SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1990

Monitoring of Immiscible Contaminants in the Vadose Zone


The monitoring of nonaqueous-phase fluids in the unsaturated zone can be accomplished with tensiometers or suction lysimeters if care is taken before the instrumentation is installed. In this instance, the porous material used to monitor fluid pressure, or to sample a fluid, should be prewetted with the fluid of interest. Experiments with three-phase fluid flow of immiscible fluids in a porous medium have shown that there is a small window of fluid contents at which all three fluids are mobile. With this in mind, monitoring/sampling of each phase was accomplished for various liquid contents for each of the liquids. More often than not, though, liquid sampling is preferential towards the wetting fluid. For petroleum hydrocarbons, water, and air in porous media and in porous ceramic cups, the dominant wetting fluid has been found to be water.

Author Information

Ballestero, TP
University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH
McHugh, SA
University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH
Kinner, NE
University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH
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Developed by Committee: D18
Pages: 25–33
DOI: 10.1520/STP23394S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5117-8
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-1275-9