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Institute of Hydraulic Engineering

Research: VEGAS - Research Facility for Subsurface Remediation

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DBU-Projektverbund: High-Tech-Methoden zur Untergrundsondierung - Teilprojekt 1: Entwicklung von Messsystemen zur sensorgestützten in situ-Sondierung von Industriebrachen
Project manager:PD Dr.-Ing. Baldur Barczewski
Deputy:Dr.-Ing. Norbert Klaas, M.Sc.
Research assistants:Dipl.-Ing. Martin Müller
Dr.-Ing. Norbert Klaas, M.Sc.
Dr.-Ing. Katrin Batereau
Duration:1.1.2002 - 31.3.2005
Funding:Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU)

This project is part of the research area:
Measurement techniques and site investigation

Publications: Link


The project is part of a group of projects called “High-Tech Methods for in-situ Sounding”. In Germany about 100 ha of land is used for housing and traffic per day, one half of which is sealed. The area used for these purposes has doubled in the past 50 years. At the same time, the number of brownfields inside the cities is steadily growing.

An approach to reduce this consumption of land is the forceful reuse of industrial, commercial and military brownfields, especially the areas inside of cities. Many of these sites, however, are potentially contaminated. The use of on-site analytical methods could substantially improve the process of assessing the potential hazards. For this reason, the DBU (Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt, Federal German Foundation Environment) funded a research network “High-Tech Methods for Subsurface Assessment”. Aim of this network was to combine handheld sounding methods with costly and modern sensor systems. By that, it should be possible to produce analytical information during the sounding. The network consisted of 14 research projects with their own organizational structure and aims.

In this project, different sensor systems were used to detect groups of contaminants (e.g. HHC, BTXE) in soil air, NAPL phases, or dissolved contaminants in the ground water. By using cost effective and simple sensors, which are commercially available, measurement systems should be realized, which are simple to operate and provide the possibility to react on findings directly in the field, e.g. by optimizing the measuring grid. The sensors were designed to give signals selective for groups of contaminants or just yes/no signals that indicate the presence of NAPL phases.

The prototypes developed during the project could be successfully demonstrated and it could be shown that miniaturized sensor systems can be combined to sounding systems and give valuable information in real time about the presence of contaminants in the field.