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Assessment of Groundwater Flow Near the Savannah River Site, Georgia and South Carolina project home page. Project home

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Assessment of Ground-Water Flow near the Savannah River Site,Georgia and South Carolina

Progress and Significant Results, 2004—2005

  • The previous model (Clarke and West, 1998) was updated to simulate ground-water flow under 2002 hydrologic conditions and for four hypothetical pumping scenarios based on ground-water-use trends from 1980 to 2000 (Fanning, 2003).
  • Four steady-state pumping scenarios were developed to simulate a range of pumping and climatic conditions affecting potential contaminant migration from the SRS:
    • 2002 observed pumping and boundary conditions for an average year.
    • 2002 observed pumping and boundary conditions for an average year with SRS pumping discontinued.
    • Projected 2020 pumping and boundary conditions for an average year.
    • Projected 2020 pumping and boundary conditions for a dry year.
  • The USGS particle-tracking code MODPATH (Pollock, 1994) was used to generate advective water-particle path lines and time-of-travel based on MODFLOW simulations of the four scenarios. Results of model simulations and particle tracking were summarized in USGS Scientific Investigations Report 2006-5195 (Cherry, 2006). Major findings include:
    • Simulated ground-water flowpaths for each of the four pumping scenarios indicate that time-of-travel from recharge areas originating near central SRS (D and K Areas) westward into Georgia range from 110 years to 800 years (facing page).
    • Particle-tracking analysis indicates travel times and flowpaths are similar for the various pumping scenarios; however, the shutdown of the SRS production wells allows fewer particles to penetrate into deeper units (layers A3 A5), and median travel times are decreased by about 90 years.

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