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01.09.2015 | Original Article | Ausgabe 6/2015

Environmental Earth Sciences 6/2015

Evaluation of petroleum impacts on some properties of loamy sand soil with the main focus on hydraulic properties

Zeitschrift:
Environmental Earth Sciences > Ausgabe 6/2015
Autoren:
Mahboobeh Fallah, Mahmod Shabanpor, Soheila Ebrahimi

Abstract

In recent years, petroleum products and by-products have been widely used chemicals in soil habitats, which change the soil properties and quality of groundwater due to solubility, volatility and biodegradability of these pollutants. The aim of this research was to investigate the impacts of kerosene and gas oil pollutants on the breakthrough curve (BTC), soil water retention curve (SWRC) and some physical and chemical properties of the laboratory-contaminated soils. For this purpose, some water-saturated soils were artificially contaminated in the pulse condition inside some glass cylinders by applying half and one pore volume of these pollutants. Furthermore, parametric investigations of the soil retention curves were performed using RETC software by Van Genukhten, and Brooks–Corey equations in the various suctions and the soil properties were determined before and after pollution during a 3-month period. The BTC revealed that kerosene flowed out of the soil with a sharper gradient and greater velocity than gas oil, especially on introduction of one volume of kerosene (triple times more than the 0.5 volume). The RETC results regarding the Van Genukhten model demonstrated slightly lower water-holding capacity in the contaminated samples than the unpolluted one. Contamination not only diminished the saturation moisture (Θ s), but also reduced the residual moisture (Θ r) and the SWRC gradient (n), while Brooks–Corey equation represented only one set of data for all conditions. It can be concluded that all apparent physical and chemical properties of soil have been changed by spill of petroleum hydrocarbon on the soil surface. Evaluation of both equations demonstrated more accurate prediction of the SWRC’s parameter by Van Genukhten compared to Brooks–Corey. The results of this research can be generalizable for the assessment of petroleum pollution impacts on the quality and changes of soil properties in terms of pulse contamination for approximately the same condition on a wider scale.

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