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GSA 2006 Post-Meeting Field Trip

Geologic, Hydrogeologic, and Biogeochemical Controls on Natural and Enhanced Degradation of Industrial Solvents in Fractured Rocks


USGS hosted a one-day field trip "Geologic, Hydrogeologic, and Biogeochemical Controls on Natural and Enhanced Degradation of Industrial Solvents in Fractured Rocks" on Thursday, 26 October 2006, as part of the 2006 Meeting of the Geological Society of America. The meeting was held 22-25 October in Philadelphia. A session at the meeting, Physical, Chemical, and Biological Controls on Remediation of Chlorinated Solvents in Fractured Rock, was convened by Allen Shapiro and Frank Chapelle.

Because of the extreme variability in permeability and geochemical conditions in fractured-rock aquifers, many of the methods and tools developed from investigations in porous media formations have limited applicability. USGS has designated the NAWC site as a field laboratory for multi-disciplinary research, in cooperation with U.S. Navy, NJDEP and other partners, including university and private sector researchers. Cooperative research with EPA and SERDP will begin in October 2006.

The field trip included visits to outcrop, examination of core, and several stations at the NAWC field site. Stations included presentations about recently developed field methods for investigating the fate and transport of VOC's in fractured-rock aquifers, and on natural and enhanced biodegradation in sedimentary rocks of the Newark Basin.

For more information, please contact:
  Dan Goode,
  Claire Tiedeman,
  Pierre Lacombe,
The NAWC project home page provides more information, including site descrition, bibliography, research team and headlines.

Field Trip Stations

Natural & Enhanced Biodegradation

Frank Chapelle and Paul Bradley, USGS

Frank Chapelle analyzing hydrogen gas Paul Bradley sampling for hydrogen and carbon monoxide

Geochemical conditions and microbial populations exhibit more variability in fractured-rock aquifers than in porous media systems. Field measurements include hydrogen and carbon monoxide gas, DNA from water and rock macrocosm samplers, and isotopes of carbon and hydrogen in VOCs.

Hydrogeologic Framework

Pierre Lacombe and Bill Burton, USGS

Rock Core from borehole 68BR, NAWC Outcrop at Exit 2, I-95

The NAWC lies within the Newark Basin and is characterized by Triassic-age clastic sedimentary rocks, predominately mudstone in the Lockatong Formation, and sandstone in the Stockton Formation. In addition to outcrop, we will examine core from NAWC in the Lockatong and Stockton Formations, and at a fault zone. Correlation of Van Houten cycles in sedimentary deposition has been instrumental in understanding the framework for flow and transport in the dipping mudstones.


Carole Johnson, John Williams, and Karl Ellefsen, USGS

Examples logs, 68BR at NAWC Alton Anderson, Carole Johnson, and John Williams

Presentations of advanced borehole and surface geophysical methods will include heat pulse flowmeter, acoustic and optical televiewer, borehole television, seismic reflection and other tools. Recent applications have included cross-hole tomography for monitoring biodegradation.


Mary DeFlaun, GeoSyntec Inc.

Biostim experiment area Equipment for injection of bacteria

GeoSyntec, Inc. and ECOR Solutions Inc. recently conducted a bioaugmentation and biostimulation experiment at NAWC to enhance naturally-occurring biodegradation of TCE.

Multi-level Packers and In Situ Water Quality

Dan Goode and Tom Imbrigiotta, USGS

Tom Imbrigiotta, Rob Rosman and Claire Tiedeman Rock Core Sampling for VOCs

Field conditions downgradient of the biostimulation experiment are monitored in a multi-level well using packers and in situ sampling devices including diffusion bags, rock macrocosms, hydrogen-gas-permeable syringes, and tubes for collecting DNA.

Hydraulic and Tracer testing

Claire Tiedeman, Allen Shapiro, and Glen Carleton, USGS

68BR multi-level monitoring well water levels Hydrostratigraphy and In Situ Testing Area

Water levels in different fractures of a multi-level well respond to pumping wells open to corresponding strata. Tracer tests using tracers with different diffusion coefficients will help distinguish between matrix diffusion and exchange with slowly-advecting zones.

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