Research and analysis

Palaeo-roothole facilitated contaminant transport through clay

Research shows aromatic hydrocarbons have penetrated a clay aquitard 6 metres below ground surface, helped by the presence of ancient rootholes.

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Palaeo-roothole facilitated contaminant transport through clay

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Details

Aromatic hydrocarbons have penetrated a clay aquitard 6 metres below ground surface, helped by the presence of ancient rootholes - palaeo-rootholes - dating from the time when the clay layer was exposed at the surface. This raises concerns that the protection of underlying aquifers by such aquitards can be compromised in unfavourable palaeoenvironments.

Published 1 June 2009