Uncertainty based optimal monitoring network design for a chlorinated hydrocarbon contaminated site

Chadalavada, Sreenivasulu, Datta, Bithin, and Naidu, Ravi (2010) Uncertainty based optimal monitoring network design for a chlorinated hydrocarbon contaminated site. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 173 (1-4). pp. 929-940.

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An application of a newly developed optimal monitoring network for the delineation of contaminants in groundwater is demonstrated in this study. Designing a monitoring network in an optimal manner helps to delineate the contaminant plume with a minimum number of monitoring wells at optimal locations at a contaminated site. The basic principle used in this study is that the wells are installed where the measurement uncertainties are minimum at the potential monitoring locations. The development of the optimal monitoring network is based on the utilization of contaminant concentration data from an existing initial arbitrary monitoring network. The concentrations at the locations that were not sampled in the study area are estimated using geostatistical tools. The uncertainty in estimating the contaminant concentrations at such locations is used as design criteria for the optimal monitoring network. The uncertainty in the study area was quantified by using the concentration estimation variances at all the potential monitoring locations. The objective function for the monitoring network design minimizes the spatial concentration estimation variances at all potential monitoring well locations where a monitoring well is not to be installed as per the design criteria. In the proposed methodology, the optimal monitoring network is designed for the current management period and the contaminant concentration data estimated at the potential observation locations are then used as the input to the network design model. The optimal monitoring network is designed for the consideration of two different cases by assuming different initial arbitrary existing data. Three different scenarios depending on the limit of the maximum number of monitoring wells that can be allowed at any period are considered for each case. In order to estimate the efficiency of the developed optimal monitoring networks, mass estimation errors are compared for all the three different scenarios of the two different cases. The developed methodology is useful in coming up with an optimal number of monitoring wells within the budgetary limitations. The methodology also addresses the issue of redundancy, as it refines the existing monitoring network without losing much information of the network. The concept of uncertainty-based network design model is useful in various stages of a potentially contaminated site management such as delineation of contaminant plume and long-term monitoring of the remediation process.

Item ID: 16758
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1573-2959
Keywords: pollution source; simulation optimization; groundwater; genetic algorithm
Date Deposited: 31 May 2011 00:56
FoR Codes: 09 ENGINEERING > 0905 Civil Engineering > 090509 Water Resources Engineering @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960908 Mining Land and Water Management @ 100%
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