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Hydrogeological-Geophysical Methods for Subsurface Site Characterization - Final Report

Description: The goal of this research project is to increase water savings and show better ecological control of natural vegetation by developing hydrogeological-geophysical methods for characterizing the permeability and content of water in soil. The ground penetrating radar (GPR) tool was developed and used as the surface geophysical method for monitoring water content. Initial results using the tool suggest that surface GPR is a viable technique for obtaining precision volumetric water content profile estimates, and that laboratory-derived petrophysical relationships could be applied to field-scale GPR data. A field-scale bacterial transport study was conducted within an uncontaminated sandy Pleistocene aquifer to evaluate the importance of heterogeneity in controlling the transport of bacteria. Geochemical, hydrological, geological, and geophysical data were collected to characterize the site prior to and after chemical and bacterial injection experiments. Study results shows that, even within the fairly uniform shallow marine deposits of the narrow channel focus area, heterogeneity existed that influenced the chemical tracer transport over lateral distances of a few meters and vertical distances of less than a half meter. The interpretation of data suggest that the incorporation of geophysical data with limited hydrological data may provide valuable information about the stratigraphy, log conductivity values, and the spatial correlation structure of log conductivity, which have traditionally been obtainable only by performing extensive and intrusive hydrological sampling.
Date: January 1, 2001
Creator: Rubin, Yoram
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A sampling-based Bayesian model for gas saturation estimationusing seismic AVA and marine CSEM data

Description: We develop a sampling-based Bayesian model to jointly invertseismic amplitude versus angles (AVA) and marine controlled-sourceelectromagnetic (CSEM) data for layered reservoir models. The porosityand fluid saturation in each layer of the reservoir, the seismic P- andS-wave velocity and density in the layers below and above the reservoir,and the electrical conductivity of the overburden are considered asrandom variables. Pre-stack seismic AVA data in a selected time windowand real and quadrature components of the recorded electrical field areconsidered as data. We use Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) samplingmethods to obtain a large number of samples from the joint posteriordistribution function. Using those samples, we obtain not only estimatesof each unknown variable, but also its uncertainty information. Thedeveloped method is applied to both synthetic and field data to explorethe combined use of seismic AVA and EM data for gas saturationestimation. Results show that the developed method is effective for jointinversion, and the incorporation of CSEM data reduces uncertainty influid saturation estimation, when compared to results from inversion ofAVA data only.
Date: April 4, 2006
Creator: Chen, Jinsong; Hoversten, Michael; Vasco, Don; Rubin, Yoram & Hou,Zhangshuan
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Collaborative Research: Hydrogeological-Geophysical Methods for Subsurface Site Characterization

Description: The significance of this project is that it addresses the issue of site characterization: not only is this issue a very significant budget item in the site clean-up effort, but also it is now realized that accurate and reliable site characterization is the key to the success of any cleanup effort. Our research objective is to develop methodologies for inexpensive high resolution imaging of natural heterogeneities and for relating these heterogeneities to the hydrogeologic parameters that control flow and contaminant transport. Our focus is to help establish the scientific basis for applying shallow geophysics to hydrogeological problems, through sediment-rock physics. This includes identifying uncertainties in applying shallow geophysics interpretations to hydrogeological site characterization.
Date: March 1, 2000
Creator: Rubin, Yoram; Morrison, Frank & Rector, Jamie
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Improved characterization through joint hydrogeophysical inversion: Examples of three different approaches

Description: With the increasing application of geophysical methods to hydrogeological problems, approaches for obtaining quantitative estimates of hydrogeological parameters using geophysical data are in great demand. A common approach to hydrogeological parameter estimation using geophysical and hydrogeological data is to first invert the geophysical data using a geophysical inversion procedure, and subsequently use the resulting estimates together with available hydrogeological information to estimate a hydrogeological parameter field. This approach does not allow us to constrain the geophysical inversion by hydrogeological data and prior information, and thus decreases our ability to make valid estimates of the hydrogeological parameter field. Furthermore, it is difficult to quantify the uncertainty in the corresponding estimates and to validate the assumptions made. They are developing alternative approaches that allow for the joint inversion of all available hydrological and geophysical data. In this presentation, they consider three studies and draw various conclusions, such as on the potential benefits of estimating the petrophysical relationships within the inversion framework and of constraining the geophysical estimates on geophysical, as well as hydrogeological data.
Date: July 1, 2004
Creator: Linde, Niklas; Chen, Jinsong; Kowalsky, Michael; Finsterle,Stefan; Rubin, Yoram & Hubbard, Susan
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Estimating flow parameters using ground-penetrating radar and hydrological data during transient flow in the vadose zone

