. Using the median value from a cumulative frequency distribution function, based on rates obtained from the literature, resulted in simulated output nitrate concentrations that were less than 1% of regulatory maximum concentrations. Reasonable rates at the lower end of the reported range, corresponding to lower 95% confidence interval estimates, result in simulated nitrate concentrations reaching groundwater above regulatory limits. PMID:17187893

  16. DOE capabilities for in-situ characterization and monitoring of formation properties in the vadose zone

    SciTech Connect

    Hearst, J.R.; Brodeur, J.R.; Koizumi, C.J.; Conaway, J.G.; Mikesell, J.L.; Nelson, P.H.; Stromswold, D.C.; Wilson, R.D.

    1993-09-01

    The DOE Environmental Restoration (ER) Program faces the difficult task of characterizing the properties of the subsurface and identifying and mapping a large number of contaminants at landfills, surface disposal areas, spill sites, nuclear waste tanks, and subsurface contaminant plumes throughout the complex of DOE facilities. Geophysical borehole logs can measure formation properties such as bulk density, water content, and lithology, and can quantitatively analyze for radionuclides and such elements as chlorine and heavy metals. Since these measurements can be replaced as desired, they can be used for both initial characterization and monitoring of changes in contaminant concentration and water content (sometimes linked to contaminant migration), at a fraction of the cost of conventional sampling. The techniques develop at several DOE laboratories, and the experience that the authors have gained in making in-situ measurements in the vadose zone, are applicable to problems at many other DOE sites. Moreover, they can capitalize on existing inventories of boreholes. By building on this experience workers involved in ER projects at those sites should be able to obtain high-quality data at substantial reductions in cost and time.

  17. Advective Desorption of Uranium (VI) from Contaminated Hanford Vadose Zone Sediments under Saturated and Unsaturated Conditions

    SciTech Connect

    Wellman, Dawn M.; Zachara, John M.; Liu, Chongxuan; Qafoku, Nikolla; Smith, Steven C.; Forrester, Steven W.

    2008-11-03

    Sedimentary, hydrologic, and geochemical variations in the Hanford subsurface environment, as well as compositional differences in contaminating waste streams, have created vast differences in the migration and mobility of uranium within the subsurface environment. A series of hydraulically-saturated and -unsaturated column experiments were performed to i.) assess the effect of water content on the advective desorption and migration of uranium from contaminated sediments, and ii.) evaluate the uranium concentration that can develop in porewater and/or groundwater as a result of desorption/dissolution reactions. Flow rate and moisture content were varied to evaluate the influence of contact time, pore water velocity, and macropore desaturation on aqueous uranium concentrations. Sediments were collected from the T-TX-TY tank farm complex and the 300 Area Process Ponds located on the Hanford Site, southeastern Washington State. The sediments vary in depth, mineralogy, and in contamination events. Experiments were conducted under mildly alkaline/calcareous conditions representative of conditions commonly encountered at repository sites across the arid western United States and, in particular, the Hanford site. Results illustrate the release of uranium from these sediments is kinetically controlled and low water contents encountered within the Hanford vadose zone result in the formation of mobile-immobile water regimes, which isolate a fraction of the reactive sites within the sediments, effectively reducing the concentration of uranium released into migrating porewaters.

  18. Novel Optical Detection Schemes for In-Situ Mapping of Volatile Organochlorides in The Vadose Zone

    SciTech Connect

    S. Michael Angel

    2004-04-23

    The long-term objective of this research is to develop a system for measuring and identifying a wide rang of volatile organic hydrocarbons, including organochlorides, at ppb levels in-situ in the subsurface (''at-dept'') using a fiber-optic REMPI probe. In this renewal proposal we would also like to expand the range of analytes to include contaminated soil and certain metal pollutants such as Hg and Pb. And, to do this in a ruggedized system that is compatible with existing fiber-optic sensors, Raman and fluorescence probes and image guides. The specific focus of much of the proposed work is to identify and optimize those experimental parameters which effect the in-situ determination of organic molecules using resonance-enhanced multi-photon ionization (REMPI). To accomplish this goal we will systematically investigate the dependence of REMPI on laser wavelength, power and other experimental parameters for a variety of high-priority groundwater and vadose zone contaminants to determine optimal measurement conditions. Emphasis will be placed on visible or fiber-optic compatible wavelengths of excitation so that the high transmission of fiberoptics can be fully utilized. A fiber-optic REMPI system is being designed that is suitable for integration into an existing cone penetrometer system being delivered by LLNL. Fiber-optic probe designs that we tested in the first studies will be refined by LLNL. Probe performance will be predicted using previously developed optical techniques and also using electrostatic field models.

  19. Use of Gas Transported Reactants for Uranium Remediation in Vadose Zone Sediments

    SciTech Connect

    Szecsody, James E.; Zhong, Lirong; Truex, Michael J.; Resch, Charles T.; Williams, Mark D.

    2010-03-10

    This laboratory-scale investigation is focused on decreasing mobility of uranium in subsurface contaminated sediments in the vadose zone by in situ geochemical manipulation at low water content. This geochemical manipulation of the sediment surface phases included reduction, pH change (acidic and alkaline), and additions of chemicals (phosphate, ferric iron) to form specific precipitates. Reactants were advected into 1-D columns packed with Hanford 200 area U-contaminated sediment as a reactive gas (for CO2, NH3, H2S, SO2), with a 0.1% water content mist (for NaOH, Fe(III), HCl, PO4) and with a 1% water content foam (for PO4). Because uranium is present in the sediment in multiple phases, changes in U surface phases were evaluated with a series of liquid extractions that dissolve progressively less soluble phases and electron microbe identification of mineral phases. In terms of the short-term decrease in U mobility (in decreasing order), NH3, NaOH mist, CO2, HCl mist, and Fe(III) mist showed 20% to 35% change in U surface phases. The two reductive gas treatments (H2S and SO2) showed little change. For long-term decrease in U transport, mineral phases created that had low solubility (phosphates, silicates) were desired, so NH3, phosphates (mist and foam delivered), and NaOH mist showed the greatest formation of these minerals.

  20. Characterization and Potential Remediation Approaches for Vadose Zone Contamination at Hanford 241-SX Tank Farm

    SciTech Connect

    Eberlein, Susan J.; Sydnor, Harold A.; Parker, Danny L.; Glaser, Danney R.

    2013-01-10

    Unplanned releases of radioactive and hazardous wastes have occurred at the 241-SX Tank Farm on the U.S. Department of Energy Hanford Site in southeast Washington State. Interim and long-term mitigation efforts are currently under evaluation for 241-SX Tank Farm. Two contiguous interim surface barriers have been designed for deployment at 241-SX Tank Farm to reduce future moisture infiltration; however, construction of the surface barriers has been deferred to allow testing of alternative technologies for soil moisture reduction and possibly contaminant source term reduction. Previous tests performed by other organizations at the Hanford Site have demonstrated that: vadose zone desiccation using large diameter (greater than 4 inch) boreholes is feasible; under certain circumstances, mobile contaminants may be removed in addition to water vapor; and small diameter (approximately 2 inch) boreholes (such as those placed by the direct push hydraulic hammer) can be used to perform vapor extractions. Evaluation of the previous work combined with laboratory test results have led to the design of a field proof-of-principle test to remove water and possibly mobile contaminants at greater depths, using small boreholes placed with the direct push unit.

  1. Introduction: Assessing non-point source pollution in the vadose zone with advanced information technologies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corwin, Dennis L.; Loague, Keith; Ellsworth, Timothy R.

    The information age has ushered in a global awareness of complex environmental problems that do not respect political or physical boundaries: climatic change, ozone layer depletion, deforestation, desertification, and non-point source (NPS) pollution. Among these global environmental problems, NPS pollutants represent a perfect example of a complex multidisciplinary problem that exists over multiple scales with tremendous spatial and temporal complexity. To address the NPS problem, specific to the vadose zone, advanced information technologies must be applied in a spatial context. An integrated system of advanced information technologies (i.e., global positioning, geographic information system, geostatistics, remote sensing, solute transport modeling, neural networks, transfer functions, fuzzy logic, hierarchical theory, and uncertainty analysis) provides a framework from which real-time and/or simulated assessments of NPS pollution can be made. The ability to accurately assess present and future NPS-pollution impacts on ecosystems ranging from local to global scales provides a powerful tool for environmental stewardship and guiding future human activities.

  2. Numerical investigation of the impact of ethanol on flow in the vadose zone.

    PubMed

    Sciortino, Antonella; Leij, Feike J

    2012-01-01

    There is a need to elucidate the impact of ethanol on the subsurface environment because of the application of ethanol as automotive fuel. This study quantifies the effects of changes in surface tension, viscosity, and density induced by ethanol on the transmission and retention of water in the vadose zone. The HYDRUS-1D model was modified to simulate two different scenarios of flow in a sandy loam involving ponding (constant head) or spillage with a subsequent rainfall event (constant flux). Solutions containing different amounts of the highly miscible ethanol (10, 50, and 100% by weight) as well as pristine water were considered. During ponding, ethanol reduced the amount of fluid entering the soil and slowed down the advancement of the wetting front. Viscosity effects were predominant for this scenario, reducing the average depth of the infiltrating liquid up to 44%. The total amount of pure ethanol that entered the soil was 11.38 vs. 17.64 cm for pure water. For the spillage scenario, the results suggest that density has little impact on the liquid movement. Surface tension effects are predominant in the upper portion of the soil. The changes in hydraulic conductivity due to ethanol-induced modifications of solution viscosity are responsible for the slower advancement of the moisture front. The 10% ethanol solution moved 43.1% faster than pure ethanol during the first 2 d because of viscosity and surface tension effects. PMID:22268725

  3. Two-dimensional laboratory simulation of LNAPL infiltration and redistribution in the vadose zone.

    PubMed

    Kechavarzi, C; Soga, K; Illangasekare, T H

    2005-02-01

    A quantitative two-dimensional laboratory experiment was conducted to investigate the immiscible flow of a light non-aqueous phase liquid (LNAPL) in the vadose zone. An image analysis technique was used to determine the two-dimensional saturation distribution of LNAPL, water and air during LNAPL infiltration and redistribution. Vertical water saturation variations were also continuously monitored with miniature resistivity probes. LNAPL and water pressures were measured using hydrophobic and hydrophilic tensiometers. This study is limited to homogeneous geological conditions, but the unique experimental methods developed will be used to examine more complex systems. The pressure measurements and the quantification of the saturation distribution of all the fluids in the entire flow domain under transient conditions provide quantitative data essential for testing the predictive capability of numerical models. The data are used to examine the adequacy of the constitutive pressure-saturation relations that are used in multiphase flow models. The results indicate that refinement of these commonly used hydraulic relations is needed for accurate model prediction. It is noted in particular that, in three-fluid phase systems, models should account for the existence of a residual NAPL saturation occurring after NAPL drainage. This is of notable importance because residual NAPL can act as a non negligible persistent source of contamination. PMID:15683881

  4. Quantifying Deep Vadose Zone Soil Water Potential Changes At A Waste Disposal Site

    SciTech Connect

    Joel M. Hubbell; Deborah L. McElroy

    2007-10-01

    Recent advances in moisture monitoring using tensiometers has allowed long-duration, high quality data sets from within the deep vadose zone. A network of about 30 advanced tensiometers in 18 wells provided field-scale data to monitor moisture conditions and movement in the subsurface in and around a mixed waste disposal site at depths ranging from 6 to over 67 m below land surface (bls). Sensors are located in both sediments and fractured rock within the geologic profile and some have been in operation for over 10 years. The moisture monitoring was able to detect long term declines in moisture content presumably in response to lower than normal precipitation and resultant infiltration over the time period from 2000 to 2004. This trend was reversed in 2005 and 2006 in more than half of the monitoring sites over the 6 to 33 m depth interval and in several monitoring sites from 33 to 67 m, in response to normal to above normal precipitation. This tensiometer data can be used to evaluate the appropriateness of the current conceptual model of flow at this site. It also shows that a moisture monitoring system should be effective to rapidly validate that a proposed remedial action (such as placement of an ET cover) would be effective in reducing the moisture movement to levels similar to those in undisturbed sites outside of the disposal area. This paper will describe the instrument design, how the instruments were installed, and the resultant data from this monitoring system.

  5. Quantifying Deep Vadose Zone Soil Water Potential Changes at a Waste Disposal Site

    SciTech Connect

    Joel M. Hubbell; Deborah L. McElroy

    2007-08-01

    Recent advances in moisture monitoring using tensiometers has resulted in long-duration, high quality data sets from within the deep vadose zone. A network of about 30 advanced tensiometers in 18 wells provided field-scale data to monitor soil water potential conditions and movement in the subsurface in and around a mixed waste disposal site at depths ranging from 6 to over 67 m below land surface (bls). Sensors are located in both sediments and fractured rock within the geologic profile and some have been in operation for over 10 years. The moisture monitoring was able to detect long term declines in soil water potential in response to lower than normal precipitation and resultant infiltration over the time period from 2000 to 2004. This trend was reversed in 2005 and 2006 in more than half of the monitoring sites over the 6 to 33 m depth interval and in several monitoring sites from 33 to 67 m, in response to above normal precipitation. These tensiometer data have the potential to effectively and rapidly validate that a remedial action such as placement of an ET cover would be successful in reducing the water moisture movement inside the disposal area to levels similar to those in undisturbed sites outside of the disposal area. This paper will describe the instrument design, how the instruments were installed, and the resultant data from this monitoring system.

  6. Characterization and Potential Remediation Approaches for Vadose Zone Contamination at Hanford 241-SX Tank Farm - 13235

    SciTech Connect

    Eberlein, Susan J.; Sydnor, Harold A.; Parker, Danny L.; Glaser, Danney R.

    2013-07-01

    Unplanned releases of radioactive and hazardous wastes have occurred at the 241-SX Tank Farm on the U.S. Department of Energy Hanford Site in southeast Washington State. Interim and long-term mitigation efforts are currently under evaluation for 241-SX Tank Farm. Two contiguous interim surface barriers have been designed for deployment at 241-SX Tank Farm to reduce future moisture infiltration; however, construction of the surface barriers has been deferred to allow testing of alternative technologies for soil moisture reduction and possibly contaminant source term reduction. Previous tests performed by other organizations at the Hanford Site have demonstrated that: vadose zone desiccation using large diameter (greater than 4 inch) boreholes is feasible; under certain circumstances, mobile contaminants may be removed in addition to water vapor; and small diameter (approximately 2 inch) boreholes (such as those placed by the direct push hydraulic hammer) can be used to perform vapor extractions. Evaluation of the previous work combined with laboratory test results have led to the design of a field proof-of-principle test to remove water and possibly mobile contaminants at greater depths, using small boreholes placed with the direct push unit. (authors)

  7. Newly recognized hosts for uranium in the Hanford Site vadose zone

    SciTech Connect

    Stubbs, Joanne E.; Veblen, Linda A.; Elbert, David; Zachara, John M.; Davis, James A.; Veblen, David R.

    2009-03-15

    Uranium contaminated sediments from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Hanford Site have been investigated using electron microscopy. Six classes of solid hosts for uranium were identified. Preliminary sediment characterization was carried out using optical petrography, and electron microprobe analysis (EMPA) was used to locate materials that host uranium. All of the hosts are fine-grained and intergrown with other materials at spatial scales smaller than the analytical volume of the electron microprobe. A focused ion beam (FIB) was used to prepare electron-transparent specimens of each host for the transmission electron microscope (TEM). The hosts were identified as: 1) metatorbernite [Cu(UO2)2(PO4)2·8H2O]; 2) coatings comprised mainly of phyllosilicates on sediment clasts; 3) an amorphous zirconium (oxyhydr)oxide found in clast coatings; 4) amorphous and poorly crystalline materials that line voids within basalt lithic fragments; 5) amorphous palagonite surrounding fragments of basaltic glass; and 6) Fe- and Mnoxides. These findings demonstrate the effectiveness of combining EMPA, FIB, and TEM to identify solid-phase contaminant hosts. Furthermore, they highlight the complexity of U geochemistry in the Hanford vadose zone, and illustrate the importance of microscopic transport in controlling the fate of contaminant metals in the environment.

  8. Vadose Zone VOC Mass Transfer Testing At The SRS Miscellaneous Chemical Basin

    SciTech Connect

    Riha, B

    2005-10-30

    Active remedial activities have been ongoing since 1996 to address low levels of solvent contamination at the Miscellaneous Chemical Basin at SRS. Contaminant levels in the subsurface may be approaching levels where mass transfer limitations are impacting the efficiency of the remedial action. Rate limited mass transfer effects have been observed at other sites in the vadose zone at the SRS, however, detailed measurements and evaluation has not been undertaken. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the mass transfer rates are very slow from the fine grain sediments. This conclusion is based on the observation that measured soil gas concentrations tend to be low in permeable zones relative to the higher concentrations found in fine grain zones. Decreasing soil gas concentration with depth below the ''upland unit'' at several areas at SRS is also evidence of slow diffusion rates. In addition, due to the length of time since disposal ceased at the MCB, we hypothesize that mobile solvents have migrated downward, and the solvent remaining in the upper fine grain zone (''upland unit'') are trapped in fine grain material and are primarily released by gas diffusion (Riha and Rossabi 2004). Natural weathering and other chemical solutions disposed with the solvents can further enhance this effect by increasing the micro-porosity in the clays (kaolinite). This microporosity can result in increased entrapment of water and solvents by capillary forces (Powers, et. al., 2003). Also supporting this conclusion is the observation that active SVE has proven ineffective on VOC removal from the fine grain zones at the SRS. Adsorption and the very slow release phenomenon have been documented similarly in the literature especially for old solvent spills such as at the SRS (Pavlostathis and Mathavan 1992; Oostrom and Lenhard 2003). Mass transfer relationships need to be developed in order to optimize remediation activities and to determine actual loading rates to groundwater. These metrics

  9. Description and application of capture zone delineation for a wellfield at Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Landmeyer, J.E.

    1994-01-01

    Ground-water capture zone boundaries for individual pumped wells in a confined aquffer were delineated by using groundwater models. Both analytical and numerical (semi-analytical) models that more accurately represent the $round-water-flow system were used. All models delineated 2-dimensional boundaries (capture zones) that represent the areal extent of groundwater contribution to a pumped well. The resultant capture zones were evaluated on the basis of the ability of each model to realistically rapresent the part of the ground-water-flow system that contributed water to the pumped wells. Analytical models used were based on a fixed radius approach, and induded; an arbitrary radius model, a calculated fixed radius model based on the volumetric-flow equation with a time-of-travel criterion, and a calculated fixed radius model derived from modification of the Theis model with a drawdown criterion. Numerical models used induded the 2-dimensional, finite-difference models RESSQC and MWCAP. The arbitrary radius and Theis analytical models delineated capture zone boundaries that compared least favorably with capture zones delineated using the volumetric-flow analytical model and both numerical models. The numerical models produced more hydrologically reasonable capture zones (that were oriented parallel to the regional flow direction) than the volumetric-flow equation. The RESSQC numerical model computed more hydrologically realistic capture zones than the MWCAP numerical model by accounting for changes in the shape of capture zones caused by multiple-well interference. The capture zone boundaries generated by using both analytical and numerical models indicated that the curnmtly used 100-foot radius of protection around a wellhead in South Carolina is an underestimate of the extent of ground-water capture for pumped wetis in this particular wellfield in the Upper Floridan aquifer. The arbitrary fixed radius of 100 feet was shown to underestimate the upgradient

  10. Fate of trace organic compounds during vadose zone soil treatment in an onsite wastewater system

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Conn, K.E.; Siegrist, R.L.; Barber, L.B.; Meyer, M.T.

    2010-01-01

    During onsite wastewater treatment, trace organic compounds are often present in the effluents applied to subsurface soils for advanced treatment during vadose zone percolation and groundwater recharge. The fate of the endocrine-disrupting surfactant metabolites 4-nonylphenol (NP), 4-nonylphenolmonoethoxylate (NP1EO), and 4-nonylphenolmonoethoxycarboxylate (NP1EC), metal-chelating agents ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) and nitrilotriacetic acid (NTA), antimicrobial agent triclosan, stimulant caffeine, and antibiotic sulfamethoxazole during transport through an unsaturated sandy loam soil was studied at a field-scale test site. To assess the effects of effluent quality and hydraulic loading rate (HLR) on compound fate in the soil profile, two effluents (septic tank or textile biofilter) were applied at two design HLRs (2 or 8 cm/d). Chemical concentrations were determined in the two effluents and soil pore water at 60, 120, and 240 cm below the soil infiltrative surface. Concentrations of trace organic compounds in septic tank effluent were reduced by more than 90% during transport through 240 cm (often within 60 cm) of soil, likely due to sorption and biotransformation. However, the concentration of NP increased with depth in the shallow soil profile. Additional treatment of anaerobic septic tank effluent with an aerobic textile biofilter reduced effluent concentrations of many compounds, but generally did not affect any changes in pore water concentrations. The soil profile receiving septic tank effluent (vs. textile biofilter effluent) generally had greater percent removal efficiencies. EDTA, NP, NP1EC, and sulfamethoxazole were measured in soil pore water, indicating the ability of some trace organic compounds to reach shallow groundwater. Risk is highly dependent on the degree of further treatment in the saturated zone and the types and proximity of uses for the receiving groundwater environment. ?? 2009 SETAC.

  11. Quantifying Redox Geochemistry Within Homogeneous and Layered Vadose Zone Using Regression Techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arora, B.; Mohanty, B. P.; McGuire, J. T.; Hansen, D.

