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 JWARP  Vol.8 No.1 , January 2016
Preliminary Hydrogeologic Modeling and Optimal Monitoring Network Design for a Contaminated Abandoned Mine Site Area: Application of Developed Monitoring Network Design Software
Abstract: In abandoned mine sites, i.e., mine sites where mining operations have ended, wide spread contaminations are often evident, but the potential sources and pathways of contamination especially through the subsurface, are difficult to identify due to inadequate and sparse geochemical measurements available. Therefore, it is essential to design and implement a planned monitoring net-work to obtain essential information required for establishing the potential contamination source locations, i.e., waste dumps, tailing dams, pits and possible pathways through the subsurface, and to design a remediation strategy for rehabilitation. This study presents an illustrative application of modeling the flow and transport processes and monitoring network design in a study area hydrogeologically resembling an abandoned mine site in Queensland, Australia. In this preliminary study, the contaminant transport process modeled does not incorporate the reactive geochemistry of the contaminants. The transport process is modeled considering a generic conservative contaminant for the illustrative purpose of showing the potential application of an optimal monitoring design methodology. This study aims to design optimal monitoring network to: 1) minimize the contaminant solute mass estimation error; 2) locate the plume boundary; 3) select the monitoring locations with (potentially) high concentrations. A linked simulation optimization based methodology is utilized for optimal monitoring network design. The methodology is applied utilizing a recently developed software package CARE-GWMND, developed at James Cook University for optimal monitoring network design. Given the complexity of the groundwater systems and the sparsity of pollutant concentration observation data from the field, this software is capable of simulating the groundwater flow and solute transport with spatial interpolation of data from a sparse set of available data, and it utilizes the optimization algorithm to determine optimum locations for implementing monitoring wells.
Cite this paper: Datta, B. , Durand, F. , Laforge, S. , Prakash, O. , Esfahani, H. , Chadalavada, S. and Naidu, R. (2016) Preliminary Hydrogeologic Modeling and Optimal Monitoring Network Design for a Contaminated Abandoned Mine Site Area: Application of Developed Monitoring Network Design Software. Journal of Water Resource and Protection, 8, 46-64. doi: 10.4236/jwarp.2016.81005.
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