Advertisement

Application and limitations of time domain-induced polarization tomography for the detection of hydrocarbon pollutants in soils with electro-metallic components: a case study

  • 23 Accesses

Abstract

Nowadays, the growing concern about the environmental problems affecting the subsoil has focussed efforts on the detection and characterization of contaminated sites through geophysical prospecting methods. In the present study, a case of a contaminated site by hydrocarbons and their study by means of time domain-induced polarization tomography is presented. The response in chargeability of porous media due to this kind of pollutant allows its delimitation using this method. However, one of the limitations for the application of this technique is the presence of lithologies that contain electro-metallic salts. These salts can produce anomalies of chargeability and mask those due to nonaqueous phase liquids. The studies were conducted in an area contaminated by fuel leaks from supply tanks within a train maintenance facility. Those leaks occurred while the tanks were in use, but since their dismantling, the leak stopped. The geology of the area presented strong heterogeneities and the access was limited by train tracks. In order to locate and characterize the contaminant plume, measurements of resistivity and chargeability were carried out. A grid of monitoring wells in this area was also available from which information about free-phase pollutants was obtained, and a new drilling was carried out to verify an unexpected anomaly. The results obtained show that the location of the plume by the geophysical techniques employed can lead to ambiguity, as an anomaly that does not correspond to contaminated areas appeared but to the presence of clays rich in electro-metallic components such as Mg, Fe, Mn and Al.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Access options

Buy single article

Instant unlimited access to the full article PDF.

US$ 39.95

Price includes VAT for USA

Subscribe to journal

Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.

US$ 199

This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7

References

  1. Aal, G. Z. A., Werkema Jr., D. D., Sauck, W. A., & Atekwana, E. A. (2001). Geophysical investigation of Vadose zone conductivity anomalies at a former refinery site, Kalamazoo, MI. In symposium on the application of geophysics to engineering and environmental problems (pp. VZC4–VZC4). Society of Exploration Geophysicists.

  2. Abbas, M., Jardani, A., Machour, N., & Dupont, J. (2018). Geophysical and geochemical characterisation of a site impacted by hydrocarbon contamination undergoing biodegradation. Near Surface Geophysics, 16, 176–192.

  3. Aristodemou, E., & Thomas-Betts, A. (2000). DC resistivity and induced polarisation investigations at a waste disposal site and its environments. Journal of Applied Geophysics, 44, 275–302. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0926-9851(99)00022-1.

  4. Artalejo, A., Lominchar, M. A., Vadillo, C. J., Biosca, B. & Díaz-Curiel, J. (2018). Variabilidad geoquímica y mineralógica de las arcillas de un sondeo localizado en el sur de la Comunidad de Madrid. Conference: XXV Reunión Científica de la Sociedad Española de las Arcillas (SEA) (Salamanca). DOI: https://doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.2.32259.96802

  5. Atekwana, E. A., & Atekwana, E. A. (2010). Geophysical signatures of microbial activity at hydrocarbon contaminated sites: A review. Surveys in Geophysics, 31, 247–283.

  6. Bentley, L. R., Headley, J., Hayley, K., Gharibi, M., Forté, S.A. & MacDonald, J. (2007). Geophysical assessment of salt and hydrocarbon contaminated soils. Remediation Technologies Symposium. Environmental Services Association of Alberta.

  7. Blondel, A., Schmutz, M., Franceschi, M., Tichané, F., & Carles, M. (2014). Temporal evolution of the geoelectrical response on a hydrocarbon contaminated site. Journal of Applied Geophysics, 103, 161–171.

  8. Barbosa, E. Q., Galhardi, J. A., & Bonotto, D. M. (2014). The use of radon (Rn-222) and volatile organic compounds in monitoring soil gas to localize NAPL contamination at a gas station in Rio Claro, São Paulo State, Brazil. Radiation Measurements, 66, 1-4.

