The first soil sampling of the antitank range
was conducted in May 1995. Four surface com-
posite samples were taken at a distance between
1 and 3 m from each side of four target tanks.
Each surface composite was prepared from 10
discrete samples. Analysis of these initial samples
revealed that HMX was the major contaminant
on site, with lesser amounts of RDX and TNT. A
second sampling was conducted in October 1995
and was concentrated near tank D (Fig. 2). Seven
locations were sampled at three different depths.
Analysis of these samples revealed that greater
in the top 15 cm of soil. Detailed results of both
sampling campaigns are reported elsewhere
(Thiboutot et al. in press).
Figure 1. Chemical structure of HMX.
The principal objective of the work described
previously sampled and found to be contaminated
here was to develop an innovative strategy for
with energetic compounds, HMX being the major
contaminant. This initial characterization was con-
1) takes advantage of the ability to generate near
ducted within the framework of a Canadian pro-
real time information from on-site analyses, and
gram on the characterization of sites potentially
2) overcomes the problem of large localized spa-
contaminated with energetic materials (Thiboutot
tial heterogeneity in contaminant concentrations.
et al. in press). The objective of the Canadian
A colorimetric method, initially developed for
program has been the assessment of the level of
RDX, was evaluated for estimating HMX soil
concentrations, and two commercially available
ous type of sites such as firing ranges, open burn-
on-site methods were compared for rapid deter-
ing/open detonation ranges, demolition ranges
mination of TNT. To overcome problems due to
and production sites. In addition to site charac-
spatial heterogeneity, a simple compositing
terization, this program includes the development
approach was evaluated for obtaining represen-
of bioremediation technologies capable of
tative samples within defined geographic bound-
aries. Finally, this study documented the levels
Figure 2. Canadian Force Base-Valcartier firing range study site.