Sea-level rise is causing saltwater to move from coastal marshes and tidal creeks inland over forests and croplands.
The Delaware Geological Survey released a new technical report entitled “Groundwater Quality and Monitoring of Rapid Infiltration Basin Systems, Theory and Field Experiments at Cape Henlopen State Park, Delaware” which was prepared by A. Scott Andres and Changming He of the Delaware Geological Survey, Edward Walther of the South Water Management District, Florida, Müserref Türkmen of the Izmir Water and Sewerage Administration, Turkey, and Anastasia Chirnside and William Ritter of the University of Delaware. DGS Bulletin 21C documents the results of a detailed study of groundwater quality at a rapid infiltration basin system.
A rapid infiltration basin system (RIBS) consists of several simple and relatively standard technologies; collection and conveyance of wastewater, treatment, and discharge to an unlined excavated or constructed basin. By design, the effluent quickly infiltrates through the unsaturated or vadose zone to the water table. During infiltration, some contaminants may be treated by biological and/or geochemical processes and diluted by dispersion and diffusion.
The hydrogeologic framework of Cape Henlopen State Park (CHSP), Delaware was characterized to document the hydrologic effects of treated wastewater disposal on a rapid infiltration basin system (RIBS). Characterization efforts included installation of test borings and monitoring wells; collection of core samples, geophysical logs, hydraulic test data, groundwater levels and temperatures; testing of grain size distribution; and interpretation of stratigraphic lithofacies, hydraulic test data, groundwater levels, and temperature data.
The North East Water Resources (NEWRnet) consortium of EPSCoR jurisdictions of Delaware (DE), Rhode Island (RI), and Vermont (VT) will create an advanced sensor network in watersheds for gathering high-frequency, spatially-extensive water quality and quantity data and a network of lab and field-based experiments and agent-based models to investigate how to align sensor data and their visualization with utilization by stakeholders. DGS is participating in the watershed sensing network by installing and operating a nitrogen and organic carbon sensor and stream discharge monitoring station in the Murderkill River watershed, and collaborating with the project team to interpret results.
Tom McKenna of the Delaware Geological Survey presented a paper entitled "Transforming Ground-Based Oblique Thermal Images to Enable Quantitative Analysis of Coupled Heat and Fluid Flow in the Critical Zone" at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco, Dec. 8, 2011, along with co-authors Tim Sliwinski, graduate student, and Jack Puleo, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, of the Center for Applied Coastal Research.