Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping of groundwater contamination at the Savannah River Site (SRS)
Mathes, Silas Eugene
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This thesis presents methodologies for mapping groundwater contamination at the Savannah River Site using a Geographic Information System and measurements of groundwater chemistry. The Savannah River Site (SRS) is a US Department of Energy facility located in South Carolina where special nuclear materials for national defense have been manufactured since the 1950s. Groundwater at SRS is contaminated in several locations as a result. We established appropriate extents, GIS coverages, and scales for displaying groundwater contamination concentrations of trichloroethylene and tritium at SRS. We also developed and tested a novel methodology for interpolating zones of potential contamination for tritium and tetrachloroethylene through the identification of aquifer water quality signatures. To identify signatures, we used principal components analysis and cluster analysis techniques to group geochemical and contaminant concentrations measured at monitoring wells. Maps of contamination potentials for 1993-1995 geochemical data compared favorably to contaminant concentrations measured at wells during 1999.