Use of Visualization Software as a Tool for Site Characterization

Kevin Cernik, WSP USA
Craig Schuettpelz, WSP USA
Shane Stockdill, Rainbow Energy Center
Todd Stong, WSP USA

Description

Understanding site geology is critical to manage coal combustion residuals (CCR) units in compliance with the EPA’s CCR Rule, including siting of CCR units and groundwater monitoring wells to understanding suitable foundation conditions. At Rainbow Energy Center's (REC’s) Coal Creek Station, subsurface investigations have been conducted since the mid-1970’s to help characterize the site geology. This includes hundreds of boreholes covering nearly 4,000 acres over 50 years; however, using the information effectively has been challenging given the amount of data and variability in original sources. To better utilize this information, boring log records were translated into a three-dimensional subsurface model. This living model is updated regularly as subsurface exploration at the site continues and allows users to input geologic information in addition to other spatial and numerical information such as estimated groundwater elevations, geochemical data, surveyed topography, as-built foundation and liner systems, and aerial imagery. The subsurface model has been used to support CCR unit siting considerations, foundation stability evaluations, groundwater network planning, and development of conceptual models to evaluate potential constituent migration through groundwater. The three-dimensional nature of the model is a powerful visualization tool for users and enables difficult topics to be readily conveyed to regulatory agencies and/or the public.

 
May 14th, 3:00 PM May 14th, 3:30 PM

Use of Visualization Software as a Tool for Site Characterization

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Understanding site geology is critical to manage coal combustion residuals (CCR) units in compliance with the EPA’s CCR Rule, including siting of CCR units and groundwater monitoring wells to understanding suitable foundation conditions. At Rainbow Energy Center's (REC’s) Coal Creek Station, subsurface investigations have been conducted since the mid-1970’s to help characterize the site geology. This includes hundreds of boreholes covering nearly 4,000 acres over 50 years; however, using the information effectively has been challenging given the amount of data and variability in original sources. To better utilize this information, boring log records were translated into a three-dimensional subsurface model. This living model is updated regularly as subsurface exploration at the site continues and allows users to input geologic information in addition to other spatial and numerical information such as estimated groundwater elevations, geochemical data, surveyed topography, as-built foundation and liner systems, and aerial imagery. The subsurface model has been used to support CCR unit siting considerations, foundation stability evaluations, groundwater network planning, and development of conceptual models to evaluate potential constituent migration through groundwater. The three-dimensional nature of the model is a powerful visualization tool for users and enables difficult topics to be readily conveyed to regulatory agencies and/or the public.