Groundwater Analysis Within Highway Construction Zones
Highway construction can adversely affect the natural environment, including the quality and behavior of valuable groundwater resources. To investigate these affects, a method has been devised and implemented which is capable of monitoring the groundwater conditions within a highway construction zone. The method includes a system of measurement devices which are strategically placed within small watersheds that are representative of the entire construction zone. These devices, which include groundwater wells, rain gages, and surface water flumes, are arranged in sparse networks aligned along the direction of water flow. This has been done to reduce the cost and complexity of the system and to allow for easy adaptation to future sites and conditions. The installed equipment was monitored for over one year, during which time a method of data organization, manipulation, and analysis was devised and utilized. The data was processed into easy to understand formats that would be accessible to all organizations involved with the construction project. Hydrologic phenomena such as groundwater table fluctuation, recharge, and flow rate, were all analyzed and used in conjunction with other data to represent the aquifers. After studying the behaviors of each watershed, inferences were made on how well the data collection system was able to capture the responses of the aquifer. Since the system was based on a limited network of devices, many estimates and assumptions had to be made which reduced its success at explicitly demonstrating the effects of the construction. Suggestions on improving the method for later implementation are presented.
Advisor:Dr. Ronald Neufeld; Dr. Rafael Quimpo; Dr. Jeen-Shang Lin; Dr. Jason Monnell
School:University of Pittsburgh
School Location:USA - Pennsylvania
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:civil and environmental engineering
Date of Publication:09/25/2007