    2008-12-01

    Uncertainty associated with predicting fate and transport of contaminants in the vadose zone is quite significant. This is predominantly due to the transient redox conditions and flow dynamics of the unsaturated zone that impacts the bioavailability or chemical lability of the contaminants before they reach groundwater. The hypothesis of this study is that regions with higher water flux will have higher redox potential. Specific objectives of the study are: 1) to identify positive and negative correlations amongst physical factors (e.g. flow rate, temperature, hydraulic conductivity) and chemical composition (e.g. rainwater chemistry, sorbed/aqueous concentrations, pH, Eh), and 2) to develop quantitative relationships using regression techniques with coupled HP1 (Hydrus-PHREEQC) model for factors identified as having strong associations. Flow experiments were conducted on two types of soil columns: homogeneous sand column with fine-grained alluvial sand from the banks of Canadian river, and layered sand-loam column with loamy soil collected from the wetland system of the Norman Landfill site. Norman Landfill is a closed municipal landfill site with prevalent organic contamination. For the second objective, Artificial Neural Networks will be trained using inputs (physical and chemical factors) and outputs (redox couples) obtained from soil column data and HP1, respectively. Preliminary results from lab experiments indicate decreased oxygen and nitrate, and higher iron-sulfide concentrations at the interface where hydraulic conductivity decreases from overlaying sand layer to loam soil. Higher redox activity at the interface layer suggests strong correlation between hydraulic gradient and redox potential. This is further qualified by the insignificant chemical concentration gradients (e.g. iron-sulfur coupling) observed in the homogeneous sand column.

  12. Perched-Water Analysis Related to Deep Vadose Zone Contaminant Transport and Impact to Groundwater

    SciTech Connect

    Oostrom, Martinus; Truex, Michael J.; Carroll, KC; Chronister, Glen B.

    2013-11-15

    Perched-water conditions have been observed in the vadose zone above a fine-grained zone that is located just a few meters above the water table beneath the B-complex at the Hanford Site. The perched water, containing elevated concentrations of uranium and technetium-99, is important to consider in evaluating the future flux of contaminated water into the groundwater. A study was conducted to examine the perched-water conditions and quantitatively evaluate 1) factors that control perching behavior, 2) contaminant flux toward groundwater, and, 3) associated groundwater impact. Based on the current vertical transport pathways and large areal extent of the perched system, the evaluation was conducted using a one-dimensional (1-D) analysis. Steady-state scoping calculations showed that the perching-layer hydraulic conductivity is likely to be up to two orders of magnitude less than the base case value obtained from Hanford site literature. Numerical flow and transport simulations provided both steady-state and transient system estimates of water and contaminant behavior and were used to further refine the range of conditions consistent with current observations of perched water height and to provide estimates of future water and contaminant flux to groundwater. With a recharge rate of 6 cm/yr, representative of current disturbed surface conditions, contaminant flux from the perched water occurs over a time interval of tens of years. However, if the recharge rate is 0.35 cm/yr, representative of returning recharge to pre-Hanford Site levels, the contaminant flux into the groundwater is spread over hundreds of years. It was also demonstrated that removal of perched water by pumping would reduce the flux of water (and associated contaminants) to the groundwater, thereby impacting the long-term rate of contaminant movement to the groundwater.

  13. Delineation of Tsunami Risk Zones for Sri Lanka

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wijetunge, J. J.

    2008-12-01

    The coastal belts of several Indian Ocean countries including Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand suffered massive loss of life and damage to property due to the tsunami unleashed by the great earthquake of moment magnitude 9.1-9.3 in the Andaman-Sunda subduction zone on December 26, 2004. In Sri Lanka, 13 of the 14 administrative districts lying along the coastal belt were affected: the death toll was over 35,000 with 20,000 injured and about 100,000 dwellings and other buildings either completely or partially damaged leaving half a million people homeless and causing massive disruption to livelihoods. However, it was clear in the immediate aftermath of the tsunami that the degree of damage along the coastal belt of Sri Lanka was not uniform: some areas suffered more damage, some less, and in certain other areas, often not far away, there was no damage at all. This suggests that the level of risk for coastal communities from future events of tsunami exhibits considerable variation even along a short stretch of the shoreline. The high cost and the scarcity of coastal lands in many areas demand an accurate assessment of the tsunami risk rather than arbitrary conservative zonation. Moreover, information relating to the spatial distribution of tsunami risk is essential in formulating post-tsunami coastal land use plans as well as in planning of evacuation of people during tsunami warnings. However, neither comprehensive probabilistic assessments of the tsunami hazard nor detailed information pertaining to the vulnerability of coastal communities are available at present for the coastal zone of Sri Lanka. Consequently, the methodology adopted in the present paper is to use field observations and numerical simulations of the December 2004 tsunami, which may be considered a worst-case scenario, in order to obtain the variation along the coastline of three parameters that quantify the tsunami impact. These three parameters are the tsunami height, the horizontal

  14. Geochemical signature and transfers in the Vadose zone of a geological carbonate formation : example of an underground quarry, Gironde, France

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loisy, C.; Franceschi, M.; Cerepi, A.; Mao, L.

    2007-12-01

    The aim of this study is to understand physico-chemical weathering processes in the vadose zone. The study combines hydrogeological and hydrogeochemical data on pore water with information about solid phase composition of the unsaturated zone. A monitoring station in the vadose zone is established in the Oligocene Aquitain limestone : the soil (0.40 meter thick) is lies on the Oligocene limestone (30 meters thick). The water table is 19.80 m average. A borehole with a diameter of 0.8 m is instrumented with "Teflon- quartz" cells (for the sampling of the pore water), with TDR probes (Time Domain Reflectometry) and SP (Self-Potential) electrodes (to measure the water content of the porous rock) and that all along the unsaturated zone. Chemically, the pH, alkalinity and the content of cations and anions are measured. The contents of cations and anions show variations with the depth. Results of chemical water analysis show that the unsaturated zone can be devided in three zones where the equilibrum of the calco-carbonic system can be moved with the precipitation or dissolution of dominating phenomena. The shallow zone down to a depth of seven meters corresponds to a zone with a significant decrease of mineralization (calcium, magnesium, sulfate) and evapotranspiration dynamic water. The second zone between seven to sixteen meters displays a high stability. The third zone (zone of capillary fringe) between sixteen to twenty meter shows a rise of certain ionic concentrations. The saturation index for the calcite calculated from PHREEQC program as a function of depth gives both dissolution/precipitation processes in the carbonate rock.

  15. Automated, reproducible delineation of zones at risk from inundation by large volcanic debris flows

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schilling, Steve P.; Iverson, Richard M.

    1997-01-01

    Large debris flows can pose hazards to people and property downstream from volcanoes. We have developed a rapid, reproducible, objective, and inexpensive method to delineate distal debris-flow hazard zones. Our method employs the results of scaling and statistical analyses of the geometry of volcanic debris flows (lahars) to predict inundated valley cross-sectional areas (A) and planimetric areas (B) as functions of lahar volume. We use a range of specified lahar volumes to evaluate A and B. In a Geographic Information System (GIS) we employ the resulting range of predicted A and B to delineate gradations in inundation hazard, which is highest near the volcano and along valley thalwegs and diminishes as distances from the volcano and elevations above valley floors increase. Comparison of our computer-generated hazard maps with those constructed using traditional, field-based methods indicates that our method can provide an accurate means of delineating lahar hazard zones.

  16. INVESTIGATION OF HYDROGEOLOGIC MAPPING TO DELINEATE PROTECTION ZONES AROUND SPRINGS: REPORT OF TWO CASE STUDIES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Methods commonly used to delineate protection zones for water-supply wells are often not directly applicable for springs. This investigation focuses on the use of hydrogeologic mapping methods to identify physical and hydrologic features that control ground-water flow to springs...

  17. Vadose zone monitoring strategies to control water flux dynamics and changes in soil hydraulic properties.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valdes-Abellan, Javier; Jiménez-Martínez, Joaquin; Candela, Lucila

    2013-04-01

    For monitoring the vadose zone, different strategies can be chosen, depending on the objectives and scale of observation. The effects of non-conventional water use on the vadose zone might produce impacts in porous media which could lead to changes in soil hydraulic properties, among others. Controlling these possible effects requires an accurate monitoring strategy that controls the volumetric water content, θ, and soil pressure, h, along the studied profile. According to the available literature, different monitoring systems have been carried out independently, however less attention has received comparative studies between different techniques. An experimental plot of 9x5 m2 was set with automatic and non-automatic sensors to control θ and h up to 1.5m depth. The non-automatic system consisted of ten Jet Fill tensiometers at 30, 45, 60, 90 and 120 cm (Soil Moisture®) and a polycarbonate access tube of 44 mm (i.d) for soil moisture measurements with a TRIME FM TDR portable probe (IMKO®). Vertical installation was carefully performed; measurements with this system were manual, twice a week for θ and three times per week for h. The automatic system composed of five 5TE sensors (Decagon Devices®) installed at 20, 40, 60, 90 and 120 cm for θ measurements and one MPS1 sensor (Decagon Devices®) at 60 cm depth for h. Installation took place laterally in a 40-50 cm length hole bored in a side of a trench that was excavated. All automatic sensors hourly recorded and stored in a data-logger. Boundary conditions were controlled with a volume-meter and with a meteorological station. ET was modelled with Penman-Monteith equation. Soil characterization include bulk density, gravimetric water content, grain size distribution, saturated hydraulic conductivity and soil water retention curves determined following laboratory standards. Soil mineralogy was determined by X-Ray difractometry. Unsaturated soil hydraulic parameters were model-fitted through SWRC-fit code and

  18. Multiobjective Optimization of Effective Soil Hydraulic Properties on a Lysimeter from a Layered, Gravelly Vadose Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Werisch, Stefan; Lennartz, Franz

    2013-04-01

    Estimation of effective soil hydraulic parameters for characterization of the vadose zone properties is important for many applications from prediction of solute and pesticide transport to water balance modeling in small catchments. Inverse modeling has become a common approach to infer the parameters of the water retention and hydraulic conductivity functions from dynamic experiments under varying boundary conditions. To gain further inside into to the water transport behavior of an agricultural field site with a layered, gravelly vadose zone, a lysimeter was taken and equipped with a total of 48 sensors (24 tensiometers and 24 water content probes). The sensors were arranged in 6 vertical arrays consisting of 4 sensor pairs, respectively. Pressure heads and water contents were measured in four depths in each of the arrays allowing for the estimation of the soil hydraulic properties of the three individual soil layers by inverse modeling. For each of the soil horizons, a separate objective function was defined to fit the model to the observation. We used the global multiobjective multimethod search algorithm AMALGAM (Vrugt et al., 2007) in combination with the water flow and solute transport model Hydrus1D (Šimúnek et al., 2008) to estimate the soil hydraulic properties of the Mualem van Genuchten model (van Genuchten, 1980). This experimental design served for the investigation of two important questions: a) do effective soil hydraulic properties at the lysimeter scale exist, more specifically: can a single representative parameter set be found which describes the hydraulic behavior in each of the arrays with acceptable performance? And b) which degree of freedom is necessary or required for an accurate description of the one dimensional water flow at each of the arrays? Effective soil hydraulic parameters were obtained for each of the sensor arrays individually, resulting in good agreement between the model predictions and the observations for the individual

  19. Heterogeneity and Scaling in Geologic Media: Applications to Transport in the Vadose and Saturated Zones

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, Stephen R.

    2003-06-01

    Heterogeneity and Scaling in Geologic Media: Applications to Transport in the Vadose and Saturated Zones Stephen Brown, Gregory Boitnott, and Martin Smith New England Research In rocks and soils, the bulk geophysical and transport properties of the matrix and of fracture systems are determined by the juxtaposition of geometric features at many length scales. For sedimentary materials the length scales are: the pore scale (irregularities in grain surface roughness and cementation), the scale of grain packing faults (and the resulting correlated porosity structures), the scale dominated by sorting or winnowing due to depositional processes, and the scale of geomorphology at the time of deposition. We are studying the heterogeneity and anisotropy in geometry, permeability, and geophysical response from the pore (microscopic), laboratory (mesoscopic), and backyard field (macroscopic) scales. In turn these data are being described and synthesized for development of mathematical models. Eventually, we will perform parameter studies to explore these models in the context of transport in the vadose and saturated zones. We have developed a multi-probe physical properties scanner which allows for the mapping of geophysical properties on a slabbed sample or core. This device allows for detailed study of heterogeneity at those length scales most difficult to quantify using standard field and laboratory practices. The measurement head consists of a variety of probes designed to make local measurements of various properties, including: gas permeability, acoustic velocities (compressional and shear), complex electrical impedance (4 electrode, wide frequency coverage), and ultrasonic reflection (ultrasonic impedance and permeability). We can thus routinely generate detailed geophysical maps of a particular sample. With the exception of the acoustic velocity, we are testing and modifying these probes as necessary for use on soil samples. As a baseline study we have been

  20. Toward catchment vadose zone characterization by linking geophysical electromagnetic induction and remote sensing data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    von Hebel, C.; Rudolph, S.; Mester, A.; Huisman, J. A.; Montzka, C.; Weihermueller, L.; Vereecken, H.; Van Der Kruk, J.

    2014-12-01

    Large-scale information of the crop status can be provided by multispectral remote sensing (RS) products. However, to fully understand the observed RS patterns including plant growth related processes such as water and nutrient availability, knowledge of the vadose zone is necessary, which can be obtained by geophysical methods. We studied a 20 ha test site in Selhausen (Germany), where the upper terrace (UT) sediments consist of sand and gravel, whereas the lower terrace (LT) sediments consist of loamy silt. Leaf area index (LAI) maps that were derived from RapidEye satellite data taken after a drought period showed a high density of undulating structures of higher LAI values within the sand and gravel dominated (and generally lower LAI) UT. These structures were related to better crop performance originating from subsurface loamy silt paleo-river channels. Next, large-scale apparent electrical conductivity (ECa) data were obtained using a multi-configuration electromagnetic induction (EMI) sensor with depths of investigation (DOI) up to 1.8 m. The observed LAI patterns coincided well with the ECa patterns of the 1.8 m DOI measurements, and soil analysis confirmed the presence of silty soil in the deeper subsoil. To gain more knowledge, a novel EMI inversion scheme that inverts for a layered subsurface using multi-configuration EMI data was developed and applied to a one ha large field that contained both UT and LT sediments in the eastern and western part, respectively. The obtained smoothly changing lateral and vertical electrical conductivity model was confirmed by grain size distribution maps and two previously measured 120 m long electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) transects. Conclusively, the combined LAI and EMI analysis can be extended to relatively large areas up to the catchment scale to improve environmental models that aim at improved descriptions of plant growth, water, nutrient and energy processes.

  1. Flow dynamics and potential for biodegradation of organic contaminants in fractured rock vadose zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geller, J. T.; Holman, H.-Y.; Su, G.; Conrad, M. E.; Pruess, K.; Hunter-Cevera, J. C.

    2000-04-01

    We present an experimental approach for investigating the potential for bioremediation of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in fractured rock vadose zones. The experimental work was performed with rock samples and indigenous microorganisms from the site of the United States Department of Energy's Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL), located in a basalt flow basin where VOC contamination threatens the Snake River Aquifer. Our approach has four components: (1) establishing a conceptual model for fluid and contaminant distribution in the geologic matrix of interest; (2) identification of important features of liquid distribution by means of seepage experiments in the fracture plane; (3) identification of the presence and activity of microorganisms by non-destructive monitoring of biotransformations on rock surfaces at the micron-scale; and (4) integration of flow and biological activity in natural rock "geocosms". Geocosms are core-scale flow cells that incorporate some aspects of natural conditions, such as liquid seepage in the fracture plane and moisture content. Fluid flow and distribution within fracture networks may be a significant factor in the ability of microorganisms to degrade VOCs, as they affect the availability of substrate, moisture and nutrients. Flow visualization and tracer breakthrough curves in transparent fracture replicas for unsaturated inlet conditions exhibited the channelized and intermittent nature of liquid seepage. The seepage of water and non-aqueous phase liquids (NAPLs) of varying physical and chemical properties into an initially dry replica showed only subtle differences in liquid distribution. In contrast, the seepage of a NAPL into the fracture replica containing residual water resulted in complex trapping of NAPL along the solid/water/air contact lines and diversion of NAPL to previously dry parts of the fracture. We found that a mixed culture of viable bacteria exists on the natural rock surfaces

  2. Heterogeneity and Scaling in Geologic Media: Applications to Transport in the Vadose and Saturated Zones

    SciTech Connect

    Stephen R. Brown; Gregory Boitnott; Gilles Y. Bussod; Paul Hagin

    2005-12-13

    In building models of the subsurface, it is generally acknowledged that the required properties are rarely known or observed at the scale of the model elements. Typically they are constrained by measurements or observations made at other scales such as smaller scale core measurements or larger scale wellbore or field tests. As a result, model parameters contain a certain level of uncertainty even in the best of cases. These values typically require adjustment to fit field observations through a process commonly referred to as calibration. The characterization of flow and transport in the vadose and saturated zones, requires a detailed knowledge of subsurface structures, flow paths, and hydrophysical properties. We have constructed a methodology and workflow that use fine-scale measurements of heterogeneity to constrain physically based models for upscaling geophysical and hydrological properties. The methodology provides a means to assign hydrophysical properties at scales more appropriate to field applications, while preserving a physical influence of fine scale heterogeneities. We start by describing millimeter-scale physical properties measurements made on the surface of a sample. Combining physical properties maps and measured parameters with effective medium models, we show that these fine-scale heterogeneities can cause saturation dependent anisotropy in several properties such as electrical conductivity, relative permeability and velocity. Finally, we demonstrate that traditional upscaling of multiphase properties such as capillary pressure leads to inaccuracies that can be avoided by employing upscaling that explicitly incorporates fine-scale heterogeneity. This methodology provides a more accurate interpretation and representation of the subsurface for both environmental and fossil fuel reservoir applications, and can be extended to the study of surface damage in man made structures such as concrete. Realistic hydrologic, geophysical and hydrochemical

  3. Remediation of Technetium in Vadose Zone Sediments Using Ammonia and Hydrogen Sulfide Gases

    SciTech Connect

    Szecsody, James E.; Truex, Michael J.; Zhong, Lirong; McKinley, James P.; Qafoku, Nikolla; Lee, Brady D.; Saurey, Sabrina D.

    2015-04-17

    The feasibility of applying a combination of H2S and NH3 gases for Tc-99 remediation in vadose zone sediments evaluated in laboratory experiments showed a significant mobility decrease from 75 to 95% leachable Tc-99 in untreated sediments to 15 to 48% leachable Tc-99 after gas treatment. Individual H2S or NH3 gas treatment of sediments had little lasting effect. For the combined gas treatment, the H2S gas created reducing conditions at the pore water/mineral interface that pertechnetate was temporarily reduced/precipitated. The NH3 gas created alkaline pore water, which induces some mineral dissolution and subsequent aluminosilicate precipitation as the pH neutralizes, which may coat Tc-99 surface phases and render them less mobile. Surface phase analysis showed Tc-99 associated with weathered basalt clasts and sulfur, possibly from the precipitation of TcSx. Treatment performance was nearly the same at different Tc-99 concentration (34 to 6500 pCi/g), water content (1 to 8%), and gas injection rate, but was sensitive to gas concentrations. Low gas concentrations (< 3%) had insufficient reductant or slower mineral dissolution. High gas concentrations (>30%) formed NH4SH precipitate. The 15 - 23% mobile Tc-99 remaining after gas treatment may be caused by limited time for aluminosilicates to precipitate in experiments. Nitrogen species concentrations showed no nitrate or nitrite production and a significant decrease in the sediment microbial population over three months, suggesting nitrification of added ammonia was inhibited. Overall, this study showed that combined H2S and NH3 gas treatment of low water content sediments was a robust technology to significantly decrease Tc-99 mobility.

  4. A Low-Level Real-Time In Situ Monitoring System for Tritium in Groundwater and Vadose Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santo, J. T.; Levitt, D. G.

    2002-12-01

    Tritium is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen produced as a by-product of the nuclear fuel cycle. It is also an integral part of the nuclear weapons industry and has been released into the environment through both the production and testing of nuclear weapons. There are many sites across the DOE complex where tritium has been released into the subsurface through the disposal of radioactive waste and at the Nevada Test Site, through the underground testing of nuclear weapons. Numerous DOE facilities have an on-going regulatory need to be able to monitor tritium concentrations in groundwater within deep hydrologic zones and in the shallower non-saturated vadose zone beneath waste disposal pits and shafts and other release sites. Typical access to groundwater is through deep monitoring wells and situated in remote locations. In response to this need, Science and Engineering Associates, Inc. (SEA) and its subcontractor, the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) Harry Reid Center (HRC) for Environmental Studies has conducted the applied research and engineering and produced a real time, in situ monitoring system for the detection and measurement of low levels of tritium in the groundwater and in the shallower vadose zone. The monitoring system has been deployed to measure tritium in both the vadose zone near a subsurface radioactive waste package and the groundwater in a deep hydrologic reservoir at the Nevada Test Site. The monitoring system has been designed to detect tritium in the subsurface below federal and/or state regulatory limits for safe drinking water and has been successfully demonstrated. The development effort is being funded through the U.S. Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory and the DOE Nevada Operations Office Advanced Monitoring Systems Initiative (AMSI).

  5. Application of Biodegradable Oils (VOS{sup TM}) for Treatment of Chlorinated Ethenes in the Vadose Zone - 12085

    SciTech Connect

    Riha, Brian D.; Noonkester, Jay V.; Looney, Brian B.; Hyde, W. Keith; Walker, Richard W.; Richardson, Stephen D.; Elkins, Brad; Beckwith, Walter

    2012-07-01

    Few active remediation alternatives are available to treat residual chlorinated volatile organic compounds (cVOCs) within the vadose zone. Soil vapor extraction (SVE) can be very effective at removing cVOCs in permeable soils; however, recoveries decline substantially in low permeability zones where mass transfer is diffusion-limited. Entrapped cVOCs in these zones represent a slow but continuous source of contamination to underlying groundwater. An ongoing field study was initiated at the Department of Energy's Savannah River Site (SRS) to evaluate an in situ biological treatment technology to address cVOC contamination in the vadose zone. Developed by Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL), VOS{sup TM} is a thixotropic (shear thinning) formulation of biodegradable oil, water, nutrients, buffers, and de-chlorinating bacteria (Dehalococcoides sp.) that is designed to sequester and biodegrade slow-diffusing cVOCs from unsaturated, low permeable soils. Injection of 871 L (230 gal) of VOS{sup TM} resulted in a rapid and significant decrease in cVOC gas concentration, generation of cVOC daughter products, a decrease in oxygen concentration, and an increase in carbon dioxide and methane production. (authors)

  6. Experimental and modeling of the unsaturated transports of S-metolachlor and its metabolites in glaciofluvial vadose zone solids.

