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Modeling Subsurface Petroleum Hydrocarbon Transport

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The BTEX and MTBE plumes at East Patchogue, New York, are an example for illustrating processes that influence subsurface transport. The plumes are shown in a vertical slice through the longitudinal axis through the plume:

Xylenes, benzene and MTBE plumes at East Patchogue, New York

Ground water flow in this example is from right to left. The source was at the far right (0 feet). The light blue plume indicated by "a" represents xylenes, "b" and "c" represent the extent of benzene and "d" and "e" represent MTBE. There are other unusual aspects to these plumes that will be discussed in later modules.

Clearly the MTBE has moved the furthest, followed by benzene and then the xylenes. Factors influencing this distribution are described in the following pages.

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