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Sample records for delineating vadose zone

  1. 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.

  2. Contaminants in Vadose Zone Environments

    SciTech Connect

    Wellman, Dawn M.; Freshley, Mark D.; Johnson, Timothy C.; Miracle, Ann L.

    2012-11-01

    Contaminants in vadose zone environments pose a long-term source and threat to groundwater resources, human health, and the environment. Several technical, regulatory, and policy challenges and opportunities are associated with contamination in vadose zone environments, particularly in remediation. In this special issue, ten papers present novel approaches to characterize, monitor, remediate, and predict the transport and fate of contaminants in vadose zone environments.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. INEEL Vadose Zone Research Park

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heath, G.; Hull, L.; Ansley, S.; Versteeg, R.; Scott, C.; Street, L.

    2003-12-01

    The Vadose Zone Research Park was developed to address mission critical issues related to operations, waste management, and environmental restoration at U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) sites that are located over thick vadose zones. The research park provides instrumentation and facilities for scientists to address vadose zone processes that are important in assessing operational activities, remedial measures, and long-term stewardship of DOE lands. The park, at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL), is strategically located along the Big Lost River, an intermittent river, and around two new percolation ponds. This location provides the opportunity to study variable recharge from the river, continuous recharge from the ponds, and the interactions between the two sources. Drilling began in September 2000 and was completed in June 2001. Thirty one wells and instrumented boreholes have been installed at the park to monitor perched water, measure moisture movement, collect water and gas samples, and study intra-well geophysical properties. Nine of the boreholes, ranging in depth from 150 ft to 504 ft below land surface (bls), are instrumented to monitor moisture in the vadose zone. Instruments include: tensiometers, moisture content sensors, suction lysimeters, temperature sensors, gas ports and electrodes for electrical resistance tomography. Electrodes are evenly spaced throughout the borehole with hydrologic instruments concentrated in and near the sedimentary interbeds-discontinuous layers of silts and clays that occur between some basalt flows. Eighteen monitoring wells, ranging in depth from 60 ft to 250 ft bls, are completed with 4 or 6 inch PVC casing, and generally include an electrical resistivity electrode array attached to the casing. Three bore holes are constructed for testing cross-hole ground penetrating radar as well as for testing new nuclear logging tools being designed at the INEEL. The remaining borehole contains only

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  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. 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

  12. Dynamics of Vadose Zone Transport: a Field and Modeling Study using the Vadose Zone Observatory

    SciTech Connect

    Carrigan, C R

    2001-01-01

    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 the tank farms at Hanford. We investigate details of the modes of contaminant transport with the aid of infiltration experiments designed to elucidate how vadose zone characteristics such as preferential pathways, heterogeneities, and relative permeabilities influence the transport of contamination in liquid, gas and colloidal phases to the water table. Beyond enhancing our basic understanding of vadose zone transport processes, this EMSP project is designed result in a vadose-zone-transport-characterization methodology that can be generalized to other DOE sites.

  13. 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.

  14. Water percolation through a clayey vadose zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baram, S.; Kurtzman, D.; Dahan, O.

    2012-03-01

    SummaryHeavy clay soils are regarded as less permeable due to their low saturated hydraulic conductivities, and are perceived as safe for the construction of unlined or soil-lined waste lagoons. Water percolation dynamics through a smectite-dominated clayey vadose zone underlying a dairy waste lagoon, waste channel and their margins was investigated using three independent vadose-zone monitoring systems. The monitoring systems, hosting 22 TDR sensors, were used for continuous measurements of the temporal variation in vadose zone water-content profiles. Results from 4 years of continuous measurements showed quick rises in sediment water content following rain events and temporal wastewater overflows. The percolation pattern indicated dominance of preferential flow through a desiccation-crack network crossing the entire clay sediment layer (depth of 12 m). High water-propagation velocities (0.4-23.6 m h-1) were observed, indicating that the desiccation-crack network remains open and serves as a preferential flow pathway year-round, even at high sediment water content (˜0.50 m3 m-3). The natural formation of desiccation-crack networks at the margins of waste lagoons induces rapid infiltration of raw waste to deep sections of the vadose zone, bypassing the sediment's most biogeochemically active parts, and jeopardizing groundwater quality.

  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.

  16. Dyes as tracers for vadose zone hydrology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flury, Markus; Wai, Nu Nu

    2003-03-01

    Dyes are important tracers to investigate subsurface water movement. For more than a century, dye tracers have provided clues about the hydrological cycle as well as flow and transport processes in the subsurface. Groundwater contamination often originates in the vadose zone. Agrochemicals applied to the soil surface, toxic compounds accidentally spilled by human activities, and contaminants released from waste repositories leach through the vadose zone and can ultimately pollute groundwater resources. Dyes are an important tool to assess flow pathways of such contaminants. This review compiles information on dyes used as hydrological tracers, with particular emphasis on vadose zone hydrology. We summarize briefly different human-applied tracers, including nondye tracers. We then provide a historical sketch of the use of dyes as tracers and describe newer developments in visualization and quantification of tracer experiments. Relevant chemical properties of dyes used as tracers are discussed and illustrated with dye intermediates and selected dye tracers. The types of dyes used as tracers in subsurface hydrology are summarized, and recommendations are made regarding the use of dye tracers. The review concludes with a toxicological assessment of dyes used as hydrological tracers. Many different dyes have been proposed as tracers for water movement in the subsurface. All of these compounds, however, are to some degree retarded by the subsurface medium. Nevertheless, dyes are useful tracers to visualize flow pathways.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Characterizing Organic-Liquid Sources in the Vadose Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brusseau, M. L.; Truex, M.; Mainhagu, J.; Morrison, C.; Oostrom, M.; Carroll, K. C.; Yeh, T.

    2010-12-01

    There are two primary concerns associated with sites that contain contaminant sources located in the vadose zone. First, discharge of contaminant vapor from the vadose-zone source may impact the underlying groundwater. This could contribute to overall risk posed by the site, and delay attainment of groundwater cleanup goals. Second, contaminant vapor from the vadose-zone source may migrate to the land surface and transfer into buildings, thereby causing vapor intrusion. The decision to require remediation of a vadose-zone source zone is typically based on assessing the potential impact of the vadose-zone source on groundwater or vapor intrusion. Concomitantly, setting appropriate vadose-zone remediation goals once the decision is made, as well as evaluating attainment of these remediation goals, requires evaluating these persistent sources in terms of their impact on groundwater remediation goals or vapor-intrusion concerns. These issues are of particular relevance for soil-vapor extraction (SVE), which is the presumptive remedy for vadose-zone systems contaminated by chlorinated solvents. Characterizing the impact of vadose-zone contaminant sources on groundwater or vapor intrusion requires determination of the contaminant mass discharge from the source. A vadose-zone characterization technology is presented that can provide direct measures of vapor-phase contaminant mass discharge, characterize mass-transfer conditions, and provide a higher resolution characterization of the source distribution. This technology is a combination of two recently developed methods (vapor-phase mass discharge method and vapor-phase tomography) and two existing methods (pneumatic tomography and tracer tomography). The technology is designed to be used in a tiered approach that is sensitive to associated cost-benefits, and is responsive to specific requirements of the site. Example applications are presented.

  20. Water percolation through the deep vadose zone and groundwater recharge: Preliminary results based on a new vadose zone monitoring system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rimon, Yaara; Dahan, Ofer; Nativ, Ronit; Geyer, Stefan

    2007-05-01

    A study on water infiltration and groundwater recharge was conducted in the coastal plain, Israel. The study implemented a novel development, flexible time domain reflectometry sensors (FTDR), which enabled the continuous monitoring of water content at selected points through the entire vadose zone. Data on water content variation with time and depth was collected throughout the rainy season of 2004/2005 at two sites. One site was located in a sand dune area with a 21 m thick vadose zone; the other was located in an undeveloped urban area with an 8.4 m thick vadose zone. The lithology of both sites consisted of unconsolidated sand with silt and clay interbeds. The resultant data allowed tracing of the infiltration progress through the entire vadose zone. Each large rain event initiated an infiltration wave that propagated into the vadose zone and pushed the wetting front farther down. The wetting front appeared to progress in a step-like pattern, controlled by the frequency of large rain events and followed by a slower drainage process. Clay interbeds did not seem to prevent or significantly delay progress of the wetting front down to the groundwater. The apparent wetting front signal reached the groundwater table at 21 m below land surface (bls) only 3 months after the first significant rain event. Groundwater recharge was calculated from the variations in vadose zone water storage. An increase in vadose zone water storage was attributed to an infiltration event, while a reduction in water storage was attributedto a draining process.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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).

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Vadose zone studies at an industrial contaminated site: the vadose zone monitoring system and cross-hole geophysics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernandez de Vera, Natalia; Beaujean, Jean; Jamin, Pierre; Nguyen, Frédéric; Dahan, Ofer; Vanclooster, Marnik; Brouyère, Serge

    2014-05-01

    In order to improve risk characterization and remediation measures for soil and groundwater contamination, there is a need to improve in situ vadose zone characterization. However, most available technologies have been developed in the context of agricultural soils. Such methodologies are not applicable at industrial sites, where soils and contamination differ in origin and composition. In addition, most technologies are applicable only in the first meters of soils, leaving deeper vadose zones with lack of information, in particular on field scale heterogeneity. In order to overcome such difficulties, a vadose zone experiment has been setup at a former industrial site in Belgium. Industrial activities carried out on site left a legacy of soil and groundwater contamination in BTEX, PAH, cyanide and heavy metals. The experiment comprises the combination of two techniques: the Vadose Zone Monitoring System (VMS) and cross-hole geophysics. The VMS allows continuous measurements of water content and temperature at different depths of the vadose zone. In addition, it provides the possibility of pore water sampling at different depths. The system is formed by a flexible sleeve containing monitoring units along its depth which is installed in a slanted borehole. The flexible sleeve contains three types of monitoring units in the vadose zone: Time Domain Transmissometry (TDT), which allows water content measurements; Vadose Sampling Ports (VSP), used for collecting water samples coming from the matrix; the Fracture Samplers (FS), which are used for retrieving water samples from the fractures. Cross-hole geophysics techniques consist in the injection of an electrical current using electrodes installed in vertical boreholes. From measured potential differences, detailed spatial patterns about electrical properties of the subsurface can be inferred. Such spatial patterns are related with subsurface heterogeneities, water content and solute concentrations. Two VMS were

  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. 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.

  12. Vadose Zone Microbial Biobarriers Remove Nitrate from Percolating Groundwater

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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, ...

  13. 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.

  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. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Isotope Tracking of Contaminant Movement in the Hanford Vadose Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conrad, M. E.; Christensen, J. N.; Depaolo, D. J.; Dresel, P. E.

    2005-12-01

    A suite of isotopic measurements of vadose zone soil samples and groundwater has been successfully used to identify the sources of groundwater contamination at the Hanford site in south-central Washington. The isotopic composition of nitrate can be used to distinguish high-level tank waste (high δ15N) and low-level process wastes (high δ18O) from the relatively high background concentrations of nitrate in the groundwater at the site. 87Sr/86Sr of strontium is typically elevated above background in areas where large volumes of water have been flushed through the vadose zone. Conversely, interaction between high-level caustic waste and feldspars in the vadose zone sediments releases low 87Sr/86Sr. Uranium isotope ratios (235U/238U, 234U/238U, 236U/238U) have been particularly useful for distinguishing different generations of nuclear fuel processing, allowing identification of waste in the vadose zone and groundwater derived from known or suspected leaks or spills. Data will be presented from a site adjacent to one of the high-level tank farms where multiple possible sources of contamination are suspected of causing high (and increasing) concentrations of 99Tc and nitrate in groundwater. The isotopic composition of nitrate from a multi-level well shows a clear example of vertical mixing of high nitrate, low-level waste with concentrated high-level waste. Sr and U isotope data are helping to define the possible source of the high-level and low-level waste components in the groundwater.

  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. Microbial reduction of hexavalent chromium under vadose zone conditions.

    PubMed

    Oliver, Douglas S; Brockman, Fred J; Bowman, Robert S; Kieft, Thomas L

    2003-01-01

    Hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)] is a common contaminant associated with nuclear reactors and fuel processing. Improper disposal at facilities in and and semiarid regions has contaminated underlying vadose zones and aquifers. The objectives of this study were to assess the potential for immobilizing Cr(VI) using a native microbial community to reduce soluble Cr(VI) to insoluble Cr(III) under conditions similar to those in the vadose zone, and to evaluate the potential for enhancing biological Cr(VI) reduction through nutrient addition. Batch microcosm and unsaturated flow column experiments were performed. Native microbial communities in subsurface sediments with no prior Cr(VI) exposure were shown to be capable of Cr(VI) reduction. In both the batch and column experiments, Cr(VI) reduction and loss from the aqueous phase were enhanced by adding high levels of both nitrate (NO3-) and organic C (molasses). Nutrient amendments resulted in up to 87% reduction of the initial 67 mg L(-1) Cr(VI) in an unsaturated batch experiment. Molasses and nitrate additions to 15 cm long unsaturated flow columns receiving 65 mg L(-1) Cr(VI) resulted in microbially mediated reduction and immobilization of 10% of the Cr during a 45-d experiment. All of the immobilized Cr was in the form of Cr(III), as shown by XANES analysis. This suggests that biostimulation of microbial Cr(VI) reduction in vadose zones by nutrient amendment is a promising strategy, and that immobilization of close to 100% of Cr contamination could be achieved in a thick vadose zone with longer flow paths and longer contact times than in this experiment.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Vadose Zone Infiltration Rates from Sr isotope Measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maher, K.; Maher, K.; DePaolo, D. J.; DePaolo, D. J.; Conrad, M.

    2001-12-01

    Predicting infiltration rates and recharge through the vadose zone in arid regions is difficult and hence developing methods for the measurement of infiltration rates is important. We have been investigating the use of Sr isotope measurements for determining infiltration at the 200 Area plateau on the Hanford reservation in central Washington. In this context, infiltration affects the transport of contaminants to the water table as well as recharge of the groundwater system. Using Sr isotopes for this purpose requires drill core and water samples from the vadose zone, although leaches of the cores can substitute for water samples. Complementary information, including some constraints on regional recharge, can also be obtained using water samples from groundwater monitoring wells. The VZ method is based on the fact that the Sr isotope ratio of soil water just below the surface is often set by dissolution of aeolian material including carbonate, and this ratio is different from the average value in the deeper underlying vadose zone rock matrix. As water infiltrates, the Sr isotopic composition of the water changes toward the rock values as a result of Sr released from the rocks by weathering reactions. The rate of change with depth of the Sr isotope ratio of the vadose zone water is a function ultimately of q/R; the ratio of the infiltration flux (q) to the bulk rock weathering rate (R). Where it is possible to evaluate R, q can be estimated. As data accumulate it may be possible to improve the calibration of the method. At Hanford the vadose zone rock material is mostly unconsolidated sand, silt, and gravel of broadly granitic composition, which constitute the Hanford and Ringold formations. Annual precipitation is about 160 mm/yr. Drilling and coring of a ca. 70m hole to the water table in 1999 as part of the Hanford groundwater monitoring program, in a relatively undisturbed area of the site, allowed us to generate a unique Sr isotope data set. The Sr isotope

  3. Organic vapor fluxes through the vadose zone

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, J.A.; Tisdale, A.K.; Cho, H.J.

    1996-10-01

    Volatilization from shallow ground water followed by air-phase transport through the unsaturated zone is a poorly understood process that may be a significant natural remediation mechanism for volatile organic pollutants including chlorinated solvents and gasoline constituents (e.g., benzene, toluene, etc.). To improve understanding of this process, the upward flux of trichloroethene (TCE) vapor through the unsaturated zone above a contaminated, water-table aquifer at Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey, has been studied under natural conditions over a 12-mo period. Vertical gas-phase diffusion fluxes were determined indirectly by measuring the TCE vapor concentration gradient in the unsaturated zone and using Fick`s Law to calculate the flux. The total gas-phase flux (e.g., the sum of diffusion and advection fluxes) was measured directly with a vertical flux chamber (VFC). In many cases, the upward TCE vapor flux was several orders of magnitude greater than the upward TCE diffusion flux, suggesting that the vertical transport of TCE vapors by gas advection is significant relative to vertical transport by diffusion. The measured total flux of TCE vapor from the subsurface to the atmosphere is approximately 50 kg/yr and is comparable in magnitude to the removal rate of TCE from the aquifer by an existing pump-and-treat system and by discharge into a nearby stream.

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

    PubMed

    Celik, B; Rowe, R K; Unlü, K

    2009-01-01

    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 10m and a fine textured vadose zone thickness of about 5m. Therefore, the fine and coarse textured vadose zones thicker than about 5m and 10m, 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. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  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. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Diffusive partitioning tracer test for nonaqueous phase liquid (NAPL) detection in the vadose zone.

    PubMed

    Werner, David; Höhener, Patrick

    2002-04-01

    This paper proposes the theory and practical application of a new partitioning tracer test for nonaqueous phase liquid (NAPL) detection in the vadose zone, which is based on diffusion. A mixture of chlorofluorocarbons as gaseous tracers is injected into the vadose zone to form a point source at the injection point. While the tracers diffuse away, small volumes of gas are withdrawn from the injection point. The quantitative determination of the NAPL saturation is based on a comparison of the concentration decline of tracers with different air-NAPL partitioning coefficients. The test has been evaluated in laboratory sand columns contaminated with dodecane. NAPL in saturations of 0.8-4% of the total porosity have been quantified in a wide range of different water contents. Actual and measured NAPL saturations calculated as an average from four different tracer pairs agreed within +/-30%. The new method was successfully used for repeated NAPL quantification in a large-scale field lysimeter contaminated with artificial kerosene. This rapid and inexpensive test is potentially of value for site investigations especially in combination with soil gas measurements, because it requires similar equipment. Possible applications are source delineation and repeated NAPL quantification in situ during a remediation.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. 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)

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. A vadose zone water fluxmeter with divergence control

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gee, G.W.; Ward, A.L.; Caldwell, T.G.; Ritter, J.C.

    2002-01-01

    Unsaturated water flux densities are needed to quantify water and contaminant transfer within the vadose zone. However, water flux densities are seldom measured directly and often are predicted with uncertainties of an order or magnitude or more. A water fluxmeter was designed, constructed, and tested to directly measure drainage fluxes in field soils. The fluxmeter was designed to minimize divergence. It concentrates flow into a narrow sensing region filled with a fiberglass wick. The wick applies suction, proportional to its length, and passively drains the meter. The meter can be installed in an augured borehole at almost any depth below the root zone. Water flux through the meter is measured with a self-calibrating tipping bucket, with a sensitivity of ∼4 mL tip−1. For our meter this is equivalent to detection limit of ∼0.1 mm. Passive-wick devices previously have not properly corrected for flow divergence. Laboratory measurements supported predictions of a two-dimensional (2-D) numerical model, which showed that control of the collector height H and knowledge of soil hydraulic properties are required for improving divergence control, particularly at fluxes below 1000 mm yr−1. The water fluxmeter is simple in concept, is inexpensive, and has the capability of providing continuous and reliable monitoring of unsaturated water fluxes ranging from less than 1 mm yr−1 to more than 1000 mm yr−1.

  8. Aerosol Delivery for Amendment Distribution in Contaminated Vadose Zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hall, R. J.; Murdoch, L.; Riha, B.; Looney, B.

    2011-12-01

    Remediation of contaminated vadose zones is often hindered by an inability to effectively distribute amendments. Many amendment-based approaches have been successful in saturated formations, however, have not been widely pursued when treating contaminated unsaturated materials due to amendment distribution limitations. Aerosol delivery is a promising new approach for distributing amendments in contaminated vadose zones. Amendments are aerosolized and injected through well screens. During injection the aerosol particles are transported with the gas and deposited on the surfaces of soil grains. Resulting distributions are radially and vertically broad, which could not be achieved by injecting pure liquid-phase solutions. The objectives of this work were A) to characterize transport and deposition behaviors of aerosols; and B) to develop capabilities for predicting results of aerosol injection scenarios. Aerosol transport and deposition processes were investigated by conducting lab-scale injection experiments. These experiments involved injection of aerosols through a 2m radius, sand-filled wedge. A particle analyzer was used to measure aerosol particle distributions with time, and sand samples were taken for amendment content analysis. Predictive capabilities were obtained by constructing a numerical model capable of simulating aerosol transport and deposition in porous media. Results from tests involving vegetable oil aerosol injection show that liquid contents appropriate for remedial applications could be readily achieved throughout the sand-filled wedge. Lab-scale tests conducted with aqueous aerosols show that liquid accumulation only occurs near the point of injection. Tests were also conducted using 200 g/L salt water as the aerosolized liquid. Liquid accumulations observed during salt water tests were minimal and similar to aqueous aerosol results. However, particles were measured, and salt deposited distal to the point of injection. Differences between

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Hunt, James R; Tompson, Andrew F B

    2005-11-15

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-11-01

    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. Copyright

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Non-Linear, Bayesian Hydrogeophyiscal Inversion in the Vadose Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hou, Z.; Rubin, Y.; Hubbard, S.

    2003-12-01

    A comprehensive approach for modeling the dynamics of soil moisture profiles in the vadose zone under conditions of parameter uncertainty, using an information-based Bayesian-stochastic framework, is proposed and applied to a field site in Napa Valley in California. The Bayesian framework is combined with the one-dimensional Richards' equation and van-Genuchten-Mualem soil models, with initial and boundary conditions provided by geophysical and meteorological measurements. To identify the model parameters such as the van-Genuchten-Mualem soil water retention parameters α and n, the porosity θ s, and the saturated hydraulic conductivity Ks, soil texture analyses are performed and soil moisture content obtained from TDR, neutron probe and crosshole GPR are collected as a function of time. Soil texture information, combined with a hydrologic database -- Rosetta, is used to derive prior information for the model parameters, which are considered as random variables. The prior probability density functions (pdfs) for the parameters are developed from minimum relative entropy considerations. Soil moisture content measurements using geophysical methods are then used to update the model parameters and to improve the prediction of the soil moisture profiles. Results show that as additional measurements are incorporated into the updating procedure, the uncertainty level associated with the model parameters is reduced. The approach also provides estimates of the statistical moments of the output soil moisture content. For both dry and wet seasons at the study site, the method predicts the soil moisture profiles very well.

  18. 3D vadose zone modeling using geostatistical inferences

    SciTech Connect

    Knutson, C.F.; Lee, C.B.

