Application of 3D Visualization Modeling to Improve Conceptual Site Model Development and Groundwater Remediation
Monday, December 3, 2018: 11:40 a.m.
N109 (Las Vegas Convention Center)
Three-dimensional (3D) visualization modeling can be extremely useful to analyze and present data for environmental assessments, remedial planning, and litigation support, as well as regulatory and public relations. Two-dimensional (2D) contours and 3D volumes of stratigraphic and chemical data are interpolated with statistical models, which include variography and kriging algorithms. A 3D geologic and chemical model was developed for a multi-layer unconsolidated aquifer system impacted with chlorinated volatile organic compounds (CVOCs). The 3D model served as a comprehensive tool to (1) enhance communication and provide a better understanding of subsurface environmental conditions, (2) formulate and refine the conceptual site model (CSM), and (3) focus future resources on data collection for design of a hydraulic control interim remedial measure (IRM). Application of the 3D visualization model resulted in an improved interpretation of cross-unit vertical communication areas, confirmation of comingling with an offsite CVOC plume, and a refined approach to focused remediation of the core of onsite CVOC plumes, which resulted in cost savings. A four-dimensional video animation of the 3D visualization facilitated the evaluation of the vertical communication between aquifers and the distribution of CVOC mass, which is both dissolved within the aquifer and stored in the confining units between the aquifers. Geospatial data files of the updated hydrostratigraphic units were directly imported into a 3D numerical groundwater flow model to develop the design of the pump-and-treat IRM. The use of the 3D visualization, video animation, and interaction with the groundwater flow model enhanced site characterization and communication with the client, USEPA, and other stakeholders.