### Abstract

- Top of page
- Abstract
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Physical Setting and Site Hydrogeology
- 3. Borehole Locations and Hydraulic Conductivity Determination
- 4. Mean and Variance of Hydraulic Conductivity
- 5. Spatial Correlation of Hydraulic Conductivity
- 6. Effective Hydraulic Conductivity and Macrodispersivity Estimates
- 7. Flow and Solute Transport Modeling
- 8. Model Results
- 9. Summary and Conclusions
- Acknowledgments
- References
- Supporting Information

[1] The spatial variability of hydraulic conductivity in a shallow unconfined aquifer located at North Bay, Ontario, composed of glacial-lacustrine and glacial-fluvial sands, is examined in exceptional detail and characterized geostatistically. A total of 1878 permeameter measurements were performed at 0.05 m vertical intervals along cores taken from 20 boreholes along two intersecting transect lines. Simultaneous three-dimensional (3-D) fitting of *Ln*(*K*) variogram data to an exponential model yielded geostatistical parameters for the estimation of bulk hydraulic conductivity and solute dispersion parameters. The analysis revealed a *Ln*(*K*) variance equal to about 2.0 and 3-D anisotropy of the correlation structure of the heterogeneity (*λ*_{1}, *λ*_{2}, and *λ*_{3} equal to 17.19, 7.39, and 1.0 m, respectively). Effective values of the hydraulic conductivity tensor and the value of the longitudinal macrodispersivity were calculated using the theoretical expressions of Gelhar and Axness (1983). The magnitude of the longitudinal macrodispersivity is reasonably consistent with the observed degree of longitudinal dispersion of the landfill plume along the principal path of migration. Variably saturated 3-D flow modeling using the statistically derived effective hydraulic conductivity tensor allowed a reasonably close prediction of the measured water table and the observed heads at various depths in an array of piezometers. Concomitant transport modeling using the calculated longitudinal macrodispersivity reasonably predicted the extent and migration rates of the observed contaminant plume that was monitored using a network of multilevel samplers over a period of about 5 years. It was further demonstrated that the length of the plume is relatively insensitive to the value of the longitudinal macrodispersivity under the conditions of a steady flow in 3-D and constant source strength. This study demonstrates that the use of statistically derived parameters based on stochastic theories results in reliable large-scale 3-D flow and transport models for complex hydrogeological systems. This is in agreement with the conclusions reached by Sudicky (1986) at the site of an elaborate tracer test conducted in the aquifer at the Canadian Forces Base Borden.