SIMPLE TOOLS FOR IDENTIFYING AREAS OF GROUNDWATER DISCHARGE AND QUANTIFYING DISCHARGE RATES
These same tools can be used to quantify the bulk porewater discharge velocity in sediments. A method is being refined that utilizes micro-injections of dye through the screened zone of either sampler to instantaneously create a small dye slug at a specified depth within the sediments. This dye slug migrates to the sediment surface at the rate of porewater discharge, and the time from injection to expression is easily measured with a stopwatch or time-lapse photography. Where the dye emerges relative to the injection location provides information of how groundwater flowlines intersect at the discharge area. The method utilizes a sampler, a 60ml syringe, a four-way valve, and a few milligrams of a concentrated dye (such as fluorescein) in a 1ml syringe. Field testing has demonstrated that the procedure produces reproducible, and in some cases remarkable results. The discharge velocity, combined with measurements of the differential hydraulic head pressure and estimates (or measurements) of the sediment hydraulic conductivity allow the calculation of porewater flux for a given area. This method works very well in flowing water environments where other methods have difficulty.