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Investigation and Remediation of Complex Fractured Bedrock Sites
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Characterization, conceptualization and remediation of fractured bedrock site is one of the major challenges facing our industry. 

Due to the inherent complexities of flow and transport in discrete and uncertain pathways, the remediation of fractured bedrock sites has not been widely conducted or studied to the same extent as overburden systems [ITRC 2017].  Furthermore, the lack of a common framework to determine remediation objectives and establish realistic endpoints has hindered effective site clean-up [NAS 2015]. 

Advanced methodologies for the characterization of fractured bedrock were previously the domain of highly detailed investigations of deep engineered infrastructure, e.g. nuclear waste repositories, but the tools and technologies previously deployed at depth are now being deployed in shallow bedrock settings impacted by a wide range of contaminants.  Here we describe the application of integrated advanced testing arrays to understand contaminant transport in fractured bedrock, discuss the advantages and disadvantages of these methods and illustrate where the data are changing the design and assessment of remediation systems in fractured bedrock.

Visualization of data from fractured bedrock sites is key to conveying information on the flow and transport of contaminants and in assessing the efficacy of remediation efforts.  The evaluation of these complex data needs to be conveyed in a framework that is relevant to the range of construction and engineering disciplines available for the mitigation of groundwater contaminants.  Conceptual modeling is the first step in developing that deeper understand and is a key precursor to refining and optimizing the monitoring of remediation efforts.  The requirement for robust optimization tools for fractured bedrock sites will be discussed in the context of existing methods and current best practice. 

We conclude with a discussion of the state-of-science and areas for future development in fractured bedrock characterization and remediation.

ITRC, 2017. https://fracturedrx-1.itrcweb.org/

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine 2015. Characterization, Modeling, Monitoring, and Remediation of Fractured Rock. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/21742.

Publication Summary

  • Geosyntec Authors: Dr. Gary Wealthall
  • All Authors: Dr. Gary Wealthall
  • Title: RemTEC, The Remediation Technology Summit
  • Event or Publication: Event
  • Practice Areas: Contaminated Site Assessment and Cleanup
  • Citation: Gary is the Session Keynote Speaker and will present at the 2021 RemTEC Virtual Summit on March 9-11, 2021.
  • Date: March 9, 2021, 3:45-4:15 p.m. ET
  • Location: Webinar, Virtual Conference
  • Publication Type: Platform Presentation