Description: Methods for determining the parameters necessary for modeling fluid flow and contaminant transport in the shallow subsurface are in great demand. Soil properties such as permeability, porosity, and water retention are typically estimated through the inversion of hydrological data (e.g., measurements of capillary pressure and water saturation). However, ill-posedness and non-uniqueness commonly arise in such inverse problems making their solutions elusive. Incorporating additional types of data, such as from geophysical methods, may greatly improve the success of inverse modeling. In particular, ground-penetrating radar (GPR) has proven sensitive to subsurface fluid flow processes. In the present work, an inverse technique is presented in which permeability distributions are generated conditional to time-lapsed GPR measurements and hydrological data collected during a transient flow experiment. Specifically, a modified pilot point framework has been implemented in iTOUGH2 allowing for the generation of permeability distributions that preserve point measurements and spatial correlation patterns while reproducing geophysical and hydrological measurements. Through a numerical example, we examine the performance of this method and the benefit of including synthetic GPR data while inverting for fluid flow parameters in the vadose zone. Our hypothesis is that within the inversion framework that we describe, our ability to predict flow across control planes greatly improves with the use of both transient hydrological measurements and geophysical measurements (GPR-derived estimates of water saturation, in particular).
Date: May 12, 2003
Creator: Kowalsky, Michael; Finsterle, Stefan & Rubin, Yoram
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Estimation of field-scale soil hydraulic and dielectric parametersthrough joint inversion of GPR and hydrological data

Description: A method is described for jointly using time-lapse multiple-offset cross-borehole ground-penetrating radar (GPR) travel time measurements and hydrological measurements to estimate field-scale soil hydraulic parameters and parameters of the petrophysical function, which relates soil porosity and water saturation to the effective dielectric constant. We build upon previous work to take advantage of a wide range of GPR data acquisition configurations and to accommodate uncertainty in the petrophysical function. Within the context of water injection experiments in the vadose zone, we test our inversion methodology with synthetic examples and apply it to field data. The synthetic examples show that while realistic errors in the petrophysical function cause substantial errors in the soil hydraulic parameter estimates,simultaneously estimating petrophysical parameters allows for these errors to be minimized. Additionally, we observe in some cases that inaccuracy in the GPR simulator causes systematic error in simulated travel times, making necessary the simultaneous estimation of a correction parameter. We also apply the method to a three-dimensional field setting using time-lapse GPR and neutron probe (NP) data sets collected during an infiltration experiment at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Hanford site in Washington. We find that inclusion of GPR data in the inversion procedure allows for improved predictions of water content, compared to predictions made using NP data alone.
Date: May 5, 2005
Creator: Kowalsky, Michael B.; Finsterle, Stefan; Peterson, John; Hubbard,Susan; Rubin, Yoram; Majer, Ernest et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Geochemical Characterization Using Geophysical Data and Markov Chain Monte Carolo methods: A Case Study at the South Oyster Bacterial Transport Site in Virginia

