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Abstract

An in situ microcosm (ISM) consists of a stainless steel cylinder isolating about 2 L of the aquifer and is equipped with valves allowing for loading and sampling from the ground surface. During the last five years, this technique has been used frequently to study the degradation of organic chemicals in polluted and pristine aquifers representing different redox environments. The ISM technique has great potential for providing field-relevant degradation potentials and rate constants, but care must be taken in using the equipment and interpreting the results. This paper provides details concerning the installation and operation of an ISM and presents experiences concerning data interpretation and monitoring of redox conditions.