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Title: Mercury Source Zone Identification using Soil Vapor Sampling and Analysis

Development and demonstration of reliable measurement techniqes that can detect and help quantify the nature and extent of elemental mercury (Hg(0)) in the subsurface are needed to reduce certainties in the decision making process and increase the effectiveness of remedial actions. We conducted field tests at the Y-12 National Security Complex (NSC) in Oak Ridge, TN, to determine if sampling and analysis of Hg(0) vapors in the shallow subsurface (<0.3 m depth) can be used to as an indicator of the location and extent of Hg(0) releases in the subsurface. We constructed a rigid PVC pushprobe assembly, which was driven into the ground. Soil gas samples were collected through a sealed inner tube of the assembly and analyzed immediately in the field with a Lumex and/or Jerome Hg(0) analyzer. Time-series sampling showed that Hg vapor concentrations were fairly stable over time suggesting that the vapor phase Hg(0) was not being depleted and that sampling results were not dependent on the soil gas purge volume. Hg(0) vapor data collected at over 200 pushprobe locations at 3 different release sites correlated well to areas of known Hg(0) contamination. Vertical profiling of Hg(0) vapor concentrations conducted at 2 locations provided information on themore » vertical distribution of Hg(0) contamination in the subsurface. We concluded from our studies that soil gas sampling and analysis can be conducted rapidly and inexpensively at a large scale to help identify areas contaminated with Hg(0).« less
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  1. ORNL
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Environmental Research
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)
Sponsoring Org:
EM USDOE - Environmental Restoration and Waste Management (EM)
Country of Publication:
United States