Multimethod characterization of a chlorinated solvents contaminated site and geoelectrical monitoring of in-situ bioremediation

Research output: ThesisLicentiate Thesis

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Soil contamination is a widespread problem and actions need to be taken in order to
prevent damage to the groundwater and the life around the contaminated sites. In
Sweden more than 80.000 sites are potentially contaminated, therefore there is a
demand for accurate and efficient methods for site characterization and soil
remediation. In the past, the preferred methodology for soil remediation involved
the excavation of the contaminated mass which was either deposited in landfills (dig
and dump) or treated elsewhere (dig and treat). However, these techniques are
associated with significant high risk (secondary exposure) and long-term costs. On
the other hand, in-situ bioremediation has the potential to address these issues
offering a safer, more sustainable and cost-efficient alternative for soil remediation.
Unfortunately, monitoring the progress of in-situ treatments requires soil/water
sampling and laboratory analysis, which, if done frequently, can increase the cost
dramatically. For this reason, there is a demand for new methodologies that can be
used to follow the progress of in-situ bioremediation.
The work presented in this thesis involves a former dry-cleaning facility located in
Alingsås (Sweden). The site is contaminated with chlorinated solvents and a pilot
in-situ bioremediation plan was launched in November 2017. First, we adapted a
multimethod approach for site characterization using several methods: Direct
Current resistivity and time-domain Induced Polarization (DCIP), Seismic
Refraction Tomography (SRT) and the Membrane Interface Probe (MIP). The aim
was to build a refined geological conceptual model. Second, we developed an
autonomous and fully automated system for geophysical monitoring with the DCIP
method that aims to follow the daily changes in the subsurface. We present a
complete workflow that includes data acquisition, pre-processing, inversion and
visualization of the daily DCIP monitoring data. The proposed scheme is robust and
shows that DCIP monitoring has great potential to record the changes due to the
bioremediation; however, it needs to be paired with more information (temperature,
geochemistry, contaminant concentrations) to better understand the changes that
take place in the subsurface.
Original languageEnglish
  • Dahlin, Torleif, Supervisor
  • Rossi, Matteo, Assistant supervisor
  • Fiandaca, Gianluca, Assistant supervisor, External person
  • Tsourlos, Panagiotis, Assistant supervisor, External person
  • Mendoza, Alfredo, Assistant supervisor
Award date2020 Aug 27
Place of PublicationLund
ISBN (Print)978-91-7895-622-7
ISBN (electronic) 978-91-7895-623-4
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Aug 27

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Geophysics
  • Geophysical Engineering


  • Geoelectrical monitoring
  • induced polarization (1P)
  • contamination remediation geophysics
  • Time-lapse inversion
  • autonomous geophysical monitoring


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