Determination of Matrix Pore Size Distribution in Fractured Clayey Till and Assessment of Matrix Migration of Dechlorinationg Bacteria

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The pore structure and pore size distribution (PSD) in the clayey till matrix from three Danish field sites were investigated by image analysis to assess the matrix migration of dechlorinating bacteria in clayey till. Clayey till samples had a wide range of pore sizes, with diameters of 0.1–100 μm, and two typical peaks of pore sizes were observed in all clayey till samples. A large area fraction of the individual pores centered around 2 μm in diameter, and another fraction centered around 20 μm. In general, the typical macropore sizes (1 μm < D < 30 μm) in clayey tills determined by image analysis account for approximately 30–60% of the total porosity (20–26%), which is within the range of those reported for clayey soils and other clayey deposits in the literature. The pore size, PSD, and interconnectivity of pores in clayey till matrix may play an important role in evaluation of the migration of dechlorinating bacteria between fractures and clayey till matrix. Dechlorinating bacteria are small (0.3–1 μm) and may have the ability to morphologically adapt to space constraints. The results in this paper in combination with recent field data indicate that the migration of dechlorinating bacteria in fractures and into the clayey till matrix is likely, which is of significance for natural and stimulated degradation of chlorinated solvents by reductive dechlorination in clayey tills.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBioremediation Journal
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)295-308
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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