Soil sampling and analysis for volatile organic compounds
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Is there a specific device suggested for sampling soils for VOCs?
Are there significant losses of VOCs when transferring a soil sample from a sampling device (e.g., split spoon) into the sample container?
What is the best method for getting the sample from the split spoon (or other device) into the sample container?
Are there smaller devices such as subcore samplers available for collecting aliquots from the larger core and efficiently transferring the sample into the sample container?
Are certain containers better than others for shipping and storing soil samples for VOC analysis?
Are there any reliable preservation procedures for reducing VOC losses from soil samples and for extending holding times?
Guidance is provided for selecting the most effective sampling device for collecting samples from soil matrices. The techniques for sample collection, sample handling, containerizing, shipment, and storage described in this paper reduce VOC losses and generally provide more representative samples for volatile organic analyses (VOA) than techniques in current use. For a discussion on the proper use of sampling equipment the reader should refer to other sources (Acker, 1974; U.S. EPA, 1983; U.S. EPA, 1986a).
Soil, as referred to in this report, encompasses the mass (surface and subsurface) of unconsolidated mantle of weathered rock and loose material lying above solid rock. Further, a distinction must be made as to what fraction of the unconsolidated material is soil and what fraction is not. The soil component here is defined as all mineral and naturally occurring organic material that is 2 mm or less in size. This is the size normally used to differentiate between soils (consisting of sands, silts, and clays) and gravels.
Open test pit or trench.
Surface soils (<5 ft in depth).
Subsurface soils (>5 ft in depth).
KeywordsTrench VOCs Sampling Device Subsurface Soil Weathered Rock
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