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Combined Geophysical Investigation Techniques to Identify Buried Waste in an Uncontrolled Landfill at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant, Kentucky

Description: The primary objective of the investigation was to confirm the presence and determine the location of a cache of 30 to 60 buried 55-gallon drums that were allegedly dumped along the course of the pre-existing, northsouth diversion ditch (NSDD) adjacent to permitted landfills at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant, Kentucky. The ditch had been rerouted and was being filled and re-graded at the time of the alleged dumping. Historic information and interviews with individuals associated with alleged dumping activities indicated that the drums were dumped prior to the addition of other fill materials. In addition, materials alleged to have been dumped in the ditch, such as buried roofing materials, roof flashing, metal pins, tar substances, fly ash, and concrete rubble complicated data interpretation. Some clean fill materials have been placed over the site and graded. This is an environment that is extremely complicated in terms of past waste dumping activities, construction practices and miscellaneous landfill operations. The combination of site knowledge gained from interviews and research of existing site maps, variable frequency EM data, classical total magnetic field data and optimized GPR lead to success where a simpler less focused approach by other investigators using EM-31 and EM-61 electromagnetic methods and unfocused ground penetrating radar (GPR)did not produce results and defined no real anomalies. A variable frequency electromagnetic conductivity unit was used to collect the EM data at 3,030 Hz, 5,070 Hz, 8,430 Hz, and 14,010 Hz. Both in-phase and quadrature components were recorded at each station point. These results provided depth estimates for targets and some information on the subsurface conditions. A standard magnetometer was used to conduct the magnetic survey that showed the locations and extent of buried metal, the approximate volume of ferrous metal present within a particular area, and allowed estimation of approximate target depths. The ...
Date: February 27, 2003
Creator: Miller, Peter T. & Starmer, R. John
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department