    1991-01-01

    In developing a 3D model of the 600 ft thick interbedded basalt and sediment complex that constitutes the vadose zone at the Radioactive Waste Management Complex (RWMC) at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) geostatistical data were captured for 12--15 parameters (e.g. permeability, porosity, saturation, etc. and flow height, flow width, flow internal zonation, etc.). This two scale data set was generated from studies of subsurface core and geophysical log suites at RWMC and from surface outcrop exposures located at the Box Canyon of the Big Lost River and from Hell's Half Acre lava field all located in the general RWMC area. Based on these currently available data, it is possible to build a 3D stochastic model that utilizes: cumulative distribution functions obtained from the geostatistical data; backstripping and rebuilding of stratigraphic units; an expert'' system that incorporates rules based on expert geologic analysis and experimentally derived geostatistics for providing: (a) a structural and isopach map of each layer, (b) a realization of the flow geometry of each basalt flow unit, and (c) a realization of the internal flow parameters (eg permeability, porosity, and saturation) for each flow. 10 refs., 4 figs., 1 tab.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Vadose Zone Transport Field Study FY 2003 Test Plan

    SciTech Connect

    Ward, Anderson L.; Gee, Glendon W.

    2003-04-15

    Conceptual models have been identified as one of the sources of uncertainty in the interpretation and prediction of contaminant migration through the vadose zone at Hanford. Current conceptual models are limited partly because they often do not account for the random heterogeneity that occurs under the extremes of very nonlinear flow behavior typical of the Hanford vadose zone. Over the last two years significant progress has been made in characterizing physical heterogeneity and in the development of techniques for incorporating this heterogeneity into predictive and inverse models for field-scale subsurface flow. One of the remaining pieces of the puzzle is the impact of heterogeneity on the distribution of reactive contaminants. Reactive transport occurs over a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. However, the manner in which the various subsurface physical and chemical processes interact to influence transport is not very well understood. Hydrogeologic characterization and model analysis, however, have traditionally focused on measurement of physical properties and predicting the effects of variability in these properties on flow and transport. As a result, the role of geochemical heterogeneity on solute transport has remained largely unexplored. This project will use a combination of geophysical and soil physics techniques to investigate the infiltration and redistribution of water and reactive tracers in a controlled field experiment at the Army loop Road clastic dike site. In the FY2003 tests, surface deployed ground penetrating radar will be used to identify the discrete three-dimensional pattern of horizonation and small-scale heterogeneities that characterize the test site and to develop a lithofacies map. The transect will be instrumented to allow water to be applied along its length from a line source. Local-scale water content, matric potential, and tracer concentrations will be monitored as a function of spatial scale by multipurpose TDR probes

  4. 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.

  5. Current challenges in quantifying preferential flow through the vadose zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koestel, John; Larsbo, Mats; Jarvis, Nick

    2017-04-01

    In this presentation, we give an overview of current challenges in quantifying preferential flow through the vadose zone. A review of the literature suggests that current generation models do not fully reflect the present state of process understanding and empirical knowledge of preferential flow. We believe that the development of improved models will be stimulated by the increasingly widespread application of novel imaging technologies as well as future advances in computational power and numerical techniques. One of the main challenges in this respect is to bridge the large gap between the scales at which preferential flow occurs (pore to Darcy scales) and the scale of interest for management (fields, catchments, regions). Studies at the pore scale are being supported by the development of 3-D non-invasive imaging and numerical simulation techniques. These studies are leading to a better understanding of how macropore network topology and initial/boundary conditions control key state variables like matric potential and thus the strength of preferential flow. Extrapolation of this knowledge to larger scales would require support from theoretical frameworks such as key concepts from percolation and network theory, since we lack measurement technologies to quantify macropore networks at these large scales. Linked hydro-geophysical measurement techniques that produce highly spatially and temporally resolved data enable investigation of the larger-scale heterogeneities that can generate preferential flow patterns at pedon, hillslope and field scales. At larger regional and global scales, improved methods of data-mining and analyses of large datasets (machine learning) may help in parameterizing models as well as lead to new insights into the relationships between soil susceptibility to preferential flow and site attributes (climate, land uses, soil types).

  6. Quantification of Biogeochemical Mineral Dissolution Rates in the Vadose Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Green, E.; Banfield, J. F.

    2005-12-01

    Most mineral dissolution experiments are typically carried out in batch or flow-through reactors with very high ratios of solution to mineral, or continuous flow. These conditions are unlikely to support growth of most microorganisms typical of the soil environment and do not simulate realistic soil water compositions. To address these issues, we conducted mineral dissolution experiments in flow-through reactors modified to more closely reproduce conditions in the vadose zone. Within these reactors, crushed mineral samples sit on a polypropylene mesh surface. Periodically, solution is sprinkled over the sample, collecting in pore spaces between mineral grains and flushing out pore waters from the last application. In our initial experiments, apatite was dissolved in pH 5 solution containing 1 mM oxalate, with flushing events involving 7 mls of solution occurring every 8 hours. Ca and P were released from dissolving apatite in approximately equal molar amounts, with a rate of 2.0 +/- 0.15 * 10-10 mol/m2/sec for Ca, and 2.3 +/- 0.20 *10-10 mol/m2/sec for P. The measured rates are significantly slower than those measured for apatite dissolution at pH 5 in batch reactors (1.1*10-7, Valsami-Jones et al., 1998; 2*10-9 mol/m2/sec for a solution containing 1mM oxalate; Welch et al, 2002). We infer that dissolution rates are suppressed between flushing events by the presence of water films with higher saturation indices. These results provide a benchmark for comparison to measured rates of biogeochemical dissolution of apatite in the presence of cultures of Acidobacteria, a common soil microorganism.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Identification of dominating factors affecting vadose zone vulnerability by a simulation method

    PubMed Central

    Li, Juan; Xi, Beidou; Cai, Wutian; Yang, Yang; Jia, Yongfeng; Li, Xiang; Lv, Yonggao; Lv, Ningqing; Huan, Huan; Yang, Jinjin

    2017-01-01

    The characteristics of vadose zone vulnerability dominating factors (VDFs) are closely related to the migration and transformation mechanisms of contaminants in the vadose zone, which directly affect the state of the contaminants percolating to the groundwater. This study analyzes the hydrogeological profile of the pore water regions in the vadose zone, and conceptualizes the vadose zone as single lithologic, double lithologic, or multi lithologic. To accurately determine how the location of the pollution source influences the groundwater, we classify the permeabilities (thicknesses) of different media into clay-layer and non-clay-layer permeabilities (thicknesses), and introduce the maximum pollution thickness. Meanwhile, the physicochemical reactions of the contaminants in the vadose zone are represented by the soil adsorption and soil degradability. The VDFs are determined from the factors and parameters in groundwater vulnerability assessment. The VDFs are identified and sequenced in simulations and a sensitivity analysis. When applied to three polluted sites in China, the method improved the weighting of factors in groundwater vulnerability assessment, and increased the reliability of predicting groundwater vulnerability to contaminants. PMID:28387232

  10. A modeling study of water flow in the vadose zone beneath the Radioactive Waste Management Complex

    SciTech Connect

    Baca, R.G.; Magnuson, S.O.; Nguyen, H.D.; Martian, P.

    1992-01-01

    A modeling study was conducted for the purpose of gaining insight into the nature of water flow in the vadose zone beneath the Radioactive Waste Management Complex (RWMC). The modeling study focused on three specific hydrologic aspects: (1) relationship between meteorologic conditions and net infiltration, (2) water movement associated with past flooding events, and (3) estimation of water travel-times through the vadose zone. This information is necessary for understanding how contaminants may be transported through the vadose zone. Evaluations of net infiltration at the RWMC were performed by modeling the processes of precipitation, evaporation, infiltration and soil-moisture redistribution. Water flow simulations were performed for two distinct time periods, namely 1955--1964 and 1984--1990. The patterns of infiltration were calculated for both the undisturbed (or natural sediments) and the pit/trench cover materials. Detailed simulations of the 1969 flooding of Pit 10 were performed to estimate the rate and extent of water movement through the vadose zone. Water travel-times through the vadose zone were estimated using a Monte Carlo simulation approach. The simulations accounted for variability of soil and rock hydraulic properties as well as variations in the infiltration rate.

  11. Identification of dominating factors affecting vadose zone vulnerability by a simulation method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Juan; Xi, Beidou; Cai, Wutian; Yang, Yang; Jia, Yongfeng; Li, Xiang; Lv, Yonggao; Lv, Ningqing; Huan, Huan; Yang, Jinjin

    2017-04-01

    The characteristics of vadose zone vulnerability dominating factors (VDFs) are closely related to the migration and transformation mechanisms of contaminants in the vadose zone, which directly affect the state of the contaminants percolating to the groundwater. This study analyzes the hydrogeological profile of the pore water regions in the vadose zone, and conceptualizes the vadose zone as single lithologic, double lithologic, or multi lithologic. To accurately determine how the location of the pollution source influences the groundwater, we classify the permeabilities (thicknesses) of different media into clay-layer and non-clay-layer permeabilities (thicknesses), and introduce the maximum pollution thickness. Meanwhile, the physicochemical reactions of the contaminants in the vadose zone are represented by the soil adsorption and soil degradability. The VDFs are determined from the factors and parameters in groundwater vulnerability assessment. The VDFs are identified and sequenced in simulations and a sensitivity analysis. When applied to three polluted sites in China, the method improved the weighting of factors in groundwater vulnerability assessment, and increased the reliability of predicting groundwater vulnerability to contaminants.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Evaluation of Deep Vadose Zone Contaminant Flux into Groundwater: Approach and Case Study

    SciTech Connect

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

    2016-03-09

    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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Climate Variability and Vadose Zone Controls on Damping of Transient Recharge Fluxes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corona, C.; Gurdak, J. J.; Dickinson, J.; Ferré, T. P. A.

    2015-12-01

    We investigate the effects of interannual to multidecadal climate variability on groundwater resources by exploring the physical processes in the vadose zone that partially control transient infiltration and recharge fluxes. The vadose zone connects climate variability modes to groundwater systems by influencing infiltration events. Infiltration events become time-varying water flux through the vadose zone and are controlled by highly nonlinear, complex interactions between mean infiltration flux, infiltration period, soil textures, and depth to water table. We focus on the behavior and damping depth of water flux in the vadose zone. The damping depth is defined as the depth that the flux variation damps to 5% of the land surface variation. When the damping depth is above the water table, recharge may be considered steady; when the damping depth is below the water table, recharge may be considered transient. Previous work shows that the damping depth is sensitive to the frequency of the infiltration pattern and the unsaturated hydraulic properties of the media. We examine controls on the damping depth by modeling transient water fluxes at the land surface using the Gardner-Kozeny soil model for diffuse unsaturated flow in HYDRUS 1-D. Results for homogeneous profiles show that shorter-period oscillations, smaller mean fluxes, and finer-grained soil textures generally produce damping depths closer to land surface. Modeling layered soil textures indicates similar, but more complicated responses in the damping depth. Model results indicate that finer-textured layers in a coarser soil profile generally result in damping depths closer to land surface, while coarser-textured layers in a coarser soil profile result in damping depths deeper in the vadose zone. Findings from this study will enhance understanding of the vadose zone's influence on transient water flux and improve the simulation of recharge processes and climate variability effects in groundwater models.

  2. 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

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Mitigating Vadose Zone Nitrogen Transport Under Land Use Change and Urbanization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parratt, R. T.; Menon, M.; Tyler, S.; Kropf, C.

    2008-12-01

    The discovery of large accumulations of nitrate within the vadose zones of many desert ecosystems coupled with land use change from urbanization in these areas may be having a detrimental effect on the ground water quality, often the source of public water supplies of these regions. Land use change can result in the initiation or increase in aquifer recharge (from over-irrigation, leaking pipes, wastewater discharge, etc.) and has the potential to mobilize the observed stores of accumulated nitrate in the vadose zone. This research focuses on mitigation options to reduce mobilization of nitrate in the vadose zone by stimulating denitrification reactions during transit through the vadose zone prior to reaching the underlying aquifers. Laboratory experiments using typical vadose zone materials from Spanish Springs, Nevada, conducted in 1 meter columns have been prepared with a nitrate rich soil layer (1000 ppm KNO3, labeled with 2% KNO3 - N15 isotopic tracer) designed to simulate a nitrate accumulation zone. All columns are irrigated with treated wastewater (effluent) at a rate of 0.5 cm/day to simulate excess irrigation of urbanized parklands. In addition to a control column, one column's irrigation is augmented with dextrose (C6H12O6) designed to provide sufficient carbon sources, when combined with higher water content, to promote microbial denitrification. A third column is treated with a compost and soil mixture at the surface of the soil to provide an alternative method of producing dissolved organic carbon to be advected with the infiltration to the nitrogen storage regions within the column. All columns are instrumented with volumetric water content probes, tensiometers, and soil solution samplers. Initial results from soil solution analysis indicate the possibility of nitrate reduction by as much as 50 % of the initial concentration, after only 14 days of residence time within the dextrose amended column. Analysis will be presented comparing the treatments

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. Modeling and Optimization of GEDIT for In Situ Contaminant Destruction in the Vadose Zone

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-04-01

    GEDIT, vadose zone, soil , bioremediation , perchlorate, nitrate, hydrogen 16. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: 17. LIMITATION OF ABSTRACT 18. NUMBER...pending). This technology can be viewed as bioventing in reverse. Bioventing, a proven bioremediation technology for petroleum hydrocarbons , involves...heterogeneous porous media and is designed for applications to contamination problems that involve hydrocarbon fuel or organic solvent spills in saturated and

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. Depth of the vadose zone controls aquifer biogeochemical conditions and extent of anthropogenic nitrogen removal

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Szymczycha, Beata; Kroeger, Kevin D.; Crusius, J.; Bratton, J.F.

    2017-01-01

    We investigated biogeochemical conditions and watershed features controlling the extent of nitrate removal through microbial dinitrogen (N2) production within the surficial glacial aquifer located on the north and south shores of Long Island, NY, USA. The extent of N2 production differs within portions of the aquifer, with greatest N2 production observed at the south shore of Long Island where the vadose zone is thinnest, while limited N2production occurred under the thick vadose zones on the north shore. In areas with a shallow water table and thin vadose zone, low oxygen concentrations and sufficient DOC concentrations are conducive to N2production. Results support the hypothesis that in aquifers without a significant supply of sediment-bound reducing potential, vadose zone thickness exerts an important control of the extent of N2 production. Since quantification of excess N2 relies on knowledge of equilibrium N2concentration at recharge, calculated based on temperature at recharge, we further identify several features, such as land use and cover, seasonality of recharge, and climate change that should be considered to refine estimation of recharge temperature, its deviation from mean annual air temperature, and resulting deviation from expected equilibrium gas concentrations.

  18. 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...

  19. Flow dynamics in vadose zones with and without vegetation in an arid region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Wenke; Zhang, Zaiyong; Yeh, Tian-chyi Jim; Qiao, Gang; Wang, Wenmin; Duan, Lei; Huang, Shao-Yang; Wen, Jet-Chau

    2017-08-01

    Flow dynamics in a thick vadose zone in an arid region, China was investigated using a field experiment at plots with bare soils and vegetated soils. Detailed pressure head profile along a depth of 8 m, groundwater level, soil moisture content at surface, air temperature, and precipitation were observed over one year's time span. The temporal and spatial variations of pressure heads and hydraulic gradients over the time span elucidate the role of air temperature, precipitation, and soil stratification, the growth of vegetation, on the flow dynamics in the vadose zone. The dynamics includes freezing and thawing of surface soils, infiltration, evapotranspiration, distribution of moisture, and groundwater recharge. Estimated hydraulic gradients based on the observed pressure heads suggest that vegetation affected flow dynamics even at 3 m below land surface during its growth seasons. The pressure head distributions at the vadose zone over the time span were found correlated well with soil stratification or heterogeneity. Afterward, we estimated the land-atmosphere interface flux, water uptake rate by the plants, and we then discussed the relationship between seasonal variation of temperature, precipitation, evaporation, plant growth, soil stratification (heterogeneity) and the flow dynamics in the vadose zone of the region.

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Climate variability and vadose zone controls on damping of transient recharge

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Corona, Claudia R.; Gurdak, Jason J.; Dickinson, Jesse; Ferré, T.P.A.; Maurer, Edwin P.

    2017-01-01

    Increasing demand on groundwater resources motivates understanding of the controls on recharge dynamics so model predictions under current and future climate may improve. Here we address questions about the nonlinear behavior of flux variability in the vadose zone that may explain previously reported teleconnections between global-scale climate variability and fluctuations in groundwater levels. We use hundreds of HYDRUS-1D simulations in a sensitivity analysis approach to evaluate the damping depth of transient recharge over a range of periodic boundary conditions and vadose zone geometries and hydraulic parameters that are representative of aquifer systems of the conterminous United States (U.S). Although the models were parameterized based on U.S. aquifers, findings from this study are applicable elsewhere that have mean recharge rates between 3.65 and 730 mm yr–1. We find that mean infiltration flux, period of time varying infiltration, and hydraulic conductivity are statistically significant predictors of damping depth. The resulting framework explains why some periodic infiltration fluxes associated with climate variability dampen with depth in the vadose zone, resulting in steady-state recharge, while other periodic surface fluxes do not dampen with depth, resulting in transient recharge. We find that transient recharge in response to the climate variability patterns could be detected at the depths of water levels in most U.S. aquifers. Our findings indicate that the damping behavior of transient infiltration fluxes is linear across soil layers for a range of texture combinations. The implications are that relatively simple, homogeneous models of the vadose zone may provide reasonable estimates of the damping depth of climate-varying transient recharge in some complex, layered vadose zone profiles.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. CMI Remedy Selection for HE- and Barium-Contaminated Vadose Zone and Alluvium at LANL

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hickmott, D.; Reid, K.; Pietz, J.; Ware, D.

    2008-12-01

    A high explosives (HE) machining building outfall at Los Alamos National Laboratory's Technical Area 16 discharged millions of gallons of HE- and barium-contaminated water into the Canon de Valle watershed. The effluent contaminated surface soils, the alluvial aquifer, vadose zone waters, and deep-perched and regional groundwaters with HE and barium, frequently at levels greater than regulatory standards. Site characterization studies began in 1995 and included extensive monitoring of surface water, groundwater, soils, and subsurface solid media. Hydrogeologic and geophysical studies were conducted to help understand contaminant transport mechanisms and pathways. Results from the characterization studies were used to develop a site conceptual model. In 2000 the principal source area was removed. The ongoing Corrective Measure Study (CMS) and Corrective Measure Implementation (CMI) focus on residual vadose zone contamination and on the contaminated alluvial system. Regulators recently selected a CMI remedy that combined: 1) augmented source removal; 2) grouting of an HE- contaminated surge bed; 3) deployment of Stormwater Management System (SMS) stormfilters in contaminated springs; and 4) permeable reactive barriers (PRBs) in contaminated alluvium. The hydrogeologic conceptual model for the vadose zone and alluvial system as well as the status of the canyon as habitat for the Mexican Spotted Owl were key factors in selection of these minimal-environmental-impact remedies. The heterogeneous vadose zone, characterized by flow and contaminant transport in fractures and in surge beds, requires contaminant treatment at a point of discharge. The canyon PRB is being installed to capture water and contaminants prior to infiltration into the vadose zone. Pilot-scale testing of the SMS and lab-scale batch and column tests of a range of media suggest that granular activated carbon, zeolite, and gypsum may be effective media for removal of HE and/or barium from contaminated

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. EPA MODELING TOOLS FOR CAPTURE ZONE DELINEATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    The EPA Office of Research and Development supports a step-wise modeling approach for design of wellhead protection areas for water supply wells. A web-based WellHEDSS (wellhead decision support system) is under development for determining when simple capture zones (e.g., centri...

  15. EPA MODELING TOOLS FOR CAPTURE ZONE DELINEATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    The EPA Office of Research and Development supports a step-wise modeling approach for design of wellhead protection areas for water supply wells. A web-based WellHEDSS (wellhead decision support system) is under development for determining when simple capture zones (e.g., centri...

  16. 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.

  17. Ecohydrological controls on soil moisture fluxes in arid to semiarid vadose zones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sandvig, Renee M.; Phillips, Fred M.

    2006-08-01

    Overlying vegetation plays a key role in the hydrodynamics of desert vadose zones. To investigate the roles of vegetation and climate on vadose zone dynamics, eleven 5-10 m boreholes were drilled under ponderosa pine, juniper, grassland, and creosote vegetation communities along a transect ranging in elevation from 1470 to 2380 m in central New Mexico and were analyzed for soil water content and potential and environmental tracers. The results indicate that there has been no downward liquid movement past the root zone under the creosote sites over the past ˜20 kyr. There have been periodic, downward fluxes past the root zone under the grass and juniper sites (<0.4 mm yr-1) as well as preferential flow, but under ponderosa pine, downward fluxes are appreciable (2.3 mm yr-1). Fluxes were similar within vegetation communities, even at sites separated by considerable distance and elevation (and thus climate), but differed markedly over short distances across ecotones, demonstrating that vegetation ecology strongly modulates the influence of climate and that characteristic vadose zone hydrological regimes are associated with the various vegetation communities.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Transport and degradation of perchlorate in deep vadose zone: implications from direct observations during bioremediation treatment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dahan, Ofer; Katz, Idan; Avishai, Lior; Ronen, Zeev

    2017-08-01

    An in situ bioremediation experiment of a deep vadose zone ( ˜ 40 m) contaminated with a high concentration of perchlorate (> 25 000 mg L-1) was conducted through a full-scale field operation. Favourable environmental conditions for microbiological reduction of perchlorate were sought by infiltrating an electron donor-enriched water solution using drip irrigation underlying an airtight sealing liner. A vadose zone monitoring system (VMS) was used for real-time tracking of the percolation process, the penetration depth of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), and the variation in perchlorate concentration across the entire soil depth. The experimental conditions for each infiltration event were adjusted according to insight gained from data obtained by the VMS in previous stages. Continuous monitoring of the vadose zone indicated that in the top 13 m of the cross section, perchlorate concentration is dramatically reduced from thousands of milligrams per litre to near-detection limits with a concurrent increase in chloride concentration. Nevertheless, in the deeper parts of the vadose zone (< 17 m), perchlorate concentration increased, suggesting its mobilization down through the cross section. Breakthrough of DOC and bromide at different depths across the unsaturated zone showed limited migration capacity of biologically consumable carbon and energy sources due to their enhanced biodegradation in the upper soil layers. Nevertheless, the increased DOC concentration with concurrent reduction in perchlorate and increase in the chloride-to-perchlorate ratio in the top 13 m indicate partial degradation of perchlorate in this zone. There was no evidence of improved degradation conditions in the deeper parts where the initial concentrations of perchlorate were significantly higher.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Analysis of radionuclide migration through a 200-m Vadose zone following a 16-year infiltration event

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tompson, Andrew F. B.; Hudson, G. Bryant; Smith, David K.; Hunt, James R.

