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Borehole Geophysical Logging and Aquifer-Isolation Tests Conducted in Well MG-1693 at North Penn Area 5 Superfund Site near Colmar, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2006-5014

By Philip H. Bird

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Borehole geophysical logging and aquifer-isolation (packer) tests were conducted in well MG-1693 (NP-87) at the North Penn Area 5 Superfund Site near Colmar, Montgomery County, Pa. Objectives of the study were to identify the depth and yield of water-bearing zones, occurrence of vertical borehole flow, and effects of pumping on water levels in nearby wells. Caliper, natural-gamma, single-point-resistance, fluid-temperature, fluid-resistivity, heatpulse-flowmeter, and borehole-video logs were collected. Vertical borehole-fluid movement direction and rate were measured under nonpumping conditions. The suite of logs was used to locate water-bearing fractures, determine zones of vertical borehole-fluid movement, and select depths to set packers. Aquifer-isolation tests were conducted to sample discrete intervals and to determine specific capacities of water-bearing zones and effects of pumping individual zones on water levels in two nearby monitor wells. Specific capacities of isolated zones during aquifer-isolation tests ranged from 0.03 to 3.09 (gal/min)/ft (gallons per minute per foot). Fractures identified by borehole geophysical methods as water-producing or water-receiving zones produced water when isolated and pumped.

Water enters the borehole primarily through high-angle fractures at 416 to 435 ft bls (feet below land surface) and 129 to 136 ft bls. Water exits the borehole through a high-angle fracture at 104 to 107 ft bls, a broken casing joint at 82 ft bls, and sometimes as artesian flow through the top of the well. Thirteen intervals were selected for aquifer-isolation testing, using a straddle-packer assembly. The specific capacity of interval 1 was 2.09 (gal/min)/ft. The specific capacities of intervals 2, 3, and 4 were similar—0.27, 0.30, and 0.29 (gal/min)/ft,respectively. The specific capacities of intervals 5, 6, 7, 8, and 10 were similar—0.03, 0.04, 0.09, 0.09, and 0.04 (gal/min)/ft,respectively. Intervals 9, 11, and 12 each showed a strong hydraulic connection outside the borehole with intervals above and below the isolated interval. The specific capacities of intervals 9, 11, 12, and 13 were similar—2.12, 2.17, 3.09, and 3.08 (gal/min)/ft, respectively.

The aquifer-isolation tests indicate that wells MG-1693 (NP-87) and MG-924 (NP-21) are connected primarily through the high-angle fracture from 416 to 435 ft bls. Pumping in either of these wells directly impacts the other well, allowing the pumped well to draw from water-bearing zones in the non-pumped well that are not present in or are not connected directly to the pumped well. The two boreholes act as a single, U-shaped well. The aquifer-isolation tests also show that the lower zones in well MG-1693 (NP-87) are a major source of hydraulic head in well MG-1661 (W-13) through the broken casing joint at 82 ft bls. Water moving upward from the lower intervals in well MG-1693 (NP-87) exits the borehole through the broken casing joint, moves upward outside the borehole, possibly around and (or) through a poor or damaged casing seal, and through the weathered zone above bedrock to well MG-1661 (W-13).

Samples for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were collected in nine isolated intervals. Six compounds were detected (1,1-dichloroethane, 1,1-dichloroethene, cis-1,2-dichloroethene, toluene, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, and trichloroethene (TCE)), and TCE was found in all nine isolated intervals. Intervals 4 (124-149 ft bls) and 6 (277-302 ft bls) had the highest total concentration of VOCs (6.66 and 6.2 micrograms per liter, respectively). Intervals 1 (68-93 ft bls) and 4 each had five compounds detected, which was the highest number of compounds detected. Interval 5 (252-277 ft bls) had the lowest total concentration of VOCs (0.08 microgram per liter) and the least number of VOCs detected (one). Detected compounds were not evenly distributed throughout the intervals. Contaminants were found in shallow, intermediate, and deep intervals and were associated with high-angle fractures and rough areas that showed no distinct fractures.

Table of Contents

     Purpose and Scope
     Geohydrologic Setting
          Brunswick and Lockatong Formations
          Ground-Water-Flow System
     Previous Investigations
     Well-Numbering System
Methods of Investigations
     Borehole Geophysical Logs
     Borehole Video Logs
     Heatpulse Flowmeter
     Aquifer-Isolation Tests
Results of Borehole Geophysical Logging
Results of Aquifer-Isolation Tests
     Interval 1 (68-93 Feet Below Land Surface)
     Interval 2 (87-112 Feet Below Land Surface)
     Interval 3 (99-124 Feet Below Land Surface)
     Interval 4 (124-149 Feet Below Land Surface)
     Interval 5 (252-277 Feet Below Land Surface)
     Interval 6 (277-302 Feet Below Land Surface)
     Interval 7 (302-327 Feet Below Land Surface)
     Interval 8 (339-364 Feet Below Land Surface)
     Interval 9 (362-TD Feet Below Land Surface)
     Interval 10 (382-407 Feet Below Land Surface)
     Interval 11 (412-437 Feet Below Land Surface)
     Interval 12 (436-TD Feet Below Land Surface)
     Interval 13 (436-461 Feet Below Land Surface)
     Distribution of Volatile Organic Compoundsand
Summary and Conclusions
References Cited

This report is available online in Portable Document Format (PDF). If you do not have the Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader, it is available for free download from Adobe Systems Incorporated.

View the full report in PDF 15.0 MB

For more information about USGS activities in Pennsylvania contact:
USGS Pennsylvania Water Science Center
215 Limekiln Road
New Cumberland, Pennsylvania 17070
Telephone: (717) 730-6960
Fax: (717) 730-6997
or access the USGS Water Resources of Pennsylvania home page at:

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