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Title: Intermediate-Scale Laboratory Experiments of Subsurface Flow and Transport Resulting from Tank Leaks

Washington River Protection Solutions contracted with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to conduct laboratory experiments and supporting numerical simulations to improve the understanding of water flow and contaminant transport in the subsurface between waste tanks and ancillary facilities at Waste Management Area C. The work scope included two separate sets of experiments: •Small flow cell experiments to investigate the occurrence of potential unstable fingering resulting from leaks and the limitations of the STOMP (Subsurface Transport Over Multiple Phases) simulator to predict flow patterns and solute transport behavior under these conditions. Unstable infiltration may, under certain conditions, create vertically elongated fingers potentially transporting contaminants rapidly through the unsaturated zone to groundwater. The types of leak that may create deeply penetrating fingers include slow release, long duration leaks in relatively permeable porous media. Such leaks may have occurred below waste tanks at the Hanford Site. •Large flow experiments to investigate the behavior of two types of tank leaks in a simple layered system mimicking the Waste Management Area C. The investigated leaks include a relatively large leak with a short duration from a tank and a long duration leak with a relatively small leakage rate from a cascade line.
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
47629; 830403000
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US), Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
tank leaks; unstable flow; contaminant transport; Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory