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LakeVOC; A Deterministic Model to Estimate Volatile Organic Compound Concentrations in Reservoirs and Lakes

October 1, 2003

This report documents LakeVOC, a model to estimate volatile organic compound (VOC) concentrations in lakes and reservoirs. LakeVOC represents the lake or reservoir as a two-layer system and estimates VOC concentrations in both the epilimnion and hypolimnion. The air-water flux of a VOC is characterized in LakeVOC in terms of the two-film model of air-water exchange. LakeVOC solves the system of coupled differential equations for the VOC concentration in the epilimnion, the VOC concentration in the hypolimnion, the total mass of the VOC in the lake, the volume of the epilimnion, and the volume of the hypolimnion.

A series of nine simulations were conducted to verify LakeVOC representation of mixing, dilution, and gas exchange characteristics in a hypothetical lake, and two additional estimates of lake volume and MTBE concentrations were done in an actual reservoir under environmental conditions. These 11 simulations showed that LakeVOC correctly handled mixing, dilution, and gas exchange. The model also adequately estimated VOC concentrations within the epilimnion in an actual reservoir with daily input parameters. As the parameter-input time scale increased (from daily to weekly to monthly, for example), the differences between the measured-averaged concentrations and the model-estimated concentrations generally increased, especially for the hypolimnion. This may be because as the time scale is increased from daily to weekly to monthly, the averaging of model inputs may cause a loss of detail in the model estimates.