    2006-02-01

    Atomic weapons testing at the Nevada Test Site has introduced many tracers for quantifying subsurface hydrologic transport processes in arid climates. In 1975, groundwater adjacent to the C AMBRIC test, conducted beneath Frenchman Flat 10 years earlier, was pumped steadily for 16 years to elicit information on the migration of residual radioactivity through the saturated zone. Radionuclides in the pumping well effluent, including tritium, 14C, 36Cl, and 85Kr, were extensively monitored prior to its discharge in an unlined ditch, where approximately a third of the flow infiltrated over a distance of 1 km. Radionuclide infiltration through a 220-m thick vadose zone created a second, and rather unique long-term field experiment. Effluent data have been utilized in conjunction with 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, the water table and a nearby groundwater monitoring well. Detection of tritium in the monitoring well occurred approximately 16 years after its initial discharge into the ditch. Modeling and tritium age dating have suggested 3-5 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 14C or 85Kr in the monitoring well, suggesting their preferential retention or volatilization during transit to the water table.

  6. Vadose zone nonaqueous-phase liquid characterization using partitioning gas tracers

    SciTech Connect

    Whitley, G.A. Jr.; Pope, G.A.; McKinney, D.C.; Rouse, B.A.; Mariner, P.E.

    1995-12-31

    Researchers of various disciplines associated with environmental cleanup are beginning to investigate the use of partitioning tracers to determine and characterize contaminated sites. Characterizing the vadose, or unsaturated zone, as well as the saturated zone is imperative because there are areas in the western US with large vadose zones that are contaminated by nonaqueous-phase liquids (NAPLs). This paper presents laboratory experiments conducted to determine the partition coefficients between air and NAPL for several gas tracers. Once the tracers` partition coefficients have been estimated, they may be used to estimate NAPL volumes in situ. The experiments entailed the introduction of trichloroethylene (TCE) into a column packed with Ottawa sand and containing a residual amount of water. With a known amount of TCE in the column, partitioning gas tracers were injected and their breakthrough monitored. Using the method of moments, the partition coefficients of the tracers were estimated. The gas tracers used in this experiment included argon as a nonpartitioning tracer and several perfluorocarbons as partitioning tracers. The experimental results demonstrate that partitioning gas tracers and, in particular, perfluorocarbons, may be used to estimate residual NAPL saturations in the vadose zone.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Bench-scale evaluation of aerosol delivery for biostimulation and bioaugmentation in the vadose zone.

    PubMed

    Hall, Richard J; Murdoch, Lawrence C; Freedman, David L; Looney, Brian B; Riha, Brian D

    2015-04-01

    Aerosol delivery was evaluated for distributing biostimulation and bioaugmentation amendments in vadose zones. This technique involves transporting amendments as micron-scale aerosol droplets in injected gas. Microcosm experiments were designed to characterize reductive dechlorination of trichloroethene (TCE) under unsaturated conditions when delivering components as aerosols. Delivering amendments and/or microbes as aqueous aerosols resulted in complete dechlorination of TCE, similar to controls operated under saturated conditions. Reductive dechlorination was achieved with manual injection of a bioaugmentation culture suspended in soybean oil into microcosms. However, aerosol delivery of the culture in soybean oil induced little reductive dechlorination activity. Overall, the results indicate that delivery as aqueous aerosols may be a viable option for delivery of amendments to enhance vadose zone bioremediation at the field-scale.

  10. 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.

  11. Model fit to experimental data for foam-assisted deep vadose zone remediation.

    PubMed

    Roostapour, A; Lee, G; Zhong, L; Kam, S I

    2014-01-15

    This study investigates how a foam model, developed in Roostapour and Kam [1], can be applied to make a fit to a set of existing laboratory flow experiments in an application relevant to deep vadose zone remediation. This study reveals a few important insights regarding foam-assisted deep vadose zone remediation: (i) the mathematical framework established for foam modeling can fit typical flow experiments matching wave velocities, saturation history, and pressure responses; (ii) the set of input parameters may not be unique for the fit, and therefore conducting experiments to measure basic model parameters related to relative permeability, initial and residual saturations, surfactant adsorption and so on should not be overlooked; and (iii) gas compressibility plays an important role for data analysis, thus should be handled carefully in laboratory flow experiments. Foam kinetics, causing foam texture to reach its steady-state value slowly, may impose additional complications.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Use of Mass-Flux Measurement and Vapor-Phase Tomography to Quantify Vadose-Zone Source Strength and Distribution

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2016-01-01

    anticipated that these technologies will improve evaluation of vadose zone source impacts on groundwater and vapor intrusion. Multi-stage vapor-phase...contaminant mass discharge (MS-CMD), vapor-phase tomography (VPT), volatile organic compound (VOC), groundwater , vapor intrusion, chlorinated solvents...evaluation of vadose zone source impacts on groundwater and vapor intrusion. The specific performance objectives for this demonstration were as follows

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Hydraulic and geochemical framework of the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory vadose zone

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nimmo, John R.; Rousseau, Joseph P.; Perkins, Kim S.; Stollenwerk, Kenneth G.; Glynn, Pierre D.; Bartholomay, Roy C.; Knobel, LeRoy L.

    2004-01-01

    Questions of major importance for subsurface contaminant transport at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) include (i) travel times to the aquifer, both average or typical values and the range of values to be expected, and (ii) modes of contaminant transport, especially sorption processes. The hydraulic and geochemical framework within which these questions are addressed is dominated by extreme heterogeneity in a vadose zone and aquifer consisting of interbedded basalts and sediments. Hydraulically, major issues include diverse possible types of flow pathways, extreme anisotropy, preferential flow, combined vertical and horizontal flow, and temporary saturation or perching. Geochemically, major issues include contaminant mobility as influenced by redox conditions, the concentration of organic and inorganic complexing solutes and other local variables, the interaction with infiltrating waters and with the contaminant source environment, and the aqueous speciation of contaminants such as actinides. Another major issue is the possibility of colloid transport, which inverts some of the traditional concepts of mobility, as sorbed contaminants on mobile colloids may be transported with ease compared with contaminants that are not sorbed. With respect to the goal of minimizing aquifer concentrations of contaminants, some characteristics of the vadose zone are essentially completely favorable. Examples include the great thickness (200 m) of the vadose zone, and the presence of substantial quantities of fine sediments that can retard contaminant transport both hydraulically and chemically. Most characteristics, however, have both favorable and unfavorable aspects. For example, preferential flow, as promoted by several notable features of the vadose zone at the INEEL, can provide fast, minimally sorbing pathways for contaminants to reach the aquifer easily, but it also leads to a wide dispersal of contaminants in a large volume of subsurface

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Tracking transport and transformation of dissolved organic matter using fluorescence spectroscopy at Rifle vadose zone, Colorado

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dong, W.; Wan, J.; Tokunaga, T. K.; Gilbert, B.; Kim, Y.; Williams, K. H.

    2015-12-01

    Dissolved organic matter (DOM) represents the most mobile and active form of natural organic matter. It plays important roles in terrestrial C transport and biogeochemical cycles. Its reactivity makes it sensitive to seasonal variations and climate change. The objective of this study is to investigate the transport and transformation of DOM by tracking the spatial and seasonal variations of DOM concentrations and characteristics throughout the vadose zone and groundwater within a semi-arid floodplain at Rifle, Colorado. Three sets of vertically stratified pore water samplers were installed along a groundwater flow transect, and allowed collection of temporally resolved pore water samples from different depths. Fluorescence excitation-emission matrix (EEM) spectroscopy was used to trace changes in DOM characteristics. The humification index (HIX) was applied to evaluate variations in humification extent of DOM. EEM analysis identified fulvic-like, humic-like, tryptophan-like and tyrosine-like substances as the major fluorescent components of DOM in pore waters. Tryptophan-like and tyrosine-like compounds are typically considered as the recent microbial by-products, and they showed higher concentrations in the deeper vadose zone in late spring, and decrease from spring to winter. HIX values are smaller within the deeper vadose zone (1.5 ̶ 3.5 m) than in the overlying 1.0 m soil water and underlying groundwater samples (≥ 3.5 m), suggesting that some non- or less-humified DOM (or "fresh" microbial-derived DOM) was transferred during late spring. HIX value at each depth increased continuously from late spring to winter, with rapid humification occurring in late spring to early summer. These results suggest an annual cycle in which less humified soil organic matter is transferred into the deeper vadose zone during snowmelt/rainfall events, and then humified further through microbial transformation.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Vadose zone-attenuated artificial recharge for input to a ground water model.

    PubMed

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

    2007-01-01

    Accurate representation of artificial recharge is requisite to calibration of a ground water model of an unconfined aquifer for a semiarid or arid site with a vadose zone that imparts significant attenuation of liquid transmission and substantial anthropogenic liquid discharges. Under such circumstances, artificial recharge occurs in response to liquid disposal to the vadose zone in areas that are small relative to the ground water model domain. Natural recharge, in contrast, 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 for inclusion in a ground water model is presented. The improved technique is applied using data from the semiarid Hanford Site. 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 diminishing influence of the massive water disposals. The vadose zone is typically 80 to 90 m thick at the Central Plateau where most production facilities were located at this semiarid 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. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Climate, soil, and vegetation controls on the temporal variability of vadose zone transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harman, C. J.; Rao, P. S. C.; Basu, N. B.; McGrath, G. S.; Kumar, P.; Sivapalan, M.

    2011-10-01

    Temporal patterns of solute transport and transformation through the vadose zone are driven by the stochastic variability of water fluxes. This is determined by the hydrologic filtering of precipitation variability into infiltration, storage, drainage, and evapotranspiration. In this work we develop a framework for examining the role of the hydrologic filtering and, in particular, the effect of evapotranspiration in determining the travel time and delivery of sorbing, reacting solutes transported through the vadose zone by stochastic rainfall events. We describe a 1-D vertical model in which solute pulses are tracked as point loads transported to depth by a series of discrete infiltration events. Numerical solutions of this model compare well to the Richards equation-based HYDRUS model for some typical cases. We then utilize existing theory of the stochastic dynamics of soil water to derive analytical and semianalytical expressions for the probability density functions (pdf's) of solute travel time and delivery. The moments of these pdf's directly relate the mean and variance of expected travel times to the water balance and show how evapotranspiration tends to reduce (and make more uncertain) the mass of a degrading solute delivered to the base of the vadose zone. The framework suggests a classification of different modes hydrologic filtering depending on hydroclimatic and landscape controls. Results suggest that variability in travel times decreases with soil depth in wet climates but increases with soil depth in dry climates. In dry climates, rare large storms can be an important mechanism for leaching to groundwater.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Vadose zone characterization at a contaminated field site using partitioning interwell tracer technology

    SciTech Connect

    Deeds, N.E.; Pope, G.A.; McKinney, D.C.

    1999-08-15

    The partitioning interwell tracer test (PITT) has been demonstrated to be effective in determining volume and spatial distribution of residual nonaqueous phase liquids (NAPLs) in the saturated subsurface. Use of PITT technology in the vadose zone has been limited to this point. Two PITTs were completed in the vadose zone of a NAPL contaminated site at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, NM. The PITTs were completed before and after a thermally enhanced soil vapor extraction remediation effort, to provide performance assessment. Methane was used as a nonpartitioning tracer. Four perfluorocarbons (perfluoromethylcyclohexane, perfluoro-1,3-dimethylcyclo-hexane, perfluoro-1,3,5-trimethylcyclohexane, and perfluorodecalin) were utilized as air-NAPL partitioning tracers. Difluoromethane was used as an air-water partitioning tracer to estimate water saturation. The complex light NAPL (LNAPL) consisted of hydrocarbon fuels ranging from approximately 12--70 carbons in size. Laboratory experimental data and thermodynamic modeling were used to characterize compositional changes in the NAPL due to the remediation effort. About 260 kg of NAPL were removed from the subsurface by the remediation effort. The PITT assessment of the remediation was compared favorably to the results from soil borings taken at the site. The PITT has been shown to be a useful technology for both NAPL characterization and remediation performance assessment in the vadose zone.

  14. The application of ground penetrating radar attenuation tomography in a vadose zone infiltration experiment.

    PubMed

    Chang, Ping-Yu; Alumbaugh, David; Brainard, Jim; Hall, Laila

    2004-07-01

    Cross-borehole ground penetrating radar (XBGPR) is used in monitoring a long-term vadose zone infiltration experiment at a test site in Socorro, NM in order to examine contaminant transport in the vadose zone. XBGPR attenuation tomography is conducted in order to test the ability of using images of electromagnetic attenuation for hydrogeologic investigations. The results of four pre-infiltration attenuation inversions shows standard deviations below 0.1 Np/m, and demonstrate the consistency of the XBGPR tomography technique for making time-lapse observations. Correlation to the core records indicates that XBGPR attenuation tomograms provide high-resolution images of clay distribution in the vadose zone. Water infiltration at the ground surface was initiated in February 1999 at a constant rate of 2.7 cm/day, and continued at this rate throughout the data collection experiment. Time-lapse attenuation tomograms show that attenuation increases by approximately 0.3 Np/m during the water infiltration, and indicate a snowplow effect may be occurring where salts are dissolved by the water and concentrated at the front of the plume. Seasonal temperature changes may also cause changes in electromagnetic attenuation images, and masking the evidence of water infiltration. Thus caution must be taken when using time-lapse attenuation images to interpret the movement of a water plume during a long-term experiment as temperature changes. Copyright 2003 Elsevier B.V.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. The effect of vadose zone heterogeneities on vapor phase migration and aquifer contamination by volatile organics

    SciTech Connect

    Seneviratne, A.; Findikakis, A.N.

    1995-03-01

    Organic vapors migrating through the vadose zone and inter-phase transfer can contribute to the contamination of larger portions of aquifers than estimated by accounting only for dissolved phase transport through the saturated zone. Proper understanding of vapor phase migration pathways is important for the characterization of the extent of both vadose zone and the saturated zone contamination. The multiphase simulation code T2VOC is used to numerically investigate the effect of heterogeneties on the vapor phase migration of chlorobenzene at a hypothetical site where a vapor extraction system is used to remove contaminants. Different stratigraphies consisting of alternate layers of high and low permeability materials with soil properties representative of gravel, sandy silt and clays are evaluated. The effect of the extent and continuity of low permeability zones on vapor migration is evaluated. Numerical simulations are carried out for different soil properties and different boundary conditions. T2VOC simulations with zones of higher permeability were made to assess the role of how such zones in providing enhanced migration pathways for organic vapors. Similarly, the effect of the degree of saturation of the porous medium on vapor migration was for a range of saturation values. Increased saturation reduces the pore volume of the medium available for vapor diffusion. Stratigraphic units with higher aqueous saturation can retard the vapor phase migration significantly.

  18. Perface: Research advances in vadose zone hydrology throughsimulations with the TOUGH codes

    SciTech Connect

    Finsterle, Stefan; Oldenburg, Curtis M.

    2004-07-12

    Numerical simulators are playing an increasingly important role in advancing our fundamental understanding of hydrological systems. They are indispensable tools for managing groundwater resources, analyzing proposed and actual remediation activities at contaminated sites, optimizing recovery of oil, gas, and geothermal energy, evaluating subsurface structures and mining activities, designing monitoring systems, assessing the long-term impacts of chemical and nuclear waste disposal, and devising improved irrigation and drainage practices in agricultural areas, among many other applications. The complexity of subsurface hydrology in the vadose zone calls for sophisticated modeling codes capable of handling the strong nonlinearities involved, the interactions of coupled physical, chemical and biological processes, and the multiscale heterogeneities inherent in such systems. The papers in this special section of ''Vadose Zone Journal'' are illustrative of the enormous potential of such numerical simulators as applied to the vadose zone. The papers describe recent developments and applications of one particular set of codes, the TOUGH family of codes, as applied to nonisothermal flow and transport in heterogeneous porous and fractured media (http://www-esd.lbl.gov/TOUGH2). The contributions were selected from presentations given at the TOUGH Symposium 2003, which brought together developers and users of the TOUGH codes at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) in Berkeley, California, for three days of information exchange in May 2003 (http://www-esd.lbl.gov/TOUGHsymposium). The papers presented at the symposium covered a wide range of topics, including geothermal reservoir engineering, fracture flow and vadose zone hydrology, nuclear waste disposal, mining engineering, reactive chemical transport, environmental remediation, and gas transport. This Special Section of ''Vadose Zone Journal'' contains revised and expanded versions of selected papers from the

  19. Evidence of linked biogeochemical and hydrological processes in homogeneous and layered vadose zone systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGuire, J. T.; Hansen, D. J.; Mohanty, B. P.

    2010-12-01

    Understanding chemical fate and transport in the vadose zone is critical to protect groundwater resources and preserve ecosystem health. However, prediction can be challenging due to the dynamic hydrologic and biogeochemical nature of the vadose zone. Additional controls on hydrobiogeochemical processes are added by subsurface structural heterogeneity. This study uses repacked soil column experiments to quantify linkages between microbial activity, geochemical cycling and hydrologic flow. Three “short” laboratory soil columns were constructed to evaluate the effects of soil layering: a homogenized medium-grained sand, homogenized organic-rich loam, and a sand-over-loam layered column. In addition, two “long” columns were constructed using either gamma-irradiated (sterilized) or untreated sediments to evaluate the effects of both soil layers and the presence of microorganisms. The long columns were packed identically; a medium-grained sand matrix with two vertically separated and horizontally offset lenses of organic-rich loam. In all 5 columns, downward and upward infiltration of water was evaluated to simulate rainfall and rising water table events respectively. In-situ colocated probes were used to measure soil water content, matric potential, Eh, major anions, ammonium, Fe2+, and total sulfide. Enhanced biogeochemical cycling was observed in the short layered column versus the short, homogeneous columns, and enumerations of iron and sulfate reducing bacteria were 1-2 orders of magnitude greater. In the long columns, microbial activity caused mineral bands and produced insoluble gases that impeded water flow through the pores of the sediment. Capillary barriers, formed around the lenses due to soil textural differences, retarded water flow rates through the lenses. This allowed reducing conditions to develop, evidenced by the production of Fe2+ and S2-. At the fringes of the lenses, Fe2+ oxidized to form Fe(III)-oxide bands that further retarded water

  20. In Situ Bioremediation of Perchlorate in Vadose Zone Source Areas

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-01-01

    agricultural bags (e.g., ITRC, 2008; Evans et al., 2008). Phytoremediation has also been tested for soil treatment (ITRC, 2008). However, these...within the saturated zone (through in situ bioremediation or groundwater extraction and ex-situ treatment), phytoremediation , which is unlikely to

  1. 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

  2. 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).

  3. Transport and degradation of propylene glycol in the vadose zone: model development and sensitivity analysis.

    PubMed

    Schotanus, D; Meeussen, J C L; Lissner, H; van der Ploeg, M J; Wehrer, M; Totsche, K U; van der Zee, S E A T M

    2014-01-01

    Transport and degradation of de-icing chemical (containing propylene glycol, PG) in the vadose zone were studied with a lysimeter experiment and a model, in which transient water flow, kinetic degradation of PG and soil chemistry were combined. The lysimeter experiment indicated that aerobic as well as anaerobic degradation occurs in the vadose zone. Therefore, the model included both types of degradation, which was made possible by assuming advection-controlled (mobile) and diffusion-controlled (immobile) zones. In the mobile zone, oxygen can be transported by diffusion in the gas phase. The immobile zone is always water-saturated, and oxygen only diffuses slowly in the water phase. Therefore, the model is designed in a way that the redox potential can decrease when PG is degraded, and thus, anaerobic degradation can occur. In our model, manganese oxide (MnO2, which is present in the soil) and NO3- (applied to enhance biodegradation) can be used as electron acceptors for anaerobic degradation. The application of NO3- does not result in a lower leaching of PG nor in a slower depletion of MnO2. The thickness of the snowcover influences the leached fraction of PG, as with a high infiltration rate, transport is fast, there is less time for degradation and thus more PG will leach. The model showed that, in this soil, the effect of the water flow dominates over the effect of the degradation parameters on the leaching at a 1-m depth.

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Konopka, A; Turco, R

    1991-01-01

    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 the samples, and degradation of added 14C-labeled pesticides (atrazine and metolachlor) was not 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. PMID:1768098

  6. U-series nuclides migration from the vadose zone to a chalk aquifer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hubert, A.; Bourdon, B.; Pili, E.

    2003-04-01

    We have studied the uranium-series disequilibria in chalk aquifer and the vadose zone above it in order to characterise the time scales of radionuclides migration from the water recharge zone of the aquifer to the river. Our field area is located in Champagne (France). The aquifer is characterized by a double porosity: matrix and fracture, providing both a fast and a slow pathways for water flow. We have collected both carbonate rocks and groundwater samples from boreholes and spring and river water from the same area. The boreholes have been drilled along a flow line. Rock/water interaction inside the aquifer induces dissolution and reprecipitation of carbonates, together with a mobilisation of uranium, and additionally the decay of radionuclides results in a-recoil effect particularly for the 234U--238U pair. We have measured uranium and thorium isotopes for carbonates samples from the aquifer by TIMS and multi-collection ICP-MS. The fractionation of uranium and thorium nuclides is distinctive in the various parts of the aquifer. Rock samples from the saturated zone show a depletion in 234U with a (234U/238U) ratio ranging from 0.945 to 0.993 (± 0.005). This indicates that uranium 234U has been released by rock/water interaction over the last million year. Nevertheless, rock samples from the vadose zone display an activity ratio 234U/238U above 1 and range from 1.002 to 1.052 (± 0.005), suggesting uranium reprecipitation possibly by a redox front. (230Th/238U) ratio range from 1.25 to 1.59 (± 0.03) in both saturated and vadose zone, whilst (230Th/232Th) ratio vary from 1.89 to 5.68 (± 0.05) with the highest values for the vadose zone. The 234U--230Th system shows a significant mobility of uranium less than 300 000 years ago within the aquifer. We are curently analysing water samples which will provide us further insights on the migration timescale of uranium-series nuclides in groundwater and will document the processes of groundwater/carbonate interaction.

  7. Biogeochemical Cycling at Soil Interfaces in the Vadose Zone and its Impact on Hydraulic Conductivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hansen, D. J.; McGuire, J. T.; Mohanty, B. P.

