Modeling quantification of the influence of soil moisture on subslab vapor concentration

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The U.S. EPA has developed a database of field data obtained from vapor intrusion sites throughout the United States. Large variations in reported subsurface contaminant vapor concentration ratios (e.g. building subslab to groundwater source) present challenges for the analysis of subsurface vapor transport processes. Meanwhile, numerical models have been used by the U.S. EPA and others to describe the transport processes governing vapor intrusion. The influence of the capillary fringe has often been ignored in these models. In this manuscript, the influence of soil moisture content on the subslab vapor concentration is analyzed in the context of mathematical models. Results are compared to those from other modeling methods that do not account for the soil moisture content. The slab capping effect is observed to interact with the effect of soil moisture in determining the subslab contaminant vapor concentration. The slab capping effect is observed to be significant when the building-source separation distance is less than half of the slab size.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1444-1451
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Sciences: Processes and Impacts
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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