This course will provide you with jargon-free explanations of the fundamental aspects of geology and hydrogeology relevant to site remediation decisions. The approach for all topics discussed is that decision makers must know the questions to ask and must be able to understand the responses. This assures that the technical persons making recommendations in support of the individual’s remedial decisions can defend those recommendations with hard data which will stand scrutiny and challenges!
Groundwater – a fugacious, transient phase, moving unobserved and un-seeable through a three-dimensional network of cryptic subterranean passages, entraining, transporting, precipitating and re-entraining a dissolved load of mineral and chemical species, ultimately emerging from the Earth’s crust as surface water. Never actually seeing their object of study, hydrogeologists rely on indirect measurements to internally visualize groundwater flow and then communicate their visualizations using second-hand representations or simulations. Engaged thus in the unseen, it is small wonder that even geologists disagree with each other in their conclusions about groundwater, contaminant transport and remedial strategies.
Faced with making decisions pertaining to the invisible world flowing beneath their feet, Site Remediation Professionals must synthesize hydrogeologists’ esoteric and indirect measurements into a reasoned, compliant, and ultimately defensible site remediation strategy. A seemingly hopeless endeavor, that objective is nonetheless achievable because, despite the uncertainties and competing hypotheses, hydrogeology is an objective science and LSRPs and Site Remediation Professionals are in the unique position to require geologists to support their conclusions/solutions with hard data, empowered to question every interpretation and conclusion along the way.