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“The RESTORE group provides me with an amazing combination of resources, academic flexibility and relevant research, and the opportunity to learn from and collaborate with leading experts in the field of geoenvironmental restoration. RESTORE students are engaged in a wide range of different projects in this field, and continuous support, advice and feedback from my colleagues enhances my depth of knowledge and allows me to see the relevance of my own work to other areas of interest in this field.”

   

Project Title:
Evaluating Geo-electrical Techniques for Mapping Subsurface Contamination and Remediation

Project Description:
Successful remediation of DNAPL-contaminated sites requires adequate characterization of the volume and extent of the DNAPL source zone. Geo-electrical techniques, such as electrical resistivity tomography (ERT), induced polarization (IP) and ground penetrating radar (GPR) can be sensitive to subsurface electrical changes caused by the presence and/or movement of contaminants. Despite the potential of these methods and the success of controlled field and laboratory experiments, field application of ERT, IP and GPR to locate or map contaminant source zones is not extensively practiced.
 
The focus of Christopher's doctoral program has been the exploration of this topic in a theoretical and computer modeling framework. The unique coupling and development of hydrogeological and geophysical numerical models have provided a methodology for valuable and realistic exploratory simulations and a framework for developing and testing new ERT, IP and GPR quantitative interpretation tools. In addition, to fully compliment and put this ‘new’ theoretical knowledge into practice, Christopher is working for Geosyntec Consultants as part of his NSERC Industrial Postgraduate Scholarship, and is hoping to put the theoretical knowledge obtained from numerical simulations into practice with the goal of developing, evaluating and optimizing geo-electrical techniques for site implementation. The project includes the development of novel coupled numerical models, fundamental advances in knowledge in an emerging, cross-disciplinary area, and real applicability to current field practice with future commercial potential.

Personal Background:
After obtaining a Certificate and Diploma in Civil Engineering at Waterford Institute of Technology, Christopher moved to the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and enrolled in the Master of Engineering (MEng) in Civil Engineering with Construction Management honours degree program. A sustainable development course taken towards the end of third year first sparked his interest in the sustainable development and environmental aspects of engineering. Due to the flexibility of course selections, Christopher started to take more environmental-based courses, and for his final year thesis topic, he undertook ‘innovative detection and mapping of subsurface contamination’ with Dr. Jason Gerhard as one of his supervisors.

After graduating with the MEng in June 2007, Christopher decided he wanted to apply for postgraduate studies. At this time, Dr. Gerhard was moving from Edinburgh to The University of Western Ontario, and Christopher saw this as a perfect opportunity to continue researching a novel, meaningful topic he is passionate about, while also moving, experiencing and studying in another country. After taking a year out to gain valuable experience as an Engineer on numerous projects in Ireland, Christopher moved to Western and joined the RESTORE group in May 2008 as a Master of Engineering Science (MESc) student. In August 2009, after the successful completion of the first year of the Master's program, Christopher upgraded to the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program, which he is aiming to complete by late 2013.

Awards:

  • R.M. Quigley Award - Geotechnical Research Centre - 2012
     
  • NSERC Industrial Postgraduate Scholarship - 2011
     
  • John Booker Award - Geotechnical Research Centre - 2009

  • Geosyntec Consultant’s Student Research Prize – First Place - 2008
     
  • Edmund Nuttal Prize - 2007
     
  • MEB Lindsay Prize - University of Edinburgh - 2007

  • William Dudgeon Scholarship - University of Edinburgh - 2006

 

Contributions:

i. Articles published or accepted in refereed journals

Power C., Gerhard, J.I., Tsourlos, P. and Giannopoulos, A. (2013) A new coupled model for simulating the mapping of dense nonaqueous phase liquids using electrical resistivity tomography. Geophysics, 78(4), EN1-EN15, doi: 10.1190/geo2012-0395.1.

Wilson, V.C, Power, C., Grant, G.P., Gerhard, J.I. and Giannopoulos, A. (2009) DNAPL Mapping by Ground Penetrating Radar examined via numerical simulation. Journal of Applied Geophysics. 69 (3-4): 140-149.

 

ii. Other refereed contributions

Power, C.*, Karaoulis, M., Gerhard, J.I., Tsourlos, P. and Giannopoulos, A. (2012) Evaluating time-lapse ERT for monitoring DNAPL remediation via numerical simulation. EOS Trans. AGU, Fall Meeting, CA, USA, Abstract # H41K-03 (Oral Presentation)

Power, C., Gerhard, J.I.*, Karaoulis, M., Tsourlos, P. and Giannopoulos, A. (2012) Time-lapse Monitoring of Subsurface Remediation with Electrical Resistivity Tomography Explored via Coupled-Model Simulations. Proceedings of the 39th Congress of the International Association of Hydrogeologists. Niagara Falls, Ontario, Abstract ID # 916 (Oral Presentation)

Power, C.*, Gerhard, J.I., Tsourlos, P. and Giannopoulos, A. (2011) Mapping Site Remediation with Electrical Resistivity Tomography Explored via Coupled-Model Simulations. EOS Trans. AGU, Fall Meeting, CA, USA, Abstract # H31D-1191 (Poster)

Power, C.*, Gerhard, J.I. and Giannopoulos, A. (2009) Monitoring Subsurface Remediation with Ground Penetrating Radar. EOS Trans. AGU, Vol. 90, No. 22, Jt. Assem. Suppl., Toronto, Canada, Abstract # H13A-02 (Poster)

Gerhard, J.I.*, Power, C., Wilson, V.C., Giannopoulos, A. and Grant, G.P. (2008) DNAPL Mapping by Ground Penetrating Radar Investigated via Numerical Simulation. EOS Trans. AGU, Vol. 89, No. 53, Fall Meeting, CA, USA, Abstract # H51G-0923 (Poster)

Wilson, V.C*, Power, C.*, Gerhard, J.I. and Giannopoulos, A. (2007) DNAPL Mapping by Ground Penetrating Radar examined via numerical simulation. In: Proceedings of Geological Society of London Bicentenary Conference, London, UK, September 2007 (poster)

Power, C., Wilson, V.C., Gerhard, J.I. and Giannopoulos, A.* (2007) Realistic GPR simulation of a modelled DNAPL migration - A novel link between two numerical models. Proceedings of the 13th European Meeting of Environmental and Engineering Geophysics of the Near Surface Geoscience Division of EAGE, Istanbul, 3-5 Sept 2007 (Oral Presentation)

 

iii. Non-refereed contributions

Power, C.* (2012) Exploring Electrical Resistivity Tomography for Mapping Subsurface Contamination and Remediation. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering - Civil Seminar Series, Western University, London, Ontario, November 2012 (Oral Presentation)

Power, C.*
(2012) Evaluating Geo-electrical Techniques for Mapping Subsurface Contamination and Remediation. Geophysics Technical Seminar, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado, USA, March 2012. (Invited Speaker, Oral Presentation)

Power, C.* (2011) Non-invasive Geophysical Techniques for Mapping DNAPL Presence and Mass Reduction. Geosyntec Consultants Monthly Technical Seminar, Guelph, Ontario, May 2011 (Oral Presentation)

Power, C.* (2011) Exploring Geophysical Tools for Mapping Subsurface Contamination and Remediation. Geology Technical Seminar, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece, April 2011. (Invited Speaker, Oral Presentation)

Power, C.* (2008) DNAPL Mapping by Ground Penetrating Radar examined via numerical simulation. Symposium for NAPLs Research and Groundwater Studies, London, Ontario, May 2008 (oral presentation)