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Project ID: 2004NJ74B

Title: High resolution geophysical imaging as a novel method for noninvasive characterization of contaminated wetlands: application to Kearny Marsh

Project Type: Research

Focus Categories: Methods, Wetlands, Sediments

Keywords: wetland sediments, Kearny marsh, Keegan landfill, geophysical technology, GIS, surface water, groundwater

Start Date: 03/01/2004

End Date: 03/01/2005

Federal Funds: $29,130

Non-Federal Matching Funds: $55,784

Congressional District: 10

Principal Investigator:
Lee Slater
Rutgers University


Electrical geophysical measurements are proxy indicators of the pore water chemistry, with an extensive body of literature illustrating the on-land use of electrical geophysics in the study of the migration of contaminant plumes and characterization of contaminated soils (e.g. Mazac et al., 1987; Osiensky and Donaldson, 1995; Dahlin, 1996). State-of-the- art electrical geophysical imaging surveys permit non-invasive time-lapse “imaging” of dynamic subsurface processes (such as contaminant movement) that is analogous to medical imaging technologies (e.g. Daily et al., 1992, Slater et al., 1997; 2002). Despite the extensive development and utilization of these novel methods of contaminant detection, they are essentially unused in the study of wetlands

Wetlands are uniquely suited to water-born electrical surveys as the water depth is so shallow (typically a few feet); electrical current penetration into the sediments is maximized and high resolution electrical imaging is possible.

This work will demonstrate how state-of-the-art geophysical technologies conducted from shallow-water boats, combined with a GIS-based data management system, can contribute to wetland science by providing spatially extensive, non-invasive information on sediment and subsurface water quality hitherto unavailable to ecologists, geochemists and hydrologists involved in wetlands research.

This project seeks to determine how spatially and temporally extensive geophysical data can be organized within a wetland GIS to integrate information into a coherent georeferenced framework suitable for analyses and decision making.

Since there are plans to acquire, preserve, and restore 8400 acres of wetlands in the Meadowlands District, there is thus a need to rapidly evaluate the extent of non-point-source pollution of contaminated wetland sediments within the Meadowlands. Transferability of the technologies applied in this study on Kearny Marsh is possible to other wetlands within the Meadowlands

Progress/Completion Report PDF

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
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Last Updated: Wednesday July 13, 2005 4:10 PM
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