Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Mathematics and Statistics

First Advisor

Mark E. Oxley, PhD


Application of a variational optimization technique has demonstrated the potential strength of pulsed pumping operations for use at existing pump-and-treat aquifer remediation sites. The optimized pulsed pumping technique has exhibited notable improvements in operational effectiveness over continuous pumping. The optimized pulsed pumping technique has also exhibited an advantage over uniform time intervals for pumping and resting cycles. The most important finding supports the potential for managing and improving pumping operations in the absence of complete knowledge of plume characteristics. An objective functional was selected to minimize mass of water removed and minimize the non-essential mass of contaminant removed. General forms of an essential concentration function were analyzed to determine the appropriate form required for compliance with management preferences. Third-order essential concentration functions provided optimal solutions for the objective functional. Results of using this form of the essential concentration function in the methodology provided optimal solutions for switching times. The methodology was applied to a hypothetical, two-dimensional aquifer influenced by specified and no-flow boundaries, injection wells and extraction wells. Flow simulations used MODFLOW, transport simulations used MT3D, and the graphical interface for obtaining concentration time series data and flow/transport links were generated by GMS version 2.1.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number



The author's Vita page is omitted.