Field Sampling of Residual Aviation Gasoline in Sandy Soil

David W. Ostendorf, Lowell E. Leach, Erich S. Hinlein, Yuefeng Xie

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13 Scopus citations


Two complementary field sampling methods for the determination of residual aviation gasoline content in the contaminated capillary fringe of a fine, uniform, sandy soil were investigated. The first method featured field extrusion of core barrels into pint‐size Mason jars, while the second consisted of laboratory partitioning of intact stainless steel core sleeves. The barrel extrusion procedure involved jar headspace sampling in a nitrogen‐filled glove box, which delineated the 0.7m thick residually contaminated interval for subsequent core sleeve withdrawal from adjacent boreholes. Soil samples removed from the Mason jars (in the field) and sleeve segments (in the laboratory) were subjected to methylene chloride extraction and gas chromatographic analysis to compare their aviation gasoline content. The barrel extrusion sampling method yielded a vertical profile with 0.10m resolution over an essentially continuous 5.0m interval from the ground surface to the water table. The sleeve segment alternative yielded a more resolved 0.03m vertical profile over a shorter 0.8m interval through the capillary fringe. The two methods delivered precise estimates of the vertically integrated mass of aviation gasoline at a given horizontal location, and a consistent view of the vertical profile as well. In the latter regard, a 0.2m thick lens of maximum contamination was found in the center of the capillary fringe, where moisture filled all voids smaller than the mean pore size. The maximum peak was resolved by the core sleeve data, but was partially obscured by the barrel extrusion observations, so that replicate barrels or a half‐pint Mason jar size should be considered for data supporting vertical transport analyses in the absence of sleeve partitions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-120
Number of pages14
JournalGroundwater Monitoring & Remediation
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1991

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology


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