One answer to the contaminant plume practice exercise.
Below are contour maps for the groundwater surface and contaminant plume concentrations. Note that the groundwater slopes toward the surface drainage and therefore is likely in a losing situation, i.e. leaks into the surface. The two end tanks seem to be leaking, while the middle appears to be tight. The right one has a truncated plume probably because the water is feeding into the drainage canal. Contaminant plume geometries are consistent with shallow groundwater flow directions. The contaminant is traveling at a rate of several meters per year. There is a background level of contaminant in the water.
Return to index page for environmental geology course. Return to homepage of H. D. Maher Jr.. Return to lecture outline on groundwater contamination. Return to the problem.