Analytical Contaminant Transport Analysis System (ACTS)

Dr. Mustafa M. Aral
Multimedia Environmental Simulations Laboratory
School of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Georgia Institute of Technology
Atlanta, Georgia 30332

Mr. Morris L. Maslia
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
Atlanta, Georgia

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The Analytical Contaminant Transport analysis System (ACTS) has been developed as a windows based application to provide professionals in subsurface hydrology, surface hydrology and environmental health fields with compact analytical tools to evaluate migration and fate of contaminants in multimedia (air, surface water and groundwater) environments. The multimedia transport and transformation models included in this software are dynamic models that can be used to assess steady state and time-varying contaminant concentrations introduced initially to soil layers or contaminants released to air or surface water. For the groundwater pathway, saturated and unsaturated contaminant transport models are developed and included to ACTS. In the saturated groundwater pathway, modeling tools include one, two and three-dimensional constant dispersivity and one and two- dimensional variable dispersivity models. For the unsaturated zone, one-dimensional contaminant transport models are incorporated into the ACTS software. For the surface water pathway, analysis tools include near field mixing, far field mixing and sediment transport models. Each of these surface water model groups include several other models, which are relevant to the pathway under study. The air pathway includes several emission models, and box and Gaussian models to evaluate migration of contaminants in the air pathway.

In analyzing cases involving uncertainty in input parameters, Monte Carlo methods are dynamically linked with all pathway models included to ACTS. In the Monte Carlo analysis mode, all or a selected subset of input parameters of a particular model may be characterized in terms of the six statistical distributions provided in the ACTS software. In this mode, statistical distributions of exposure concentrations can be evaluated at a particular exposure point for a particular time.

At this stage of the software development program, the total number of contaminant transport models included to the ACTS software exceed one hundred when all subcategory models for each pathway are considered. These models may be used to assist the user to evaluate how chemical and pathway specific properties impact exposure-dose analysis and exposure assessment processes. The ultimate goal of the research effort is to link the multimedia pathway models included in the ACTS software with a multi-pathway risk assessment tool to provide a complete package to professionals specializing in exposure-dose and health risk assessment fields. Authors appreciate the contributions of the technical staff of the Multimedia Environmental Simulations Laboratory (MESL), in their contributions to this effort. In particular, contributions of Mr. Wasim Khan, Dr. Jiabao Guan, Dr. Boshu Liao, Dr. Yi Zhang are appreciated.


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