Research Article

Risk evaluation and modeling of soils contaminated with Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in parts of Bonny Island, Niger Delta, Nigeria

Nwankwoala HO*, Amadi AN, Omofuophu E and Ibrahim HA

Published: 05/27/2020 | Volume 4 - Issue 1 | Pages: 015-026


Environmental impact of a recent oil spill incident in Bonny terminal using soil media was studied using a risk-based modeling approach. The establishment of the presence of contaminants of concern (CoC), evaluation/assessment, modeling spilled volume and ascertaining potential health risk associated with the spill incident was carried out. The Contaminant of Concern (CoC) included Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH) and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs). Soils and groundwater were sampled in the vicinity of the spill incident and further away into the surrounding communities. Soils were sampled into the depths (0.1 m, 0.5 m,1.0 m, 1.5 m), and the results of sieve analysis revealed that the area is predominantly silty sand in composition. This study also revealed that TPH concentration at all locations and depths exceeded DPR target value of 50 mg/kg. The TPH model revealed that a total volume of 222,500m3 of the spill area exceeded DPR intervention value of 5000 mg/kg. The results of PAH showed that only BS-1, BS-6, BS-8, BS-9 and BS-10 exceeded DPR target value of 1.0 mg/kg at some depths. All other sample depths and locations were within the target limit. The 3-D grid generated for PAH showed that 563,000m3 of the study area exceeded the DPR target value. The 3-D block models generated for TPH and PAH, along with the cross-sections and extracted time slices all showed that the concentration of the Contaminant of Concern (CoC) generally decreased with depth, and the centre of the spill located at the south-eastern part of the survey area. Based on these models, three spill zones were identified; Zone 1-highly contaminated areas (BS-8, BS-9, BS-10); Zone 2 - moderately contaminated areas (BS-1, BS-2, BS-6, BS-7); and low contaminated areas (BS-3, BS-4, BS-5). The entire soil in the area were contaminated with TPH and 47% of the area contaminated with PAH. This study has shown the effectiveness of the use of a model-based approach in quantifying hydrocarbon contamination volumes in the area. There is therefore the need for continuous monitoring of hydrocarbon spills in the area.

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