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Join us for this short Q&A session with Eryn Torres from Geosyntec

who will explain why she is using the Contaminants extension in her daily workflows, the variety of projects and range of applications she uses it for and the value she is gaining.

As the Contaminants extension for Leapfrog Works brings contaminant modelling into 3D geological models, some of the themes include:

  • 3D versus 2D communication
  • How it fits into and improves responding to reporting requirements posed by regulators e.g., variograms, statistical analysis, plume volumes and mass calculations
  • Keeping reporting artifacts up to date, e.g. a table or cross-section
  • Updating analyses

Eryn Torres is a lead for 3-D modelling and visualisations at Geosyntec consultants. She has supported projects in various stages of investigation and remediation. She has provided visualizations, groundwater flow estimates, contaminated mass and volume estimates, resource-in-place estimates, and characterizations of conditions changing over time. She also provides strategic guidance and evaluations for monitoring and remediation activities on sites with a variety of media and contaminants of concern. With time spent as a geologist at Venoco, Lynn Energy and AECOM, she has built and maintained subsurface models for both public and private sector clients with upstream oil and gas, regional groundwater management, and groundwater remediation needs. She has extensive experience managing all types of geologic, hydrogeologic, and chemical analytical data.



Eryn Torres
Geosyntec Consultants


16 min

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Video Transcript

<v ->Hello, everyone.</v>

And thank you for joining the Q&A

for the Contaminants extension.

My name is Jeff McKeon,

a project geologist with Seequent.

And today I am joined by Eryn Torres of Geosyntec.

Just to start off, Eryn,

I just wanted to get you

to maybe give a brief description of yourself

and Geosyntec as a company.

<v ->Great. Thanks, Jeff.</v>

My name is Eryn Torres.

I am a senior professional

with a background in geology and geophysics,

and I lead a subsurface analysis team here at Geosyntec.

So Geosyntec is a multidisciplinary consulting firm.

We have over 1500 scientists, engineers,

and support personnel.

We work together to address complex problems

involving the environment, natural resources,

and civil infrastructure.

So I work in many sectors,

but one of my primary focuses is in remediation

of contaminated soil and groundwater.

<v ->Awesome. Awesome.</v>


So I guess we can just go ahead and jump into the Q&amp;A.

So with the first question,

how did you first hear about Seequent,

and how did you first hear about the Seequent solutions?

<v ->Oh, okay, great.</v>

So I first became aware of Leapfrog Works,

actually through a client of ours.

She had heard about the software,

and she was really curious

about whether it would be useful for a landfill site

that we’re helping her manage.

So after she mentioned it,

I did some research on my own,

and I began to see how Leapfrog Works

might be really helpful

to visualize and to analyze site conditions

that many of the projects that Geosyntec supports.

<v ->Awesome. Awesome.</v>

Good to hear. Glad that it’s helpful.

So what challenges or problems led you

to use Seequent’s Contaminants extension?

<v ->Oh, good question.</v>

So I mentioned that I lead a team

that’s focused on subsurface analysis,

and while the base Leapfrog Works software

that fits really well with our needs for visualization,

but I knew that we also needed

to be able to calculate waste volumes

and total contaminant mass.

So when I inquired about this functionality,

I was really excited to hear

that Seequent was actively working on a solution

to meet those needs.

And that was the Contaminants extension to Leapfrog Works.

<v ->Cool, and so you were,</v>

if I’m remembering correctly,

you were one of the first people

to use the Contaminants extension.


<v ->Yeah, I got to be in on their early access program,</v>

and that was really beneficial.

<v ->That’s awesome. That’s awesome.</v>

So what trends in your industry drove you

to use the Contaminants extension?

<v ->Great, so our industry is really regulation-driven,</v>

particularly for remediation sites.

And regulators want responsible parties

to be able to show measured progress.

And to do this,

we need to be able to show through visualizations,

but also through measurements,

through mass and volume calculations,

that remediation efforts are effective.

<v ->Cool. Cool.</v>

That makes sense.

So what made our solutions stand out

over others that you researched?

<v ->Oh, great.</v>

Well, when I consider a software

that I or my team is going to use,

I need it to be an industry standard.

I need it to be transparent in what it’s doing,

well-documented and reliable.

And I also need to be able to explain to regulators

what the software is doing.

So I know that Leapfrog Edge,

which is used in the mining industry,

has been really well vetted and validated,

and it comes with a really powerful set of analytical tools.

And that includes advanced ferrography, spatial modeling.

And like I mentioned,

these mass and volume calculation capabilities.

So in the Contaminants extension,

Seequent took this proven reliability of Edge

and adapted it for use by the environmental industry.

So even though by the time I got to it

it was still in this early access program,

it already was a really well-vetted and thought out

and trusted software solution.

<v ->Yeah. Yeah, definitely.</v>

I tend to see that as a trend

throughout multiple different solution sets

and multiple different softwares,

where things kind of start in the mining industry

and then kind of gradually get introduced

into the environmental space.

So that’s really interesting that you see that.

So what feature of our product was most appealing?

<v ->Great.</v>

I think for me, the feature that was most appealing to me

about Contaminants extension,

and then also about Leapfrog Works in general,

is the clarity.

I can see what data is being used.

I can run statistics on pretty much any data set,

and that’s my raw data or model data that’s in the project.

I can see what data did I use, what query filter did I use.

All of that information is kind of a click away.

If I need to check my (muffled speaking) parameters,

I can see that really easily,

either in an experimental variogram plot,

or by viewing my spatial model as an ellipsoid

in the 3D viewer.

I can see what happens to my model

if I change these settings.

I can save a static model,

a static copy of any model,

and then I can make changes to the active model.

And then I can see what the differences are.

I can run reports on the volumes and masses,

and seeing those side by side.

So some modeling software, kind of a black box.

And I guess my favorite part about Leapfrog Works

with the Contaminants extension

is that I know what my inputs are.

I know my model parameters.

I know what my outputs are

at every step of the (indistinct) process.

<v ->Nice, nice.</v>

So a good transparent workflow.

That’s awesome.

So how did you go about implementing

and introducing the Contaminants extension

within your group?

<v ->Right, so I mentioned,</v>

I started as part of that early access program,

and honestly, I’ll just be very, very transparent with you.

If that wasn’t in progress

when I first came across Leapfrog Works

and came up across Seequent and their solutions,

I probably wouldn’t have gone very far down that road.

I knew I needed to be able to have these capabilities,

the variogram parameters,

the mass and volume calculations, the spatial models.

I knew I needed that kind of flexibility.

And if that wasn’t there

or at least on the verge of being available,

I probably wouldn’t have gone very far

’cause I don’t want to deal with a black box.

<v ->Yeah. Yeah, definitely.</v>

That’s definitely understandable for sure.

Cool. Cool.

So I guess moving on to the next question,

how did our team help with this implementation?

<v ->Oh, that’s great.</v>

I worked with a variety of really excellent staff

at Seequent, especially at the beginning.

So I talked with them, with sales representatives

to get my free trial started.

I talked with developers

to gain access to that early access program.

I talked with support to answer questions

about using the software.

And honestly, I feel like the relationships that I developed

at the beginning are one of the highlights

of my experience with Seequent.

I really appreciate the open dialogue

that I have with the developers,

and all the response to feedback that I’ve given.

<v ->Yeah, definitely, definitely.</v>

That’s something that I’ve also,

I’ve been with Seequent

for about I would say seven months now.

And that’s something that I respect in the company,

is kind of collaborating and working with people

that are using our product to develop the product,

just so that we’re kind of developing the right thing

and moving in the right direction.

So that’s awesome that you had that opinion as well.

So what was, I guess,

what was the initial reaction to our products,

specifically the Contaminants extension?

<v ->The reaction.</v>

So my reaction was stoked.

My staff’s reaction,

it was like opening a birthday present,

like all kinds of fun tools to use.

My client’s reaction, sorry,

that’s my little one saying happy birthday.

My client’s-

<v Child>(muffled speaking) my birthday really soon.</v>

<v ->My client’s reaction,</v>

So honestly, my favorite part about my client’s reactions

has been maybe their lack of reaction.

And let me explain that a little bit.

So I use Leapfrog Works

with the Contaminants extension most of the time,

almost every day.

And I use it to facilitate meetings with clients

on some really complex sites.

My client wants to know what a groundwater plan looks like

at some different historical dates.

I can drag those models into the viewer.

They want to know how much soil

they might be required to excavate

under different regulatory requirements.

I can pull up a report.

They want to see how much of that soil contamination

is submerged, visually and by mass.

I can draw up a cross-section.

I can pull up a report on the fly.

What about what happens to a groundwater plume

way out in the future?

Well, in that case,

I would work with my colleague who’s a groundwater modeler.

I could provide her with stratigraphic layers

to use in a flow model.

I could provide her with starting concentrations

for (muffled speaking) stimulation,

and then import those results right into Leapfrog

where I then use it (muffled speaking)

to show future plume conditions.

Of course, that last example takes some time

and some work behind the scenes.

