Completion summary for boreholes TAN-2271 and TAN‑2272 at Test Area North, Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho

Scientific Investigations Report 2016-5088
Prepared in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy
By: , and 



In 2015, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy, drilled and constructed boreholes TAN-2271 and TAN-2272 for stratigraphic framework analyses and long-term groundwater monitoring of the eastern Snake River Plain aquifer at the Idaho National Laboratory in southeast Idaho. Borehole TAN-2271 initially was cored to collect continuous geologic data, and then re-drilled to complete construction as a monitor well. Borehole TAN-2272 was partially cored between 210 and 282 feet (ft) below land surface (BLS) then drilled and constructed as a monitor well. Boreholes TAN-2271 and TAN-2272 are separated by about 63 ft and have similar geologic layers and hydrologic characteristics based on geologic, geophysical, and aquifer test data collected. The final construction for boreholes TAN-2271 and TAN-2272 required 10-inch (in.) diameter carbon-steel well casing and 9.9-in. diameter open-hole completion below the casing to total depths of 282 and 287 ft BLS, respectively. Depth to water is measured near 228 ft BLS in both boreholes. Following construction and data collection, temporary submersible pumps and water-level access lines were placed to allow for aquifer testing, for collecting periodic water samples, and for measuring water levels.

Borehole TAN-2271 was cored continuously, starting at the first basalt contact (about 33 ft BLS) to a depth of 284 ft BLS. Excluding surface sediment, recovery of basalt and sediment core at borehole TAN-2271 was better than 98 percent. Based on visual inspection of core and geophysical data, material examined from 33 to 211ft BLS primarily consists of two massive basalt flows that are about 78 and 50 ft in thickness and three sediment layers near 122, 197, and 201 ft BLS. Between 211 and 284 ft BLS, geophysical data and core material suggest a high occurrence of fractured and vesicular basalt. For the section of aquifer tested, there are two primary fractured aquifer intervals: the first between 235 and 255 ft BLS and the second between 272 and 282 ft BLS. Basalt texture for borehole TAN-2271 generally was described as aphanitic, phaneritic, and porphyritic. Sediment layers, starting near 122 ft BLS, generally were composed of fine-grained sand and silt with a lesser amount of clay. Basalt flows generally ranged in thickness from 2 to 78 ft and varied from highly fractured to dense with high to low vesiculation. Geophysical data and limited core material collected from TAN-2272 show similar lithologic sequences to those reported for TAN-2271.

Geophysical and borehole video logs were collected during certain stages of the drilling and construction process at boreholes TAN-2271 and TAN-2272. Geophysical logs were examined synergistically with available core material to confirm geologic and hydrologic similarities and suggest possible fractured network interconnection between boreholes TAN-2271 and TAN-2272. Natural gamma log measurements were used to assess the completeness of the vapor port lines behind 10-in. diameter well casing. Electromagnetic flow meter results were used to identify downward flow conditions that exist for boreholes TAN-2271 and TAN-2272. Furthermore, gyroscopic deviation measurements were used to measure horizontal and vertical displacement at all depths in boreholes TAN-2271 and TAN-2272.

After borehole construction was completed, single‑well aquifer tests were done within wells TAN-2271 and TAN2272 to provide estimates of transmissivity and hydraulic conductivity. The transmissivity and hydraulic conductivity were estimated for the pumping well and observation well during the aquifer tests conducted on August 25 and August 27, 2015. Estimates for transmissivity range from 4.1 . 103 feet squared per day (ft2/d) to 8.1 . 103 ft2/d; estimates for hydraulic conductivity range from 5.8 to 11.5 feet per day (ft/d). Both TAN-2271 and TAN2272 show sustained pumping rates of about 30 gallons per minute (gal/min) with measured drawdown in the pumping well of 1.96 ft and 1.14 ft, respectively. The transmissivity estimates for wells tested were within the range of values determined from previous aquifer tests in other wells near Test Area North.

Groundwater samples were collected from both wells and were analyzed for cations, anions, metals, nutrients, volatile organic compounds, stable isotopes, and radionuclides. Groundwater samples for most of the inorganic constituents showed similar water chemistry in both wells. Groundwater samples for strontium-90, trichloroethene, and vinyl chloride exceeded maximum contaminant levels for public drinking water supplies in one or both wells.

Suggested Citation

Twining, B.V., Bartholomay, R.C., and Hodges, M.K.V., 2016, Completion summary for boreholes TAN-2271 and TAN‑2272 at Test Area North, Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2016-5088 (DOE/ID-22239), 37 p., plus appendixes,

ISSN: 2328-0328 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Drilling and Borehole Construction Methods
  • Geologic and Geophysical Data
  • Aquifer Test
  • Water-Sample Collection
  • Summary
  • References Cited
  • Appendixes A–C
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Completion summary for boreholes TAN-2271 and TAN‑2272 at Test Area North, Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho
Series title Scientific Investigations Report
Series number 2016-5088
DOI 10.3133/sir20165088
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Idaho Water Science Center
Description Report: vi, 48 p., Appendixes: A-C
First page 1
Last page 37
Country United States
State Idaho
Other Geospatial Test Area North
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) Y
Google Analytics Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details