Multicomponent Simulations of Contrasting Redox Environments at an LNAPL Site

Authors


Tuebingen Groundwater Research Institute (TGF), Tuebingen, Wrangelstr. 49, D-10997 Berlin, Germany; +49 (0) 30 3036-4864; ben_miles@web.de

Abstract

A two-dimensional multicomponent reactive transport modeling approach was used to simulate contaminant transport and the evolution of redox processes at a large-scale kerosene-contaminated site near Berlin, Germany. In contrast to previous site-scale modeling studies that focused either on one or two contaminants or on steady-state redox conditions, multiple contaminants and electron acceptors, including mineral phase Iron (III), were considered with an evolving redox zonation. Inhibition terms were used to switch between the different electron acceptor processes in the reaction scheme. The transient evolution of redox zones and contaminant plumes was simulated for two separate transects of the site, which have different geology and ground water recharge distributions and where quite different downstream contaminant and terminal electron–accepting process (TEAP) distributions are observed. The same reaction system, calibrated to measured concentrations along one of the transects, was used in both cases, achieving a reasonable match with observed concentrations. The differences between the two transects could thus to some extent be attributed to the different hydrological and hydrogeological conditions, in particular ground water recharge distributions. Long-term simulations showed that the distribution of TEAPs evolves as Fe(III) becomes depleted, with conditions becoming increasingly methanogenic, leading to changes in contaminant plume lengths. The models were applied to assess the potential effects of planned changes in land use at the site that may affect the ground water recharge distribution. The simulated redox zonation responded strongly to changes in recharge, which in turn led to changes in the contaminant plume lengths.

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