I have to be able to export and import

from a flow modeling software.

I have to collaborate with another technical expert.

But what my client then sees is so smooth and seamless.

So my clients generally don’t say,

“Wow, that’s such a cool software.”

They get answers to their questions,

which allows them to ask another question,

and ultimately to get to key project decisions

that otherwise would be much more difficult to reach.

<v ->That’s really, really good to hear.</v>

That’s awesome.

So I guess moving on to the next question,

this is a dual-part question,

how has our solution helped since implementation,

and what types of projects

do you use the Contaminants extension on?

<v ->Awesome.</v>

So I mentioned before that I use Works

with the Contaminants extension

to derive contaminant mass, plume volume,

spatial distribution of different lithologies,

contaminated soil, groundwater levels, surface features.

I could keep going.

I have clean water clients for whom I use Leapfrog Works

to look at surface

and groundwater conditions and interactions.

I have landfill clients for whom use the solution to,

they need a model of the base of the landfill,

the volume of fill, the proximity of groundwater

to landfill extents.

We actually have a landfill client

who’s looking at mining the resource

from their coal ash landfill.

So we’ve used the Contaminants extension

to model the volume and mass of various ash types.

We use it to support a large,

actually a variety of large petroleum refinery sites,

and then some small dry cleaner sites,

and kind of more variety in between.

<v ->Yeah. Yeah. That’s really cool.</v>

That’s really cool that you’re kind of,

I guess, flexing or using the Contaminants extension

just as a geostatistical toolkit,

and you can use it on a variety of projects,

not just specifically on contaminants.

So it’s really cool

that you’re kind of getting a bunch of use

on a bunch of different projects

with the Contaminants extension.


So how has this solution,

or has the solution saved any money

or increased any productivity?

<v ->That’s a great question.</v>

This saving money is kind of interesting,

because of course, as consultants,

we primarily make money by charging clients for our time.

And of course they’re coming to us for our expertise.

So the money that we save

is actually saving our clients money,

and that amount is likely to be very significant.

Because again, we can show regulators

why various project-level decisions

are smart and efficient and justifiable.

I can certainly speak to the productivity.

Flat out, some of the work that we’re doing

with Leapfrog Works and the Contaminants extension,

we just couldn’t have done with another solution.

At least not in the same amount of time.

So we’re able to move projects forward

at a rate that we just couldn’t be doing otherwise.

<v ->That’s awesome. That’s really good to hear.</v>


So I guess moving on,

what have you been most impressed with,

specific to the Contaminants extension?

<v ->Great.</v>

Well, the software has really impressed me

in a variety of ways,

but I have to say it’s really more the people at Seequent

who’ve made more of a lasting impression on me.

I continue to find willing, attentive ears,

real eyes towards the future,

and active progress towards staying at the forefront

of 3D modeling software.

I also see the kind of holistic thinking I like to do.

Not just can we get the software to do this one thing,

but how do we manage our data?

How do we enable collaboration across disciplines?

How do we leverage cloud computing and data storage

into the future?

This is all really encouraging,

and makes me really excited for the future.

<v ->Awesome. Awesome.</v>

Great to hear.

So I guess looking forward,

what are your plans or what plans do you have

to use the Contaminants extension in the future?

<v ->Yeah, so my immediate plans</v>

are to keep doing what we’re doing,

and be ready to adopt, to support more projects.

I also plan to continue to push the limits of our workflows

by creating some best practices

for time series analysis in Leapfrog.

There’s probably nothing quite as effective

in communicating remediation effectiveness

than showing contaminant mass and volumes decreasing

over the life of a remedy.

Except perhaps visually showing those plumes shrinking too.

And this is something that we’ll continue to do

into the future.

<v ->Yeah, that’s really good to hear.</v>

And just to speak to the time series-dependent data,

we are actually, in the next release,

we’re implementing time series-dependent data

into the Contaminants extension.

So you can visualize that in the program itself,

instead of having to do the workarounds

that we’ve been doing previously.

<v ->Music to my ears.</v>

And really couldn’t have told me

anything more exciting for today.

<v ->Awesome. Awesome.</v>

Glad to hear that.

Well, I think with that we are at the end of our questions.

We at Seequent really appreciate your time,

taking time out of your day to let me, I guess,

interview you and do this Q&amp;A.

So yeah, we are appreciative of that.

<v ->Great. Thank you very much.</v>

And yeah, I really appreciate you.

<v ->Awesome.</v>

Cool. Well, have a good day, Eryn.

<v ->Thanks. You too, Jeff.</v>