The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Soil gas sampling and analysis in petroleum contaminated transportation department right of way

TitleSoil gas sampling and analysis in petroleum contaminated transportation department right of way
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1995
AuthorsOstendorf DW, Lutenegger AJ, Pollock SJ
JournalTransportation Research Record
Start Page110
Date Published01/1995
ISBN Number030906113X
Accession Number00711770
KeywordsBiodeterioration, contaminants, Gas chromatography, Gases, Hydrocarbons, Petroleum, Right of way (Land), Sampling, Soil components, Spills (Pollution)

The lateral distribution, approximate composition, and aerobic biodegradation potential of vapors from a petroleum hydrocarbon spill in a Massachusetts Highway Department right of way was inferred from soil gas sampling technology and analyses. Stainless steel vapor probes were driven into the heterogeneous, nonuniform, contaminated sand of the right of way by a drill rig-mounted hammer. Stainless steel tubing clusters with sintered stainless steel filters were installed at selected locations in the right of way as well. A metered vacuum pump transferred soil gas from the probes and clusters into Tedlar bags for on-site analysis by a combustible hydrocarbon meter, an oxygen analyzer, and a portable gas chromatograph. Floating product from existing monitoring wells was brought to the laboratory for headspace analysis by gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer to identify the hydrocarbon vapor constituents and estimate the saturated vapor pressure. This headspace sample was used to calibrate the portable gas chromatograph and integrate the meter readings and chromatograms into a common hydrocarbon data base used to delineate the horizontal extent of the petroleum spill. The observed oxygen levels were input to a simple coupled transport model that confirmed the aerobic biodegradation potential of naturally occurring microbes in the site soil.