Primary Author | Conference Presenter:
James Depa
Sr. Project Manager
Downers Grove, Illinois, USA

Ron St. John, Terracon, Illinois, USA

High-Resolution Site Characterization (HRSC) tools and 3D Visualization and Animation (3-DVA) technology are being utilized more often than ever to reduce the costs of environmental damage caused by petroleum spills and releases. HRSC tools provide a variety of detailed data about the magnitude and distribution of chemical contaminants in the subsurface as well as the geologic setting of a site.

Nearly a dozen different types of HRSC tools exist, however, four specific tools have relevance to environmental issues related to the petroleum industry. Laser-Induced Fluorescence (LIF) tools detect for the presence of free-phase non-aqueous phase liquids (NAPL) in the subsurface, such as crude oil and gasoline. A Membrane Interface Probe (MIP) detects both contamination on soil and dissolved contamination in groundwater from volatile organic chemicals (VOCs), and Cone Penetrometer Tests (CPT) and Hydraulic Profiling Tools (HPT) can classify the geologic and hydrogeologic setting of a site.

A single day of HRSC drilling can generate over 10,000 data points and 3-DVA technology is perfectly suited to handle the massive amount of data. 3-DVA technology can present the data in a way that can be comprehended by clients, contractors, and regulatory agencies and be used to make actionable and defensible decisions.