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How To Describe or Identify Water Levels Using Soil Morphology. Prepared by Mr. Brian Oram, Professional Geologist, Soil Scientist Wilkes University Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences Department 84 West South Street Wilkes Barre, PA 18766 http://www.water-research.net.

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how to describe or identify water levels using soil morphology

How To Describe or Identify Water Levels Using Soil Morphology

Prepared by Mr. Brian Oram, Professional Geologist, Soil Scientist

Wilkes University

Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences Department

84 West South Street

Wilkes Barre, PA 18766

http://www.water-research.net

how to determine the height of the seasonal high water table
How to determine the Height of the Seasonal High Water Table

But first we must decide what we are really want to know and

our application.

  • Sewage Applications PA – Evidence of Redoximorphic Features
  • Stormwater Applications – Evidence of Saturation

These are the same ?

No- Redoximorphic features indicates the zone is saturated and

anaerobic and meet all the other requirements for the creation

of these features.

seasonal high water table wastewater application
Seasonal High Water Table Wastewater Application
  • Presence of Redoximorphic Features
  • Direct Observation
  • Monitoring
  • Modeling and Water Budget Analysis
current law pennsylvania land based disposal
Current Law: Pennsylvania Land-Based Disposal
  • Presence of Redoximorphic Features
  • Direct Observation
  • This methodology requires the preparation of detailed soil morphological descriptions.
current law pennsylvania land based disposal5
Current Law: Pennsylvania Land-Based Disposal

Depth to Water Table

Endosaturation – observed redoximorphic

features (f2d to m2p) and direct observation of saturated condition.

This means that the soil is saturated and

anaerobic to create redoximorphic features

at a depth of approximately 2 feet

Because the redoximorphic features are more

prominent it may be assumed that the soils is

saturated and anaerobic for longer periods of time.

2 feet

Redoximorphic Features (f2f)

Redoximorphic Features (m2p)

Saturated Soil- Ponded Water

monitoring devices
Monitoring Devices

Piezometer – Solid Pipe that is only open at the bottom or a discrete or very small interval

Well – Is a solid pipe that is

Perforated or slotted over

an interval.

Measures the

Average Piezometeric

Pressure over a larger

Interval – Measures

water table depth under

Unconsolidated near horizontal flow

Measures the Piezometeric pressure

at a discrete point

Open Over an

Interval

Open at the bottom

monitoring devices7
Monitoring Devices

Groundwater

Gradient =

dh/dl = 10 feet/100 feet

dh/dl = 0.10 ft/ft

Lines of Equal Potential

90 feet

80 feet

100 ft

Direction of Groundwater

Flow

monitoring devices8
Monitoring Devices

120 feet

105

100

Material

Saturated

100 feet

Groundwater

Gradient (Use Piezometers)=

dh/dl = (125 – 60)/100

dh/dl = - 0.65 ft/ft

(100 feet)

80

80 feet

75

60

Lines of Equal Potential

60 feet

Direction of Groundwater

Flow

Datum

monitoring devices9
Monitoring Devices

120

105

100

90

80 feet

Material

Saturated

Groundwater

Gradient (Use Piezometers)=

dh/dl = (120 ft -90feet)/50 feet

dh/dl = 0.60 ft/ft

80

(100 feet)

100 feet

Lines of Equal Potential

120 feet

Direction of Groundwater

Flow

Datum

monitoring
Monitoring

Where is the Seasonal High Water Table?

Based on the presence of

Redoximorphic features (f1f)

Depth to Water Table = 2 feet

Based on Monitoring – SHWT was

Only 1.5 feet below grade.

What ? Why is it 0.5 feet higher?

Possible Answer- The water is not

Anaerobic from 1.5 to 2.0 feet

Pore Water Anaerobic at > 2.0 feet

1.75 ft

2.0 ft

Direct Observation

methods of determining wetness used by state agencies
Methods of Determining Wetness Used by State Agencies

Compiled by:Dr.MikeVepraskas, NC State University

compare four methods
CompareFour Methods

Variegated Colors- May or may not be

Redox related. SHWT at 1.0 feet

Monitoring – One Year Monitoring –

1.75 feet

Pennsylvania (Redoximorphic Features)

SHWT at 2 feet

North Carolina and Others (low chorma > 50% of matrix ) SHWT at 4 feet

SHWT – Seasonal High Water Table.

Redoximorphic Features (f2f)Depletions chorma > 2

Redoximorphic Features (m2p)Depletions chorma < 2

For Land-Based Wastewater Disposal in

PA – SHWT at 2 feet

this is just the tip of the iceberg

This is Just the Tip of the Iceberg !!!

  • There are a lot of other issues, such as:
  • How does the lack of decomposable organic material limit the
  • formation of redoximorphic features ?
  • It is possible that the material is saturated and anaerobic, but this does not meet
  • all conditions for formation of redoximorphic features.
  • How long is the material saturated and anaerobic? The presence of redoximorphic
  • features does not tell us how long the soil is saturated or anaerobic.
  • Monitoring water level may suggest saturated conditions, but it is critical to
  • understand hydrogeology, direction of groundwater flow (recharge, discharge, or
  • Horizontal flow).
how to describe or identify water levels using soil morphology14

How To Describe or Identify Water Levels Using Soil Morphology

Prepared by Mr. Brian Oram, Professional Geologist, Soil Scientist

Wilkes University

Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences Department

84 West South Street

Wilkes Barre, PA 18766

http://www.water-research.net