The coastal regions worldwide are facing the problem of salt water intrusion into fresh groundwater. Human activities like over-extraction of fresh water from aquifers, continued petroleum exploration, and navigation canals are some of the factors contributing to the salt water intrusion. The electro-chemical and innovative methods that are less disruptive have gained recent attention in soil remediation and ground-water protection. The recent research in the field of electro-kinetics and its application in aqueous soil/sand medium have presented some intriguing possibilities. This study focuses on the effects of variability of electrode materials and configurations on performance of electro-kinetic barriers against sea-water intrusion in coastal areas. Specific studies are being conducted in lab-scale sand-box environment to investigate the effect of shape, size, spacing and materials of electrodes on overall protection against salt intrusion. In addition, this study also explores and compares performances of these barriers in the context of variation in applied voltages and overall energy consumed versus the effectiveness of the barriers. Additional comparisons are planned based on pre-use versus post-use surface characterization of electrodes. The current and expected results will help in gaining a greater understanding of electro-kinetic barriers and their applications in ground water protection and soil/sand remediation in high-water table environments.
Chandra Mouli Tummala– Graduate Assistant, Louisiana Tech University, RUSTON