The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Estimating the probability of exceeding groundwater quality standards

TitleEstimating the probability of exceeding groundwater quality standards
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1994
AuthorsAhlfeld D. P., Islam M.S
JournalJournal of the American Water Resources Association
Start Page623
Date Published08/1997

A model for estimating the probability of exceeding groundwater quality standards at environmental receptors based on a simple contaminant transport model is described. The model is intended for locations where knowledge about site-specific hydrogeologic conditions is limited. An efficient implementation methodology using numerical Monte Carlo simulation is presented. The uncertainty in the contaminant transport system due to uncertainty in the hydraulic conductivity is directly calculated in the Monte Carlo simulations. Numerous variations of the deterministic parameters of the model provide an indication of the change in exceedance probability with change in parameter value. The results of these variations for a generic example are presented in a concise graphical form which provides insight into the topology of the exceedance probability surface. This surface can be used to assess the impact of the various parameters on exceedance probability.