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Colin Plank
Colin Plank

Senior Geologist
Burns & McDonnell

Colin Plank is a senior geologist at Burns & McDonnell. With more than 20 years of experience in the study of geomorphology, stratigraphy, sedimentology and physical processes, Colin has worked with clients to help guide groundwater remediation for a variety of sites.



The LNAPL Plume Went Thisaway and the Dissolved Plume Went Thataway--Reanalysis of LNAPL Migration Alters Health Risk Assessment Approach

In geologically unconfined areas at a former petroleum refinery in Cyril, Oklahoma, LNAPL migrated southeast with shallow groundwater flow toward a perennial creek - away from the adjacent town of Cyril to the west. Offsite monitoring wells in the town had either no detected dissolved phase constituents or only low levels. For these reasons, human health contaminant exposure pathways to Cyril’s inhabitants were initially considered insignificant. However, further field studies and hydrogeologic analysis of seemingly anomalous product thickness measurements demonstrated that in confined areas, a portion of the LNAPL migrated updip beneath the confining layer, against groundwater flow and toward Cyril. With this finding, vapor intrusion of volatile constituents from the onsite LNAPL and into offsite town buildings became a potential concern and had to be further investigated. This case study demonstrates the importance of robust LNAPL conceptual site model development for health risk assessment and site remediation purposes.


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