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Minimization subsurface pollution is much dependent on reliable and effective monitoring tools. Such monitoring tools should be capable to provide real-time information on the chemical and hydrological state of the percolating water, from land surface to the groundwater. Today, most monitoring programs are based on observation wells that enable collection of hydrological and chemical information from the saturated part of the subsurface. As a result, identification of pollution in well water is clear evidence that the contaminants already crossed the entire vadose-zone and accumulated in the aquifer. Unfortunately, only little can be done to fully remediate contaminated aquifers. Accordingly, effective monitoring program must include monitoring means that provide real-time information on the hydrological and chemical properties of the percolating in the unsaturated zone, long before contaminates reach the water-table and accumulate in the aquifers. Such monitoring programs may provide "early warning" for potential pollution processes that may risk groundwater quality.

A vadose-zone monitoring system (VMS), which was developed recently, allows continuous monitoring of water percolation and contaminate transport in the unsaturated zone. Data which is collected by the system allows direct measurements of percolation fluxes and detect the chemical evolution of the percolating water across the entire unsaturated domain, from land surface to the water table. The VMS is designed for long term continuous operation in a time scale of years to decades. Up-to-date the system has been successfully implemented in several studies on water flow and contaminant transport in various hydrological and geological setups, including: (a) floodwater infiltration and groundwater recharge from stream channels and reservoirs, (b) impact of various agricultural regimes on quality and quantity of groundwater recharge, (c) subsurface pollution of dairy farms, (d) chemical evolution of landfill leachates, and (e) remediation of contaminated sites.


תאריך 4/02/2018
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