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The spatial characterisation of contaminant distribution found at industrial sites using combined geophysical / hydrogeological fieldstudies and laboratory modelling

Yaccup, Rahman 2012. The spatial characterisation of contaminant distribution found at industrial sites using combined geophysical / hydrogeological fieldstudies and laboratory modelling. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Integrated geophysical, geochemical and hydrogeological modelling techniques have been used in this PhD research study to characterise the ground contamination at four study sites. The primary aim of the research is to study the efficiency of using an integrated approach to study hydrocarbon and heavy metal contamination in the subsurface soil, geology and groundwater systems. Each of the four sites have different industrial legacies (hence types of contamination) and periods of operation. The sites in increasing age are: Bromsgrove landfill, Cathays Railway Depot, Barry Docks and Weston-Super-Mare gasworks. The geophysical methods used in this study are Electrical Resistivity imaging (IRIS) and multifrequency ground conductivity (Gem-2). These techniques can map the electrical properties of the sub-surface in both 2D and 3D. The electrical properties are then compared with independent professional geochemical sampling programmes for both soil and groundwater. The results of this project show that the geophysical methods provide a clear indication of the zones of ground contamination (hydrocarbons and heavy metals) in both 2D and 3D. Electrical resistivity/conductivity mapping using both independent techniques show consistent results. The geophysical results also show a good correlation with the geochemical sampling programmes for soil, water and gas. The results are encouraging in that geophysics could be used more widely in professional contaminated land site investigations to supplement conventional invasive techniques and sampling programmes. The research has also investigated whether geophysical parameters such as electrical conductivity could be used as a groundwater modelling parameter in the Visual Modflow software. The advantage being that geophysics can provide a high intensity of data in 3D and even temporal 4D at a site. The geophysical results can define an accurate spatial distribution of the contaminated area. This can be used to assign a ‘concentration recharge’ in the modelling compared to the normal practice of using chemical data from a small number of discrete sampling points. However this approach will still require chemical data for validation.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Subjects: Q Science > QE Geology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Resistivity Imaging Technique ; GEM-2 ; Groundwater Modelling ; Heavy Metal ; Hydrocarbon and Contamination
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2021 08:39

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