A Fractured Rock Geophysical Toolbox for Characterization and Monitoring of DNAPL Biodegradation in Fractured Rock Aquifers

The overall objective of this project is to demonstrate a method for characterization and monitoring of dense non-aqueous phase liquid (DNAPL) biodegradation (including free and dissolved phase) in fractured rock aquifers based on a fractured rock geophysical toolbox (FRGT).


Specific technical objectives include demonstrations of: 
(1) fracture network characterization using geophysical methods sensitive to fracture strike and dip patterns and spanning a wide range of measurement scales
(2) long-term, minimally invasive autonomous monitoring of proxies of the timing and extent of amendment delivery and/or DNAPL degradation in fractured rock using combined geophysical and geochemical measurements sensitive to biodegradation
(3) the application of "informed" inversion to produce estimates of fracture location, distribution, and orientation with better resolution than is currently possible with commercially available tools; and
(4) identification and monitoring of geophysical attributes that are soft measures of progress of DNAPL biodegradation in fractured rock.
The project team aims to demonstrate how such geophysically imaged "soft" hydrological information can be used to guide decisions regarding sampling frequency and duration. This effort will include comparison of dense 4D geophysical monitoring results with sparser (in time and space) point chemistry data in order to fully understand geophysical signatures of DNAPL amendment treatments and remediation processes.

Performers and Responsibilities

(1) Lee Slater: overall project management, reporting and coordination of all activities performed on the project effort,
(2) Dimitrios Ntarlagiannis: Rutgers field activities and geophysical data interpretation,
(3, 4) Frederick Day-Lewis and John Lane: tech transfer and transition efforts - oversee USGS field efforts,
(5) Allen Shapiro, coordination of hydrogeologic and biogeochemical activities at the NAWC site and integration with ongoing SERDP efforts
(6) Timothy Johnson: developing/adapting inversion codes for data interpretation.
(7) Judith Robinson: PhD graduate student