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Coastal Marsh Recovery and Oil Remediation After In-Situ Burning: Effects of Water Depth and Burn Duration (NIST SP 995)

Published

Author(s)

I. A. Mendelssohn, Q. Lin, K. Carney, Nelson P. Bryner, William D. Walton

Abstract

Oil Spills pose a serious risk to the health of wetland systems. A cleanup technique that is compatible with the wetland environment and is consistent with present wetland management procedures would be highly valued. In-situ burning of oiled wetlands potentially provides such a procedure. However, the burning of wetlands can have beneficial as well as detrimental impacts. Factors, such as water depth over the soil surface, the season of the burn, and burning intensity and duration, may influence the response of wetlands to the burn, yet these factors have not been adequately addressed scientifically. A mesocosm scale investigation was conducted to study the effects of water depth, burn duration, and oil application on the relationship between recovery of marsh vegetation, soil temperature and oil remediation. Marsh sods, which were collected form a south Louisiana salt marsh dominated by Spartina alterniflora, were instrumented with thermocouples and assigned to the following treatments: (a) Oil exposure: unweathered diesel (1.5l/m^2) versus no diesel application, (b) Burn duration: 400 seconds versus 1400s, and (c) Water depth: -10, -2, 0, and 10 cm of the marsh surface relative to the water level. Soil temperature, as a function of soil depth and sod elevation, was continuously recorded during the burn and for a total of 5400s post-burn. After the burns, the mesocosms were returned to the greenhouse where plant recovery was monitored, Soil samples for total petroleum hydrocarbon and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) analyses were collected 24 hours after oil addition and 1 day and 7 months post-burn.
Citation
Special Publication (NIST SP) - 995
Report Number
995
Volume
2

Keywords

in situ burning, oil spills, fire research, environmental effects, crude oil

Citation

Mendelssohn, I. , Lin, Q. , Carney, K. , Bryner, N. and Walton, W. (2003), Coastal Marsh Recovery and Oil Remediation After In-Situ Burning: Effects of Water Depth and Burn Duration (NIST SP 995), Special Publication (NIST SP), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], https://tsapps.nist.gov/publication/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=910847 (Accessed April 21, 2024)
Created February 28, 2003, Updated October 12, 2021