Groundwater Modeling: Application of a Multiphase Fluid Flow Model as a Decision-Making Tool for Assessing and Remediating Installation Restoration Program Sites.

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Master of Science


This research examined a two-dimensional numerical model, VALOR, which can simulate multiphase fluid flow in soils and groundwater, and evaluated the applicability of the model as a decision-making tool for assessing and remediating IRP sites. Model sensitivity analyses were conducted to study the influence of grid sizes, soil types, and organic release rates on the simulated migration of both light and dense non-aqueous phase liquids (NAPLs). The VALOR model was applied to a case study of a JP-4 release at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. The finer grid sizes provide the most accurate definition of NAPL distribution. The soil type and release rate sensitivity analyses demonstrate that NAPL migrates quicker through coarse sands than fine sand and clay. The light NAPL ponds at the water table and spreads laterally. The dense NAPL migrates through the subsurface and ponds at the aquifer bottom. The fast organic release simulations predict wider vertical pathways of migration. The slow organic release simulations predict higher light NAPL saturation at the water table. The case study indicates that within limits, VALOR may be useful for assessing NAPL distribution, estimating contaminated soil volumes, and evaluating remediation alternatives.

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