A Geophysical Characterization & Monitoring Strategy for Determining Hydrologic Processes in the Hyporheic Corridor at the Hanford 300-Area

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The primary objective of this research was to advance the prediction of solute transport between the Uranium contaminated Hanford aquifer and the Columbia River at the Hanford 300 Area by improving understanding of how fluctuations in river stage, combined with subsurface heterogeneity, impart spatiotemporal complexity to solute exchange along the Columbia River corridor. Our work explored the use of continuous waterborne electrical imaging (CWEI), in conjunction with fiber-optic distributed temperature sensor (FO-DTS) and time-lapse resistivity monitoring, to improve the conceptual model for how groundwater/surface water exchange regulates uranium transport. We also investigated how resistivity and induced polarization can be used ... continued below

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8 MB, 54 p., 35 figures

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Slater, Lee; Day-Lewis, Frederick; Lane, John; Versteeg, Roelof; Ward, Anderson; Binley, Andrew et al. August 31, 2011.

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Description

The primary objective of this research was to advance the prediction of solute transport between the Uranium contaminated Hanford aquifer and the Columbia River at the Hanford 300 Area by improving understanding of how fluctuations in river stage, combined with subsurface heterogeneity, impart spatiotemporal complexity to solute exchange along the Columbia River corridor. Our work explored the use of continuous waterborne electrical imaging (CWEI), in conjunction with fiber-optic distributed temperature sensor (FO-DTS) and time-lapse resistivity monitoring, to improve the conceptual model for how groundwater/surface water exchange regulates uranium transport. We also investigated how resistivity and induced polarization can be used to generate spatially rich estimates of the variation in depth to the Hanford-Ringold (H-R) contact between the river and the 300 Area Integrated Field Research Challenge (IFRC) site. Inversion of the CWEI datasets (a data rich survey containing {approx}60,000 measurements) provided predictions of the distributions of electrical resistivity and polarizability, from which the spatial complexity of the primary hydrogeologic units along the river corridor was reconstructed. Variation in the depth to the interface between the overlying coarse-grained, high permeability Hanford Formation and the underlying finer-grained, less permeable Ringold Formation, an important contact that limits vertical migration of contaminants, has been resolved along {approx}3 km of the river corridor centered on the IFRC site in the Hanford 300 Area. Spatial variability in the thickness of the Hanford Formation captured in the CWEI datasets indicates that previous studies based on borehole projections and drive-point and multi-level sampling likely overestimate the contributing area for uranium exchange within the Columbia River at the Hanford 300 Area. Resistivity and induced polarization imaging between the river and the 300 Area IFRC further imaged spatial variability in the depth to the Hanford-Ringold inland over a critical region where borehole information is absent, identifying evidence for a continuous depression in the H-R contact between the IFRC and the river corridor. Strong natural contrasts in temperature and specific conductance of river water compared to groundwater at this site, along with periodic river stage fluctuations driven by dam operations, were exploited to yield new insights into the dynamics of groundwater-surface water interaction. Whereas FO-DTS datasets have provided meter-scale measurements of focused groundwater discharge at the riverbed along the corridor, continuous resistivity monitoring has non-invasively imaged spatiotemporal variation in the resistivity inland driven by river stage fluctuations. Time series and time-frequency analysis of FO-DTS and 3D resistivity datasets has provided insights into the role of forcing variables, primarily daily dam operations, in regulating the occurrence of focused exchange at the riverbed and its extension inland. High amplitudes in the DTS and 3D resistivity signals for long periods that dominate the stage time series identify regions along the corridor where stage-driven exchange is preferentially focused. Our work has demonstrated how time-series analysis of both time-lapse resistivity and DTS datasets, in conjunction with resistivity/IP imaging of lithology, can improve understanding of groundwater-surface water exchange along river corridors, offering unique opportunities to connect stage-driven groundwater discharge observed with DTS on the riverbed to stage-driven groundwater and solute fluctuations captured with resistivity inland.

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8 MB, 54 p., 35 figures

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  • Report No.: DOE_ER64565-1
  • Grant Number: AI02-08ER64565
  • DOI: 10.2172/1036949 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1036949
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc846509

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  • August 31, 2011

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • Nov. 28, 2016, 6:42 p.m.

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Slater, Lee; Day-Lewis, Frederick; Lane, John; Versteeg, Roelof; Ward, Anderson; Binley, Andrew et al. A Geophysical Characterization & Monitoring Strategy for Determining Hydrologic Processes in the Hyporheic Corridor at the Hanford 300-Area, report, August 31, 2011; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc846509/: accessed August 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.