A Technology Transfer Program for Facilitating Effective use of Geophysics for Environmental Characterization and Monitoring
In 2015, ESTCP released a solicitation to specifically develop innovative technology transfer approaches. Thirteen projects were selected for funding, and these projects are beginning to generate some of the planned technology transfer products.
One of these projects is led by Dr. Lee Slater of Rutgers University, focused on facilitating effective use of geophysics for environmental characterization and monitoring at DoD sites. This will be accomplished through several approaches including training courses with hands-on field demonstrations at multiple sites convenient to large numbers of DoD managers, video documentation of hands-on training activities, webinars focused on concepts and decision-making with interactive question-and-answer periods, and an ‘Ask the Geophysicist’ forum. Much of the work presented in these technology transfer efforts are based on previous SERDP and ESTCP projects including the following:
- An ESTCP project led by Dr. Lee Slater with Dr. Fred Day-Lewis (USGS) as co-investigator in which the project team demonstrated a geophysics toolbox for the characterization of contaminated fractured rock sites and the monitoring of amendment injections using electrical resistivity tomography (ERT).
- An ESTCP project led by Bill Major from NAVFAC EXWC with Dr. Fred Day-Lewis as co-investigator that was focused on ERT monitoring of amendment treatments associated with DNAPL degradation in unconsolidated sediments.
- An ESTCP project led by Dr. Robert Kelley from ARS Technologies, Inc. that explored geophysical monitoring of hydraulic fracturing (enhancing tight soil permeability via mechanical fracture generation) and subsequent amendment treatment.
- A SERDP project led by Dr. Lee Slater with Dr. Fred Day-Lewis as co-investigator in which the project team is researching the use of electrical methods and nuclear magnetic resonance to characterize immobile porosity and contaminant mass in fractured rock.
Two webinars are planned, with the first webinar from the project to be held on Thursday, June 30, 2016 at 12 PM ET. This webinar will focus on the fundamentals of geophysics and detailing geophysical tomography (imaging) tools. The second webinar will be held on July 28, 2016 at 12 PM ET and will focus on geophysical logging, geophysical characterization of hydrogeological frameworks at remediation sites and geophysical monitoring of remedial treatments. The remaining technology transfer products will be released later this year.
Information on the general capabilities and limitations of geophysics for remediation studies, pros and cons of geophysics versus direct invasive measurements, strategies to help decide when geophysical methods should be utilized, and decision-based tools to support cost-effective and appropriate use of geophysical technologies at contaminated sites are expected to save site remediation professionals thousands of dollars by alerting them to situations when geophysics should not be used due to unrealistic objectives or inappropriate sites conditions.