Dissolution of an emplaced source of DNAPL in a natural aquifer setting

Michael Rivett, S Feenstra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Citations (Scopus)


Field-scale dissolution of a multicomponent DNAPL (dense nonaqueous-phase liquid) source intentionally emplaced below the water table is evaluated in a well characterized natural aquifer setting. The block-shaped source contained 23 kg of a trichloromethane, trichloroethene, and perchloroethene mixture homogeneously distributed at 5% saturation of pore space. Dissolution was monitored for 3 yr via down-gradient samplers (1-m fence) and occasional intra-source sampling. Although intra-source equilibrium dissolution was shown and endorsed by supporting modeling and literature lab data, less than equilibrium concentrations were predominantly monitored in the 1-m fence. This was ascribed to significant by-passing of the source by groundwater flow due to its low permeability relative to the aquifer and associated dilution of concentrations emitted from the source. Heterogeneous source dissolution occurred despite the relative homogeneity of the source and aquifer and was ascribed to dissolution fingering, which has not been previously field-demonstrated. Bulk bypass of groundwater flow around the source zone caused slow dissolution rates, with 77% of the source remaining after 3 yr and a projected longevity of similar to25 yr. Observed dissolution fingering would have significantly increased longevity as it increasingly caused intra-source bypass of remaining DNAPL. Our dissolution interpretations were endorsed by additional data collected after 6 yr during source remediation via permanganate oxidation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-455
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Science & Technology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2005


Dive into the research topics of 'Dissolution of an emplaced source of DNAPL in a natural aquifer setting'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this