Geophysical Methods Capabilities

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Geophysics GEOPHYSICAL METHODS CAPABILITIES The New York Water Science Center (NY WSC) makes extensive use of geophysical methods in hydrologic investigations and research in cooperation with local, State, and Federal partners. The NY WSC staff has many years of experience in collecting and interpreting surface and borehole geophysical data, and applying the results to provide a better unders...

Geophysics



GEOPHYSICAL METHODS CAPABILITIES




The New York Water Science Center (NY WSC) makes extensive use of geophysical methods in hydrologic investigations and research in cooperation with local, State, and Federal partners. The NY WSC staff has many years of experience in collecting and interpreting surface and borehole geophysical data, and applying the results to provide a better understanding of the subsurface environment for resource management and protection, infrastructure design, hazard mitigation, and remedial actions.  The NYSWSC partners with the Hydrogeophysics Branch (HGB) to apply the latest geophysical technologies. 

 

The NY WSC has expertise in the application of multiple geophysical methods for a wide range of investigations:

  • Unconsolidated aquifer characterization
    • Gamma, electric, and EM induction logging for lithostratigraphic identification
    • Seismic refraction and reflection surveys for mapping aquifer framework
    • Passive-seismic soundings for mapping depth to bedrock

2 men on drill rig

Geophysical logging of monitoring well installations in the Lloyd aquifer on Long Island, New York

 

  • Freshwater-saltwater interface and plume mapping
    • EM induction logging for interface and plume delineation and monitoring
    • Time-domain EM soundings for interface and plume delineation and monitoring
    • Frequency-domain EM surveys of shallow electrically conductive plumes



multicolored graph

Electrically conductive plume associated with salt-mine collapse mapped by time-domain EM soundings, western New York

 

  • Fractured-bedrock aquifer characterization
    • Borehole-wall imaging using acoustic and optical methods for lithology and fracture/fabric distribution and orientation
    • Flowmetering using EM and heat-pulse tools to estimate flow-zone transmissivity and hydraulic head

2 men standing by truck and equipmet outside

Geophysical logging of a bedrock test hole for a Marcellus-related groundwater study in western Maryland

 

  • Surface-water/groundwater interaction
    • Infrared camera surveys to delineate points of surface discharge of groundwater to streams
    • Fiber-optic distributed temperature sensing to delineate subsurface discharge of groundwater to stream reaches

2 colored photos

Visible and thermal imaging of focused groundwater discharge to the Salmon River, central New York

 

  • Surface-water conditions
    • Multi-beam echo sounder surveys to map reservoir and lake bathymetry
    • Ground penetrating radar surveys to map river ice thickness

USGS boat with equipment at dock

Echosounder and GPS equipped boat used for bathymetric survey of Newton Reservoir, northern New Jersey

multicolored image

Bathymetry of the New Croton Reservoir mapped by multi-beam echosounder survey, southeastern New York

New Logging Capability



The NY WSC has procured a newly developed nuclear magnetic resonance logging system that is downhole digital and specifically designed for logging 4-inch diameter PVC-cased wells up to 1,000 meters in depth.  NMR logging provides measurements of free and bound porosity and estimates of hydraulic conductivity in unconsolidated aquifers.  Plans call for applying the NMR technology this Summer/Fall in support of the Long Island Aquifer Sustainability project and the Delaware River Next Generation Observing System project with the HGB.   

Innovative Log Analysis

Working with the Virginia-West Virginia Water Science Center (VA-WV WSC) and Hydrologic Applications Innovation Lab (HAIL) the NY WSC is exploring the application of machine learning in well-log analysis.  The Statewide dataset to be analyzed was collected by the VA-WV WSC in cooperation with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and includes caliper, gamma, electric, sonic, image, fluid, and flow logs from over 120 wells.

Contacts

John Williams

jhwillia@usgs.gov

 

Fred Stumm. PhD

fstumm@usgs.gov

 

Liz Nystrom

nystrom@usgs.gov

 

Neil Terry, PhD

nterry@usgs.gov

 

Robin Glas, PhD

rglas@usgs.gov

 

Selected Current Projects

 

Groundwater Sustainability of the Long island Aquifer System

Hydrogeologic and Geochemical Assessment of the Effects of Leakage from the Catskill and Delaware Aqueducts in Southeastern New York

Lake Placid Road salt project page

Determination of Sources of Water to the Tully Valley Mudboils

East of Hudson Bathmetry

 

Selected Publications

 

Use of Time Domain Electromagnetic Soundings and Borehole Electromagnetic Induction Logs to Delineate the Freshwater/Saltwater Interface on Southwestern Long Island, New York, 2015–17 

Time-Domain Electromagnetic Soundings and Passive-Seismic Measurements for Delineation of Saline Groundwater in the Genesee Valley-Fill Aquifer System, Western New York, 2016–17 

Hydrogeology of the Owego-Apalachin Elementary School geothermal fields, Tioga County, New York 

Bathymetry of Newton Reservoir, New Jersey, 2018