    2007-12-01

    Much research has focused on understanding and predicting chemical fate and transport in subsurface systems to protect drinking water reserves and ecosystem health. However, chemical changes that occur in the unsaturated zone due to processes such as mineral-water interactions, desorption, or biogeochemical cycling have often been neglected. In particular, the effects of soil structure (i.e. layers, lenses, macropores, or fractures) on these processes remain poorly understood. This study focuses on characterizing the linkages between geochemical processes, hydrologic flow, and microbial activity in the vadose zone using packed soil columns. We constructed three laboratory soil columns: a homogenized medium-grained sand, homogenized organic-rich silty clay, and a sand-over-clay layered column. Both upward and downward infiltration of water was evaluated during experiments to simulate rising water table and rainfall events respectively. In situ collocated probes measured soil water content, matric potential, and Eh. Water samples extracted by lysimeter were analyzed for major cations and anions, ammonium, organic acids, alkalinity, Fe2+, and total sulfide. Enhanced biogeochemical cycling was observed in the layered column. For example, concentrations of the electron acceptor sulfate were two-fold greater in the layered column than in either of the homogeneous columns likely due to increased oxidation/reduction reactions. Rainfall events enhanced denitrification in the layered column through the addition of NO3- via enhanced ammonium oxidation. Biogeochemical cycling was directly linked to hydrologic flow and varied as a function of water infiltration direction (upward/downward). Enhanced biogeochemical activity produced mineral crusts and biofilms that decreased overall hydraulic conductivity. Preliminary results suggest that changes in the vadose zone occur too rapidly for the system to achieve redox equilibrium and suggest that a new conceptual framework to analyze

  8. 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

  9. Winds induce CO2 exchange with the atmosphere and vadose zone transport in a karstic ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sánchez-Cañete, Enrique P.; Oyonarte, Cecilio; Serrano-Ortiz, Penélope; Curiel Yuste, Jorge; Pérez-Priego, Oscar; Domingo, Francisco; Kowalski, Andrew S.

    2016-08-01

    Research on the subterranean CO2 dynamics has focused individually on either surface soils or bedrock cavities, neglecting the interaction of both systems as a whole. In this regard, the vadose zone contains CO2-enriched air (ca. 5% by volume) in the first meters, and its exchange with the atmosphere can represent from 10 to 90% of total ecosystem CO2 emissions. Despite its importance, to date still lacking are reliable and robust databases of vadose zone CO2 contents that would improve knowledge of seasonal-annual aboveground-belowground CO2 balances. Here we study 2.5 years of vadose zone CO2 dynamics in a semiarid ecosystem. The experimental design includes an integrative approach to continuously measure CO2 in vertical and horizontal soil profiles, following gradients from surface to deep horizons and from areas of net biological CO2 production (under plants) to areas of lowest CO2 production (bare soil), as well as a bedrock borehole representing karst cavities and ecosystem-scale exchanges. We found that CO2 followed similar seasonal patterns for the different layers, with the maximum seasonal values of CO2 delayed with depth (deeper more delayed). However, the behavior of CO2 transport differed markedly among layers. Advective transport driven by wind induced CO2 emission both in surface soil and bedrock, but with negligible effect on subsurface soil, which appears to act as a buffer impeding rapid CO2 exchanges. Our study provides the first evidence of enrichment of CO2 under plant, hypothesizing that CO2-rich air could come from root zone or by transport from deepest layers through cracks and fissures.

  10. Evaluation of the capacitively coupled resistivity (line antenna) method for the characterization of vadose zone dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niu, Qifei; Wang, Yu-Hsing; Zhao, Kairan

    2014-07-01

    The electrical resistivity survey, traditionally realized by the direct current (DC) resistivity method, has shown great value for characterizing vadose zone dynamics. Compared with the DC resistivity method, the capacitively coupled (CC) resistivity method has a higher ratio of measurement speed to data density, and thus is economically preferred for resistivity surveys that require high data density, e.g., hydrological characterizations. To test the applicability of the CC resistivity method to the study of vadose zone dynamics, we conducted time-lapse resistivity surveys using a commercial CC resistivity (line antenna) system, the OhmMapper, to monitor the water content change in an unsaturated zone due to artificial rainfall infiltration. Special considerations were paid to the inversion of CC resistivity (line antenna) measurements in order to increase the accuracy of inversion results. The derived resistivity of the subsurface clearly captures the water movement in the vadose zone and shows the applicability of the CC resistivity method. The experiment also showed a limitation of the equipment: when the ground surface became extremely conductive, the OhmMapper falsely interpreted the current level. If the wrong current level is identified in the measurement, the measured resistance should be corrected accordingly. The overestimation of the ground resistivity of the CC resistivity method, arising from the decrease in the ground resistivity, was also examined and discussed. Although the measurement bias was found to be negligible in our study, one should still be cautious about it when using the CC resistivity method for similar applications, especially when the measurement is made with a short dipole cable.

  11. High resolution imaging of vadose zone transport using surface and crosswell ground penetrating radar methods

    SciTech Connect

    Williams, Kenneth H.; Kowalsky, Mike B.; Peterson, John E.

    2002-11-05

    To effectively clean up many contaminated sites there is a need for information on heterogeneities at scales ranging from one centimeter to tens of meters, as these features can alter contaminant transport significantly. At the Department of Energy's Hanford, Washington site heterogeneities of interest can range from localized phenomena such as silt or gravel lenses, fractures, clastic dikes, to large-scale lithologic discontinuities. In the vadose zone it is critical to understand the parameters controlling flow. These features have been suspected of leading to funneling and fingering, additional physical mechanisms that could alter and possibly accelerate the transport of contaminants to underlying groundwater. For example, it has been observed from the studies to date that over relatively short distances there are heterogeneities in the physical structure of the porous medium and structural differences between repacked soil cores and the field site from which the materials initially came (Raymond and Shdo, 1966). Analysis of cores taken from the vadose zone (i.e., soil surface to water table) has been useful in identifying localized zones of contamination. Unfortunately, these analyses are sparse (limited to a few boreholes) and extremely expensive. The high levels of radioactivity at many of the contaminated sites increase drilling and sample costs and analysis time. Cost of drilling and core analysis for the SX tank farm has exceeded $1M per borehole (50 meter deep) for sampling. The inability to track highly mobile species through the vadose zone highlights an important need: the need for methods to describe the complete vadose zone plume and to determine processes controlling accelerated contamination of groundwater at Hanford. A combination of surface and crosswell (i.e. borehole) geophysical measurements is one means to provide this information. The main questions addressed with the radar methods in this study are: (1) What parts of the vadose zone

  12. 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

  13. Monitoring the vadose zone in fractured tuff, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    SciTech Connect

    Montazer, P.; Weeks, E.P.; Thamir, F.; Yard, S.N.; Hofrichter, P.B.

    1985-12-31

    Unsaturated tuff beneath Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is being evaluated by the US Department of Energy as a host rock for a potential repository for high-level radioactive waste. As part of the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations Project of the US Department of Energy, the US Geological Survey has been conducting hydrologic, geologic, and geophysical investigations at Yucca Mountain and the surrounding region to provide data evaluation of the potential suitability of the site. Hydrologic investigations of the unsaturated zone at this site were started in 1982. A 17.5-inch- (44.5-centimeter-) diameter borehole (USW UZ-1) was drilled by the reverse-air vacuum-drilling technique to a depth of 1269 feet (387 meters). This borehole was instrumented at 33 depth levels. At 15 of the levels, 3 well screens were embedded in coarse-sand columns. The sand columns were isolated from each other by thin layers of bentonite, columns of silica flour, and isolation plugs consisting of expansive cement. Thermocouple psychrometers and pressure transducers were installed within the screens and connected to the data-acquisition system at the land surface through thermocouple and logging cables. Two of the screens at each level were equipped with access tubes to allow collection of pore-gas samples. In addition to these instruments, 18 heat-dissipation probes were installed within the columns of silica flour, some of which also had thermocouple psychrometers. 20 refs., 13 figs., 2 tabs.

  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. 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.

  16. Foam Delivery of Calcium Polysulfide to Vadose Zone for Chromium-VI Immobilization: A Laboratory Evaluation

    SciTech Connect

    Zhong, Lirong; Qafoku, Nikolla; Szecsody, James E.; Dresel, P. Evan; Zhang, Z. F.

    2009-09-13

    The delivery of calcium polysulfide (CPS) to the vadose zone using foam and the immobilization of hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)] via reduction by the foam-delivered CPS was studied in a series of batch and column experiments. Batch tests were conducted to select the CPS-surfactant foam-generating solutions, to determine the solution foamibility and the reducing potential of CPS-containing foams, and to study the influence of foam quality, surfactant concentration, and CPS concentration on foam stability. Based on the results of the batch experiments, a foaming surfactant-CPS mixture was selected and a system was designed and constructed to generate and deliver foams with high reducing potential and stable enough to be successfully used Cr(VI) immobilization laboratory tests. Column experiments were conducted to test the delivery of the CPS-foam mixtures under conditions similar to field vadose zone, to determine the transport-controlled rate and extent of Cr(VI) immobilization using this novel technology, and to compare the results with those obtained from water-based CPS delivery. Soil reduction was observed in all column tests where CPS was delivered by foam flushing. The massive mobilization of aqueous Cr(VI) which occurred in water-based CPS delivery column experiments was remarkably minimized in the foam-based CPS delivery column experiments, resulting in significant Cr(VI) in-situ immobilization. The results confirmed that foam injection can be successfully used for CPS delivery and Cr(VI) immobilization via reduction in contaminated vadose zones. Due to its advantage over water-based injection, the foam delivery technology can also be for the delivery of other remedial amendments, such as citrate, acetate, and polyphosphate to promote bio-reduction of redox-sensitive contaminants or contaminant precipitation and co-precipitation.

  17. 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.

  18. Geophysical Monitoring of Foam used to Deliver Remediation Treatments within the Vadose Zone

    SciTech Connect

    Wu, Yuxin; Hubbard, Susan; Wellman, Dawn M.

    2012-11-01

    Foam is a promising vehicle for delivering amendments into the vadose zone for in situ remediation; it is an approach being considered for in situ treatment and stabilization of metals and radionuclides located within the deep vadose zone of the Department of Energy (DOE) Hanford site, WA. A central aspect of evaluating the effectiveness of this approach is the ability to monitor foam distribution, its transformation, and the reactions that it induces in the subsurface, ideally in a non-invasive manner. In this study, we performed laboratory experiments to evaluate the potential of geophysical methods (complex resistivity and time domain reflectometry, TDR) as tools for monitoring foam assisted amendment delivery in the deep vadose zone. Our results indicated great sensitivity of electrical methods to foam transportation and evolution in unsaturated porous media that were related to foam bubble coalescence and drainage processes. Specifically, we observed (1) a decrease of electrical resistivity (increase of electrical conductivity) by over an order of magnitude in both silica sand and natural sediment matrices during foam transportation; (2) an increase of resistivity (decrease of conductivity) by over two fold during foam coalescence and drainage; (3) a distinct phase and imaginary conductivity signature related to the evolution of water films on sediment grains during foam injection and evolution processes. To assist with the interpretation of these data, TDR measurements were used to monitor moisture content, which provided complementary information about foam distribution and drainage. Our results clearly demonstrated the sensitivity of electrical and TDR signals to foam transportation and evolution in unsaturated porous media and suggested the potential of these methods for monitoring the response of a system to foam based remediation treatments at field scales.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  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. 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.

  4. 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.

  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. Site characterization for the in situ bioremediation of the vadose zone

    SciTech Connect

    Montemagno, C.D.; Leo, A.; Craig, J.

    1993-04-01

    Studies were conducted to determine whether bioremediation can be used to treat a diesel fuel spill in the deep vadose zone (>30 m). After laboratory studies confirmed the ability of the natural population of organisms to degrade the diesel fuel, the technological issue of transporting the required mass of nutrients to the contaminated soils was addressed. Laboratory studies demonstrated that nutrient and oxygen transport can be enhanced by the addition of divalent cations to injected waters. This addition of minerals caused the observed hydraulic conductivity to be maintained at elevated levels that allowed the macronutrient nitrogen, provided as ammonium ion, to be more uniformly distributed to target soil domains.

  7. Site characterization for the in situ bioremediation of the vadose zone

    SciTech Connect

    Montemagno, C.D. ); Leo, A. ); Craig, J. )

    1993-01-01

    Studies were conducted to determine whether bioremediation can be used to treat a diesel fuel spill in the deep vadose zone (>30 m). After laboratory studies confirmed the ability of the natural population of organisms to degrade the diesel fuel, the technological issue of transporting the required mass of nutrients to the contaminated soils was addressed. Laboratory studies demonstrated that nutrient and oxygen transport can be enhanced by the addition of divalent cations to injected waters. This addition of minerals caused the observed hydraulic conductivity to be maintained at elevated levels that allowed the macronutrient nitrogen, provided as ammonium ion, to be more uniformly distributed to target soil domains.

  8. 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.

  9. Managed aquifer recharge of treated wastewater: water quality changes resulting from infiltration through the vadose zone.

    PubMed

    Bekele, Elise; Toze, Simon; Patterson, Bradley; Higginson, Simon

    2011-11-01

    Secondary treated wastewater was infiltrated through a 9 m-thick calcareous vadose zone during a 39 month managed aquifer recharge (MAR) field trial to determine potential improvements in the recycled water quality. The water quality improvements of the recycled water were based on changes in the chemistry and microbiology of (i) the recycled water prior to infiltration relative to (ii) groundwater immediately down-gradient from the infiltration gallery. Changes in the average concentrations of several constituents in the recycled water were identified with reductions of 30% for phosphorous, 66% for fluoride, 62% for iron and 51% for total organic carbon when the secondary treated wastewater was infiltrated at an applied rate of 17.5 L per minute with a residence time of approximately four days in the vadose zone and less than two days in the aquifer. Reductions were also noted for oxazepam and temazepam among the pharmaceuticals tested and for a range of microbial pathogens, but reductions were harder to quantify as their magnitudes varied over time. Total nitrogen and carbamazepine persisted in groundwater down-gradient from the infiltration galleries. Infiltration does potentially offer a range of water quality improvements over direct injection to the water table without passage through the unsaturated zone; however, additional treatment options for the non-potable water may still need to be considered, depending on the receiving environment or the end use of the recovered water.

  10. Vadose zone flow model parameterisation using cross-borehole radar and resistivity imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Binley, Andrew; Cassiani, Giorgio; Middleton, Roy; Winship, Peter

    2002-10-01

    Cross-borehole geoelectrical imaging, in particular electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) and transmission radar tomography, can provide high-resolution images of hydrogeological structures and, in some cases, detailed assessment of dynamic processes in the subsurface environment. Through appropriate petrophysical relationships, these tools offer data suitable for parameterising and constraining models of groundwater flow. This is demonstrated using cross-borehole radar and resistivity measurements collected during a controlled vadose zone tracer test, performed at a field site in the UK Sherwood Sandstone. Both methods show clearly the vertical migration of the tracer over a 200 h monitoring period. By comparing first and second spatial moments of changes in moisture content predicted from a numerical simulation of vadose zone flow with equivalent statistics from two- and three-dimensional ERT and cross-borehole radar profiles the effective hydraulic conductivity is estimated to be approximately 0.4 m/d. Such a value is comparable to field estimates from borehole hydraulic tests carried out in the saturated zone at the field site and provides valuable information that may be utilised to parameterise pollutant transport models of the site.

  11. Vadose Zone Flow Model Parameterisation Using Cross-Borehole Radar and Resistivity Imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Binley, A.; Cassiani, G.; Middleton, R.; Winship, P.

    2001-12-01

    Cross-borehole geoelectrical imaging, in particular electrical resistivity tomography and transmission radar tomography, can provide high resolution images of hydrogeological structures and, in some cases, detailed assessment of dynamic processes in the subsurface environment. Through appropriate petrophysical relationships, these tools offer data suitable for parameterizing and constraining models of groundwater flow. This is demonstrated using cross-borehole radar and resistivity measurements collected during a controlled vadose zone tracer test, performed at a field site in the UK Sherwood Sandstone. Both methods show clearly the vertical migration of the tracer over a 200 hour monitoring period. By comparing first and second spatial moments of changes in moisture content predicted from a numerical simulation of vadose zone flow with equivalent statistics from 2- and 3-D electrical resistivity tomography and cross-borehole radar profiles the effective hydraulic conductivity is estimated to be approximately 0.4 m d-1. Such a value is comparable to field estimates from borehole hydraulic tests carried out in the saturated zone at the field site and provides valuable information that may be utilized to parameterise pollutant transport models of the site.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Multiple lines of evidence to demonstrate vinyl chloride aerobic biodegradation in the vadose zone, and factors controlling rates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patterson, B. M.; Aravena, R.; Davis, G. B.; Furness, A. J.; Bastow, T. P.; Bouchard, D.

    2013-10-01

    A field-based investigation was conducted at a contaminated site where the vadose zone was contaminated with a range of chlorinated hydrocarbons. The investigation consisted of groundwater and multilevel soil-gas monitoring of a range of contaminants and gases, along with isotope measurements and microbiology studies. The investigation provided multiple lines of evidence that demonstrated aerobic biodegradation of vinyl chloride (VC) was occurring in the vadose zone (i) above the on-site source zone, and (ii) above the downgradient off-site groundwater plume location. Data from both the on-site and off-site locations were consistent in showing substantially greater (an order of magnitude greater) rates of VC removal from the aerobic vadose zone compared to more recalcitrant contaminants trichloroethene (TCE) and tetrachloroethene (PCE). Soil gas VC isotope analysis showed substantial isotopic enrichment of VC (δ13C - 5.2 to - 10.9‰) compared to groundwater (δ13C - 39.5‰) at the on-site location. Soil gas CO2 isotope analysis at both locations showed that CO2 was highly isotopically depleted (δ13C - 28.8 to - 33.3‰), compared to soil gas CO2 data originating from natural sediment organic matter (δ13C = - 14.7 to - 21.3‰). The soil gas CO2 δ13C values were consistent with near-water table VC groundwater δ13C values (- 36.8 to - 39.5‰), suggesting CO2 originating from aerobic biodegradation of VC. Bacteria that had functional genes (ethene monooxygenase (etnC) and epoxyalkane transferase (etnE) involved in ethene metabolism and VC oxidation were more abundant at the source zone where oxygen co-existed with VC. The distribution of VC and oxygen vadose zone vapour plumes, together with long-term changes in soil gas CO2 concentrations and temperature, provided information to elucidate the factors controlling aerobic biodegradation of VC in the vadose zone. Based on the overlapping VC and oxygen vadose zone vapour plumes, aerobic vapour biodegradation

  15. Probabilistic capture zone delineation based on an analytic solution.

    PubMed

    Jacobson, Elizabeth; Andricevic, Roko; Morrice, Joseph

    2002-01-01

    A major tool used in the design of wellhead protection areas is the delineation of a capture zone for a pumping well by use of a simple, steady-state analytic solution. This simple approach has been useful for many small municipalities because of the high costs associated with obtaining the hydrogeologic information needed for detailed numerical modeling. This analytic solution, however, is deterministic, and uncertainty in the mean value estimates of the hydraulic parameters used in this model can be a major source of error in predicting capture zones. To address this problem, a statistical theory was developed for including the uncertainty in the transmissivity and the magnitude and direction of the hydraulic head gradient in the analytic solution for both the ultimate and time-dependent capture zone for an arbitrary reliability level. To demonstrate the method and investigate the effect of varying magnitudes of uncertainty on time-dependent capture zones, the method is applied to three synthetic data sets based on data from the Borden Aquifer in Ontario, Canada. In general, the results show that uncertainty in the length of the time-dependent capture zone at a given reliability level is dependent on the uncertainty in the magnitude of the mean regional flow, which is equal to the transmissivity multiplied by the hydraulic head gradient; uncertainty in the maximum width of the capture zone is dependent primarily on the uncertainty in the mean direction of the regional flow.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. In situ bioremediation of nitrate and perchlorate in vadose zone soil for groundwater protection using gaseous electron donor injection technology.

    PubMed

    Evans, Patrick J; Trute, Mary M

    2006-12-01

    When present in the vadose zone, potentially toxic nitrate and perchlorate anions can be persistent sources of groundwater contamination. Gaseous electron donor injection technology (GEDIT), an anaerobic variation of petroleum hydrocarbon bioventing, involves injecting electron donor gases, such as hydrogen or ethyl acetate, into the vadose zone, to stimulate biodegradation of nitrate and perchlorate. Laboratory microcosm studies demonstrated that hydrogen and ethanol promoted nitrate and perchlorate reduction in vadose zone soil and that moisture content was an important factor. Column studies demonstrated that transport of particular electron donors varied significantly; ethyl acetate and butyraldehyde were transported more rapidly than butyl acetate and ethanol. Nitrate removal in the column studies, up to 100%, was best promoted by ethyl acetate. Up to 39% perchlorate removal was achieved with ethanol and was limited by insufficient incubation time. The results demonstrate that GEDIT is a promising remediation technology warranting further validation.

  19. 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.

  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. 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.

  2. Conduits to Catchments: Deformation Band Faults in Arid and Semi-Arid Vadose Zone Sands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sigda, J. M.; Wilson, J. L.; Goodwin, L. B.; Conca, J. L.

    2002-12-01

    Where fault movement intercepts sandy sediments, deformational processes create narrow, tabular zones of reduced pore and grain sizes, called deformation band faults, which possess markedly different hydraulic properties than the parent sands. These faults are commonly found where tectonic extension and erosion have combined to create basins containing variably lithified, heterolithic sediments, which in turn form thick vadose and saturated zones. Under arid or semi-arid conditions the unsaturated property differences between these faults and their poorly lithified parent sands appear to be large enough that the faults can potentially act as paths for preferential flow and transport, or as liquid phase catchments, depending on the conditions. We measured the unsaturated hydraulic properties of three small-displacement normal faults and adjacent sands found in the Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge, central New Mexico, USA using UFA centrifuge systems. Fits to commonly used unsaturated property models revealed consistent differences between sands and faults. Analytical one-dimensional models of steady infiltration, exfiltration, and solute transport confirm that faults can become paths for preferential flow and transport. Under dry conditions and observed fault spatial densities, faulted sands can infiltrate and exfiltrate orders of magnitude more liquid phase water than unfaulted sands. Solute residence times are two to four orders of magnitude shorter through faulted than unfaulted sand beds and diagenetic alteration is far more likely to occur in faults than sands because faults are predicted to transmit as many as 10 4 pore volumes in the time needed to transmit a single pore volume through the sand. Numerical modeling of steady two dimensional downwards flow near a dipping fault suggests that, under relatively wet conditions, faults with sufficiently low dip angles can intercept enough water to form sizeable zones of increased water content in the hanging wall

  3. 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.

