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      Multi-component reactive transport modeling of natural attenuation of an acid groundwater plume at a uranium mill tailings site

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      Journal of Contaminant Hydrology
      Elsevier BV

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          Abstract

          Natural attenuation of an acidic plume in the aquifer underneath a uranium mill tailings pond in Wyoming, USA was simulated using the multi-component reactive transport code PHREEQC. A one-dimensional model was constructed for the site and the model included advective-dispersive transport, aqueous speciation of 11 components, and precipitation-dissolution of six minerals. Transport simulation was performed for a reclamation scenario in which the source of acidic seepage will be terminated after 5 years and the plume will then be flushed by uncontaminated upgradient groundwater. Simulations show that successive pH buffer reactions with calcite, Al(OH)3(a), and Fe(OH)3(a) create distinct geochemical zones and most reactions occur at the boundaries of geochemical zones. The complex interplay of physical transport processes and chemical reactions produce multiple concentration waves. For SO4(2-) transport, the concentration waves are related to advection-dispersion, and gypsum precipitation and dissolution. Wave speeds from numerical simulations compare well to an analytical solution for wave propagation.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Journal of Contaminant Hydrology
          Journal of Contaminant Hydrology
          Elsevier BV
          01697722
          November 2001
          November 2001
          : 52
          : 1-4
          : 85-108
          Article
          10.1016/S0169-7722(01)00154-1
          11695747
          5ac342cd-64ba-4fee-ba86-d980519416aa
          © 2001

          https://www.elsevier.com/tdm/userlicense/1.0/

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