    PubMed

    Sidoli, Pauline; Lassabatere, Laurent; Angulo-Jaramillo, Rafael; Baran, Nicole

    2016-07-01

    The transport of pesticides to groundwater is assumed to be impacted by flow processes and geochemical interactions occurring in the vadose zone. In this study, the transport of S-metolachlor (SMOC) and its two metabolites ESA-metolachlor (MESA) and OXA-metolachlor (MOXA) in vadose zone materials of a glaciofluvial aquifer is studied at laboratory scale. Column experiments are used to study the leaching of a conservative tracer (bromide) and SMOC, MESA and MOXA under unsaturated conditions in two lithofacies, a bimodal gravel (Gcm,b) and a sand (S-x). Tracer experiments showed water fractionation into mobile and immobile compartments more pronounced in bimodal gravel columns. In both lithofacies columns, SMOC outflow is delayed (retardation factor>2) and mass balance reveals depletion (mass balance of 0.59 and 0.77 in bimodal gravel and sand, respectively). However, complete mass elution associated with retardation factors close to unity shows that there is no adsorption of MESA and MOXA in either lithofacies. SMOC transport is characterized by non-equilibrium sorption and sink term in both bimodal gravel and sand columns. Batch experiments carried out using agitation times consistent with column water residence times confirmed a time-dependence of SMOC sorption and high adsorption rates (>80%) of applied concentrations. Desorption experiments confirm the irreversibility of a major part of the SMOC adsorption onto particles, corresponding to the sink term in columns. In the bimodal gravel column, SMOC adsorption occurs mainly on reactive particles in contact with mobile water because of flow regionalization whereas in the sand column, there is pesticide diffusion to the immobile water. Such results clearly show that sorption mechanisms in the vadose zone solids below the soil are both solute and contact-time-dependent and are impacted by hydrodynamic conditions. The more rapid transport of MESA and MOXA to the aquifer would be controlled mainly by water flow

  7. DEPLOYING TECHNOLOGY ADVANCEMENTS FOR CHARACTERIZING THE VADOSE ZONE IN SINGLE-SHELL TANK WASTE MANAGEMENT AREAS

    SciTech Connect

    EBERLEIN SJ; SYDNOR HA; DA MYERS

    2010-01-14

    As much as one million gallons of waste is believed to have leaked from tanks, pipelines or other equipment in the single-shell tank farm waste management areas (WMAs) within the 200 East and West areas of the U.S. Department of Energy's Hanford Site near Richland, Washington. Although some contamination has reached groundwater, most contamination still resides in the vadose zone. The magnitude ofthis problem requires new approaches for soil characterization if we are to understand the nature and extent of the contamination and take action to protect the enviromnent. Because of the complexity and expense of drilling traditional boreholes in contaminated soil, direct push characterization using a hydraulic hammer has been extensively employed. Direct push probe holes <3-inch diameter have been pushed to a maximum depth of 240 feet below ground surface in 200 East area. Previously gross gamma and moisture logging of these narrow probe holes was perfonned to identify the location of cesium-137 ({sup 137}Cs) (which has limited mobility in Hanford soil) and moisture peaks. Recently a bismuth germinate detector has been deployed for detecting and quantifying the spectrum of cobalt-60 ({sup 60}Co) (a more mobile contaminant), which provides additional information. The direct push system is configured to allow the collection ofmultiple soil core samples throughout the depth ofthe probe hole. The direct push unit has been used to place individual electrodes at a variety of depths as the probe hole is being decommissioned. These deep electrodes enable the use of soil resistivity measurement methods between surface and deep electrodes as-well-as between sets of deep electrodes. Initial testing of surface-to-deep electrode resistivity measurements in WMA C demonstrated significant improvement in defining the three dimensional extent of a contamination plume. A multiple-electrode string is presently being developed to further enhance the resolution of resistivity data. The

  8. Monitoring Changes in Moisture Load Using Elastic Displacements in the Vadose Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thrash, C. J.; Murdoch, L. C.; Germanovich, L. N.; Weinberg, A.

    2014-12-01

    Monitoring changes in mass over scales of several meters to hundreds of meters or more has many applications to characterization of the Critical Zone, including assessing changes in soil moisture, erosion or deposition of sediment, and melting or accumulation of snow or ice. A technique has been developed to monitor average changes in mass on those scales using continuous high-resolution measurements of displacement made with a vertical extensometer (called a DELTA extensometer). An increase of mass above the extensometer causes the soil to contract, which causes the extensometer to function similar to a weighing lysimeter. DELTA extensometers have been deployed at field sites near Clemson, South Carolina, and in northern Texas. The extensometers in South Carolina are in saprolite derived from biotite gneiss, whereas the ones in Texas are in clayey silt underlying playas. The instruments are in the vadose zone at depths of 3m to 6m. Signals from co-located extensometers are remarkably similar, demonstrating reproducibility of the technique. The extensometers respond to loading from a person or vehicle, and this load is used to estimate the Young's modulus of soil enveloping the extensometer. Displacement during small to moderate rainfalls is typically linear with the accumulated rain (~0.2 micron/mm of rain, for example). The displacement levels out during large rainfalls, potentially due to the onset of overland flow that would limit the water load during precipitation. This suggests that the onset of overland flow could be evaluated using this technique. Seasonal temperature fluctuations at the soil surface can penetrate to the depths of the extensometers causing displacement from thermal expansion and contraction. Thermal effects account for approximately 100 μm of displacement over an annual cycle at one instrument. It appears that much of the thermal signal can be removed by data analysis. Pore pressure changes in the vicinity of the extensometer can also

  9. Delineation of capture zones for municipal wells in fractured dolomite, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rayne, Todd W.; Bradbury, Kenneth R.; Muldoon, Maureen A.

    2001-10-01

    A wellhead protection study for the city of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, USA, demonstrates the necessity of combining detailed hydrostratigraphic analysis with groundwater modeling to delineate zones of contribution for municipal wells in a fractured dolomite aquifer. A numerical model (MODFLOW) was combined with a particle tracking code (MODPATH) to simulate the regional groundwater system and to delineate capture zones for municipal wells. The hydrostratigraphic model included vertical and horizontal fractures and high-permeability zones. Correlating stratigraphic interpretations with field data such as geophysical logs, packer tests, and fracture mapping resulted in the construction of a numerical model with five high-permeability zones related to bedding planes or facies changes. These zones serve as major conduits for horizontal groundwater flow. Dipping fracture zones were simulated as thin high-permeability layers. The locations of exposed bedrock and surficial karst features were used to identify areas of enhanced recharge. Model results show the vulnerability of the municipal wells to pollution. Capture zones for the wells extend several kilometers north and south from the city. Travel times from recharge areas to all wells were generally less than one year. The high seasonal variability of recharge in the study area made the use of a transient model necessary.

  10. An explicit approach to capture diffusive effects in finite water-content method for solving vadose zone flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Jianting; Ogden, Fred L.; Lai, Wencong; Chen, Xiangfeng; Talbot, Cary A.

    2016-04-01

    Vadose zone flow problems are usually solved from the Richards equation. Solution to the Richards equation is generally challenging because the hydraulic conductivity and diffusivity in the equation are strongly non-linear functions of water content. The finite water-content method was proposed as an alternative general solution method of the vadose zone flow problem for infiltration, falling slugs, and vadose zone response to water table dynamics based on discretizing the water content domain into numerous bins instead of the traditional spatial discretization. In this study, we develop an improved approach to the original finite water-content method (referred to as TO method hereinafter) that better simulates diffusive effects but retains the robustness of the TO method. The approach treats advection and diffusion separately and considers diffusion on a bin by bin basis. After discretizing into water content bins, we treat the conductivity and diffusivity in individual bins as water content dependent constant evaluated at given water content corresponding to each bin. For each bin, we can solve the flow equations analytically since the hydraulic conductivity and diffusivity can be treated as a constant. We then develop solutions for each bin to determine the diffusive water amounts at each time step. The water amount ahead of the convective front for each bin is redistributed among water content bins to account for diffusive effects. The application of developed solution is straightforward only involving algebraic manipulations at each time step. The method can mainly improve water content profiles, but has no significant difference for the total infiltration rate and cumulative infiltration compared to the TO method. Although the method separately deals with advection and diffusion, it can account for the coupling effects of advection and diffusion reasonably well.

  11. Influence of colloids on the attenuation and transport of phosphorus in alluvial gravel aquifer and vadose zone media.

    PubMed

    Pang, Liping; Lafogler, Mark; Knorr, Bastian; McGill, Erin; Saunders, Darren; Baumann, Thomas; Abraham, Phillip; Close, Murray

    2016-04-15

    Phosphorous (P) leaching (e.g., from effluents, fertilizers) and transport in highly permeable subsurface media can be an important pathway that contributes to eutrophication of receiving surface waters as groundwater recharges the base-flow of surface waters. Here we investigated attenuation and transport of orthophosphate-P in gravel aquifer and vadose zone media in the presence and absence of model colloids (Escherichia coli, kaolinite, goethite). Experiments were conducted using repacked aquifer media in a large column (2m long, 0.19m in diameter) and intact cores (0.4m long, 0.24m in diameter) of vadose zone media under typical field flow rates. In the absence of the model colloids, P was readily traveled through the aquifer media with little attenuation (up to 100% recovery) and retardation, and P adsorption was highly reversible. Conversely, addition of the model colloids generally resulted in reduced P concentration and mass recovery (down to 28% recovery), and increased retardation and adsorption irreversibility in both aquifer and vadose zone media. The degree of colloid-assisted P attenuation was most significant in the presence of fine material and Fe-containing colloids at low flow rate but was least significant in the presence of coarse gravels and E. coli at high flow rate. Based on the experimental results, setback distances of 49-53m were estimated to allow a reduction of P concentrations in groundwater to acceptable levels in the receiving water. These estimates were consistent with field observations in the same aquifer media. Colloid-assisted P attenuation can be utilized to develop mitigation strategies to better manage effluent applications in gravelly soils. To efficiently retain P within soil matrix and reduce P leaching to groundwater, it is recommended to select soils that are rich in iron oxides, to periodically disturb soil preferential flow paths by tillage, and to apply a low irrigation rate. PMID:26803685

  12. An Integrated System for Vadose Zone Monitoring, Model Calibration, Performance Assessment, and Prediction (MCAP) in Hanford's T Tank Farm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Z. F.; Keller, J. M.; Myers, D. A.; Sydnor, H. A.

    2006-12-01

    The Hanford Site has 149 underground single-shell tanks that store hazardous radioactive waste. Many of these tanks and their associated infrastructure (e.g., pipelines, diversion boxes) have leaked. Some of the leaked waste is projected to have entered the groundwater. The largest known leak occurred from the T-106 Tank in 1973. Most of the contaminants from that leak still reside within the vadose zone beneath the T Tank Farm. To minimize movement of this residual contaminant plume, an interim infiltration barrier will be constructed on the ground surface. This barrier is expected to prevent infiltrating water from reaching the plume and moving it further towards groundwater. An integrated system will be used for vadose zone moisture monitoring, model calibration, performance assessment, and prediction (MCAP). The system is to be broadly- designed so that the data can be used for multiple purposes. In addition to monitoring soil water movement both under the proposed barrier and adjacent to it, the collected data can also be used to characterize vadose zone hydraulic properties and to calibrate a numerical model. The calibrated model can then be used to assess the performance of the infiltration barrier and to predict water flow and contaminant transport under conditions with and/or without a barrier. A MCAP system is being applied to the Hanford's T Tank Farm. Soil water content is to be monitored using both neutron and capacitance probes; soil water pressure and soil temperature will be monitored with heat dissipation sensors; and water flux will be measured using water fluxmeters. These instruments will be installed in direct push probe holes advanced by a hydraulic hammer unit. Excluding neutron probe measurements, all data collection and data transmittal will be sent to an automated central server. This design allows measurements to be taken continually and reduces the need for personnel to enter the farm thereby increasing worker safety. It is expected that

  13. Linking river, floodplain, and vadose zone hydrology to improve restoration of a coastal river affected by saltwater intrusion.

    PubMed

    Kaplan, D; Muñoz-Carpena, R; Wan, Y; Hedgepeth, M; Zheng, F; Roberts, R; Rossmanith, R

    2010-01-01

    Floodplain forests provide unique ecological structure and function, which are often degraded or lost when watershed hydrology is modified. Restoration of damaged ecosystems requires an understanding of surface water, groundwater, and vadose (unsaturated) zone hydrology in the floodplain. Soil moisture and porewater salinity are of particular importance for seed germination and seedling survival in systems affected by saltwater intrusion but are difficult to monitor and often overlooked. This study contributes to the understanding of floodplain hydrology in one of the last bald cypress [Taxodium distichum (L.) Rich.] floodplain swamps in southeast Florida. We investigated soil moisture and porewater salinity dynamics in the floodplain of the Loxahatchee River, where reduced freshwater flow has led to saltwater intrusion and a transition to salt-tolerant, mangrove-dominated communities. Twenty-four dielectric probes measuring soil moisture and porewater salinity every 30 min were installed along two transects-one in an upstream, freshwater location and one in a downstream tidal area. Complemented by surface water, groundwater, and meteorological data, these unique 4-yr datasets quantified the spatial variability and temporal dynamics of vadose zone hydrology. Results showed that soil moisture can be closely predicted based on river stage and topographic elevation (overall Nash-Sutcliffe coefficient of efficiency = 0.83). Porewater salinity rarely exceeded tolerance thresholds (0.3125 S m(-1)) for bald cypress upstream but did so in some downstream areas. This provided an explanation for observed vegetation changes that both surface water and groundwater salinity failed to explain. The results offer a methodological and analytical framework for floodplain monitoring in locations where restoration success depends on vadose zone hydrology and provide relationships for evaluating proposed restoration and management scenarios for the Loxahatchee River. PMID:21043263

  14. Application of Surface Time-Lapse Seismic Refraction Tomography (TLSRT) to Quantifying Changes in Saturation Within the Vadose Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaines, D. P.; Baker, G. S.; Hubbard, S. S.; Watson, D.; Jardine, P.

    2009-05-01

    Seismic p-wave propagation velocity of a medium is a function of the effective elastic constants of the material, and has been previously demonstrated to be related to hydrologic parameters according to the Gassmann equation. Above the water table (i.e., in the vadose zone), seismic p-wave velocity is expected to vary linearly as a function of density. Similarly, bulk density is expected to vary linearly as a function of the porosity and the pore-fluid density, where the pore-fluid density is described as the weighted mean of the pore-fluid density and density of air, dependent upon the saturation. Thus, the equations for calculating a change in saturation given two successive seismic p-wave propagation velocity measurements at a coincident point in the vadose zone are straightforward, given a priori values for bulk density or porosity for the medium. In the absence of in situ information for a given medium, subsurface variations in density can be derived using the multi-channel analysis of shear waves (MASW) technique that yields estimates of s-wave propagation velocity (Vs). As Vs is a function of the shear modulus and density, and shear modulus is invariant due to saturation according the Gassmann equation, a direct estimate of density can be derived via MASW. Thus, using MASW to establish initial conditions, a direct measure of changes in vadose zone saturation can be estimated using time-lapse seismic refraction tomography (TLSRT). In order to validate the above approach to quantifying saturation in the vadose zone, an ephemeral perched water table at the Oak Ridge Field Research Center (ORFRC) located at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee was monitored using TLSRT and correlated with traditional point hydrologic measurements. From October 2007 through February 2009, 35 coincident datasets were acquired along a 100-m profile. The hydrologic measurements provide a binary measure of the existence of an elevated water table, and the TLSRT data

  15. LONG-TERM COLLOID MOBILIZATION AND COLLOID-FACILITATED TRANSPORT OF RADIONUCLIDES IN A SEMI-ARID VADOSE ZONE

    SciTech Connect

    Markus Flury; James B. Harsh; Fred Zhang; Glendon W. Gee; Earl D. Mattson; Peter C. L

    2012-08-01

    The main purpose of this project was to improve the fundamental mechanistic understanding and quantification of long-term colloid mobilization and colloid-facilitated transport of radionuclides in the vadose zone, with special emphasis on the semi-arid Hanford site. While we focused some of the experiments on hydrogeological and geochemical conditions of the Hanford site, many of our results apply to colloid and colloid-facilitated transport in general. Specific objectives were (1) to determine the mechanisms of colloid mobilization and colloid-facilitated radionuclide transport in undisturbed Hanford sediments under unsaturated flow, (2) to quantify in situ colloid mobilization and colloid-facilitated radionuclidetransport from Hanford sediments under field conditions, and (3) to develop a field-scale conceptual and numerical model for colloid mobilization and transport at the Hanford vadose zone, and use that model to predict long-term colloid and colloid- facilitated radionuclide transport. To achieve these goals and objectives, we have used a combination of experimental, theoretical, and numerical methods at different spatial scales, ranging from microscopic investigationsof single particle attachment and detachment to larger-scale field experiments using outdoor lysimeters at the Hanford site. Microscopic and single particle investigations provided fundamental insight into mechanisms of colloid interactions with the air-water interface. We could show that a moving air water interface (such as a moving water front during infiltration and drainage) is very effective in removing and mobilizing particles from a stationary surface. We further demonstrated that it is particularly the advancing air-water interface which is mainly responsible for colloid mobilization. Forces acting on the colloids calculated from theory corroborated our experimental results, and confirm that the detachment forces (surface tension forces) during the advancing air-water interface

  16. Quantitative Eatimation of Ground Water Recharge Process in Vadose Zone Beneath a Rice Paddy Field Using Cross-Borehole Radar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuroda, S.; Shiina, Y.; Okuyama, T.; Takeutch, M.

    2005-12-01

    Wet Rice Paddy field is one of most important components of land uses in monsoon Asia. It is known to have some other beneficial functions than food production, for example ground water recharge, purification of surface and subsurface water, and alleviation of flood. Though ground water recharge process of paddy field is essential for those functions, the actual conditions of ground water recharge process beneath paddy field has not been clarified besides in the zone of about 1m depth from soil surface. Recently cross borehole radar is recognized as one of usefull methods for measurement of soil water distribution and its change. We applied cross borehole radar for monitoring of soil water in vadose zone beneath a paddy field to clarify the ground water recharge process. Cross borehole radar monitoring clarified the infiltration process into the vadose zone and shallow ground water aquifer beneath the paddy field. We estimated the increment of soil volumetric water content from CRIME model, the descent velocity of wetting front, and infiltration rate from cross borehole radar data quantitatively. They were almost coincident with the directly measured results. Using these results,we tried to estimate permeability based on some hypothesis of infiltration process.

  17. Influence of sources on plutonium mobility and oxidation state transformations in vadose zone sediments.

    PubMed

    Kaplan, Daniel I; Powell, Brian A; Duff, Martine C; Demirkanli, Deniz I; Denham, Miles; Fjeld, Robert A; Molz, Fred J

    2007-11-01

    Well-defined solid sources of Pu(III) (PuCl3), Pu(IV) (Pu (NO3)4 and Pu (C2O4)2), and Pu(VI) (Pu02(NO3)2) were placed in lysimeters containing vadose zone sediments and exposed to natural weather conditions for 2 or 11 years. The objective of this study was to measure the release rate of Pu and the changes in the Pu oxidation states from these Pu sources with the intent to develop a reactive transport model source-term. Pu(III) and Pu(IV) sources had identical Pu concentration depth profiles and similar Pu release rates. Source release data indicate that PuIV(C2O4)2 was the least mobile, whereas Pu(VI)O2(NO3)2 was the most mobile. Synchrotron X-ray fluorescence (SXRF) revealed that Pu was very unevenly distributed on the sediment and Mn concentrations were too low (630 mg kg(-1)) and perhaps of the wrong mineralogy to influence Pu distribution. The high stability of sorbed Pu(IV) is proposed to be due to the formation of a stable hydrolyzed Pu(IV) surface species. Plutonium X-ray absorption near-edge spectroscopy (XANES) analysis conducted on sediment recovered at the end of the studyfrom the Pu(IV)(NO3)4- and Pu(III)(III)Cl3-amended lysimeters contained essentially identical Pu distributions: approximately 37% Pu(III), 67% Pu(IV), 0% Pu(V), and 0% Pu(VI). These results were similar to those using a wet chemistry Pu oxidation state assay, except the latter method did not detect any Pu(III) present on the sediment but instead indicated that 93-98% of the Pu existed as Pu(IV). This discrepancy was likely attributable to incomplete extraction of sediment Pu(III) by the wet chemistry method. Although Pu has been known to exist in the +3 oxidation state under microbially induced reducing conditions for decades, to our knowledge, this is the first observation of steady-state Pu(III) in association with natural sediments. On the basis of thermodynamic considerations, Pu(III) has a wide potential distribution, especially in acidic environments, and as such may warrant

  18. Microbially Produced Organic Matter and Its Role in Facilitating Pu Transport in the Deep Vadose Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fisher, J. C.; Tinnacher, R. M.; Zavarin, M.; Kersting, A. B.; Czerwinski, K.; Moser, D. P.

