Friday, August 16, 2013

Allison Woods Field Work day

Hey It's Cory again.  Last Wednesday, Liz, Allison, and I went to Allison Woods in Statesville, NC to collect some well samples and soil samples.  The sampling location is on a property owned by Allison Woods Foundation non-profit organization which uses the several acres of woods, fields, and a lake for war reenactments, educational, and research purposes.  We met with our friend, Joju from NCDENR Division of Water Quality at Allison Woods to show us where the monitoring wells were, how to get there, and to help us out with the sampling.

Before Joju showed us where to go, we thought we could meet him at the monitoring wells in our front-wheel 2WD drive mini-van because we were going to use our map and the directions we had.  Well we took a wrong turn on one of the really narrow, dirt trail in the middle of the woods.  When we realized we went the wrong way, we were headed down the side of a muddy hill on the wrong trail.  We had to slowly turn the mini-van completely around on a muddy slope with like a 7 point turn.  Then we had to make it back up this muddy trail to the edge of the woods so we figure out where we needed to go.  Getting the mini-van back up the hill was the difficult part.  The front wheels of the mini-van would loose traction on parts of the hill because of the mud sooo the mini-van would slide back down the hill about a foot or two occasionally.  We were able to get the mini-van up the hill eventually but we did get a little muddy.  Once back to the edge of the woods, we followed Joju to where we needed to go.
The muddy mini-van

Joju allowed us to use his well pumps for all four of the monitoring wells which was really nice.  It made the sampling go quicker since we usually just use our two pumps then switch them out after sampling a given well.  The really deep (like 400 foot) monitoring wells at Allison Woods showed that water at that depth was well connected because the as we pumped the water out of one of the monitoring wells, the depth to water in a 400 foot well that was a few hundred yards lowered.  The geology at Allison Woods was pretty cool too.  The geology was a mix of Triassic Basin, felsic, and mafic rocks in the soil and saprolite (soft bedrock) but was primarily hornblende gneiss, biotitic gneiss, or biotitic schist bedrock.  There was also tons and tons of mica in the soil so it looks glittery.

 The photo above shows the lower portion of the Bt horizon (clayey portion) 
and the C horizon (saprolite layer) of the soil profile.  
There is a lot of glittery mica in the this portion of the profile

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