Characterizing the heterogeneity and correlation of perchloroethene sorption and hydraulic conductivity using a facies-based approach


  • Richelle M. Allen-King,

  • Richard M. Halket,

  • David R. Gaylord,

  • Michel J. L. Robin


A facies-based approach was used to delineate both geochemical and physical aquifer property heterogeneity. Specifically, the parameters considered were the sorption coefficient (Kd) for a model organic contaminant and hydraulic conductivity (K) inferred from the particle size distribution. Subfacies-sized samples were analyzed for both tetrachloroethene Kd and K in a vertical core of the Borden aquifer. Both parameters were correlated with the six sedimentary facies identified within the vertical core. As a consequence of their relations to sedimentary facies, significant positive correlations between ln K and ln Kd which were different from the core-scale correlation and different from each other were identified for some facies. Fades-specific correlations generally resulted in improved statistics (i.e., higher correlation coefficients and reduced confidence intervals) compared to the core-scale correlation. The results suggest that a facies-based approach can be useful in characterizing the heterogeneity of the transport properties of sedimentary aquifers.