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Characterization of the Hydrogeologic Framework and Arsenic Mobility at the Auburn Road Landfill, Londonderry, NH

Study area:
Auburn Road Landfill, Londonderry, NH

Project Summary:

Previous investigations at the Auburn Road Landfill site in Londonderry NH have revealed elevated arsenic (As) dissolved in groundwater, above the 10 g/L U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) drinking water standard. The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) and USEPA are concerned with understanding arsenic mobility and transport at the Auburn Road Landfill site and surrounding area to help determine the source of the arsenic, mechanisms for its mobility, and transport pathways. The landfill site occupies a 180 acre parcel containing streams, ponds, wetlands and former gravel pits. Four areas totaling 14 acres were used for waste disposal. Due to the discovery of volatile organic compounds associated with industrial waste dumping, the site was closed in 1980, and capped in 1996. Despite efforts to reduce landfill leachate, the occurrence of several contaminants persist in the site's groundwater.

Electrical imaging of the subsurface through the wetlands, taking advantage of the frozen ground
  Factors affecting arsenic transport include groundwater flow paths, directions, and velocities; aquifer geochemistry; and groundwater geochemical reactions. These factors need to be understood to evaluate the potential impacts of the landfill on arsenic occurrence or to provide for efficient remediation activities in the future. Ongoing project work includes characterization of the hydrogeologic framework of the site and an assessment of the potential for arsenic mobility from natural and anthropogenic sources. These efforts are expected to provide information that can be used to improved maps of arsenic concentrations (plume map), new hydrogeologic framework information, a revised interpretation of arsenic mobility and estimation of arsenic attenuation rates and trends.
Project duration:

New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Project chief:
James Degnan

Contact information:

Project number:

Cooperator Contacts:

NHDES, Kenneth Richards, (603) 271-4060
USEPA, Region 1, Richard Hull, (617) 918-1882

Related Links:

NH DES Waste Site Remediation: Auburn Road Landfill

USEPA Waste Site Cleanup and Reuse: Auburn Road Landfill


Degnan, J.R., and Harte, P.T., 2013, Hydrogeologic framework, arsenic distribution, and groundwater geochemistry of the glacial-sediment aquifer at the Auburn Road landfill superfund site, Londonderry, New Hampshire: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2013–5123, 58 p.,

Conference Products:

Geological Society of America (GSA) Northeastern Section Meeting, Hartford, CT, March 18, 2012: Characterization of Leachate Distribution, Redox Conditions, and the Persistence of Arsenic in Groundwater at the Auburn Road Landfill Site, Londonderry, NH


U.S. Department of the Interior
U.S. Geological Survey
New Hampshire/Vermont Office, USGS, 331 Commerce Way, Pembroke, NH 03275, USA
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Last Updated July 16, 2013
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