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Unformatted text preview: 1 United States Environmental Protection Agency Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response Office of Research and Development Ground Water Issue Fundamentals of Ground-Water Modeling Robert S. Kerr Environmental Research Laboratory Ada, Oklahoma Superfund Technology Support Center for Ground Water Jacob Bear a , Milovan S. Beljin b , and Randall R. Ross c achieve remediation goals. Management decisions are aimed at minimizing this cost while maximizing the benefits to be derived from operating the system. The value of managements objective function (e.g., minimize cost and maximize effectiveness of remediation) usually depends on both the values of the decision variables (e.g., areal and temporal distributions of pumpage) and on the response of the aquifer system to the implementation of these decisions. Constraints are expressed in terms of future values of state variables of the considered ground-water system, such as water table elevations and concentrations of specific contaminants in the water. Typical constraints may be that the concentration of a certain contaminant should not exceed a specified value, or that the water level at a certain location should not drop below specified levels. Only by comparing predicted values with specified constraints can decision makers conclude whether or not a specific constraint has been violated. An essential part of a good decision-making process is that the response of a system to the implementation of contemplated decisions must be known before they are implemented. In the management of a ground-water system in which decisions must be made with respect to both water quality and water quantity, a tool is needed to provide the decision maker with information about the future response of the system to the effects of management decisions. Depending on the nature of Technology Innovation Office Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, US EPA, Washington, DC Walter W. Kovalick, Jr., Ph.D. Director a Technion - Israel Institute of Technology b University of Cincinnati c U.S. EPA, Robert S. Kerr Environmental Research Laboratory Ground-water flow and contaminant transport modeling has been used at many hazardous waste sites with varying degrees of success. Models may be used throughout all phases of the site investigation and remediation processes. The ability to reliably predict the rate and direction of ground- water flow and contaminant transport is critical in planning and implementing ground-water remediations. This paper presents an overview of the essential components of ground-water flow and contaminant transport modeling in saturated porous media. While fractured rocks and fractured porous rocks may behave like porous media with respect to many flow and contaminant transport phenomena, they require a separate discussion and are not included in this paper. Similarly, the special features of flow and contaminant transport in the unsaturated zone are also not included. This paper was prepared for an audience with some technical background and...
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- Spring '05