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An investigation into the use of geophysical methods in the study of aquifer contamination by graveyardsNormal access

Authors: M.J. Senos Matias, M. Marques da Silva, L. Goncalves, C. Peralta, C. Grangeia and E. Martinho
Issue: Vol 2, No 3, August 2004 pp. 131 - 136
DOI: 10.3997/1873-0604.2004010
Language: English
Info: Article, PDF ( 2.77Mb )

Graveyards are the traditional way of dealing with the deceased and often their location is unsuitable so that there is a potential contamination danger for local aquifers and soils. Such a contamination is complex as organic, inorganic and biological pollutants will be present. This problem has been studied by direct methods, i.e. boreholes. However borehole location can be difficult and so it is proposed here to use geophysical multiparameter surveys, as well as hydrochemistry studies, to investigate the contamination in the vicinity of two graveyards located in very porous and permeable formations. Based on the geophysical interpretation, two shallow boreholes were drilled and groundwater sampling confirmed local aquifer contamination. The geophysical response is shownto depend on the water table depth, and when this is close to the ground surface, it is demonstrated that geophysical methods can be used to map contamination plumes originated in the graveyards and, therefore, assist borehole location.

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