Introduction to Basic Ground-Water Transport
 
By the earthDr!
 
Initial Splitting of the Plume
 
We have demonstrated on previous webpages that pumping ground water from a well will change the local ground-water flow regime. We have also demonstrated that a plume of dissolved contaminants in ground water can be flushed from the soil pores. It is because of these phenomena that it is possible to split a plume of dissolved ground-water contamination into two discrete plumes. There is often a considerable advantage to splitting a plume (if you can't wait to find out about the advantage of splitting a plume click here "TREATISE - VAPOR REMEDY FOR SEEPS OF CONTAMINATED GROUND WATER". Remember to use the back button on your browser to return to this page or go to the Table of Contents page to relocate yourself).
This first figure depicts a plan view presentation of an equipotential map during pumping conditions superimposed upon a plume of ground-water contamination (blue-gray shading) during non-pumping conditions. The coupling of these two conditions in this first figure is a good representation of an early stage of recovery of contaminated ground water. Just to the outside perimeter of the capture zone boundary, the pumpage of ground water from the recovery well causes the clean, outer ground-water flowpaths to be re-directed to flow into portions of the downgradient extent of plume. After sufficient flushes with clean ground water to this portion of the downgradient extent of plume, the dissolved contaminants in the ground water will be exhausted from the soil pores or rock voids in this area. Unless these contaminants are not very stable, they will be transported downgradient by the ground-water flow. If these compounds are unstable, they could possibly break down to some other compound.

In this second figure a cross-sectional representation of this first figure is depicted.
This figure not only displays the equipotentials (black equipotential lines) during pumping conditions, but also the non-pumping equipotentials along with the plume of dissolved product contamination in the water table. This figure demonstrates that the deeper, clean ground-water flowpaths are re-directed to flow into portions of the downgradient extent of the plume. The dissolved contaminants in the ground water will be exhausted from the soil pores or the rock voids given sufficient flushes with clean ground water.
 
 
 
 
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