    2010-12-01

    Microorganisms have the potential to affect the fate and mobility of actinides in the deep vadose zone (DVZ) by metabolism (direct oxidation/reduction and changes to ecosystem redox potential), production of colloids and ligands, or by sorption (biofilms). The role of microbial communities in colloid-facilitated Pu transport is currently under investigation at the Nevada Test Site (NTS). Our experimental objective is to obtain both qualitative and quantitative data on the in situ role of biological organic material (DOM, POC, and EPS) on the (de)sorption of Pu at environmentally relevant concentrations. Groundwater samples were collected through vertical ventilation holes from a flooded post-test tunnel at the (NTS), where SSU rRNA gene libraries revealed a range of potential microbial physiotypes. Microbial enrichments were set up with the aim of isolating numerically significant representatives of major relevant physiotypes (e.g. aerobic heterotrophs, Mn/Fe reducers, EPS producers). NTS isolates, a well-characterized Shewanella sp.(str. CN-32), and an EPS-mutant of this strain were screened for their reactivity with Pu(IV). Organisms with both high and low (relative) Kd’s were used in sorption and cell lysis experiments. Viability experiments were conducted for all isolates in NaCl or NaCl/NaHCO3 solutions (I=0.01) for pH = 3, 5, 7, and 9. Products from cell lysis were filtered (0.22 um) or dialyzed (MW cutoff = 20,000 kD). These fractions were normalized by TOC and equilibrated with Pu to determine if Pu sorbs more strongly to either viable cells, EPS, cell membranes, or cell exudates. In our experiments, Pu(IV) sorbed most strongly to cells or cell fractions with EPS (expolysaccharide, the major biofilm component). However, cell fractions and exudates, which may become mobile when released from lysed or senescing cells, also strongly sorbed to Pu(IV). Therefore, changes in groundwater chemistry (e.g., pH or ionic strength) may have both direct chemical

  19. Inorganic carbon fluxes across the vadose zone of planted and unplanted soil mesocosms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thaysen, E. M.; Jacques, D.; Jessen, S.; Andersen, C. E.; Laloy, E.; Ambus, P.; Postma, D.; Jakobsen, I.

    2014-12-01

    The efflux of carbon dioxide (CO2) from soils influences atmospheric CO2 concentrations and thereby climate change. The partitioning of inorganic carbon (C) fluxes in the vadose zone between emission to the atmosphere and to the groundwater was investigated to reveal controlling underlying mechanisms. Carbon dioxide partial pressure in the soil gas (pCO2), alkalinity, soil moisture and temperature were measured over depth and time in unplanted and planted (barley) mesocosms. The dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) percolation flux was calculated from the pCO2, alkalinity and the water flux at the mesocosm bottom. Carbon dioxide exchange between the soil surface and the atmosphere was measured at regular intervals. The soil diffusivity was determined from soil radon-222 (222Rn) emanation rates and soil air Rn concentration profiles and was used in conjunction with measured pCO2 gradients to calculate the soil CO2 production. Carbon dioxide fluxes were modeled using the HP1 module of the Hydrus 1-D software. The average CO2 effluxes to the atmosphere from unplanted and planted mesocosm ecosystems during 78 days of experiment were 0.1 ± 0.07 and 4.9 ± 0.07 μmol C m-2 s-1, respectively, and grossly exceeded the corresponding DIC percolation fluxes of 0.01 ± 0.004 and 0.06 ± 0.03 μmol C m-2 s-1. Plant biomass was high in the mesocosms as compared to a standard field situation. Post-harvest soil respiration (Rs) was only 10% of the Rs during plant growth, while the post-harvest DIC percolation flux was more than one-third of the flux during growth. The Rs was controlled by production and diffusivity of CO2 in the soil. The DIC percolation flux was largely controlled by the pCO2 and the drainage flux due to low solution pH. Modeling suggested that increasing soil alkalinity during plant growth was due to nutrient buffering during root nitrate uptake.

  20. Influence of Sources on Plutonium Mobility and Oxidation State Transformations in Vadose Zone Sediments

    SciTech Connect

    Kaplan,D.; Powell, B.; Duff, M.; Demirkanli, D.; Denham, M.; Fjeld, R.; Molz, F.

    2007-01-01

    Well-defined solid sources of Pu(III) (PuCl3), Pu(IV) (Pu (NO3)4 and Pu (C2O4)2), and Pu(VI) (PuO2(NO3)2) were placed in lysimeters containing vadose zone sediments and exposed to natural weather conditions for 2 or 11 years. The objective of this study was to measure the release rate of Pu and the changes in the Pu oxidation states from these Pu sources with the intent to develop a reactive transport model source-term. Pu(III) and Pu(IV) sources had identical Pu concentration depth profiles and similar Pu release rates. Source release data indicate that PuIV(C2O4)2 was the least mobile, whereas PuVIO2(NO3)2 was the most mobile. Synchrotron X-ray fluorescence (SXRF) revealed that Pu was very unevenly distributed on the sediment and Mn concentrations were too low (630 mg kg-1) and perhaps of the wrong mineralogy to influence Pu distribution. The high stability of sorbed Pu(IV) is proposed to be due to the formation of a stable hydrolyzed Pu(IV) surface species. Plutonium X-ray absorption near-edge spectroscopy (XANES) analysis conducted on sediment recovered at the end of the study from the PuIV(NO3)4- and PuIIICl3-amended lysimeters contained essentially identical Pu distributions: approximately 37% Pu(III), 67% Pu(IV), 0% Pu(V), and 0% Pu(VI). These results were similar to those using a wet chemistry Pu oxidation state assay, except the latter method did not detect any Pu(III) present on the sediment but instead indicated that 93-98% of the Pu existed as Pu(IV). This discrepancy was likely attributable to incomplete extraction of sediment Pu(III) by the wet chemistry method. Although Pu has been known to exist in the +3 oxidation state under microbially induced reducing conditions for decades, to our knowledge, this is the first observation of steady-state Pu(III) in association with natural sediments. On the basis of thermodynamic considerations, Pu(III) has a wide potential distribution, especially in acidic environments, and as such may warrant further

  1. Advective Removal of Intraparticle Uranium from Contaminated Vadose Zone Sediments, Hanford, USA

    SciTech Connect

    Ilton, Eugene S.; Qafoku, Nikolla; Liu, Chongxuan; Moore, D. A.; Zachara, John M.

    2008-03-01

    A column study on U contaminated vadose zone sediments from the Hanford Site, WA, was performed in order to aid the development of a model for predicting U(VI) release rates under a dynamic flow regime and for variable geochemical conditions. The sediments of interest are adjacent to and below tank BX-102, part of the BX tank farm that contained high level liquid radioactive waste. Two sediments, with different U(VI) loadings and intraparticle large fracture vs. smaller fracture ratios, were reacted with three different solutions. The primary reservoir for U(VI) appears to be a micron-sized nanocrystalline Na-U-Si phase, possibly Na-boltwoodite, that nucleated and grew on plagioclase grains that line fractures within sand-sized granitic clasts. The solutions were all calcite saturated and in equilibrium with atmospheric CO2, where one solution was simply DI-water, the second was a synthetic ground water (SGW) with elevated Na, and the third was the same SGW but with both elevated Na and Si. The latter two solutions were employed, in part, to test the effect of saturation state on U(VI) release. For both sediments and all three electrolytes, there was an initial rapid release of U(VI) to the advecting solution followed by a plateau of low U(VI) concentration. U(VI) effluent concentration increased during subsequent stop flow (SF) events. The electrolytes with elevated Na and Si appreciably depressed U(VI) concentrations relative to DI water. The effluent data for both sediments and all three electrolytes was simulated reasonably well by a three domain model (the advecting fluid, fractures, and matrix) that coupled U(VI) dissolution rates, intraparticle U(VI) diffusion, and interparticle advective transport of U(VI); where key transport and dissolution processes had been parameterized in previous batch studies. For the calcite-saturated DI-water, U(VI) concentrations in the effluent remained far below saturation with respect to Na-boltwoodite and release of U(VI) to

  2. Inorganic carbon fluxes across the vadose zone of planted and unplanted soil mesocosms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thaysen, E. M.; Jacques, D.; Jessen, S.; Andersen, C. E.; Laloy, E.; Ambus, P.; Postma, D.; Jakobsen, I.

    2014-03-01

    The efflux of carbon dioxide (CO2) from soils influences atmospheric CO2 concentrations and thereby climate change. The partitioning of inorganic carbon fluxes in the vadose zone between emission to the atmosphere and to the groundwater was investigated. Carbon dioxide partial pressure in the soil gas (pCO2), alkalinity, soil moisture and temperature were measured over depth and time in unplanted and planted (barley) mesocosms. The dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) percolation flux was calculated from the pCO2, alkalinity and the water flux at the mesocosm bottom. Carbon dioxide exchange between the soil surface and the atmosphere was measured at regular intervals. The soil diffusivity was determined from soil radon-222 (222Rn) emanation rates and soil air Rn concentration profiles, and was used in conjunction with measured pCO2 gradients to calculate the soil CO2 production. Carbon dioxide fluxes were modelled using the HP1 module of the Hydrus 1-D software. The average CO2 effluxes to the atmosphere from unplanted and planted mesocosm ecosystems during 78 days of experiment were 0.1 ± 0.07 and 4.9 ± 0.07 μmol carbon (C) m-2 s-1, respectively, and largely exceeded the corresponding DIC percolation fluxes of 0.01 ± 0.004 and 0.06 ± 0.03 μmol C m-2 s-1. Post-harvest soil respiration (Rs) was only 10% of the Rs during plant growth, while the post-harvest DIC percolation flux was more than one third of the flux during growth. The Rs was controlled by production and diffusivity of CO2 in the soil. The DIC percolation flux was largely controlled by the pCO2 and the drainage flux due to low solution pH. Plant biomass and soil pCO2 were high in the mesocosms as compared to a standard field situation. Our results indicate no change of the cropland C balance under elevated atmospheric CO2 in a warmer future climate, in which plant biomass and soil pCO2 are expected to increase.

  3. Characterization of Vadose Zone Sediment: Borehole 299-E33-45 Near BX-102 in the B-BX-BY Waste Management Area

    SciTech Connect

    Serne, R. Jeffrey; Last, George V.; Gee, Glendon W.; Schaef, Herbert T.; Lanigan, David C.; Lindenmeier, Clark W.; Lindberg, Michael J.; Clayton, Ray E.; Legore, Virginia L.; Orr, Robert D.; Kutnyakov, Igor V.; Baum, Steven R.; Geiszler, Keith N.; Brown, Christopher F.; Valenta, Michelle M.; Vickerman, Tanya S.

    2008-09-11

    This report was revised in September 2008 to remove acid-extractable sodium data from Table 4.22. The data was removed due to potential contamination introduced during the acid extraction process. The remaining text is unchanged from the original report issued in 2002. The overall goal of the Tank Farm Vadose Zone Project, led by CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc., is to define risks from past and future single-shell tank farm activities. To meet this goal, CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc., asked scientists from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to perform detailed analyses on vadose zone sediments from within Waste Management Area B-BX-BY. This report is the first in a series of four reports to present the results of these analyses. Specifically, this report contains all the geologic, geochemical, and selected physical characterization data collected on vadose zone sediment recovered from borehole 299-E33-45 installed northeast of tank BX-102.

  4. Obtaining Agro-Hydrological Sustainable Nitrogen Application Rates via Deep Vadose Zone Observation, Model-Calibration, and Simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kurtzman, Daniel; Shapira, Roi; Bar-Tal, Asher; Fine, Pinchas; Russo, David

    2013-04-01

    Nitrate contamination of groundwater under intensive-agriculture land use is probably the most concerning agro-hydrological sustainability problem, worldwide. Whereas many studies confronting this problem focused on the root zone or on nitrate in groundwater, this work is based on models that were calibrated to relatively deep vadose-zone field data. The nitrogen-root-uptake function that was deduced from the calibration to deep vadose zone data was validated by results of a controlled lysimeter experiment. In the last decade many wells producing water from the Israeli Coastal Aquifer were disqualified for drinking-water supply due to exceeding the Israeli standard for nitrate (70 mg L-1 NO3-). The significant nitrate-plumes in the aquifer appeared under the loamy-sand red Mediterranean (Hamra) soils where citruses and vegetables are the dominant crops. Samples from 0 to 9 m depth of vadose zones under citrus orchards overlaying the aquifer were analyzed for variables controlling water flow and fate and transport of nitrogen fertilizers. Steady state estimates of water and NO3-N fluxes to groundwater were found spatially variable with ranges of 90 - 330 mm yr-1 and 50 - 220 kg ha-1 yr-1, respectively. Calibration of 1-D transient models to two selected vadose-zone profiles required limiting of the concentration of NO3-N in the solution that is taken up by the roots to 30 mg L-1. Results of an independent three-year lysimeter experiment showed similar nitrogen uptake regime. Simulations of past conditions revealed a significant correlation between NO3-N flux to groundwater and previous year precipitation. Fifty-years simulations of different nitrogen application rates showed that using half of the nitrogen fertilizer added to the irrigation water by the farmers today will reduce average NO3-N flux to groundwater by 70% while decreasing nitrogen root uptake by 20%. When considering the relatively high masses of nitrogen in the irrigation water (local wells or treated

  5. Seasonal Variations in CO2 Efflux, Vadose Zone Gas Concentrations, and Natural Attenuation Rates at a Crude Oil Spill Site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trost, J.; Sihota, N.; Delin, G. N.; Warren, E.

    2014-12-01

    Accurate estimates of hydrocarbon source zone natural attenuation (SZNA) rates are important for managing contaminated sites but are difficult to measure. Moreover, SZNA rates may vary seasonally in response to climatic conditions. Previous research at a crude oil spill site near Bemidji, Minnesota, USA showed that SZNA rates in the summer can be estimated by subtracting background soil CO2 efflux from the total soil CO2 efflux above the contaminated source. In this study, seasonal variations in surficial CO2 efflux were evaluated with measurements of gas concentrations (including 14CO2), temperature, and volumetric water content in the vadose zone at the site during a 2-year period. Soil CO2 effluxes in the source zone were consistently greater than background CO2 effluxes, and the magnitude and areal extent of the increased efflux varied seasonally. In the source zone, the 14CO2 and the CO2 efflux data showed a larger proportion of soil CO2 was derived from SZNA in fall and winter (October - February) compared to the summer (June - August). Surficial CO2 effluxes and vadose zone CO2 and CH4 concentrations in the source (2 - 7 meters below land surface) were positively correlated with soil temperature, indicating seasonal variability in SZNA rates. However, peak surficial CO2 effluxes did not correspond with periods of highest CO2 or CH4 concentrations at the 2 - 7 meter depth, demonstrating the effects of physical attributes (such as soil depth, frost, and volumetric water content) on gas transport. Overall, results showed that SZNA rates, background soil respiration rates, and gas transport varied seasonally, and that biological and physical factors are important to consider for accurately estimating SZNA rates.

  6. A resolution analysis of two geophysical imaging methods for characterizing and monitoring hydrologic conditions in the Vadose zone.

    SciTech Connect

    Brainard, James Robert; Hammond, Gary.; Alumbaugh, David L.; La Brecque, D.J.

    2007-06-01

    This research project analyzed the resolution of two geophysical imaging techniques, electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) and cross-borehole ground penetrating radar (XBGPR), for monitoring subsurface flow and transport processes within the vadose zone. The study was based on petrophysical conversion of moisture contents and solute distributions obtained from unsaturated flow forward modeling. This modeling incorporated boundary conditions from a potable water and a salt tracer infiltration experiment performed at the Sandia-Tech Vadose Zone (STVZ) facility, and high-resolution spatial grids (6.25-cm spacing over a 1700-m domain) and incorporated hydraulic properties measured on samples collected from the STVZ. The analysis process involved petrophysical conversion of moisture content and solute concentration fields to geophysical property fields, forward geophysical modeling using the geophysical property fields to obtain synthetic geophysical data, and finally, inversion of this synthetic data. These geophysical property models were then compared to those derived from the conversion of the hydrologic forward modeling to provide an understanding of the resolution and limitations of the geophysical techniques.

  7. Estimation of primary drainage three-phase relative permeability for organic liquid transport in the vadose zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oliveira, Leonardo I.; Demond, Avery H.

    2003-11-01

    The modeling of transport of organic liquid contaminants through the vadose zone often requires three-phase relative permeabilities. Since these are difficult to measure, predictive models are usually used. The objective of this study is to assess the ability of eight common models to predict the drainage relative permeability to oil in a three-phase system (water-oil-air). A comparison of the models' estimates using data set from Oak [Oak, M.J., 1990. Three-phase relative permeability of water-wet Berea. In: Seventh Symposium on Enhanced Oil Recovery, Paper SPE/Doe 20183. Tulsa, OK, April 22-25] showed that they provide very different predictions for the same system. The goodness of the models does not increase with the amount of data or computation that the models require. Also, the calculations showed how different interpretations of the models and of the terminology associated with them can significantly impact the predictions. Thus, considerable error may be introduced into the simulations of organic liquid transport in the vadose zone depending on the selection and interpretation of the three-phase relative permeability model.

  8. Bayesian inverse modeling of vadose zone hydraulic properties in a layered soil profile with data-driven likelihood function inference

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Over, M. W.; Wollschlaeger, U.; Osorio-Murillo, C. A.; Ames, D. P.; Rubin, Y.

    2013-12-01

    Good estimates for water retention and hydraulic conductivity functions are essential for accurate modeling of the nonlinear water dynamics of unsaturated soils. Parametric mathematical models for these functions are utilized in numerical applications of vadose zone dynamics; therefore, characterization of the model parameters to represent in situ soil properties is the goal of many inversion or calibration techniques. A critical, statistical challenge of existing approaches is the subjective, user-definition of a likelihood function or objective function - a step known to introduce bias in the results. We present a methodology for Bayesian inversion where the likelihood function is inferred directly from the simulation data, which eliminates subjectivity. Additionally, our approach assumes that there is no one parameterization that is appropriate for soils, but rather that the parameters are randomly distributed. This introduces the familiar concept from groundwater hydrogeology of structural models into vadose zone applications, but without attempting to apply geostatistics, which is extremely difficult in unsaturated problems. We validate our robust statistical approach on field data obtained during a multi-layer, natural boundary condition experiment and compare with previous optimizations using the same data. Our confidence intervals for the water retention and hydraulic conductivity functions as well as joint posterior probability distributions of the Mualem-van Genuchten parameters compare well with the previous work. The entire analysis was carried out using the free, open-source MAD# software available at http://mad.codeplex.com/.

  9. Analysis of atrazine and four degradation products in the pore water of the vadose zone, central Indiana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Panshin, S.Y.; Carter, D.S.; Bayless, E.R.

    2000-01-01

    A new method is described for the analysis of atrazine and four of its degradation products (desethylatrazine, deisopropylatrazine, didealkylatrazine, and hydroxyatrazine) in water. This method uses solid- phase extraction on a graphitized carbon black cartridge, derivatization of the eluate with N-methyl-N-(tert-butyldimethylsilyl)trifluoroacetamide (MTBSTFA), and analysis by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). This method was used to analyze lysimeter samples collected from a field in central Indiana in 1994 and 1995. Atrazine and its degradation products were transported rapidly through the vadose zone. Maximum values of atrazine ranged from 2.61 to 8.44 ??g/L and occurred from 15 to 57 days after application. Maximum concentrations of the degradation products occurred from 11 to 140 days after atrazine application. The degradation products were more persistent than atrazine in pore water. Desethylatrazine was the dominant degradation product detected in the first year, and didealkylatrazine was the dominant degradation product detected in the second year. Concentrations of atrazine and the degradation products sorbed onto soil were estimated; maximum concentrations ranged from 7.3 to 24 ??g/kg for atrazine and were less than 5 ??g/kg for all degradation products. Degradation of atrazine and transport of all five compounds were simulated by the vadose zone flow model LEACHM. LEACHM was run as a Darcian-flow model and as a non-Darcian-flow model.

  10. Review of Techniques to Characterize the Distribution of Chromate Contamination in the Vadose Zone of the 100 Areas at the Hanford Site

    SciTech Connect

    Dresel, P. Evan; Truex, Michael J.; Sweeney, Mark D.

    2007-09-01

    The purpose of this report is to identify and evaluate the state-of-the-art techniques for characteriza¬tion of chromate contamination in the vadose zone of the 100 Areas at the Hanford Site. The techniques include direct techniques for analysis of chromium in the subsurface as well as indirect techniques to identify contamination through geophysical properties, soil moisture, or co-contaminants. Characteri¬zation for the distribution of chromium concentration in the vadose zone is needed to assess potential sources for chromate contamination plumes in groundwater at the 100-D, 100-K, and 100-B/C Areas.

  11. Geochemical Processes Data Package for the Vadose Zone in the Single-Shell Tank Waste Management Areas at the Hanford Site

    SciTech Connect

    Cantrell, Kirk J.; Zachara, John M.; Dresel, P. Evan; Krupka, Kenneth M.; Serne, R. Jeffrey

    2007-09-28

    This data package discusses the geochemistry of vadose zone sediments beneath the single-shell tank farms at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Hanford Site. The purpose of the report is to provide a review of the most recent and relevant geochemical process information available for the vadose zone beneath the single-shell tank farms and the Integrated Disposal Facility. Two companion reports to this one were recently published which discuss the geology of the farms (Reidel and Chamness 2007) and groundwater flow and contamination beneath the farms (Horton 2007).

  12. T Tank Farm Interim Surface Barrier Demonstration -- Vadose Zone Monitoring FY07 Report

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Z. F.; Strickland, Christopher E.; Keller, Jason M.; Wittreich, Curtis D.; Sydnor, Harold A.

