Petroleum Related Contamination
Subsurface spills of petroleum compounds (crude oil, gasoline, and gasoline additives)
may be the most frequently cited cause of ground-water contamination. USGS scientists and
their partners are developing information and tools essential for effective remediation and
long-term management of fuel spills. A major theme of this research is the effectiveness and
practical limitations of Natural Attenuation for treatment of sites with petroleum related
contamination. Research has been conducted at 4 research sites:
Fate and Effects of Wastes from Unconventional Oil and Gas Development
Crude Oil Contamination in a
Shallow Outwash Aquifer -- Bemidji, Minnesota
Oxygenated Gasoline --
Laurel Bay, South Carolina [Completed]
Produced Water -- Osage-Skiatook
Petroleum Environmental Research Project, Oklahoma [Completed]
Gasoline -- Galloway Township, New
Other Program Petroleum Related Research
Program Science Feature Articles on Petroleum Related Research
- Field-scale observations of a transient geobattery resulting from natural attenuation of a crude oil spill: Heenan, J.W., Ntarlagiannis, D., Slater, L.D., Beaver, C.L., Rossbach, S., Revil, A., Atekwana, E.A., and Bekins, B., 2017, Journal of Geophysical Research--Biogeosciences, v. 122, no. 4, p. 918-929, doi:10.1002/2016JG003596.
- Effects of crude oil on water and tracer movement in the unsaturated and saturated zones: Delin, G.N., and Herkelrath, W.N., 2017, Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, v. 200, p. 49-59, doi:10.1016/j.jconhyd.2017.03.007.
- Organic geochemistry and toxicology of a stream impacted by unconventional oil and gas wastewater disposal operations: Orem, W., Varonka, M., Crosby, L., Haase, K., Loftin, K., Hladik, M., Akob, D.M., Tatu, C., Mumford, A., Jaeschke, J., Bates, A., Schell, T., and Cozzarelli, I.M., 2017, Applied Geochemistry, v. 80, p. 155-167, doi:10.1016/j.apgeochem.2017.02.016.