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Geochemical and Microbiological Processes that Affect Migration and Natural Attenuation of Chlorinated Solvents in Fractured-Sedimentary Rock — Naval Air Warfare Center (NAWC) Research Site, West Trenton, NJ


USGS scientists will update research progress through several presentations at the 2015 Geological Society of America (GSA) Annual Meeting, November 1-4, in Baltimore. Project scientists Claire Tiedeman and Michelle Lorah, along with Rutgers Prof. Lee Slater, will co-chair the Contaminant Transport, Fate, and Remediation in Fractured Rocks topical session.

USGS scientists updated research progress through several presentations at the National Groundwater Association (NGWA) Conference on Groundwater in Fractured Rock, September 28-29, 2015 in Burlington, Vermont. Project scientist Paul Hsieh presented the conference keynote address: "Flow and Transport in Fractured Rocks — Retrospective and Look Ahead."

Recent Publications

3D resistivity during transport in fracturesImaging Pathways in Fractured Rock using Three-Dimensional Electrical Resistivity Tomography: Groundwater article by Robinson et al. 2015Rutgers-Newark
synthesis of core vocs and logsSynthesis of Rock Core VOCs with Borehole Logging and Hydrogeologic Framework: J. Contaminant Hydrology article by Goode et al. 2014
Carbon isotope changesCarbon Isotopes of VOCs, Microbial Community, and Deuterium Tracer used to Evaluate Bioaugmentation in Fractured Rock: J. Contaminant Hydrology article by Révész et al. 2014
slug testing at NAWCTransmissivity and Storage Coefficient Estimation by Slug Testing: USGS report by Fiore 2014
gene PCR NAWCBiogeochemistry and Genetics of Acetylene Fermentation: Geomicrobiology J. article by Miller et al. 2013
Heating SimulationDNAPL Remediation by Thermal Conductive Heating in Fractured Rock: ESTCP report by Lebrón et al. 2013U.S. Navy
TCE degradation ratesSite-scale TCE Degradation Rates from cisDCE and Chloride Production: Remediation article by Chapelle et al. 2012
SIR 2012-5032 coverVinyl Chloride and cisDCE Degradation under 'Anoxic' Conditions: USGS report by Bradley 2012
Block diagram of shallow rockReductive Dechlorination Requires Threshold Amounts of Organic Carbon: Remediation article by Chapelle et al. 2012
NAWC well locationsBiostimulation and Bioaugmentation Field Experiments show Increased cisDCE Degradation: Remediation article by Bradley et al. 2012
Mass removed by pump & treatContaminant Removal during 15 years of Pump & Treat Remediation: USGS report by Lacombe 2011
Interpreted geophysical cross sectionMapping, Coring, and Surface Geophysics Characterize Geologic Framework: J. Applied Geophysics article by Ellefsen et al. 2012
14C labeled degradation productsDistinct Vinyl Chloride and cisDCE Degradation under Low- and No-Oxygen Conditions: Ground Water Monitoring & Remediation article by Bradley & Chapelle 2011
Cover of GWMRHydrogeologic Framework Developed for Understanding Three-Dimensional Flow in Dipping Fractured Rocks: Ground Water Monitoring & Remediation article by Lacombe & Burton 2010
3D aquifer-test modelMulti-well Shutdown Tests are Effective for Characterizing Fractured Rock: Ground Water article by Tiedeman et al. 2010
Full Bibliography


USGS began studies of contamination in fractured-sedimentary bedrock in cooperation with the U.S. Navy at the former Naval Air Warfare Center (NAWC), West Trenton, N.J. in 1993.

In 2001, the USGS Toxic Substances Hydrology Program initiated research at the NAWC to complement and expand the research being conducted on groundwater flow and contaminant transport in fractured bedrock at its Mirror Lake, New Hampshire Research Site. The NAWC site was chosen because the general hydrogeologic framework was well defined and the site contained extensive contamination over a range of geochemical conditions. Site groundwater contains volatile organic compounds (VOC's) that include trichloroethene (TCE), cis-1,2-dichloroethene (cisDCE), and vinyl chloride.

Our research objectives are improved understanding of the physical, chemical, and microbial processes that affect the transport and fate of chlorinated solvents in fractured-sedimentary-rock aquifers, including the role of dense non-aqueous phase liquids (DNAPL) as a long-term source. We are also developing methods for cost-effective subsurface characterization.

Research at the site is a multidisciplinary, collaborative effort that presently involves scientists from the USGS, U.S. Navy, and several academic and private institutions.

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