2016 NGWA Groundwater Summit

New Dimensions in Groundwater Investigations: Using 3D Visualization Tools to Support Adaptive Strategies

Monday, April 25, 2016: 12:00 p.m.
Confluence Ballroom A (The Westin Denver Downtown)
Laurie Kellndorfer , CDM Smith, Boston, MA, United States
Karilyn Heisen , CDM Smith, Boston, MA
Karen E. Kelley, PE , CDM Smith, Boston, MA

Cross-sections have long been used to illustrate and analyze data as part of groundwater site investigations. However, it is difficult to update paper figures quickly. Interactive 3D visualizations build on paper cross-sections by allowing viewers to assess data, not just on the pre-selected cross-section, but also add and remove data sets as needed, spin the model, and interact with the data. CDM Smith has developed 3D visualizations for several large ongoing groundwater investigations and successfully used them as part of adaptive management strategies. This presentation will discuss our experience with a large, complex groundwater site. During the field investigation phase of the project, the 3D visualization model was updated on a daily basis with data collected by multiple drill rigs. It was then used to determine whether the desired depth interval had been reached. This reduced project costs by targeting drilling efforts. The 3D model was used to visualize the data collected during the field phase as it was being collected and in the context of previously collected data from a variety of sources. Multiple sources and types of data were visualized, including CPT (cone penetrometer test), MIP (membrane interface probe), geophysical logs, hydropunch and monitoring well water quality data, soil boring logs, regional stratigraphic interpretations, and existing paper cross-sections. Our experience with state-of-the-art 3D models demonstrates how this tool can be used to facilitate adaptive management for groundwater investigations, help target field efforts, ensure dollars spent produce maximum value, and enhance communication and teamwork between managers, geologists, and groundwater modelers.

Laurie Kellndorfer, CDM Smith, Boston, MA, United States
Laurie Kellndorfer is a project engineer and numerical modeler with CDM Smith’s Water Resources Group in Boston, Massachusetts. She has built, calibrated, and applied groundwater flow models for municipal and industrial clients across the globe. Kellndorfer specializes in 3D visualization of the subsurface and has developed 3D visualization models in Leapfrog Hydro and MVS to help project geologists, engineers, managers, and regulators interpret hydrogeologic data, guide well drilling and installation, develop conceptual site models, build numerical groundwater flow models, and delineate 3D plumes of groundwater contamination.

Karilyn Heisen, CDM Smith, Boston, MA
Karilyn Heisen is a water resources engineer with more than 10 years of experience. She specializes in modeling and analysis of groundwater, surface waters, and collection systems including both quantity and quality of water.

Karen E. Kelley, PE, CDM Smith, Boston, MA
Karen Kelley is a water resources engineer specializing in the development and application of numerical models of groundwater flow and transport in complex and/or industrial settings with contaminants from multiple sources. Kelley has provided litigation support to industrial clients on projects involving groundwater contamination, water distribution systems, and toxic tort liability.