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Hydrogeology, simulated ground-water flow, and ground-water quality at two landfills in Bristol, Vermont

Water-Resources Investigations Report 94-4108

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Abstract

A study was done to describe the hydrogeology of unconsolidated deposits, simulated ground-water flow, and ground-water quality at two landfills in Bristol, Vermont. The study area is characterized by a glacial delta greater than 200 feet thick on the west flank of the Green Mountains. An upper unconfined, coarse-grained glacial aquifer and a lower fine-grained glacial aquifer are separated throughout most of the study area by a sand, silt, and clay confining unit. A two-layer ground-water flow model was designed and calibrated to estimate ground-water-flow paths form the aquifers beneath the landfills. Large upward head gradients of 0.03 to 0.30 foot per foot are the result of ground water leaking from the underlying bedrock aquifer, which caused ground-water flow to concentrate in the upper aquifer. Most simulated ground-water-flow paths in the lower glacial aquifer beneath the landfills crossed into the upper aquifer. Simulated ground- water-flow paths in the upper aquifer, beneath the landfills, remained in the upper aquifer. Ground water characterized as landfill leachate, or influenced by landfill leachate, has a median specific conductance of 700 microseimens per centimeter at 25 degrees Celsius. Landfill leachate contained mean concentrations 1.5 to 10 times the background concentrations of common constituents and metals, including calcium, potassium, sodium, chloride, iron, magnesium, and manganese. Trace metals detected in the leachate included copper, nickel, zinc, cobalt, lead, and arsenic. Ten volatile organic compounds were found at four observation wells associated with one landfill and three volatile organic compounds were found at two observation wells associated with the record landfill. No one volatile organic compound was consistently found and detections were generally at or near detection limits.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Hydrogeology, simulated ground-water flow, and ground-water quality at two landfills in Bristol, Vermont
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
94-4108
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1995
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey ; Earth Science Information Center, Open-File Reports Section [distributor],
Description:
vi, 111 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.