Analytical modeling of the subsurface volatile organic vapor concentration in vapor intrusion

Rui Shen, Kelly G. Pennell, Eric M. Suuberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The inhalation of volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds that intrude from a subsurface contaminant source into indoor air has become the subject of health and safety concerns over the last twenty years. Building subslab and soil gas contaminant vapor concentration sampling have become integral parts of vapor intrusion field investigations. While numerical models can be of use in analyzing field data and in helping understand the subslab and soil gas vapor concentrations, they are not widely used due to the perceived effort in setting them up. In this manuscript, we present a new closed-form analytical expression describing subsurface contaminant vapor concentrations, including subslab vapor concentrations. The expression was derived using Schwarz-Christoffel mapping. Results from this analytical model match well the numerical modeling results. This manuscript also explores the relationship between subslab and exterior soil gas vapor concentrations, and offers insights on what parameters need to receive greater focus in field studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-149
Number of pages10
StatePublished - Jan 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was supported by Grant P42ES013660 from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences .


  • Chemical fate and transport
  • Modeling
  • Vapor intrusion
  • Volatile organic compounds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution
  • Chemistry (all)
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry


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