  9. Cardarelli, E. & Di Filippo, G. (2007). Induced-polarization and resistivity survey detection and mapping of contaminant plume (rho-Milan a case study). 13th European meeting of environmental and engineering geophysics, Istanbul, Turkey.

  10. Cassiani, G., Kemna, A., Villa, A., & Zimmermann, E. (2009). Spectral induced polarization for the characterization of free-phase hydrocarbon contamination of sediments with low clay content. Near Surface Geophysics, 7(5–6), 547–562.

  11. Cassidy, N. J. (2007). Evaluating LNAPL contamination using GPR signal attenuation analysis and dielectric property measurements: Practical implications for hydrological studies. Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, 94(1–2), 49–75.

  12. Chambers, J. E., Loke, M. H., Ogilvy, R. D., & Meldrum, P. I. (2004). Noninvasive monitoring of DNAPL migration through a saturated porous medium using electrical impedance tomography. Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, 68, 1–22.

  13. Deceuster, J., & Kaufmann, O. (2012). Improving the delineation of hydrocarbon-impacted soils and water through induced polarization (IP) tomographies: a field study at an industrial waste land. Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, 136-137, 25–42.

  14. De Simone, G., Galli, G., Lucchetti, C., & Tuccimei, P. (2015). Using natural radon as a tracer of gasoline contamination. Procedia Earth and Planetary Science, 13, 104–107.

  15. European Environment Agency, 2019. Progress in management of contaminated sites. https://www.eea.europa.eu/data-and-maps/indicators/progress-in-management-of-contaminated-sites-3/assessment.

  16. Eweis, J. B., Schroeder, E. D., Chang, D. P. Y. & Scow, K. M. (1998). Biodegradation of MTBE in a pilot-scale biofilter. Natural attenuation: chlorinated and recalcitrant compounds. Battelle press, Columbus, 341-346.

  17. Farquharson, C. G., & Oldenburg, D. W. (1998). Non-linear inversion using general measures of data misfit and model structure. Geophysical Journal International, 134, 213–227.

  18. Johansson, S., Fiandaca, G., & Dahlin, T. (2015). Influence of non-aqueous phase liquid configuration on induced polarization parameters: Conceptual models applied to a time-domain field case study. Journal of Applied Geophysics, 123, 295–309.

  19. Knight, R., Pyrak-Nolte, L. J., Slater, L., Atekwana, E., Endres, A., Geller, J., et al. (2010). Geophysics at the interface: response of geophysical properties to solid-fluid, fluid-fluid, and solid-solid interfaces. Reviews of Geophysics, 48(4).

  20. Loke, M. H., & Barker, R. D. (1996). Rapid least-squares inversion of apparent resistivity Pseudosections by a quasi-Newton method. Geophysical Prospecting, 44, 131–152.

  21. Loke, M. H., & Dahlin, T. (2002). A comparison of the gauss-Newton and Quasi-Newton methods in resistivity imaging inversion. Journal of Applied Geophysics, 49, 149–162.

  22. Loke, M. H. (2008). Res2DInv ver. 3.57, Rapid 2-D Resistivity and IP inversion using the least-squares method. Geoelectrical Imaging 2D and 3D Geotomo Software Malaysia. (http://www.geoelectrical.com).

  23. Marshall, D. J., & Madden, T. R. (1959). Induced polarization, a study of its causes. Geophysics, 24(4), 790-816.

  24. Nambi, I. M., Rajasekhar, B., Loganathan, V., & RaviKrishna, R. (2017). An assessment of subsurface contamination of an urban coastal aquifer due to oil spill. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 189(4), 148.

  25. Olhoeft, G. R. (1986). Direct detection of hydrocarbon and organic chemicals with ground penetrating radar and complex resistivity. Denver, Colorado: U. S. Geological Survey.

  26. Orellana, E., & Orellana-Silva, E. (1982). Prospección Geoeléctrica en corriente continua, Parte 1. Paraninfo.

  27. Panagos, P., Van Liedekerke, M., Yigini, Y., & Montanarella, L. (2013). Contaminated sites in Europe: review of the current situation based on data collected through a European network. Journal of Environmental and Public Health, 2013, 158764.

