Environmental Geology Exam 3 - Spring Y2K - Geologic resources and waste disposal Inquisitor & interpreter - H. D. Maher, Jr.

This is a practice exam from Spring 2000. The actual exam will have the same format, but will naturally not cover the exact same material. My suggestion is to go through this exam after you have studied the material in order to identify portions of the material covered that you might want to study more. From year to year the exact content of the course varies a bit. There may be a question or two asked in this test which we did not study. However, most of the material should look familiar. Cheers!

Matching: (Choose the best match {2 pts. each}) EQ = earthquake.

 1)____ transmissivity  A) example of area where intensive groundwater withdrawal has dropped level >750 feet
 2)____ aquiclude  B) biogenic gas (from aneorobic decay) trapped in ice form in deep sea muds
 3)____ Chicago area  C) a stabilized dune field, a important recharge mechanism for the Ogallala aquifer
 4)____ New Orleans  D) scientific basis for health and actionable standards for groundwater contaminants.
 5)____ alluvium  E) function of aquifer permeability and thickness; tested by a pump test
 6)____ Sand Hills  F) amoebic probe of meteoritic matter that bioremediates hyperspace engine fuel leaks
 7)____ BOD  G) offshore platform w blowout that caught fire & created large slick, due to overpressures
 8)____ toxicology  H) geologic body with low permeability, acts as a seal, a potential boundary to an aquifer
 9)____ Campeche  I) high level radioactive waste repository built in Neveda desert.
 10)___ gas hydrates  J) measure of the amount of oxygen used in aerobic decay of organics in the water
 11)___ Japan, France  K) material deposited by a river, underlies flood plain, often a good shallow aquifer.
 12)___ Yucca Mntn  L) waste rock from a mining operation, needs to be reclaimed, often source of acidic waters
 13)___ Boyd Cty. NE  M) old landfill site in Omaha
 14)___ tailings  N) site of surface subsidence due to groundwater withdrawal, poor surface water quality
 15)___Heflinger Park  O) have continued with vigorous development of nuclear power
   P) site of proposed low level radioactive waste disposal facility for 5 state compact.

Fill-in-the-blank, diagrammatic and other such questions:

1) Consider the following rock types below when answering the following questions about hydrologic characteristics (insert the correct letter): (3 pts.)

Which rock type likely has high porosity but low permeability? _________ Which rock type likely has directional or anisotropic permeability (ability for water to flow faster in one direction than another all other things being equal)? ________ Which rock type will have about 35% porosity and represent potentially good aquifer material? __________ Which rock type will likely have associated groundwater with the highest 'natural' TDS all else being equal? ________ Which rock type will make a good seal or aquiclude? ________ Which rock type will be especially important for Hawaiian groundwater considerations? ________

2) Remember Darcy's law: Q = k * (h/L) * A . Here we can apply it to the situation of flow of water through a sandstone layer underneath a dam. a) There are three arrows below. Label each one with the most appropriate parameter from the equation (note that not all parameters are represented). b) Here is a thought question. Consider what happens in a lake basin with time, how will the amount of water flowing underneath the dam change with time and why? (4 pts.)

3) Use the cross section diagram below of a coastal setting to answer the following. Dashed lines represent water tables. a) Which letter best represents a confined aquifer? __________ Would this aquifer be artesian? _______ b) Which letter best represents an unconfined aquifer with freshwater in it? ____________ c) Which letter best represents an aquifer with saltwater in it? ______________ . d) Which letter represents a recharge point? ________ e) Which letter best represents the site of a submarine fresh water seep? ___________ f) If you were living the little island house, which aquifer would possibly have problems with higher TDS ___________, and which would have problems with saltwater incursion _____________? (5 pts.)

4) What are two factors that determine the size of the draw-down cone. (2 pts.)

________________________________________ and _______________________________________

5) List two components of a typical water well meant to protect the aquifer from surface pollution along the well.

________________________________________ and _______________________________________

What might the well developer do to increase the yield? (3 pts)

6) Arrange the following local geologic units in order from good aquifer to aquitard to aquiclude: loess, glacial till, Platte River alluvium, Dakota sandstone.

Good aquifer -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> -> aquiclude

________________________ _______________________ ___________________ _____________________

From which one does Omaha withdraw water? _____________________________ (3 pts.)

7) In western Nebraska the Tertiary sedimentary rocks are rich in ___________________ ________ that reduced the permeability of the White River and Arikaree groups. There is good local fracture permeability in the _____________ Formation. In addition, because of the lower annual average rainfall the _______________ rate of the aquifers is lower. Groundwater resources are thus more fragile than elsewhere in Nebraska. (3 pts.)

