Using Surfer 8® to Interpret Light Non-Aqueous Phase Liquid Monitoring Data: A Case Study
Biesterveld, Andrew C.
Schneiter, R. Wane
Marsh, Raymond W.
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Remediation of aviation fuel present in the subsurface as light non-aqueous phase liquid (LNAPL) occurred from 1982 to 1996 at a facility in an industrial section of a small city in eastern Asia. An undetermined amount of the aviation fuel had leaked from underground storage tanks into the unconfined aquifer for an unknown, but extended, period. The release was discovered in 1981, and 57 monitoring wells were eventually constructed, along with a non-aqueous phase liquid recovery system. The recovery system was operated into the late 199Os, when pumping was discontinued because recovery rates had declined to negligible levels. Monitoring data were collected throughout the remediation period, but because of the large and unwieldy amount of data available, the temporal and spatial distribution of the non-aqueous phase liquid was difficult to visualize and the data were never carefully analyzed. Surfer 8@ software was used to generate surface models representing non-aqueous phase liquid thicknesses. The significance of using Surfer 8@ for the analyses is that it is an “over-the-counter” basic software package that is relatively inexpensive, very easy to learn, requires no special computer skills, and produces a product that is useful to policy makers and others with limited technical expertise. The surface models made it possible to visualize the effects of hydrogeologic factors on the migration and recovery of the non-aqueous phase liquid as well as other features of the contamination that previously had been unrecognized.
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