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SITE CHARACTERIZATION TO SUPPORT DEVELOPMENT OF CONCEPTUAL SITE MODELS AND TRANSPORT MODELS FOR MONITORING CONTAMINANTS IN GROUND WATER
FORD, R. SITE CHARACTERIZATION TO SUPPORT DEVELOPMENT OF CONCEPTUAL SITE MODELS AND TRANSPORT MODELS FOR MONITORING CONTAMINANTS IN GROUND WATER. Presented at Working Group Meeting on Using Monitoring to Build Model Confidence, organized by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Advisory Committee on Nuclear Wast, Rockville, MD, September 19 - 20, 2006.
To inform the public.
The development of conceptual and predictive models is an important tool to guide site characterization in support of monitoring contaminants in ground water. The accuracy of predictive models is limited by the adequacy of the input data and the assumptions made to constrain model parameterization and boundary conditions. Mathematically efficient and technically complex models are of limited utility if the conceptual site model used to constrain model development is flawed or if the quality of the data used to populate the model is inadequate. For ground-water transport models, the most common deficiency of model applications includes: 1) collection of site-specific data from a monitoring network that uses wells installed with inappropriate methods or in locations that do not capture the predominant transport pathways, 2) collection of site-specific data at inadequate frequencies or durations to capture short- and long-term dynamics in hydrologic fluctuations and subsurface biogeochemistry, and 3) collection of site-specific data using sample collection and preservation protocols that fail to preserve the in-situ geochemical conditions at depth. This presentation will provide an overview of techniques for insuring acquisition of appropriate data as well as simple computational tools developed by the USEPA to assist in evaluating the adequacy of an existing monitoring network to track contaminant plume migration in ground water.