Characterizing the Geology of the Bedrock

During this phase of the research, we propose to drill four boreholes (hereafter referred to as preliminary boreholes or wells). The location of each borehole will be determined based on the predominant contaminants present in the bedrock (1 control (uncontaminated) area outside the plume, 1 TCE predominant, 1 DCE predominant, 1 VC predominant). The locations will be selected based on the Phase I evaluations of the USAF's natural attenuation data for Site 32. There will be 100% recovery of the core material from each of the preliminary boreholes. All of the cores recovered will be characterized to determine more about the bedrock geology of the site. Specifically, the lithology, fracture attitude and spacing, and mineral reactions on the fracture surfaces (hereafter referred to as secondary mineralization of the rock) will be assessed along with several other characteristics. [Note: Secondary mineralization is a geologic process and is not the same as microbial mineralization.]

In addition, bedrock outcrops at Pease will be studied to provide local control on lithology and fracture patterns. All of these analyses will be used to generate a subsurface map of the bedrock at Site 32 and help us begin to understand secondary mineralization of the rock. Mineral coatings on fracture surfaces will be examined using standard petrographic techniques. In Year II, XPS and SIMS will be used to identify mineral types, composition and composition variation. The petrographic data will help determine the history of mineral growth relative to the onset of contamination (e.g., the history (timing) of contamination at a given location).



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