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The Geohydrology Department conducts research and solves applied problems in subsurface flow and transport. Problems addressed include groundwater flow, contaminant transport, nuclear waste management, and enhanced hydrocarbon recovery. Technical capabilities of the Department range from research on flow and transport in single and multiphase fluids to geohydrologic characterization of specific waste disposal sites. These technical capabilities encompass laboratory and field experiments, geostatistical analysis of heterogeneous geologic media, and numerical modeling of flow and transport.

Peter Davies, Manager
(505) 844-3072

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The Geochemistry Department's applied and basic research or support activities are directed at a broad range of topics, including: standard geochemical characterization of rocks and fluids, natural weathering reactions, ion exchange mechanisms, sorption and desorption kinetics, transport and attenuation processes for toxic metal and radionuclide species, computer modeling of reactive fluid flow in fractured and porous media, theoretical modeling of bulk and interfacial mineral-fluid processes using ab initio and emperical techniques, and development of waste site remediation techniques. The department supports a variety of analytical, experimental, and theoretical projects.

Henry R. Westrich, Manager
(505) 844-9092

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The Geomechanics Department addresses cross-cutting issues in the geosciences and geoengineering related to rock mass characterization, rock mass mechanics, development of numerical codes an numerical simulations, validation of material models and design procedures, and rock mass site monitoring. Supported by combinations of labortory work and in situ observations, the department emphasizes:

  • Characterization of natural fracture systems.
  • Identification/modeling of rock deformation and failure processes.
  • Laboratory determinations of thermomechanical and transport properties of competent rock and natural fractures, including studies of coupled effects.
  • Extrapolation of laboratory measurements to field conditions.
  • In situ stress measurements and evaluation of in situ boundary conditions.
  • Labortory and bench-scale validation studies.

Laurence S. Costin, Manager
(505) 844-3367

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Geophysical Technology

The Geophysical Technology Department develops and implements geophysical techniques for investigating the earth's subsurface. We concentrate on solving problems important to the Department of Energy in areas of fossil energy, hazardous and nuclear waste management and restoration, defense, nonproliferation, and energy-related basic research. The department staff has a broad range of expertise in seismology, electromagnetics, petroleum and sedimentary geology, thermal geophysics, and mechanical and electrical engineering. This breadth enables us to attack a wide variety of problems ranging from algorithm development and computer modeling, technology design and bench-scale experimentation, to field experiments, data collection, processing, and interpretation. Leading-edge geophysical instrumentation development, often with industrial partners and particularly for borehole applications, is an important focus for the department; another major area is seismic and electromagnetic data modeling and inversion.

Marianne C. Walck, Manager
(505) 844-0121

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Underground Storage Technology

The Underground Storage Technology Department provides geological plus engineering expertise and technology. We conduct applied research and development in support, primarily, of the Department of Energy's Strategic Petroleum Reserve (DOE SPR) Project. Additionally, our Department provides geotechnology to support both the SPR and related industrial projects in the planning, development, and operation of large underground caverns in salt for the storage of liquid and gaseous hydrocarbons, brine, or waste products.

James K. Linn, Manager
(505) 844-0240

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Environmental Business Development

The Environmental Program Business Development Office supports Sandia's Environmental program in a number of ways. The office:

  1. pursues environmental business opportunities and develops potential customers,
  2. helps meet the technology needs of existing customers,
  3. ensures continual communication among environmental program personnel in New Mexico and California,
  4. coordinates similar progrommatic efforts with the Nuclear Waste Program,
  5. supports the enviromental program manager, and
  6. develops marketing communications for the program.

Robert E. Luna, Manager
(505) 845-8788

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Environmental Restoration Technology

The Environmental Restoration Technology Department provides customers with innovative solutions to problems created by environmental hazards at contaminated sites. To meet customer needs, solutions range from components drawn from our lab-wide scientific competency base to complete systems based on our systems engineering experience. We actively seek partnerships with stakeholders who impact usage and commercial suppliers who will deliver services to those markets. Our lines of business include:

Environmental Restoration Technology Development

Our technology development and deployment staff are experienced in moving innovative ideas from the basic/applied research stage to application. We have current projects in the following areas:

  • Characterization: Our technology ranges from individual sensors to complete systems providing information about a site including the source, type, mobility, amounts, and spatial distribution of contaminants. Our efforts in this area have resulted in the receipt of R&D 100 awards in past years.
  • Remediation: We specialize in the development of innovative remediation technologies which can minimize risks posed by contaminated sites without excavating the waste materials and soils (e.g., in-situ treatments).
  • Containment: Our technology portfolio provides tools that can be used to isolate contaminants while natural or man-made remediation processes completely eliminate the source, or can be used to prevent further migration until remediation can be performed at a later time. We have extensive experience in surface and subsurface, permeable and impermeable, innovative barrier/containment technologies.
  • Monitoring: Monitoring follows remediation and/or the installation of containment barriers to verify that contamination has been removed or contained as intended. We develop innovative monitoring technologies to more cost-effectively meet this long-term need.
Environmental Restoration Field Operations (ERFO)

