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SCHOOL OF EARTH, OCEAN, And ENVIRONMENT

GROUNDWATER HYDROLOGY

ENVIRONMENTAL GEOPHYSICS

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PETROLEUM GEOLOGY

GIS APPLICATIONS AND DATABASE DEVELOPMENTS

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CONSERVATION EDUCATION

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USC  THIS SITE

Areas of Research and Service 

 

 

Baseline Water Quality Studies for 3 SC watersheds

 Start date: 11/1/2005

End date:    

Overview

ESRI-SC developed a baseline water quality assessment for the South Fork Edisto, Black, Lynches, and Saluda River watersheds.  This baseline assessment, basied on historic water quality data from SCDHEC serves as a quick reference of water quality statistics for 1999-2004 and provides enough information for future users of the data to rapidly calculate confidence intervals that are relevant to the data and their relation to SCDHEC water quality criteria.

 We conducted additional analyses of some indicators (Total Nitrogen (TN), Total Phosphorus (TP) and fecal coliform (FC)) in relation to upstream indicators, e.g., land use, wastewater treatment plants and livestock operations, and how they influence water quality.  We found that the most significant predictor of high TN and TP is the presence of a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) 15 miles upstream or less.  The most significant predictor of fecal coliforms is percentage urban area upstream of a WQMS. This factor is also a significant (but secondary) predictor of TN.  Contrary to expectations, we were unable to find a significant adverse relationship between livestock operations intensity and water quality (specifically TN, TP and FC).  We concluded that, while it is clear from the literature that certain agricultural operations can adversely affect water quality, these agricultural effects are almost invariably overwhelmed by nearby upstream urban point and non-point sources in our study area.

 

 

 

Natural Resources Conservation Decision Support System

 Start date: 1/1/1999

End date:    

Overview

The program of work between USC’s Earth Sciences and Resources Institute (ESRI-SC) and the NRCS of South Carolina began in 1998. The intention was that ESRI-SC would assist the NRCS in the development and implementation of a GIS-based Decision Support System (DSS) to promote the sound planning of conservation systems, especially those concerning the utilization of animal manure. The use of spatial analysis components within the GIS model would be to develop a map showing the suitability of lands for the siting of buildings, lagoons and land application of manure. The data to be used in the spatial analysis component would include underlying environmental data (including surface water quality, leachability and soil erosion indices), regulatory requirements and economic constraints associated with hauling costs of the manure.

 

 

 

Clemson Soil Analysis Manager (ClemSAM)

 Start date:

End date:    

Overview

 

 

 

 

Aquifer Vulnerability and Contamination Potential Assessment at Marine Corps Air Station, Beaufort, SC

 Start date: 3/21/2001

End date: 9/21/2003   

Overview

This study is executing a comprehensive aquifer vulnerability and contamination potential assessment (VCPA) at the Marine Corps Air Station, Beaufort (MCAS) with the results of the assessment integrated into the installation’s Geographic Information System (GIS). The objective of the integration, which merges environmental and infrastructure GIS, is to facilitate the development of risk management plans, fulfill regulatory reporting requirements, and aid in answering public enquiries concerning environmental issues within and surrounding the MCAS. This project correlates pertinent environmental data already held by the MCAS and new information collected by this study to create a comprehensive, site-wide model of the groundwater, surface water and hydrogeology of the air base.

 

 

 

Implementations of Nonpoint Source Education for Municipal Officials (NEMO)

 Start date: 7/1/2000

End date: 6/30/2003   

Overview

The major emphasis of the Nonpoint Source Education for Municipal Officials (NEMO) program is to help local government officials better understand the complex relationship between land use, urban growth and water quality. It is the goal of this assistance is to inform municipal officials so they will make better-educated and informed decisions that help improve water quality and control nonpoint source pollution (NPS). To guide local decision makers, NEMO outlines a three-tiered strategy of natural resource-based planning, site design, and the use of best management practices to address their land use and to deal with NPS pollution. The role of ESRI-SC in this program is to furnish localized analysis of each presentation area, illustrating the present day effects of NPS and projecting how future growth may affect NPS pollution within the area.

