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In Situ Vitrification (ISV) is one of the most geologically interesting techniques being developed to stabilize radioactive and hazardous waste sites. The ISV process transforms permeable, easily leached, contaminated soils into low-permeability, leach-resistant vitreous and crystalline materials via in situ joule (resistance) heating [Buelt et al., 1987].

Melting is induced by applying electrical power to the ground through four graphite electrodes in a square configuration inserted vertically into the upper portion of the soil to be melted. Melting proceeds downward, producing a roughly hemispheric body that cools to a glassy to partially crystalline material. A hood is placed over the melt to collect gases and particulates released from the melt.