Soil Contamination: Advanced integrated characterisation and time-lapse Monitoring
Start date: Jun 1, 2008,
End date: Nov 30, 2012
This project is aimed at improving current methods for monitoring contaminant distribution and biodegradation in the subsurface. Currently proven methods (based on invasive sampling of soil, soil water and gaseous phase) are unable to provide sufficiently accurate data with high enough resolution. Resulting in inability to assess of bioremediation progress and quantification of the processes involved in such bioremediation at field sites. Consequently, present assessment strategies to decide on optimal remediation approach, including design of monitoring systems, and evaluation of degradation progress, are severely flawed by uncertainty. Geophysical time-lapse measurements in combination with novel ground truthing methods give the possibility to determine: absolute contamination levels, spatial spreading, and reduced concentrations of contaminants in a heterogeneous environment. Geophysical methods of data acquisition alone are presently unable to provide absolute levels of biodegradable contamination concentrations. We aim to make improvements of fundamental constitutive relations between soil physical and degradation activity parameters and geophysically measurable parameters. Despite current improvements, there is a strong need to test these theories in practical field situations. Our project is dedicated to improving both site contamination assessment and the monitoring of bioremediation processes, and changes in soil environmental conditions. We suggest combining improved conventional soil monitoring techniques with state-of-the-art geophysical approaches. Partners in the project range from microbiologists to geophysicist, all with working experience from contaminated sites. Process studies involving lysimeters, and testing of the combination of technologies at two field sites are the major aims of the project. Focus on practical field situations and strong communication with stake-holders and SMEs will ensure high relevance for society.
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