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ELECTRICAL IMAGING OF PERMEABLE REACTIVE BARRIER (PRB) INTEGRITY

Lee Slater, Department of Geosciences, UMKC, Kansas City, MO Joe Baker, Honeywell FM & T, Kansas City, MO Andrew Binley, Dept. Environmental Science, Lancaster University, Lancaster, England Danney Glaser, Department of Geosciences, UMKC, Kansas City, MO Isaiah Utne, Department of Geosciences, UMKC, Kansas City, MO

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Abstract

The permeable reactive barrier (PRB) is a promising in-situ technology for treatment of hydrocarbon contaminated groundwater. A PRB is typically composed of granular iron, which degrades chlorinated organics into potentially nontoxic dehalogenated organic compounds and inorganic chloride. Geophysical methods may assist assessment of in-situ barrier integrity and evaluate long term barrier performance. The highly conductive granular iron makes the PRB an excellent target for electrical imaging methods. Surface and cross-borehole electrical imaging was conducted at the PRB installed at the US Department of Energy Kansas City plant. The poor signal strength and insensitivity at depth, which results from current channeling in the highly conductive iron, limited surface imaging. Cross-borehole electrical measurements were highly effective at defining an accurate cross-sectional image of the barrier in-situ. Cross-borehole images obtained for seven panels along the barrier indicate significant variability in barrier integrity along the installation. In addition, the images suggest variability in the integrity of the contact between PRB and bedrock. This non-invasive, in-situ evaluation of barrier geometry has broad implications for the evaluation of PRB performance as a passive method for hydrocarbon treatment.

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