Vapor Plume Migration

Published: October 7, 2019 | Last updated: July 5, 2023

What Does Vapor Plume Migration Mean?

Vapor plume migration refers to the migration of contaminants trapped in air bubbles in the vapor phase. The vapor plume migration takes place when the soil vapor extraction (SVE) system with the help of extraction wells creates a negative pressure in the unsaturated zone.

Vapor plume migration enhances the movement of contaminants and oxygenation in the sub-surface increasing the rate of extraction of the contaminants.


Trenchlesspedia Explains Vapor Plume Migration

Air sparging is used to inject air into a contaminated zone to allow volatile and semi-volatile contaminants to transfer from the water to the air bubbles. The air bubbles carry the contaminants that are in the vapor phase into the SVE system that removes them.

Air bubbles travel both horizontally and vertically through the saturated and unsaturated zone where the phase transfer of hydrocarbons takes place from a dissolved state to the vapor phase.

The negative pressure is created by the SVE system in the unsaturated zone with the help of the extraction wells installed in series.


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