A fractal-multifractal approach to groundwater contamination. 1. Modeling conservative tracers at the Borden site
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The possibility of modeling the dynamics of groundwater contamination plumes using a deterministic fractal-multifractal (FM) approach, via projections off fractal interpolating functions, is investigated. To this effect, the movement of chloride and bromide tracers gathered at the Borden site in Ontario, Canada, during the period August 1982 to June 1985, is studied. Results indicate that the FM methodology provides very faithful and compact geometric descriptions of the contamination process, as the approach captures the (vertically-averaged) two-dimensional patterns of the tracers, both in their low order moments and in their (non-elliptical) geometric shapes. It is shown that the FM approach leads to noticeable trends in “surrogate” (fractal) parameter space that allow viewing the plume's evolution in a simple and wholistic fashion.
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