Assessing field-scale biogeophysical signatures of bioremediation over a mature crude oil spill

By: , and 
Edited by: H.V. Rectanus and R. Sirabian

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Abstract

We conducted electrical geophysical measurements at the National Crude Oil Spill Fate and Natural Attenuation Research Site (Bemidji, MN). Borehole and surface self-potential measurements do not show evidence for the existence of a biogeobattery mechanism in response to the redox gradient resulting from biodegradation of oil. The relatively small self potentials recorded are instead consistent with an electrodiffusion mechanism driven by differences in the mobility of charge carriers associated with biodegradation byproducts. Complex resistivity measurements reveal elevated electrical conductivity and interfacial polarization at the water table where oil contamination is present, extending into the unsaturated zone. This finding implies that the effect of microbial cell growth/attachment, biofilm formation, and mineral weathering accompanying hydrocarbon biodegradation on complex interfacial conductivity imparts a sufficiently large electrical signal to be measured using field-scale geophysical techniques.

Additional publication details

Publication type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Title Assessing field-scale biogeophysical signatures of bioremediation over a mature crude oil spill
Chapter B-9
ISBN 978-0-9819730-4-3
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher Battelle Memorial Institute
Publisher location Columbus, OH
Contributing office(s) Toxic Substances Hydrology Program, OGW Branch of Geophysics
Description 9 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Conference publication
Larger Work Title Proceedings of the first international symposium on bioremediation and sustainable environmental technologies
Conference Title First international symposium on bioremediation and sustainable environmental technologies
Conference Location Reno, NV
Conference Date June 27-30, 2011
Country United States
State Minnesota
City Bemidji
Other Geospatial National Crude Oil Spill Fate and Natural Attenuation Research Site