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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract -

An Analysis of Surface Accumulation of Previously Distributed Chemicals during Steady-State Evaporation


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 26 No. 3, p. 883-888
    Received: May 1, 1996

    * Corresponding author(s): delrick@lrs.uoguelph.ca
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  1. D. E. Elrick *,
  2. M. I. Sheppard,
  3. A. Mermoud and
  4. T. Monnier
  1. D ep. of Land Resource Science, Univ. of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada, N1G 2W1;
    A ECL Research, Whiteshell Laboratories, Pinawa, Manitoba, Canada, R0E 1L0;



Chemical accumulation near the soil surface during steady-state evaporation is examined for the situation where the initial distribution with depth is completely general, given for example as some function of depth. This analysis can be applied to leaking underground storage tanks and other sources such as buried domestic or nuclear wastes where the source is below the soil surface. The analysis is expanded to include the effects of a depth-dependent water content that is assumed to be invariant with time. The relatively simple equations gave a good description of Iodine accumulation during a 4-yr outdoor soil core study on capillary rise of radionuclides. The equations also gave a good prediction of the upward movement of Cl in a weighing lysimeter in comparison with a computationally demanding finite element scheme. Because of their simplicity, these equations may prove useful in larger scale watershed studies of contaminant transport.

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