USGS - science for a changing world

USGS Groundwater Information

*  Home *  Data & Information *  Publications *  Methods & Modeling *  Selected Topics *  Programs *  Contact Us

Emergency Response Sampling of Air from Caves Following a Diesel Fuel Release, Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park, Lookout Mountain, Tennessee

By Connor J. Haugh1 and Michael W. Bradley1
1U.S. Geological Survey, 640 Grassmere Park, Suite 100, Nashville, TN, 37211



Download PDF 7kb Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view the report and can be downloaded for free


<--Return to Table of Contents

Abstract

In February 1996, an interstate fuel pipeline rupture released an estimated 65,000 gallons of diesel fuel into a small ravine on the east side of Lookout Mountain at the Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park in Hamilton County, Tennessee. A relatively small amount (about 1,500 gallons) of the fuel was recovered; the remainder infiltrated the ground and the cave system under Lookout Mountain. A cooperative study was conducted between the National Park Service Emergency Response Team and the U.S. Geological Survey in an effort to determine the spatial extent of the effect of the diesel fuel release on the cave system. As part of the emergency response, air flowing from cave entrances and cave vents at various locations and elevations on Lookout Mountain was sampled and analyzed using a portable gas chromatograph. Low concentrations of volatile hydrocarbons, including benzene, toluene, and xylene, were detected in several of the cave air samples. Chromatograms of the cave air samples were compared to a chromatogram of a diesel fuel standard in an attempt to fingerprint the air contaminants. Although fingerprinting the hydrocarbon contaminants detected in the cave air samples as a close match to the diesel standard was not possible, several of the hydrocarbons detected in the cave air samples also were present in the diesel standard.


In Eve L. Kuniansky, editor, 2001, U.S. Geological Survey Karst Interest Group Proceedings, U.S. Geological Survey Karst Interest Group Proceedings, St. Petersburg, Florida, February 13-16, 2001: USGS Water-Resources Investigations Report 01-4011

The use of firm, trade, and brand names in this report is for identification purposes only and does not consitute endorsement by the U.S. Government.


For additonal information write to:

Regional Hydrologist
Southeast Regional Office
3850 Holcomb Bridge Road
Suite 160
Norcross, GA 30092
Copies of this report can be purchased from:

U.S. Geological Survey
Branch of Information Services
Denver Federal Center
Box 25286
Denver, CO 80225-0286

USGS Home Water Climate and Land Use Change Core Science Systems Ecosystems Energy and Minerals Environmental Health Natural Hazards

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo USA.gov logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
URL: http://water.usgs.gov/ogw/karst/kigconference/cjh_emergency.htm
Page Contact Information: Contact the USGS Office of Groundwater
Page Last Modified: Thursday, 03-Jan-2013 20:41:28 EST