153 Groundwater Pollution and Remediation
Part 13. Groundwater
Published Online: 15 APR 2006
Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences
How to Cite
McNab, W., Hoffman, F. and Dooher, B. 2006. Groundwater Pollution and Remediation. Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences. 13:153.
- Published Online: 15 APR 2006
Contamination of groundwater resources by a variety of anthropogenic pollutants from both point and non-point sources represents a key global environmental problem. Contaminant species of concern include solvents, fuel hydrocarbons, heavy metals, pesticides, nitrate, and radionuclides. Groundwater contamination reflects local physical hydrogeological considerations but also the inherent properties of the contaminants. An understanding of the factors controlling contaminant behavior in the subsurface is a necessary prerequisite to exploring possible remedial solutions. These factors include the partitioning processes that govern the distribution of contaminant species between the aqueous phase, the solid phase (including adsorption onto soil particle surfaces), the gas phase, and, in some cases, nonaqueous phase liquids. Chemical and biological transformation processes also impact the behavior of different types of subsurface contaminants. The designs of passive and active groundwater remediation approaches often reflect consideration of one or more of these factors; however, the efficacy of most methods is often most closely dependent upon the physical characteristics of the subsurface environment, such as the distribution of hydraulic conductivity.
- groundwater contamination;
- chlorinated solvents;
- fuel hydrocarbons;
- heavy metals;
- groundwater remediation;
- natural attenuation