Management of groundwater in-situ bioremediation system using reactive transport modelling under parametric uncertainty: field scale application
Abstract:In-situ bioremediation is a commonly used remediation technology to clean up the subsurface of petroleum-contaminated sites. Forecasting remedial performance (in terms of flux and mass reduction) is a challenge due to uncertainties associated with source properties and the uncertainties associated with contribution and efficiency of concentration reducing mechanisms. In this study, predictive uncertainty analysis of bio-remediation system efficiency is carried out with the null-space Monte Carlo (NSMC) method which combines the calibration solution-space parameters with the ensemble of null-space parameters, creating sets of calibration-constrained parameters for input to follow-on remedial efficiency.
The first step in the NSMC methodology for uncertainty analysis is model calibration. The model calibration was conducted by matching simulated BTEX concentration to a total of 48 observations from historical data before implementation of treatment. Two different bio-remediation designs were then implemented in the calibrated model. The first consists in pumping/injection wells and the second in permeable barrier coupled with infiltration across slotted piping. The NSMC method was used to calculate 1000 calibration‐constrained parameter sets for the two different models. Several variants of the method were implemented to investigate their effect on the efficiency of the NSMC method. The first variant implementation of the NSMC is based on a single calibrated model. In the second variant, models were calibrated from different initial parameter sets. NSMC calibration-constrained parameter sets were sampled from these different calibrated models. We demonstrate that in context of nonlinear model, second variant avoids to underestimate parameter uncertainty which may lead to a poor quantification of predictive uncertainty.
Application of the proposed approach to manage bioremediation of groundwater in a real site shows that it is effective to provide support in management of the in-situ bioremediation systems. Moreover, this study demonstrates that the NSMC method provides a computationally efficient and practical methodology of utilizing model predictive uncertainty methods in environmental management.