    2008-01-11

    CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc. is currently in the process of constructing a temporary surface barrier over a portion of the T Tank Farm as part of the T farm Interim Surface Barrier Demonstration Project. The surface barrier is designed to prevent the infiltration of precipitation into the contaminated soil zone created by the Tank T-106 leak and minimize movement of the contamination. As part of the demonstration effort, vadose zone moisture monitoring is being performed to assess the effectiveness of the barrier at reducing soil moisture. A solar-powered and remotely-controlled system was installed to continuously monitor soil water conditions in four instrument nests (i.e., A, B, C, and D) and the site meteorological condition. Each instrument nest was composed of a capacitance probe with multiple sensors, multiple heat-dissipation units, a neutron probe access tube and a datalogger. Nests A and B also contained a drain gauge each. The principle variables monitored for this purpose are soil-water content, soil-water pressure, and soil-water flux. In addition to these, soil temperature, precipitation, and air temperature are measured. Data from each of the dataloggers were transmitted remotely to the receiving computer. The neutron probe access tube was used to perform quarterly manual measurements of soil-water content using a neutron probe. This monitoring system was used to assess the soil water conditions in the soil outside and within the footprint of the surface barrier to be emplaced in the Hanford T Tank Farm. Data to date is baseline under the condition without the interim surface barrier in place. All the instruments except the two drain gauges were functional in FY07. The capacitance-probe measurements showed that the soil-moisture content at relatively shallow depths (e.g., 0.6 and 0.9 m) was increasing since October 2006 and reached the highest in early January 2007 followed by a slight decrease. Soil-moisture contents at the depths of 1.3 m and

  13. Calcite Precipitation and Trace Metal Partitioning in Groundwater and the Vadose Zone: Remediation of Strontium-90 and Other Divalent Metals and Radionuclides in Arid Western Environments

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, Robert W.; Colwell, F. ''Rick'' S.; Ingram, Jani C.; Ferris, F. Grant; Reysenbach, Anna-Louise

    2000-07-19

    Radionuclide and metal contaminants are present in the vadose zone and groundwater throughout the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) weapons complex. Demonstrating in situ immobilization of these contaminants in vadose zones or groundwater plumes is a cost-effective remediation strategy. However, the implementation of in situ remediation requires definition of the mechanism that controls sequestration of the contaminants. One such mechanism for metals and radionuclides is co-precipitation of these elements in authigenic calcite and calcite overgrowths. Calcite, a common mineral in many aquifers and vadose zones in the arid western U.S., can incorporate divalent metals such as strontium, cadmium, lead, and cobalt into its crystal structure by the formation of solid solutions. The rate at which trace metals are incorporated into calcite is a function of calcite precipitation kinetics, adsorption interactions between the calcite surface and the trace metal in solution, solid solution properties of the trace metal in calcite, and also the surfaces upon which the calcite is precipitating. A fundamental understanding of the coupling of calcite precipitation and trace metal partitioning and how this may occur in aquifers and vadose environments is lacking. The focus of the research proposed here is to investigate the facilitated partitioning of metal and radionuclides by their coprecipitation with calcium carbonate. Our specific research objectives include: (1) Elucidating the mechanisms and rates of microbially facilitated calcite precipitation and divalent cation adsorption/co-precipitation occurring in a natural aquifer and vadose zone perched water body as a result of the introduction of urea. (2) Assessing the effects of spatial variability in aquifer host rock and the associated hydro/biogeochemical processes on calcite precipitation rates and mineral phases within an aquifer and a vadose zone perched water body.

  14. GEOPHYSICS AND SITE CHARACTERIZATION AT THE HANFORD SITE THE SUCCESSFUL USE OF ELECTRICAL RESISTIVITY TO POSITION BOREHOLES TO DEFINE DEEP VADOSE ZONE CONTAMINATION - 11509

    SciTech Connect

    GANDER MJ; LEARY KD; LEVITT MT; MILLER CW

    2011-01-14

    Historic boreholes confirmed the presence of nitrate and radionuclide contaminants at various intervals throughout a more than 60 m (200 ft) thick vadose zone, and a 2010 electrical resistivity survey mapped the known contamination and indicated areas of similar contaminants, both laterally and at depth; therefore, electrical resistivity mapping can be used to more accurately locate characterization boreholes. At the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in eastern Washington, production of uranium and plutonium resulted in the planned release of large quantities of contaminated wastewater to unlined excavations (cribs). From 1952 until 1960, the 216-U-8 Crib received approximately 379,000,000 L (100,000,000 gal) of wastewater containing 25,500 kg (56,218 lb) uranium; 1,029,000 kg (1,013 tons) of nitrate; 2.7 Ci of technetium-99; and other fission products including strontium-90 and cesium-137. The 216-U-8 Crib reportedly holds the largest inventory of waste uranium of any crib on the Hanford Site. Electrical resistivity is a geophysical technique capable of identifying contrasting physical properties; specifically, electrically conductive material, relative to resistive native soil, can be mapped in the subsurface. At the 216-U-8 Crib, high nitrate concentrations (from the release of nitric acid [HNO{sub 3}] and associated uranium and other fission products) were detected in 1994 and 2004 boreholes at various depths, such as at the base of the Crib at 9 m (30 ft) below ground surface (bgs) and sporadically to depths in excess of 60 m (200 ft) bgs. These contaminant concentrations were directly correlative with the presence of observed low electrical resistivity responses delineated during the summer 2010 geophysical survey. Based on this correlation and the recently completed mapping of the electrically conductive material, additional boreholes are planned for early 2011 to identify nitrate and radionuclide contamination: (a) throughout the entire vertical length of the

  15. Use of aerial photographs for assessment of soil organic carbon and delineation of agricultural management zones.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bartholomeus, H.; Kooistra, L.

    2012-04-01

    For quantitative estimation of soil properties by means of remote sensing, often hyperspectral data are used. But these data are scarce and expensive, which prohibits wider implementation of the developed techniques in agricultural management. For precision agriculture, observations at a high spatial resolution are required. Colour aerial photographs at this scale are widely available, and can be acquired at no of very low costs. Therefore, we investigated whether publically available aerial photographs can be used to a) automatically delineate management zones and b) estimate levels of organic carbon spatially. We selected three study areas within the Netherlands that cover a large variance in soil type (peat, sand, and clay). For the fields of interest, RGB aerial photographs with a spatial resolution of 50 cm were extracted from a publically available data provider. Further pre-processing exists of geo-referencing only. Since the images originate from different sources and are potentially acquired under unknown illumination conditions, the exact radiometric properties of the data are unknown. Therefore, we used spectral indices to emphasize the differences in reflectance and normalize for differences in radiometry. To delineate management zones we used image segmentation techniques, using the derived indices as input. Comparison with management zone maps as used by the farmers shows that there is good correspondence. Regression analysis between a number of soil properties and the derived indices shows that organic carbon is the major explanatory variable for differences in index values within the fields. However, relations do not hold for large regions, indicating that local models will have to be used, which is a problem that is also still relevant for hyperspectral remote sensing data. With this research, we show that low-cost aerial photographs can be a valuable tool for quantitative analysis of organic carbon and automatic delineation of management zones

  16. Vadose Zone Injection Monitoring with Electrical Geophysics Using Steel Casings as Electrodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fink, J. B.; Ward, A. L.; Gee, G. W.

    2001-12-01

    In 1991 the EPA announced that 346 billion gallons of liquid waste had been dumped on the Hanford Nuclear site in Washington state. This is enough waste (over one million acre-feet) to bury the entire 670 square miles of Hanford 2 and 1/2 feet deep! Over the years, a great deal of time, money, and effort has been spent on remediating above-ground facilities. In 2000, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) embarked on a study to determine what subsurface monitoring or imaging methods would be the most capable and cost effective for detecting and monitoring liquid waste in the vadose zone. Two existing test sites were used for the evaluation; a 20-year-old radio-nuclide injection test site (Sisson and Lu site) and a "cold" test facility containing a mock tank. Each site is unique in its history, setting, and cultural conditions. This discussion deals with the conductive electrical methods deployed at the two sites. The Sisson and Lu site was used for the initial evaluation. The test site consists of a "forest" of 32 six-inch steel casings spaced two meters apart on eight radials emanating from the central injection well. Test conditions (2000) involved measuring several 1000-gallon injections of Columbia River water. Each injection was "leaked" at approximately 5 gallons per minute (gpm). In each monitoring well, neutron data were gathered before injections, during all injections, and after the final injection, to be used as a baseline for comparison of method results. Several "leaks" were performed so that each selected system could be evaluated without interference. In 2001, the tests were repeated with a 30% solution of sodium thiosulfate and a 0.5% solution of sodium chloride. This high ionic-strength solution has a very high electrical conductivity, relatively high density, and better represents the liquids of concern; i.e. solutions possibly leaking from various storage facilities. The six-year-old mock-tank site consists of a partially buried, 50-foot

  17. Transport of hydrocarbons from an emplaced fuel source experiment in the vadose zone at Airbase Vaerløse, Denmark.

    PubMed

    Christophersen, Mette; Broholm, Mette M; Mosbaek, Hans; Karapanagioti, Hrissi K; Burganos, Vasilis N; Kjeldsen, Peter

    2005-12-01

    An emplaced hydrocarbon source field experiment was conducted in the relatively homogeneous sandy geology of the vadose zone at Airbase Vaerløse, Denmark. The source (10.2 l of NAPL) consisted of 13 hydrocarbons (n-, iso- and cyclo-alkanes and aromates) and CFC-113 as a tracer. Monitoring in the 107 soil gas probes placed out to 20 m from the centre of the source showed spreading of all the compounds in the pore air and all compounds were measured in the pore air within a few hours after source emplacement. Seven of the fourteen compounds were depleted from the source within the 1 year of monitoring. The organic vapours in the pore air migrated radially from the source. The CFC-113 concentrations seemed to be higher in the deeper soil gas probes compared with the hydrocarbons, indicating a high loss of CFC-113 to the atmosphere and the lack of degradation of CFC-113. For the first days after source emplacement, the transport of CFC-113, hexane and toluene was successfully simulated using a radial gas-phase diffusion model for the unsaturated zone. Groundwater pollution caused by the vadose zone hydrocarbon vapours was only detected in the upper 30 cm of the underlying groundwater and only during the first 3 months of the experiment. Only the most water-soluble compounds were detected in the groundwater and concentrations decreased sharply with depth (approximately one order of magnitude within 10 cm depth) to non-detect at 30 cm depth. The groundwater table varied more than 1 m within the measurement period. However that did not influence the direction of the groundwater flow. Approximately 7 months after source emplacement the groundwater table rose more than 1 m within 1 month. That did not cause additional pollution of the groundwater. PMID:16102873

  18. Geochemical Characterization of Chromate Contamination in the 100 Area Vadose Zone at the Hanford Site - Part 2

    SciTech Connect

    Qafoku, Nikolla; Dresel, P. Evan; McKinley, James P.; Ilton, Eugene S.; Um, Wooyong; Resch, Charles T.; Kukkadapu, Ravi K.; Petersen, Scott W.

    2011-01-04

    At the Hanford Site, chromate was used throughout the 100 Areas (100-B, 100-C, 100-D/DR, 100-F, 100-H, and 100 K) as a corrosion inhibitor in reactor cooling water. Chromate was delivered in rail cars, tanker trucks, barrels, and local pipelines as dichromate granular solid or stock solution. In many occasions, chromate was inevitably discharged to surface or near-surface ground through spills during handling, pipeline leaks, or during disposal to cribs. The composition of the liquids that were discharged is not known and it is quite possible that Cr(VI) fate and transport in the contaminated sediments would be a function of the chemical composition of the waste fluids. The major objectives of this investigation which was limited in scope by the financial resources available, were to 1) determine the leaching characteristics of hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)] from contaminated sediments collected from 100-D Area spill sites; 2) elucidate possible Cr(VI) mineral and/or chemical associations that may be responsible for Cr(VI) retention in the Hanford Site 100 Areas through the use of macroscopic leaching studies, and microscale characterization of contaminated sediments; and 3) provide information to construct a conceptual model of Cr(VI) geochemistry in the Hanford 100 Area vadose zone that can be used for developing options for environmental remediation. The information gathered from this research effort will help to further improve our understanding of Cr(VI) behavior in the vadose zone and will also help in accelerating the 100 Area Columbia River Corridor cleanup by providing valuable information to develop remedial action based on a fundamental understanding of Cr(VI) vadose zone geochemistry. A series of column experiments were conducted with contaminated sediments to study Cr(VI) desorption patterns. Column experiments used the field size fraction of the sediment samples and a simulated Hanford Site groundwater solution. Periodic stop flow events were applied to

  19. Assessing in situ mineralization of recalcitrant organic compounds in vadose zone sediments using delta13C and 14C measurements.

    PubMed

    Kirtland, Brian C; Aelion, C Marjorie; Stone, Peter A

    2005-01-01

    Few techniques exist to measure the biodegradation of recalcitrant organic compounds such as chlorinated hydrocarbons (CHC) in situ, yet predictions of biodegradation rates are needed for assessing monitored natural attenuation. Traditional techniques measuring O2, CO2, or chemical concentrations (in situ respiration, metabolite and soil air monitoring) may not be sufficiently sensitive to estimate biodegradation rates for these compounds. This study combined isotopic measurements (14C and delta13C of CO2 and delta13C of CHCs) in conjunction with traditional methods to assess in situ biodegradation of perchloroethylene (PCE) and its metabolites in PCE-contaminated vadose zone sediments. CHC, ethene, ethane, methane, O2, and CO2 concentrations were measured over 56 days using gas chromatography (GC). delta13C of PCE, trichloroethylene (TCE) and cis-1,2-dichloroethylene (DCE), delta13C and 14C of vadose zone CO2 and sediment organic matter, and delta13C, 14C, and deltaD of methane were measured using a GC-isotope ratio mass spectrometer or accelerator mass spectrometer. PCE metabolites accounted for 0.2% to 18% of CHC concentration suggesting limited reductive dechlorination. Metabolites TCE and DCE were significantly enriched in (13)C with respect to PCE indicating metabolite biodegradation. Average delta13C-CO2 in source area wells (-23.5 per thousand) was significantly lower compared to background wells (-18.4 per thousand) indicating CHC mineralization. Calculated CHC mineralization rates were 0.003 to 0.01 mg DCE/kg soil/day based on lower 14C values of CO2 in the contaminated wells (63% to 107% modern carbon (pMC)) relative to the control well (117 pMC). Approximately 74% of the methane was calculated to be derived from in situ CHC biodegradation based on the 14C measurement of methane (29 pMC). 14C-CO2 analyses was a sensitive measurement for quantifying in situ recalcitrant organic compound mineralization in vadose zone sediments for which limited

  20. A BENCHMARKING ANALYSIS FOR FIVE RADIONUCLIDE VADOSE ZONE MODELS (CHAIN, MULTIMED_DP, FECTUZ, HYDRUS, AND CHAIN 2D) IN SOIL SCREENING LEVEL CALCULATIONS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Five radionuclide vadose zone models with different degrees of complexity (CHAIN, MULTIMED_DP, FECTUZ, HYDRUS, and CHAIN 2D) were selected for use in soil screening level (SSL) calculations. A benchmarking analysis between the models was conducted for a radionuclide (99Tc) rele...

  1. Characterization of Vadose Zone Sediments Below the C Tank Farm: Borehole C4297 and RCRA Borehole 299-E27-22

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, Christopher F.; Serne, R. Jeffrey; Bjornstad, Bruce N.; Horton, Duane G.; Lanigan, David C.; Clayton, Ray E.; Valenta, Michelle M.; Vickerman, Tanya S.; Kutnyakov, Igor V.; Geiszler, Keith N.; Baum, Steven R.; Parker, Kent E.; Lindberg, Michael J.

    2008-09-11

    This report was revised in September 2008 to remove acid-extractable sodium data from Tables 4.7 and 4.25. The sodium data was removed due to potential contamination introduced during the acid extraction process. The rest of the text remains unchanged from the original report issued in September 2006. The overall goal of the Tank Farm Vadose Zone Project, led by CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc., is to define risks from past and future single-shell tank farm activities at the Hanford Site. To meet this goal, CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc. tasked scientists from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) to perform detailed analyses on vadose zone sediments from within Waste Management Area (WMA) C. This report is the first of two reports written to present the results of these analyses. Specifically, this report contains all the geologic, geochemical, and selected physiochemical characterization data collected on vadose zone sediment recovered from borehole C4297, installed adjacent to tank C-105, and from borehole 299-E27-22, installed directly north of the C Tank Farm. This report also presents the interpretation of data in the context of sediment types, the vertical extent of contamination, the migration potential of the contaminants, and the likely source of the contamination in the vadose zone below the C Tank Farm. The information presented in this report supports the WMA A-AX, C, and U field investigation report in preparation by CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc.

  2. THE DOE COMPLEX-WIDE VADOSE ZONE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY ROADMAP: CHARACTERIZATION MODELING AND SIMULATION OF SUBSURFACE CONTAMINANT FATE AND TRANSPORT

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Idaho National Engineering & Environmental Lab (INEEL) was charged by DOE EM to develop a complex-wide science and technology roadmap for the characterization, modeling and simulation of the fate and transport of contamination in the vadose zone. Various types of hazardous, r...

  3. FATE AND TRANSPORT OF RADIONUCLIDES BENEATH THE HANFORD TANK-FARMS: UNRAVELING COUPLED GEOCHEMICAL AND HYDROLOGICAL PROCESSES IN THE VADOSE ZONE

    EPA Science Inventory

    The overall goal of this research is to provide an improved understanding and predictive capability of coupled hydrological and geochemical mechanisms that are responsible for the accelerated migration of radionuclides in the vadose zone beneath the Hanford Tank Farms. The study...

  4. A Long-Term Strategic Plan for Hanford Sediment Physical Property and Vadose Zone Hydraulic Parameter Databases

    SciTech Connect

    Rockhold, Mark L.; Last, George V.; Middleton, Lisa A.

    2009-09-30

    Physical property data and unsaturated hydraulic parameters are critical input for analytic and numerical models used to predict transport and fate of contaminants in variably saturated porous media and to assess and execute remediation alternatives. The Remediation Decision Support (RDS) project, managed by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Company (CHPRC), has been compiling physical and hydraulic property data and parameters to support risk analyses and waste management decisions at Hanford. Efforts have been initiated to transfer sediment physical property data and vadose zone hydraulic parameters to CHPRC for inclusion in HEIS-Geo, a new instance of the Hanford Environmental Information System database that is being developed for borehole geologic data. This report describes these efforts and a strategic plan for continued updating and improvement of these datasets.

  5. Coupled Hydrological and Geochemical Processes Governing the Fate and Transport of Radionuclides and Toxic Metals in the Hanford Vadose Zone

    SciTech Connect

    Mayes, M.A.; Jardine, P.M.; Fendorf, S.E.; Pace, M.N.; Yin, X.; Mehlhorn, T.L.; Zachara, J.M.

    2003-03-27

    At the D.O.E. Hanford Reservation, accelerated migration of radionuclides has been observed in the vadose zone underlying the tank farms. Our goal is to provide an improved understanding and predictive capability of the coupled hydrogeochemical mechanisms responsible for observed migration. Our approach is to perform a suite of experiments ranging from novel surface interrogation techniques (e.g., XAS) to miscible displacement experiments on disturbed and undisturbed sediments from the Hanford, Plio-Pleistocene and Ringold formations. Results indicate during unsaturated conditions hydrologic processes governing transport are a strong function of sediment layering in the Hanford and Ringold formations. The transport of radionuclides and toxic metals (U, Cr(VI), Cs, Sr and Co) is influenced by reactive geochemical nonequilibrium, sedimentary mineralogy and solution chemistry. This research will provide new insights into how physical and mineralogical heterogeneities (e.g. stratification, pore regime connectivity, mineral composition along flowpaths) influence contaminant retardation and degree of geochemical nonequilibrium during transport.

  6. A Resolution Analysis of Two Geophysical Imaging Methods For Characterizing and Monitoring Hydrologic Conditions in the Vadose Zone

    SciTech Connect

    Alumbaugh, D.; LaBreque, D.; Brainard, J.; Hammond, G.

    2006-08-02

    The objective of this research project was to analyze the resolution of two geophysical imaging techniques: electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) and cross-borehole ground penetrating radar (XBGPR) for monitoring subsurface flow and transport processes within the vadose zone. This was accomplished through a coupled approach involving very fine-scale unsaturated flow forward modeling, conversion of the resultant flow and solute fields to geophysical property models, forward geophysical modeling using the property model obtained from the last step to obtain synthetic geophysical data, and finally inversion of this synthetic data. These geophysical property models were then compared to those derived from the conversion of the hydrologic forward modeling to provide an understanding of the resolution and limitations of the geophysical techniques.

  7. Measuring spatial variability of vapor flux to characterize vadose-zone VOC sources: Flow-cell experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mainhagu, J.; Morrison, C.; Truex, M.; Oostrom, M.; Brusseau, M. L.

    2014-10-01

    A method termed vapor-phase tomography has recently been proposed to characterize the distribution of volatile organic contaminant mass in vadose-zone source areas, and to measure associated three-dimensional distributions of local contaminant mass discharge. The method is based on measuring the spatial variability of vapor flux, and thus inherent to its effectiveness is the premise that the magnitudes and temporal variability of vapor concentrations measured at different monitoring points within the interrogated area will be a function of the geospatial positions of the points relative to the source location. A series of flow-cell experiments was conducted to evaluate this premise. A well-defined source zone was created by injection and extraction of a non-reactive gas (SF6). Spatial and temporal concentration distributions obtained from the tests were compared to simulations produced with a mathematical model describing advective and diffusive transport. Tests were conducted to characterize both areal and vertical components of the application. Decreases in concentration over time were observed for monitoring points located on the opposite side of the source zone from the local-extraction point, whereas increases were observed for monitoring points located between the local-extraction point and the source zone. The results illustrate that comparison of temporal concentration profiles obtained at various monitoring points gives a general indication of the source location with respect to the extraction and monitoring points.

