Simultaneous identification of the source location and release history in aquifers is complicated and time-consuming if the release of groundwater contaminant source varies in time. This paper presents an approach called SATSO-GWT to solve complicated source release problems which contain the unknowns of three location coordinates and several irregular release periods and concentrations. The SATSO-GWT combines with ordinal optimization algorithm (OOA), roulette wheel approach, and a source identification algorithm called SATS-GWT. The SATS-GWT was developed based on simulated annealing, tabu search, and three-dimensional groundwater flow and solute transport model MD2K-GWT. The OOA and roulette wheel method are utilized mainly to reduce the size of feasible solution domain and accelerate the identification of the source information. A hypothetic site with one contaminant source location and two release periods is designed to assess the applicability of the present approach. The results indicate that the performance of SATSO-GWT is superior to that of SATS-GWT. In addition, the present approach works very effectively in dealing with the cases which have different initial guesses of source location and measurement errors in the monitoring points as well as problems with large suspicious areas and several source release periods and concentrations.