Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Groundwater Remediation: New Tool Offers Improvement

Date:
January 5, 1999
Source:
Michigan Technological University
Summary:
Researchers are looking at a new method that would give decision-makers a multi-objective tool to help them solve groundwater remediation problems.

HOUGHTON, MI -- Researchers are looking at a new method that would give decision-makers a multi-objective tool to help them solve groundwater remediation problems.

"Selecting the optimal design for a soil or groundwater remediation strategy is currently an enormous challenge for decision-makers due to the number of potential alternatives, the complexity of contaminated subsurface environments, and the need to weigh conflicting objectives such as risk and cost," says Project Leader Dr. Alex Mayer of Michigan Tech's Department of Geological Engineering & Sciences.

Mayer says simulation/optimization models have been applied to remediation design, but current approaches don't allow for multi-objective optimization.

"The aim of this project," he says, "is to develop, apply, and test new procedures to solve multi-objective groundwater remediation problems, with the goal of creating a new set of tools for decision-makers."

Mayer says that when cleanup systems were designed in the past, they were focused on the least expensive solution to reduce a toxic compound to the lowest feasible level.

"If we assume there is a fixed amount of money available to clean up contaminated sites, we should be prioritizing cleanup of sites where the return, in terms of risk reduction, is the greatest for the minimum expected cost."

Mayer says the efforts of researchers will now focus on developing procedures for producing tradeoff curves, or surfaces, consisting of solutions that are optimal with respect to at least one objective. Decision-makers will be able to examine the tradeoff curves and select a solution or solutions based on their judgments as to what tradeoffs are acceptable. These alternatives will utilize a new technique called the Niched Pareto procedure, pioneered by Mayer's co-investigator, Dr. Jeffrey Horn of Northern Michigan University's Department of Math and Computer Sciences.

"These new algorithms will allow decision-makers to determine the importance of competing objectives in a given situation," explains Mayer. "An iterative process will be used to guide the decision-maker towards a preferred weighting or ranking of the multiple objectives. We will apply the algorithms to a series of test problems based on real sites to evaluate and compare the performance or each algorithm."

Dr. Carl Enfield of the Environmental Protection Agency's Risk Management Lab in Cincinnati will provide field expertise in evaluating all remediation methods used.

Mayer expects the project to result in remediation designs that are significantly less expensive than those provided by traditional design approaches.

"In previous approaches where optimization has been used for remediation system design, cleanup goals were specified as static constraints," he says. "This project will involve the direct incorporation of risk assessment into the remediation design process. The decision-maker will be able to view the full range of potential remediation designs in terms of the risk they would impose, while weighing the risk against estimated cost and cleanup time."

The project is being funded for three years by a $253,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Michigan Technological University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Michigan Technological University. "Groundwater Remediation: New Tool Offers Improvement." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 January 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/01/990105075053.htm>.
Michigan Technological University. (1999, January 5). Groundwater Remediation: New Tool Offers Improvement. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/01/990105075053.htm
Michigan Technological University. "Groundwater Remediation: New Tool Offers Improvement." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/01/990105075053.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 24, 2014) The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly known for conflict and instability, is an unlikely place for the production of fine cheese. But a farm in the village of Masisi, in North Kivu is slowly transforming perceptions of the area. Known simply as Goma cheese, the Congolese version of Dutch gouda has gained popularity through out the region. Ciara Sutton reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bill Gates: Health, Agriculture Key to Africa's Development

Bill Gates: Health, Agriculture Key to Africa's Development

AFP (July 24, 2014) Health and agriculture development are key if African countries are to overcome poverty and grow, US software billionaire Bill Gates said Thursday, as he received an honourary degree in Ethiopia. Duration: 00:36 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Higgins Breaks Record at Mt. Washington

Higgins Breaks Record at Mt. Washington

Driving Sports (July 24, 2014) Subaru Rally Team USA drivers David Higgins and Travis Pastrana face off against a global contingent of racers at the annual Mt. Washington Hillclimb in New Hampshire. Includes exclusive in-car footage from Higgins' record attempt. Video provided by Driving Sports
Powered by NewsLook.com
Storm Kills Three, Injures 20 at Virginia Campground

Storm Kills Three, Injures 20 at Virginia Campground

Reuters - US Online Video (July 24, 2014) A likely tornado tears through an eastern Virginia campground, killing three and injuring at least 20. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins