The USGS conducted a geophysical investigation in support of a U.S. Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southern Division field-scale biostimulation pilot project at Anoka County Riverfront Park (ACP), downgradient of the Naval Industrial Reserve Ordnance Plant, Fridley, Minnesota. The goal of the pilot project is to evaluate subsurface injection of vegetable oil emulsion (VOE) to stimulate microbial degradation of chlorinated hydrocarbons. To monitor the emplacement and movement of the VOE and changes in water chemistry resulting from VOE dissolution and/or enhanced biological activity, the USGS acquired cross-hole radar zero-offset profiles, traveltime tomograms, and borehole geophysical logs during five site visits over 1.5 years. Analysis of pre- and postinjection data sets using petrophysical models developed to estimate VOE saturation and changes in total dissolved solids provides insights into the spatial and temporal distribution of VOE and ground water with altered chemistry. Radar slowness-difference tomograms and zero-offset slowness profiles indicate that the VOE remained close to the injection wells, whereas radar attenuation profiles and electromagnetic induction logs indicate that bulk electrical conductivity increased downgradient of the injection zone, diagnostic of changing water chemistry. Geophysical logs indicate that some screened intervals were located above or below zones of elevated dissolved solids; hence, the geophysical data provide a broader context for interpretation of water samples and evaluation of the biostimulation effort. Our results include (1) demonstration of field and data analysis methods for geophysical monitoring of VOE biostimulation and (2) site-specific insights into the spatial and temporal distributions of VOE at the ACP. ?? 2006 National Ground Water Association.
Additional publication details
Geophysical monitoring of a field-scale biostimulation pilot project