Multi-Scale Mass Transfer Processes Controlling Natural Attenuation and Engineered Remediation: An IFRC Focused on Hanford’s 300 Area Uranium Plume January 2010 to January 2011

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The Integrated Field Research Challenge (IFRC) at the Hanford Site 300 Area uranium (U) plume addresses multi-scale mass transfer processes in a complex subsurface hydrogeologic setting where groundwater and riverwater interact. A series of forefront science questions on reactive mass transfer focus research. These questions relate to the effect of spatial heterogeneities; the importance of scale; coupled interactions between biogeochemical, hydrologic, and mass transfer processes; and measurements and approaches needed to characterize and model a mass-transfer dominated system. The project was initiated in February 2007, with CY 2007, CY 2008, and CY 2009 progress summarized in preceding reports. A project ... continued below

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Zachara, John M.; Bjornstad, Bruce N.; Christensen, John N.; Conrad, Mark S.; Fredrickson, Jim K.; Freshley, Mark D. et al. February 1, 2011.

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The Integrated Field Research Challenge (IFRC) at the Hanford Site 300 Area uranium (U) plume addresses multi-scale mass transfer processes in a complex subsurface hydrogeologic setting where groundwater and riverwater interact. A series of forefront science questions on reactive mass transfer focus research. These questions relate to the effect of spatial heterogeneities; the importance of scale; coupled interactions between biogeochemical, hydrologic, and mass transfer processes; and measurements and approaches needed to characterize and model a mass-transfer dominated system. The project was initiated in February 2007, with CY 2007, CY 2008, and CY 2009 progress summarized in preceding reports. A project peer review was held in March 2010, and the IFRC project has responded to all suggestions and recommendations made in consequence by reviewers and SBR/DOE. These responses have included the development of “Modeling” and “Well-Field Mitigation” plans that are now posted on the Hanford IFRC web-site. The site has 35 instrumented wells, and an extensive monitoring system. It includes a deep borehole for microbiologic and biogeochemical research that sampled the entire thickness of the unconfined 300 A aquifer. Significant, impactful progress has been made in CY 2010 including the quantification of well-bore flows in the fully screened wells and the testing of means to mitigate them; the development of site geostatistical models of hydrologic and geochemical properties including the distribution of U; developing and parameterizing a reactive transport model of the smear zone that supplies contaminant U to the groundwater plume; performance of a second passive experiment of the spring water table rise and fall event with a associated multi-point tracer test; performance of downhole biogeochemical experiments where colonization substrates and discrete water and gas samplers were deployed to the lower aquifer zone; and modeling of past injection experiments for model parameterization, deconvolution of well-bore flow effects, system understanding, and publication. We continued efforts to assimilate geophysical logging and 3D ERT characterization data into our site wide geophysical model, and have now implemented a new strategy for this activity to bypass an approach that was found unworkable. An important focus of CY 2010 activities has been infrastructure modification to the IFRC site to eliminate vertical well bore flows in the fully screened wells. The mitigation procedure was carefully evaluated and is now being implementated. A new experimental campaign is planned for early spring 2011 that will utilize the modified well-field for a U reactive transport experiment in the upper aquifer zone. Preliminary geophysical monitoring experiments of rainwater recharge in the vadose zone have been initiated with promising results, and a controlled infiltration experiment to evaluate U mobilization from the vadose zone is now under planning for the September 2011. The increasingly comprehensive field experimental results, along with the field and laboratory characterization, are leading to a new conceptual model of U(VI) flow and transport in the IFRC footprint and the 300 Area in general, and insights on the microbiological community and associated biogeochemical processes.

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  • Report No.: PNNL-20257
  • Grant Number: AC05-76RL01830
  • DOI: 10.2172/1019217 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1019217
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc841863

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  • February 1, 2011

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  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • Dec. 6, 2016, 1:45 p.m.

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Zachara, John M.; Bjornstad, Bruce N.; Christensen, John N.; Conrad, Mark S.; Fredrickson, Jim K.; Freshley, Mark D. et al. Multi-Scale Mass Transfer Processes Controlling Natural Attenuation and Engineered Remediation: An IFRC Focused on Hanford’s 300 Area Uranium Plume January 2010 to January 2011, report, February 1, 2011; Richland, Washington. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc841863/: accessed August 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.