American Society of Civil Engineers


Sources of Hydrogen Sulfide in Groundwater on Reclaimed Land


by Cathryn O’Sullivan, (Ph.D. Candidate, Dept. of Environmental Engineering, Univ. of Queensland, Brisbane, Qld 4072, Australia. E-mail: cathryno@cheque.uq.edu.au), William Clarke, (corresponding author), (Senior Lecturer, Dept. of Environmental Engineering, Univ. of Queensland, Brisbane, Qld 4072, Australia E-mail: billc@cheque.uq.edu.au), and David Lockington, (Head, Dept. of Environmental Engineering, Univ. of Queensland, Brisbane, Qld 4072, Australia. E-mail: d.lockington@mailbox.uq.edu.au)

Journal of Environmental Engineering, Vol. 131, No. 3, March 2005, pp. 471-477, (doi:  http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)0733-9372(2005)131:3(471))

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: Fisherman Islands is an area of reclaimed land at the mouth of the Brisbane River in Queensland, Australia. Ongoing groundwater monitoring has found elevated concentrations of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) in the groundwater on the island. The presence of H2S on Fisherman Islands is of concern because of its toxic nature, the potential for acid sulfate soil formation, and its noxious odor. The aim of this study was to identify the sources of H2S within the groundwater on Fisherman Islands. It was hypothesized that the H2S is being formed by sulfate reducing bacteria acting on sulfate from seawater, rather than the introduction of sulfide with the dredge sediments. Groundwater and soil samples were collected and analyzed for sulfide, sulfate, and organic carbon contents. Elevated concentrations of sulfides coincide with elevated concentrations of sulfate in the groundwater and elevated concentrations of organic carbon in the sediments, supporting the hypothesis that sulfide formation is the result of heterotrophic, sulfate reducing organisms.


ASCE Subject Headings:
Chemical properties
Dredging
Groundwater
Hydrogen sulfides
Land reclamation
Soils