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Title: Chromium in Groundwater beneath Los Alamos National Laboratory

  1. Los Alamos National Laboratory
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Environmental Management (EM)
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Resource Relation:
Conference: Meeting with Yasuhiro Nakai ; 2017-03-27 - 2017-03-27 ; Los Alamos, New Mexico, United States
Country of Publication:
United States
Environmental Protection

Citation Formats

Katzman, Danny. Chromium in Groundwater beneath Los Alamos National Laboratory. United States: N. p., 2017. Web.
Katzman, Danny. Chromium in Groundwater beneath Los Alamos National Laboratory. United States.
Katzman, Danny. Thu . "Chromium in Groundwater beneath Los Alamos National Laboratory". United States. doi:.
title = {Chromium in Groundwater beneath Los Alamos National Laboratory},
author = {Katzman, Danny},
abstractNote = {},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Mar 30 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Thu Mar 30 00:00:00 EDT 2017}

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  • Numerical simulations are used to predict the migration of radionuclides from the disposal units at Material Disposal Area G through the vadose zone and into the main aquifer in support of a radiological performance assessment and composite analysis for the site. The calculations are performed with the finite element code, FEHM. The transport of nuclides through the vadose zone is computed using a three-dimensional model that describes the complex mesa top geology of the site. The model incorporates the positions and inventories of thirty-four disposal pits and four shaft fields located at Area G as well as those of proposedmore » future pits and shafts. Only three nuclides, C-14, Tc-99, and I-129, proved to be of concern for the groundwater pathway over a 10,000-year period. The spatial and temporal flux of these three nuclides from the vadose zone is applied as a source term for the three-dimensional saturated zone model of the main aquifer that underlies the site. The movement of these nuclides in the aquifer to a downstream location is calculated, and aquifer concentrations are converted to doses. Doses related to aquifer concentrations are six or more orders of magnitude lower than allowable Department of Energy performance objectives for low-level radioactive waste sites. Numerical studies were used to better understand vadose-zone flow through the dry mesa-top environment at Area G. These studies helped define the final model used to model flow and transport through the vadose zone. The study of transient percolation indicates that a steady flow vadose-zone model is adequate for computing contaminant flux to the aquifer. The fracture flow studies and the investigation of the effect of basalt and pumice properties helped us define appropriate hydrologic properties for the modeling. Finally, the evaporation study helped to justify low infiltration rates.« less
  • A series of site investigations and decision-support analyses have been performed related to a chromium plume in the regional aquifer beneath the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Based on the collected data and site information, alternative conceptual and numerical models representing governing subsurface processes with different complexity and resolution have been developed. The current conceptual model is supported by multiple lines of evidence based on comprehensive analyses of the available data and modeling results. The model is applied for decision-support analyses related to estimation of contaminant- arrival locations and chromium mass flux reaching the regional aquifer, and to optimization ofmore » a site monitoring-well network. Plume characterization is a challenging and non-unique problem because multiple models and contamination scenarios are consistent with the site data and conceptual knowledge. To solve this complex problem, an advanced methodology based on model calibration and uncertainty quantification has been developed within the computational framework MADS ( This work implements high-performance computing and novel, efficient and robust model analysis techniques for optimization and uncertainty quantification (ABAGUS, Squads, multi-try (multi-start) techniques), which allow for solving problems with large degrees of freedom. (authors)« less
  • Background or baseline water chemistry data and information are required to distingu ish between contaminated and non-contaminated waters for environmental investigations conducted at Los Alamos National Laboratory (referred to as the Laboratory). The term 'background' refers to natural waters discharged by springs or penetrated by wells that have not been contaminated by LANL or other municipal or industrial activities, and that are representative of groundwater discharging from their respective aquifer material. These investigations are conducted as part of the Environmental Restoration (ER) Project, Groundwater Protection Program (GWPP), Laboratory Surveillance Program, the Hydrogeologic Workplan, and the Site-Wide Environmental Impact Statement (SWEIS).more » This poster provides a comprehensive, validated database of inorganic, organic, stable isotope, and radionuclide analyses of up to 136 groundwater samples collected from 15 baseline springs and wells located in and around Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico. The region considered in this investigation extends from the western edge of the Jemez Mountains eastward to the Rio Grande and from Frijoles Canyon northward to Garcia Canyon. Figure 1 shows the fifteen stations sampled for this investigation. The sampling stations and associated aquifer types are summarized in Table 1.« less