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Modeling Subsurface Petroleum Hydrocarbon Transport

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Plumes reflect the ground water velocity and amount of time the contaminants have been in the ground water.



Schematic depiction of a short plume and a long plume.

source Color of the contaminant source
xylenes Color of the xylenes plume
benzene Color of the benzene plume
MTBE Color of the MTBE plume


The top plume represents a plume in a low ground water velocity aquifer. There is less separation of contaminants, simply because the ground water moves slower. There may be more lateral spreading because of changing flow directions and lateral dispersion.

The bottom plume represents a high ground water velocity aquifer-- like the two previous examples. There is more separation of contaminants, because the ground water moves faster.

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