  4. Colloid-facilitated transport of cesium in vadose-zone sediments: the importance of flow transients.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Tao; Saiers, James E

    2010-10-01

    Colloid-sized particles are commonly detected in vadose-zone pore waters and are capable of binding chemicals with sorptive affinities for geologic materials. Published research demonstrates that colloids are capable of facilitating the transport of sorptive contaminants under conditions of steady pore water flow, when volumetric moisture content and pore water velocity are constant. Less is known about the role of colloids in governing contaminant mobility under transient-flow conditions, which are characteristic of natural vadose-zone environments. The objective of this study is to elucidate the influences of flow transients on the mobilization and transport of in situ colloids and colloid-associated contaminants. We conducted column experiments in which the mobilization of in situ colloids and (137)Cs was induced by transients associated with the drainage and imbibition of (137)Cs contaminated-sediments. Our results demonstrate that substantial quantities of in situ colloids and colloid-associated (137)Cs are mobilized as volumetric moisture content declines during porous-medium drainage and as volumetric moisture content increases during porous-medium imbibition. We also find that the colloid-effect on (137)Cs transport is sensitive to changes in pore water ionic strength. That is, the quantities of colloids mobilized and the capacity of the these colloids to bind (137)Cs decrease with increasing ionic strength, leading to a decrease of the mass of (137)Cs eluted from the columns during porous-medium drainage and imbibition.

  5. Automated Passive Capillary Lysimeters for Estimating Water Drainage in the Vadose Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jabro, J.; Evans, R.

    2009-04-01

    In this study, we demonstrated and evaluated the performance and accuracy of an automated PCAP lysimeters that we designed for in-situ continuous measuring and estimating of drainage water below the rootzone of a sugarbeet-potato-barley rotation under two irrigation frequencies. Twelve automated PCAPs with sampling surface dimensions of 31 cm width * 91 cm long and 87 cm in height were placed 90 cm below the soil surface in a Lihen sandy loam. Our state-of-the-art design incorporated Bluetooth wireless technology to enable an automated datalogger to transmit drainage water data simultaneously every 15 minutes to a remote host and had a greater efficiency than other types of lysimeters. It also offered a significantly larger coverage area (2700 cm2) than similarly designed vadose zone lysimeters. The cumulative manually extracted drainage water was compared with the cumulative volume of drainage water recorded by the datalogger from the tipping bucket using several statistical methods. Our results indicated that our automated PCAPs are accurate and provided convenient means for estimating water drainage in the vadose zone without the need for costly and manually time-consuming supportive systems.

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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 3m from the detonation point, at four different depths and at three different time periods separated by 18months. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Model Fit to Experimental Data for Foam-Assisted Deep Vadose Zone Remediation

    SciTech Connect

    Roostapour, A.; Lee, G.; Zhong, Lirong; Kam, Seung I.

    2014-01-15

    Foam has been regarded as a promising means of remeidal amendment delivery to overcome subsurface heterogeneity in subsurface remediation processes. This study investigates how a foam model, developed by Method of Characteristics and fractional flow analysis in the companion paper of Roostapour and Kam (2012), can be applied to make a fit to a set of existing laboratory flow experiments (Zhong et al., 2009) in an application relevant to deep vadose zone remediation. This study reveals a few important insights regarding foam-assisted deep vadose zone remediation: (i) the mathematical framework established for foam modeling can fit typical flow experiments matching wave velocities, saturation history , and pressure responses; (ii) the set of input parameters may not be unique for the fit, and therefore conducting experiments to measure basic model parameters related to relative permeability, initial and residual saturations, surfactant adsorption and so on should not be overlooked; and (iii) gas compressibility plays an important role for data analysis, thus should be handled carefully in laboratory flow experiments. Foam kinetics, causing foam texture to reach its steady-state value slowly, may impose additional complications.

  10. Characterization of Contaminant Transport by Gravity, Capillarity and Barometric Pumping in Heterogeneous Vadose Zones

    SciTech Connect

    Carrigan, C R; Martins, S A; Ramirez, A L; Daily, W D; Hudson, G B; Ralsont, D; Ekwurzel, B

    2001-02-27

    This final report summarizes the work and accomplishments of our three-year project. We have pursued the concept of a Vadose-Zone Observatory (VZO) to provide the field laboratory necessary for carrying out the experiments required to achieve the goals of this research. Our approach has been (1) to carry out plume release experiments at a VZO allowing the acquisition of several different kinds of raw data that (2) are analyzed and evaluated with the aid of highly detailed, diagnostic numerical models. The key feature of the VZO constructed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) is the variety of plume-tracking techniques that can be used at a single location. Electric resistance tomography (ERT) uses vertical arrays of electrodes across the vadose zone that can monitor electrical resistance changes in the soil as a plume moves downward to the water table. These resistance changes can be used to provide ''snapshots'' of the progress of the plume. Additionally, monitoring wells have been completed at multiple levels in the vicinity of a central infiltration site. Sensors emplaced at different levels include electrically conducting gypsum blocks for detecting saturation changes, thermistors for monitoring temperature changes and pressure transducers for observing barometric changes at different levels in the vadose regime. The data from these sensors are providing important information about the state of the gas- and liquid-phase dynamics of the infiltration process. Similarly, access ports at different levels have been used to supply gas-phase samples while lysimeters yield liquid-phase samples. Studies involving gas-phase tracers were carried out at LLNL and at an Orange County Water District site in southern California to evaluate the time-dependent chemical signature of a plume that was spiked with an array of dissolved noble-gas tracers. Our work also correlate chemical signatures with those of the above-mentioned sensors that track the physical changes

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-02-28

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. LNAPL infiltration in the vadose zone: Comparisons of physical and numerical simulations

    SciTech Connect

    Pantazidou, M.

    1995-03-01

    The numerical model T2VOC was used to reproduce light, nonaqueous phase liquid (LNAPL) infiltration scenarios in the vadose zone. The numerical modeling results were compared to results from laboratory experiments simulating LNAPL spills in the vadose zone. Laboratory measurements included results from one-dimensional column and two-dimensional tank experiments using uniform sands of varying average grain sizes. The constitutive relationships for the sands were obtained from the one-dimensional experiments. The two-dimensional experiments simulated leakage of kerosene under constant head. The sensitivity of the numerical results to the constitutive relationships used and the specified boundary conditions was examined. For this purpose two different capillary pressure-saturation relationships were used for the same sand and both constant head and constant flux conditions were obtained for the two capillary pressure curves used. The constant flux boundary conditions produced a much better prediction. At the initial stages of infiltration the results for both capillary pressure curves were similar and in good agreement with the experimental results. However, as the LNAPL front approaches the capillary fringe the choice of the capillary pressure curve was found to influence the results.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Towards water content monitoring in the vadose zone from active seismic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bodet, Ludovic; Dangeard, Marine; Pasquet, Sylvain; Guérin, Roger; Jougnot, Damien; Longuevergne, Laurent; Rivière, Agnès; Thiesson, Julien

    2017-04-01

    V P/V S or Poison's ratio classically permit imaging fluids in rocks but this strategy remains underused in near-surface applications, hence in hydrogeophysics. Yet, P-wave refraction tomography and surface-wave dispersion inversion can be combined to produce 2D V P and V S sections from a single acquisition set up. This approach recently proved to be efficient in the study of various hydrosystems and in the imaging of the Critical Zone. We now suggest its time-lapse application in order to help the monitoring of water content in the vadose zone/aquifer continuum. With both laboratory experiments and field data, we show how the temporal variations of P-wave travel times and surface-wave dispersion are strongly associated to the variations of water content observed locally, thus encouraging to exploit the full wealth of seismic signals in hydrogeophysics.

  18. Delineation of groundwater potential zone: An AHP/ANP approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Agarwal, Etishree; Agarwal, Rajat; Garg, R. D.; Garg, P. K.

    2013-06-01

    The sustainable development and management of groundwater resource requires precise quantitative assessment based on scientific principle and modern techniques. In the present study, groundwater potential zone are delineated using remote sensing, geographical information system (GIS) and multi-criteria decision making (MCDM) techniques in Unnao district, Uttar Pradesh. The analytical network process (ANP) is a method that makes it possible for one to deal systematically, and includes the analytical hierarchy process (AHP) as a special case. The AHP and ANP are used to determine the weights of various themes and their classes for identifying the groundwater potential zone. These weights are applied in a linear combination to obtain five different groundwater potential zone in the study area, namely `very poor', `poor', `moderate', `good' and `very good'. It has been concluded that about 153.39 km2 area has very good groundwater potential which is only 3.37% of the total study area. However, the area having very poor groundwater potential is about 850 km2 which is about 19.63% of the study area. The area having good, moderate and poor groundwater potential is about 540.25, 1135.5, 1868.6 km2, respectively. The groundwater potential zone map was finally verified using the well yield data of 37 pumping wells, and the result was found satisfactory.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Natural analogues for processes affecting disposal of high-level radioactive waste in the vadose zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stuckless, J. S.

    2003-04-01

    Natural analogues can contribute to understanding and predicting the performance of subsystems and processes affecting a mined geologic repository for high-level radioactive waste in several ways. Most importantly, analogues provide tests for various aspects of systems of a repository at dimensional scales and time spans that cannot be attained by experimental study. In addition, they provide a means for the general public to judge the predicted performance of a potential high-level nuclear waste repository in familiar terms such that the average person can assess the anticipated long-term performance and other scientific conclusions. Hydrologists working on the Yucca Mountain Project (currently the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Repository Development) have modeled the flow of water through the vadose zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada and particularly the interaction of vadose-zone water with mined openings. Analogues from both natural and anthropogenic examples confirm the prediction that most of the water moving through the vadose zone will move through the host rock and around tunnels. This can be seen both quantitatively where direct comparison between seepage and net infiltration has been made and qualitatively by the excellent degree of preservation of archaeologic artifacts in underground openings. The latter include Paleolithic cave paintings in southwestern Europe, murals and artifacts in Egyptian tombs, painted subterranean Buddhist temples in India and China, and painted underground churches in Cappadocia, Turkey. Natural analogues also suggest that this diversion mechanism is more effective in porous media than in fractured media. Observations from natural analogues are also consistent with the modeled decrease in the percentage of infiltration that becomes seepage with a decrease in amount of infiltration. Finally, analogues, such as tombs that have ben partially filled by mud flows, suggest that the same capillary forces that keep water in the

  9. 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

  10. An Exact Solution for the Assessment of Nonequilibrium Sorption of Radionuclides in the Vadose Zone

    SciTech Connect

    Drake, R. L.; Chen, J-S.

    2002-02-26

    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 rate, many of the numerical results derived from HYDRUS indicated that the nonequilibrium sorption sites, in essence, acted as equilibrium sorption sites. To help explain these results, we considered a ''stripped-down'' version of the HYDRUS system. This ''stripped-down'' version possesses two dependent variables, one for the radionuclides in solution and the other for the radionuclides adsorbed to the nonequilibrium sites; and it possesses constant physical parameters. The resultant governing equation for the radionuclides in solution is a linear, advection-dispersion-reaction (i.e., radioactive decay) partial differential equation containing a history integral term accounting for the nonequilibrium sorption sites. It is this ''stripped-down'' version, which is the subject of this paper. We found an exact solution to this new version of the model. The exact solution is given in terms of a single definite integral of terms involving elementary functions of the independent variables and the system parameters. This integral possesses adequate convergence properties and is easy to evaluate, both in a quantitative matter and in a qualitative manner. The parameters that are considered in the system are as follows: the radionuclide's equilibrium partition coefficient between water and soil, the bulk density of the soil, the fractions of equilibrium/nonequilibrium sorption sites, the volumetric water content, the first order equilibrium adsorption rate constant, the first order radioactive decay rate constant, the liquid water soil tortuosity factor, the molecular diffusion coefficient in water, the longitudinal dispersivity factor, and the Darcian fluid flux density. In addition, the system

  11. Delineation of capillary transition zone from ground penetrating radar data

    SciTech Connect

    Nguyen, B.L.; Bruining, J.; Slob, E.C.

    1996-12-31

    Spilled petroleum products spread laterally in the capillary transition zone above the water table. Ground Penetrating Radar is a technique that can potentially delineate the capillary transition zone as a varying water content strongly influences the reflected signal through its effect on the electrical properties. The vertical water distribution is determined on the pore scale by the grain size distribution and on the reservoir scale mainly by the permeability distribution. We use a fractional Brownian motion model to generate a permeability field that shows correlation over all scales. We derive the integral equations for the reflected signal from a inhomogeneous slab with a depth-dependent dielectric constant and electrical conductivity. The numerical solution of the equations allows us to compute the signal reflected from different sand profiles. The results show that the reflected signal is strongly influenced by both the grain size distribution and the variation in permeability. A strong frequency dependence is also observed. We conducted an experiment in a model tank to compare the result with the derived theories. All of these results are considered of importance for the interpretation of Ground Penetrating Radar data involving the capillary transition zone.

  12. 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.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  14. PRODUCTION AND TRANSPORT OF CARBON DIOXIDE IN A CONTAMINATED VADOSE ZONE: A STABLE AND RADIOACTIVE CARBON ISOTOPE STUDY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Analyses of soil gas compositions and stable and radioactive carbon isotopes in the vadose zone above an alluvial aquifer were conducted at an organic solvent disposal site in southeast Phoenix, AZ. The study investigated the source and movement of carbon dioxide above a plume of...

  15. 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.

  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. 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...

  18. PRODUCTION AND TRANSPORT OF CARBON DIOXIDE IN A CONTAMINATED VADOSE ZONE: A STABLE AND RADIOACTIVE CARBON ISOTOPE STUDY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Analyses of soil gas compositions and stable and radioactive carbon isotopes in the vadose zone above an alluvial aquifer were conducted at an organic solvent disposal site in southeast Phoenix, AZ. The study investigated the source and movement of carbon dioxide above a plume of...

  19. Data analysis for preliminary conceptual model design, Vadose Zone Monitoring System (VZMS), McClellan AFB. 1997 annual report

    SciTech Connect

    Zawislanski, P.T.; Oldenburg, C.M.

    1998-01-05

    Vadose zone investigations are being performed at site S-7 in IC 34, at McClellan AFB. At this location, a Vadose Zone Monitoring System (VZMS) is being used to collect subsurface data including hydraulic potential, soil gas pressure, moisture content, water chemistry, gas chemistry, and temperature. Although each individual data set is useful in improving the characterization of this contaminated site, the overall purpose of data collection is to provide input for the conceptual and numerical modeling of VOC transport in the vadose zone and the exchange of contaminants between the vadose zone and groundwater. In this report the authors submit a summary and preliminary analysis of the data collected through the end of 1997 and present it in the context of input for the impending modeling. This report merges findings from both the first and second half of 1997 and is presented as an annual report in lieu of two semi-annual reports, due to the fact that insufficient data had been collected up to mid June to allow a meaningful analysis.

  20. 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.

  1. The Cambric Ditch at the Nevada Test Site as a Long-term Vadose Zone Test Bed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tompson, A. F.; Hunt, J. R.; Hudson, G. B.

    2004-12-01

    Atomic weapons testing at the Nevada Test Site introduced many tracers for quantifying hydrologic transport processes in arid climates. The particular experiment at the Cambric site in Frenchman Flat represents an ongoing 29-year field test that could never be repeated and continues to offer opportunities for vadose zone studies. The Cambric test released the energy yield equivalent of 0.75 kt of TNT when it was detonated 294 m below the land surface and 73 m below the water table in Frenchman Flat in May 1965. Beginning in 1975, groundwater was pumped steadily from a well located 91 m from the detonation point in order to elicit information on radionuclide migration. The pumping well effluent was monitored, discharged to an unlined ditch, and allowed to flow towards a dry lake 1.6 km away. Approximately one third of this flow was lost to infiltration. Over the next 16 years, pumped groundwater was shown to contain tritium, fission products (technetium-99, iodine-129) and activation products (chlorine-36), all of which can be used to trace water flow in the vadose zone. Bromide was also added as an additional tracer into the ditch. Multi-year records exist for water migration in the shallow vadose zone along with temperature profiles. Over the course of the pumping experiment, vegetation developed in and near the ditch, providing an additional pathway for water loss by transpiration and selective radionuclide transport. Significant water has not flowed in the ditch since 1991 and the site remains an ideal analog site for the studying drying in arid climates, the adaptability of vegetation under changing water conditions, and the use of helium-3 as a tracer of soil-atmosphere exchange and vadose zone - groundwater interactions. In addition, there is evidence that tritiated water and chlorine-36 have infiltrated over 200 meters vertically in the vadose zone and have become a source term for groundwater contamination. The Cambric Ditch remains as a field site ideally

  2. 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?

  3. 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.

  4. An analytical solution for estimating percolation rate by fitting temperature profiles in the Vadose Zone

    SciTech Connect

    Shan, Chao; Bodvarsson, Gudmundur

    2003-03-11

    We present a simple analytical solution for one dimensional steady heat transfer with convection and conduction through a multi-layer system such as a vadose zone. We assume that each layer is homogeneous and has a constant thermal diffusivity. The mass/heat flow direction is perpendicular to the layers, and the mass flow rate is a constant. The analytical solution presented in this study also assumes constant known temperatures at the two boundaries of the system. Although the analytical solution gives the temperature as a function of a few parameters, we focus on the inverse application to estimate the percolation rate to high degree of accuracy (e.g., to mm/y). In some other cases the solution may also be helpful in characterizing potential lateral flow along layer divides.

  5. 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.

  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. 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?

  8. A Hydrologic-Geophysical Method for Characterizing Flow and Transport Processes within the Vadose Zone

    SciTech Connect

    Alumbaugh, David L.; Brainard, James R.

    2004-06-30

    The research objective of this project is to analyze the resolution of two different geophysical imaging techniques (electrical resistivity tomography and cross-borehole ground penetrating radar) for monitoring subsurface flow and transport processes within the vadose zone. This is being accomplished through a coupled approach involving large scale unsaturated flow modeling, petrophysical conversion of the resulting hydrologic properties to a geophysical property model and generation of synthetic geophysical data, followed by the inversion of the synthetic geophysical data. The resolution, benefits, and limitations of the geophysical techniques will then be ascertained through analysis and comparison of the images to the original hydrologic model. In addition, increasing levels of complexity will be added to the models as the project progresses through the addition of heterogeneity in the original hydrologic property model, and through uncertainty in the petrophysical relationship that couples the geophysical model to the hydrologic simulation.

  9. Use of Data Layering to Address Changes in Nitrogen Management Zone Delineation

    Treesearch

    D.W. Franzen; T. Nanna

    2006-01-01

    Use of N management zones appears to be a practical method of revealing dominant patterns of residual soil nitrate in North Dakota crop fields, where fall soil nitrate sampling is a common N management tool. Delineation of zone boundaries to date has been a largely subjective process. A weighted, classified method of delineating nitrogen management zones is presented....

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Vadose Zone and Surficial Monitoring a Controlled Release of Methane in the Borden Aquifer, Ontario.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forde, O.; Mayer, K. U.; Cahill, A.; Parker, B. L.; Cherry, J. A.

    2015-12-01

    Development of shale gas resources and potential impacts on groundwater and fugitive gas emissions necessitates further research on subsurface methane gas (CH4) migration and fate. To address this issue, a controlled release experiment is undertaken at the Borden research aquifer, Ontario, Canada. Due to low solubility, it is expected that the injection will lead to gas exsolution and ebullition. Gas migration is expected to extend to the unsaturated zone and towards the ground surface, and may possibly be affected by CH4 oxidation. The project consists of multiple components targeting the saturated zone, unsaturated zone, and gas emissions at the ground surface. This presentation will focus on the analysis of surficial CO2 and CH4 effluxes and vadose zone gas composition to track the temporal and spatial evolution of fugitive gas. Surface effluxes are measured with flux chambers connected to a laser-based gas analyzer, and subsurface gas samples are being collected via monitoring wells equipped with sensors for oxygen, volumetric water content, electrical conductivity, and temperature to correlate with changes in gas composition. First results indicate rapid migration of CH4 to the ground surface in the vicinity of the injection locations. We will present preliminary data from this experiment and evaluate the distribution and rate of gas migration. This research specifically assesses environmental risks associated with fugitive gas emissions related to shale gas resource development.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Importance of the Vadose Zone in Analyses of Unconfined Aquifer Tests

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Moench, A.F.

    2004-01-01

    Analytical models commonly used to interpret unconfined aquifer tests have been based on upper-boundary (water table) conditions that do not adequately address effects of time-varying drainage from the vadose zone. As a result, measured and simulated drawdown data may not agree and hydraulic parameters may be inaccurately estimated. A 72-hour aquifer test conducted in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, in a slightly heterogeneous, coarse-grained, glacial outwash deposit was found to be a good candidate for testing models with different upper-boundary conditions. In general, under the commonly invoked assumption of instantaneous drainage, measured and simulated draw-downs were found to agree with one another only at late time and early time. In the intermediate-time range, because of delayed drainage, measured drawdowns always exceeded simulated values, most noticeably in piezometers located near the water table. To reduce these discrepancies, an analytical model was developed that can fully account for time-varying drainage given that the aquifer is not strongly heterogeneous. The approach is flexible as the model, which makes use of empirical relations, does not constrain drainage to follow any particular functional relation. By this approach, measured and simulated drawdowns agree over the complete time range, and the estimated parameters are consistent with prior studies and with what is known about the aquifer geometry, stratigraphy, and composition. By properly accounting for vadose zone drainage, it was found that realistic estimates of all hydraulic parameters, including specific yield, could be obtained with or without the use of late-time data.

  18. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, X.; Shen, X.; Zhong, L.; Zhao, L.; Ding, Y.

    2010-12-01

    In-situ immobilization that involves delivering remedial amendments to contaminated locales is an attractive remediation strategy for deep vadose zone contamination. Foam delivery of remedial amendments 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. The microsphere concentrations in the foams generated from the solutions of six commonly available surfactants were nearly the same as in the original foaming solutions, indicating the foams 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 microsphere 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 (foam concentrations >70% of the concentrations in the stock foaming suspensions) at stock suspension concentrations relevant to field remediation conditions. As such, this study demonstrates that surfactant foam is potentially a promising vehicle to deliver nanoparticles for vadose zone remediation.

  20. 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.

  1. Technical note: mesocosm approach to quantification of carbon dioxide fluxes across the vadose zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thaysen, E. M.; Jessen, S.; Ambus, P.; Beier, C.; Postma, D.; Jakobsen, I.