We perform environmental field operations. Our ERFO Team provides equipment, technical guidance, and field support to cleanup operations for the environmental restoration project at Sandia and to technology development field tests/demonstrations at sites across the United States. We perform groundwater and site assessments, soil and soil gas sampling, earth moving, site restoration actions, data acquisition, and monitoring activities.

Environmental Restoration Synergistic Activities

We also perform work that is synergistic with our environmental restoration projects. For example, our staff support the development and maintenance of the technology management information system used by the DOE's Environmental Management Office of Science and Technology. This provides a service to our primary customer and provides a better understanding to us of the needs for new technology. We also contribute in a major way to the DoD effort for improvements in environmental fate and transports modeling required to better define chemical signatures emanating from buried landmines and unexploded ordinance. This broadens our knowledge on the movement of a wide variety of environmental contaminants.

George C. Allen, Manager
(505) 844-9769

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Environmental Restoration Operations

Environmental Resoration (ER) project activites include cleanup and remediation of a hazardous waste landfills, and investigative work leading to closure. Since the project's inception in 1990, ER staff have identified about 240 potentially hazardous sites in New Mexico and elsewhere. To date, we have cleaned up and/or proposed 200 sites for no further action (NFA). Sites proposed for NFA were identified as having essentially no risk to human health of the environment through administrative record searches, site assessment, and risk analysis procedures.

ER staff routinely team with private industry for help in completing assessment and remedial actions. The ER staff also established a chemistry laboratory for performing rapid, quality analysis of volatile organic compounds, metals, high explosives, nitrate, anions, and laboratory hydrologic properties.

Dick Fate, ER Project Office Manager
(505) 284-2568
David R. Miller, ER for Landfills & Test Areas, Manager
(505) 284-2574
Fran Nimick, ER Tech Areas & Miscellaneous Sites, Manager
(505) 284-2577
Warren Cox, Special Assignment, Interface to New Mexico Environment Division (NMED)
(505) 284-2549

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Environmental Monitoring and Characterization

The Environmental Monitoring and Characterization department develops, evaluates,and fields sensors and technologies for monitoring and characterization. Three strong themes exist in the department:

  • atmospheric monitoring
  • technology verification
  • technology development

Daniel S. Horschel, Manager
(505) 845-9836

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Environmental Risk and Decision Analysis

The Environmental Risk and Decision Analysis department applies Sandia's unique capabilities and facilities to the technology and processes required to minimize waste generation through environmentally conscious manufacturing and operations, to manage and transport hazardous and radioactive materials, and to restore contaminated sites and facilities safely and economically while meeting all applicable regulatory requirements. Our goal is to assure that our lab-wide operations meet high standards of excellence in environment, safety, and health while we perform important work that enhances the quality of life and economic competitiveness of the Nation. The appropriate use of risk management in our environmental operations allows us to solve problems created by many decades of operation of the nuclear weapons complex and to enable appropriate use of site resources for future programs.

Paul A. Davis, Manager
(505) 844-5205

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WIPP Chemical and Disposal Room Processes

The Chemical and Disposal Room Processes Department investigates the release and transport of radioactive and hazardous materials through the geosphere. During the past decade, the department has provided the technical lead for site characterization and studies of potential radionuclide release and transport from the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southeastern New Mexico. Other work includes development of coupled chemical reaction/transport computer models for the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project and studies of natural attenuation of uranium transport for the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Program. The department has developed experimental and computational capabilities that can be applied to environmental problems that span a range of spatial and temporal scales.

John T. Holmes, Manager
(505) 284-4008

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Environmental Technology Projects - Sandia California

Jane Ann Lamph, Manager
(925) 294-2632

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Robotics Technology Development Program

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) sponsors research, development, demonstration, test, and evaluation activities in robotics to characterize, dismantle and/or retrieve, repackage, and process waste at DOE sites. This work in robotics is sponsored through the DOE Office of Environmental Management. Robotics activities have a four part purpose:

  • to reduce worker exposure to radiation,
  • to increase worker safety through remote operation and control of equipment,
  • to increase productivity through enhanced capabilities and automation, and
  • to reduce costs by faster completion of remediation activities.

Kwan S. Kwok, Manager
(505) 845-7170

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Page Owner: George Allen

Last modified: July 28, 1999
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