Fluids' dynamics in transient air sparging of a heterogeneous unconfined aquifer

Rashid S. Al-Maamari, Akihiko Hirayama, Tsuyoshi Shiga, Mark N. Sueyoshi, Mahfoodh Al-Shuely, Osman A.E. Abdalla, Anvar R. Kacimov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Water table dynamics, dissolved oxygen (DO) content, electrical resistivity (ER) in monitoring wells and air pressure in the vadose zone are monitored in air sparging (AS) accompanied by soil vapor extraction (SVE) at a hydrocarbon-contaminated groundwater site in Oman, where a diesel spillover affected a heterogeneous unconfined aquifer. The formation of a groundwater mound at the early stage of air injection and potential lateral migration of contaminants from the mound apex called for an additional hydrodynamic barrier constructed as a pair of pump-and-treat (P&T) wells whose recirculation zone encompassed the AS and SVE wells. In all monitored piezometers the phreatic surface showed a rapid and distinct peak, which is attributed to the time of air breakthrough from the injection point to the vadose zone and a relatively mild recession limb interpreted as a decay of the mound. Tracer tests showed a layer of a relatively low hydraulic conductivity at an intermediate depth of the screened interval of the wells. Increased levels of DO and borehole air pressure that have been observed (as far as 50 m away) are likely mitigated by SVE and P&T. Radius of influence can be indirectly inferred from ER and DO changes in the AS operation zone. Salt tracer tests have shown that groundwater velocity within the AS zone decreases with the increase of air injection rate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1189-1198
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Earth Sciences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011


  • Air sparging
  • Groundwater
  • Heterogeneous formation
  • Hydrocarbon contamination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Pollution
  • Geology
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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