Quantifying effects of soil heterogeneity on groundwater pollution at four sites in the USA

Vuurens, Saskia, Stagnitti, Frank, de Rooij, Gerrit, Boll, Jan, Li, Ling, LeBlanc, Marc, Ierodiaconou, Daniel, Versace, Vince and Salzman, Scott 2005, Quantifying effects of soil heterogeneity on groundwater pollution at four sites in the USA, Science in China series c: life sciences, vol. 48, no. Supp.1, pp. 118-127.

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Title Quantifying effects of soil heterogeneity on groundwater pollution at four sites in the USA
Author(s) Vuurens, Saskia
Stagnitti, Frank
de Rooij, Gerrit
Boll, Jan
Li, Ling
LeBlanc, Marc
Ierodiaconou, Daniel
Versace, Vince
Salzman, Scott
Journal name Science in China series c: life sciences
Volume number 48
Issue number Supp.1
Start page 118
End page 127
Total pages 10
Publisher Springer-Verlag GmbH
Place of publication Heidelberg, Germany
Publication date 2005-01
ISSN 1006-9305
1862-2798
Keyword(s) solutes
drainage
cumulative beta distri bution
pollution
heterogeneity index
bromide
chloride
leaching
Summary Four sites located in the north-eastern region of the United States of America have been chosen to investigate the impacts of soil heterogeneity in the transport of solutes (bromide and chloride) through the vadose zone (the zone in the soil that lies below the root zone and above the permanent saturated groundwater). A recently proposed mathematical model based on the cumulative beta distribution has been deployed to compare and contrast the regions' heterogeneity from multiple sample percolation experiments. Significant differences in patterns of solute leaching were observed even over a small spatial scale, indicating that traditional sampling methods for solute transport, for example the gravity pan or suction Iysimeters, or more recent inventions such as the multiple sample percolation systems may not be effective in estimating solute fluxes in soils when a significant degree of soil heterogeneity is present. Consequently, ignoring soil heterogeneity in solute transport studies will likely result in under- or overprediction of leached fluxes and potentially lead to serious pollution of soils and/or groundwater. The cumulative beta distribution technique is found to be a versatile and simple technique of gaining valuable information regarding soil heterogeneity effects on solute transport. It is also an excellent tool for guiding future decisions of experimental designs particularly in regard to the number of samples within one site and the number of sampling locations between sites required to obtain a representative estimate of field solute or drainage flux.
Language eng
Field of Research 090702 Environmental Engineering Modelling
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2005, Science in China Press
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30006567

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Life and Environmental Sciences
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