Description: The spatial distribution of field-scale geochemical parameters, such as extractable Fe(II) and Fe(III), influences microbial processes and thus the efficacy of bioremediation. Because traditional characterization of those parameters is invasive and laborious, it is rarely performed sufficiently at the field-scale. Since both geochemical and geophysical parameters often correlate to some common physical properties (such as lithofacies), we investigated the utility of tomographic radar attenuation data for improving estimation of geochemical parameters using a Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) approach. The data used in this study included physical, geophysical, and geochemical measurements collected in and between several boreholes at the DOE South Oyster Bacterial Transport Site in Virginia. Results show that geophysical data, constrained by physical data, provided field-scale information about extractable Fe(II) and Fe(III) in a minimally invasive manner and with a resolution unparalleled by other geochemical characterization methods. This study presents our estimation framework for estimating Fe(II) and Fe(III), and its application to a specific site. Our hypothesis--that geochemical parameters and geophysical attributes can be linked through their mutual dependence on physical properties--should be applicable for estimating other geochemical parameters at other sites.
Date: November 18, 2003
Creator: Chen, Jinsong; Hubbard, Susan; Rubin, Yoram; Murray, Chris; Roden, Eric & Majer, Ernest
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Direct Reservoir Parameter Estimation Using Joint Inversion ofMarine Seismic AVA&CSEM Data

Description: A new joint inversion algorithm to directly estimate reservoir parameters is described. This algorithm combines seismic amplitude versus angle (AVA) and marine controlled source electromagnetic (CSEM) data. The rock-properties model needed to link the geophysical parameters to the reservoir parameters is described. Errors in the rock-properties model parameters, measured in percent, introduce errors of comparable size in the joint inversion reservoir parameter estimates. Tests of the concept on synthetic one-dimensional models demonstrate improved fluid saturation and porosity estimates for joint AVA-CSEM data inversion (compared to AVA or CSEM inversion alone). Comparing inversions of AVA, CSEM, and joint AVA-CSEM data over the North Sea Troll field, at a location with well control, shows that the joint inversion produces estimated gas saturation, oil saturation and porosity that is closest (as measured by the RMS difference, L1 norm of the difference, and net over the interval) to the logged values whereas CSEM inversion provides the closest estimates of water saturation.
Date: January 12, 2005
Creator: Hoversten, G. Michael; Cassassuce, Florence; Gasperikova, Erika; Newman, Gregory A.; Rubin, Yoram; Zhangshuan, Hou et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Multi-Scale Mass Transfer Processes Controlling Natural Attenuation and Engineered Remediation: An IFRC Focused on Hanford’s 300 Area Uranium Plume

Description: The Integrated Field-Scale Subsurface Research Challenge (IFRC) at the Hanford Site 300 Area uranium (U) plume addresses multi-scale mass transfer processes in a complex hydrogeologic setting where groundwater and riverwater interact. A series of forefront science questions on mass transfer are posed for research which relate to the effect of spatial heterogeneities; the importance of scale; coupled interactions between biogeochemical, hydrologic, and mass transfer processes; and measurements and approaches needed to characterize and model a mass-transfer dominated system. The project was initiated in February 2007, with CY 2007 and CY 2008 progress summarized in preceding reports. The site has 35 instrumented wells, and an extensive monitoring system. It includes a deep borehole for microbiologic and biogeochemical research that sampled the entire thickness of the unconfined 300 A aquifer. Significant, impactful progress has been made in CY 2009 with completion of extensive laboratory measurements on field sediments, field hydrologic and geophysical characterization, four field experiments, and modeling. The laboratory characterization results are being subjected to geostatistical analyses to develop spatial heterogeneity models of U concentration and chemical, physical, and hydrologic properties needed for reactive transport modeling. The field experiments focused on: (1) physical characterization of the groundwater flow field during a period of stable hydrologic conditions in early spring, (2) comprehensive groundwater monitoring during spring to characterize the release of U(VI) from the lower vadose zone to the aquifer during water table rise and fall, (3) dynamic geophysical monitoring of salt-plume migration during summer, and (4) a U reactive tracer experiment (desorption) during the fall. Geophysical characterization of the well field was completed using the down-well Electrical Resistance Tomography (ERT) array, with results subjected to robust, geostatistically constrained inversion analyses. These measurements along with hydrologic characterization have yielded 3D distributions of hydraulic properties that have been incorporated into an updated and ...
Date: February 1, 2010
Creator: Zachara, John M.; Bjornstad, Bruce N.; Christensen, John N.; Conrad, Mark E.; Fredrickson, Jim K.; Freshley, Mark D. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Multi-Scale Mass Transfer Processes Controlling Natural Attenuation and Engineered Remediation: An IFRC Focused on Hanford’s 300 Area Uranium Plume January 2010 to January 2011