    2013-06-01

    Carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes in the vadose zone are influenced by a complex interplay of biological, chemical and physical factors. A soil mesocosm system was designed to assess the effect of agricultural practices on carbon fluxes within and out of the vadose zone at controlled environmental conditions. Carbon dioxide partial pressure (pCO2), alkalinity, soil moisture and temperature were measured with depth and time, and DIC in the percolate was quantified using a sodium hydroxide trap. Results showed good reproducibility between two replicate mesocosms. The pCO2 varied between 0.2-1.1% and alkalinity was 0.1-0.6 meq L-1. The measured effluent DIC flux was 185-196 mg L-1 m-2 and in the same range as estimates derived from pCO2 and alkalinity in samples extracted from the side of the mesocosm column, and the water flux. The relatively small variation provides confidence that the mesocosm system is a promising tool for studying a~range of processes in unsaturated environments. Meanwhile, high suction at the mesocosm bottom applied to reduce water ponding during intensive irrigation caused degassing of dissolved CO2 from the water phase just below the outlet, leading to diffusion of dissolved CO2 across the lower boundary. Though not influencing DIC flux measurements to the groundwater, this lead to a lowering of the pCO2 in the stagnant water at the mesocosm bottom. A free-drainage boundary is suggested in order to avoid this effect.

  2. Importance of the vadose zone in analyses of unconfined aquifer tests.

    PubMed

    Moench, Allen F

    2004-01-01

    Analytical models commonly used to interpret unconfined aquifer tests have been based on upper-boundary (water table) conditions that do not adequately address effects of time-varying drainage from the vadose zone. As a result, measured and simulated drawdown data may not agree and hydraulic parameters may be inaccurately estimated. A 72-hour aquifer test conducted in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, in a slightly heterogeneous, coarse-grained, glacial outwash deposit was found to be a good candidate for testing models with different upper-boundary conditions. In general, under the commonly invoked assumption of instantaneous drainage, measured and simulated drawdowns were found to agree with one another only at late time and early time. In the intermediate-time range, because of delayed drainage, measured drawdowns always exceeded simulated values, most noticeably in piezometers located near the water table. To reduce these discrepancies, an analytical model was developed that can fully account for time-varying drainage given that the aquifer is not strongly heterogeneous. The approach is flexible as the model, which makes use of empirical relations, does not constrain drainage to follow any particular functional relation. By this approach, measured and simulated drawdowns agree over the complete time range, and the estimated parameters are consistent with prior studies and with what is known about the aquifer geometry, stratigraphy, and composition. By properly accounting for vadose zone drainage, it was found that realistic estimates of all hydraulic parameters, including specific yield, could be obtained with or without the use of late-time data.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Unintentional contaminant transfer from groundwater to the vadose zone during source zone remediation of volatile organic compounds.

    PubMed

    Chong, Andrea D; Mayer, K Ulrich

    2017-09-01

    Historical heavy use of chlorinated solvents in conjunction with improper disposal practices and accidental releases has resulted in widespread contamination of soils and groundwater in North America and worldwide. As a result, remediation of chlorinated solvents is required at many sites. For source zone treatment, common remediation strategies include in-situ chemical oxidation (ISCO) using potassium or sodium permanganate, and the enhancement of biodegradation by primary substrate addition. It is well known that these remediation methods tend to generate gas (carbon dioxide (CO2) in the case of ISCO using permanganate, CO2 and methane (CH4) in the case of bioremediation). Vigorous gas generation in the presence of chlorinated solvents, which are categorized as volatile organic contaminants (VOCs), may cause gas exsolution, ebullition and stripping of the contaminants from the treatment zone. This process may lead to unintentional 'compartment transfer', whereby VOCs are transported away from the contaminated zone into overlying clean sediments and into the vadose zone. To this extent, benchtop column experiments were conducted to quantify the effect of gas generation during remediation of the common chlorinated solvent trichloroethylene (TCE/C2Cl3H). Both ISCO and enhanced bioremediation were considered as treatment methods. Results show that gas exsolution and ebullition occurs for both remediation technologies. Facilitated by ebullition, TCE was transported from the source zone into overlying clean groundwater and was subsequently released into the column headspace. For the case of enhanced bioremediation, the intermediate degradation product vinyl chloride (VC) was also stripped from the treatment zone. The concentrations measured in the headspace of the columns (TCE ∼300ppm in the ISCO column, TCE ∼500ppm and VC ∼1380ppm in the bioremediation column) indicate that substantial transfer of VOCs to the vadose zone is possible. These findings provide

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Evolution of REDOX Tank Waste Plumes in Hanford Vadose Zone: A Conceptual Model Developed Through Reactive Transport Studies

    SciTech Connect

    Wan, Jiamin; Tokunaga, Tetsu K.; Larsen, Joern T.; Zheng, Zuoping

    2003-03-27

    Decisions on remedial actions for leakage of highly radioactive tank waste solutions at the Hanford Site will depend highly on understanding of the current distribution and future migration of contaminants in the subsurface. The geochemical data obtained from borehole drilling at SX tank farm in the 200 Area, by Tank Farm Vadose Zone Characterization Project of the U.S. Department of Energy, revealed valuable insights as well as some results that challenge our basic understanding of waste plume evolution. In response to these needs and challenges, we have been investigating reactive transport of tank waste solutions in Hanford sediments through laboratory column experiments combined with geochemical modeling. Analyses of solid and aqueous phases within different zones of contaminant plumes, along with thermodynamic predictions provide the basis for our conceptual model. This model reveals the primary processes controlling evolution of REDOX waste plumes in the Hanford vadose zone.

  12. 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

  13. Vadose zone controls on damping of climate-induced transient recharge fluxes in U.S. agroecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gurdak, Jason

    2017-04-01

    Understanding the physical processes in the vadose zone that link climate variability with transient recharge fluxes has particular relevance for the sustainability of groundwater-supported irrigated agriculture and other groundwater-dependent ecosystems. Natural climate variability on interannual to multidecadal timescales has well-documented influence on precipitation, evapotranspiration, soil moisture, infiltration flux, and can augment or diminish human stresses on water resources. Here the behavior and damping depth of climate-induced transient water flux in the vadose zone is explored. The damping depth is the depth in the vadose zone that the flux variation damps to 5% of the land surface variation. Steady-state recharge occurs when the damping depth is above the water table, and transient recharge occurs when the damping depth is below the water table. Findings are presented from major agroecosystems of the United States (U.S.), including the High Plains, Central Valley, California Coastal Basin, and Mississippi Embayment aquifer systems. Singular spectrum analysis (SSA) is used to identify quasi-periodic signals in precipitation and groundwater time series that are coincident with the Arctic Oscillation (AO) (6-12 mo cycle), Pacific/North American oscillation (PNA) (<1-4 yr cycle), El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) (2-7 yr cycle), North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) (3-6 yr cycle), Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) (15-30 yr cycle), and Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) (50-70 yr cycle). SSA results indicate that nearly all of the quasi-periodic signals in the precipitation and groundwater levels have a statistically significant lag correlation (95% confidence interval) with the AO, PNA, ENSO, NAO, PDO, and AMO indices. Results from HYDRUS-1D simulations indicate that transient water flux through the vadose zone are controlled by highly nonlinear interactions between mean infiltration flux and infiltration period related to the modes of climate

  14. Delineating and quantifying ground water discharge zones using streambed temperatures.

    PubMed

    Conant, Brewster

    2004-01-01

    Streambed temperature mapping, hydraulic testing using minipiezometers, and geochemical analyses of interstitial water of the streambed were used to delineate the pattern of ground water discharge in a sandy streambed and to develop a flux-based conceptual model for ground water/surface water interactions. A new and simple empirical method was used to relate fluxes obtained from minipiezometer data to streambed temperatures. The relationship allowed flux to be calculated at locations where only streambed temperature measurements were made. Slug testing and potentiomanometer measurements at 34 piezometers indicated ground water discharge ranged from 0.03 to 446 L/m2/day (and possibly as high as 7060 L/m2/day) along a 60 m long by 11 to 14 m wide reach of river. Complex but similar plan-view patterns of flux were calculated for both summer and winter using hundreds of streambed temperatures measured on a 1 by 2 m grid. The reach was dominated by ground water discharge and 5% to 7% of the area accounted for approximately 20% to 24% of the total discharge. < 12% of the total area consisted of recharge zones or no-discharge zones. A conceptual model for ground water/surface water interactions consisting of five different behaviors was developed based on the magnitude and direction of flux across the surface of the streambed. The behaviors include short-circuit discharge (e.g., high-flow springs), high discharge (e.g., preferential flowpaths), low to moderate discharge, no discharge (e.g., horizontal hyporheic or ground water flow), and recharge. Geological variations at depth played a key role in determining which type of flow behavior occurred in the streambed.

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-22

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-08-01

    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.

  18. 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

  19. Multiple lines of evidence to demonstrate vinyl chloride aerobic biodegradation in the vadose zone, and factors controlling rates.

    PubMed

    Patterson, B M; Aravena, R; Davis, G B; Furness, A J; Bastow, T P; Bouchard, D

    2013-10-01

    A field-based investigation was conducted at a contaminated site where the vadose zone was contaminated with a range of chlorinated hydrocarbons. The investigation consisted of groundwater and multilevel soil-gas monitoring of a range of contaminants and gases, along with isotope measurements and microbiology studies. The investigation provided multiple lines of evidence that demonstrated aerobic biodegradation of vinyl chloride (VC) was occurring in the vadose zone (i) above the on-site source zone, and (ii) above the downgradient off-site groundwater plume location. Data from both the on-site and off-site locations were consistent in showing substantially greater (an order of magnitude greater) rates of VC removal from the aerobic vadose zone compared to more recalcitrant contaminants trichloroethene (TCE) and tetrachloroethene (PCE). Soil gas VC isotope analysis showed substantial isotopic enrichment of VC (δ¹³C -5.2 to -10.9‰) compared to groundwater (δ¹³C -39.5‰) at the on-site location. Soil gas CO₂ isotope analysis at both locations showed that CO₂ was highly isotopically depleted (δ¹³C -28.8 to -33.3‰), compared to soil gas CO₂ data originating from natural sediment organic matter (δ¹³C= -14.7 to -21.3‰). The soil gas CO2 δ¹³C values were consistent with near-water table VC groundwater δ¹³C values (-36.8 to -39.5‰), suggesting CO₂ originating from aerobic biodegradation of VC. Bacteria that had functional genes (ethene monooxygenase (etnC) and epoxyalkane transferase (etnE)) involved in ethene metabolism and VC oxidation were more abundant at the source zone where oxygen co-existed with VC. The distribution of VC and oxygen vadose zone vapour plumes, together with long-term changes in soil gas CO₂ concentrations and temperature, provided information to elucidate the factors controlling aerobic biodegradation of VC in the vadose zone. Based on the overlapping VC and oxygen vadose zone vapour plumes, aerobic vapour

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Interpretation of vadose zone monitoring system data near Engineered Trench 1

    SciTech Connect

    Flach, G. P.; Whiteside, T. S.

    2016-12-12

    The E-Area Vadose Zone Monitoring System (VZMS) includes lysimeter sampling points at many locations alongside and angling beneath the Engineered Trench #1 (ET1) disposal unit footprint. The sampling points for ET1 were selected for this study because collectively they showed consistently higher tritium (H-3) concentrations than lysimeters associated with other trench units. The VZMS tritium dataset for ET1 from 2001 through 2015 comprises concentrations at or near background levels at approximately half of locations through time, concentrations up to about 600 pCi/mL at a few locations, and concentrations at two locations that have exceeded 1000 pCi/mL. The highest three values through 2015 were 6472 pCi/mL in 2014 and 4533 pCi/mL in 2013 at location VL-17, and 3152 pCi/mL in 2007 at location VL-15. As a point of reference, the drinking water standard for tritium and a DOE Order 435.1 performance objective in the saturated zone at the distant 100-meter facility perimeter is 20 pCi/mL. The purpose of this study is to assess whether these elevated concentrations are indicative of a general trend that could challenge 2008 E-Area Performance Assessment (PA) conclusions, or are isolated perturbations that when considered in the context of an entire disposal unit would support PA conclusions.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Physical controls on septic leachate movement in the vadose zone at the hillslope scale, Putnam County, New York, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sherlock, Mark D.; McDonnell, Jeffrey J.; Curry, Debra S.; Zumbuhl, Albert T.

    2002-09-01

    The fate and transport of contaminants in the vicinity of septic fields remains poorly understood in many hydrogeomorphological environments. We report hydrometric data from an intensive hillslope-scale experiment conducted between 29 August and 11 November 1998 at a residential leach field in New York State. The objective of our study was to characterize water flux within the vadose zone, understand the physical controls on the flux, and predict how this ultimately will affect subsurface water quality. Soil-water flux was calculated using matric potential measurements from a network of 25 tensiometer nests, each nest consisting of three tensiometers installed to depths of 10, 50 and 130 cm. Unsaturated hydraulic conductivity curves were derived at each depth from field-determined time-domain reflectometry-tensiometry moisture-release curves and borehole permeametry measurements. Flownets indicated that a strong upward flux of soil water occurred between rainstorms. Following the onset of (typically convective) rainfall, low near-surface matric potentials were rapidly converted to near-saturated and saturated conditions, promoting steep vertical gradients through the near-surface horizons of the hillslope. Lateral hydraulic gradients were typically 10 times smaller than the vertical gradients. Resultant flow vectors showed that the flux was predominantly vertical through the vadose zone, and that the flux response to precipitation was short-lived. The flux response was controlled primarily by the shape of the unsaturated hydraulic conductivity curves, which indicated a rapid loss of conductivity below saturation. Thus, soil water had a very high residence time in the vadose zone. The absence of rapid wetting at 130 cm and the delayed and small phreatic zone response to rainfall indicated that water movement through macropores did not occur on this hillslope. These results are consistent with a Cl tracing experiment, which demonstrated that the tracer was retained

  6. 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

  7. Petrophysical characteristics of basalt in the vadose zone, Idaho National Engineering Laboratory, Eastern Snake River Plain, Idaho

    SciTech Connect

    Knutson, C.F.; Harrison, W.E.; Smith, R.P.

    1989-01-01

    We have used a core characterization system to measure bulk densities, porosities, and permeabilities of basalt lavas from the vadose zone at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL). At the INEL, basalt lava flows with intercalated alluvial, aeolian, and lacustrine sediments extend to depths of one kilometer or more. Individual lava flows are generally less than 15 meters thick and commonly have vesicular tops and bottoms with massive basalt in their interiors. Petrophysical characterization is essential to an understanding of fluid movement in the vadose zone and in the saturated zone. Many hundreds of closely spaced permeability/porosity/bulk density measurements have defined the variability of these parameters within and between individual basalt flows. Based on geological logging and porosity/permeability measurements made on many hundred feet of core, we feel that a rather sophisticated and rigorous logging program is necessary to characterize these complex and highly variable basaltic flow units. This paper endeavors to provide a petrophysical/geological conceptual model of the Snake River Plain basalts from the vadose zone under the Radioactive Waste Management Complex area at the INEL. We hope that this model will aid in subsequent geotechnical logging in this portion of the Eastern Snake River Plain. 8 refs., 14 figs., 2 tabs.

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Chromium speciation and mobility in a high level nuclear waste vadose zone plume

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zachara, John M.; Ainsworth, Calvin C.; Brown, Gordon E.; Catalano, Jeffrey G.; McKinley, James P.; Qafoku, Odeta; Smith, Steven C.; Szecsody, James E.; Traina, Sam J.; Warner, Jeffrey A.

    2004-01-01

    Radioactive core samples containing elevated concentrations of Cr from a high level nuclear waste plume in the Hanford vadose zone were studied to asses the future mobility of Cr. Cr(VI) is an important subsurface contaminant at the Hanford Site. The plume originated in 1969 by leakage of self-boiling supernate from a tank containing REDOX process waste. The supernate contained high concentrations of alkali (NaOH ≈ 5.25 mol/L), salt (NaNO 3/NaNO 2 >10 mol/L), aluminate [Al(OH) 4- = 3.36 mol/L], Cr(VI) (0.413 mol/L), and 137Cs + (6.51 × 10 -5 mol/L). Water and acid extraction of the oxidized subsurface sediments indicated that a significant portion of the total Cr was associated with the solid phase. Mineralogic analyses, Cr valence speciation measurements by X-ray adsorption near edge structure (XANES) spectroscopy, and small column leaching studies were performed to identify the chemical retardation mechanism and leachability of Cr. While X-ray diffraction detected little mineralogic change to the sediments from waste reaction, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) showed that mineral particles within 5 m of the point of tank failure were coated with secondary, sodium aluminosilicate precipitates. The density of these precipitates decreased with distance from the source (e.g., beyond 10 m). The XANES and column studies demonstrated the reduction of 29-75% of the total Cr to insoluble Cr(III), and the apparent precipitation of up to 43% of the Cr(VI) as an unidentified, non-leachable phase. Both Cr(VI) reduction and Cr(VI) precipitation were greater in sediments closer to the leak source where significant mineral alteration was noted by SEM. These and other observations imply that basic mineral hydrolysis driven by large concentrations of OH - in the waste stream liberated Fe(II) from the otherwise oxidizing sediments that served as a reductant for CrO 42-. The coarse-textured Hanford sediments contain silt-sized mineral phases (biotite, clinochlore, magnetite, and

  15. 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

  16. Infiltration Experiment to Determine Vadose Zone Hydrologic Properties of a Stony Sediment Sequence Incorporating Geophysical Methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thoma, M. J.; Barrash, W.; Bradford, J. H.

    2011-12-01

    A 5-day infiltration/recovery experiment was conducted in August 2011 at the Boise Hydrogeophysical Research Site (BHRS) to quantify variably-saturated flow behavior and parameterize moisture-tension-hydraulic conductivity relationships in an unconsolidated stony sediment sequence using hydrologic and geophysical methods. It is difficult to study hydrologic properties and behavior of such very coarse sediments in the lab primarily due to difficulty in obtaining coherent and representative samples, and difficulty in establishing effective hydrologic communication between instruments and samples. From geophysical monitoring and coring at the BHRS, we have identified a 5 m x 5 m x 2 m volume with consistent layered stratigraphy and have installed tensiometer nests and a neutron access tube to capture paired profile measurements of tension and moisture content in the vadose zone under natural conditions and during the test. Prior to the experiment, we used drilling logs, core samples, soil tension and moisture profiles, and ground-penetrating radar to determine 3D distribution and lithology of stratigraphic units. Grain-size distribution from core data, laboratory infiltration experiments on core sections, and inversion of tension and moisture response to natural rain events were used to estimate hydraulic properties, including van Genuchten parameters, porosity, and saturated hydraulic conductivity. Pre-test modeling with HYDRUS 1D was used to estimate "rain" application rate and duration required to reach steady-state and predict soil moisture / tension responses. Commercially available water misters were used to apply water over a 2 m by 5 m test area at a constant rate of ~1 cm/hr until steady-state, partially-saturated flow conditions were established through the entire 1.5 m vadose zone. After reaching steady-state, recovery was monitored for 3 days. Wetting front migration during infiltration and soil moisture redistribution after infiltration were observed

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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).

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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. © 2014, National GroundWater Association.

  9. Conceptual model of the geometry and physics of water flow in a fractured basalt vadose zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faybishenko, Boris; Doughty, Christine; Steiger, Michael; Long, Jane C. S.; Wood, Thomas R.; Jacobsen, Janet S.; Lore, Jason; Zawislanski, Peter T.

    2000-12-01

    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. The infiltration tests included one 2-week test in 1996, three 2-day tests in 1997, and one 4-day test in 1997. For the various tests, initial infiltration rates ranged from 4.1 cm/d (4.75 ×10-7 m/s) to 17.7 cm/d (2.05×10-7 m/s) and then decreased with time, presumably because of mechanical or microbiological clogging of fractures and esicular basalt 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 shows 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 occurs through the largest vertical fractures, followed by a gradual wetting of other fractures and the basalt matrix. 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 takes place within horizontal fracture and rubble zones, enabling development of perched water bodies.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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).

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  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. 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

    2013-03-05

    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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Quantifying Vadose Zone Flow and Transport Uncertainties Using a Unified, Hierarchical Approach

    SciTech Connect

    Meyer, Philip D.; Murray, Christopher J.; Rockhold, Mark L.; Schaap, Marcel

    2002-06-01

    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 unsampled locations from field-measured water content data and scale-mean hydraulic parameters determined from available site characterization data. Neural network methods are being developed to estimate soil hydraulic parameters from more easily measured physical property data such as bulk density, organic matter content, and percentages of sand, silt, and clay (or particle-size distributions). Field water content distributions are being estimated using various geophysical methods including neutron moderation, ground-penetrating radar, and electrical resistance tomography. One of the primary goals of this research is to determine relationships between the type of data used in model parameterization, the quantity of data available, the scale of the measurement, and the uncertainty in predictions of flow and transport using these methods. Evaluation of the relationships between available data, scale, and uncertainty are using data from a large-scale, controlled field experiment.

  7. Quantifying Vadose Zone Flow and Transport Uncertainties Using a Unified, Hierarchical Approach

    SciTech Connect

    Meyer, Philip D.; Murray, Chris J.; Rockhold, Mark L.

    2001-06-01

    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 unsampled locations from field-measured water content data and scale-mean hydraulic parameters determined from available site characterization data. Neural network methods are being developed to estimate soil hydraulic parameters from more easily measured physical property data such as bulk density, organic matter content, and percentages of sand, silt, and clay (or particle-size distributions). Field water content distributions are being estimated using various geophysical methods including neutron moderation, ground-penetrating radar, and electrical resistance tomography. One of the primary goals of this research is to determine relationships between the type of data used in model parameterization, th e quantity of data available, the scale of the measurement, and the uncertainty in predictions of flow and transport using these methods. Evaluation of the relationships between available data, scale, and uncertainty will use primarily existing data from large-scale, controlled experiments.

  8. 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.

  9. A comparison of models describing residual NAPL formation in the vadose zone

    SciTech Connect

    Oostrom, Mart; White, Mark D.; Lenhard, Robert J.; Van Geel, Paul; Wietsma, Thomas W.

    2005-02-01

    A major shortcoming of multifluid flow simulators is the inability to predict the retention of nonaqueous phase liquid (NAPL) in the vadose zone after long drainage periods. Recently, three theoretical models, Wipfler and Van Der Zee [J. Contam. Hydrol. 50 (2001); WVDZ model], Van Geel and Roy [J. Contam. Hydrol. 58 (2002); VGR model], and Lenhard et al. [J. Contam. Hydrol. (2004) In Press; LOD model] have been proposed for describing residual NAPL formation. The WVDZ model assumes a critical total liquid saturation below which all NAPL becomes residual. The VGR and LOD models are extensions of an existing hysteretic relative permeability ''saturation'' capillary pressure model and assume formation of residual NAPL during NAPL drainage and imbibition, respectively. In this paper, we compare model predictions against results of a series of static pressure cell experiments. We found no experimental evidence supporting the WVDZ concept of a critical total liquid saturation. The other two models yielded reasonable predictions. The VGR and LOD models were then incorporated into a multifluid flow simulator and simulations of two transient column experiments were conducted. Both models performed considerably better than simulations without considering the formation of residual NAPL, underwriting the importance of incorporating this process in simulators. Although the VGR and LOD models are based on different conceptual models, no clear performance differences could be observed when simulation results were compared against the transient experimental data.

