Chlorinated solvents and fuel-related volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have contaminated subsurface soils and groundwater at thousands of sites. Traditional site assessment techniques include drilling, sampling, and laboratory analysis of soil and groundwater, producing relatively limited data. To expedite site investigation activities, High Resolution Site Characterization (HRSC) technologies have been utilized at contaminated sites over the past 15 years. These systems are designed to collect data in real-time and high resolution continuously throughout the subsurface vertical profile. These include: Laser Induced Fluorescence (LIF) – used to identify zones of Light Non-Aqueous Phase Liquids (LNAPL) petroleum; the Membrane Interface Probe (MIP), which screens for dissolved-phase petroleum hydrocarbons, chlorinated compounds, and methane; and the Hydraulic Profiling Tool (HPT) – used to determine hydraulic and lithologic properties of the subsurface. All three technologies collect and record data at high resolution (20 readings per foot), to generate large data sets that provide the most comprehensive horizontal and vertical delineation of subsurface contamination. LIF/MIP/HPT data is then consequently incorporated into modelling software to generate real-time, 2D-3D graphics revealing plume geometry as an investigation is taking place. HRSC technologies have proven to be a cost effective and efficient strategy for comprehensive conceptual site models at contaminated sites.

Primary Author/Presenter:
David Heicher
Southeast Regional Manager
Dakota Technologies
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina