Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Engineering Science


Civil and Environmental Engineering


Dr. Denis O’Carroll


Contamination of the subsurface environment by chlorinated solvents is a significant issue facing the remediation of sites contaminated with dense nonaqueous phase liquids (DNAPLs). A twodimensional laboratory-scale experiment was used to explore DNAPL migration, retention, and dissolution. Variations in porous medium grain size and wettability were used to jointly explore the impact of heterogeneity on DNAPL behaviour. Migration experiments suggest that porous medium wettability can greatly increase the entrapment of DNAPLs within fine-textured sand lenses. Simulations of DNAPL migration, using different constitutive relationships, suggest that the predictive capabilities of numerical models depend on the predominant wettability of the system. Experimental dissolution results suggest that behaviour at the local scale can be highly variable when compared with downstream dissolution results. Furthermore, simulations suggest that wettability did not directly influence dissolution behaviour in the sandbox. However, wettability did control the development of DNAPL source zones which will ultimately influence dissolution.



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