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4 STUDIES IN GEOPHYSICS Groundwater Contamination Geophysics Study Committee Geophysics Research Forum Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Resources National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1984 )
NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20418 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for this report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was established by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and of advising the federal government. The Council operates in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy under the authority of its congressional charter of 1863, which establishes the Academy as a private, nonprofit, self-governing membership corporation. The Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in the conduct of their services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. It is ad- ministered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine were established in 1964 and 1970, respectively, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences. The Geophysics Study Committee is pleased to acknowledge the support of the National Science Foun- dation, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U. S. Geological Survey, and the U. S. Department of Energy (Grant #DE-FGO2-82ER12018) for the conduct of this study. Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Main entry under title: Groundwater contamination. (Studies in geophysics) 1. Water, Underground Pollution United States. I. National Research Council (U.S.). Geophysics Study Committee. II. Series. TD223. G75 1984 ISBN 0-309-03441-8 628.1'68 83-27249 Printed in the United States of America
Panel on Grounc~water Contamination J O H N D . B RE D E H O E FT, U. S. Geological Survey, Chairman MARY P. ANDERSON, University of Wisconsin, Madison MARY JO BAE DEC KE R. U. S. Geological Survey KEROS CARTWRIGHT, Illinois State Geological Survey RANDALL J. CHARBENEAU, The University of Texas at Austin J O H N A. C H E RRY, University of Waterloo STANLEY N. DAVIS, University of Arizona DAVID B. GOETZE, Utah State University YACOV Y. HAIMES, Case Western Reserve University DARLE AN E C . H O F F M AN, Los Alamos National Laboratory GRANT E. KIMMEL, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency LEONARD F. KONIKOW, U.S. Geological Survey JA M E S W. M E RC E R. GeoTrans, Inc. DAVID MILLER, Geraghty & Miller, Inc. VE RO N ~ CA ~ . PYE, The Academy of Natural Sciences JO H N B. ROBE RTSON, U. S. Geological Survey Staff THOMAS M. USSELMAN . . .
Geophysics Study Committees ARTH U R E . M AXWE LL, The University of Texas at Austin, Chairman COLIN BULL, The Ohio State University JOHN C. CROWELL, University of California, Santa Barbara NICHOLAS C. MATALAS, U. S. Geological Survey J. M U BRAY M ITC H E LL, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration V. RAMA M URTHY, University of Minnesota RAYMOND G. ROBLE, National Center for Atmospheric Research FERRIS WEBSTER, University of Delaware Liaison Representatives RALPH ALEWINE, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency BRUCE B. HAN S HAW, U. S. Geological Survey GEORGE A. KOLSTAD, U.s. Department of Energy MICHAEL MAYHEW, National Science Foundation NED OSTENSO, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration WILLIAM RANEY, NationalAeronautics and Space Administration Staff THOMAS M. USSELMAN *Members of the Geophysics Study Committee whose terms expired in June 1982 but were involved in initiating this study are CHARLES L. DRAKE (Chairman), Dartmouth College; LOUIS J. BATTAN (Vice Chairman), University of Arizona; JOHN D. BREDEHOEFT, U.S. Geological Survey; ALLAN V. COX, Stanford University; HUGH ODISHAW, University of Arizona; CHARLES B. OFFICER, Dartmouth College. 1V
