Transient Heterogeneity in an Aquifer Undergoing Bioremediation of Hydrocarbons

Transient Heterogeneity in an Aquifer Undergoing Bioremediation of Hydrocarbons

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  • November 20, 2018
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Localized, transient heterogeneity was studied in a sand aquifer undergoing benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene bioremediation using a novel array of multilevel, in situ point velocity probes (PVPs). The experiment was conducted within a sheet‐pile alleyway to maintain a constant average flow direction through time. The PVPs measured changes in groundwater velocity direction and magnitude at the centimeter scale, making them ideal to monitor small‐scale changes in hydraulic conductivity (K). Velocities were shown to vary nonuniformly by up to a factor of 3 when a source of oxygen was established down‐gradient of the petroleum spill. In spite of these local variations, the average groundwater velocity within the 7 m × 20 m sheet‐piled test area only varied within ± 25%. The nonuniform nature of the velocity variations across the gate indicated that the changes were not due solely to seasonal hydraulic …

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