Applying a One-Dimensional Mass Transport Model using Groundwater Concentration Data


One-dimensional analytical mass transport models are familiar to environmental professionals because they are typically used as learning devices in undergraduate groundwater courses. The application of the models requires relatively certain knowledge of contaminant release to the saturated zone. However, release data are typically not reliably known at sites with uncontrolled contaminant releases. A mass balance approach has been developed to calculate contaminant release parameters based on site-specific groundwater concentration data. Standard numerical calibration and sensitivity analysis techniques were modified for use with the one-dimensional spreadsheet model. A groundwater concentration dataset from a Superfund site was used to evaluate three schemes for calculating the model initial concentration. The site application demonstrates how the spreadsheet model could be used for preliminary remediation system comparisons including restoration time estimating. The use of the spreadsheet model may reduce the effort associated with subsequent numerical modeling typically required for remedial design. The spreadsheet application highlights the importance of collecting physical data with groundwater concentration data.


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Data analysis; Design; Environmental engineering; Ground-water flow; Mass transport; Remedial action; Restoration time; Calibration; Concentration (process); Data acquisition; Data reduction; Impurities; Mass transfer; Numerical methods; Remediation; Sensitivity analysis

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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© 2007 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Apr 2007