T Tank Farm Interim Surface Barrier Demonstration - Vadose Zone Monitoring FY09 Report

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DOE’s Office of River Protection constructed a temporary surface barrier over a portion of the T Tank Farm as part of the T Farm Interim Surface Barrier Demonstration Project. As part of the demonstration effort, vadose zone moisture is being monitored to assess the effectiveness of the barrier at reducing soil moisture. A solar-powered system was installed to continuously monitor soil water conditions at four locations (i.e., instrument Nests A, B, C, and D) beneath the barrier and outside the barrier footprint as well as site meteorological conditions. Nest A is placed in the area outside the barrier footprint and ... continued below

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Zhang, Z. F.; Strickland, Christopher E.; Field, Jim G. & Parker, Danny L. January 1, 2010.

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DOE’s Office of River Protection constructed a temporary surface barrier over a portion of the T Tank Farm as part of the T Farm Interim Surface Barrier Demonstration Project. As part of the demonstration effort, vadose zone moisture is being monitored to assess the effectiveness of the barrier at reducing soil moisture. A solar-powered system was installed to continuously monitor soil water conditions at four locations (i.e., instrument Nests A, B, C, and D) beneath the barrier and outside the barrier footprint as well as site meteorological conditions. Nest A is placed in the area outside the barrier footprint and serves as a control, providing subsurface conditions outside the influence of the surface barrier. Nest B provides subsurface measurements to assess surface-barrier edge effects. Nests C and D are used to assess changes in soil-moisture conditions beneath the interim surface barrier. Each instrument nest is composed of a capacitance probe (CP) with multiple sensors, multiple heat-dissipation units (HDUs), and a neutron probe (NP) access tube. The monitoring results in FY09 are summarized below. The solar panels functioned normally and could provide sufficient power to the instruments. The CP in Nest C after September 20, 2009, was not functional. The CP sensors in Nest B after July 13 and the 0.9-m CP sensor in Nest D before June 10 gave noisy data. Other CPs were functional normally. All the HDUs were functional normally but some pressure-head values measured by HDUs were greater than the upper measurement-limit. The higher-than-upper-limit values might be due to the very wet soil condition and/or measurement error but do not imply the malfunction of the sensors. Similar to FY07 and FY08, in FY09, the soil under natural conditions (Nest A) was generally recharged during the winter period (October-March) and discharged during the summer period (April-September). Soil water conditions above about 1.5-m to 2-m depth from all three types of measurements (i.e., CP, NP and HDU) showed relatively large variation during the seasonal wetting-drying cycle. For the soil below 2-m depth, the seasonal variation of soil water content was relatively small. The construction of the surface barrier was completed in April 2008. In the soil below the surface barrier (Nests C and D), the CP measurements showed that water content at the soil between 0.6-m and 2.3-m depths was very stable, indicating no climatic impacts on soil water condition beneath the barrier. The NP-measured water content showed that soil water drainage seemed occurring in the soil between about 3.4 m (11 ft) and 9.1 m (30 ft) in FY09. The HDU-measured water pressure decreased consistently in the soil above 5-m depth, indicating soil water drainage at these depths of the soil. In the soil below the edge of the surface barrier (Nest B), the CP-measured water content was relatively stable through the year except at the 0.9-m depth; the NP-measured water content showed that soil water drainage was occurring in the soil between about 3.4 m (11 ft) and 9.1 m (30 ft) but at a slightly smaller magnitude than those in Nests C and D; the HDU-measurements show that the pressure head changes in FY09 in Nest B were less than those for C and D but more than those for A. The soil-water-pressure head was more sensitive to soil water regime changes under dry conditions. In the soil beneath the barrier, the theoretical steady-state values of pressure head is equal to the negative of the distance to groundwater table. Hence, it is expected that, in the future, while the water content become stable, the pressure head will keep decreasing for a long time (e.g., many years). These results indicate that the T Tank Farm surface barrier was performing as expected by intercepting the meteoric water from infiltrating into the soil and the soil was becoming drier gradually. The barrier also has some effects on the soil below the barrier edge but at a reduced magnitude.

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  • Report No.: PNNL-19123
  • Grant Number: AC05-76RL01830
  • DOI: 10.2172/973416 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 973416
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc931338

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  • January 1, 2010

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

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  • Dec. 2, 2016, 2:57 p.m.

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Zhang, Z. F.; Strickland, Christopher E.; Field, Jim G. & Parker, Danny L. T Tank Farm Interim Surface Barrier Demonstration - Vadose Zone Monitoring FY09 Report, report, January 1, 2010; Richland, Washington. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc931338/: accessed November 14, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.