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A 3D geological background for Knowsley Industrial Park and surrounding areas, NW England

Price, S.J.; Crofts, R.G.; Terrington, R.L.; Thorpe, S.. 2008 A 3D geological background for Knowsley Industrial Park and surrounding areas, NW England. Nottingham, UK, British Geological Survey, 74pp. (CR/07/203N) (Unpublished)

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Abstract/Summary

This report describes the results of a study carried out by the British Geological Survey (BGS) on behalf of the Environment Agency NW to investigate the underlying geology beneath Knowsley Industrial Park, Merseyside, NW England. The overarching aim of the project was to establish a 3D geoscience framework beneath the Knowsley Industrial Park to enable the Environment Agency (the Agency) to assess the vulnerability of the underlying Sherwood Sandstone aquifer. The vulnerability of the aquifer to pollution from current and historic contamination of land, potentially leaking foul sewers and contaminated surface water drains could then be assessed by reference to the underlying geology. In addition to the 3D geological model, United Utilities pipeline data for foul and surface water drainage was provided by the Agency. This pipeline information was analysed and integrated with the geological data to provide an assessment of the potential linkage between the pipes and the underling bedrock or superficial geology in which they are sited. Over 300 additional paper borehole records were provided by the Agency from previous environmental site investigations carried out in the industrial park and incorporated into the BGS databases. In total, 1279 coded boreholes were used in the study. Of these, 733 were used to construct 58 geological cross-sections. The 3D geological model revealed a sequence of superficial deposits across the site comprising glacial, post-glacial and artificial deposits overlying the Sherwood Sandstone Group, that in places are deeply weathered to form loose sand. In the south-east and north-west of the site, rocks belonging to the Sherwood Sandstone Group crop out at surface. The vulnerability of the Sherwood Sandstone aquifer beneath the site, to pollution from contaminated water, depends in part on the distribution and thickness of weakly permeable superficial deposits such as clay or silt. The geological model has revealed that till is the only clay dominated unit present beneath the site and for this reason, invert levels of foul and surface water pipes were compared to this geological deposit as it may influence the potential vulnerability of the underlying aquifer. Invert levels represent the elevation of the base of the pipe. 4722 pipeline segments were analysed and classified according to their minimum invert level (representing the maximum depth below ground level) recorded for each segment. This information was used to identify pipeline segments that occurred above, below or within till. Pipeline segments interpreted to lie within or above the till were subdivided according to whether they were underlain by greater or less than 2.5 m of till. 2.5 m represents the average thickness of till calculated from the 3D geological model. Pipeline segments whose invert level occurs beneath the till will lie directly within the Sherwood Sandstone aquifer or sand and gravel dominated superficial deposits and therefore the relative hazard potential may be higher than those where clay dominated superficial deposits occur between them and the underlying aquifer. In general, the results indicate that the northern part of Knowsley Industrial Park and the northwestern part of the wider project area are underlain by greater than 2.5 m of till and that pipelines lie above the top surface of the till or within it. In contrast, the southern part of Knowsley Industrial Park and the south-western part of the wider project area are underlain generally by less than 2.5 m of till and pipeline segments occur below the till or directly within the Sherwood Sandstone aquifer. This information can be used as a preliminary screening or prioritisation tool. It can identify potential areas where the Sherwood Sandstone aquifer is most vulnerable to pollution from contaminated groundwater from poor condition, potentially leaking sewers and drains in the subsurface.

Item Type: Publication - Report (UNSPECIFIED)
Programmes: BGS Programmes > Physical Hazards
Funders/Sponsors: Environment Agency
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: This report made open with permission of Environment Agency January 2015. This item has been internally reviewed but not externally peer-reviewed
Date made live: 27 Jan 2015 09:33 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/509512

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