Keywords: geostatistics, groundwater monitoring, kriging, TCE plumes, well networks, well removal, trichloroethylene plumes, characterisation, simulation, environmental pollution
Use of geostatistics to evaluate the monitoring well network of a TCE plume
This paper summarises the use of geostatistics to evaluate an existing network of wells in a groundwater monitoring program. The primary objective was to evaluate whether selective well removal would result in a comparable characterisation of a trichloroethylene (TCE) plume. For adequate characterisation, it is important to retain enough wells to evaluate areas with higher concentrations and to show that there is high confidence or low uncertainty in the characterisation. A second objective was to utilise public or commercial software available to consultants in a workplace setting to demonstrate the ease with which this analysis can be performed. A baseline characterisation was generated with the entire well network. Then, subsequent simulations were performed with selected wells removed from the well network. Results indicate that by removing key wells from the network, the TCE plume can be adequately characterised without a significant increase in uncertainty.