Post-Calibration Uncertainty Analysis for Travel Times at a Naval Weapons Industrial Reserve Plant
The Naval Weapons Industrial Reserve Plant (NWIRP) in McGregor, Texas began manufacturing explosives in 1980 and several hazardous chemicals were discovered in lakes and streams surrounding the site in 1998. Contaminants traveled to local lakes and streams much faster than initially predicted. This research estimated contaminant travel times and identified locations where monitoring wells should be installed to yield the greatest reductions in uncertainties in travel-time predictions. To this
... dictions. To this end, groundwater and particle-tracking models for NWIRP site were built to predict hydraulic heads and contaminant travel times. Next, parameter (hydraulic conductivities) uncertainties, parameter identifiabilities, observation (hydraulic heads) worth, and predictive (contaminant travel times) uncertainties were quantified. Parameter uncertainties were reduced by up to 92%; a total of 19 of 158 parameters were at least moderately identifiable; travel-time uncertainties were reduced up to 92%. Additionally, travel-time predictions and post-calibration parameter distributions were generated using the null-space Monte Carlo (NSMC) technique. NSMC predicted that conservative tracers exited the flow system within a year, which matches with field data. Finally, an observations-worth analysis found that additional 11 more measurements would reduce travel-time uncertainties by factors from 1.04 to 4.3 over existing data if monitoring wells were installed at the suggested locations.