Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Geological and Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Richard N. Passero

Second Advisor

Dr. Alan E. Kehew

Third Advisor

Dr. Duane R. Hampton

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Thirty-one synthetic organic compounds have been detected in samples collected from the KL Landfill contaminant plume from March, 1980 to March, 1986. Two groups of organic compounds have been delineated based on their occurrence, concentrations, and persistence throughout the 7-year monitoring period.

Changes in plume geometry and concentration have been studied relative to time, and concentration variations have been related to selected inorganic plume parameters, distance from the landfill, and precipitation. The spatial and temporal distribution of the organic compounds are attributed to biodegradation, three biotransformation sequences, physical properties of the organics and other factors. Three abbreviated anaerobic biotransformation sequences are indicated: (1 ) 1 ,1 ,1 -trichloroethane → chloroethane, (2 ) carbon tetrachloride → methylene chloride, and (3) tetrachloroethene → vinyl chloride.