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Fringe-Controlled Natural Attenuation of Phenoxy Acids in a Landfill Plume:  Integration of Field-Scale Processes by Reactive Transport Modeling

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journal contribution
posted on 01.08.2006, 00:00 by Henning Prommer, Nina Tuxen, Poul L. Bjerg
Data obtained from a field study of an aquifer contaminated by landfill leachate and related laboratory experiments suggest that natural attenuation of phenoxy acid herbicides such as mecoprop (MCPP) occurs in the transition zone between the anaerobic plume core and the overlying aerobic water body. The location of this transition zone is assumed to be primarily controlled by vertical transverse dispersion processes occurring downstream of the pollution source. A reactive transport modeling study was carried out to evaluate this conceptual model. The transport was simulated for a two-dimensional vertical cross section to quantify the combined physical, geochemical, and microbial processes that affect the fate of the phenoxy acid herbicides. The simulations, showing removal of phenoxy acids, an increase of phenoxy acid degraders in the fringe zone, and a dependency of the results on vertical transverse dispersivity, are compatible with the hypothesis of fringe-controlled aerobic biodegradation of the phenoxy acids.