USGS

 

U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY

Water-Resources Investigations Report 03–4119


Preliminary Assessment of Microbial Communities and Biodegradation of Chlorinated Volatile Organic Compounds in Wetlands at Cluster 13, Lauderick Creek Area, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland

By Michelle M. Lorah, Mary A. Voytek, and Tracey A. Spencer

 

This report is available as a pdf.

 

ABSTRACT

A preliminary assessment of the microbial communities and biodegradation processes for chlorinated volatile organic compounds was conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey in wetlands at the Cluster 13, Lauderick Creek area at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. The U.S. Geological Survey collected wetland sediment samples from 11 sites in the Lauderick Creek area for microbial analyses, and used existing data to evaluate biodegradation processes and rates. The bacterial and methanogen communities in the Lauderick Creek wetland sediments were similar to those observed in a previous U.S. Geological Survey study at the West Branch Canal Creek wetland area, Aberdeen Proving Ground. Evaluation of the degradation rate of 1,1,2,2-tetrachloroethane and the daughter compounds produced also showed similar results for the two wetlands. However, a vertical profile of contaminant concentra-tions in the wetlands was available at only one site in the Lauderick Creek area, and flow velocities in the wetland sediment are unknown. To better evaluate natural attenuation processes and rates in the wetland sediments at Lauderick Creek, chemical and hydrologic measurements are needed along ground-water flowpaths in the wetland at additional sites and during different seasons. Natural attenuation in the wetlands, enhanced bioremediation, and constructed wetlands could be feasible remediation methods for the chlorinated volatile organic compounds discharging in the Lauderick Creek area. The similarities in the microbial communities and biodegradation pro-cesses at the Lauderick Creek and West Branch Canal Creek areas indicate that enhanced bioreme-diation techniques currently being developed for the West Branch Canal Creek wetland area would be transferable to this area.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Abstract

Introduction

Purpose and scope

Description of study area

Methods and data analysis

Microbial community analysis

Biodegradation data analysis

Assessment of wetland microbial communities

Assessment of biodegradation of chlorinated volatile organic compounds

Summary and conclusions

References cited

Appendix–Bacterial profiles

A1. Bacterial terminal-restriction fragment length polymorphism profiles (TRFLP) in sediment from

Lauderick Creek surficial sediment collection sites, December 18, 2001

A2. Bacterial terminal-restriction fragment length polymorphism profiles (TRFLP) in sediment from

Lauderick Creek surficial sediment collection sites, April 9, 2002

A3. Bacterial terminal-restriction fragment length polymorphism profiles (TRFLP) in sediment from

Lauderick Creek surficial sediment collection sites, June 18, 2002


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For more information about USGS activities in Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia contact:

 

Director
MD-DE-DC Water Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
8987 Yellow Brick Road
Baltimore, MD 21237
Telephone: (410) 238-4200
Fax: (410) 238-4210

 

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