GRSG 34th Conference 2023

Title: An improved sensing capability of vis-NIR spectroscopy in the detection of oil spill in bare soils

Author: Hanly Bingari


Oil spill on land is a significant environmental issue. When it occurs, it can present a significant fire, health or environmental hazards. It affects the overall quality of the soil, threatens the existence of micro- and macro-biota and affects the economic potential of the affected areas. But despite the prominence of land spills, more attention is directed towards marine spill investigations. Consequently, the techniques used to detect and monitor oil contamination in soils in 2023 are little changed since 2000, mainly requiring costly and complex sampling and analytical protocols. Hence, the true extents of the problem and efficacy of mitigation of oil spill, especially on bare soils are poorly understood globally.

In order to improve the mitigation strategies of potential oil-related hazards on land, methods for detection and quantification need to be improved, which forms the rationale for this study. Recent studies demonstrate that the Visible-Near Infrared Spectroscopy (VNIRS) may be a safe, rapid and reliable method for oil spill investigation on land. This study utilizes hyperspectral data from laboratory measurements to improve the detection and monitoring of oil spill in bare soils. A total of 148 tests were conducted on 26 different soils. 2 new spectral indices were developed from our analyses.

The first index; TPHix shows improved sensitivity at low oil concentration and demonstrates a general model for the identification of crude oil in a range of soil types and the sub-surface monitoring of oil movement, while the second; Oix describes soil-oil-water interaction at micro and macro levels. These provide sufficient data for rapid oil spill response, and the design and adoption of remediation strategies that would mitigate potential hazards and the overall impact of oil spill on the affected areas.