 

 

 

Seismic DNAPL Detection at 200 West Area, USDOE Hanford Site

 Start date: 10/1/1998

End date: 12/31/2002   

Overview

The goal of the seismic reflection research was to determine whether high concentrations of DNAPL (CCl4) in the subsurface at 200 West Area could give rise to seismic amplitude anomalies. If such amplitude anomalies exist, the distribution can be mapped and calibrated versus borehole measurements. A secondary goal was to map the subsurface geology and delineate probable preferential pathways for DNAPL transport.

 

 

 

Application of Geophysical Techniques to Site Characterization and 3D Visualization

 Start date: 1/1/1998

End date: 12/31/2002   

Overview

ESRI is providing geophysical expertise and oversight to Argonne National Laboratory's (ANL) QuickSiteSM investigations of subsurface DNAPL contamination at former USDA Commodity Credit Corporation grain storage sites in the Midwest. At these sites materials used to fumigate grain decades ago are the cause of DNAPL contamination. The DNAPL, commonly carbon tetrachloride, migrates through the overlying glacial sediments and accumulates on clay layers and atop the bedrock surface at depths to 100 feet. Insofar as many CCC sites were located within or near town limits, the potential for contamination of public drinking supplies is high. Because the geological characteristics of the glacial overburden are laterally and vertically variable, geophysical methods are needed to detect and map buried channels and other heterogeneities that might influence contaminant transport.

 

 

 

Secure Access Control in a Multi-user Geodatabase

 Start date: 10/1/2001

End date: 8/15/2002   

Overview

As GIS software is becoming widely used in a variety of applications, the need to provide confidentiality of data used by GIS arises. The faculty of the Earth Sciences and Resources Institute and the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of South Carolina collaborated to study information confidentiality issues in GIS context and to define an access control model for a multi-user geodatabase within an enterprise-level GIS environment. This project discusses our findings and difficulties during the implementation of the model to enforce access control in spatial databases created with ArcGIS 8.1, ArcSDE 8.1 and MS SQL Server 2000.

 

 

 

Optimizing the Design Features of the Funnel and Gate Groundwater Remediation Technology

 Start date: 3/1/1998

End date: 3/31/2002   

Overview

The funnel and gate groundwater remediation technology has received increased attention and application as an in situ alternative to the typical pump and treat system. Understanding the effects of heterogeneity on system performance can be the difference between a successful remediation project and a project that fails to meet its cleanup goals. In an attempt to characterize and quantify the effects of heterogeneity on funnel and gate system performance, a numerical modeling study of 15 simulated heterogeneous flow domains was conducted. Each realization was tested to determine if the predicted capture width met the capture width expected for a homogeneous flow domain with the same bulk properties. This study revealed that the capture width of the funnel and gate system varied significantly with the level of heterogeneity of the aquifer. Two possible remedies were investigated for bringing systems with less than acceptable capture widths to acceptable levels of performance. First, it was determined that enlarging the funnel and gate via a factor of safety applied to the design capture width could compensate for the capture width variation in the heterogeneous flow domains. In addition, it was shown that the use of a pumping well downstream of the funnel and gate could compensate for the effects of aquifer heterogeneity on the funnel and gate capture width. However, if a pumping well is placed downstream of the funnel and gate to control the hydraulic gradient through the gate, consideration should be given to the gate residence time in relation to the geochemistry of the contaminant removal or destruction process in the gate.

 

 

 

Installation and Training of ArcView 3.2 GIS Software to the City of Boulder, CO

 Start date: 6/15/2001

End date: 6/30/2001   

Overview

ESRI-SC assisted the City of Boulder drinking water treatment plant in GIS software (ArcView 3.2) installation, training and data management.

 

 

 

Assess Known Archaeological Sites and Develop a Predictive Model for Willamette Industries, Inc. Landholdings in South Carolina

 Start date: 6/1/2000

End date: 5/31/2001   

Overview

The South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology (SCIAA) and the Earth Sciences and Resources Institute of the University of South Carolina (ESRI-SC) collaborated to develop a predictive model for likely archaeological sites using available data sources. The study area covered 111 7.5' Digital Orthophotographic Quadrangles or roughly one-third of the area of the State of South Carolina. The model made extensive use of floodplain, hypsographic, and Digital Elevation Model (DEM) data.

