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USGS Groundwater Information: Hydrogeophysics Branch

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 [Photo: USGS scientist puts continuous-resistivity streamer into water.] The Office of Groundwater, Branch of Geophysics (OGW BG) supports the USGS Water Mission Area by providing technical assistance to the Water Science Centers; conducting training on the use of geophysical methods and equipment; and through the development and application of hydrogeophysical techniques that enhance groundwater resource assessment, modeling, and monitoring.

Technical Support

Technical support and guidance is provided to USGS scientists through formal courses at the National Training Center, regional workshops and demonstrations, and direct assistance to USGS Water Science Centers and Offices. Upon request, OGW, Branch of Geophysics provides advice on geophysical method selection, on-site geophysical equipment use training, and assistance with data processing and interpretation. OGW BG also promotes consistent guidelines for quality assurance and quality control for the collection, processing, storage, and interpretation of related geophysical data.

The Office of groundwater geophysical equipment program provides USGS scientists with state-of-the-art surface, borehole, and water-borne geophysical hardware and software. Office of Groundwater geophysical equipment is available for USGS program development, training, and to support unique project requirements. OGW BG procures, maintains, updates, schedules, and supports the use of this equipment.

 [Image: Optical televiewer log image "rolled" into a virtual core.] Applied Research

Applied geophysical research at OGW BG focuses on the development and modification of surface- and borehole-geophysical characterization and monitoring methods, and the testing of newly developed and emerging geophysical technologies. This work is supported by the Office of Groundwater, the Groundwater Resources Program, the Toxic Substance Hydrology Program, and other Federal Agencies. OGW BG research is performed in cooperation with USGS scientists, including the National Research Program, scientists at other Federal Agencies, and with university graduate students and faculty.

Examples of applied research conducted by OGW BG include:
• development of an integrated 'toolbox' approach to characterize the hydrogeology of fractured rock aquifers;
• development of geophysical methods to monitor hydrologic processes and remedial measures;
• prevention of cross-contamination in wells through innovative isolation methods;
• development of discrete zone monitoring systems for hydraulic studies in bedrock wells;
• application of borehole-radar methods for groundwater investigations; and
• application of surface- and borehole-resistivity methods for groundwater investigations.

Technology Transfer

OGW BG searches for technology that has potential to advance USGS capabilities for geophysical characterization and monitoring. Method development is conducted through the OGW BG applied research program. Transfer of new technologies to the operational programs of the USGS occurs through formal training courses, regional workshops, and on-site training. OGW BG staff give frequent presentations and demonstrations at USGS meetings, conferences, USGS Water Science Centers, and universities. Research results are published in USGS reports and fact sheets, conference proceedings, and peer-reviewed journals. A bibliography of office publications can be found on this site. A web-based geophysical technology transfer system is under continuous development and expansion to support all of these efforts.

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