  8. Measuring Spatial Variability of Vapor Flux to Characterize Vadose-zone VOC Sources: Flow-cell Experiments

    SciTech Connect

    Mainhagu, Jon; Morrison, C.; Truex, Michael J.; Oostrom, Martinus; Brusseau, Mark

    2014-08-05

    A method termed vapor-phase tomography has recently been proposed to characterize the distribution of volatile organic contaminant mass in vadose-zone source areas, and to measure associated three-dimensional distributions of local contaminant mass discharge. The method is based on measuring the spatial variability of vapor flux, and thus inherent to its effectiveness is the premise that the magnitudes and temporal variability of vapor concentrations measured at different monitoring points within the interrogated area will be a function of the geospatial positions of the points relative to the source location. A series of flow-cell experiments was conducted to evaluate this premise. A well-defined source zone was created by injection and extraction of a non-reactive gas (SF6). Spatial and temporal concentration distributions obtained from the tests were compared to simulations produced with a mathematical model describing advective and diffusive transport. Tests were conducted to characterize both areal and vertical components of the application. Decreases in concentration over time were observed for monitoring points located on the opposite side of the source zone from the local–extraction point, whereas increases were observed for monitoring points located between the local–extraction point and the source zone. We found that the results illustrate that comparison of temporal concentration profiles obtained at various monitoring points gives a general indication of the source location with respect to the extraction and monitoring points.

  9. Measuring Spatial Variability of Vapor Flux to Characterize Vadose-zone VOC Sources: Flow-cell Experiments

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Mainhagu, Jon; Morrison, C.; Truex, Michael J.; Oostrom, Martinus; Brusseau, Mark

    2014-08-05

    A method termed vapor-phase tomography has recently been proposed to characterize the distribution of volatile organic contaminant mass in vadose-zone source areas, and to measure associated three-dimensional distributions of local contaminant mass discharge. The method is based on measuring the spatial variability of vapor flux, and thus inherent to its effectiveness is the premise that the magnitudes and temporal variability of vapor concentrations measured at different monitoring points within the interrogated area will be a function of the geospatial positions of the points relative to the source location. A series of flow-cell experiments was conducted to evaluate this premise. Amore » well-defined source zone was created by injection and extraction of a non-reactive gas (SF6). Spatial and temporal concentration distributions obtained from the tests were compared to simulations produced with a mathematical model describing advective and diffusive transport. Tests were conducted to characterize both areal and vertical components of the application. Decreases in concentration over time were observed for monitoring points located on the opposite side of the source zone from the local–extraction point, whereas increases were observed for monitoring points located between the local–extraction point and the source zone. We found that the results illustrate that comparison of temporal concentration profiles obtained at various monitoring points gives a general indication of the source location with respect to the extraction and monitoring points.« less

  10. Measuring Spatial Variability of Vapor Flux to Characterize Vadose-zone VOC Sources: Flow-cell Experiments

    PubMed Central

    Morrison, C.; Truex, M.; Oostrom, M.; Brusseau, M.L.

    2014-01-01

    A method termed vapor-phase tomography has recently been proposed to characterize the distribution of volatile organic contaminant mass in vadose-zone source areas, and to measure associated three-dimensional distributions of local contaminant mass discharge. The method is based on measuring the spatial variability of vapor flux, and thus inherent to its effectiveness is the premise that the magnitudes and temporal variability of vapor concentrations measured at different monitoring points within the interrogated area will be a function of the geospatial positions of the points relative to the source location. A series of flow-cell experiments was conducted to evaluate this premise. A well-defined source zone was created by injection and extraction of a non-reactive gas (SF6). Spatial and temporal concentration distributions obtained from the tests were compared to simulations produced with a mathematical model describing advective and diffusive transport. Tests were conducted to characterize both areal and vertical components of the application. Decreases in concentration over time were observed for monitoring points located on the opposite side of the source zone from the local–extraction point, whereas increases were observed for monitoring points located between the local–extraction point and the source zone. The results illustrate that comparison of temporal concentration profiles obtained at various monitoring points gives a general indication of the source location with respect to the extraction and monitoring points. PMID:25171394

  11. Measuring spatial variability of vapor flux to characterize vadose-zone VOC sources: flow-cell experiments.

    PubMed

    Mainhagu, J; Morrison, C; Truex, M; Oostrom, M; Brusseau, M L

    2014-10-15

    A method termed vapor-phase tomography has recently been proposed to characterize the distribution of volatile organic contaminant mass in vadose-zone source areas, and to measure associated three-dimensional distributions of local contaminant mass discharge. The method is based on measuring the spatial variability of vapor flux, and thus inherent to its effectiveness is the premise that the magnitudes and temporal variability of vapor concentrations measured at different monitoring points within the interrogated area will be a function of the geospatial positions of the points relative to the source location. A series of flow-cell experiments was conducted to evaluate this premise. A well-defined source zone was created by injection and extraction of a non-reactive gas (SF6). Spatial and temporal concentration distributions obtained from the tests were compared to simulations produced with a mathematical model describing advective and diffusive transport. Tests were conducted to characterize both areal and vertical components of the application. Decreases in concentration over time were observed for monitoring points located on the opposite side of the source zone from the local-extraction point, whereas increases were observed for monitoring points located between the local-extraction point and the source zone. The results illustrate that comparison of temporal concentration profiles obtained at various monitoring points gives a general indication of the source location with respect to the extraction and monitoring points. PMID:25171394

  12. Measuring Spatial Variability of Vapor Flux to Characterize Vadose-zone VOC Sources: Flow-cell Experiments

    SciTech Connect

    Mainhagu, Jon; Morrison, C.; Truex, Michael J.; Oostrom, Martinus; Brusseau, Mark

    2014-10-20

    A method termed vapor-phase tomography has recently been proposed to characterize the distribution of volatile organic contaminant mass in vadose-zone source areas, and to measure associated three-dimensional distributions of local contaminant mass discharge. The method is based on measuring the spatial variability of vapor flux, and thus inherent to its effectiveness is the premise that the magnitudes and temporal variability of vapor concentrations measured at different monitoring points within the interrogated area will be a function of the geospatial positions of the points relative to the source location. A series of flow-cell experiments was conducted to evaluate this premise. A well-defined source zone was created by injection and extraction of a non-reactive gas (SF6). Spatial and temporal concentration distributions obtained from the tests were compared to simulations produced with a mathematical model describing advective and diffusive transport. Tests were conducted to characterize both areal and vertical components of the application. Decreases in concentration over time were observed for monitoring points located on the opposite side of the source zone from the local–extraction point, whereas increases were observed for monitoring points located between the local–extraction point and the source zone. The results illustrate that comparison of temporal concentration profiles obtained at various monitoring points gives a general indication of the source location with respect to the extraction and monitoring points.

  13. Coupled inverse modeling of vadose zone water, heat, and solute transport: Calibration constraints, parameter nonuniqueness, and predictive uncertainty

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Friedel, M.J.

    2005-01-01

    In this study, an inverse methodology is presented and used to evaluate the effect that calibration of a synthetic artificial recharge model, constrained by different combinations of measurements (pressure head, temperature, and concentration), has on estimated vadose zone model parameter-value nonuniqueness and predictive water, heat, and solute transport uncertainty. Several findings are arrived at following model calibration and predictive analysis. First, composite scaled sensitivities revealed that all calibration measurement combinations contributed to the estimation of 30 water, heat, and solute transport parameters by inverting a set of vadose zone transport equations that were coupled explicitly through dependent variables and implicitly through parameters and fluid properties. Second, despite excellent model quality and perfect match of simulated-to-measured dependent field variables, the limitations in information content of field measurements used to constrain the calibration process promoted correlation among parameters; correlation among parameters promoted parameter nonuniqueness; and parameter nonuniqueness promoted predictive uncertainty. Consequently, simulations by transport models calibrated against field information represent a single realization associated with some quantifiable range of predictive uncertainty. Third, a primary reduction in uncertainty was achieved by increasing the number of calibration-constraint measurements, but reductions in uncertainty appeared restricted implying a practical limit to parameterization detail. Fourth, for a fixed number of measurements, a less prominent reduction in the range of predictive uncertainty could be realized through selective use of measurement types to constrain the calibration process. Therefore, field measurement types used to constrain the calibration process should be matched to target predictions. Fifth, because correlation among parameters contributes to predictive uncertainty, it may be

  14. River water intrusion and uranium capture from the vadose zone near the Columbia River at the Hanford Site, Washington

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKinley, J. P.; Resch, C. T.; Kaluzny, R. M.; Miller, M.; Vermeul, V.; Zachara, J. M.

    2011-12-01

    last week of the water table rise. Also, concentrations of dissolved ions and uranium in 6 wells completed deeper in the aquifer were constant; river water intruded only in the upper aquifer, and uranium originated from the vadose zone. These results showed that the hyporheic zone, if defined as the zone over which river water intruded and mixed with groundwater, extended 200 m from the river shore. The vadose zone, including the interval between low and high water table elevations (the smear zone) was known from bicarbonate extractions of drill cuttings to contain contaminant uranium, while the sediment within the saturated zone was essentially uranium free. Contaminant uranium was therefore contributed to the aquifer by desorption as the aquifer extended into the vadose zone. This source of contaminant uranium could sustain a uranium plume in the aquifer through exposure to aquifer groundwater, maintaining an only ephemerally accessed source of uranium. This work was supported by the US Department of Energy Office of Biological and Energy Research.

  15. The vadose zone as a geoindicator of environmental change and groundwater quality in water-scarce areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edmunds, W. M.; Baba Goni, I.; Gaye, C. B.; Jin, L.

    2013-12-01

    Inert and reactive tracers in moisture profiles provide considerable potential for the vadose zone to be used as an indicator of rapid environmental change. This indicator is particularly applicable in areas of water stress where long term (decade to century) scale records may be found in deep unsaturated zones in low rainfall areas and provide insights into recent recharge, climate variation and water-rock interactions which generate groundwater quality. Unsaturated zone Cl records obtained by elutriation of moisture are used widely for estimating recharge and water balance studies; isotope profiles (3H, δ2H, δ18O) from total water extraction procedures are used for investigation of residence times and hydrological processes. Apart from water taken using lysimeters, little work has been conducted directly on the geochemistry of pore fluids. This is mainly due to the difficulties of extraction of moisture from unsaturated material with low water contents (typically 2-6 wt%) and since dilution methods can create artifacts. Using immiscible liquid displacement techniques it is now possible to directly investigate the geochemistry of moisture from unsaturated zone materials. Profiles up to 35m from Quaternary sediments from dryland areas of the African Sahel (Nigeria, Senegal) as well as Inner Mongolia, China are used to illustrate the breadth of information obtainable from vadose zone profiles. Using pH, major and trace elements and comparing with isotopic data, a better understanding is gained of timescales of water movement, aquifer recharge, environmental records and climate history as well as water-rock interaction and contaminant behaviour. The usefulness of tritium as residence time indicator has now expired following cessation of atmospheric thermonuclear testing and through radioactive decay. Providing the rainfall Cl, moisture contents and bulk densities of the sediments are known, then Cl accumulation can be substituted to estimate timescales. Profiles

  16. T Tank Farm Interim Surface Barrier Demonstration - Vadose Zone Monitoring FY09 Report

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Z. F.; Strickland, Christopher E.; Field, Jim G.; Parker, Danny L.

    2010-01-01

    DOE’s Office of River Protection constructed a temporary surface barrier over a portion of the T Tank Farm as part of the T Farm Interim Surface Barrier Demonstration Project. As part of the demonstration effort, vadose zone moisture is being monitored to assess the effectiveness of the barrier at reducing soil moisture. A solar-powered system was installed to continuously monitor soil water conditions at four locations (i.e., instrument Nests A, B, C, and D) beneath the barrier and outside the barrier footprint as well as site meteorological conditions. Nest A is placed in the area outside the barrier footprint and serves as a control, providing subsurface conditions outside the influence of the surface barrier. Nest B provides subsurface measurements to assess surface-barrier edge effects. Nests C and D are used to assess changes in soil-moisture conditions beneath the interim surface barrier. Each instrument nest is composed of a capacitance probe (CP) with multiple sensors, multiple heat-dissipation units (HDUs), and a neutron probe (NP) access tube. The monitoring results in FY09 are summarized below. The solar panels functioned normally and could provide sufficient power to the instruments. The CP in Nest C after September 20, 2009, was not functional. The CP sensors in Nest B after July 13 and the 0.9-m CP sensor in Nest D before June 10 gave noisy data. Other CPs were functional normally. All the HDUs were functional normally but some pressure-head values measured by HDUs were greater than the upper measurement-limit. The higher-than-upper-limit values might be due to the very wet soil condition and/or measurement error but do not imply the malfunction of the sensors. Similar to FY07 and FY08, in FY09, the soil under natural conditions (Nest A) was generally recharged during the winter period (October-March) and discharged during the summer period (April-September). Soil water conditions above about 1.5-m to 2-m depth from all three types of measurements

  17. Vadose zone lag time and potential 21st century climate change effects on spatially distributed groundwater recharge in the semi-arid Nebraska Sand Hills

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rossman, N. R.; Zlotnik, V. A.; Rowe, C. M.; Szilagyi, J.

    2014-11-01

    Deep drainage of water below plant root zones (potential groundwater recharge) will become groundwater recharge (GR) after a delay (or lag time) in which soil moisture traverses the vadose zone before reaching the water table. Depending on the thickness of the vadose zone, the magnitude of deep drainage, and soil hydraulic properties, lag times will vary broadly, exceeding decades to centuries in semi-arid and arid environments. Yet, studies of future climate change impacts to GR have typically avoided focusing on impacts beyond 100 years and often neglect to consider lag effects caused by the vadose zone. We investigate the effects of vadose zone lag time and potential 21st century climate change on the spatial distribution and timing of GR throughout the semi-arid Nebraska Sand Hills (NSH) region (∼50,000 km2). We propose a simple and rapid quantitative approach for assessment of the groundwater system response time to changes in climate. Understanding of such effects is needed for groundwater modeling, analysis of climate change impacts on groundwater, and the effective management and sustainability of future water resources. Lag time estimates are made using the pressure-based vertical velocity of soil moisture changes, equivalent to a kinematic wave approximation of Richards' equation. The underlying assumptions (unit hydraulic gradient and relatively slow changes in climate) are supported by observations in the High Plains aquifer region, encompassing the NSH. The analysis relies on four sources of input data, including: Spatially distributed high resolution (1.1-km) GR rates (as the difference in 2000-2009 mean precipitation and evapotranspiration-estimated using a novel MODIS-based approach); thickness of the vadose zone-based on 30-m digital elevation models of the land surface and water table elevations; statistically downscaled estimates of future (2010-2099) potential GR rates from two hydroclimate model projections (WRCP CMIP3) with opposing GR

  18. Using Vapor Phase Tomography to Measure the Spatial Distribution of Vapor Concentrations and Flux for Vadose-zone VOC Sources

    PubMed Central

    Mainhagu, J.; Morrison, C.; Brusseau, M.L.

    2015-01-01

    A test was conducted at a chlorinated-solvent contaminated site in Tucson, AZ, to evaluate the effectiveness of vapor-phase tomography (VPT) for characterizing the distribution of volatile organic contaminants (VOC) in the vadose zone. A soil vapor extraction (SVE) system has been in operation at the site since 2007. Vapor concentration and vacuum pressure were measured at four different depths in each of four monitoring wells surrounding the extraction well. The test provided a 3D characterization of local vapor concentrations under induced-gradient conditions. Permeability data obtained from analysis of borehole logs were combined with the vapor-concentration data to determine VOC mass flux within the test domain. A region of higher mass flux was identified in the deepest interval of the S-SW section of the domain, indicating the possible location of a zone with greater contaminant mass. These results are consistent with the TCE-concentration distribution obtained from sediment coring conducted at the site. In contrast, the results of a standard soil gas survey did not indicate the presence of a zone with greater contaminant mass. These results indicate that the VPT test provided a robust characterization of VOC concentration and flux distribution at the site. PMID:25835545

  19. Using Vapor Phase Tomography to Measure the Spatial Distribution of Vapor Concentrations and Flux for Vadose-Zone VOC Sources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mainhagu, J.; Brusseau, M. L. L.; Morrison, C. N.

    2015-12-01

    A test was conducted at a chlorinated-solvent contaminated site in Tucson, AZ, to evaluate the effectiveness of vapor-phase tomography (VPT) for characterizing the distribution of volatile organic contaminants (VOC) in the vadose zone. A soil vapor extraction (SVE) system has been in operation at the site since 2007. Vapor concentration and vacuum pressure were measured at four different depths in each of the four monitoring wells surrounding the extraction well. The test provided a 3D characterization of local vapor concentrations under induced-gradient conditions. Permeability data obtained from analysis of borehole logs were used along with pressure and the vapor-concentration data to determine VOC mass flux within the test domain. A region of higher mass flux was identified in the deepest interval of the S-SW section of the domain, indicating the possible location of a zone with greater contaminant mass. These results are consistent with the TCE-concentration distribution obtained from sediment coring conducted at the site. In contrast, the results of a standard soil gas survey did not indicate the presence of a zone with greater contaminant mass. These results indicate that the VPT test provided a robust characterization of VOC concentration and flux distribution at the site.

  20. Using vapor phase tomography to measure the spatial distribution of vapor concentrations and flux for vadose-zone VOC sources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mainhagu, J.; Morrison, C.; Brusseau, M. L.

    2015-06-01

    A test was conducted at a chlorinated-solvent contaminated site in Tucson, AZ, to evaluate the effectiveness of vapor-phase tomography (VPT) for characterizing the distribution of volatile organic contaminants (VOC) in the vadose zone. A soil vapor extraction (SVE) system has been in operation at the site since 2007. Vapor concentration and vacuum pressure were measured at four different depths in each of the four monitoring wells surrounding the extraction well. The test provided a 3D characterization of local vapor concentrations under induced-gradient conditions. Permeability data obtained from analysis of borehole logs were used along with pressure and the vapor-concentration data to determine VOC mass flux within the test domain. A region of higher mass flux was identified in the deepest interval of the S-SW section of the domain, indicating the possible location of a zone with greater contaminant mass. These results are consistent with the TCE-concentration distribution obtained from sediment coring conducted at the site. In contrast, the results of a standard soil gas survey did not indicate the presence of a zone with greater contaminant mass. These results indicate that the VPT test provided a robust characterization of VOC concentration and flux distribution at the site.

  1. Observation of flow processes in the vadose zone using ERT on different space and time scales: results, obstacles, and suggestions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noell, Ursula; Ganz, Christina; Lamparter, Axel; Duijnisveld, Wilhelmus; Bachmann, Jörg

    2013-04-01

    Electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) observes the flow processes in the vadose zone indirectly. ERT has been used to estimate water flow in different soil types and under different flow conditions using active experiments or monitoring the natural process in many cases. Our experiments in sand and loess soil connected ERT with local soil probing using TDR devices and tensiometers in order to proof the reliability of the ERT inversion results in terms of infiltration velocity. Additionally, a colour tracer was used and sections through the infiltration zones were excavated in order to compare the shape of the dye -stained infiltration zone with the results of the ERT inversion. The data revealed the complicated infiltration pattern with a higher transport velocity in sand and a different shape than expected by classical soil hydraulic models. These results indicate the need for independent observations in order to correctly assess the water storage in the vadose zone with its hydrological consequences, the groundwater recharge and the contamination risk caused by rapid movement of water. ERT can be used for this purpose on different spatial- and time scales but for reliable results various obstacles need to be dealt with. Firstly, the ambiguity of the resistivity because soil resistivity depends on both, soil water content and electrical soil/water conductivity. This obstacle is less severe when the infiltration velocity is investigated, because then only the first onset of resistivity change is interpreted as the water arrival time. Our results show that the arrival of the water front as well as the final infiltration depth can be reliably detected. In contrast, this obstacle is very severe when the amount of water stored is observed using conductive tracer. The problem is not critical during a passive experiment when the natural rain fall and the waters fate through the vadose zone is monitored. The second obstacle is the limited resolution of ERT which

  2. Characterization of Vadose Zone Sediments from C Waste Management Area: Investigation of the C-152 Transfer Line Leak

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, Christopher F; Serne, R JEFFREY; Bjornstad, Bruce N; Valenta, Michelle M; Lanigan, David C; Vickerman, Tanya S; Clayton, Ray E; Geiszler, Keith N; Iovin, Cristian; Clayton, Eric T; Kutynakov, I V; Baum, Steven R; Lindberg, Michael J; Orr, Robert D

    2007-02-05

    A geologic/geochemical investigation in the vicinity of UPR-200-E-82 was performed using pairs of cone-penetrometer probe holes. A total of 41 direct-push cone-penetrometer borings (19 pairs to investigate different high moisture zones in the same sampling location and 3 individual) were advanced to characterize vadose zone moisture and the distribution of contaminants. A total of twenty sample sets, containing up to two split-spoon liners and one grab sample, were delivered to the laboratory for characterization and analysis. The samples were collected around the documented location of the C-152 pipeline leak, and created an approximately 120-ft diameter circle around the waste site. UPR-200-E-82 was a loss of approximately 2,600 gallons of Cs-137 Recovery Process feed solution containing an estimated 11,300 Ci of cesium-137 and 5 Ci of technetium-99. Several key parameters that are used to identify subsurface contamination were measured, including: water extract pH, electrical conductivity, nitrate, technetium-99, sodium, and uranium concentrations and technetium-99 and uranium concentrations in acid extracts. All of the parameters, with the exception of electrical conductivity, were elevated in at least some of the samples analyzed as part of this study. Specifically, soil pH was elevated (from 8.69 to 9.99) in five samples collected northeast and southwest of the C-152 pipeline leak. Similarly, samples collected from these same cone-pentrometer holes contained significantly more water-extractable sodium (more than 50 g/g of dry sediment), uranium (as much as 7.66E-01 g/g of dry sediment), nitrate (up to 30 g/g of dry sediment), and technetium-99 (up to 3.34 pCi/g of dry sediment). Most of the samples containing elevated concentrations of water-extractable sodium also had decreased levels of water extractable calcium and or magnesium, indicating that tank-related fluids that were high in sodium did seep into the vadose zone near these probe holes. Several of the

  3. Evaluation of Methods for Delineating Zones of Transport for Production Wells in Karst and Fractured-Rock Aquifers of Minnesota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jones, Perry M.

