Transport and biodegradation of creosote compounds in clayey till, a field experiment

Kim Broholm, Bertel Nilsson, Roy C. Sidle, Erik Arvin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The transport and biodegradation of 12 organic compounds (toluene, phenol, o-cresol, 2,6-, 3,5-dimethylphenol, naphthalene, 1-methylnaphthalene, benzothiophene, dibenzofuran, indole, acridine, and quinoline) were studied at a field site located on the island of Funen, Denmark, where a clayey till 10-15 m deep overlies a sandy aquifer. The upper 4.8 m of till is highly fractured and the upper 2.5 m contains numerous root and worm holes. A 1.5-2 m thick sand lens is encountered within the till at a depth of 4.8 m. Sampling points were installed at depths of 2.5 m, 4 m, and in the sand lens (5.5 m) to monitor the downward migration of a chloride tracer and the organic compounds. Water containing organic compounds and chloride was infiltrated into a 4 m x 4.8 m basin at a rate of 8.8 m 3 day -1 for 7 days. The mass of naphthalene relative to chloride was 0.39-0.98 for the sampling points located at a depth of 2.5 m, 0.11-0.61 for the sampling points located at a depth of 4 m, and 0-0.02 for the sampling points located in the sand lens. A similar pattern was observed for eight organic compounds for which reliable results were obtained (toluene, phenol, o-cresol, 2,6-, 3,5- dimethylphenol, 1-methylnaphthalene, benzothiophene, and quinoline). This shows that the organic compounds were attenuated during the downward migration through the till despite the high infiltration rate. The attenuation process may be attributed to biodegradation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-260
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Contaminant Hydrology
Volume41
Issue number3-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2000

Keywords

  • Biodegradation
  • Creosote compounds
  • Field experiment
  • Fractured clayey till
  • Transport

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 2: Water Resources

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