Environmental projects generate a large amount of data. Comprehension and evaluation of these data are critical components of a project’s technical and economic success. Three-dimensional visualization and analysis (3DVA) of environmental data sets is an invaluable aid in the evaluation and comprehension of site data for environmental assessment, groundwater modeling, and remedial design. Environmental Standards, Inc. (Environmental Standards) leverages the capabilities of the best 3DVA tools to accelerate project closure and add value for clients. Data evaluation with these tools is quicker, less costly, and more powerful than using traditional techniques.
Specific Benefits of 3DVA
Analyze site history quickly and completely
Streamline development of subsurface conceptual models
Support consensus-building and collaborative problem solving
Identify data gaps
Reduce decision risk
Optimize sampling locations and excavation areas
Drive project planning and development of remedial strategies
Reduce long-term project costs
Visualize and quantify impacts of treatment systems/remedial actions
Create powerful, effective presentations and animations
Live 3D models may be exported and sent to clients and stakeholders for use with free viewer software. Preset slide views and animations can be developed to communicate site processes. The models may be extensively manipulated by clients within the viewer software. Users can pan, zoom, rotate, slice the 3D model, adjust layer visibility, and interrogate the model by clicking on features to reveal attributes such as building names, surfaces areas, and plume volumes.
3DVA software features tools to support collaboration. Clients are able to perform data quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC), audition model views for presentations or deliverables, and provide feedback for model refinement, which can easily be shared with Environmental Standards for finalization. Additional visualization tools may be incorporated depending on project needs including ArcGIS® (ArcScene), Surfer®, SketchUp®, Google Earth Pro®, and others. Environmental Standards leverages the best features of each tool for each 3DVA solution.
Advantages for Project Management
3DVA not only helps with data evaluation, but also helps bridge the gaps among consultants, clients, regulators, and the public by presenting easy-to-understand visualizations of complex site processes and treatment/cleanup plans. Vivid 3D graphics and animations convey critical information in easy-to-understand terms. 3D models developed using the latest 3DVA tools can serve as a 3D database repository for site data. By looking at all site data visually in one place, users will easily identify data gaps and reveal problems. A well-developed 3D model allows Project Teams to build confidence that site conditions are well understood. This confidence generates cost savings and efficiencies throughout the project life-cycle. 3DVA tools enable increased accuracy and precision of subsurface contaminant volume and mass estimates over traditional methods, leading to cost savings in the remedial design phase due to reduced excavation footprints, fewer installed monitoring wells and soil borings, and application of appropriate remedial technology (e.g., density of in-situ thermal remediation well spacing, and appropriate groundwater extraction rates for pump and treat systems).
Data Management + 3DVA: A Winning Combination
Combining 3DVA with Environmental Standards’ existing Information Technologies Solutions helps clients reduce costs even further while adding value to their projects. Reducing and formatting data sets of poor quality can be a significant labor component of some 3DVA projects. If clients are already using Environmental Standards for their data management needs, they should be confident in their data quality; so it may make sense to enhance their projects with 3DVA services to leverage the full power of the existing database. 3DVA services can easily be tailored to project requirements and budgets, no matter how large or small.
Applications of 3DVA
Historical data of multiple types to gain site understanding quickly
Complex data sets enabling efficient, timely remediation decisions
Contaminant plumes, piezometric heads, and hydrogeology
And animate groundwater flow and contaminant migration pathways
Correlations between contamination and hydrogeology
High-value collaboration sessions among experts, managers, and clients
Live 3D models to enable informed decisions related to site characterization, fate and transport, and remediation
Complex hydrobiogeochemical relationships that have escaped understanding
Uncertainty of contaminant interpolations
Uncertainty of contaminant interpolations
And precision of subsurface contaminant volume and mass estimates
With groundwater flow modeling (e.g., design model grids, visualize model outputs, and perform quality checks)
And visualize soil/groundwater remedies and excavation plans
Narrated animations showing models being manipulated to tell the winning story.