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Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Superfund Research Program

Geologic and Geophysical Characterization

Project Leader: Herbert Einstein
Grant Number: P42ES004675
Funding Period: 1995 - 2000

Project Summary (1995-2000)

This project consists of three interconnected efforts. In the first, 3-D representations of subsurface conditions and rock fracture flow in the Aberjona Valley is studied. This is accomplished by using a computerized Kriging-Bayesian updating procedure. Since fracture flow is potentially very significant in the Aberjona Valley, this work is continued through the creation of a three-dimensional fracture system model combined with individual fracture flow models and field observations. Secondly, electromagnetic and seismic subsurface characterizations are performed. Geophysical measurement techniques are used to extrapolate from point-wise exploration (boreholes); ground-penetrating radar and electrical resistivity techniques are used to image subsurface electrical properties. These electrical properties are then related to physical properties such as fluid content and porosity. Vertical seismic profiling (VSP) is also done to determine fracture presence and orientation in the bedrock. At Mystic Lakes, ground penetrating radar is used to determine sedimentary layers and disturbances in the sedimentation process. Finally, other geophysical techniques consisting of electric resistivity monitoring is used to detect and image heavy metal contaminants in the groundwater. Since the measurement profiles can be observed at different times, it is also be possible to observe changes with time and actually measure the contaminant transport.

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