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Environmental Health - Toxic Substances

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Processes that Control the Natural Attenuation of Chlorinated Solvents

A technician collecting water-quality samples from a multi-level well.
A technician is collecting water-quality samples from a multi-level well at the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base, Oscoda, Michigan. The samples were analyzed for chemical constituents that are indicators of natural attenuation processes.

USGS scientist working in a laboratory.
DNA was extracted from aquifer solids from former Wurtsmith Air Force Base, Oscoda, Michigan, and was analyzed for patterns of microbial diversity in a plume of chlorinated solvents undergoing natural microbial biodegradation.

Scientists collecting aquifer-material samples with an anaerobic chamber. Drill rig in background.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency scientists collected aquifer-material samples using an anaerobic chamber as part of a study of the natural attenuation of trichloroethylene (TCE) at Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey.

Flow through soil columns set up in a laboratory.
USGS scientists conducted a column study to determined desorption rates of trichloroethylene (TCE) from contaminated sediments from the Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey, Site. Desorption was an important continuing source of TCE to the plume.

USGS scientists working with a fresh sediment core.
USGS scientists are about to sample a fresh sediment core for analysis of trichloroethylene (TCE) content to help estimate the mass of TCE sorbed on sediment in a subsurface-contaminant plume at the Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey, Site.


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