  28. Sauck, W. A. (2000). A model for the resistivity structure of LNAPL plumes and their environs in sandy sediments. Journal of Applied Geophysics, 44, 151–165.

  29. Sharma, P. V. (1997). Environmental and engineering geophysics. Cambridge University Press.

  30. Seigel, H. O. (1959). Mathematical formulation and type curves for induced polarization. Geophysics, 24, 547–565. https://doi.org/10.1190/1.1438625.

  31. Slater, L. D., & Glaser, D. R. (2003). Controls on induced polarization in sandy unconsolidated sediments and application to aquifer characterization. Geophysics, 68(5), 1547–1558.

  32. Sogade, J. A., Scira-Scappuzzo, F., Vichabian, Y., Shi, W., Rodi, W., Lesmes, D. P., & Morgan, F. D. (2006). Induced-polarization detection and mapping of contaminant plumes. Geophysics, 71(3), B75–B84.

  33. Schubert, M., Freyer, K., Treutler, H. C., & Weiß, H. (2001). Using the soil gas radon as an indicator for ground contamination by non-aqueous phase-liquids. Journal of Soils and Sediments, 1(4), 217-222.

  34. Titov, K., Komarov, V., Tarasov, V., & Levitski, A. (2002). Theoretical and experimental study of time domain-induced polarization in water-saturated sands. Journal of Applied Geophysics, 50, 417–433.

  35. Titov, K., Kemna, A., Tarasov, A., & Vereecken, H. (2004). Induced polarization of unsaturated sands determined through time domain measurements. In Vadose Zone Journal (Vol. 3, pp. 1160–1168). Soil Science Society of America.

  36. Ulrich, C., & Slater, L. (2004). Induced polarization measurements on unsaturated, unconsolidated sands. Geophysics, 69(3), 762–771. https://doi.org/10.1190/1.1759462.

  37. Ustra, A., Slater, L., Ntarlagiannis, D., & Elis, V. (2012). Spectral induced polarization (SIP) signatures of clayey soils containing toluene. Near Surface Geophysics, 10, 503–515.

  38. Vanhala, H. (1997). Mapping oil-contaminated sand and till with the spectral induced polarization (IP) method. Geophysical Prospecting, 45, 303–326.

  39. Vaudelet, P., Schmutz, M., Pessel, M., Franceschi, M., Guerin, R., Atteia, O., et al. (2011). Mapping of contaminant plumes with geoelectrical methods. A case study in urban context. Journal of Applied Geophysics, 75(4), 738–751.

  40. Vinegar, H. J., & Waxman, M. H. (1984). Induced polarization of shaly sands. Geophysics, 49(8), 1267–1287.

  41. Wang, T. P., Chen, C. C., Tong, L. T., Chang, P. Y., Chen, Y. C., Dong, T. H., et al. (2015). Applying FDEM, ERT and GPR at a site with soil contamination: A case study. Journal of Applied Geophysics, 121, 21–30.

  42. Ward, S. H. (1988). The resistivity and induced polarization methods. In Symposium on the application of geophysics to engineering and environmental problems (pp. 109–250). Society of Exploration Geophysicists.

  43. Zhdanov, M. (2008). Generalized effective-medium theory of induced polarization. Geophysics, 73(5), F197–F211.

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Jesús Díaz-Curiel.

Additional information

Publisher’s note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Biosca, B., Arévalo-Lomas, L., Barrio-Parra, F. et al. Application and limitations of time domain-induced polarization tomography for the detection of hydrocarbon pollutants in soils with electro-metallic components: a case study. Environ Monit Assess 192, 115 (2020) doi:10.1007/s10661-020-8073-0

Download citation

Keywords

  • Induced polarization
  • Resistivity
  • Chargeability
  • NAPL
  • Electro-metallic salts