 

 

 

Kennecott Ridgeway Monitoring Well Compliance Points Assessment

 Start date: 5/1/2000

End date: 5/31/2000   

Overview

The Kennecott Ridgeway Mining Company (KRMC) is required to develop a set of action criteria to ensure proper action related to post closure monitoring well data. The Earth Sciences and Resources Institute at the University of South Carolina (ESRI-SC) developed a set of compliance action points based on current MCLs, historical data, and in some cases, in sensitivity to proposed fresh water aquatic life standards. Detailed analyses and trends for 20 analytes where conducted in this study

 

 

 

Giant Oil and Gas Fields of the World (80 Largest Fields)

 Start date: 1/1/1999

End date: 12/1/1999   

Overview

A request for project work by an independent oil company allowed ESRI to add significant information to its already significant database of information on the Major Oil and Gas Fields of the world We have added to the information base cross-sections, maps, and other images of the worlds 80 largest oil and gas fields. Each of these particular fields consist of reserves >6.0 billion BOE. The images are in an electronic format as “jpg” files. Petroleum Abstracts in Tulsa aided in the data search and references in several languages were obtained from all over the world to complete this work. These images are presently unlinked to the main database but plans for the future consist of linking the maps with the appropriate reservoir or other information category.

 

 

 

Magnetic Contouring of Pee Dee River for Location of Potential Underwater Archaeological Sites

 Start date: 7/1/1999

End date: 8/31/1999   

Overview

The Underwater Archaeology Division of the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology (SCIAA) gathered side-scan magnetic data long the Pee Dee River. ESRI-SC geo-referenced these data and created contours of the magnetic filed values in order to assess anomalies indicating likely aquatic archaeological sites.

 

Development of a Contamination Potential Map for a Portion of the General Separations Area, Savannah River Site, SC

 Start date: 9/1/1994

End date: 9/30/1998   

Overview

Geographic Information System (GIS) methodology has been developed to evaluate and map the "contamination potential" or aquifer sensitivity of the upper groundwater flow system at DOE’s Savannah River Site in southwestern South Carolina. The integration of diverse subsurface and soils information is possible using a stack-unit mapping approach. This is the first time that a stack-unit mapping approach, developed in the Midwest for mapping glacial sediments, has been used to delineate geologic materials in a coastal plain environment. Surface elevation contour maps were constructed for the tops of six Tertiary units based on over 200 boring logs.

 

 

Design and Implementation of a GIS Geologic Data Base for Environmental Planning at the Savannah River Site (SRS)

 Start date: 9/1/1994

End date: 9/30/1998   

Overview

Geographic Information System (GIS) methodology has been developed to evaluate and map the "contamination potential" or aquifer sensitivity of the upper groundwater flow system at DOE’s Savannah River Site in southwestern South Carolina. The integration of diverse subsurface and soils information is possible using a stack-unit mapping approach. This is the first time that a stack-unit mapping approach, developed in the Midwest for mapping glacial sediments, has been used to delineate geologic materials in a coastal plain environment

 

 

GIS Hydrogeologic Database Demo

 Start date: 9/1/1994

End date: 9/30/1998   

Overview

The purpose of this project was to develop and implement a multi-purpose geographic information system (GIS) for the storage, retrieval, and analysis of geologic data at the Savannah River Site (SRS). At the completion of this project, personnel at SRS now possess a single system capable of furnishing a variety of data sets available for specific areas, sites, wells, and locations within SRS. This GIS data base should decrease time expenditures by site and contractor personnel for researching existing site-specific data. In addition, the GIS data base can reduce redundancy of data collection by separate researchers by making data readily accessible between departments and contractors. Data within the GIS data base include not only new information obtained from projects occuring coincidently with the duration of the GIS/Database Entry project (1994 to 1997) but also a significant portion of the enormous volume of data already generated and stored in separate facilities and departments at SRS.

