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Title: An Investigation of Plume Response to Soil Vapor Extraction and Hypothetical Drum Failure

Abstract

Soil vapor extraction (SVE) has been utilized at sites across the Department of Energy complex, including sites where legacy subsurface wastes represent a potential source of groundwater contamination. At Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), leakage from waste drums buried at an inactive chemical waste site has created a subsurface vapor plume of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Soil vapor extraction operation in 2015 and rebound testing through 2017 were successful in reducing the plume’s mass and mitigating VOC migration toward the water table. However, the possibility that waste drums could fail and release VOCs could pose a challenge in the future. To explore the impacts of drum failure, as well as the capabilities of SVE remediation, we simulated hypothetical contaminant release scenarios and subsequent SVE remediation. Three-dimensional subsurface VOC behavior, including advection, diffusion, and plume interactions with topography, were simulated using the porous flow simulator Finite Element Heat and Mass Transfer. Simulations of future site conditions have allowed identification of “sentry” boreholes that can be monitored for early detection in case of drum failure. Sentry boreholes can also be used to set concentration thresholds above which SVE should be initiated. For the LANL site, simulations show that SVE can be startedmore » 3 yr following drum failure and remain a viable remediation tool. More broadly, the principles outlined in this work can be used to support remediation planning at other subsurface waste sites. Predictive models of future releases can be analyzed to set concentration threshold values, guide selection of sentry boreholes, and increase operational efficiency.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [1];  [3]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  2. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); New Mexico Inst. of Mining and Technology, Socorro, NM (United States)
  3. Weston Solutions, Inc., West Chester, PA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation (NA-20)
OSTI Identifier:
1525821
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-18-22041
Journal ID: ISSN 1539-1663
Grant/Contract Number:  
89233218CNA000001
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Vadose Zone Journal
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 18; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 1539-1663
Publisher:
Soil Science Society of America
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English

Citation Formats

Behar, Hannah R., Snyder, Emily E., Marczak, Stanislaw, Salazar, Larry J., Rappe, Bobbie, Fordham, Gerald F., Chu, Shaoping P., Strobridge, Daniel M., Birdsell, Kay H., Miller, Terry A., Rich, Kent C., and Stauffer, Philip H. An Investigation of Plume Response to Soil Vapor Extraction and Hypothetical Drum Failure. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.2136/vzj2018.04.0080.
Behar, Hannah R., Snyder, Emily E., Marczak, Stanislaw, Salazar, Larry J., Rappe, Bobbie, Fordham, Gerald F., Chu, Shaoping P., Strobridge, Daniel M., Birdsell, Kay H., Miller, Terry A., Rich, Kent C., & Stauffer, Philip H. An Investigation of Plume Response to Soil Vapor Extraction and Hypothetical Drum Failure. United States. doi:10.2136/vzj2018.04.0080.
Behar, Hannah R., Snyder, Emily E., Marczak, Stanislaw, Salazar, Larry J., Rappe, Bobbie, Fordham, Gerald F., Chu, Shaoping P., Strobridge, Daniel M., Birdsell, Kay H., Miller, Terry A., Rich, Kent C., and Stauffer, Philip H. Thu . "An Investigation of Plume Response to Soil Vapor Extraction and Hypothetical Drum Failure". United States. doi:10.2136/vzj2018.04.0080. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1525821.
@article{osti_1525821,
title = {An Investigation of Plume Response to Soil Vapor Extraction and Hypothetical Drum Failure},
author = {Behar, Hannah R. and Snyder, Emily E. and Marczak, Stanislaw and Salazar, Larry J. and Rappe, Bobbie and Fordham, Gerald F. and Chu, Shaoping P. and Strobridge, Daniel M. and Birdsell, Kay H. and Miller, Terry A. and Rich, Kent C. and Stauffer, Philip H.},
abstractNote = {Soil vapor extraction (SVE) has been utilized at sites across the Department of Energy complex, including sites where legacy subsurface wastes represent a potential source of groundwater contamination. At Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), leakage from waste drums buried at an inactive chemical waste site has created a subsurface vapor plume of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Soil vapor extraction operation in 2015 and rebound testing through 2017 were successful in reducing the plume’s mass and mitigating VOC migration toward the water table. However, the possibility that waste drums could fail and release VOCs could pose a challenge in the future. To explore the impacts of drum failure, as well as the capabilities of SVE remediation, we simulated hypothetical contaminant release scenarios and subsequent SVE remediation. Three-dimensional subsurface VOC behavior, including advection, diffusion, and plume interactions with topography, were simulated using the porous flow simulator Finite Element Heat and Mass Transfer. Simulations of future site conditions have allowed identification of “sentry” boreholes that can be monitored for early detection in case of drum failure. Sentry boreholes can also be used to set concentration thresholds above which SVE should be initiated. For the LANL site, simulations show that SVE can be started 3 yr following drum failure and remain a viable remediation tool. More broadly, the principles outlined in this work can be used to support remediation planning at other subsurface waste sites. Predictive models of future releases can be analyzed to set concentration threshold values, guide selection of sentry boreholes, and increase operational efficiency.},
doi = {10.2136/vzj2018.04.0080},
journal = {Vadose Zone Journal},
issn = {1539-1663},
number = 1,
volume = 18,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {2}
}

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