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Panday, S.M., 1989

Soil and groundwater contamination by petroleum products in frozen soils

Bibliographic Reference

Panday, S.M., 1989, Soil and groundwater contamination by petroleum products in frozen soils: Pullman, Washington, Washington State University, Ph.D. dissertation, 257 p., illust.


Groundwater is an essential source of water in Arctic regions because of frozen surfacewater resources. Since the development of Alaskan oil fields and the construction of the trans-Alaska pipeline, there have been a large number of accidental oil spillages in tundra soils. The Arctic ecosystem has unique features requiring special attention due to low temperatures and the presence of ice. Modeling studies developed for isothermal conditions neglect these crucial factors. In this research we develop a predictive model to simulate the transport and fate of petroleum products in Arctic soils and groundwater. The model is based on identification and quantification of the significant physical, thermal, chemical and biological processes and construction of mathematical representations of these phenomena to describe the transport and fate of petroleum spills in arctic soils. Keeping in mind that a petroleum product consists of many chemically and biologically reactive constituents of concern, we develop a general compositional type model describing the multiphase transport of petroleum products or any other multiconstituent, immiscible contaminant under non-isothermal conditions. The model incorporates thermodynamic principles to quantify chemical and thermal reactions. Aerobic biodegradation of hydrocarbon constituents is modeled by incorporating a biodegradation rate term into the formulation. Numerical solution of the model will be obtained for various cases. Understanding and predicting the migration, biodegradation and immobilization of petroleum contaminants in soils and groundwater will improve effective recovery and clean up of these substances as well as assess the potential accidents in Arctic regions. The results of this research can be used by water resources planners, regulatory agencies, permit issuing officials, and engineers at federal and state levels who are involved with groundwater resources and hazardous wastes.

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