Finding the oil in soil with light

A new study shows that it is now much easier to find and identify oil contaminates present in soil. Previously, samples had to be collected from a site, then transported to a laboratory, in order to glean useful information about the specific petroleum based contaminates present. Within this study, many different types of spectroscopy were tested and used on site to determine and identify these materials on location with some success. This process will be cost effective and much more accurate, as the materials will not have to be transported to independent laboratories for testing; reducing cost, as well as possible contamination.

In another study, it was shown that the quality of wetland soil can also be rapidly determined by this same process.
With the current issues that we are facing right now in the gulf, it seems that with new advances in light technology and spectroscopy, we can help determine the quality of wetland soils, as well as the impact that the current spill is having on them.

Information taken from the Journal of Environmental Quality and the American Society of Agronomy