2016 NGWA Groundwater Summit

Groundwater Plume Analytics for Assessing Remediation Effectiveness

Monday, April 25, 2016: 11:40 a.m.
Confluence Ballroom A (The Westin Denver Downtown)
Joe Ricker, PE , EarthCon Consultants, Inc., Memphis, TN

Remediation effectiveness is evaluated using a variety of techniques that oftentimes focuses on the performance of engineered remedial systems. This presentation will focus on the evaluation of remediation effectiveness by evaluating the groundwater plume dynamics resulting from either anthropogenic or intrinsic remediation systems.

Groundwater plume analytics refers to the use of innovative evaluation techniques and methods to reliably and effectively communicate meaningful patterns in environmental data. Analytics relies primarily on graphical displays to communicate insight. Various case studies of remediation sites will be presented which highlight the use of plume analytics.

The plume analytics tools which will be presented include applications based on the Ricker Method® for plume stability analysis1. A plume stability evaluation allows the stakeholder to assess whether a contaminant plume is stable, decreasing, or increasing for a variety of metrics (i.e., area, concentration, mass, center of mass, and spread of mass). This allows better evaluation of remediation effectiveness, whether additional remedial action is necessary, if risk-based closure of a site is applicable, or whether natural attenuation processes may be occurring at a site. Outputs from the Ricker Method can be used as a basis for primary analysis and other plume diagnostic tools that allow the user to further evaluate and communicate groundwater plume dynamics. Examples will be presented that show evolving spatial differences (animated time sequence) within a groundwater plume resulting from remediation systems. Spatial differences are presented on both a magnitude basis and percent change basis.

Groundwater plume analytics tools have been used successfully to evaluate remediation effectiveness, demonstrate plume stability, cease operation of remediation systems, identify commingled plumes, identify unrealized source areas, and provide additional lines of evidence for natural attenuation.

Joe Ricker, PE, EarthCon Consultants, Inc., Memphis, TN
Joe Ricker is a Principal Engineer for EarthCon Consultants Inc. and is responsible for managing various environmental investigation and remediation projects. He has more than 21 years of industrial and environmental consulting experience involving the development, implementation, and management of complex, interdisciplinary environmental investigation and remediation projects. Ricker received his M.S. degree from the University of Memphis and his B.S. degree from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.