High Resolution Site Characterization
High Resolution Site Characterization (HRSC) tools provide a variety of methods for rapid collection of massive amounts of site characterization data which is collected, quickly and cost-effectively.
When combined with traditional Phase II Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) methods, they greatly enhance the understanding of contamination presence, concentration and distribution in the subsurface, which leads to more focused remediation programs.
The HRSC tools collect large quantities of data, analyze the data, and presents a visualization of this data, mapping out the soil and groundwater contamination. It allows for a better understanding of the contaminants presence in the subsurface, including concentration and distribution. HRSC provides the data needed to make an informed decision, leading to a more focused and more effective remediation design.
Generally, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and some semi-VOCs are detected by one tool – the membrane interface probe (MIP). Free phase petroleum fuel is detected by another tool – the laser induced fluorescence (LIF) probe.
Both of these tools provide rapid, real-time detection and data reporting, displaying variability of contaminant levels with depth.
Typically HRSC tools are used in conjunction with traditional site assessment techniques. Often, once contamination is confirmed to be present using the traditional methods, its then time to bring out the HRSC tools to help define how wide spread and how deep the contaminants run.
The advantage of the HRSC tools is the speed of both collecting and reporting data. Thousands of data points can be collected and reported back to the unit operator in real time. The data is powerful for defining edges of contaminant plumes, helping to decide where to collect verification samples, and creating very robust conceptual site models.
A variety of tools exist, each which with their own benefits, limitations, and specifications.
The Membrane Interface Probe (MIP) is a direct-push screening tool with semi-quantitative analytical capabilities that is used to detect and log the relative concentration of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and some semi-VOCs with depth in soil. The MIP can also detect and log electrical conductivity that can be used to infer soil texture (i.e., clay content typically exhibits a higher conductivity).
The Low Level Membrane Interface Probe (LLMIP) is a direct-push screening tool with semi-quantitative analytical capabilities that is used to detect and log the relative concentration of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) with depth in soil. The LLMIP can also log electrical conductivity (EC) that can be used to infer soil texture (i.e., clay content typically exhibits a higher conductivity).
As a screening tool, the LLMIP offers extra benefits to site investigators for the fringe/edges of the suspected plume
The Ultra Violet Optical Screening Tool (UVOST) is a direct-push screening tool that uses patented Laser Induced Fluorescence (LIF) technology and efficiently delineates petroleum, oil, and lubricant (POL) contaminants in the subsurface. All the usual forms of POLs, including; gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, and hydraulic fluids, can be detected via the response of their polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) constituents that are typically found within the Non-Aqueous Phase Liquid (NAPL).
The fluorescence signal scales proportionally with NAPL concentration (i.e., the more impacts in the subsurface the higher the response). UVOST’s LIF technique, in conjunction with direct push deployment, yields a detailed three-dimensional map of the NAPL distribution, in real time.
HPT is also a direct push technology used to measure subsurface permeability in real time. This tool measures the pressure, using a down hole transducer, required to inject a constant flow of water into the soil as the probe is advanced into the subsurface. The HPT screening tool has hydraulic conductivity estimation capabilities in the saturated zone.
Benefits of HRSC
Some benefits of using High Resolution Site Characterization to understand your site better are:
- Data: These approaches allow massive amounts of high-resolution site characterization data to be collected, quickly and cost-effectively.
- Design: When combined with traditional Phase II Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) methods, they greatly enhance the understanding of contamination presence, concentration and distribution in the subsurface, which can lead to more focused remediation programs.
- Cost: Save time and money by making informed design decisions, ensuring your remediation plan is accurate and effective.
Tools & Experience
Vertex is the first company in Canada to offer Membrane Interface Probe (MIP) and Laser Induced Fluorescence (LIF) and the first in Eastern Canada to offer the Hydraulic Profiling Tool (HPT) site characterization services. Our innovative tools allow for high resolution data collection, analyses, visualization, and mapping of soil and groundwater contamination.
To see how Vertex’s High Resolution Site Characterization tools are deployed please have a look at the following short videos!