Aquifer Reclamation Design: The Use of Contaminant Transport Simulation Combined With Nonlinear Programing

Steven M. Gorelick, Clifford I. Voss, Philip E. Gill, Walter Murray, Michael A. Saunders, Margaret H. Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A simulation‐management methodology is demonstrated for the rehabilitation of aquifers that have been subjected to chemical contamination. Finite element groundwater flow and contaminant transport simulation are combined with nonlinear optimization. The model is capable of determining well locations plus pumping and injection rates for groundwater quality control. Examples demonstrate linear or nonlinear objective functions subject to linear and nonlinear simulation and water management constraints. Restrictions can be placed on hydraulic heads, stresses, and gradients, in addition to contaminant concentrations and fluxes. These restrictions can be distributed over space and time. Three design strategies are demonstrated for an aquifer that is polluted by a constant contaminant source: they are pumping for contaminant removal, water injection for in‐ground dilution, and a pumping, treatment, and injection cycle. A transient model designs either contaminant plume interception or in‐ground dilution so that water quality standards are met. The method is not limited to these cases. It is generally applicable to the optimization of many types of distributed parameter systems. This paper is not subject to U.S. copyright. Published in 1984 by the American Geophysical Union.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)415-427
Number of pages13
JournalWater Resources Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology


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