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Radon, helium and CO2 measurements in soils overlying a former exploited oilfield, Pechelbronn district, Bas-Rhin, France

Abstract : The Pechelbronn oilfield (Rhine Graben, France), where mining activity ended in the 1960s, has been used for waste disposal for twenty years. Since the wastes are varied, work is underway to identify the discharged materials and their derivatives, as well as to locate and quantify potential discharge sites. Two major goals were assigned to the present work. The first was to identify or refine the location of hidden structures that could facilitate gas emanation up to the surface, by studying soil gas concentrations (mainly 222Rn, CO2, CH4 and helium) and carbon isotope ratios in the CO2 phase. The second was devoted to examining, from a health and safety viewpoint, if the use of the oilfield as a waste disposal site might have led to enhanced or modified gas emanation throughout the area. It appeared that CO2 and 222Rn evolution in the whole areawere similar, except near some of the faults and fractures that are known through surface mapping and underground observations. These 222Rn and CO2 anomalies made it possible to highlight more emissive zones that are either related to main faults or to secondary fractures acting as migration pathways. In that sense, the CO2 phase can be used to evaluate 222Rn activities distant from tectonic structures but can lead to erroneous evaluations near to gas migration pathways.Dumping ofwastes, aswell as oil residues, didnot appear to have a stronginfluenceonsoil gaseous species and emanation. Similarly, enhanced gas migration due to underground galleries and exploitation wells has not been established. Carbon isotope ratios suggested a balance of biological phenomena, despite the high CO2 contents reached. Other monitored gaseous species (N2, Ar, H2 and alkanes), when detected, always showed amounts close to those found subsurface and/or in atmospheric gases.
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Soumis le : mercredi 19 janvier 2011 - 15:32:11
Dernière modification le : vendredi 3 avril 2020 - 18:04:14

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Karine Michel-Le Pierres, Frédérick Gal, Michel Brach, Stéphanie Guignat. Radon, helium and CO2 measurements in soils overlying a former exploited oilfield, Pechelbronn district, Bas-Rhin, France. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, Elsevier, 2010, 101 (10), p. 835-846. ⟨10.1016/j.jenvrad.2010.05.006⟩. ⟨hal-00557632⟩

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