Locating Ground-Water Discharge in the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River

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A bottom-contacting probe for measuring electrical conductivity at the sediment-water interface was used to scan the bed of the Columbia River adjacent to the Hanford Site in southeast Washington State during a 10-day investigation. Four river-sections, each about a kilometer in length, were scanned for variations in electrical conductivity. The probe was towed along the riverbed at a speed of 1 m/s and is position was recorded using a Global Positioning System. The bottom tows revealed several areas of elevated electrical conductivity. Where these anomalies were relatively easy to access, piezometers were driven into the riverbed and porewater electrical conductivity ... continued below

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Lee, D.R.; Geist, D.R.; Saldi, K.; Hartwig, D. & Cooper, T. March 1, 1997.

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Description

A bottom-contacting probe for measuring electrical conductivity at the sediment-water interface was used to scan the bed of the Columbia River adjacent to the Hanford Site in southeast Washington State during a 10-day investigation. Four river-sections, each about a kilometer in length, were scanned for variations in electrical conductivity. The probe was towed along the riverbed at a speed of 1 m/s and is position was recorded using a Global Positioning System. The bottom tows revealed several areas of elevated electrical conductivity. Where these anomalies were relatively easy to access, piezometers were driven into the riverbed and porewater electrical conductivity ranged from 111 to 150 uS/cm. The piezometers, placed in electrical conductivity “hotspots,” yielded chemical or isotopic data consistent with previous analyses of water taken from monitoring wells and visible shoreline seeps. Tritium, nitrate, and chromium exceeded water quality standards in some porewaters. The highest tritium and nitrate levels were found near the Old Hanford Townsite at 120,000 pCi/L (+ 5,880 pCi/L total propagated analytical uncertainty) and ug/L (+ 5,880 ug/L), respectively. The maximum chromium (total and hexavalent) levels were found near 100-H reactor area where unfiltered porewater total chromium was 1,900 ug/L (+ 798 ug/L) and hexavalent chromium was 20 ug/L. The electrical conductivity probe provided rapid, cost-effective reconnaissance for ground-water discharge areas when used in combination with conventional piezometers. It may be possible to obtain quantitative estimates of both natural and contaminated ground-water discharge in the Hanford Reach with more extensive surveys of river bottom.

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  • Report No.: PNNL-11516
  • Grant Number: DE-AC06-76RL01830
  • DOI: 10.2172/901992 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 901992
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc883906

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • March 1, 1997

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Dec. 9, 2016, 6:36 p.m.

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Lee, D.R.; Geist, D.R.; Saldi, K.; Hartwig, D. & Cooper, T. Locating Ground-Water Discharge in the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River, report, March 1, 1997; Richland, Washington. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc883906/: accessed October 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.