Hierarchical modeling of a groundwater remediation capture system
Hua-ShengLiaoPrasanna V.SampathZachary K.CurtisShu-GuangLi
Volume 527, Pages 196-211, August 2015, Journal of Hydrology
In this paper, we present a real-world demonstration of a generalized hierarchical approach for modeling complex groundwater systems, the hierarchical patch dynamics paradigm (HPDP). In particular, we illustrate how the HPDP approach enables flexible and efficient simulation of a complex contaminant capture system at one of the largest groundwater pump-and-treat remediation operations in Michigan. The groundwater flow system at the site exhibits a multi-scale pattern that is difficult to simulate using standard modeling tools because of the complex interaction between ambient hydrologic stresses and on-site remediation operations. The hierarchical modeling system was calibrated to water level measurements collected from 208 monitoring wells located both on-site and in its immediate proximity and flux measurements from 6 trenches on-site. Systematic hierarchical simulations, including forward and reverse particle tracking as well as integrated water budget analyses, were performed to study the on-going remediation. The hierarchical modeling results show that some contamination leaked off-site because of small-scale inefficiencies in the design of the remediation system. Thus, the HPDP approach provides an opportunity to analyze complex hydrological field environments in a pragmatic, time-efficient manner.