Contamination from Sources with Mixed Wastes
Many contaminant sources introduce a diverse and complex mixture of organic and inorganic
contaminants into the subsurface, which can complicate characterizations of contaminant transport,
fate and effects. These sources include landfills and wastewater discharges. The resulting
contaminant plumes are difficult to characterize, manage, and remediate. Reactions among dissolved
chemicals, reactions between dissolved chemicals and the aquifer material, and microbial reactions
can significantly accelerate or retard contaminant movement and complicate natural and engineered
cleanup. Ongoing research focuses on defining source mixtures, developing field methods for
characterization, quantifying transport processes and development of simulation modeling
capabilities. Current research focuses on the following three areas:
Landfill Leachate in Alluvial Aquifers --
Sewage Contamination in Sand and Gravel
Aquifers -- Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Mixed, Low-level Radioactive and Other Wastes
-- Amargosa Desert Research Site, Nevada
Program Science Feature Articles on Mixed Waste Contamination Research
- Improved vertical streambed flux estimation using multiple diurnal temperature methods in series: Irvine, D.J., Briggs, M.A., Cartwright, I., Scruggs, C.R., and Lautz, L.K., 2016, Groundwater, doi:10.1111/gwat.12436 (Advanced Web release).
- Municipal solid waste landfills harbor distinct microbiomes: Stamps, B.W., Lyles, C.N., Suflita, J.M., Masoner, J.R., Cozzarelli, I.M., Kolpin, D.W., and Stevenson, B.S., 2016, Frontiers in Microbiology, v. 7, 534, doi:10.3389/fmicb.2016.00534.
- Multimodel analysis of anisotropic diffusive tracer-gas transport in a deep arid unsaturated zone: Green, C.T., Walvoord, M.A., Andraski, B.J., Striegl, R.G., and Stonestrom, D.A., 2015, Water Resources Research, doi:10.1002/2014WR016055.
- Importance of the colmation layer in the transport and removal of cyanobacteria, viruses, and dissolved organic carbon during natural lake-bank filtration: Harvey, R.W., Metge, D.W., LeBlanc, D.R., Underwood, J., Aiken, G.R., Butler, K., McCobb, T.D., and Jasperse, J., 2015, Journal of Environmental Quality, v. 44, no. 5, p. 1413-1423, doi:10.2134/jeq2015.03.0151.
- Spatial and temporal migration of a landfill leachate plume in alluvium: Masoner, J.R., and Cozzarelli, I.M., 2015, Water, Air, and Soil Pollution, v. 226, no. 2, doi:10.1007/s11270-014-2261-x.