An evaluation of contaminant migration patterns at two waste disposal sites on fractured porous media in terms of the equivalent porous medium (EPM) model

James F. Pankow, Richard L. Johnson, Janet P. Hewetson, John A. Cherry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Scopus citations

Abstract

Contamination has occurred many non-indurated and bedrock systems wherein the groundwater flows almost exclusively through a network of connected, open fractures. The matrix surrounding the fractures often possesses porosity which allows contaminant diffusion into the matrix. If the diffusion rates are fast relative to the fracture groundwater velocity, transport effects may be predicted by considering the system to be an equivalent porous medium (EPM). The rapidity with which fracture/immobile-matrix equilibrium is established will be determined in part by the: fracture aperture (2b); interfracture spacing (2B); porosity in the immobile matrix (θim); and the matrix diffusion coefficient (D′). Two systems which are characterized by very different values of the above parameters have been studied by our laboratories. At Alkali Lake, Oregon, the EPM approach describes contaminant transport well. At Bayview Park, Ontario, the EPM approach is not appropriate. Several features of the two sites are compared to illustrate the different nature of these two sites. These features include: (1) natural characteristics of the groundwater systems; (2) contaminant distributions; (3) observed transport; and (4) computed fracture/immobile-matrix diffusion times.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-76
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of contaminant hydrology
Volume1
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'An evaluation of contaminant migration patterns at two waste disposal sites on fractured porous media in terms of the equivalent porous medium (EPM) model'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this