Common Types of Contaminant Fate and Transport Information

Common Types of Contaminant Fate and Transport Information
Environmental Medium
Type of Information
  • Hydrogeology (e.g., types of aquifers and soils/sediments/bedrock, hydraulic conductivity)
  • Geochemistry
  • Precipitation, infiltration rates
  • Recharge sources, discharge areas, influent and discharge streams/seeps
  • Groundwater flow direction, depth to aquifer, aquifer thickness
  • Well location
  • Groundwater uses
Surface water/sediment
  • Precipitation, temperature
  • Influent and discharge streams
  • Point and nonpoint source discharge areas
  • Stormwater drainage system locations
  • Surface water uses
  • Soil and sediment type(s), permeability, particle size
  • Floodplains
  • Physical and chemical properties of soil (e.g., soil type, organic content, permeability, pH)
  • Topography (as it affects soil erosion/runoff, e.g., slope)
  • Vegetative cover
  • Precipitation
  • Site activities
  • Topography (valleys, hills)
  • Predominant wind direction and speed
  • Precipitation, temperature
  • Existing air pollution conditions
Soil gas
  • Sub-slab gas most accurately predicts vapor intrusion potential.
  • Near-source soil gas for source characterization
  • Soil gas vertical and horizontal profiles for spatial characterization
  • Several rounds in cold and hot seasons show temporal variability
Food chain/biota (plants, animals)
  • Plant and animal species consumed
  • Soil type (e.g., as it affects plant uptake)
  • Wildlife migration patterns
  • Feeding habits of wildlife/livestock
Waste materials (e.g., exposed wastes, liquids, drums, mine tailings)
  • Waste type
  • Approximate time waste materials have remained on site
  • Climate (can affect waste degradation)
Page last reviewed: August 4, 2022