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.

Related Articles


"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 December 22, 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 December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Fish Species Discovered, Setting Record for World's Deepest

New Fish Species Discovered, Setting Record for World's Deepest

Buzz60 (Dec. 22, 2014) A new species of fish is discovered living five miles beneath the ocean surface, making it the deepest living fish on earth. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Lava Inches Closer to Highway

Raw: Lava Inches Closer to Highway

AP (Dec. 21, 2014) Officials have opened a new road on Hawaii's Big Island for drivers to take care of their daily needs if encroaching lava from Kilauea Volcano crosses a highway and cuts them off from the rest of the island. (Dec. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Cheap Oil Help Fix U.S. Roads?

Could Cheap Oil Help Fix U.S. Roads?

Newsy (Dec. 21, 2014) As falling oil prices boost Americans' spending power, the U.S. government is also gaining flexibility from savings on oil. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Russian Surfers Brave Icy Cold Waters

Raw: Russian Surfers Brave Icy Cold Waters

AP (Dec. 20, 2014) Surfers in Russia's biggest port city on the Pacific Ocean, Vladivostok, were enjoying the sport on Saturday despite below freezing temperatures and icy cold waters. (Dec. 20) Video provided by AP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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