Groundwater investigations conducted at the Massachusetts Military Reservation (MMR) show the impact of historic activities on the development of groundwater contaminant plumes emanating from military ranges. Several of the plumes, located on the southeastern side of the reservation, contain elevated concentrations of hexahydro-1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX). In most cases, these plumes show continuity from the source to the leading edge, indicating that very little attenuation of RDX is occurring in the aquifer. Interesting exceptions to this trend are locations where plumes consisting of RDX and perchlorate intercept part of the aquifer that was previously impacted by a fuel spill; reducing conditions due to biological activity resulted from this spill. RDX concentrations show a significant positive correlation with both dissolved oxygen and oxidation-reduction potential, and a significant negative correlation with specific conductivity. The distribution of RDX is more consistent upgradient from the oxygen depleted zone and implies that RDX is degrading in the aquifer near the fuel spill. A factor analysis yielded two geochemical (44 percent variability explained) and two contaminant (30 percent variability explained) factors. This suggests that the geochemical nature of the aquifer is the primary source of groundwater parameter variability determined by this investigation.
Morris, Michael W.
"Factor Analysis Reveals Effects of Reducing Conditions on the Fate and Transport of RDX in Groundwater,"
International Journal of Soil, Sediment and Water:
2, Article 1.
Available at: http://scholarworks.umass.edu/intljssw/vol1/iss2/1