Geophysics Research Forum D O N L. AN D E RS O N. California Institute of Technology, Chairman CHARLES R. BENTLEY, University of Wisconsin, Madison JAMES H. COULSON, Tennessee Valley Authority WILLIAM R. DICKINSON, University of Arizona THOMAS DONAHUE, University of Michigan JOHN V. EVANS, Communications Satellite Corporation HOWARD R. GOULD, Exxon Production Research Company DEVRIE S. INTRILGATOR, Carme! Research Center KlETH A. KVENVOEDEN, U.S. Geological Survey THOMAS F. MALONE, West Hartford, Connecticut ARTHUR E. MAXWELL, The University of Texas at Austin JOHN C. MAXWE EL, The University of Texas at Austin PAUL W. POMEROY, Rondout Associates, Inc. H UGH ODIS HAW, University of Arizona ALAN H. SHAPLEY, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration JO H N S LAU G HTE R. University of Maryland FRANCIS G. STE H El, University of Oklahoma MURRAY STRASBERG, U.S. Navy VE RN E R E . S U O M I, University of Wisconsin, Madison EINAR A. TANDBERG-HANSSEN, National Aeronautics and Space Administration BYRON D. TAPLEY, The University of Texas at Austin CHARLES A. WHITTEN, Silver Spring, Maryland Ex Officio LOUIS J. BATTAN, University of Arizona OWEN GINGERICH, Smithsonian/Harvard Center for Astrophysics ROBERT HOFSTADTER, Stanford University THOMAS A. SENIOR, University of Michigan Staff PEMBROKE J. HART
Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Resources HERBERT FRIEDMAN, National Research Council, Chairman ELKAN R. BLOUT, Harvard Medical School WILLIAM BROWDER, Princeton University BERNARD F. BURKE, Massachusetts Institute of Technology H E RM AN C H E RN O F F. Massachusetts Institute of Technology WALTER R. ECKELMANN, Sohio Petroleum Company JOSEPH L. FIS HER, Office of the Governor, Commonwealth of Virginia JAMES C. FLETCHER, University of Pittsburgh WI LLIAM A. FOWLE R. California Institute of Technology GERHART FRIEDLANDER, Brookhaven National Laboratory E DWARD A. FRIE MAN, Science Applications, Inc. E DWARD D. GOLDBERG, Scripps Institution of Oceanography CHARLES L. HOSLER, JR., Pennsylvania State University KONRAD B. KRAUSKOPF, Stanford University MANKIN, Oklahoma Geological Survey MUNK, University of California, San Diego C HARLE S J. WALTE R H. GEORGE E. FAKE, Xerox Research Center ROBERT E. STEVERS, University of Colorado HOWARD E. SIMMONS, JR., E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., Inc. JOHN D. SPENGLER, Harvard School of Public Health HATTEN S. YODER, JR., Carnegie Institution of Washington RA P H A E L G . KA S P E R. Executive Director V1
l Studies in Geophysics ENERGY AND CLIMATE Roger R. Revelle, panel chairman, 1977, 158 pp. CLIMATE, CLIMATIC CHANGE, AND WATER SUPPLY James R. Wallis, panel chairman, 1977, 132 pp. ESTUARIES, GEOPHYSICS, AND THE ENVIRONMENT Charles B. Officer, panel chairman, 1977, 127 pp. THE UPPER ATMOSPHERE AND MAGNETOSPHERE Francis S. Johnson, panel chairman, 1977, 169 pp. GEOPHYSICAL PREDICTIONS Helmut E. Larldsberg, panel chairman, 1978, 215 pp. IMPACT OF TECHNOLOGY ON GEOPHYSICS Homer E. Newell, panel chairman, 1979, 121 pp. CONTINENTAL TECTONICS B. Clark Burchfiel, Jack E. Oliver, and Leon T. Silver, panel co-chairmen, 1980, 197 pp. MINERAL RESOURCES: GENETIC UNDERSTANDING FOR PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS Paul B. Barton, Jr., panel chairman, 1981, 118 pp. SCIENTIFIC BASIS OF WATER-RESOURCE MANAGEMENT Myron B. Fiering, panel chairman, 1982, 127 pp. SOLAR VARIABILITY, WEATHER, AND CLIMATE John A. Eddy, panel chairman, 1982, 106 pp. CLIMATE IN EARTH HISTORY Wolfgang H. Berger arid John C. Crowell, panel co-chairmen, 1982, 197 pp. FUNDAMENTAL RESEARCH ON ESTUARIES: THE IMPORTANCE OF AN INTERDISCIPLINARY APPROACH Charles B. Officer and L. Eugene Cronin, panel co-chairmen, 1983, 79 pp. EXPLOSIVE VOLCANISM: INCEPTION, EVOLUTION, AND HAZARDS Francis R. Boyd, Jr., pane, chairman, 1984, 176 pp. GROUNDWATER CONTAMINATION John D. BredehoePc, panel chairman, 1984, 179 pp. *Published to date. vat
