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Trichloroethene and tetrachloroethene were detected in ground water in a vertical interval from about 68 to 176 feet below sea level beneath the shoreline where the contaminant plume emanating from a capped landfill on the Massachusetts Military Reservation intersects Red Brook Harbor. The highest concentrations at the shoreline, about 15 micrograms per liter of trichloroethene and 1 microgram per liter of tetrachloroethene, were measured in samples from one well at about 176 feet below sea level. The concentrations of nutrients, such as nitrate and ammonium, and trace metals, such as iron and manganese, in these same samples are typical of uncontaminated ground water on Cape Cod. Fresh ground water (bulk electrical conductance less than 100 millisiemens per meter) is present beneath the harbor at 40 of 48 locations investigated within about 250 feet of the shoreline. Fresh ground water also was detected at one location approximately 450 feet from shore. The harbor bottom consists of soft sediments that range in thickness from 0 to greater than 20 feet and overlie sandy aquifer materials. Trichloroethene was detected at several locations in fresh ground water from the sandy aquifer materials beneath the harbor. The highest trichloroethene concentration, about 4.5 micrograms per liter, was measured about 450 feet from shore.
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Detection of fresh ground water and a contaminant plume beneath Red Brook Harbor, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, 2000