Development of a screening tool to prioritise potential hazards to groundwater in urban environments

Royse, K.; Banks, V.; Marchant, A.; Quigley, S.. 2010 Development of a screening tool to prioritise potential hazards to groundwater in urban environments. In: Moore, H.; Fox, H., (eds.) Restoration and recovery : regenerating land and communities. Whittles Publishing, 150-158.

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Contaminants in urban environments are very broad ranging in their composition, phase (and mobility) and distribution (point and diffuse sources). They are derived from a number of periods of industrial development and are generally investigated through phased investigation comprising detailed desk studies followed by focused intrusive investigation. Inspired by the outcomes of a scoping study to assess the geosciences needs of stakeholders in the Thames Gateway area of London, the British Geological Survey (BGS) recognised that regulators, municipal/ regional planners and insurance organisations are increasingly seeking pragmatic approaches to the assessment of contaminant risk in urban development and with this in mind established a project to develop an initial screening tool (IST) to assist the planning community in the assessment of the potential risk to ground and surface waters from the contaminants that may be mobilised as a consequence of redevelopment. The initial research area selected for the application of the IST was the Olympic Park site. The tool has been designed in the context of the source-pathway-receptor paradigm that informs Part IIa of the Environmental Protection Act (1990). Implemented in ArcGIS9 and utilising GIS-hosted layers that have been integrated with the results of 3-D geological modelling, the tool collates and interrogates a range of geoscientific information, including: geological data, historic maps and past land use records, contaminant source and size, groundwater level data and hydrogeological domains. A range of evaluation factors are applied to the source (e.g. contaminant potential and size of site), pathway ( e.g. flood potential, topography, surface sealing, vulnerability, hydraulic gradient and vadose zone thickness) and receptor (e.g. proximity, surface water classification and aquifer classification) and scored through a combination of spatial and attribute queries and assessed on the basis of potential linkages. It will enable the ranking of various proposed development scenarios on the basis of a semi-quantitative assessment of contamination potential, via a number of pollutant linkages and will provide planners with reports on the type, spatial distribution and hazards associated with potential contaminant sources within their area.

Item Type: Publication - Book Section
Programmes: BGS Programmes 2010 > Land Use, Planning and Development
ISBN: 9781849950121
Additional Keywords: GroundwaterBGS, Groundwater, Groundwater protection
NORA Subject Terms: Computer Science
Ecology and Environment
Earth Sciences
Data and Information
Date made live: 10 Sep 2010 13:47 +0 (UTC)

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