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Processes that Control the Natural Attenuation of Chlorinated Solvents

USGS scientist holding a sample vile up to a dissolved oxygen color scale.
USGS scientist holding a sample vile up to a color scale to determine the concentration of dissolved oxygen in groundwater. At contamination sites where subsurface cleanup operations are taking place, oxygen may play a more important role in the biodegradation of contaminants than previously thought. Photo credit: USGS.

USGS scientist examining an outcrop of organic-rich sediment near Kings Bay, GA.
USGS scientist examining an outcrop of organic-rich sediment that drives sustainable natural attenuation of a chlorinated-solvents plume in the ground-water system underlying Kings Bay, Georgia.

USGS scientist on the bank of the Kenai River, Alaska.
Diffusion samplers were placed in the bed sediments of the Kenai River, Alaska, to monitor the biogeochemistry of a chloroethene plume as it discharges into the river.

USGS scientist and water-quality sampling equipment on a dock near Soldonta, AK.
USGS scientists studied the natural attenuation of a chlorinated-solvents plume at an old dry-cleaning facility near Soldonta, AK. Here groundwater is being sampled to assess redox conditions in the plume.

Aerial photo and map legend of a remediation system at the Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Fla.
USGS scientists assisted the U.S. Navy with the design and assessment of an innovative remediation system that involved the injection of an oxygen-release compound in the source area of a chlorobenzene and benzene plume at the Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Florida. The two transects are along groundwater flow paths.

USGS scientists installing diffusion samplers and microcosms on a borehole packer rod.
USGS scientists installing diffusion samplers and microcosms to study subsurface bacteria that degrade trichloroethylene at the Naval Air Warfare Center Research Site, West Trenton, New Jersey (circa 2005). The samplers will help USGS and U.S. Navy scientists evaluate the performance of a biostimulation and bioaugmentation experiment.

Syringes strapped to the sides of a packer pipe rod.
USGS scientists strapped syringes to the sides of the packer pipe rod to monitor dissolved hydrogen gas concentrations, which indicate predominant biodegradation processes. The packer system isolates six separate zones immediately downgradient from the trichloroethylene (TCE) plume area where bacteria will be injected by the U.S. Navy's consultant in a biostimulation and bioaugmentation program.

Drill rig on top of plastic sheeting. Naval Air Warfare Center Research Site, West Trenton, N.J.
Drilling operations at the Naval Air Warfare Center Research Site, West Trenton, New Jersey in the center of a trichloroethylene (TCE) plume (circa 2005). A multi-level monitoring system was installed to evaluate the impact of a biostimulation and bioaugmentation remediation program on the quality of water in the fractured bedrock.

USGS drill rig operator operating a drill rig with a coring bit.
Samples of fractured rock were collected with a 4-inch coring bit and were analyzed for concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOC's), providing a direct measure of the contaminant concentrations in the rock matrix at the Naval Air Warfare Center Research Site, West Trenton, New Jersey.

USGS drill rig in a stand of trees. Naval Air Warfare Center Research Site, West Trenton, N.J.
USGS drilling operations (2004) at the Naval Air Warfare Center Research Site, West Trenton, New Jersey. The objective of the drilling program was to collect geologic and hydrogeologic information on a fault that controls the migration of a trichloroethylene (TCE) plume at the site.

Pipes labled TCE (Trichloroethylene) at the NAWC Site, West Trenton, N.J.
Trichloroethylene (TCE) pipes at the Naval Air Warfare Center (NAWC) Research Site, West Trenton, New Jersey. Jet engine testing equipment was cooled with trichloroethylene (TCE). Leaking pipes created a plume of TCE in fractured sedimentary rock at the site.

A technician pumping water from a multi-level well.
A technician is pumping water from a multi-level well during an investigation of the natural attenuation of a chlorinated solvent plume under a fire training pit at the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base, Oscoda, Michigan. Tubing from the well leads to an in-line multi-parameter probe that records pH, dissolved oxygen, Eh, and temperature.

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Page Last Modified: Wednesday, 07-May-2014 14:54:59 EDT