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Geophysical Methods for Environmental Investigations

Posted on November 6th, 2019

Some environmental sites have complexities requiring the use of geophysical equipment.  This equipment is used to aid in investigations for underground storage tanks (USTs), subsurface piping and structures, and subsurface geological .  This equipment uses ground penetrating radar (GPR) technology, resistivity imaging, and acoustic and geomechanical analyses.

JM Sorge (JMS) utilizes technologies in environmental investigations whenever possible.  These technologies are non-invasive and can aid in locating sources of contamination which, in turn, can equal cost savings for the client.

The use of a GPR can locate USTs and associated piping to assist in identify potential sampling locations without conducting intrusive excavation work.  JMS uses this technology extensively to investigate UST systems and other potential buried environmental .

Geophysical borehole logging can also be used for environmental investigations for sites with geologic bedrock contamination.  In these situations, a borehole is drilled (presumably to be converted into a monitoring well) for the geophysical investigation.  Tooling for imaging, water flow sensing and other technologies is lowered into the borehole to determine fracture zone depths, strike and dip directions and groundwater flow directions to help determine potential contaminant migration pathways. Results from these investigations provides information for consultants to determine the best depth(s) to install wells and locations for potential new well installations, if needed in the future.

These minimally invasive technologies can more accurately aid in environmental investigation and remediation and can help save the client funds that can be better used in other remedial efforts. These non-invasive technologies are a much better alternative than excavation work, which can cause disruptions at facilities and will increase costs in investigation work.

 

Nicholas Mazza

Project Manager

 

Photograph of geophysical borehole logging to determine geologic fracture zones for groundwater contamination

Geophysical borehole logging to determine geologic fracture zones for groundwater contamination

Photograph of GPR equipment used to detect underground tanks and other anomalies

GPR equipment used to detect underground tanks and other anomalies


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