Possible Impact of Shallow Interfluve Traps on Groundwater Remediation


Shallow stratigraphic traps exist in certain geologic environments, which might complicate groundwater remediation efforts. Too often, pump-and-treat remediation wells are installed in geometric patterns designed to maximize cleanup operations. If, however, shallow stratigraphic traps are present, certain contaminants may be locally trapped and thus missed during cleanup operations. Alternatively, if shallow stratigraphic traps are delineated prior to location of cleanup wells, fewer wells may be needed for remediation. For example, a single well located at the trap apex, coupled with a single injection well, might be sufficient if: (1) all contaminants were contained in the trap, and (2) the trap was not laterally extensive. Interfluve stratigraphic traps are formed when braided outwash sands are subsequently covered by backswamp or lacustrine clay deposits. Such traps are common near-surface features of the valley train deposits of the Lower Mississippi River Valley and have relief of a few tens of centimeters to perhaps in excess of 10 m. Interfluve traps are also expected to commonly occur in many glaciated regions. Due to channel migration during backswamp clay deposition, and differing thicknesses of clay cover, it is unlikely that all interfluve traps can be delineated by a single method. Therefore, several geological techniques that might be useful in delineating shallow interfluve traps are briefly discussed here, as well as potential complications in using the described methods.


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Groundwater; Lower Mississippi River Valley; Outwash; Remediation; Stratigraphic Traps; Environmental Engineering; Geology; Hydrology; Water Pollution Control; Groundwater Remediation; Shallow Interfluve Traps; Groundwater Remediation; Shallow Interfluve Traps

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Article - Journal

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© 1994 Springer Verlag, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Feb 1994