Source characterization of multiple reactive species at an abandoned mine site using a groundwater numerical simulation model and optimization models

Hayford, Michael Saah, and Datta, Bithin (2021) Source characterization of multiple reactive species at an abandoned mine site using a groundwater numerical simulation model and optimization models. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18 (9). 4776.

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Abstract

The most important first step in the management and remediation of contaminated groundwater aquifers is unknown contaminant source characterization. Often, the hydrogeological field data available for accurate source characterization are very sparse. In addition, hydrogeological and geochemical parameter estimates and field measurements are uncertain. Particularly in complex contaminated sites such as abandoned mine sites, the geochemical processes are very complex and identifying the sources of contamination in terms of location, magnitude, and duration, and determination of the pathways of pollution become very difficult. The reactive nature of the contaminant species makes the geochemical transport process very difficult to model and predict. Additionally, the source identification inverse problem is often non‐unique and ill posed. This study is about developing and demonstrating a source characterization methodology for a complex contaminated aquifer with multiple reactive species. This study presents linked simulation optimization‐based methodologies for characterization of unknown groundwater pollution source characteristics, i.e., location, magnitude and duration or timing. Optimization models are solved using an adaptive simulated annealing (ASA) optimization algorithm. The performance of the developed methodology is evaluated for different complex scenarios of groundwater pollution such as distributed mine waste dumps with reactive chemical species. The method is also applied to a real‐life contaminated aquifer to demonstrate the potential applicability and optimal characterization results. The illustrative example site is a mine site in Northern Australia that is no longer active.

Item ID: 70417
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1660-4601
Keywords: Contaminated aquifer, Evolutionary optimization, Linked simulation optimization, Multiple species reactive transport, Optimal contaminant source characterization
Copyright Information: Copyright: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Funders: CRC-CARE Australia, James Cook University (JCU)
Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2021 22:07
FoR Codes: 40 ENGINEERING > 4005 Civil engineering > 400513 Water resources engineering @ 100%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1803 Fresh, ground and surface water systems and management > 180399 Fresh, ground and surface water systems and management not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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