Preface This study is part of a series of studies in geophysics that have been undertaken for the Geophysics Research Forum by the Geophysics Study Committee. One purpose of each study is to provide assessments from the scientific community to aid policymakers in decisions on a societal problem that involve geophysics. An important part of such assessments is an evaluation of the adequacy of current geophysical knowledge ant] the appropriateness of current research programs as a source of information required for those (recisions. This study on groundwater contamination was initiated by the Geophysics Study Committee and the Geophysics Research Forum with consultation of the liaison rep- resentatives of the agencies that support the Geophysics Study Committee, relevant committees and boards within the National Research Council, ant] members of the scientific community. The study addresses our current scientific understanding of grounclwater contaminant transport both by theory and by investigation of contaminates] aquifers. The study also looks at many of the fundamental questions and uncertainties that require additional scientific research for the precliction of contaminant transport and the control of ground- water contamination. The preliminary scientific findings of the authored chapters were presented at an American Geophysical Union symposium in San Francisco in December 1981. In com- pleting their chapters, the authors had the benefit of discussion at this symposium as well as the comments of several scientific referees. Ultimate responsibility for the incliviclual chapters, however, rests with their authors. The Overview of the study summarizes the highlights of the chapters and formulates conclusions and recommendations. In preparing the Overview, the panel chairman and the Geophysics Study Committee had the benefit of meetings that took place at the symposium and the comments of the panel of authors and other referees. Responsibility for the Overview rests with the Geophysics Study Committee and the chairman of the panel. The authored chapters following the Overview contain much of the specific aspects of groundwater contamination. Chapter 1 briefly examines the magnitude and nature 1X
Preface of the problem. Chapters 2 and 3 review the scientific understanding of contaminant transport and chemistry. Chapters 4 ant! 5 review some of the problems associated with waste-disposal methods. Chapters 6 through 12 give specific examples of groundwater contamination, the nature of the scientific problems, and the scientific problems in- volved in waste disposal and aquifer reclamation. The final two chapters, 13 and 14, introduce some of the institutional considerations for waste disposal and the prevention of groundwater contamination. x
Contents OVERVIEW AND RECOMMENDATIONS I. BACKGROUND 1. The Extent of Groundwater Contamination in the United States Veronica I. Pye and Jocelyn Kelley II. PROCESSES 2. Movement of Contaminants in Groundwater: Groundwater Transport Advection and Dispersion Mary P. Anderson 3. Contaminants in Groundwater: Chemical Processes John A. Cherry, Robert W. Gillh~m, and fames F. Barker III. METHODS OF WASTE DISPOSAL 4. Shallow Land Burial of Municipal Wastes Keros Cartwright 5. Deep Burial of Toxic Wastes Stanley N. Davis IV. EXAMPLES 6. Groundwater Contamination and Aquifer Reclamation at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Colorado Leonard F. Konikow and Douglas W. Thompson X1 3 23 37 46 67 78 93
Contents 7. Geologic Problems at Low-Level Radioactive Waste-Disposal Sites John B. Robertson 8. Groundwater Flow Modeling Study of the Love Canal Area, New York fames W. Mercer, Charles R. Faust, awl Lyle R. Silka 9. Nonpoint Contamination of Groundwater on Long Island, New York Grant E. Kimmel 10. Hydrogeochemical Studies at a Landfill in Delaware Mary Jo Baedecker and Michael A. Apgar 11. Assessment of the Potential for Radionuclide Migration from a Nuclear Explosion Cavity Darleane C. Hoffman and William R. Daniels 12. Groundwater Restoration with In Situ Uranium Leach Mining Randall J. Charbeneau V. INSTITUTIONAL ASPECTS 13. Selected Variables Affecting the Choice between Federal and State Regulatory Responsibility: Groundwater Quality as an Illustrative Case David B. Goetze 14. Risk Assessment for the Prevention of Groundwater Contamination Yacov Y. Haimes . . X11 104 109 120 127 139 147 159 166