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Title: Summary of Inorganic Compositional Data for Groundwater, Soil-Water, and Surface-Water Samples at the Headgate Draw Subsurface Drip Irrigation Site

Abstract

As part of a 5-year project on the impact of subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) application of coalbed-methane (CBM) produced waters, water samples were collected from the Headgate Draw SDI site in the Powder River Basin, Wyoming, USA. This research is part of a larger study to understand short- and long-term impacts on both soil and water quality from the beneficial use of CBM waters to grow forage crops through use of SDI. This document provides a summary of the context, sampling methodology, and quality assurance and quality control documentation of samples collected prior to and over the first year of SDI operation at the site (May 2008-October 2009). This report contains an associated database containing inorganic compositional data, water-quality criteria parameters, and calculated geochemical parameters for samples of groundwater, soil water, surface water, treated CBM waters, and as-received CBM waters collected at the Headgate Draw SDI site.

Authors:
; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Energy Technology Lab. (NETL), Pittsburgh, PA, and Morgantown, WV (United States). In-house Research
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Fossil Energy (FE)
OSTI Identifier:
1036739
Report Number(s):
NETL-PUB-162
TRN: US201206%%624
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: Summary of Inorganic Compositional Data for Groundwater, Soil-Water, and Surface-Water Samples at the Headgate Draw Subsurface Drip Irrigation Site, Johnson County, Wyoming
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
01 COAL, LIGNITE, AND PEAT; 03 NATURAL GAS; COAL DEPOSITS; CROPS; DOCUMENTATION; FORAGE; IRRIGATION; METHANE; POWDER RIVER BASIN; QUALITY ASSURANCE; QUALITY CONTROL; SAMPLING; SOILS; SURFACE WATERS; WATER QUALITY; GROUND WATER

Citation Formats

Geboy, Nicholas J., Engle, Mark A., Schroeder, Karl T., and Zupanic, John W. Summary of Inorganic Compositional Data for Groundwater, Soil-Water, and Surface-Water Samples at the Headgate Draw Subsurface Drip Irrigation Site. United States: N. p., 2007. Web.
Geboy, Nicholas J., Engle, Mark A., Schroeder, Karl T., & Zupanic, John W. Summary of Inorganic Compositional Data for Groundwater, Soil-Water, and Surface-Water Samples at the Headgate Draw Subsurface Drip Irrigation Site. United States.
Geboy, Nicholas J., Engle, Mark A., Schroeder, Karl T., and Zupanic, John W. Mon . "Summary of Inorganic Compositional Data for Groundwater, Soil-Water, and Surface-Water Samples at the Headgate Draw Subsurface Drip Irrigation Site". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1036739.
@article{osti_1036739,
title = {Summary of Inorganic Compositional Data for Groundwater, Soil-Water, and Surface-Water Samples at the Headgate Draw Subsurface Drip Irrigation Site},
author = {Geboy, Nicholas J. and Engle, Mark A. and Schroeder, Karl T. and Zupanic, John W.},
abstractNote = {As part of a 5-year project on the impact of subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) application of coalbed-methane (CBM) produced waters, water samples were collected from the Headgate Draw SDI site in the Powder River Basin, Wyoming, USA. This research is part of a larger study to understand short- and long-term impacts on both soil and water quality from the beneficial use of CBM waters to grow forage crops through use of SDI. This document provides a summary of the context, sampling methodology, and quality assurance and quality control documentation of samples collected prior to and over the first year of SDI operation at the site (May 2008-October 2009). This report contains an associated database containing inorganic compositional data, water-quality criteria parameters, and calculated geochemical parameters for samples of groundwater, soil water, surface water, treated CBM waters, and as-received CBM waters collected at the Headgate Draw SDI site.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2007},
month = {Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2007}
}

