Modeling Subsurface Petroleum Hydrocarbon Transport
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Contaminant plumes are influenced by the physics, biology and chemistry of the contaminants. Plumes are the result of
- Release of mass from the source,
- Transport of chemicals in the aquifer, and
These have been discussed in terms of:
- Source: source strength,
- Transport: ground water flow, sorption, dispersion, and
- Losses: biodegradation.
Each of these processes must be quantified in order to apply models to a site. The processes will each be described in following modules of the course.
Perception of the plumes is dependent also on how they are sampled and how the data are interpreted. Some of the important factors are:
- vertical and horizontal sample location, and
- contouring and underlying data locations
Why is the perception of plumes important for modeling?
Field data and proper understanding of contaminant distributions/plumes are a critical part of modeling because of the need to adjust model parameters to obtain a "fit" to field data (called calibration) and because of the need to demonstrate that the model reproduces field behavior. These also will be addressed in following modules.
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