Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Engineering - (M.S.)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Jay N. Meegoda

Second Advisor

Raj P. Khera


There are between 2 to 3.5 million Underground Storage Tanks (UST) located through this nation. Most of these tanks store gasoline and fuel oil. Many tanks in fact are or will soon be leaking, thus making them one of the major sources of groundwater contamination in USA. The fate and transport of chemicals from the leaking USTs is estimated from mathematical models. A major difficulty in these modeling efforts has been a crucial lack of information concerning the constitutive relationships governing multiphase contaminant movement.

Centrifugal modeling is an alternative to mathematical modeling, which may give an insight to the problem as well as provide information for mathematical models. The centrifuge creates an actual three-dimensional profile and accelerates the transport processes such that a field event which lasts decades may be simulated within hours or days in centrifuge.

In this thesis, the centrifugal modeling technique is used to investigate study the movement of contaminants and the distribution of gasoline within the vadose zone and from vadose zone to the groundwater.



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