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Title: Evaluating Transport and Attenuation of Inorganic Contaminants in the Vadose Zone for Aqueous Waste Disposal Sites

An approach was developed for evaluating vadose zone transport and attenuation of aqueous wastes containing inorganic (non-volatile) contaminants that were disposed of at the land surface (i.e., directly to the ground in cribs, trenches, tile fields, etc.) and their effect on the underlying groundwater. The approach provides a structured method for estimating transport of contaminants through the vadose zone and the resulting temporal profile of groundwater contaminant concentrations. The intent of the approach is also to provide a means for presenting and explaining the results of the transport analysis in the context of the site-specific waste disposal conditions and site properties, including heterogeneities and other complexities. The document includes considerations related to identifying appropriate monitoring to verify the estimated contaminant transport and associated predictions of groundwater contaminant concentrations. While primarily intended for evaluating contaminant transport under natural attenuation conditions, the approach can also be applied to identify types of, and targets for, mitigation approaches in the vadose zone that would reduce the temporal profile of contaminant concentrations in groundwater, if needed.
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  1. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
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Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
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Country of Publication:
United States
vadose zone; contamination; groundwater