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A conceptual waste disposal site was compared to a physical model frequently used to demonstrate the properties of entropy. This comparison suggests that dispersion of chemical contaminants due to spontaneous waste disposal site leakage events would be expected to disrupt the ambient chemical homogeneity of an affected aquifer. The resultant changes in aquifer homogeneity can be identified and fingerprinted based on changes in monitoring data variance. Using this alternative data evaluation technique, monitoring data from a RCRA site monitoring program were used to prepare a series of contaminant-specific control charts (monitoring data variance versus time) that identified the occurrence of a leakage event and characterized the contaminants associated with the leakage event.
waste site monitoring, monitoring data variance, chemical dispersion, leakage event
senior staff scientist, Lockheed Engineering and Sciences Company, Las Vegas, NV