  10. 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.

  11. Models to simulate preferential/nonequilibrium flow and transport in the vadose zone.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simunek, J.; van Genuchten, M. T.

    2004-12-01

    We present a new version of the HYDRUS code that includes various approaches for modeling preferential and nonequilibrium flow and transport in the vadose zone. Existing approaches differ in terms of their underlying assumptions and complexity. They range from relatively simplistic models to more complex physically based dual-porosity and dual-permeability type models. A relatively simple dual-porosity flow model results when the Richards equation is combined with composite equations for the hydraulic properties to account for both soil textural and soil structural effects on flow. The simplest nonequilibrium flow model, a single-porosity model, which distinguishes between actual and equilibrium water contents, is based on a formulation by Ross and Smettem (2000) that requires only one additional parameter to account for nonequilibrium. A more complex dual-porosity, mobile-immobile water flow model results when the Richards or kinematic wave equations are used for flow in the fractures, and immobile water is assumed to exist in the matrix. We also discuss various dual-permeability models, including the formulation of Gerke and van Genuchten (1993a) and the kinematic wave approach as used in the MACRO model of Jarvis (1994). These models differ mainly in the description of the flow in the macropores. Several examples and comparisons of equilibrium and various nonequilibrium flow and transport models are also provided.

  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. Underground Corrosion of Activated Metals in an Arid Vadose Zone Environment

    SciTech Connect

    Adler Flitton, M.K; Mizia, R.E.; Bishop, C.W.

    2001-10-24

    The subsurface radioactive disposal site located at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory contains neutron-activated metals from nonfuel nuclear-reactor- core components. A long-term corrosion test is being conducted to obtain site-specific corrosion rates to support efforts to more accurately estimate the transfer of activated elements in an arid vadose zone environment. The tests use nonradioactive metal coupons representing the prominent neutron-activated material buried at the disposal location, namely, Type 304L stainless steel, Type 315L stainless steel, nickel-chromium alloy (UNS NO7718), beryllium, aluminum 6061-T6, and a zirconium alloy, (UNS R60804). In addition, carbon steel (the material presently used in the cask disposal liners and other disposal containers) and a duplex stainless steel (UNS S32550) (the proposed material for the high- integrity disposal containers) are also included in the test program. This paper briefly describes the test program and presents the early corrosion rate results after 1 year and 3 years of underground exposure.

  14. Underground Corrosion of Activated Metals in an Arid Vadose Zone Environment

    SciTech Connect

    Adler Flitton, Mariana Kay; Mizia, Ronald Eugene; Bishop, Carolyn Wagoner

    2002-04-01

    The subsurface radioactive disposal site located at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory contains neutron-activated metals from nonfuel nuclear-reactor- core components. A long-term corrosion test is being conducted to obtain site-specific corrosion rates to support efforts to more accurately estimate the transfer of activated elements in an arid vadose zone environment. The tests use nonradioactive metal coupons representing the prominent neutron-activated material buried at the disposal location, namely, Type 304L stainless steel, Type 315L stainless steel, nickel-chromium alloy (UNS NO7718), beryllium, aluminum 6061-T6, and a zirconium alloy, (UNS R60804). In addition, carbon steel (the material presently used in the cask disposal liners and other disposal containers) and a duplex stainless steel (UNS S32550) (the proposed material for the high- integrity disposal containers) are also included in the test program. This paper briefly describes the test program and presents the early corrosion rate results after 1 year and 3 years of underground exposure.

  15. Newly recognized hosts for uranium in the Hanford Site vadose zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stubbs, Joanne E.; Veblen, Linda A.; Elbert, David C.; Zachara, John M.; Davis, James A.; Veblen, David R.

    2009-03-01

    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(UO 2) 2(PO 4) 2·8H 2O]; (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.

  16. Modeling potential vadose-zone transport of nitrogen from onsite wastewater systems at the development scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  17. 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.

  18. Flow dynamics and potential for Biodegradation of Organic Contaminants in Fractured Rock Vadose Zones

    SciTech Connect

    Geller, J.T.; Holman, H.-Y.; Su, T.-S.; Liou, M.S.; Conrad, M.S.; Pruess, K.; Hunter-Devera, J.C.

    1998-12-01

    We present an experimental approach for investigating the potential for bioremediation of volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) in fractured-rock vadose zones. This approach is based on the coupling of fluid flow dynamics and biotransformation processes. 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. Biological activity can change liquid surface tension and generate biofilms that may change the nettability of solid surfaces, locally alter fracture permeability and redirect infiltrating liquids. Our approach has four components: (1) establishing a conceptual model for fluid and contaminant distribution in the geologic matrix of interest; (2) physical and numerical experiments of liquid seepage in the fracture plane; (3) 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. The experimental work was performed with rock samples and indigenous microorganisms from the site of the US 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. The insights gained from this approach should contribute to the design of techniques to monitor and stimulate naturally occurring biological activity and control the spread of organic contaminants.

  19. 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.

  20. Effect of Hierarchical, Multi-Scale Heterogeneity on Long-Term Nitrate Transport in a Deep Vadose Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harter, T.; Botros, F.

    2008-12-01

    Worldwide, unconsolidated sedimentary basins provide a significant groundwater resource. Deep unsaturated zones are common within these sedimentary basins, particularly within arid and semi-arid climate zones with strong groundwater development. For the vertical flow and transport through these unsaturated sediments, two to three hierarchical heterogeneity scales can readily be identified: sedimentary sequences, sedimentary strata within a sequence, and within-stratum heterogeneity. Based on a detailed field reconnaissance, we developed three different representations of two-dimensional and three-dimensional water flow and nitrate transport in a 16 m thick alluvial unsaturated zone below an irrigated orchard in semi- arid Fresno County, California: The first model representation is a homogeneous lithofacies representation which explicitly identifies major textural facies within the unsaturated zone. The second is a heterogeneous lithofacies model which includes heterogeneity within each facies, where heterogeneity is represented by the scaling factor technique (single-parameter heterogeneity). The third is also a heterogeneous model where the heterogeneity in each lithofacies is characterized by random fields of each parameter in the van Genuchten soil hydraulic function (multi-parameter heterogeneity). Scaling factors and van Genuchten parameters are generated using a geostatistical model that is based on extensive field site borehole data and undisturbed core analyses. We compared the effect of the different modeling representations on water flow and nitrate transport during seven years of two different fertilization treatments. Estimated nitrate levels in the vadose zone and nitrate leaching to groundwater differ significantly between fertilizer treatments, yet are nearly identical between the three model representations and model dimensionality. In all cases, the deep vadose zone nitrate mass is at least four times larger than the measured nitrate mass at the

  1. 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

  2. Coupled effects of solution chemistry and hydrodynamics on the mobility and transport of quantum dot nanomaterials in the vadose zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uyusur, Burcu; Darnault, Christophe J. G.; Snee, Preston T.; Kokën, Emre; Jacobson, Astrid R.; Wells, Robert R.

    2010-11-01

    To investigate the coupled effects of solution chemistry and hydrodynamics on the mobility of quantum dot (QD) nanoparticles in the vadose zone, laboratory scale transport experiments involving single and/or sequential infiltrations of QDs in unsaturated and saturated porous media, and computations of total interaction and capillary potential energies were performed. As ionic strength increased, QD retention in the unsaturated porous media increased; however, this retention was significantly suppressed in the presence of a non-ionic surfactant in the infiltration suspensions as indicated by surfactant enhanced transport of QDs. In the vadose zone, the non-ionic surfactant limited the formation of QD aggregates, enhanced QD mobility and transport, and lowered the solution surface tension, which resulted in a decrease in capillary forces that not only led to a reduction in the removal of QDs, but also impacted the vadose zone flow processes. When chemical transport conditions were favorable (ionic strength of 5 × 10 -4 M and 5 × 10 -3 M, or ionic strengths of 5 × 10 -2 M and 0.5 M with surfactant), the dominating phenomena controlling the mobility and transport of QDs in the vadose zone were meso-scale processes, where infiltration by preferential flow results in the rapid transport of QDs. When chemical transport conditions were unfavorable (ionic strength of 5 × 10 -2 M and 0.5 M) the dominating phenomena controlling the mobility and transport of QDs in the vadose zone were pore-scale processes governed by gas-water interfaces (GWI) that impact the mobility of QDs. The addition of surfactant enhanced the transport of QDs both in favorable and unfavorable chemical transport conditions. The mobility and retention of QDs was controlled by interaction and capillary forces, with the latter being the most influential. GWI were found to be the dominant mechanism and site for QD removal compared with solid-water interfaces (SWI) and pore straining. Additionally

  3. Simple analytical models for interpretation of environmental tracer profiles in the vadose zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joshi, Bhaskar; Maulé, Charles

    2000-06-01

    Diffuse vadose zone soil-water flux is minuscule in semi-arid environments. Measurements of soil suction and hydraulic conductivity are prone to errors and their use leads to unreliable flux estimates. Often, unambiguous environmental tracer profiles are available in the unsaturated zone soil profile. They can be used to obtain robust estimates of the soil-water flux by applying simple analytical models. Environmental tracers are very suitable because they normally occur in small concentrations and do not disturb the natural flow system significantly. They also provide integrated values of the flux over longer periods of time and in balance with the local vegetation or land use patterns. Current techniques enable small concentrations of these tracers to be measured reliably. In the present instance three different tracer profiles were used to obtain flux estimates by using very simple models requiring minimal input data. If tracer profiles suggest that diffusion dominates the transport process then the use of simple models is justified.The shape of the tracer profiles in conjunction with the water contents and porosity data suggest that tracer advection and dispersion was of minor importance. Soil-water flux was first estimated by using the tritium peak-migration and tritium mass-balance methods. A heat diffusion analogy was also used to match the observed tritium profile. Chloride mass balance of the profile was used to obtain another flux estimate. A modification of the chloride mass-balance method was also used to obtain advective and diffusive components of moisture flux. Simple piston flow models based on peak migration were used to obtain additional estimates from chloride and nitrate profiles. The estimates obtained were of the same order of magnitude and within the range reported for semi-arid regions in other parts of the world.

  4. Dependence of shear wave seismoelectrics on soil textures: a numerical study in the vadose zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zyserman, F. I.; Monachesi, L. B.; Jouniaux, L.

    2017-02-01

    In this work, we study seismoelectric conversions generated in the vadose zone, when this region is traversed by a pure SH wave. We assume that the soil is a 1-D partially saturated lossy porous medium and we use the van Genuchten's constitutive model to describe the water saturation profile. Correspondingly, we extend Pride's formulation to deal with partially saturated media. In order to evaluate the influence of different soil textures we perform a numerical analysis considering, among other relevant properties, the electrokinetic coupling, coseismic responses and interface responses (IRs). We propose new analytical transfer functions for the electric and magnetic field as a function of the water saturation, modifying those of Bordes et al. and Garambois & Dietrich, respectively. Further, we introduce two substantially different saturation-dependent functions into the electrokinetic (EK) coupling linking the poroelastic and the electromagnetic wave equations. The numerical results show that the electric field IRs markedly depend on the soil texture and the chosen EK coupling model, and are several orders of magnitude stronger than the electric field coseismic ones. We also found that the IRs of the water table for the silty and clayey soils are stronger than those for the sandy soils, assuming a non-monotonous saturation dependence of the EK coupling, which takes into account the charged air-water interface. These IRs have been interpreted as the result of the jump in the viscous electric current density at the water table. The amplitude of the IR is obtained using a plane SH wave, neglecting both the spherical spreading and the restriction of its origin to the first Fresnel zone, effects that could lower the predicted values. However, we made an estimation of the expected electric field IR amplitudes detectable in the field by means of the analytical transfer functions, accounting for spherical spreading of the SH seismic waves. This prediction yields a value

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Formation and transport of deethylatrazine in the soil and vadose zone

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Adams, C.D.; Thurman, E.M.

    1991-01-01

    Atrazine (2-chloro-4-ethylamino-6-isopropylamino-s-triazine) and two degradation products were monitored at seven depths in the soil and vadose zone throughout the growing season in two experimental plots in which corn (Zea mays L.) was grown. The soils in these plots were a Kimo silty clay loam (clayey over loamy, montmorillonitic, mesic, Fluvaquentic Hapludoll) and a Eudora silt loam (course, silty, mixed, mesic, Fluventic Hapludoll). The purpose this field study was to identify and quantify the mobile and persistent degradation products of atrazine that comprise the input, or “source term,” to groundwater resulting from the application of atrazine to the soils. The formation of deethylatrazine (2-amino-4-chloro-6-isopropylamino-s-triazine) and deisopropylatrazine (2-amino-4-chloro-6-ethylamino-s-triazine) was monitored at vurious depths using suction lysimeters to determine the relative proportions at which these compounds enter the aquifer. Deethylatrazine was the major degradation product of atrazine identified in the soil water and appeared to enter the underlying aquifer at a concentration of 5.0 µg/L, which was greater than the concentration of atrazine entering the aquifer. Deisopropylatrazine also was detected in the soil water, bnt only in minor concentrations relative to atrazine and deethylatrazine. Because deethylatrazine was the major degradation product in the unsaturated zone, the deethylatrazine-to-atrazine ratio (DAR) may be a good indicator of transport of atrazine through the soil. The hypothesis is proposed that the DAR may be used to distinguish point-source from nonpoint-source contamination of an aquifer.

  8. Dependence of shear wave seismoelectrics on soil textures: a numerical study in the vadose zone.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zyserman, F. I.; Monachesi, L. B.; Jouniaux, L.

    2016-11-01

    In this work we study seismoelectric conversions generated in the vadose zone, when this region is traversed by a pure SH wave. We assume that the soil is a one-dimensional partially saturated lossy porous medium and we use the van Genuchten's constitutive model to describe the water saturation profile. Correspondingly, we extend Pride's formulation to deal with partially saturated media. In order to evaluate the influence of different soil textures we perform a numerical analysis considering, among other relevant properties, the electrokinetic coupling, coseismic responses and interface responses (IR). We propose new analytical transfer functions, modified from Bordes et al. (2015) and Garambois and Dietrich (2001), for the electrical and magnetic field as a function of the water saturation. Further, we introduce two substantially different saturation dependent functions into the electrokinetic (EK) coupling linking the poroelastic and the electromagnetic wave equations. The numerical results show that the electric field IR markedly depend on the soil texture and the chosen EK coupling model, and are several orders of magnitude stronger than the electric field coseismic ones. We also found that the IR of the water table for the silty and clayey soils are stronger than those for the sandy soils, assuming a non monotonous saturation dependence of the EK coupling, which takes into account the charged air-water interface. These IR have been interpreted as the result of the jump in the viscous electric current density at the water table. The amplitude of the IR is obtained using a plane SH wave, neglecting both the spherical spreading and the restriction of its origin to the first Fresnel zone, effects that could lower the predicted values. However, we made an estimation of the expected electric field IR amplitudes detectable in the field by means of the analytical transfer functions, accounting for spherical spreading of the SH seismic waves. This prediction yields a

  9. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Powers, Susan E.; Grimberg, Stefan; Denham, Miles E.; Borkovec, Michal

    2001-06-01

    The primary hypothesis of this work is that surface-active chemicals and/or microorganisms present in the unsaturated zone can significantly alter interfacial phenomena governing the migration of DNAPLs, thereby affecting the accessibility of a DNAPL during remediation efforts. The surface-active materials are present in complex NAPL mixtures and are produced through microbial metabolic processes. The overall goal of this proposed research is to understand the role of and changes in interfacial phenomena on the accessibility of DNAPL in the vadose zone.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Powers, Susan E.; Grimberg, Stefan; Denham, Miles E.; Borkovec, Michal

    2002-06-01

    The primary hypothesis of this work is that surface-active chemicals and/or microorganisms present in the unsaturated zone can significantly alter interfacial phenomena governing the migration of DNAPLs, thereby affecting the accessibility of a DNAPL during remediation efforts. The surface-active materials are present in complex NAPL mixtures and are produced through microbial metabolic processes. The overall goal of this proposed research is to understand the role of and changes in interfacial phenomena on the accessibility of DNAPL in the vadose zone.

  12. Reactant Carrier Microfoam Technology for In-Situ Remediation of Radionuclide and Metallic Contaminants in Deep Vadose Zone

    SciTech Connect

    Mattigod, Shas V.; Zhong, Lirong; Jansik, Danielle P.; Foote, Martin; Hart, Andrea T.; Wellman, Dawn M.

    2010-07-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is currently developing advanced remedial technologies for addressing metal and radionuclide (Cr, Tc, and U) contamination in deep vadose zone environments. One of the transformational technology alternatives being considered by the DOE Office of Environmental Management, is the use of Reactant Carrier Microfoams (RCM) as a minimally invasive method for delivery and emplacement of reagents for in-situ immobilization of contaminants. Penetration of low permeability zones deep within the subsurface for Enhance Oil Recovery (EOR) has been well-established. Use of surfactant foams have also been explored for mobilizing DNAPL from sediments. So far, the concept of using RCM for immobilizing labile metal and long-lived radionuclide contaminants in the deep vadose zone has not been explored. We, at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), conducted studies to develop stable foams as a means to deliver reductive and/or precipitating reactants to the deep subsurface. To test the feasibility of this approach, we developed a preliminary foam formulation consisting of a mixture of an anionic and a nonionic surfactant with a reactant consisting of a 9:1 blend of tripoly- and orthophosphate. The MSE Technology Applications, Inc (MSE) in collaboration with PNNL, conducted a scale-up test to evaluate the efficacy of this reactant carrier foam for in-situ immobilization of U containing sediment zones in a heterogenous sediment matrix. The data indicated that successful immobilization of U contamination is feasible using specifically tailored reactant carrier foam injection technology. Studies are continuing for developing more robust optimized RCM for highly mobile contaminants such as Cr (VI), Tc (VII) in the deep vadose zone.

  13. 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

    2003-09-14

    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. Yet pollution in the vadose zone poses a serious threat to the groundwater resources lying deeper in the sediment. While the contaminant may be slowly degraded by native microbial communities; microbial degradation rates rarely keep pace with the spread of the pollutant. Hydrologic and microbiological properties of the zone, and their interactions, are fundamentally different from the saturated zone: the vadose zone has an additional phase (air), higher levels of oxygen, and contaminant transport and water movement is predominantly perpendicular to geologic strata and occurs in water films. In addition, microbial populations in the vadose zone are sparse and spatially discontinuous, especially in arid climates. At the Department of Energy's Hanford site in Richland, WA, numerous recalcitrant organic compounds were disposed of in the vadose zone, and now are continual sources of groundwater pollution. Among the most problematic of these is a plume of carbon tetrachloride (CT), a common solvent, the majority of which still resides in the vadose zone despite the presence of microbes that can degrade it and its byproduct chloroform. Gaseous nutrients can in principle be used to stimulate the native degrading population and has shown some promise in isolated field cases. However, there is a lack of knowledge on how physical and hydrologic features of the vadose zone control the spatial distribution of microbes, and the extent that microbes can colonize the vadose zone in response to nutrient delivery during bioremediation. The overall objective of the project was to increase knowledge of the feasibility of engineered bioremediation in the deep vadose zone, particularly at arid western sites where microbial populations and

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. INVESTIGATION OF HYDROLOEGROLOGIC 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 characterization of the hydrogeologic setting using hydrogeologic mapping methods to identify geologic and hydrologic features ...

  18. INVESTIGATION OF HYDROLOEGROLOGIC 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 characterization of the hydrogeologic setting using hydrogeologic mapping methods to identify geologic and hydrologic features ...

  19. Advective removal of intraparticle uranium from contaminated vadose zone sediments, Hanford, U.S.

    PubMed

    Ilton, Eugene S; Qafoku, Nikolla P; Liu, Chongxuan; Moore, Dean A; Zachara, John M

    2008-03-01

    A column study on U(VI)-contaminated vadose zone sediments from the Hanford Site, WA, was performed to investigate U(VI) release kinetics with water advection and variable geochemical conditions. The sediments were collected from an area adjacent to and below tank BX-102 that was contaminated as a result of a radioactive tank waste overfill event. The primary reservoir for U(VI) in the sediments are micrometer-size precipitates composed of nanocrystallite aggregates of a Na-U-Silicate phase, most likely Na-boltwoodite, that nucleated and grew within microfractures of the plagioclase component of sand-sized granitic clasts. Two sediment samples, with different U(VI) concentrations and intraparticle mass transfer properties, were leached with advective flows of three different solutions. The influent solutions were all calcite-saturated and in equilibrium with atmospheric CO2. One solution was prepared from DI water, the second was a synthetic groundwater (SGW) with elevated Na that mimicked groundwater at the Hanford site, 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 slower near steady-state release. U(VI)aq concentrations increased during subsequent stop-flow events. The electrolytes with elevated Na and Si depressed U(VL)aq concentrations in effluent solutions. Effluent U(VI)aq concentrations for both sediments and all three electrolytes were simulated reasonably well by a three domain model (the advecting fluid, fractures, and matrix) that coupled U(VI) dissolution, intraparticle U(VI)aq diffusion, and interparticle advection, where diffusion and dissolution properties were parameterized in a previous batch study.

  20. 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.

  1. Assessment of vadose zone sampling methods for detection of preferential herbicide transport

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-11-01

    Accurate soil water sampling is needed for monitoring of pesticide leaching through the vadose zone, especially in soils with significant preferential flowpaths. We assessed the effectiveness of wick and gravity pan lysimeters as well as ceramic cups (installed 45-60 cm deep) in strongly-structured silty clay loam (Hudson series) and weakly-structured fine sandy loam (Arkport series) soils. Simulated rainfall (10-14 cm in 4 d, approximately equal to a 10-yr, 24 h storm) was applied following concurrent application of agronomic rates (0.2 g m-2) of atrazine (6-chloro-N2-ethyl-N4-isopropyl-1,3,5-triazine-2,4-diamine) and 2,4-D (2,4-dichloro-phenoxy-acetic acid) immediately following application of a chloride tracer (22-44 g m-2). Preferential flow mechanisms were observed in both soils, with herbicide and tracer mobility greater than would be predicted by uniform flow. Preferential flow was more dominant in the Hudson soil, with earlier breakthroughs observed. Mean wick and gravity pan sampler percolate concentrations at 60 cm depth ranged from 96 to 223 μg L-1 for atrazine and 54 to 78 μg L-1 for 2,4-D at the Hudson site, and from 7 to 22 μg L-1 for atrazine and 0.5 to 2.8 μg L-1 for 2,4-D at the Arkport site. Gravity and wick pan lysimeters had comparably good collection efficiencies at elevated soil moisture levels, whereas wick pan samplers performed better at lower moisture contents. Cup samplers performed poorly with wide variations in collections and solute concentrations.

