Real-time interpretation of geologic, hydrologic, and chemical data using integrated software and GIS spatial analysis significantly reduces field-related costs by facilitating conduct of environmental site investigations in one mobilization. Whereas most field investigations are performed in phases to allow time for data processing, utilization of GIS-based software and standardized import routines expedites data interpretation and enables real-time decision-making, usually within eight hours of receipt of data. Thus, we can conduct and modify on-going field programs based on a continuously-evolving knowledge of site conditions and delineate contaminant extent without the expense of remobilization.
Real-time analysis of environmental data was performed for Woodard & Curran's November 1997 investigation of an uncontrolled hazardous waste site in northern New England in order to provide an estimate of the type and volume of contaminated materials by mid-December. Analytical data from approximately 90 samples were downloaded electronically from laboratory instruments and imported using automated methods augmented with built-in verification routines. This, coupled with standardized methods for reporting data in a variety of easily-understood, report-quality graphics (e.g., boring logs, geologic cross sections, and contaminant isopleths), allowed the field crew to readily assess and modify exploratory work so that the field investigation could be completed in one mobilization.Taylor, L.G. and House, M.E., 1999. GIS-Based Data Management for Environmental Investigations: 1999 Proceedings of Geospatial Information & Technology Association Conference XXII.