, Volume 24, Issue 13, pp 3349-3369

An Integrated Simulation-Assessment Approach for Evaluating Health Risks of Groundwater Contamination Under Multiple Uncertainties

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Abstract

An integrated simulation-assessment approach (ISAA) was developed in this study to systematically tackle multiple uncertainties associated with hydrocarbon contaminant transport in subsurface and assessment of carcinogenic health risk. The fuzzy vertex analysis technique and the Latin hypercube sampling (LHS) based stochastic simulation approach were combined into a fuzzy-Latin hypercube sampling (FLHS) simulation model and was used for predicting contaminant transport in subsurface under coupled fuzzy and stochastic uncertainties. The fuzzy-rule-based risk assessment (FRRA) was used for interpreting the general risk level through fuzzy inference to deal with the possibilistic uncertainties associated with both FLHS simulations and health-risk criteria. A study case involving health risk assessment for a benzene-contaminated site was examined. The study results demonstrated the proposed ISAA was useful for evaluating risks within a system containing complicated uncertainties and interactions and providing supports for identifying cost-effective site management strategies.