Delivery of dissolved chemicals to potentially bioremediate oil from the Exxon Valdez oil spill was investigated at Smith Island, Prince William Sound, Alaska. Two transects for tracer application were installed: one at a clean area and another at an oiled area. Tracer delivery occurred under ambient pressure through manifolds. Lithium in LiBr/sea water solution was the inert tracer, and the solution (82.6 mg/L of lithium) was released at a flow rate of 0.23 L/min for 58.5 h. While maintaining the flow rate, the solution was switched to sea water (i.e., 0.0 mg/L of lithium) for 16 h. The results show that the tracer moved landward with rising tides and seaward with falling tides. The plume got deeper moving landward and shallower moving seaward of the manifold. Thus, in situations where oil biodegradation is limited by the availability of nutrients or oxygen, applying these chemicals by this technique would allow them to reach entrapped oil seaward of the manifold from below. The seaward plume traveling speed (around 2.0 m/d) suggests that this technique is logistically feasible from a hydraulic point of view.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Civil and Structural Engineering
- Water Science and Technology