Geofísica ambiental: técnicas no destructivas para el reconocimiento de zonas contaminadas por vertidos

E. BUSQUET, A. CASAS, V. PINTO, LLUÍS RIVERO I MARGINEDAS, J.B. SABADÍA

Abstract


Industrial countries face the consequences of decades of inappropiate handling of hazardous waste. The dumping of al1 types of hazardous materials has been ongoing in most industrialised countries for hundreds of years. Large quantities of industrial and other waste material have been buried in landfill sites. A relatively large number of these lack reliable man-made or natural geological barriers and toxic fluids are scaping and polluting the groundwater. The problem is greatly aggravated when a soil covenng is placed over the waste and there is no information about the dumping practices used in the past. One of the first tasks in any remedial action is to delineate the physical extent of the sites and its encroachment into the surrounding area. Test borings and limited excavations are very valuable but the information obtained is not continuous and dheir destructive nature makes it possible that waste could inadvertently be released during the probing phase. In this regard, both borehole drilling and excavation are very dangerous to workers and the environment and expensive and tedious to conduct.

Many of these problems may be alleviated by using a geophysical assisted system approach to determine where the pollutants will go in the subsurface, gain more complete understanding of site conditions and asses the optimal placement of exploration drills and monitonng wells. At hazardous waste sites, the main objectives must commonly include:

- Determine the presence, location, distribution, depth and composition of possible buried wastes.

- Determine the presence and extent of contaminant and leachate plumes within the unsaturated and saturated zones.

- Characterise and asses the local (and regional) geohydrologic regime for groundwater flow paterns, recharge areas and localised permeable pathways.


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