Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Geophysics for High Resolution Site Characterization, CSM Refinement and Remedial Design Optimization - Brad Cross, ERM (USA)
Many traditional site investigation methods have been replaced in recent years by high-resolution site characterization tools that are designed for deployment using direct push boring advancement techniques. However, recently, non-invasive techniques such as Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) have become popular for near surface and shallow aquifer characterization. NMR logging provides high-resolution quantification of porosity and hydraulic conductivity, and can detect and quantify multi-phase saturations of certain LNAPLs. NMR data can be acquired through non-metallic (PVC) casing using existing well infrastructure eliminating the need for additional invasive borings required with other technologies. NMR is a proven technology that will provide high-resolution data of critical aquifer properties required for conceptual site models and for remedial system design and optimization, particularly at legacy sites where progress toward site closure has stalled.
Case studies will be presented that demonstrate the viability of using NMR technology for near-surface investigations in both alluvium and bedrock settings. Continuous, high-resolution vertical profiles of total porosity, mobile, capillary bound and clay bound porosity fractions, and hydraulic conductivity collected from existing PVC-cased monitoring wells will demonstrate how NMR data can be used to develop a robust CSM, provide input to groundwater flow models, and help optimize groundwater extraction wells and remediation systems. Examples of LNAPL saturation detection and quantification will also be presented.
Bradley D. Cross, R.G, P.G., is a Principal Hydrogeologist and Subject Matter Expert at ERM with over 35 years of experience in environmental consulting, water resources, and petroleum exploration. Specific areas of expertise include stratigraphy and sedimentology, hydrogeology, geophysics, and high-resolution site characterization. He holds a B.S. in Geology from Colorado State University and an M.S. in Geology from Texas A&M University. For the past 10 years, Mr. Cross has been a pioneer in the application of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) geophysics to the environmental industry. He has worked with both regulators and industry, and has implemented numerous NMR investigations at sites across North America in a variety of geologic settings.
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