COMSOL Modeling of Groundwater Flow and Pollutant Transport in a Two-Dimensional Geometry with Heterogeneities

M. Gobbert, M. Whitmore, B. Peercy, M. Baker, and D. Trott
University of Maryland Baltimore County
Baltimore, MD

The Delmarva Peninsula is located on the East Coast of the United States, between the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean. Industrial farming in the Delmarva Peninsula leads to levels of nutrients nitrogen, which grossly exceed natural levels and greatly impair the health of the bay. The main source of water carrying excess nitrogen to streams is groundwater.

We use the software package COMSOL Multiphysics 4 to quantify how water residence times change due to heterogeneities within two-dimensional cross-sections. We find that variation in clay strata affects residence time and nitrogen transport.

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