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Concepts and data-collection techniques used in a study of the unsaturated zone at a low-level radioactive-waste disposal site near Sheffield, Illinois

Water-Resources Investigations Report 85-4228

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Abstract

A study of water and radionuclide movement through the unsaturated zone is being conducted at the low level radioactive waste disposal site near Sheffield, Illinois. Included in the study are detailed investigations of evapotranspiration, movement of water through waste trench covers, and movement of water and radionuclides (dissolved and gaseous) from the trenches. An energy balance/Bowen ratio approach is used to determine evapotranspiration. Precipitation, net radiation, soil-heat flux, air temperature and water vapor content gradients, wind speed, and wind direction are measured. Soil water tension is measured with tensiometers which are connected to pressure transducers. Meteorological sensors and tensiometers which are connected to pressure transducers. Meteorological sensors and tensiometers are monitored with automatic data loggers. Soil moisture contents are measured through small-diameter access tubes with neutron and gamma-ray attenuation gages. Data beneath the trenches are obtained through a 130-meter-long tunnel which extends under four of the trenches. Water samples are obtained with suction lysimeters, and samples of the geologic material are obtained with core tubes. These samples are analyzed for radiometric and inorganic chemistry. Gas samples are obtained from gas piezometers and analyzed for partial pressures of major constituents, Radon-222, tritiated water vapor, and carbon-14 dioxide. (USGS)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Concepts and data-collection techniques used in a study of the unsaturated zone at a low-level radioactive-waste disposal site near Sheffield, Illinois
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
85-4228
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1986
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey,
Description:
vi, 37 p. :ill., map ;28 cm.