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Abstract: Bioremediation of Petroleum in a Wetland

SIMON, MARK A., JAMES S. BONNER, RICHARD T. TOWNSEND, THOMAS J. MCDONALD, and ROBIN L. AUTENRIETH; Department of Civil Engineering Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-3136.

The research being reported is part of a long-term program to evaluate remediation techniques of petroleum fluids deposited in wetland environments and the ecological recovery of these impacted wetlands. This portion of the research initiative evaluated bioremediation. During Phase I (first year), studied intrinsic remediation of a wetland impacted by an accidental oil spill was evaluated; Phase II monitored the effects of inorganic nutrients and an alternate electron acceptor on bioremediation response to a controlled release of petroleum in a wetland; and, Phase III monitored the effects of bioaugmentation products on bioremediation rates following a controlled oil release. After an accidental petroleum release, due to a natural disaster, twenty-one plots (based on a randomized, complete block design) were constructed parallel the shoreline of a cove. Each plot consisted of a 5 m x 5-m perimeter and an elevated scaffold system to permit sampling without impacting the study area. Within each experiment the plots were randomly selected to be either unoiled controls, oiled controls, or test plots. Sediment cores were randomly collected within each plot. Sediment samples were analyzed for petroleum chemistry, inorganic nutrients, toxicity, and microbial counts. Petroleum concentrations were determined using total extractable materials (TEM), gross compositional analysis by TLC-FID, and target compound analysis by GC-MS. The target compound analysis quantified 28 saturate hydrocarbons and 33 polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons. By normalizing to a conservative compound in the crude oil (17a, 21b-(H) hopane), both physical flushing of the bulk fluid and the heterogeneity of the spilled petroleum could be determined.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90937©1998 AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition, Salt Lake City, Utah