Keith White, P.G., C.P.G. (Arcadis, Inc.) will present:
“Winning with Karst: Effectively Managing Contaminated Karst Aquifers”
In terms of groundwater (and contaminant) movement and remediation, karst aquifers are in a league of their own. Groundwater flow in these systems does not follow Darcy’s Law, the fundamental equation that describes the relatively slow movement of fluid through porous media. Furthermore, data from monitoring wells alone cannot definitively characterize groundwater flow directions and rates; nor can they adequately delineate the extent of groundwater contamination. In addition, at the typical site scale, groundwater flow directions and rates cannot be reasonably predicted using computer models. Worse yet, computer models that can reliably simulate contaminant transport in karst aquifers do not even exist. Indeed, compared to other geologic settings, the science of remediating karst aquifers is immature.
Despite these challenges, contaminant problems in karst aquifers are tractable — that is, contaminated karst sites can be properly understood and managed, and remedial objectives that protect human health and the environment can be achieved. There are situations where, despite the immature nature of karst remediation, active remediation is warranted and becomes an integral element in a site closure strategy. There are also situations where remediation is not practicable, but where the risks posed can be properly managed, allowing for no active remediation or even closure.
This presentation will provide an overview of:
Case histories will be presented where karst sites have been successfully remediated or properly managed. The case histories will highlight several approaches and tools that were used to transition sites into long-term O&M (operation and maintenance) or even to closure.
Liz Moran of EcoLogic LLC will discuss the major findings of the Cayuga Lake Modeling Project (CLMP), a detailed evaluation of the sources and fate of phosphorus loading to Cayuga Lake from point and nonpoint sources. The NYSDEC required Cornell University to fund the CLMP as a permit requirement for continued operation of the Lake Source Cooling facility. The university and NYSDEC designed the CLMP to provide knowledge and tools for a rational, science-based approach to managing Cayuga Lake and other regional waters. EcoLogic managed communications among the many researchers, modelers, and institutional partners on behalf of Cornell’s Facilities and Energy Management Division.
The investment of four years and three million dollars resulted in a deeper understanding of three issues central to managing Cayuga Lake and other regional waters: phosphorus sources, phosphorus bioavailability (i.e., potency for supporting phytoplankton growth), and the impact of water motion on distribution of phosphorus and phytoplankton.
Joe Gonzales (Syracuse University graduate geology program) will present his research.
Mariana Rhoades will introduce her new book "HISTORIC QUARRIES & THE STONE INDUSTRY ERIE COUNTY, NY, 1820-1930"
John Nadeau will provide an update to licensure in New York and what to expect next.
Topic to be announced.
USGS will present results of a unique project in the Genesee River valley, in relation to the former Retsof/AKZO-Nobel salt mine. All remedial operations have shut down at the flooded mine, but brine is slowly being forced up through two collapse chimneys between the mine and the buried bedrock surface in the Genesee River valley. This brine is slowly being assimilated into the basal glacial aquifer and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation wants to know where this brine is moving and its fate into the future. All monitoring wells related to the mine collapse and closure, and short-lived brine remediation project were sealed several years ago.
The USGS is using Time Domain Electromagnetics (TEM) - a non-invasive surface geophysical approach to determine where the high conductivity brine is moving. Data collected in the fall of 2016 indicated that the higher conductivity water can be seen to depths of 1,000 ft, and results of 39 TEM soundings across and along a section of the Genesee valley show that the brine is flowing to the thalweg of the valley and apparently slowly dispersing in the basal aquifer as the brine mixes with natural (fresher) groundwater.
Field trip date is tentative.