Polyethylene-membrane passive-vapor-diffusion samplers, or PVD samplers, have been shown to be an effective and economical reconnaissance tool for detecting and identifying volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in bottom sediments of surface-water bodies in areas of ground-water discharge. The PVD samplers consist of an empty glass vial enclosed in two layers of polyethylene membrane tubing. When samplers are placed in contaminated sediments, the air in the vial equilibrates with VOCs in pore water. Analysis of the vapor indicates the presence or absence of VOCs and the likely magnitude of concentrations in pore water.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Guidance on the use of passive-vapor-diffusion samplers to detect volatile organic compounds in ground-water-discharge areas, and example applications in New England