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CLU-IN Studio
United States Environmental Protection Agency
Tree Coring to Assess Subsurface Volatile Organic Compounds
Sponsored by: US EPA Technology Innovation Program
Original Time/Date of Presentation:

September 25, 2008, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM, EDT (18:00-19:30 GMT)

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Presentation Overview:

Analysis of the volatile organic compound content of tree cores is an inexpensive, rapid, simple approach to examining the distribution of subsurface volatile organic compound contaminants. The method has been shown to detect several volatile petroleum hydrocarbons and chlorinated aliphatic compounds associated with vapor intrusion and ground-water contamination. Tree cores are obtained by using an increment borer. The cores are placed in vials and sealed. After a period of equilibration, the cores can be analyzed by headspace analysis gas chromatography. Don Vroblesky of the United States Geological Survey will discuss the recently published "User's Guide to the Collection and Analysis of Tree Cores to Assess the Distribution of Subsurface Volatile Organic Compounds" that describes the method. The guide helps environmental professionals unfamiliar with the tools and methods of tree coring and contributes understanding to the relevant underlying tree physiology.

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