Chaotic-Dynamical Conceptual Model to Describe Fluid Flow and Contaminant Transport in a Fractured Vadose Zone

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DOE faces the remediation of numerous contaminated sites, such as those at Hanford, INEEL, LLNL, and LBNL, where organic and/or radioactive wastes were intentionally or accidentally released to the vadose zone from surface spills, underground tanks, cribs, shallow ponds, and deep wells. Migration of these contaminants through the vadose zone has led to the contamination of (or threatens to contaminate) underlying groundwater. A key issue in choosing a corrective action plan to clean up contaminated sites is the determination of the location, total mass, mobility and travel time to receptors for contaminants moving in the vadose zone. These problems are ... continued below

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Faybishenko, Boris; Doughty, Christine & Geller, Jil T. June 1, 1999.

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DOE faces the remediation of numerous contaminated sites, such as those at Hanford, INEEL, LLNL, and LBNL, where organic and/or radioactive wastes were intentionally or accidentally released to the vadose zone from surface spills, underground tanks, cribs, shallow ponds, and deep wells. Migration of these contaminants through the vadose zone has led to the contamination of (or threatens to contaminate) underlying groundwater. A key issue in choosing a corrective action plan to clean up contaminated sites is the determination of the location, total mass, mobility and travel time to receptors for contaminants moving in the vadose zone. These problems are difficult to solve in a technically defensible and accurate manner because contaminants travel downward intermittently, through narrow pathways, driven by variations in environmental conditions. These preferential flow pathways can be difficult to find and predict. The primary objective of this project is to determine if and when dynamical chaos theory can be used to investigate infiltration of fluid and contaminant transport in heterogeneous soils and fractured rocks. The objective of this project is being achieved through the following activities: Development of multi scale conceptual models and mathematical and numerical algorithms for flow and transport, which incorporate both (a) the spatial variability of heterogeneous porous and fractured media and (b) the temporal dynamics of flow and transport; Development of appropriate experimental field and laboratory techniques needed to detect diagnostic parameters for chaotic behavior of flow; Evaluation of chaotic behavior of flow in laboratory and field experiments using methods from non-linear dynamics; Evaluation of the impact these dynamics may have on contaminant transport through heterogeneous fractured rocks and soils and remediation efforts. This approach is based on the consideration of multi scale spatial heterogeneity and flow phenomena that are affected by nonlinear dynamics, and in particular, chaotic processes. The scientific and practical value of this approach is that we can predict the range within, which the parameters of flow and transport change with time, which allows us to design and manage the remediation even when we cannot predict the behavior at any point or time.

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  • Other Information: PBD: 1 Jun 1999

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  • Report No.: EMSP-55359--1999
  • DOI: 10.2172/828253 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 828253
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc786820

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  • June 1, 1999

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  • Dec. 3, 2015, 9:30 a.m.

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  • April 21, 2016, 4:47 p.m.

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Faybishenko, Boris; Doughty, Christine & Geller, Jil T. Chaotic-Dynamical Conceptual Model to Describe Fluid Flow and Contaminant Transport in a Fractured Vadose Zone, report, June 1, 1999; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc786820/: accessed August 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.