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Monitoring a field-scale biostimulation pilot project using cross-hole radar and borehole geophysical methods

J.W. Lane, Jr.
jwlane@usgs.gov
U.S. Geological Survey, Branch of Geophysics 11 Sherman Place, Unit 5015, Storrs, CT 06269United States

F.D. Day-Lewis
daylewis@usgs.gov
U.S. Geological Survey, Branch of Geophysics 11 Sherman Place, Unit 5015, Storrs, CT 06269 United States

Abstract

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) conducted geophysical investigations in support of a field-scale biostimulation pilot project at the Anoka County Riverfront Park (ACP), located downgradient of the Naval Industrial Reserve Ordnance Plant, in Fridley, Minnesota. The objective of the pilot project, conducted by the U.S. Naval Facilities Engineering Command, is to assess the applicability of subsurface injection of vegetable-oil emulsion (VOE) to promote microbial degradation of chlorinated hydrocarbons. Naturally occurring microbes, which use the VOE as substrate, ultimately break down chlorinated hydrocarbons into chloride, carbon dioxide, and water through oxidation-reduction reactions. To monitor movement of the VOE and changes in water chemistry resulting from VOE advection, dissolution, and (or) enhanced biological activity, the USGS acquired cross-hole zero-offset radar profiles; radar travel-time tomography data; and a suite of borehole geophysical logs, including electromagnetic (EM) induction conductivity. Data were collected during 5 site visits over 1.5 years. Preliminary results of these experiments have been reported elsewhere; this paper reports on the final analysis and combined interpretation of multiple data types, including application of petrophysical models to radar zero-offset profiles and tomograms to yield estimates of VOE saturation and changes in total-dissolved solids downgradient of the VOE injection zones. Comparison of pre- and post-injection datasets provides insight into the spatial and temporal distributions of both VOE and ground water with altered chemistry-information critical to understanding and verifying biodegradation of chlorinated hydrocarbons at the site. Cross-hole radar zero-offset slowness profiles and tomograms indicate the VOE remained close to the injection wells. Downgradient of the injection zones, radar amplitude profiles and EM logs indicate bulk formation electrical conductivity changes after VOE injection, which is diagnostic of changing water chemistry. At several monitoring wells, the field data indicate that the plume of ground water with altered chemistry would not be detected by direct sampling given the locations of monitoring-well screens; hence the geophysical data provide a context for interpretation of water samples and supplementary information useful for evaluation of the biostimulation effort. The study results demonstrate the utility of geophysical monitoring for engineered remediation operations.


Final copy as submitted to EOS Transactions, American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting Supplement for publication as: Lane, J.W., Jr., and Day-Lewis, F.D., 2004, Monitoring a field-scale biostimulation pilot project using cross-hole radar and borehole geophysical methods [abs.]: EOS Transactions, American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting Supplement, v. 85, no. 47, abstract H13G-03.


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