Conference:
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  • Coalbed methane (CBM) currently accounts for >8% of US natural gas production. Compared to traditional sources, CBM co-produces large volumes of water. Of particular interest is CBM development in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming and Montana, the 2nd largest CBM production field in the US, where CBM produced waters exhibit low to moderate TDS and relatively high sodium-adsorption ratio (SAR) that could potentially impact the surface environment. Subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) is an emerging technology for beneficial use of pre-treated CBM waters (injectate) which are emitted into the root zone of an agricultural field to aid in irrigation. Themore » method is designed to minimize environmental impacts by storing potentially detrimental salts in the vadose zone. Research objectives include tracking the transport and fate of the water and salts from the injected CBM produced waters at an SDI site on an alluvial terrace, adjacent to the Powder River, Johnson County, Wyoming. This research utilizes soil science, geochemical, and geophysical methods. Initial results from pre-SDI data collection and the first 6-months of post-SDI operation will be presented. Substantial ranges in conductivity (2732-9830 {micro}S/cm) and dominant cation chemistry (Ca-SO{sub 4} to Na-SO{sub 4}) have been identified in pre-SDI analyses of groundwater samples from the site. Ratios of average composition of local ground water to injectate demonstrate that the injectate contains lower concentrations of most constituents except for Cr, Zn, and Tl (all below national water quality standards) but exhibits a higher SAR. Composition of soil water varies markedly with depth and between sites, suggesting large impacts from local controls, including ion exchange and equilibrium with gypsum and carbonates. Changes in chemical composition and specific conductivity along surface water transects adjacent to the site are minimal, suggesting that discharge to the Powder River from groundwater underlying the SDI fields is negligible. Findings from this project provide a critical understanding of water and salt dynamics associated with SDI systems using CBM produced water. The information obtained can be used to improve SDI and other CBM produced water use/disposal technologies in order to minimize adverse impacts.« less
  • Disposal of produced waters, pumped to the surface as part of coalbed methane (CBM) development, is a significant environmental issue in the Wyoming portion of the Powder River Basin, USA. High sodium adsorption ratios (SAR) of the waters could degrade agricultural land, especially if directly applied to the soil surface. One method of disposing of CBM water, while deriving beneficial use, is subsurface drip irrigation (SDI), where acidified CBM waters are applied to alfalfa fields year-round via tubing buried 0.92 m deep. Effects of the method were studied on an alluvial terrace with a relatively shallow depth to water tablemore » (~3 m). Excess irrigation water caused the water table to rise, even temporarily reaching the depth of drip tubing. The rise corresponded to increased salinity in some monitoring wells. Three factors appeared to drive increased groundwater salinity: (1) CBM solutes, concentrated by evapotranspiration; (2) gypsum dissolution, apparently enhanced by cation exchange; and (3) dissolution of native Na–Mg–SO{sub 4} salts more soluble than gypsum. Irrigation with high SAR (24) water has increased soil saturated paste SAR up to 15 near the drip tubing. Importantly though, little change in SAR has occurred at the surface.« less
  • The U.S Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory has been evaluating various geophysical methods for site characterization regarding environmental issues associated with fossil fuels including produced water management. A relatively new method of managing produced water from coal bed natural gas production is through subsurface drip irrigation. This system involves disposing the produced water near the bottom of the root zone in agricultural fields, which would provide a beneficial use of this resource. The focus of this paper is to present results from a pre-injection geophysical survey for site assessment and background data. A pre-construction survey of approximately 1.2more » km2 was completed in June 2007 using a Geophex GEM-2 broadband sensor over six fields along the Powder River floodplain. Quality assurance measures included drift checks, duplicate line surveys, and repeat field surveys using the Geometrics OhmMapper instrument. Subsequent surveys will be completed once the system is installed and operational. Geophysical inversion models were completed to provide a detailed cross-section of the subsurface geoelectrical structure along each line. Preliminary interpretations reveal that the subsurface conductivity distribution correlates to geomorphologic features.« less
  • Groundwater in D-Area at the Savannah River Site (SRS) is contaminated with trichloroethylene (TCE) and by-products resulting from discharges of this organic solvent during past disposal practices. This contaminated groundwater occurs primarily at depths of 9 meters to 15 meters below ground surface, well below the depths that are typically penetrated by plant roots. The process investigated in this study involved pumping water from the contaminated aquifer and discharging the water into overlying test plots two inches below the surface using drip irrigation. The field treatability study was conducted from 8/31/00 to 4/18/02 using six 0.08 hectare test plots, twomore » each containing pines, cottonwoods, and no vegetation (controls). The primary objective was to determine the overall effectiveness of the process for TCE removal and to determine the principal biotic and abiotic pathways for its removal. Results demonstrated that the process provides a viable method to remove TCE-contaminated groundwater. The data clearly showed that the presence of trees reduced volatilization of TCE from the drip irrigation system to the atmosphere. Influent groundwater TCE concentrations averaging 89 mg/L were reduced to non-detectable levels (less than 5 mg/L) within the upper two feet of soil (rhizosphere).« less
  • Water co-produced with coal-bed methane (CBM) in the semi-arid Powder River Basin of Wyoming and Montana commonly has relatively low salinity and high sodium adsorption ratios that can degrade soil permeability where used for irrigation. Nevertheless, a desire to derive beneficial use from the water and a need to dispose of large volumes of it have motivated the design of a deep subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) system capable of utilizing that water. Drip tubing is buried 92 cm deep and irrigates at a relatively constant rate year-round, while evapotranspiration by the alfalfa and grass crops grown is seasonal. We usemore » field data from two sites and computer simulations of unsaturated flow to understand water and solute movements in the SDI fields. Combined irrigation and precipitation exceed potential evapotranspiration by 300–480 mm annually. Initially, excess water contributes to increased storage in the unsaturated zone, and then drainage causes cyclical rises in the water table beneath the fields. Native chloride and nitrate below 200 cm depth are leached by the drainage. Some CBM water moves upward from the drip tubing, drawn by drier conditions above. Chloride from CBM water accumulates there as root uptake removes the water. Year over year accumulations indicated by computer simulations illustrate that infiltration of precipitation water from the surface only partially leaches such accumulations away. Field data show that 7% and 27% of added chloride has accumulated above the drip tubing in an alfalfa and grass field, respectively, following 6 years of irrigation. Maximum chloride concentrations in the alfalfa field are around 45 cm depth but reach the surface in parts of the grass field, illustrating differences driven by crop physiology. Deep SDI offers a means of utilizing marginal quality irrigation waters and managing the accumulation of their associated solutes in the crop rooting zone.« less