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Water Resources Research








A multidisciplinary research team has conducted a field-scale bacterial transport study within an uncontaminated sandy Pleistocene aquifer near Oyster, Virginia. The overall goal of the project was to evaluate the importance of heterogeneities in controlling the field-scale transport of bacteria that are injected into the ground for remediation purposes. Geochemical, hydrological, geological, and geophysical data were collected to characterize the site prior to conducting chemical and bacterial injection experiments. In this paper we focus on results of a hydrogeological characterization effort using geophysical data collected across a range of spatial scales. The geophysical data employed include surface ground-penetrating radar, radar cross-hole tomography, seismic cross-hole tomography, cone penetrometer, and borehole electromagnetic flowmeter. These data were used to interpret the subregional and local stratigraphy, to provide high-resolution hydraulic conductivity estimates, and to provide information about the log conductivity spatial correlation function. The information from geophysical data was used to guide and assist the field operations and to constrain the numerical bacterial transport model. Although more field work of this nature is necessary to validate the usefulness and cost-effectiveness of including geophysical data in the characterization effort, qualitative and quantitative comparisons between tomographically obtained flow and transport parameter estimates with hydraulic well bore and bromide breakthrough measurements suggest that geophysical data can provide valuable, high-resolution information. This information, traditionally only partially obtainable by performing extensive and intrusive well bore sampling, may help to reduce the ambiguity associated with hydrogeological heterogeneity that is often encountered when interpreting field-scale bacterial transport data.


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Original Publication Citation

Hubbard, S. S., Chen, J. S., Peterson, J., Majer, E. L., Williams, K. H., Swift, D. J., . . . Rubin, Y. (2001). Hydrogeological characterization of the South Oyster bacterial transport site using geophysical data. Water Resources Research, 37(10), 2431-2456. doi:10.1029/2001wr000279


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