    2010-01-01

    Assessment of groundwater-flow conditions in the vicinity of production wells in karst and fractured-rock settings commonly is difficult due in part to the lack of detailed hydrogeologic information and the resources needed to collect it. To address this concern and to better understand the hydrogeology and aquifer properties of karst and fractured-rock aquifers in Minnesota, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Minnesota Department of Health, conducted a study to evaluate methods for delineating zones of transport for 24 production wells in karst and fractured-rock aquifers in Minnesota. Two empirical methods for delineating zones of transport around wells were applied to the 24 production wells that extract groundwater from karst and fractured-rock aquifers in nine Minnesota communities. These methods were the truncated-parabola and modified-ellipse methods, and both methods assume porous-media flow conditions. The 24 wells extracted water from a karst aquifer (Prairie du Chien-Jordan aquifer), porous aquifers interspersed with solution-enhanced fractures (Jordan and Hinckley aquifers), or fractured-bedrock aquifers (Biwabik Iron-Formation and Sioux Quartzite aquifers). Zones of transport delineated using these two empirical methods were compared with zones of transport previously delineated by Minnesota Department of Health hydrologists for the wells using the calculated-fixed-radius method and groundwater-flow models. Large differences were seen in the size and shapes of most zones of transport delineated using the truncated-parabola and modified-ellipse methods compared with the zones of transport delineated by the Minnesota Department of Health. In general, the zones of transport delineated using the truncated-parabola and modified-ellipse methods were smaller in area than those delineated by the Minnesota Department of Health and included only small parts of the Minnesota Department of Health zones of transport. About two-thirds(67 percent) of

  4. A Trial of the Delineation of Gas Hydrate Bearing Zones using Seismic Methods Offshore Tokai Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Inamori, T.; Hato, M.

    2002-12-01

    MITI Research Well 'Nankai Trough' was drilled at offshore Tokai Japan in 1999/2000 and the existence of gas hydrate was confirmed by various proofs through borehole measurement or coring. It gave so big impact to the view of Japan_fs future energy resources and other scientific interests.The METI, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, has started the national project "Methane Hydrate Exploration study" in Japan since the fall 2001. Bottom Simulating Reflectors (BSRs) were widely found on the marine seismic data acquired offshore Japan especially in the shelf-slope near Nankai Trough. BSRs are thought to be the bottom of gas hydrate stability zones, we cannot, however, get the information of gas hydrate bearing zones, such as the height of those, the porosity, the gas hydrate saturation etc, only from BSRs. In order to estimate the amount of gas hydrate accurately, we have to get those reservoir parameters of gas hydrate bearing zones from marine seismic data. The velocity of these zones is greater than that of the surrounding sediment, because pure gas hydrate has high velocity that is more than 3,000 m/s. This means the interval velocity is the key for exploration of gas hydrate. First, we have tried to image the gas hydrate bearing zones from seismic stacking velocity analysis. After the conversion to interval velocity from NMO velocity by Dix's equation, we imaged the P-wave velocity section through 2D seismic line. We successfully imaged high velocity zones above BSRs and low velocity zones beneath BSRs on P-wave velocity section. But the resolution of the section from the velocity analysis is not so high. Although we have only two adjacent well log data on the seismic line, in order to make more detailed map, we tried to execute the seismic impedance inversion with MITI Nankai Trough Well data. We made a simple initial model and inverted to seismic impedance value. We got the good impedance section and delineated the gas hydrate bearing zones through it

  5. Ion association in water solution of soil and vadose zone of chestnut saline solonetz as a driver of terrestrial carbon sink

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Batukaev, Abdul-Malik A.; Endovitsky, Anatoly P.; Andreev, Andrey G.; Kalinichenko, Valery P.; Minkina, Tatiana M.; Dikaev, Zaurbek S.; Mandzhieva, Saglara S.; Sushkova, Svetlana N.

    2016-03-01

    The assessment of soil and vadose zone as the drains for carbon sink and proper modeling of the effects and extremes of biogeochemical cycles in the terrestrial biosphere are the key components to understanding the carbon cycle, global climate system, and aquatic and terrestrial system uncertainties. Calcium carbonate equilibrium causes saturation of solution with CaCO3, and it determines its material composition, migration and accumulation of salts. In a solution electrically neutral ion pairs are formed: CaCO30, CaSO40, MgCO30, and MgSO40, as well as charged ion pairs CaHCO3+, MgHCO3+, NaCO3-, NaSO4-, CaOH+, and MgOH+. The calcium carbonate equilibrium algorithm, mathematical model and original software to calculate the real equilibrium forms of ions and to determine the nature of calcium carbonate balance in a solution were developed. This approach conducts the quantitative assessment of real ion forms of solution in solonetz soil and vadose zone of dry steppe taking into account the ion association at high ionic strength of saline soil solution. The concentrations of free and associated ion form were calculated according to analytical ion concentration in real solution. In the iteration procedure, the equations were used to find the following: ion material balance, a linear interpolation of equilibrium constants, a method of ionic pairs, the laws of initial concentration preservation, operating masses of equilibrium system, and the concentration constants of ion pair dissociation. The coefficient of ion association γe was determined as the ratio of ions free form to analytical content of ion γe = Cass/Can. Depending on soil and vadose zone layer, concentration and composition of solution in the ionic pair's form are 11-52 % Ca2+; 22.2-54.6 % Mg2+; 1.1-10.5 % Na+; 3.7-23.8 HCO3-, 23.3-61.6 % SO42-, and up to 85.7 % CO32-. The carbonate system of soil and vadose zone water solution helps to explain the evolution of salted soils, vadose and saturation zones, and

  6. Conceptual Models for Migration of Key Groundwater Contaminants Through the Vadose Zone and Into the Upper Unconfined Aquifer Below the B-Complex

    SciTech Connect

    Serne, R. Jeffrey; Bjornstad, Bruce N.; Keller, Jason M.; Thorne, Paul D.; Lanigan, David C.; Christensen, J. N.; Thomas, Gregory S.

    2010-07-01

    The B-Complex contains 3 major crib and trench disposal sites and 3 SST farms that have released nearly 346 mega-liters of waste liquids containing the following high groundwater risk drivers: ~14,000 kg of CN, 29,000 kg of Cr, 12,000 kg of U and 145 Ci of Tc-99. After a thorough review of available vadose zone sediment and pore water, groundwater plume, field gamma logging, field electrical resistivity studies, we developed conceptual models for which facilities have been the significant sources of the contaminants in the groundwater and estimated the masses of these contaminants remaining in the vadose zone and currently present in the groundwater in comparison to the totals released. This allowed us to make mass balance calculations on how consistent our knowledge is on the current deep vadose zone and groundwater distribution of contaminants. Strengths and weaknesses of the conceptual models are discussed as well as implications on future groundwater and deep vadose zone remediation alternatives. Our hypothesized conceptual models attribute the source of all of the cyanide and most of the Tc-99 currently in the groundwater to the BY cribs. The source of the uranium is the BX-102 tank overfill event and the source of most of the chromium is the B-7-A&B and B-8 cribs. Our mass balance estimates suggest that there are much larger masses of U, CN, and Tc remaining in the deep vadose zone within ~20 ft of the water table than is currently in the groundwater plumes below the B-Complex. This hypothesis needs to be carefully considered before future remediation efforts are chosen. The masses of these groundwater risk drivers in the the groundwater plumes have been increasing over the last decade and the groundwater plumes are migrating to the northwest towards the Gable Gap. The groundwater flow rate appears to flucuate in response to seasonal changes in hydraulic gradient. The flux of contaminants out of the deep vadose zone from the three proposed sources also

  7. Influence of lithology on tracer movement in the vadose zone of the Calcaire de Beauce aquifer (France).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Viel, Emélie; Coquet, Yves; Dedewanou, Myriam; Binet, Stéphane

    2016-04-01

    The "Calcaire de Beauce" aquifer is contaminated by nitrate and pesticides mostly coming from agricultural activities. In this region the saturated part of the aquifer is relatively well known compared to the unsaturated (vadose) zone. This unsaturated zone can extend to more than 20 m in depth, and may play a significant role in the retention and/or release of pollutants or in the rate of nitrate transfer to wells. In order to improve knowledge on the dispersion of contaminants in the vadose zone, a tracer experiment took place at the Lycée de la Saussaye near Chartres. A pit, 4 meter in width, 1.60 meter deep and 1 meter large was excavated in a Beauce limestone, giving access to the vadose zone. The surface organic soil layer (40 cm) was excavated. Thirty Liters of brilliant blue (FCF) at a concentration of 6 g/L have been applied to the surface at a rate of 0.14 L/h/m² with automatic sprinklers during 66 h. The pit has then cut successively in four vertical profiles at 0, 33, 66, 100 cm from the edge. A RGB-photo and a lithological description was taken for each vertical profile. Image processing (ratio red canal /green canal) was applied to picture the plume of brilliant blue (BB). Areas filled with BB were converted into polygons using ArcGIS and compared with the lithological description. The proportion of tracer filled area at a given depth was used to evaluate the dispersion of the tracer with depth. The lithology present within the 4 profiles was very heterogeneous from fine ocher limestone to clay. Some profils are structured with tilt around 120° to the right in the (x,z) plane. Dye maps showed irregular plume dispersion with fast flows. A "fingered" front of BB was observed and was oriented according a tilt of 110-120° in the (x,z) plane. This distribution appears to be controlled by the lithology, with tracer moving around the low permeable lithologies. Fast flow distribution and lithological observation showed the same tilt, indicating a link

  8. Modelling the Fate of Heavy Metals in the Vadose Zone: Preferential Flow Effects and the Role of Vegetation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roulier, S.; Menon, M.; Schulin, R.

    2005-12-01

    Plant development can be affected by heavy metal stress, resulting in different patterns of root distribution, and in a modification of the soil structure through the genesis of more or less developed root-macropores, acting as preferential flow pathways. Preferential flow is a known process in which contaminants transfer rapidly through the vadose zone, creating a potential risk for the groundwater. Whereas it is commonly assumed that heavy metals are little mobile in soils, very little interest has been shown in the potential preferential leaching of heavy metals, either present in solution, or particle-binded. A sensitivity analysis for the preferential flow model MACRO was performed, prior to the inverse parameterisation of the model using plot scale data. MACRO was then linked to the inverse modelling program SUFI, and calibrated against lysimeter data describing water regime changes and heavy metal behaviour, in a heavy metal contaminated soil, under a young forest ecosystem. Two objectives were pursued: (i) to highlight the modification of the soil structure due to the plant growth strategy in a metal contaminated soil, (ii) to investigate the effects of preferential flow on the mobility of heavy metals through the root zone, at the plot scale. Initial modelling results suggested that in case of heavy metal contamination, the plant water uptake was more distributed in the soil profile than when the soil was not contaminated, as well as a deeper root penetration, resulting in the creation of deep continuous macropores.

  9. Scale-Up Information for Gas-Phase Ammonia Treatment of Uranium in the Vadose Zone at the Hanford Site Central Plateau

    SciTech Connect

    Truex, Michael J.; Szecsody, James E.; Zhong, Lirong; Thomle, Jonathan N.; Johnson, Timothy C.

    2014-09-01

    Uranium is present in the vadose zone at the Hanford Central Plateau and is of concern for protection of groundwater. The Deep Vadose Zone Treatability Test Plan for the Hanford Central Plateau identified gas-phase treatment and geochemical manipulation as potentially effective treatment approaches for uranium and technetium in the Hanford Central Plateau vadose zone. Based on laboratory evaluation, use of ammonia vapor was selected as the most promising uranium treatment candidate for further development and field testing. While laboratory tests have shown that ammonia treatment effectively reduces the mobility of uranium, additional information is needed to enable deployment of this technology for remediation. Of importance for field applications are aspects of the technology associated with effective distribution of ammonia to a targeted treatment zone, understanding the fate of injected ammonia and its impact on subsurface conditions, and identifying effective monitoring approaches. In addition, information is needed to select equipment and operational parameters for a field design. As part of development efforts for the ammonia technology for remediation of vadose zone uranium contamination, field scale-up issues were identified and have been addressed through a series of laboratory and modeling efforts. This report presents a conceptual description for field application of the ammonia treatment process, engineering calculations to support treatment design, ammonia transport information, field application monitoring approaches, and a discussion of processes affecting the fate of ammonia in the subsurface. The report compiles this information from previous publications and from recent research and development activities. The intent of this report is to provide technical information about these scale-up elements to support the design and operation of a field test for the ammonia treatment technology.

  10. Conceptual Model of the Geometry and Physics of Water Flow in a Fractured Basalt Vadose Zone: Box Canyon Site, Idaho

    SciTech Connect

    Faybishenko, Boris; Doughty, Christine; Steiger, Michael; Long, Jane C.S.; Wood, Tom; Jacobsen, Janet; Lore, Jason; Zawislanski, Peter T.

    1999-03-01

    A conceptual model of the geometry and physics of water flow in a fractured basalt vadose zone was developed based on the results of lithological studies and a series of ponded infiltration tests conducted at the Box Canyon site near the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) in Idaho. The infiltration tests included one two-week test in 1996, three two-day tests in 1997, and one four-day test in 1997. For the various tests, initial infiltration rates ranged from 4.1 cm/day to 17.7 cm/day and then decreased with time, presumably due to mechanical or microbiological clogging of fractures and vesicularbasalt in the near-surface zone, as well as the effect of entrapped air. The subsurface moisture redistribution was monitored with tensiometers, neutron logging, time domain reflectrometry and ground penetrating radar. A conservative tracer, potassium bromide, was added to the pond water at a concentration of 3 g/L to monitor water flow with electrical resistivity probes and water sampling. Analysis of the data showed evidence of preferential flow rather than the propagation of a uniform wetting front. We propose a conceptual model describing the saturation-desaturation behavior of the basalt, in which rapid preferential flow through vertical column-bounding fractures occurs from the surface to the base of the basalt flow. After the rapid wetting of column-bounding fractures, a gradual wetting of other fractures and the basalt matrix occurs. Fractures that are saturated early in the tests may become desaturated thereafter, which we attribute to the redistribution of water between fractures and matrix. Lateral movement of water was also observed within a horizontal central fracture zone and rubble zone, which could have important implications for contaminant accumulation at contaminated sites.

  11. Perched-Water Evaluation for the Deep Vadose Zone Beneath the B, BX, and BY Tank Farms Area of the Hanford Site

    SciTech Connect

    Truex, Michael J.; Oostrom, Martinus; Carroll, KC; Chronister, Glen B.

    2013-06-28

    Perched-water conditions have been observed in the vadose zone above a fine-grained zone that is located a few meters above the water table within the B, BX, and BY Tank Farms area. The perched water contains elevated concentrations of uranium and technetium-99. This perched-water zone is important to consider in evaluating the future flux of contaminated water into the groundwater. The study described in this report was conducted to examine the perched-water conditions and quantitatively evaluate 1) factors that control perching behavior, 2) contaminant flux toward groundwater, and 3) associated groundwater impact.

  12. Laboratory determination of gas-side mass transfer coefficients applicable to soil-venting systems for removing petroleum hydrocarbons from vadose-zone soils. Master's thesis

    SciTech Connect

    Van Valkenburg, M.E.

    1991-01-01

    Contamination of the subsurface environment by organic solvents has become a national problem. The EPA's Superfund list (40 CFR Part 300, 1990) continues to grow, with continual discovery of new hazardous waste sites. Various techniques are employed to remediate these sites, including excavation and removal of the contaminated soil for proper disposal, pumping and treatment of contaminated ground water and an organic phase if present, containment by slurried soil-bentonite cut-off barriers, in situ biological treatment of the organic wastes, and vadose zone soil venting for gas absorption of volatiles. Each technique, or combination, may have merit at a given site. The soil venting process, an inexpensive but relatively successful technique for removal of contaminants from the vadose (unsaturated) zone, is the focus of the research.

  13. A Mass Conservative Method for Integrating 1-D Vadose Zone Simulations Discretized in the Moisture Content Domain with 2-D Groundwater Interflow Simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steinke, R. C.

    2015-12-01

    Discretizing 1-D vadose zone simulations in the moisture content domain, such as is done in the Talbot-Ogden method, provides some advantages over discretizing in depth, such as is done in Richards' Equation. These advantages include inherent mass conservation and lower computational cost. However, doing so presents a difficulty for integration with 2-D groundwater interflow simulations. The equations of motion of the bins of discrete moisture content take the depth of the water table as an input. They do not produce it as an output. Finding the correct water table depth so that the groundwater recharge from the 1-D vadose zone simulation mass balances with the lateral flows from the 2-D groundwater interflow simulation was a previously unsolved problem. In this paper we present a net-groundwater-recharge method to solve to this problem and compare it with the source-term method used with Richards' Equation.

  14. A hybrid hydrologic-geophysical inverse technique for the assessment and monitoring of leachates in the vadose zone. 1998 annual progress report

    SciTech Connect

    Alumbaugh, D.L.; Glass, R.J.; Yeh, T.C.; LaBrecque, D.

    1998-06-01

    'The objective of this study is to develop and field test a new, integrated Hybrid Hydrologic-Geophysical Inverse Technique (HHGIT) for characterization of the vadose zone at contaminated sites. This new approach to site characterization and monitoring can provide detailed maps of hydrogeological heterogeneity and the extent of contamination by combining information from electric resistivity tomography (ERT) surveys, statistical information about heterogeneity and hydrologic processes, and sparse hydrologic data. Because the electrical conductivity of the vadose zone (from the ERT measurements) can be correlated to the fluid saturation and/or contaminant concentration, the hydrologic and geophysical measurements are related. As of the 21st month of a 36-month project, a three-dimensional stochastic hydrologic inverse model for heterogeneous vadose zones has been developed. This model employs pressure and moisture content measurements under both transient and steady flow conditions to estimate unsaturated hydraulic parameters. In this model, an innovative approach to sequentially condition the estimate using temporal measurements has been incorporated. This allows us to use vast amounts of pressure and moisture content information measured at different times while keeping the computational effort manageable. Using this model the authors have found that the relative importance of the pressure and moisture content measurements in defining the different vadose zone parameters depends on whether the soil is wet or dry. They have also learned that pressure and moisture content measurements collected during steady state flow provide the best characterization of heterogeneity compared to other types of hydrologic data. These findings provide important guidance to the design of sampling scheme of the field experiment described below.'

  15. Development of a Conceptual Model for Vadose Zone Transport of Tc-99 at Hanford's BC Cribs and the Screening of Remedial Alternatives

    SciTech Connect

    Ward, Anderson L.; Serne, R. Jeffrey; Benecke, Mark W.

    2009-03-05

    A number of waste trenches at cribs at Hanford's BC Cribs and Trenches site, which received about 10 Mgal of scavenged tank waste with elevated concentrations of technetium-99 and nitrate, are currently being evaluated for remediation. The objective of this study was to investigate the influence of fine-scale heterogeneity (i.e. horizontal laminations, cross-bedding) on the large-scale transport behavior of mobile contaminants through the vadose zone with the purpose of developing a remedial strategy. The vertical heterogeneity structure, conditioned on grain size distributions and geophysical logs (water content and natural isotopes), was developed from a single borehole at the site. Geostatistical methods were used to impose the 3-D spatial correlation structure from the nearby well-characterized experimental site to merge the heterogeneities at various scales. Flow and transport properties were derived using physically-based property transfer models. The STOMP simulator was then used to predict contaminant transport through the vadose zone and into a 5-m thick confined aquifer during the period of trench operations (1956-1958) and to present time. Simulation results show that the fine-scale heterogeneity inside the large-scale lithologic units has considerable impact on the large-scale transport behavior of contaminants. The fine-scale heterogeneity enhanced the lateral flow and mixing and limited vertical penetration in the vadose zone. Model results are in excellent agreement with the vertical contaminant profile obtained from a borehole installed in the 216-B-26 trench. The simulated 2-D distribution of nitrate and electrical resistivity sounding curves also agreed well with results of field-scale resistivity surveys. These results suggest that installation of an engineered surface barrier would reduce the threat to ground water by reducing the mass flux of contaminants to the water table and increasing the residence time in the vadose zone.

  16. Inhibition of carbon transfer across the vadose zone by 20th century acid rain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jessen, Søren; Postma, Dieke; Jakobsen, Rasmus; Looms, Majken Caroline; Larsen, Flemming

    2014-05-01

    Carbon sequestration to pedogenic carbonates, forming in unsaturated zones or in aquifers further down the flow path, relies on the downward flux of carbon with infiltrating groundwater. During 2012, we measured seasonal dynamics of water movement, soil gas CO2, and pore water chemistry in four multi-level profiles through a 4-6 m thick sandy unsaturated zone of an agricultural barley field 10 km south of Ikast, Denmark. The residence time of water in the unsaturated zone was close to one year. Soil gas CO2 concentrations were 1-3vol% during winter, increasing to 4-7vol% during summer. Post-harvest soil gas CO2 concentrations remained elevated into fall, indicating CO2 production by root decay. CO2 production occurred primarily in the upper 0.3-0.5 m, reflecting a root zone constrained mostly to the (moist) plow layer and not extending into the (much dryer) sand underneath. Nevertheless, CO2 produced in the root zone was evenly distributed over the underlying unsaturated zone by gas diffusion. Dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) concentrations in pore water collected below the root zone to ~2 m depth, were up to 3.0 mM in March, increasing to 3.6 mM in September. In the same depth range pore water pH-values were between 6 and 6.5. Below ~2 m depth, however, a pH front was encountered, at which the pH dropped to

  17. Characterization of Vadose Zone Sediment: Borehole 299-E33-46 Near B 110 in the B BX-BY Waste Management Area

    SciTech Connect

    Serne, R. Jeffrey; Bjornstad, Bruce N.; Gee, Glendon W.; Schaef, Herbert T.; Lanigan, David C.; mccain, r. G.; Lindenmeier, Clark W.; Orr, Robert D.; Legore, Virginia L.; Clayton, Ray E.; Lindberg, Michael J.; Kutynakov, I. V.; Baum, Steven R.; Geiszler, Keith N.; Valenta, Michelle M.; Vickerman, Tanya S.; Royack, Lisa J.

