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Identification of Contaminant Source Characteristics and Monitoring Network Design in Groundwater Aquifers: An Overview

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DOI: 10.4236/jep.2013.45A004    5,313 Downloads   8,828 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

The groundwater system is often polluted by different sources of contamination where the sources are difficult to detect. The presence of contamination in groundwater poses significant challenges to its delineation and quantification. The remediation of a contaminated site requires an optimal decision making system to identify the pollutant source characteristics accurately and efficiently. The source characteristics are generally identified using contaminant concentration measurements from arbitrary or planned monitoring locations. To effectively characterize the sources of pollution, the monitoring locations should be selected appropriately. An efficient monitoring network will result in satisfactory characterization of contaminant sources. On the other hand, an appropriate design of monitoring network requires reliable source characteristics. A coupled iterative sequential source identification and dynamic monitoring network design, improves substantially the accuracy of source identification model. This paper reviews different source identification and monitoring network design methods in groundwater contaminant sites. Further, the models for sequential integration of these two models are presented. The effective integration of source identification and dedicated monitoring network design models, distributed sources, parameter uncertainty, and pollutant geo-chemistry are some of the issues which need to be addressed in efficient, accurate and widely applicable methodologies for identification of unknown pollutant sources in contaminated aquifers.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

M. Amirabdollahian and B. Datta, "Identification of Contaminant Source Characteristics and Monitoring Network Design in Groundwater Aquifers: An Overview," Journal of Environmental Protection, Vol. 4 No. 5A, 2013, pp. 26-41. doi: 10.4236/jep.2013.45A004.

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