USGS - science for a changing world

Environmental Health - Toxic Substances

Research Projects

Crude Oil Contamination in the Shallow Subsurface: Bemidji, Minnesota

A scientist with a gas chromatograph in a laboratory trailer.
A scientist operating a gas chromatograph in an onsite laboratory. The onsite laboratory enables the scientists to make measurements quickly so sampling plans can be adjusted on the fly.

Project Homepage
[maintained by project researchers]
Project Bibliography
239 Publications
Project Photo Gallery

Crude oil from a pipeline rupture in 1979 contaminated a shallow aquifer near Bemidji, Minnesota. After initial cleanup, about 110,000 gallons of crude oil remains in the subsurface. This site thus provides a unique opportunity to study a contaminant plume where the location, amount, and timing of the spill are precisely known. The study focuses on how crude oil spreads in soil vapor and ground water. Models have been developed to describe the controlling physical, chemical, and biological processes. These models can be used to evaluate remedial strategies for oil spills, including intrinsic bioremediation.

Project Headlines

More Information

New Publications

Project Remediation Related Activities

Related Research Projects

Other Hydrocarbon Remediation Related Activates

Back to Investigations Page

Back to Petroleum Related Contamination Research Projects

Back to Subsurface Point-Source Contamination Research Projects

USGS Home Water Climate Change Science Systems Ecosystems Energy and Minerals Environmental Health Hazards

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page Contact Information:
Page Last Modified: Thursday, 20-Nov-2014 16:39:17 EST