Abstract

A controlled release of tetrachloroethylene was performed in a saturated, natural sandy aquifer to evaluate the effectiveness of various geophysical techniques for detecting and monitoring dense nonaqueous phase liquids (DNAPLs) in the subsurface. Tetrachloroethylene, typical of most DNAPLs, has a low relative dielectric permittivity (2.3), which contrasts with the high relative permittivity (80) of the pore water it displaces, making it a potential target for detection by ground-penetrating radar (GPR). GPR data were acquired using 200 MHz antennas.Radar sections collected at different times over the same spatial location clearly show the changes induced by the movement of DNAPL in the subsurface. Temporal changes can be examined through the evolution of a radar data trace collected at a single spatial location. Normal moveout analysis of commonmidpoint (CMP) data demonstrates induced changes in electromagnetic (EM) wave velocities of up to 30 percent caused by the presence of DNAPL. The distribution of DNAPL can be mapped in three dimensions at different times using a network of 16 radar lines.The 200 MHz GPR proved to be an effective technique for monitoring the movement of DNAPL in the subsurface. Direct detection of DNAPLs by radar is also feasible in this simple environment.

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