  2. Pedotransfer functions for isoproturon sorption on soils and vadose zone materials.

    PubMed

    Moeys, Julien; Bergheaud, Valérie; Coquet, Yves

    2011-10-01

    Sorption coefficients (the linear K(D) or the non-linear K(F) and N(F)) are critical parameters in models of pesticide transport to groundwater or surface water. In this work, a dataset of isoproturon sorption coefficients and corresponding soil properties (264 K(D) and 55 K(F)) was compiled, and pedotransfer functions were built for predicting isoproturon sorption in soils and vadose zone materials. These were benchmarked against various other prediction methods. The results show that the organic carbon content (OC) and pH are the two main soil properties influencing isoproturon K(D) . The pedotransfer function is K(D) = 1.7822 + 0.0162 OC(1.5) - 0.1958 pH (K(D) in L kg(-1) and OC in g kg(-1)). For low-OC soils (OC < 6.15 g kg(-1)), clay and pH are most influential. The pedotransfer function is then K(D) = 0.9980 + 0.0002 clay - 0.0990 pH (clay in g kg(-1)). Benchmarking K(D) estimations showed that functions calibrated on more specific subsets of the data perform better on these subsets than functions calibrated on larger subsets. Predicting isoproturon sorption in soils in unsampled locations should rely, whenever possible, and by order of preference, on (a) site- or soil-specific pedotransfer functions, (b) pedotransfer functions calibrated on a large dataset, (c) K(OC) values calculated on a large dataset or (d) K(OC) values taken from existing pesticide properties databases. Copyright © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry.

  3. 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).

  4. 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)

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Electrical Resistivity Tomography monitoring reveals groundwater storage in a karst vadose zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watlet, A.; Kaufmann, O.; Van Camp, M. J.; Triantafyllou, A.; Cisse, M. F.; Quinif, Y.; Meldrum, P.; Wilkinson, P. B.; Chambers, J. E.

    2016-12-01

    Karst systems are among the most difficult aquifers to characterize, due to their high heterogeneity. In particular, temporary groundwater storage that occurs in the unsaturated zone and the discharge to deeper layers are difficult processes to identify and estimate with in-situ measurements. Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT) monitoring is meant to track changes in the electrical properties of the subsurface and has proved to be applicable to evidence and quantify hydrological processes in several types of environments. Applied to karst systems, it has particularly highlighted the challenges in linking electrical resistivity changes to groundwater content with usual approaches of petrophysical relationships, given the high heterogeneity of the subsurface. However, taking up the challenge, we undertook an ERT monitoring at the Rochefort Cave Laboratory (Belgium) lasting from Spring 2014 to Winter 2016. This includes 3 main periods of several months with daily measurements, from which seasonal groundwater content changes in the first meters of the vadose zone were successfully imaged. The monitoring concentrates on a 48 electrodes profile that goes from a limestone plateau to the bottom of a sinkhole. 3D UAV photoscans of the surveyed sinkhole and of the main chamber of the nearby cave were performed. Combined with lithological observations from a borehole drilled next to the ERT profile, the 3D information made it possible to project karstified layers visible in the cave to the surface and assess their potential locations along the ERT profile. Overall, this helped determining more realistic local petrophysical properties in the surveyed area, and improving the ERT data inversion by adding structural constraints. Given a strong air temperature gradient in the sinkhole, we also developed a new approach of temperature correction of the raw ERT data. This goes through the solving (using pyGIMLI package) of the 2D ground temperature field and its temporal

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. The CO2 Vadose Project - Buffering capacity of a carbonate vadose zone on induced CO2 leakage. Part 1: monitoring in a natural pilot experimental field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cohen, Grégory; Loisy, Corinne; Le Roux, Olivier; Garcia, Bruno; Rouchon, Virgile; Delaplace, Philippe; Cerepi, Adrian

    2013-04-01

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report on Carbon Capture and Storage identified various knowledge gaps that need to be resolved before the large-scale implementation of CO2 geological storage to become 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 i) understanding the behavior of CO2 in the near surface carbonate environment during an induced CO2 leakage, ii) assessing numerical simulations associated with CO2 release experiments and iii) developing integrated field methodologies to detect and quantify a potential CO2 leakage. A gas mixture of CO2 and tracers (He and Kr) was released in a cavity (9 m3, 7 m deep) located in an abandoned limestone quarry in Gironde (France). More than forty gas probes were set up (in the near surface and all around the cavity in limestone) for following CO2 concentrations before, during and after injection thanks to micro-GC and Li-Cor analyzers. The meteorological parameters were recorded at the site surface as well as around the injection room. Experimental observations of variations of electrical resistivity were also carried out in order to investigate the evolution of limestone geophysical property in response to possible leakages of geologically sequestered CO2. The dynamic evolution of electrical resistivity was measured thanks to time-lapse electrical resistivity tomography. Natural ground and limestone CO2 concentrations were monitored during a year before CO2 injection. 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 biogenic from injected CO2. These concentrations varied between about 400 ppm to more than 20,000 ppm, following cycles of about six weeks. Initial electrical resistivity tomography was also carried out just before the injection in order to have

  11. 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

  12. Monitoring and data analysis for the Vadose Zone Monitoring System (VZMS), McClellan AFB. Quarterly status report

    SciTech Connect

    Zawislanski, P.T.; Salve, R.; Freifeld, B.

    1997-05-28

    This report contains information on field and laboratory work performed between January and May 15th 1997 at site S-7 in IC 34, at McClellan AFB. At this location, a Vadose Zone Monitoring System (VZMS) is currently being used to collect subsurface data including hydraulic potential, soil gas pressure, moisture content, water chemistry, gas chemistry, and temperature. Due to delays in the completion of the above-ground installations, data collection did not commence until mid-February. As a result, the data presented in this report is preliminary.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Air Flow Path Dynamics In The Vadose Zone Under Various Land Surface Climate Boundary Conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Illangasekare, T. H.; Sakaki, T.; Schulte, P. E.; Cihan, A.; Christ, J.

    2010-12-01

    Vapor intrusion (VI) refers to the transport of volatile chemical vapors from subsurface sources to surface and subsurface structures through the vadose zone. Because of the difference in pressure between the inside of the building and the subsurface soil pores, vapor can enter the building through cracks in the foundation, slab and walls and utility openings. The processes that govern the vapor transport in the heterogeneous subsurface “outside the home” are complex, and the sampling to assess potential pathways is subjected to spatial and temporal variability. Spatial variability is a result of a number of factors that include changing soil and soil moisture conditions. Temporal variability is a result of transient heat, wind, ambient pressure and a water flux boundary conditions at the land-atmospheric interface. Fluctuating water table conditions controlled by recharge, pumping, and stream-aquifer interactions will also contribute to the transient vapor flux generation at the sources. When the soil moisture changes as a result of precipitation events and other soil surface boundary conditions, the soil moisture content changes and hence the air permeability. Therefore, the primary pathways for the vapor are preferential channels that change with the transient soil moisture distribution. Both field and laboratory studies have shown that heterogeneity has a significant influence on soil moisture conditions in unsaturated soils. Uncertainties in vapor transport predictions have been attributed to heterogeneity and spatial variability in hydraulic properties. In this study, our goal was to determine the role of soil moisture variability on vapor transport and intrusion as affected by the climate driven boundary conditions on the land surface. A series of experiments were performed to generate a comprehensive data set to understand and evaluate how the spatial and temporal variability of soil moisture affected by the mass and heat flux boundary conditions on the

  16. 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

  17. Impact of long-term wastewater application on microbiological properties of vadose zone.

    PubMed

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

    2011-04-01

    Impact of wastewater irrigation on some biological properties was studied in an area where treated sewage water is being supplied to the farmers since 1979 in the western part of National Capital Territory of New Delhi under Keshopur Effluent Irrigation Scheme. Three fields were selected which had been receiving irrigation through wastewater for last 20, 10 and 5 years. Two additional fields were selected in which the source of irrigation water was tubewell. The soil bacterial and fungal population density was studied in soil layers of 0-15, 15-30, 30-60 and 60-120 cm depths. Groundwater samples were collected from the piezometers installed in the field irrigated with sewage water for last 20, 10 and 5 years. Results indicate that there was significant increase in bacterial and fungal count in sewage-irrigated soils as compared to their respective control. The population density of bacteria and fungi in waste water-irrigated soils increased with the duration of sewage water application and decreased with increasing depth. The bacterial and fungal count was also directly proportional to organic carbon, sand and silt content and negatively correlated to the clay content, electrical conductivity, pH and bulk density of the soil. Groundwater under sewage-irrigated fields had higher values of most probable number (MPN) index as compared to that of tubewell water-irrigated fields. All the shallow and deep groundwaters were found to be contaminated with faecal coliforms. The vadose zone had filtered the faecal coliform to the tune of 98-99%, as the MPN index was reduced from ≥18,000 per 100 ml of applied waste water to 310 per 100 ml of groundwater under 20 years sewage-irrigated field. The corresponding values of MPN were 250 and 130 per 100 ml of shallow groundwater under 10 and 05 years sewage-irrigated fields, respectively. Rapid detection of faecal contamination suggested that the Citrobacter freundii and Salmonella were dominant in shallow groundwater

  18. 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.

  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. Modeling Compressional and Shear Wave Velocities of Unconsolidated Sediments in the Vadose Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berge, P. A.

    2001-12-01

    difficulties, progress in seismic interpretation may be made if data are available for both compressional and shear waves. Examples of pitfalls and methods for successful soil velocity modeling will be presented using lab and field velocity data from the literature, for sands, silty sands, and other unconsolidated materials. The goal is to develop techniques to improve interpretation of seismic data from the vadose zone. This work was performed under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy by the University of California Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory under contract W-7405-ENG-48 and supported specifically by the DOE Environmental Management Science Program. >http://www.llnl.gov/ees/esd/expgeoph/Berge/EMSP/

  1. 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.

  2. Analysis of vadose zone inhomogeneity toward distinguishing recharge rates: Solving the nonlinear interface problem with Newton method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steward, David R.

    2016-11-01

    Recharge from surface to groundwater is an important component of the hydrological cycle, yet its rate is difficult to quantify. Percolation through two-dimensional circular inhomogeneities in the vadose zone is studied where one soil type is embedded within a uniform background, and nonlinear interface conditions in the quasilinear formulation are solved using Newton's method with the Analytic Element Method. This numerical laboratory identifies detectable variations in pathline and pressure head distributions that manifest due to a shift in recharge rate through in a heterogeneous media. Pathlines either diverge about or converge through coarser and finer grained materials with inverse patterns forming across lower and upper elevations; however, pathline geometry is not significantly altered by recharge. Analysis of pressure head in lower regions near groundwater identifies a new phenomenon: its distribution is not significantly impacted by an inhomogeneity soil type, nor by its placement nor by recharge rate. Another revelation is that pressure head for coarser grained inhomogeneities in upper regions is completely controlled by geometry and conductivity contrasts; a shift in recharge generates a difference Δp that becomes an additive constant with the same value throughout this region. In contrast, shifts in recharge for finer grained inhomogeneities reveal patterns with abrupt variations across their interfaces. Consequently, measurements aimed at detecting shifts in recharge in a heterogeneous vadose zone by deciphering the corresponding patterns of change in pressure head should focus on finer grained inclusions well above a groundwater table.

  3. 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.

  4. Using the natural biodegradation potential of shallow soils for in-situ remediation of deep vadose zone and groundwater.

    PubMed

    Avishai, Lior; Siebner, Hagar; Dahan, Ofer; Ronen, Zeev

    2017-02-15

    In this study, we examined the ability of top soil to degrade perchlorate from infiltrating polluted groundwater under unsaturated conditions. Column experiments designed to simulate typical remediation operation of daily wetting and draining cycles of contaminated water amended with an electron donor. Covering the infiltration area with bentonite ensured anaerobic conditions. The soil remained unsaturated, and redox potential dropped to less than -200mV. Perchlorate was reduced continuously from ∼1150mg/L at the inlet to ∼300mg/L at the outlet in daily cycles. Removal efficiency was between 60 and 84%. No signs of bioclogging were observed during three operation months although occasional iron reduction observed due to excess electron donor. Changes in perchlorate reducing bacteria numbers were inferred from an increased in pcrA gene abundances from ∼10(5) to 10(7) copied per gram at the end of the experiment indicating the growth of perchlorate-reducing bacteria. We proposed that the topsoil may serve as a bioreactor to treat high concentrations of perchlorate from the contaminated groundwater. The treated water that infiltrates from the topsoil through the vadose zone could be used to flush perchlorate from the deep vadose zone into the groundwater where it is retrieved again for treatment in the topsoil.

  5. 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).

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. On using simple time-of-travel capture zone delineation methods.

    PubMed

    Ceric, Admir; Haitjema, Henk

    2005-01-01

    As part of its Wellhead Protection Program, the U.S. EPA mandates the delineation of "time-of-travel capture zones" as the basis for the definition of wellhead protection zones surrounding drinking water production wells. Depending on circumstances the capture zones may be determined using methods that range from simply drawing a circle around the well to sophisticated ground water flow and transport modeling. The simpler methods are attractive when faced with the delineation of hundreds or thousands of capture zones for small public drinking water supply wells. On the other hand, a circular capture zone may not be adequate in the presence of an ambient ground water flow regime. A dimensionless time-of-travel parameter T is used to determine when calculated fixed-radius capture zones can be used for drinking water production wells. The parameter incorporates aquifer properties, the magnitude of the ambient ground water flow field, and the travel time criterion for the time-of-travel capture zone. In the absence of interfering flow features, three different simple capture zones can be used depending on the value of T . A modified calculated fixed-radius capture zone proves protective when T < 0.1, while a more elongated capture zone must be used when T > 1. For values of T between 0.1 and 1, a circular capture zone can be used that is eccentric with respect to the well. Finally, calculating T allows for a quick assessment of the validity of circular capture zones without redoing the delineation with a computer model.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. Solute transport processes in a karst vadose zone characterized by long-term tracer tests (the cave system of Postojnska Jama, Slovenia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kogovsek, Janja; Petric, Metka

    2014-11-01

    The processes influencing the solute transport in the karst vadose zone were studied by long-term tracer tests with artificial tracers. The results of three successive tracer tests with different modes of injection were compared. Tracer breakthrough curves were monitored at three drips of different hydrological types inside one of the cave galleries of the system of Postojnska Jama over several years. Comparison of the results indicates the highly significant influence of preceding hydrological conditions (dry vs wet), injection mode (artificial flushing vs natural infiltration by subsequent rainfall, and on a bare rock vs on an overlying layer) and geologic heterogeneities within the vadose zone on solute transport in the karst vadose zone. Injection with artificial flushing resulted in rapid infiltration and the tracer traversed almost one hundred meters of bedrock in hours. However, the majority of tracer can be stored within less permeable parts of the vadose zone and then gradually flushed out after additional abundant and intensive precipitation in the period of several years. Long-continued sampling in each of the tests proved to be important for reliable characterization of the long-term solute transport dynamics.

  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. H51E-1535: Biogeochemical factors influencing the transport and fate of colloids and colloid-associated contaminants in the vadose zone

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The vadose zone exhibits large spatial and temporal variability in many physical, chemical, and biological factors that strongly influence the transport and fate of colloids (e.g., microbes, nanoparticles, clays, and dissolved organic matter) and colloid-associated contaminants (e.g., heavy metals, ...

  2. Combining coring and suction cup data to improve the monitoring of pesticides in sandy vadose zones: a field-release experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patterson, B. M.; Franzmann, P. D.; Rayner, J. L.; Davis, G. B.

    2000-11-01

    Soil coring and vertically and horizontally installed suction cup monitoring techniques were compared during a field release experiment conducted in an urban area of the Swan Coastal Plain of Western Australia. Sodium bromide and low concentrations of diazinon, chlorpyrifos, atrazine and fenamiphos were released into the vadose zone and rates of migration and mass loss with respect to a bromide tracer investigated. Only bromide and atrazine showed significant migration through the vadose zone. The relative half-life mass losses from the vadose zone of the pesticides ranged from 3 to >40 days. The use of soil coring complemented the use of vertically and horizontally installed suction cups for investigating relatively mobile non-volatile compounds, such as atrazine. Data from horizontally installed suction cups accounted for mass losses due to dilution and transport that could not be accounted for by coring, and enabled a better estimate of degradation and migration rates through the vadose zone. From core data alone, atrazine migration rates for the first 0.25 m were underestimated by more than 50% (0.0039 m day -1 compared to 0.013 m day -1), and removal rates (and inferred degradation rates) were overestimated by more than 100% (half-life of 14 days compared to a half-life of 40 days), compared with rates determined by using core data and horizontal suction cup data in combination. Migration rates may have been even further underestimated at greater depths.

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. Monitoring and data analysis for the Vadose Zone Monitoring System (VZMS), McClellan AFB. Quarterly status report, August 15, 1997--November 15, 1997

    SciTech Connect

    Zawislanski, P.T.; Mountford, H.S.; Dahlquist, R.; Rodriguez, S.J.; Salve, R.

    1997-12-05

    This report contains information on field and laboratory work performed between August 15th and November 15th at site S-7 in IC 34, at McClellan AFB. At this location, a Vadose Zone Monitoring System (VZMS) (LBNL, 1996) is currently being used to collect subsurface data including hydraulic potential, soil gas pressure, moisture content, water chemistry, gas chemistry, and temperature.

  6. Assessment and Delineation of DNAPL Source Zones at Hazardous Waste Sites

    EPA Science Inventory

    This document provides a framework to assess the presence of DNAPL in the subsurface and for delineating the spatial extent of a DNAPL source zone. Direct and indirect site investigation methods are discussed, as well as their applicability in unconsolidated deposits and fracture...

  7. 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...

  8. Assessment and Delineation of DNAPL Source Zones at Hazardous Waste Sites

    EPA Science Inventory

    This document provides a framework to assess the presence of DNAPL in the subsurface and for delineating the spatial extent of a DNAPL source zone. Direct and indirect site investigation methods are discussed, as well as their applicability in unconsolidated deposits and fracture...

  9. 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...

  10. Use of a land-use-based emissions inventory in delineating clean-air zones

    Treesearch

    Victor S. Fahrer; Howard A. Peters

    1977-01-01

    Use of a land-use-based emissions inventory from which air-pollution estimates can be projected was studied. First the methodology used to establish a land-use-based emission inventory is described. Then this inventory is used as input in a simple model that delineates clean air and buffer zones. The model is applied to the town of Burlington, Massachusetts....

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Biogeochemical Factors Influencing the Transport and Fate of Colloids and Colloid-Associated Contaminants in the Vadose Zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bradford, S. A.

    2016-12-01

    The vadose zone exhibits large spatial and temporal variability in many physical, chemical, and biological factors that strongly influence the transport and fate of colloids (e.g., microbes, nanoparticles, clays, and dissolved organic matter) and colloid-associated contaminants (e.g., heavy metals, radionuclides, pesticides, and antibiotics). This presentation highlights our research activities to better understand and predict the influence of specific biogeochemical processes on colloid and colloid-facilitated transport. Results demonstrate the sensitivity of colloid transport, retention, release, and clogging to transients in solution chemistry (e.g., ionic strength, pH, cation and anion type, and surfactants), water velocity and saturation, and preferential flow. Mathematical modeling at interface-, pore-, and continuum-scales is shown to be a critical tool to quantify the relative importance and coupling of these biogeochemical factors on colloid and contaminant transport and fate, which otherwise might be experimentally intractable. Existing gaps in knowledge and model limitations are identified.

  14. 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.

  15. Experimental study on the effect of temperature and flux conditions on moisture distribution in vadose zone soil.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jinguo; Zheng, Hu

    2017-02-01

    Moisture distribution in vadose zone soil is the most important parameter for land productivity and vegetation status of ecological systems, and is sensitive to temperature variation. In this study, laboratory scale tests were conducted to determine the effect of temperature on variation in moisture distribution in covered and uncovered conditions. The results indicated that soil moisture from 2.65 to 20 cm was positively correlated with temperature and temperature gradient, and the top 2.65 to 5 cm was dramatically influenced by temperature changes in both covered and uncovered conditions. The moisture content when temperature was increasing was higher than that when temperature was decreasing for the same temperature, when the film covered the top of the soil column. In contrast, the moisture content when temperature was increasing was lower than when the temperature was decreasing for the uncovered soil column. The difference between treatments was not maintained as soil depth increased.

  16. Screening model for nonaqueous phase liquid transport in the vadose zone using Green-Ampt and kinematic wave theory

    SciTech Connect

    Weaver, J.W.; Charbeneau, R.J.; Lien, B.K.

    1994-01-01

    In the paper, a screening model for flow 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. The resulting governing equation is a first-order, quasi-linear hyperbolic equation to which the generalized method of characteristics can be applied. The approach generally neglects the contribution to the NAPL flux from capillary pressure gradients. During infiltration under ponded conditions, or when the NAPL flux exceeds the maximum effective conductivity of the soil, the effect of capillary suction is included in the model through the usage of the Green-Ampt model. (Copyright (c) 1994 by the American Geophysical Union.)

  17. A Resolution Analysis of Two Geophysical Imaging Methods for Characterizing and Monitoring Hydrologic Conditions in the Vadose Zone

    SciTech Connect

    Alumbaugh, David L.

    2003-06-01

    This project has been designed to analyze the resolution of two different geophysical imaging techniques (electrical resistivity tomography and cross-borehole ground penetrating radar) for monitoring subsurface flow and transport processes within the vadose zone. This is to be accomplished through a coupled approach involving large scale unsaturated flow modeling, petrophysical conversion of the resulting 2 and 3 Dimensional water content and solute concentration fields to geophysical property models and generation of synthetic geophysical data, followed by the inversion of the synthetic geophysical data. The resolution, strengths, and limitations of the geophysical techniques will then be ascertained through an analysis involving comparisons between the original hydrologic modeling results and inverted geophysical images. Increasing levels of complexity will be added to the models as the project progresses through the addition of heterogeneity in the original hydrologic property model, and by adding uncertainty to the petrophysical relationship that couples the geophysical model to the hydrologic modeling results.

  18. Measuring Spatial Variability of Vapor Flux to Characterize Vadose-zone VOC Sources: Flow-cell Experiments

    DOE PAGES

    Mainhagu, Jon; Morrison, C.; Truex, Michael J.; ...

    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

  19. 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.

  20. 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