The North Cavalcade Street site was first developed for wood treating in 1946. By 1955, pentachlorophenol wood preservation services and other support facilities, such as creosote ponds, pentachlorophenol and creosote storage structures, various tanks, lumber sheds, a treatment facility, and other buildings had been added. In 1961, the property was closed. To protect public health and welfare and the environment from release or threatened releases of hazardous substances, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency added the North Cavalcade Street site to the National Priorities List on October 5, 1984. Between September 1985 and November 1987, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency conducted a remedial investigation which, through exploratory drilling, determined the locations of two contaminated source areas and a normal fault. During August 2003, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, conducted a two-dimensional (2D) resistivity investigation at the North Cavalcade Street site to provide additional characterization of the dense non-aqueous phase liquids and the lithologies that can influence contaminant migration. The 2D resistivity investigation used a capacitively coupled (CC) resistivity method as a reconnaissance tool to locate geophysical anomalies that could be associated with possible areas of creosote contamination. The inversion results of the CC resistivity survey identified resistive anomalies in the subsurface near the eastern and western contaminated source areas. A direct-current (DC) resistivity survey conducted near the CC resistivity survey confirmed the occurrence of subsurface resistive anomalies. The inversion results of the DC resistivity survey were used to define the subsurface distribution of resistivity at each line.
Forward modeling was used as an interpretative tool to relate the subsurface distribution of resistivity from four DC resistivity lines to known, assumed, and hypothetical information on subsurface lithologies. The final forward models were used as an estimate of the true resistivity structure for the field data. The forward models and the inversion results of the forward models show the depth, thickness, and extent of strata as well as the resistive anomalies occurring along the four lines and the displacement of strata resulting from the Pecore Fault along two of the four DC resistivity lines. Ten additional DC resistivity lines show similarly distributed shallow subsurface lithologies of silty sand and clay strata. Eight priority areas of resistive anomalies were identified for evaluation in future studies. The interpreted DC resistivity data allowed subsurface stratigraphy to be extrapolated between existing boreholes resulting in an improved understanding of lithologies that can influence contaminant migration.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Two-dimensional resistivity investigation of the North Cavalcade Street site, Houston, Texas, August 2003