Testing of stack-unit/aquifer sensitivity analysis using contaminant plume distribution in the subsurface of Savannah River Site, South Carolina, USA

James M. Rine, John M. Shafer, Elzbieta Covington, Richard Carl Berg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Published information on the correlation and field-testing of the technique of stack-unit/aquifer sensitivity mapping with documented subsurface contaminant plumes is rare. The inherent characteristic of stack-unit mapping, which makes it a superior technique to other analyses that amalgamate data, is the ability to deconstruct the sensitivity analysis on a unit-by-unit basis. An aquifer sensitivity map, delineating the relative sensitivity of the Crouch Branch aquifer of the Administrative/Manufacturing Area (A/M) at the Savannah River Site (SRS) in South Carolina, USA, incorporates six hydrostratigraphic units, surface soil units, and relevant hydrologic data. When this sensitivity map is compared with the distribution of the contaminant tetrachloroethylene (PCE), PCE is present within the Crouch Branch aquifer within an area classified as highly sensitive, even though the PCE was primarily released on the ground surface within areas classified with low aquifer sensitivity. This phenomenon is explained through analysis of the aquifer sensitivity map, the groundwater potentiometric surface maps, and the plume distributions within the area on a unit-by- unit basis. The results of this correlation show how the paths of the PCE plume are influenced by both the geology and the groundwater flow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1620-1634
Number of pages15
JournalHydrogeology Journal
Volume14
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006

Keywords

  • Aquifer sensitivity
  • Chlorinated hydrocarbons
  • Savannah River Site
  • Stack-unit mapping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

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