Evaluation of a BTEX Plume in Fractured Crystalline Rock in the Georgia Piedmont
Feild, James B.
Dowd, John F.
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Water flow and chemical transport in fractured media has become a major concern in recent years. Traditionally, these problems have been viewed and modeled as flow through pipes. However, this approach is limited because it is very difficult to predict the orientation, size, and length of the fractures, hence the direction and velocity of the petroleum hydrocarbons. Groundwater sampling of saprolite, residential, and bedrock wells at a site near Danielsville, Georgia has revealed the presence of petroleum constituents in the aquifer system beneath the site. The site has a documented history of spills over the past thirty years. Groundwater sampling of some of the residential and monitoring wells in the vicinity of the site has indicated benzene contamination ranging from non-detectable to approximately 2500 parts per billion. It has been established from groundwater samples collected from bedrock that contamination has migrated from the saprolite into the fractured bedrock aquifer. A suspected pathway of contaminant migration could possibly be an improperly cased bedrock well. Physical and chemical conditions at the site have been modeled using a three dimensional visualization program. In this paper, we show how the use of this tool leads to understanding of the fracture flow system, and how this knowledge can be used to prepare a more comprehensive, physically based fracture flow model.