Streaming potential and groundwater contamination

  • Baker Simon S. (School of Geosciences, Monash University) ;
  • Cull James P. (School of Geosciences, Monash University)
  • Published : 2004.02.01

Abstract

Measurements of streaming potential can provide a means for the detection and quantification of contaminants in groundwater prior to remediation. However, laboratory determinations of specific electrolyte properties are required for an adequate analysis of the hydraulic gradient in complex situations. Data obtained for the King River in Tasmania confirm a linear relationship linking streaming potential data and hydraulic gradients. Laboratory samples at low concentration (0.001M KCl) indicate values in the range 20-80 mV/cm of water pressure, while for higher concentrations (0.01M KCl) values are less than 25 mV/cm. Similar ion concentrations are observed in the King River, consistent with field correlations indicating values for streaming potential close to 15 mV/cm. In-situ fluid samples are required for more detailed analysis of local anomalies that may be associated with variations in recharge and migration of contaminants.

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