Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Completion summary for Borehole TAN-2336 at Test Area North, Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho

March 28, 2023

In 2021, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy, drilled and constructed borehole TAN-2336 for stratigraphic framework analyses and long-term groundwater monitoring of the eastern Snake River Plain aquifer at the Idaho National Laboratory in southeastern Idaho. Borehole TAN-2336 initially was cored from the depths of 34.0–255.8 ft below land surface (BLS) to collect continuous geologic data and then redrilled to complete construction as a monitoring well completed to about 255 ft BLS. Three sediment layers are described in geophysical data, but only one was recovered in core and described as fine sand with evidence of ash (pumice) near 203 ft BLS. Basalt texture for borehole TAN-2336 generally was described as aphanitic, phaneritic, diktytaxitic, and porphyritic. Basalt flows varied from highly fractured to dense with high to low vesiculation.

Geophysical data were examined with photographed core material to make lithologic descriptions as well as suggest zones where groundwater flow was anticipated. Primary pathways for groundwater, fractured basalt, occur in two areas with the first occurrence near 232.0 ft BLS and the second occurrence near 248.6 ft BLS in borehole TAN-2336. The first occurrence was identified near the top of the water column (232.0 ft BLS) and is more pronounced than the bottom interval (248.6 ft BLS). The location of these fractures in borehole TAN-2336 appear to impact the aquifer tests that were conducted following final well construction. Single-well aquifer tests were completed July 14, 2021, to provide estimates of transmissivity and hydraulic conductivity. Estimates for transmissivity and hydraulic conductivity during aquifer test 1 were 1.24×103 feet squared per day (ft2/d) and 1.76 feet per day (ft/d), respectively. Estimates for transmissivity and hydraulic conductivity during aquifer test 2 were 1.22×103 ft2/d and 1.75 ft/d, respectively. The transmissivity and hydraulic conductivity estimates for well TAN-2336 were within range of those considered from previous aquifer tests in other wells near Test Area North.

Water-quality samples were analyzed for cations, anions, metals, nutrients, volatile organic compounds, stable isotopes, and radionuclides. Water samples for select inorganic constituents showed concentrations consistent with signatures from regional groundwater. Water-quality samples analyzed for stable isotopes of oxygen and hydrogen are consistent with signatures from irrigation and agricultural recharge inputs to the aquifer. Results for trichloroethene, vinyl chloride, and strontium-90 were all measured above their respective maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) for public drinking water supplies. The nutrient concentration results are likely being impacted by the remediation amendment introduced to the aquifer to address trichloroethylene concentrations from past waste-disposal activities. These waste-disposal activities have resulted in volatile organic compound and radiochemical detections in groundwater samples collected at well TAN-2336.

Publication Year 2023
Title Completion summary for Borehole TAN-2336 at Test Area North, Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho
DOI 10.3133/sir20235020
Authors Brian V. Twining, Kerri C. Treinen, Allison R. Trcka
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Scientific Investigations Report
Series Number 2023-5020
Index ID sir20235020
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Idaho Water Science Center