Description: The Integrated Field Research Challenge (IFRC) at the Hanford Site 300 Area uranium (U) plume addresses multi-scale mass transfer processes in a complex subsurface hydrogeologic setting where groundwater and riverwater interact. A series of forefront science questions on reactive mass transfer focus research. These questions relate to the effect of spatial heterogeneities; the importance of scale; coupled interactions between biogeochemical, hydrologic, and mass transfer processes; and measurements and approaches needed to characterize and model a mass-transfer dominated system. The project was initiated in February 2007, with CY 2007, CY 2008, and CY 2009 progress summarized in preceding reports. A project peer review was held in March 2010, and the IFRC project has responded to all suggestions and recommendations made in consequence by reviewers and SBR/DOE. These responses have included the development of “Modeling” and “Well-Field Mitigation” plans that are now posted on the Hanford IFRC web-site. The site has 35 instrumented wells, and an extensive monitoring system. It includes a deep borehole for microbiologic and biogeochemical research that sampled the entire thickness of the unconfined 300 A aquifer. Significant, impactful progress has been made in CY 2010 including the quantification of well-bore flows in the fully screened wells and the testing of means to mitigate them; the development of site geostatistical models of hydrologic and geochemical properties including the distribution of U; developing and parameterizing a reactive transport model of the smear zone that supplies contaminant U to the groundwater plume; performance of a second passive experiment of the spring water table rise and fall event with a associated multi-point tracer test; performance of downhole biogeochemical experiments where colonization substrates and discrete water and gas samplers were deployed to the lower aquifer zone; and modeling of past injection experiments for model parameterization, deconvolution of well-bore flow effects, system understanding, and ...
Date: February 1, 2011
Creator: Zachara, John M.; Bjornstad, Bruce N.; Christensen, John N.; Conrad, Mark S.; Fredrickson, Jim K.; Freshley, Mark D. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Multi-Scale Mass Transfer Processes Controlling Natural Attenuation and Engineered Remediation: An IFRC Focused on Hanford’s 300 Area Uranium Plume January 2011 to January 2012

Description: The Integrated Field Research Challenge (IFRC) at the Hanford Site 300 Area uranium (U) plume addresses multi-scale mass transfer processes in a complex subsurface biogeochemical setting where groundwater and riverwater interact. A series of forefront science questions on reactive mass transfer motivates research. These questions relate to the effect of spatial heterogeneities; the importance of scale; coupled interactions between biogeochemical, hydrologic, and mass transfer processes; and measurements and approaches needed to characterize and model a mass-transfer dominated biogeochemical system. The project was initiated in February 2007, with CY 2007, CY 2008, CY 2009, and CY 2010 progress summarized in preceding reports. A project peer review was held in March 2010, and the IFRC project acted upon all suggestions and recommendations made in consequence by reviewers and SBR/DOE. These responses have included the development of 'Modeling' and 'Well-Field Mitigation' plans that are now posted on the Hanford IFRC web-site, and modifications to the IFRC well-field completed in CY 2011. The site has 35 instrumented wells, and an extensive monitoring system. It includes a deep borehole for microbiologic and biogeochemical research that sampled the entire thickness of the unconfined 300 A aquifer. Significant, impactful progress has been made in CY 2011 including: (i) well modifications to eliminate well-bore flows, (ii) hydrologic testing of the modified well-field and upper aquifer, (iii) geophysical monitoring of winter precipitation infiltration through the U-contaminated vadose zone and spring river water intrusion to the IFRC, (iv) injection experimentation to probe the lower vadose zone and to evaluate the transport behavior of high U concentrations, (v) extended passive monitoring during the period of water table rise and fall, and (vi) collaborative down-hole experimentation with the PNNL SFA on the biogeochemistry of the 300 A Hanford-Ringold contact and the underlying redox transition zone. The modified well-field has functioned superbly without ...
Date: March 5, 2012
Creator: Zachara, John M.; Bjornstad, Bruce N.; Christensen, John N.; Conrad, Mark S.; Fredrickson, Jim K.; Freshley, Mark D. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department