 

 

 

Niger Delta Analysis (Nigeria)

 Start date: 5/1/1997

End date: 1/1/1998   

Overview

Portions of the Niger Delta were examined in detail for the purpose of determining major events and features that are most favorable to more specifically identifying the petroleum systems. Geology, geophysics, and geochemistry were integrated into an interpretation that more clearly defines the controls, timing and the evolving petroleum system of the delta

 

 

 

Mississippi Salt Basin Seismic Interpretations - Phase II

 Start date: 5/1/1997

End date: 1/1/1998   

Overview

In a five county area south and east of the Jackson Dome 27 drilling leads were generated using the premises developed in the Phase 1 portion of the project. Both regional and local seismic data was used and sedimentation history of the area was interpreted using those concepts. Although the focus of the work was confined to the pre-Selma/ post-Smackover, leads were also noted in the Smackover.It is probable that we have previously mapped prospects in the area and subsequently drilled in locations that are offset to the crest of major features.

 

 

 

Seismic DNAPL Detection at M-Area Seepage Basin USDOE Savannah River Site 1995-1997

 Start date: 1/1/1995

End date: 12/1/1997   

Overview

This project tests the feasibility of using high-resolution seismic techniques and direct hydrocarbon indicator analyses to image free-phase and dissolved phase DNAPLs at the M-Area seepage basin, USDOE Savannah River Site, South Carolina. Another objective is to map the subsurface geology and determine the geologic controls on the distribution of the DNAPL plume.

 

 

 

Regional Hydocarbon Analysis of South Eastern U.S. (with focus on the Mississippi Salt Basin)- Phase I

 Start date: 12/1/1996

End date: 4/1/1997   

Overview

Examine the current concepts of the regional framework for the MSB. Identify those tectonic events, particularly in the Precambrian, that may have controlled orientation and growth of structures and determine how this knowledge can be translated into an exploration strategy for the area.

 

 

 

Giant Oil and Gas Fields of the World

 Start date: 1/1/1994

End date: 1/1/1997   

Overview

Attributes of the world's largest oil and gas fields (>= 100 million BOE) reside in an ESRI access database. Since completion, the databse has been updated, cleared of errors and maps & cross sections have been added. It continues to be edited and expanded.

 

 

Seismic Reflection Investigation of the Crackerneck Fault: Post-Cretaceous Faulting in Atlantic Coastal Plain Sediments at the Savannah River Site, SC

 Start date: 1/1/1996

End date: 1/1/1997   

Overview

High resolution vibroseis seismic reflection data were collected during 1996 to investigate the Crackerneck fault, a southeast dipping high-angle reverse fault known to originate within the crystalline basement and offset overlying Cretaceous age Coastal Plain sediments in the A and M areas of the northwestern part of Savannah River Site, near Aiken, S.C. The seismic survey, comprised of 8 profiles, was designed to image from top-of-basement (approx. 300 m) to the Tertiary age Ellenton-Congaree Formations (approx. 100-50 m) to enable detailed mapping of the Crackerneck fault and associated structures.

 

 

Mapping Setbacks and Facility Placement Statistics for South Carolina Hog Farms

 Start date: 1/27/2003

End date:     

Overview

 

 

 

 

 

Studying Zones Of Radionuclide Fast Migration In Areas Impacted By Chernobyl Fallout

 Start date: 4/1/1999

End date:     

Overview

The focus of the collaborative research described in this proposal is to develop a detailed understanding of the hydrophysical and geochemical processes that control radionuclide migration through discrete surface depression zones of anomalously high soil moisture flux within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (CEZ), Ukraine. As described herein, the proposed research approach is the culmination of interaction and scientific exchange between University of South Carolina faculty and science staff of the Radioecological Center, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. The University of South Carolina co-principal investigators have made three recent trips to Ukraine, including field visits to Chernobyl, to obtain the necessary background and appreciation of the importance of the hydrologic and hydrogeologic phenomena addressed in this project.

 

 

 

 

Web Scoring Tool Support and Hosting NRCS SC, USDA

 

 Start date: 10/1/2005

End date:     

Overview

 

 

 

 

 

Conservation Planning Efficiency Studies and Tools for EMS, LLC

 

 Start date: 10/27/2003

End date:     

Overview

 

 

 

 

 

 
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