Delineation of LNAPL plumes in a clay-rich site in Gyeongsangnam-do Province, South Korea: integration of geophysical survey data with borehole data and soil sampling information

Bitnarae Kim, In Seok Joung, Huieun Yu, Juyeon Jeong, Seo Young Song, Jeong sul Son, Youngchul Yu, Jehyun Shin, Ho Young Jo, Man Jae Kwon, Myung Jin Nam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

To effectively delineate the spatial distribution of oil contaminant plumes, geophysical methods indirectly measure the physical properties of the subsurface and can provide spatial information and images on a large scale, as opposed to traditional direct methods such as borehole drilling, sampling, and chemical analysis, which are time-consuming and costly. However, interpreting geophysical responses over non-aqueous phase liquid (NAPL)–contaminated sites is not straightforward due to inconsistent responses from biodegraded oil contaminants. In this study, we performed multi-geophysical surveys including seismic refraction, ground-penetrating radar, electrical resistivity tomography (ERT), and induced polarization (IP) surveys, to locate NAPL-contaminated zones in a clay-rich site. To reduce ambiguity in discriminating between oil contaminants and clay layers, we first figure out the geological structure of the site by interpreting geophysical data incorporating with borehole data. The ERT data highlighted the heavily contaminated regions in the unsaturated zone but were less distinctive below groundwater levels. Conversely, IP responses revealed potential hotspots within the clay layers, extending beneath the groundwater. Considering the 3D geological model, NAPL-contaminated zones are properly delineated through interpretation of ERT and IP data together with borehole data, and the contaminant source zone was properly estimated within the site.

Original languageEnglish
Article number47
JournalEnvironmental Monitoring and Assessment
Volume196
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2024 Jan

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.

Keywords

  • Contaminant plume
  • Geochemical methods
  • Geophysical methods
  • Hydrocarbon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • Pollution
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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