70193-Influence of Clastic Dikes on Vertical Migration of Contaminants in the Vadose Zonde at Hanford
Description: The purpose of this study was to examine the hypothesis that clastic dikes could form a preferential flow path through the vadose zone to the water table at the Hanford Site. Clastic dikes are subvertical structures that form within sedimentary sequences after deposition and cut across the original sedimentary layers. They are common throughout the Hanford Site, often occurring in organized polygonal networks. In the initial phase of the project, we analyzed the large-scale geometry of the clastic dikes and developed an algorithm for simulating their spatial distribution. This result will be useful in providing maps of the potential distribution of clastic dikes in areas where they are not exposed at the surface (e.g., where covered by windblown sand or construction of facilities like tank farms at the surface). In addition to the study of the large-scale distribution of the dikes, a major focus of the project was on field, laboratory, and modeling studies of the hydrogeological properties of the clastic dikes and the effect that they have on transport of water through the vadose zone. These studies were performed at two field locations at the Hanford Site. We performed an extensive series of field and laboratory measurements of a large number of samples from the clastic dikes, linked with infrared (IR) and visual imagery of the clastic dikes and surrounding matrix. We developed a series of correlations from the sample data that allowed us to estimate the unsaturated hydraulic conductivity of the dike and matrix at an extremely high resolution (approximately 1 mm). The resulting grids, each of which measured several meters on a side and included nearly four million grid nodes, were used to study the distribution of moisture between the clastic dike and surrounding matrix, as well as the relative velocities that moisture would have through the ...
Date: April 7, 2004
Creator: Murray, Christopher J; Ward, Anderson L. & Wilson, John L.
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