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Modeling Effects of Multinode Wells on Solute Transport


U.S. Geological Survey, 431 National Center, Reston, VA 20192;


Long-screen wells or long open boreholes with intraborehole flow potentially provide pathways for contaminants to move from one location to another in a ground water flow system. Such wells also can perturb a flow field so that the well will not provide water samples that are representative of ground water quality a short distance away from the well. A methodology is presented to accurately and efficiently simulate solute transport in ground water systems that include wells longer than the grid spacing used in a simulation model of the system and hence are connected to multiple nodes of the grid. The methods are implemented in a MODFLOW-compatible solute-transport model and use MODFLOW’s Multi-Node Well Package but are generic and can be readily implemented in other solute-transport models. For nonpumping multinode wells (used to simulate open boreholes or observation wells, for example) and for low-rate pumping wells (in which the flow between the well and the ground water system is not unidirectional), a simple routing and local mixing model was developed to calculate nodal concentrations within the borehole. For high-rate pumping multinode wells (either withdrawal or injection, in which flow between the well and the ground water system is in the same direction at all well nodes), complete and instantaneous mixing in the wellbore of all inflows is assumed.