Methods and Technology for the Characterization of the Pore Structure and Fluid Flow Properties of Soils in Reference to Contaminant Transport

Mirotchnik, K., and Kantzas, A.

DOI: 10.2118/99-11-04
CIM paper 97-67, presented at the 48th Annual Technical Meeting of The Petroleum Society in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, June 8-11, 1997;
J.Can. Pet.Tech, 38(11), November 1999, Pages 41-47.


Two key problems in studying the interaction of organic contaminants with soils in environmental remediation are (1) the monitoring of the contaminant evolution in the soil matrix and (2) the understanding of soil/fluid interactions. To study these two problems we have developed a combination of routine analysis (density and grain size analysis techniques) and novel instrumental monitoring techniques. These monitoring techniques are X–ray computer assisted tomography (CAT) scanning, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), and X-ray diffraction (XRD). This paper shows how these methods can be combined to study contaminant interaction with soil, as well as the identification of different states of an aqueous phase in the soil pore space. From this combination of techniques, we have been able to monitor qualitative changes in the soil matrix induced by the presence of an aqueous phase and a contaminant phase. Our results indicate that the contaminant (that happened to be a pesticide in these tests) interacts with the soil matrix and reduces the ability of water to interact with the soil.

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