Investigating the Sensitivity of Emerging Geophysical Technologies to Immobile Porosity 

DNAPL contamination of fractured rock remains a long-term, persistent DoD problem. The diffusion of aqueous phase contaminant into low-permeability matrix blocks between fractures, or in and from dead-end fractures, limits the efficiency of fractured-aquifer remediation by conventional and alternative engineered remediation. Understanding this fine scale distribution of contaminant mass away from fractures, and how this mass changes in response to remediation efforts, is critical for improving remediation operation in fractured rock settings.  Rutgers University Newark, The Center for Applied Groundwater Research at the University of Guelph and the Office of Groundwater at the United States Geological Survey have teamed up to address this scientific challenge using two emerging geophysical technologies known as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and complex resistivity (CR)
The primary objectives of this research are
  1. to determine the sensitivity of emerging borehole geophysical technologies to immobile porosity and DNAPL and aqueous-phase contaminant mass isolated within the immobile porosity of fractured rock that is typically inaccessible to aqueous sampling techniques,
  2. to evaluate the predictive capabilities of these geophysical technologies with respect to quantifying immobile porosity and/or contaminant mass concentration, and
  3. to obtain better information at high spatial resolution on the distribution of contaminant mass within the immobile porosity of a fractured rock in relation to the location of the primary fractures governing flow/transport.  
This work is supported by the following research grant:  “Investigating the Sensitivity of Emerging Geophysical Technologies to Immobile Porosity and Isolated DNAPL and Dissolved/Sorbed VOC Mass in Fractured Media”
Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP)
With the following partners: