Hydrology and Hydrogeology

Whether lacking or in abundance, surface and groundwater resources can influence the development of a project.  And since water is critical to the sustenance of all life and “the bottom line” is critical to project feasibility, impacts to these resources must be carefully but cost-effectively mitigated.

EarthFax hydrologists and hydrogeologists have extensive experience in the evaluation and modeling of surface and groundwater resources.  We use both time-honored and innovative approaches to characterize existing hydrologic systems and to determine the impacts of various alternatives on those systems.  Utilizing the available data and the professional judgment that comes from decades of experience, we then design systems and approaches that will mitigate impacts in a cost-effective and technically-sound manner.

Our hydrologists rely on their strong technical background to analyze the hydraulics of surface-water systems, rainfall-runoff phenomena, low-flow and peak-flow attributes of streams, and sediment-yield characteristics of watersheds.  We use this information to design runoff- and sediment-control facilities, drainage channels, reservoirs, and other surface-water structures.  We also have extensive experience in the design of stream-channel and stream-bank stabilization methods using techniques that are geomorphically compatible with the natural channel system.
EarthFax hydrogeologists have examined groundwater conditions in a variety of environments, including unconsolidated media as well as fractured and unfractured bedrock.  We have conducted detailed field and modeling evaluations to determine groundwater hydraulic conditions in isotropic and anisotropic media, rates and directions of groundwater and contaminant movement, and the locations of recharge and discharge zones.  Using this information, we have designed mitigation plans, dewatering plans, and resource development plans that allow maximum resource utilization with minimal impact on surrounding water users. We have broad experience in contracting and field supervision of drilling and well-completion activities to evaluate, monitor, intercept, and produce groundwater.

Whether the project calls for cursory or detailed investigations and designs, we have the necessary water-resource experience to assist our clients in reaching their end goals.  Following are a few highlights of that experience:

Design of Stream Channel Stabilization Methods

EarthFax developed a compendium of stream-bank and channel stabilization methods to assist a petroleum and natural gas pipeline company in controlling the impacts of their operations on the environment. The company operates approximately 2,800 miles of pipelines throughout western Canada and the western and midwestern United States.

Assessment and Mitigation of Hydrologic Impacts Associated With Mining Activities

EarthFax has conducted numerous hydrologic investigations at proposed and existing surface and underground coal and mineral mines in the western United States and internationally. This work has included detailed evaluations of existing data as well as the design of long-term, site-specific surface- and groundwater monitoring programs to establish pre-mining baseline conditions and to detect potential impacts to water quality and quantity in the affected areas.

Design of a Dewatering Plan for a Russian Coal Mine

EarthFax conducted a hydrogeologic investigation at a surface coal mine located about 100 km north of Vladivostok in the Russian Far East. This project was conducted under a grant from the EcoLinks program of the U.S. Agency for International Development. Large quantities of groundwater were flowing uncontrolled into the mine, creating safety hazards due to instability of pit walls and spoil piles.


More Projects

Hydrologic Investigations

What are the local surface and groundwater resources? Will my project impact those resources? Am I about to build on a floodplain? EarthFax has assisted several clients in answering these and other hydrologic questions.

Design of Runoff- and Sediment-Control Plans

Water, water everywhere... EarthFax has evaluated numerous industrial and residential sites and designed runoff and sediment-control facilities to minimize both the on-site and downstream hydrologic impacts of these developments.

Groundwater Modeling

Garbage in, garbage out. Experience in, experience out. EarthFax has combined their field and digital expertise in a number of cases to predict future groundwater responses to various activities.

Discharge Control and Permitting

The client needed to plug and abandon several injection wells that extended into a flooded salt mine. The problem was that the casing in many of the wells had corroded to the point that standard bridge plugs could not be reliably set. In many instances, the casing was entirely missing at the depth where the plug needed to extend to satisfy regulatory requirements. Enter EarthFax who, together with a team of renowned subcontractors, developed a unique plan to achieve the end result.

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