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Scientific Investigations Report 2015–5002

DOE/ID-22232
Prepared in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy

Chemical Constituents in Groundwater from Multiple Zones in the Eastern Snake River Plain Aquifer, Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho, 2009–13

By Roy C. Bartholomay, Candice B. Hopkins, and Neil V. Maimer

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (6 MB)Abstract

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.

First posted January 29, 2015

For additional information, contact:
Director, Idaho Water Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
230 Collins Road
Boise, Idaho 83702
http://id.water.usgs.gov

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Suggested citation:

Bartholomay, R.C., Hopkins, C.B., and Maimer, N.V., 2015, Chemical constituents in groundwater from multiple zones in the eastern Snake River Plain aquifer, Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho, 2009–13: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2015–5002 (DOE/ID-22232), 110 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20155002.

ISSN 2328-0328 (online)



Contents

Abstract

Introduction

Methods and Quality Assurance

Water Chemistry of Recharge to the Eastern Snake River Plain Aquifer

Concentrations of Chemical Constituents in Groundwater

Chemical Comparison of Groundwater from Multiple Zones

Summary

References Cited

Appendix A. Chemical Concentrations of Selected Source Water that Provides Recharge to the Eastern Snake River Aquifer, Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho


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