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Open AccessArticle

Estimation of Conservative Contaminant Travel Time through Vadose Zone Based on Transient and Steady Flow Approaches

Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Gdańsk University of Technology, ul. Narutowicza 11/12, 80-233 Gdańsk, Poland
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Water 2018, 10(10), 1417; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10101417
Received: 5 September 2018 / Revised: 29 September 2018 / Accepted: 2 October 2018 / Published: 10 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Hydrology and Hydrogeology)
Estimation of contaminant travel time through the vadose zone is needed for assessing groundwater vulnerability to pollution, planning monitoring and remediation activities or predicting the effect of land use change or climate change on groundwater quality. The travel time can be obtained from numerical simulations of transient flow and transport in the unsaturated soil profile, which typically require a large amount of data and considerable computational effort. Alternatively, one can use simpler analytical methods based on the assumptions of steady water flow and purely advective transport. In this study, we compared travel times obtained with transient and steady-state approaches for several scenarios. Transient simulations were carried out using the HYDRUS-1D computer program for two types of homogeneous soil profiles (sand and clay loam), two types of land cover (bare soil and grass) and two values of dispersion constant. It was shown that the presence of root zone and the dispersion constant significantly affect the results. We also computed the travel times using six simplified methods proposed in the literature. None of these methods was in good agreement with transient simulations for all scenarios and the discrepancies were particularly large for the case of clay loam with grass cover. View Full-Text
Keywords: unsaturated zone; Richards’ equation; contaminant transport; time lag unsaturated zone; Richards’ equation; contaminant transport; time lag
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MDPI and ACS Style

Szymkiewicz, A.; Gumuła-Kawęcka, A.; Potrykus, D.; Jaworska-Szulc, B.; Pruszkowska-Caceres, M.; Gorczewska-Langner, W. Estimation of Conservative Contaminant Travel Time through Vadose Zone Based on Transient and Steady Flow Approaches. Water 2018, 10, 1417. https://doi.org/10.3390/w10101417

AMA Style

Szymkiewicz A, Gumuła-Kawęcka A, Potrykus D, Jaworska-Szulc B, Pruszkowska-Caceres M, Gorczewska-Langner W. Estimation of Conservative Contaminant Travel Time through Vadose Zone Based on Transient and Steady Flow Approaches. Water. 2018; 10(10):1417. https://doi.org/10.3390/w10101417

Chicago/Turabian Style

Szymkiewicz, Adam; Gumuła-Kawęcka, Anna; Potrykus, Dawid; Jaworska-Szulc, Beata; Pruszkowska-Caceres, Małgorzata; Gorczewska-Langner, Wioletta. 2018. "Estimation of Conservative Contaminant Travel Time through Vadose Zone Based on Transient and Steady Flow Approaches" Water 10, no. 10: 1417. https://doi.org/10.3390/w10101417

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