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Environ Pollut. 2004 Aug;130(3):325-35.

Natural attenuation of trichloroethene and its degradation products at a lake-shore site.

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School of Earth and Environmental Sciences (BK21), Seoul National University, Sillim-dong, Gwanak-gu, Seoul 151-742, South Korea.


Subsurface contamination by trichloroethene (TCE) was detected at a Michigan National Priorities List (NPL) site in 1982. The TCE plume resulted from the disposal of spent solvent and other chemicals at an industrial facility located in the eastern shore of Lake Michigan. TCE degradation products of three dichloroethene (DCE) isomers, vinyl chloride (VC) and ethene were present. The plume was depleted of oxygen and methanogenic at certain depths. Transects of the plume were sampled by slotted auger borings the year after the TCE plume was first discovered. Water samples were also taken from lake sediments to a depth of 12 m about 100 m offshore. Later samples were taken along the shoreline of the lake with a hand-driven probe. Later in 1998 water was taken from sediments about 3-m from the shoreline. The average concentration of each chemical and net apparent base coefficient between appropriate pairs of transects between the lower site and lakeshore were calculated. Loss rates were then calculated from an analytical solution of the two-dimensional advective-dispersive-reactive transport equation. Net apparent rate coefficients and a set of coupled reaction rate equations were used to extract the apparent loss coefficients. This study showed the field evidence for natural attenuation of TCE.

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