Chemical constituents in groundwater from multiple zones in the eastern Snake River Plain aquifer, Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho, 2009-13

Scientific Investigations Report 2015-5002
Prepared in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy
By: , and 



From 2009 to 2013, the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Idaho National Laboratory (INL) Project office, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy, collected water-quality samples from multiple water-bearing zones in the eastern Snake River Plain aquifer. Water samples were collected from 11 monitoring wells completed in about 250–750 feet of the upper part of the aquifer, and samples were analyzed for selected major ions, trace elements, nutrients, radiochemical constituents, and stable isotopes. Each well was equipped with a multilevel monitoring system containing four to seven sampling ports that were each isolated by permanent packer systems. The sampling ports were installed in aquifer zones that were highly transmissive and that represented the water chemistry of the top three to five model layers of a steady-state and transient groundwater‑flow model. The groundwater-flow model and water chemistry are being used to better define movement of wastewater constituents in the aquifer.

The water-chemistry composition of all sampled zones for the five new multilevel wells is calcium plus magnesium bicarbonate. One of the zones in well USGS 131A has a slightly different chemistry from the rest of the zones and wells and the difference is attributed to more wastewater influence from the Idaho Nuclear Technology and Engineering Center. One well, USGS 135, was not influenced by wastewater disposal and consisted of mostly older water in all of its zones.

Tritium concentrations in relation to basaltic flow units indicate the presence of wastewater influence in multiple basalt flow groups; however, tritium is most abundant in the South Late Matuyama flow group in the southern boundary wells. The concentrations of wastewater constituents in deep zones in wells Middle 2051, USGS 132, USGS 105, and USGS 103 support the concept of groundwater flow deepening in the southwestern corner of the INL, as indicated by the INL groundwater-flow model.

Study Area

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Chemical constituents in groundwater from multiple zones in the eastern Snake River Plain aquifer, Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho, 2009-13
Series title Scientific Investigations Report
Series number 2015-5002
DOI 10.3133/sir20155002
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Idaho Water Science Center
Description vi, 109 p.
Public Comments DOE/ID-22232
Time Range Start 2009-01-01
Time Range End 2013-12-31
Country United States
State Idaho
Other Geospatial Idaho National Laboratory
Datum North American Datum of 1927
Projection Universal Transverse Mercator projection
Scale 24000
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details