In 2011, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy, cored and completed borehole USGS 136 for stratigraphic framework analyses and long-term groundwater monitoring of the eastern Snake River Plain aquifer at the Idaho National Laboratory. The borehole was initially cored to a depth of 1,048 feet (ft) below land surface (BLS) to collect core, open-borehole water samples, and geophysical data. After these data were collected, borehole USGS 136 was cemented and backfilled between 560 and 1,048 ft BLS. The final construction of borehole USGS 136 required that the borehole be reamed to allow for installation of 6-inch (in.) diameter carbon-steel casing and 5-in. diameter stainless-steel screen; the screened monitoring interval was completed between 500 and 551 ft BLS. A dedicated pump and water-level access line were placed to allow for aquifer testing, for collecting periodic water samples, and for measuring water levels. Geophysical and borehole video logs were collected after coring and after the completion of the monitor well. Geophysical logs were examined in conjunction with the borehole core to describe borehole lithology and to identify primary flow paths for groundwater, which occur in intervals of fractured and vesicular basalt. A single-well aquifer test was used to define hydraulic characteristics for borehole USGS 136 in the eastern Snake River Plain aquifer. Specific-capacity, transmissivity, and hydraulic conductivity from the aquifer test were at least 975 gallons per minute per foot, 1.4 × 105 feet squared per day (ft2/d), and 254 feet per day, respectively. The amount of measureable drawdown during the aquifer test was about 0.02 ft. The transmissivity for borehole USGS 136 was in the range of values determined from previous aquifer tests conducted in other wells near the Advanced Test Reactor Complex: 9.5 × 103 to 1.9 × 105 ft2/d. Water samples were analyzed for cations, anions, metals, nutrients, total organic carbon, volatile organic compounds, stable isotopes, and radionuclides. Water samples from borehole USGS 136 indicated that concentrations of tritium, sulfate, and chromium were affected by wastewater disposal practices at the Advanced Test Reactor Complex. Depth-discrete groundwater samples were collected in the open borehole USGS 136 near 965, 710, and 573 ft BLS using a thief sampler; on the basis of selected constituents, deeper groundwater samples showed no influence from wastewater disposal at the Advanced Test Reactor Complex.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Completion summary for borehole USGS 136 near the Advanced Test Reactor Complex, Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho