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A three‐dimensional mathematical model that describes transport of contaminant in a horizontal aquifer with simultaneous diffusion into a fractured clay formation is proposed. A group of semianalytical solutions is derived based on specific initial and boundary conditions as well as various source functions. The analytical model solutions are evaluated by numerical Laplace inverse transformation and analytical Fourier inverse transformation. The model solutions can be used to study the fate and transport in a three‐dimensional spatial domain in which a nonaqueous phase liquid exists as a pool atop a fractured low‐permeability clay layer. The nonaqueous phase liquid gradually dissolves into the groundwater flowing past the pool, while simultaneously diffusing into the fractured clay formation below the aquifer. Mass transfer of the contaminant into the clay formation is demonstrated to be significantly enhanced by the existence of the fractures, even though the volume of fractures is relatively small compared to the volume of the clay matrix. The model solution is a useful tool in assessing contaminant attenuation processes in a confined aquifer underlain by a fractured clay formation.
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Water Resources Research