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High Resolution Site Characterization (HRSC)

With an increased demand for near real-time results, today’s site investigations rely on High Resolution Site Characterization (HRSC) tools and techniques coupled with dynamic work strategies and detailed Conceptual Site Models (CSMs). According to, “High-resolution site characterization (HRSC) strategies and techniques use scale-appropriate measurement and sample density to define contaminant distributions, and the physical context in which they reside, with greater certainty, supporting faster and more effective site cleanup.” Dynamic investigations that use HRSC techniques are far more effective than traditional site investigations.

Variability within the subsurface – particularly vertical variability – occurs at a scale that is not possibly assessed using traditional methods. These heterogeneities control contaminant distribution, fate, and transport. Stone has long been a leader in HRSC methods and regularly employs HRSC tools and dynamic work strategies to dramatically decrease the level of uncertainty, which enables more appropriate, cost-effective remedial designs.

HRSC methods can be used to successfully assess sites for many types of contaminants in varying geologic conditions. Stone uses our expertise to select the appropriate tool(s) based on the CSM. HRSC projects start with Systematic Project Planning and Support. Stone’s services include CSM development, real-time measurement technology selection, and dynamic work strategy planning, including decision logic diagram creation to support the effective use of integrated data collection platforms.

Data Management and Visualization

Due to the high-density data sets that are produced during a HRSC site investigation, sound data management practices are key. Stone is experienced in data management planning and implementation. Our integrated systems provide easily transferable electronic data deliverables (EDDs).

Stone’s data management systems allow for interpretation of large quantities of data in three dimensions to create and/or modify CSMs. and to support field-based decision making. Field staff utilize mobile technology to transmit real-time data to Stone’s office, where 2-D contouring and 3-D interpolation and visualization tools are used to analyze and convey complex data sets. When an investigation is complete, these same tools are used to convey the CSM to regulators, clients, and the public.

Stone also provides high-level database-GIS services, including web-enabled and data query, posting and viewing.

See more about data visualization options from Stone >

More on Triad

The Triad Approach is a site investigation and remediation approach that emphasizes three fundamental aspects of effective project execution:

  • Systematic Planning
  • Dynamic Work Strategies
  • Real-time Measurements

Systematic Planning is performed by stakeholders and key support organization representatives during which decisions that need to be made to support end-state site uses/goals are identified; environmental and other site attributes critical to support site decisions are identified; a CSM is developed; critical environmental and site knowledge gaps are identified; specific investigative actions required to resolve knowledge gaps are defined; decision-based data quality objectives (DQOs) are identified; decision makers are identified; and decision-making rules and processes are developed. Stone is experienced in participating in systematic planning efforts.

Dynamic Work Strategies incorporate the flexibility to change or adapt investigation activities to changes in the CSM resulting from information generated during the field investigation activities. As information is gathered at the site, it is used to automatically initiate pre-designated actions outlined in site-specific decision logic diagrams, to make decisions about what actions should be taken to best resolve remaining data and decision uncertainties and/or to meet regulatory requirements. Stone is experienced in developing dynamic work strategy work plans.

Real-time Measurements refer to data generation mechanisms that support real-time and near real-time decision-making. These include direct sensing measurement technologies; sampling methods; analytical methods; and data management, evaluation, and presentation technologies. Stone has extensive experience utilizing real-time and near real-time site investigation tools, including WaterlooAPS, Membrane Interface Probe (MIP), laser-induced fluorescence (LIF), and on-site laboratories.

When applied to the appropriate site, the Triad Approach yields better outcomes in shorter time frames at lower cost than conventional site investigation approaches. This is accomplished by managing a broad range of uncertainties associated with decision making. A significant aspect of this is managing data uncertainty wherein large amounts of integrated and collaborative data are used to support the CSM. Stone is experienced in producing, managing, and presenting these data in near-real-time.

Helpful Links

Additional information on the Triad Approach is available via the following Internet websites: