Modeling and assessment of flow and transport in the Hueco Bolson, a transboundary groundwater system: the El Paso / Cuidad Juarez case

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Title: Modeling and assessment of flow and transport in the Hueco Bolson, a transboundary groundwater system: the El Paso / Cuidad Juarez case
Author: Nwaneshiudu, Okechukwu
Abstract: Potential contamination from hazardous and solid waste landfills stemming from population increase , rapid industrialization , and the proliferation of assembly plants known as the maquiladoras , are of major concern in the U .S . -Mexican border area . Additionally , historical , current , and future stresses on the Hueco Bolson alluvial aquifer in the El Paso /Ciudad Juarez area due to excessive groundwater withdrawal can affect contaminant migration in the area . In the current study , an updated and improved threedimensional numerical groundwater flow and transport model is developed using a current Hueco Bolson groundwater availability model as its basis . The model with contaminant transport is required to access and characterize the extent of vulnerability of the aquifer to potential contamination from landfills in the El Paso /Ciudad Juarez border area . The model developed in this study is very capable of serving as the basis of future studies for water availability , water quality , and contamination assessments in the Hueco Bolson . The implementation of fate and transport modeling and the incorporation of the Visual MODFLOW ? pre and post processor , requiring MODFLOW 2000 data conversion , enabled significant enhancements to the numerical modeling and computing capabilities for the Hueco Bolson . The model in the current research was also developed by employing MT3DMS ? , ZONEBUDGET , and Visual PEST ? for automated calibrations . Simulation results found that the Hueco Bolson released more water from storage than the aquifer was being recharged in response to increased pumping to supply the growing border area population . Hence , significant head drops and high levels of drawdown were observed in the El Paso /Ciudad Juarez area . Predictive simulations were completed representing scenarios of potential contamination from the border area sites . Fate and transport results were most sensitive to hydraulic conductivities , flow velocities , and directions at the sites . Sites that were located within the vicinity of the El Paso Valley and the Rio Grande River , where head differences and permeabilities were significant , exhibited the highest potentials for contaminant migration .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /ETD -TAMU -3275
Date: 2009-05-15

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Modeling and assessment of flow and transport in the Hueco Bolson, a transboundary groundwater system: the El Paso / Cuidad Juarez case. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /ETD -TAMU -3275 .

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