Analysis of the impact of layered soil heterogeneity on optimal policies for groundwater, remediation

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Typical groundwater remediation problems involve selection of the number, location, and flow rate schedule of pumping and injection wells. Simulation models combined with optimization models are used to find optimal designs while considering management objectives and constraints. Due to the high computational effort involved and lack of data, simulation models often are based on simplified 2-D homogeneous hydrogeological settings. The purpose of this work is to investigate how simplifying hypotheses may affect the final optimal remediation policy. In particular, the analysis addresses the case of a heterogeneous layered aquifer versus a homogeneous one with an equivalent (lumped) hydraulic conductivity. The analysis is carried out by determining the optimal solution for the remediation of the plume in the case of a homogeneous aquifer, and then simulating this optimal policy with the actual layered aquifer. © 2004 Elsevier B.V.

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Developments in Water Science