8) CERCLA, passed in 1980 is commonly known as __________________, and uses a tax on __________________________________ to create a reserve with which to clean up toxic waste sites, which are on a list known as the ____________________________, with >1200 sites in 1993. Given limited funds and an overwhelming number of sites that could be cleaned up _______ - ______________ analyses are now being conducted to decide which sites should be cleaned up to what level. (4 pts.)

9) Describe a major toxic waste site case history from those presented in lecture and in your text (5 pts.)

source/type of contaminants __________________________________________________________________

transport mechanism _________________________________________________________________

documented health effects ___________________________________________________________________

remediation approaches taken ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

minimum remediation cost estimate ____________

10) Use the map diagram below to answer the following. The lines represent part of a contour map of a groundwater surface in feet above sea level elevation. The numbers represent point elevations of the groundwater surface. The three xs are three wells in a linear array well field. A, B, C are 3 storage ponds and possible point sources of groundwater contamination.

a) First, use the data to complete the contour lines in a manner consistent with the point elevation data (extend them to the edge of the map or until they connect in a loop).

b) The depression around the wells is due to pumping (withdrawal) and is known as a ______________ _________________________ _______________.

c) Prior to the development which was the general direction of shallow groundwater flow in this area (N,S,E,W <- circle the right one).

d) If storage pond C is leaking in which well will you likely see the contaminant in first? (N, S or middle <- circle the right one).

e) If storage pond B is leaking in which well will you likely see the contaminant in first? (N, S or middle <- circle the right one).

f) If contaminant was seen at locality D, did the well field precede the storage ponds or vice versa? ( 5 pts.)

11)In order for oil deposits to form three components are needed. These are

a) ____________________________________,
b) _________________________________________________
and c) _____________________________________________________ . (3 pts.)

12) The most recent estimate of U.S. oil resources is _____________ billion barrels, while U. S. yearly consumption is about ______________ billion barrels. For the last several years we have been importing about ______ percent of our oil. The worlds global reserves of oil are estimated at ______ billion barrels, while global yearly consumption is roughly ______ billion barrels. Of those global the larges part are in the ______________ ______________ region. The uneven distribution of these reserves has allowed a cartel known as _______________ to develop. (4 pts.)

13) List three specific environmental concerns related to increased coal use.(3 pts)




14) A ______________________ is a measure of how much ionic disruption occurs due to radioactive decay. A ___________ is the same amount of disruption in a human, i.e. is a measure of radiation exposure.The maximum permissible yearly dosage is ______________ per year. List two sources of background ('natural') radiation.

a) __________________________________________
b) ___________________________________ (3 pts.)

15) The concept of ________________________ explains how elevated levels of a compound or radioactive isotope, notably higher than background values, can form in organisms higher up the food chain. Strontium is an example. Put the following in the order from highest (1) to lowest (4) values of strontium in an area. (3 pts)
______cow's milk ______grass _______soil______bone tissue

16) Remember, Uranium is mobile under certain groundwater conditions, yet tends to precipitate out into mineral form under other conditions. Use the schematic cross section diagram below to answer the following questions. a) As water seeps down through the two different fracture sets, which one is likely to have more oxidized waters and which more reducing waters (mark with an O and R respectively). b) Put a rectangle around the area where Uranium is likely to be leached from the rock and then transported by groundwater flow. c) Put a circle around the area where the Uranium is likely to reprecipitate and potentially create a Uranium deposit. d) Where in Nebraska do we have a deposit that formed in a somewhat similar situation? ______________________ (4 pts.)

17) Why is Aluminum clearly economic to recycle. (2 pts.)


18) List 2 primary geologic factors and 2 primary societal factors that determine where landfills get sited. (4 pts.)

a) ________________________________________

b) __________________________________________

c) ________________________________________

d) __________________________________________

19) In the cross section diagram of a engineered landfill identify the following elements (insert appropriate letter): a) Leachate collection layer________ b) impermeable in-situ geologic material __________ c) methane collection system __________ d) synthetic liner ___________ e) clay liner _________ f) vegetated surface (to prevent erosion) _________ g) escaped contaminant path ________ (5 pts.)

20) Now for an impossible question, but I will be satisfied with a most rudimentary of outlines in response. This is a chance to use what you have learned. What should a future energy policy of the U.S. consist of. (3 pts.) It is important to be as specific as possible. Use the back if you need.


Good luck in life and stop by to chat if you like!