Mathematical model to calculate polluted groundwater

Wednesday, 19 April, 2006

Dutch researcher Phil Ham has developed a mathematical model to calculate the natural degradation capacity of polluted groundwater.

Groundwater under contaminated sites is often polluted, and the polluted areas can grow, shrink or remain stable due to the relationship between physical, chemical and biological processes.

The mathematical expressions can determine the size of polluted areas and assess the natural degradation capacity of contaminated sites. The analytical models calculate the reactive transport of dissolved matter in water through porous soil and the characteristics of the mixing processes.

Now that it can be calculated whether a polluted area will decrease in size or remain stable, invasive and expensive remediation methods can possibly be avoided.

The results of this study enable predictions to be made about the effectiveness of natural degradation as a responsible alternative to aquifer remediation.

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