Fiber Rolls as a Tool for Re-Vegetation of Oil-Brine Contaminated Watersheds

EPA Grant Number: X832428C003
Subproject: this is subproject number 003 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant X832428
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: IPEC University of Tulsa (TU)
Center Director: Sublette, Kerry L.
Title: Fiber Rolls as a Tool for Re-Vegetation of Oil-Brine Contaminated Watersheds
Investigators: Thoma, Greg , Hunt, Howard , Sublette, Kerry L. , Vavrek, Milan
Institution: University of Arkansas - Fayetteville , University of Tulsa , Louisiana Tech University
Current Institution: University of Arkansas - Fayetteville , Louisiana Tech University , University of Tulsa
EPA Project Officer: Lasat, Mitch
Project Period: October 12, 2005 through October 11, 2006 (Extended to June 30, 2007)
Project Amount: Refer to main center abstract for funding details.
RFA: Integrated Petroleum Environmental Consortium (IPEC) (1999) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Targeted Research

Objective:

Historic oil brine scars (sites that repeatedly received produced water) are extremely difficult to remediate because these sites possess degraded, highly saline soils, erosion damage, little or no plant cover and an altered microbial community. Ecosystem function is diminished as a result of these impacts.

We are evaluating the contribution of fiber rolls to restoration of a historic oil brine scar in south Arkansas. Four treatments (natural attenuation, standard soil reclamation techniques, fiber rolls, and soil reclamation with fiber rolls) have been applied to plots within the site. Fiber rolls are tubes formed with a geotextile material and filled with organic fiber, mycorrhizal fungal inoculum, bacterial inoculum (soil) and salt-tolerant plants. Consequently, fiber rolls may serve a variety of ecological functions including primary productivity, filtering of sediments and moisture and nutrient retention. Rolls also serve as a source vegetative growth, seeds, microbial spores, organic matter and nutrients.

Our primary objective is to examine the utility of fiber rolls as an effective, inexpensive, and easy-to-use remediation tool at oil brine spill sites. Established fiber rolls and adjacent brine affected plots will be examined to determine the:

1) Structural integrity and ability of fiber rolls to withstand periodic flooding/water flow,
2) Amount of sediment accretion behind fiber rolls,
3) Survival, extent and type of vegetative growth in fiber rolls, and
4) Type and extent of vegetation expansion from fiber rolls onto adjacent soils.

Soil reclamation as a result of treatments will also be assessed through measurements of electrical conductivity, sodium adsorption ratio, and cation exchange capacity.

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2006 Progress Report
  • Final Report

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    X832428    IPEC University of Tulsa (TU)

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    X832428C001 Effective Stormwater and Sediment Control During Pipeline Construction Using a New Filter Fence Concept
    X832428C002 Paraffin Control in Oil Wells Using Anaerobic Microorganisms
    X832428C003 Fiber Rolls as a Tool for Re-Vegetation of Oil-Brine Contaminated Watersheds