Document Details

Groundwater Parameters and Flow Systems Near Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Subject Terms:
Clinch River, precipitation; ORNL, groundwater flow; evapotranspiration; radioactive, mixed wastes; waste area groupings, WAGs
Document Location:
DOE INFORMATION CENTER 1 Way, Oak Ridge, TN 37831; Eva Butler; Phone: 865-241-4780; Toll-Free: 800-382-6938, Option 6; FAX: 865-574-3521; Email:
Document Categories:
Health, Safety and Environment\Waste Management
Document Type:
Publication Date:
1989 Sep 30
Declassification Status:
Never classified
Document Pages:
Accession Number:
Document Number(s):
ORNL/TM-11368; Pub. No. 3403; PubNo3403
Originating Research Org.:
Department of Energy
OpenNet Entry Date:
1998 Jun 16
This document concerns the groundwater parameters and flow systems near Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Precipitation near Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) averages 132 cm/yr. About 76 cm/yr of water is consumed by evapotranspiration. The natural streamflow, which averages 56 cm/yr of water, consists of overland flow (about 21 cm/yr) from water bodies, wetlands, and impervious areas and of groundwater discharge (about 35 cm/yr of water). Groundwater occurs in a stormflow zone that extends from the land surface to a depth of 0.3-2 m and in shallow and deeper aquifiers that extend from the water table to the base of fresh water. In the stormflow zone, most water flows through macropores and mesopores, which have a volumetric porosity of about 0.002. In the vadose zone and below the water table, water flows through fractures that have a volumetric porosity in the range 1 x 10(-5) to 0.02. Water inflow ocurs by precipitation and infiltration. Infiltration that exceeds the soil water deficit forms a perched water table in the stormflow zone at the level where infiltration rate exceeds vertical hydraulic conductivity. Some water percolates down to the water table but the majority flows downslope to the streams. Recharge of the shallow aquifier is only about 3.2 cm/yr of water or 5.7 percent of streamflow. Most of the water that recharges the shallow aquifier is discharged by evapotranspiration above the water table. The remainder is discharged at springs and streams where the water table is within the stormflow zone. Digital models that permit unsaturated conditions and transient flows may be more appropriate than steady-state models of saturated flow for the ORNL area. A table and figures are included.

<< Return to Search Results