Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Edward C. Heyse, PhD


The purpose of this study was to develop a tool for evaluating data quality when characterizing a potentially contaminated groundwater aquifer, and to provide a basis for developing a simulator to allow environmental managers and engineers to practice and learn about the site characterization process. Specifically, this study characterized the uncertainty, estimation block size, and cost for the various methods of determining the value of each geological, hydrological, and contaminant parameter necessary to characterize a site. Research entailed identifying site characterization objectives and identifying parameters necessary to obtain those objectives. Methods of estimating each parameter were identified, then research was performed to characterize each method. This research resulted in a list of site characterization objectives and matrices of process parameters, parameter estimation methods, method uncertainties, volumes, costs, applicable model boundary conditions, and references. Fifty transport, storage, and fate parameters were identified along with 85 different estimation methods. Of these methods, 61 were partially characterized and 24 were completely characterized (primarily pertaining to transport). Results were used to define the initial specifications for a site characterization simulator. Considering this research, more study is needed to characterize methods pertaining to storage (except equilibrium sorption) and all fate parameters.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number