Abstract: Common Errors and Misconceptions in the Interpretation of Hydrocarbon Site Assessment Data
Michael Flack, Donald L. Marcus
Common errors and misconceptions in the interpretation of hydrocarbon site assessment data can result in the incorrect use of data and inefficiently spent remediation money. Thousands of hydrocarbon impacted sites are assessed each year in the United States. Scores of samples are collected and analyzed from each site by a variety of field and laboratory methods. The data are evaluated and decisions are made regarding the nature and extent of impact and the appropriate approach for the remediation of these sites. In many cases an inappropriate decision is made because either the wrong data is collected or the data is incorrectly interpreted. Through the understanding of the limitations of the laboratory methods and misconceptions regarding data interpretation, the site remediation can e improved for the mutual benefit of the party paying the bill and the environment.
Hydrocarbon analytical procedures that are commonly misused, subject to misconceptions or misinterpretations include U.S. EPA Methods 418.1, 8010, 8020, 8015M (purgeable and extractable), and 8260. For example, method 418.1 can detect carbon-bearing compounds such as humic and fulvic acids resulting in spurious reports of concentrations of hydrocarbons.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90981©1994 AAPG Pacific Section Meeting, Ventura, California, April 27-29, 1994