Factors controlling BTEX and chlorinated solvents plume length under natural attenuation conditions

Journal of Contaminant Hydrology
O Atteia, C Guillot


Natural attenuation is presently used at numerous sites where groundwater is contaminated. In order to simulate this attenuation, reactive transport models are often used but they are quite complex and depend on both physical and chemical conditions in the aquifer. As complex numerical models cannot be used to study all possible cases, we develop here analytical solutions to draw general conclusions. Our strategy, called MIKSS (Mixed Instantaneous and Kinetics Superposition Sequence), allows the calculation of the concentrations of all reacting substances in a plume. It is an extension of the superimposition principle that is able to treat the case of joint kinetics and instantaneous reactions. The basic equations have been extended to treat different reactions that occur in the plume core and at its fringe. At first we consider one organic substance degraded under all oxidising conditions (toluene for instance). For this problem the size of the plume depends on the reduced source width and on the ratio of the organic substance concentration to the sum of the electron acceptors' concentrations. For several BTEX substances having different degradation behaviour the formulation is similar, but leads to quite different plume lengt...Continue Reading


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