    2008-09-11

    This report was revised in September 2008 to remove acid-ectractable sodium data from Table 4.17. The sodium data was removed due to potential contamination introduced during the acid extraction process. The rest of the text remains unchanged from the original report issued in December 2002. The overall goal of the of the Tank Farm Vadose Zone Project, led by CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc., is to define risks from past and future single-shell tank farm activities. To meet this goal, CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc., asked scientists from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to perform detailed analyses on vadose zone sediment from within the B-BX-BY Waste Management Area. This report is the third in a series of three reports to present the results of these analyses. Specifically, this report contains all the geologic, geochemical, and selected physical characterization data collected on vadose zone sediment recovered from a borehole installed approximately 4.5 m (15 ft) northeast of tank B- 110 (borehole 299-E33-46).

  18. Characterization of Vadose Zone Sediments Below the T Tank Farm: Boreholes C4104, C4105, 299-W10-196, and RCRA Borehole 299-W11-39

    SciTech Connect

    Serne, R. Jeffrey; Bjornstad, Bruce N.; Horton, Duane G.; Lanigan, David C.; Schaef, Herbert T.; Lindenmeier, Clark W.; Lindberg, Michael J.; Clayton, Ray E.; Legore, Virginia L.; Geiszler, Keith N.; Baum, Steven R.; Valenta, Michelle M.; Kutnyakov, Igor V.; Vickerman, Tanya S.; Orr, Robert D.; Brown, Christopher F.

    2008-09-11

    This report was revised in September 2008 to remove acid-extractable sodium data from Tables 4.8, 4.28, and 4.52. The sodium data was removed due to potential contamination introduced during the acid extraction process. The rest of the text remains unchanged from the original report issued in September 2004. The overall goal of the Tank Farm Vadose Zone Project, led by CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc., is to define risks from past and future single-shell tank farm activities at Hanford. To meet this goal, CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc. tasked scientists from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to perform detailed analyses on vadose zone sediments from within Waste Management Area (WMA) T-TX-TY. This report is the second of two reports written to present the results of these analyses. Specifically, this report contains all the geologic, geochemical, and selected physical characterization data collected on vadose zone sediment recovered from boreholes C4104 and C4105 in the T Tank Farm, and from borehole 299-W-11-39 installed northeast of the T Tank Farm. Finally, the measurements on sediments from borehole C4104 are compared with a nearby borehole drilled in 1993, 299- W10-196, through the tank T-106 leak plume.

  19. Characterization of Vadose Zone Sediments Below the TX Tank Farm: Boreholes C3830, C3831, C3832 and RCRA Borehole 299-W10-27

    SciTech Connect

    Serne, R. Jeffrey; Bjornstad, Bruce N.; Horton, Duane G.; Lanigan, David C.; Lindenmeier, Clark W.; Lindberg, Michael J.; Clayton, Ray E.; Legore, Virginia L.; Orr, Robert D.; Kutnyakov, Igor V.; Baum, Steven R.; Geiszler, Keith N.; Valenta, Michelle M.; Vickerman, Tanya S.

    2008-09-11

    This report was revised in September 2008 to remove acid-extractable sodium data from Tables 4.8, 4.28,4.43, and 4.59. The sodium data was removed due to potential contamination introduced during the acid extraction process. The rest of the text remains unchanged from the original report issued in April 2004. The overall goal of the Tank Farm Vadose Zone Project, led by CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc., is to define risks from past and future single-shell tank farm activities at Hanford. To meet this goal, CH2M HILL Hanford Group, Inc. tasked scientists from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to perform detailed analyses on vadose zone sediments from within Waste Management Area (WMA) T-TX-TY. This report is the first of two reports written to present the results of these analyses. Specifically, this report contains all the geologic, geochemical, and selected physical characterization data collected on vadose zone sediment recovered from boreholes C3830, C3831, and C3832 in the TX Tank Farm, and from borehole 299-W-10-27 installed northeast of the TY Tank Farm.

  20. Delineating Reactive Natural Attenuation Zones: Multi-level Sampling in an Ammonium Plume

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hüttmann, A.; Wilson, R. D.; Thornton, S. F.; Lerner, D. N.

    2003-12-01

    Current natural attenuation monitoring involves observing concentrations along some transect parallel to flow, often in long--screened observation wells. Vertically integrated geochemical signals essentially compresses 3D-problems into 2D ones and the loss of process resolution does not allow for robust plume transport prediction. On the other hand, a monitoring approach that is based on process quantification will yield field data necessary for current natural attenuation assessment and allow more accurate prediction to plume behaviour. To quantify these spatially discrete processes, the resolution of sampling points must be higher to delineate reactive zones, that account for the bulk of natural attenuation. These reactive zones are dependent on aquifer properties, contaminant type, redox zonation and other factors. In many cases, the plume fringe will be the most active zone, because influx of certain nutrients necessary to support bacteria will be greatest in these zones. Most importantly, consortia of degrading bacteria are dependent on supply of electron--acceptors such as dissolved {O2} and nitrate from background ground water and recharge; electron--acceptors are rapidly consumed at the fringes and concentrations decrease significantly towards the centre of the plume. Thus, if a process--based approach is to be achieved, one has to focus not only on the overall extent and mass of a contaminant plume, but, more importantly, on a sound analysis of the most reactive zones. The site of a former coal processing plant in the UK was chosen as a field site where the afore--mentioned hypothesis is currently being investigated by means of two recently installed multi--level samplers. Previous investigations have located an ammonium plume at the site with outwash from the thick unsaturated zone as ongoing source since the demolition of the actual plant in 1970. The conceptual model drawn from the analysis of these data shows that certain zones exhibit higher rates of

  1. Delineating subsurface zones of natural bioreduction using the complex resistivity method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flores-Orozco, A.; Williams, K. H.; Kemna, A.; Campbell, K. M.; Kukkadapu, R. K.; Peacock, A.; Long, P. E.

    2009-12-01

    Measurements of complex resistivity (CR) were made in order to spatially delineate zones of natural bioreduction (NBZ’s) within an aquifer underlying a former uranium mill tailings site near Rifle, Colorado. Previous studies at the site have demonstrated the ability to remove aqueous uranium from groundwater by stimulating iron and sulfate reducing bacteria through injection of acetate. Time-lapse CR measurements have proven to be a useful technique for assessing changes in sediment redox status accompanying biostimulation, with laboratory and field CR phase anomalies strongly correlated with the accumulation of metal sulfides and electroactive ions, such as Fe(II). In the present study, we show that CR measurements can also be used to identify zones where natural bioreduction processes have occurred or are ongoing in the absence of exogenous organic carbon. These zones are a critical component of the natural attenuation process and enable the slow but sustained removal of uranium from groundwater. As such, identifying the presence and distribution of NBZ’s is an important aspect of assessing the potential for natural attenuation at a site of interest. Measurements were obtained in both the time and frequency domain along surface transects oriented parallel and perpendicular to groundwater flow direction using an electrode separation of either 1 or 2 m. A modified dipole-dipole configuration was used to improve the signal-to-noise ratio and the depth of investigation; reciprocal measurements were performed in order to estimate the error in resistance and phase. Well-defined phase anomalies along several of the CR transects were used to define drilling targets, and recovery of aquifer materials from these locations revealed sediments enriched in refractory organic carbon, reduced inorganic sulfur, framboidal pyrites, and uranium. Based on these results, the CR method appears to be an exploration technique well suited for characterizing the spatial distribution

  2. A modeling study of perched water phenomena in the vadose zone

    SciTech Connect

    Wu, Y.-S.; Ritchey, A. C.; Bodvarsson, G. S.

    1997-12-16

    The presence of perched water bodies in the vicinity of the potential repository at Yucca Mountain has many implications, and however, it may provide insight into moisture movement, flow pathways, or surface infiltration history of the mountain. The first implication is that percolation flux does not travel vertically through the unsaturated zone to the water table, but has been trapped, blocked or diverted laterally. As a result, non-uniform recharge rates are expected at the water table. Another concern is that perched zones may divert water around low-permeability zeolitic lenses underlying the potential repository horizon. By-passing of these units, which are thought to have substantial capacity to retard radionuclide transport, could have important implications for the capability of the geologic system to mitigate radionuclide releases to the environment. We have conducted a series of 3-D modeling simulations to investigate the perched water occurrences at the Yucca Mountain site, using a numerical code and available perched water data from six boreholes. A spatially varying surface infiltration map (Flint et al., 1996) is used to describe areally distributed net infiltration at the model land surface. Perched water data observed in the field were used to calibrate the model in terms of matrix and fracture permeabilities, capillary functions, and relative permeabilities of gas within the perched zones. Calibrated parameter values were within the range of field and laboratory measurements. The steady-state simulation results are in agreement with the observed perched water data in terms of water saturation and perched water locations. Furthermore, the results of a transient numerical pumping test conducted, using a 3-D submodel, matched water level data observed during field pumping tests. Perched water may occur where percolation flux exceeds the capacity of the geologic media to transmit flux in unsaturated zones. The conceptual model of water movement in the

  3. High resolution imaging of vadose zone transport using crosswell radar and seismic methods

    SciTech Connect

    Majer, Ernest L.; Williams, Kenneth H.; Peterson, John E.; Daley, Thomas E.

    2001-10-10

    The summary and conclusions are that overall the radar and seismic results were excellent. At the time of design of the experiments we did not know how well these two methods could penetrate or resolve the moisture content and structure. It appears that the radar could easily go up to 5, even 10 meters between boreholes at 200 Mhz and even father (up to 20 to 40 m) at 50 Mhz. The seismic results indicate that at several hundred hertz propagation of 20 to 30 meters giving high resolution is possible. One of the most important results, however is that together the seismic and radar are complementary in their properties estimation. The radar being primarily sensitive to changes in moisture content, and the seismic being primarily sensitive to porosity. Taken in a time lapse sense the radar can show the moisture content changes to a high resolution, with the seismic showing high resolution lithology. The significant results for each method are: Radar: (1) Delineated geological layers 0.25 to 3.5 meters thick with 0.25 m resolution; (2) Delineated moisture movement and content with 0.25 m resolution; (3) Compared favorably with neutron probe measurements; and (4) Penetration up to 30 m. Radar results indicate that the transport of the riverwater is different from that of the heavier and more viscous sodium thiosulfate. It appears that the heavier fluids are not mixing readily with the in-situ fluids and the transport may be influenced by them. Seismic: (1) Delineated lithology at .25 m resolution; (2) Penetration over 20 meters, with a possibility of up to 30 or more meters; and (3) Maps porosity and density differences of the sediments. Overall the seismic is mapping the porosity and density distribution. The results are consistent with the flow field mapped by the radar, there is a change in flow properties at the 10 to 11 meter depth in the flow cell. There also appears to be break through by looking at the radar data with the denser sodium thiosulfate finally

  4. Effects of agricultural practices and vadose zone stratigraphy on nitrate concentration in ground water in Kansas, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Townsend, M.A.; Sleezer, R.O.; Macko, S.A.

    1996-01-01

    Differences in nitrate-N concentrations in,around water in Kansas can be explained by variations in agricultural practices and vadose-zone stratigraphy. In northwestern Kansas, past use of a local stream for tailwater runoff from irrigation and high fertilizer applications for sugar-beet farming resulted in high nitrate-N concentrations (12-60 mg L-1; in both soil and ground water. Nitrogen isotope values from the soil and ground water range from +4 to +8? which is typical for a fertilizer source. In parts of south-central Kansas, the use of crop rotation and the presence of both continuous fine-textured layers and a reducing ground-water chemistry resulted in ground-water nitrate-N values of 10 mg L-1; in both soil and grounwater. Nitrogen isotope values of +3 to +7? indicate a fertilizer source. Crop rotation decreased nitrate-N values in the shallow ground water (9 m). However, deeper ground water showed increasing nitrate-N concentrations as a result of past farming practices.

  5. Coupled Effects of Vadose Zone Hydrodynamics and Anionic Surfactant Aerosol-22 on the Transport of Cryptosporidium parvum in Soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Darnault, C. J.; Jacobson, A. R.; Powelson, D.; Baveye, P.; Peng, Z.; Yu, C.

    2013-12-01

    Cryptosporidium parvum is a microbial pathogen that may be found in soil, surface and groundwater resources. We studied their transport behavior under conditions where both C. parvum oocysts and chemicals that may affect their mobility are present in soils. Surfactants occur widely in soils due to agricultural practices such as wastewater irrigation and application of agrichemicals. Surfactants decrease the surface tension of the soil solution, which may reduce the ability of C. parvum oocysts to be retained at gas-water interfaces. Understanding the fate and transport of C. parvum oocysts following land application of manure and use of surfactants in rural and agricultural watersheds is critical to assess the threat to water resources. We investigated the coupled effects of vadose zone hydrodynamics and an anionic surfactant Aerosol-22 on the transport of C. parvum oocysts in natural structured and non-structured agricultural or range soils from Illinois and Utah. Column transport experiments consisted of unsaturated flow subject to macropore and fingered flows resulting from simulated rainfall with and without surfactant. To assess the behavior of C. parvum oocysts in soils, the breakthrough and distribution of C. parvum oocysts in soil profiles were obtained using qPCR. We observed that surfactant enhanced the transport of C. parvum oocysts when preferential flow paths are present. However, when the interconnection between macropores is not established in the soils, surfactant limited the transport of C. parvum oocysts through the soil matrix by forming oocyst-surfactant-Ca flocs.

  6. Estimating flow parameters using ground-penetrating radar and hydrological data during transient flow in the vadose zone

    SciTech Connect

    Kowalsky, Michael; Finsterle, Stefan; Rubin, Yoram

    2003-05-12

    Methods for determining the parameters necessary for modeling fluid flow and contaminant transport in the shallow subsurface are in great demand. Soil properties such as permeability, porosity, and water retention are typically estimated through the inversion of hydrological data (e.g., measurements of capillary pressure and water saturation). However, ill-posedness and non-uniqueness commonly arise in such inverse problems making their solutions elusive. Incorporating additional types of data, such as from geophysical methods, may greatly improve the success of inverse modeling. In particular, ground-penetrating radar (GPR) has proven sensitive to subsurface fluid flow processes. In the present work, an inverse technique is presented in which permeability distributions are generated conditional to time-lapsed GPR measurements and hydrological data collected during a transient flow experiment. Specifically, a modified pilot point framework has been implemented in iTOUGH2 allowing for the generation of permeability distributions that preserve point measurements and spatial correlation patterns while reproducing geophysical and hydrological measurements. Through a numerical example, we examine the performance of this method and the benefit of including synthetic GPR data while inverting for fluid flow parameters in the vadose zone. Our hypothesis is that within the inversion framework that we describe, our ability to predict flow across control planes greatly improves with the use of both transient hydrological measurements and geophysical measurements (GPR-derived estimates of water saturation, in particular).

  7. Spectroscopic and diffraction study of uranium speciation in contaminated vadose zone sediments from the Hanford site, Washington state.

    PubMed

    Catalano, Jeffrey G; Heald, Steven M; Zachara, John M; Brown, Gordon E

    2004-05-15

    Contamination of vadose zone sediments under tank BX-102 at the Hanford site, Washington, resulted from the accidental release of 7-8 metric tons of uranium dissolved in caustic aqueous sludge in 1951. We have applied synchrotron-based X-ray spectroscopic and diffraction techniques to characterize the speciation of uranium in samples of these contaminated sediments. UIII-edge X-ray absorption fine structure (XAFS) spectroscopic studies demonstrate that uranium occurs predominantly as a uranium(VI) silicate from the uranophane group of minerals. XAFS cannot distinguish between the members of this mineral group due to the near identical local coordination environments of uranium in these phases. However, these phases differ crystallographically, and can be distinguished using X-ray diffraction (XRD) methods. As the concentration of uranium was too low for conventional XRD to detect these phases, X-ray microdiffraction (microXRD) was used to collect diffraction patterns on approximately 20 microm diameter areas of localized high uranium concentration found using microscanning X-ray fluorescence (microSXRF). Only sodium boltwoodite, Na(UO2)(SiO3OH) x 1.5H20, was observed; no other uranophane group minerals were present. Sodium boltwoodite formation has effectively sequestered uranium in these sediments under the current geochemical and hydrologic conditions. Attempts to remediate the uranium contamination will likely face significant difficulties because of the speciation and distribution of uranium in the sediments. PMID:15212255

  8. Non-Stationary Hydrologic Transport in the Vadose Zone: Experimental Results of Multiple Tracer Injections in Lysimeters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Queloz, P.; Rao, P. C.; Rinaldo, A.

    2012-12-01

    Travel and residence times are well-known descriptors of hydrologic and solute transport in the vadose zone. It has been observed that their probability density functions are stationary only under specific conditions, rarely encountered in natural catchments. This study aims at demonstrating the emergence of non-stationary solute transport in a highly monitored system, and identifying the factors controlling the variations of the observed solute travel-times. 2-meters deep weighing lysimeters are exposed to stochastic rainfall sequences. Multiple derivatives of difluorobenzoate compounds are sequentially injected at different times in the system, and are analyzed in the drainage flux at the bottom outlet and at different depth within the soil profiles. Willow trees planted in the systems create a stochastic soil water deficit by evapotranspiration. As each tracer injected is analytically differentiable from the others, the computation of the tracer breakthrough curves at the lysimeter outlet allows measuring the solute travel-time distributions conditional on the injection time. The observed breakthrough curves display a large variability, emphasizing the effects of the initial conditions at the injection time and the subsequent states encountered in the system on solute transport. Two types of climate have been simulated on the lysimeters. With the precision load cells installed under each lysimeter and the water content probes deployed in the soil profiles, a detailed comparison of the water balance and storage dynamics and their influence on solute transport timing can be done.

  9. DOE capabilities for in-situ characterization and monitoring of formation properties in the vadose zone. Revision 2

    SciTech Connect

    Hearst, J.R.; Brodeur, J.R.; Koizumi, C.J.; Conaway, J.G.; Mikesell, J.L.; Nelson, P.H.; Stromswold, D.C.; Wilson, R.D.

    1993-09-01

    The DOE Environmental Restoration (ER) Program faces the difficult task of characterizing the properties of the subsurface and identifying and mapping a large number of contaminants at landfills, surface disposal areas, spill sites, nuclear waste tanks, and subsurface contaminant plumes throughout the complex of DOE facilities. Geophysical borehole logs can measure formation properties such as bulk density, water content, and lithology, and can quantitatively analyze for radionuclides and such elements as chlorine and heavy metals. Since these measurements can be repeated as desired, they can be used for both initial characterization and monitoring of changes in contaminant concentration and water content (sometimes linked to contaminant migration), at a fraction of the cost of conventional sampling. The techniques developed at several DOE laboratories, and the experience that we have gained in making in-situ measurements in the vadose zone, are applicable to problems at many other DOE sites. Moreover, they can capitalize on existing inventories of boreholes. By building on this experience workers involved in ER projects at those sites should be able to obtain high-quality data at substantial reductions in cost and time.

  10. Deep arid system hydrodynamics 2. Application to paleohydrologic reconstruction using vadose zone profiles from the northern Mojave Desert

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Walvoord, M.A.; Phillips, F.M.; Tyler, S.W.; Hartsough, P.C.

    2002-01-01

    Site-specific numerical modeling of four sites in two arid alluvial basins within the Nevada Test Site employs a conceptual model of deep arid system hydrodynamics that includes vapor transport, the role of xeric vegetation, and long-term surface boundary transients. Surface boundary sequences, spanning 110 kyr, that best reproduce measured chloride concentration and matric potential profiles from four deep (230-460 m) boreholes concur with independent paleohydrologic and paleoecological records from the region. Simulations constrain a pluvial period associated with infiltration of 2-5 mm yr-1 at 14-13 ka and denote a shift linked to the establishment of desert vegetation at 13-9.5 ka. Retrodicted moisture flux histories inferred from modeling results differ significantly from those determined using the conventional chloride mass balance approach that assumes only downward advection. The modeling approach developed here represents a significant advance in the use of deep vadose zone profile data from arid regions to recover detailed paleohydrologic and current hydrologic information.

  11. Spectroscopic and Microscopic Characterization of Contaminant Uptake and Retention by Carbonates in the Soil and Vadose Zone

    SciTech Connect

    Richard J. Reeder; Nicholas S. Fisher; Wayne P. Hess; Kenneth M. Beck

    2003-04-15

    The research focus of this previous EMSP grant was assessment of the role that carbonate minerals play in the uptake and sequestration of metal and radionuclide contaminants in soils and the vadose zone for conditions relevant to the Hanford Site and other sites in the DOE Complex. The project was a collaboration among researchers at SUNY-Stony Brook and EMSL/PNNL. Carbonates, particularly calcite, are present in the Hanford subsurface as grain coatings, disseminated particles, and dense caliche layers. Calcite is also predicted to be forming beneath leaking tanks. A range of metal and radionuclide species that pose risks at Hanford and othe DOE istes were considered, including u(VI), Cr(CV), Cs, Pb(II), and selected lanthanides (as models for trivalent actinides). Batch sorption and co-precipitation experiments of these metals with pre-equilibrated calcite and selected uptake experiments on natural caliche formed the basis to determine the mechanisms of metal/radionuclide binding and to assess the effect on the stability of the sorbed species and the potential for remobilization. Our results provide ne information that can benefit DOE clean-up methodology and