Hans Neve

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Geological and Environmental Sciences



First Advisor

Dr. Duane R. Hampton

Second Advisor

Dr. Alan Kehew

Third Advisor

Dr. Paul Daniels

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Air sparging is a relatively new technology used to remove organic contaminants from aquifers. This remediation technique involves injecting into contaminated portions of water table aquifers. Theoretically air sparging will reduce aquifer hydraulic conductivity. Injected air fills some of the available sediment pores, thus restricting the flow of water to the remaining water-filled pore spaces.

The purpose of this study was to measure the reduction in hydraulic conductivity due to air sparging. This was assessed using both laboratory and field techniques. The hydraulic conductivities of several different sediments were determined in the laboratory using a large constant head permeameter modified to allow air injection. The hydraulic conductivity of a sandy aquifer was determined in the field by slug testing during and after air sparging.

Both laboratory and field experiments show that air sparging reduces aquifer hydraulic conductivity. However, in the field this reduction was limited to portions of the aquifer directly adjacent to the air injection well. In the laboratory a reduction in hydraulic conductivity was observed at high air injection rates, those greater than 1 cubic foot per minute. For both laboratory and field experiments the largest measured reduction in hydraulic conductivity was less than an order of magnitude.

Included in

Geology Commons