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Modeling Subsurface Petroleum Hydrocarbon Transport

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A number of factors influence the magnitude and distribution of contaminants in ground water. These include:

  1. Ground water flow rate and direction,
  2. Sorption of chemicals to solids,
  3. Apparent mixing or dilution of the plume (called dispersion), and
  4. Biodegradation.

Each of these phenomena can appear directly in the equation governing contaminant transport in ground water. Each will be the object of a separate module in the course.

Transport is also dependent on characteristics of the releases that appear as so-called boundary conditions in the model equations. These can include

  1. The timing -- beginning and ending -- of the source
  2. Rate of release of mass from the source

These will be discussed as they arise in examples of model application.

A separate module will address volatilization. It may affect the strength of a source or it may reduce concentration from a contaminant plume.

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