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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Letter to the Editor on a National Strategy for Vadose Zone Science and Technology

Authors
item Stephens, Daniel - STEPHENS AND ASSOCIATES
item Kowall, Stephen - INEEL
item Borns, David - SANDIA NATIONAL LAB
item Ellis, Darwin - SCHLUMBERGER
item Everett, Lorne - STONE AND WEBSTER
item Van Genuchten, Martinus
item Graham, Michael - BECHTEL BBWI, IDAHO
item Parker, Frank - VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY
item Weeks, Edwin - US GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
item Wilson, John - NM INST OF MINING TECH

Submitted to: Vadose Zone Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 8, 2001
Publication Date: August 5, 2002
Citation: Stephens, D.B., Kowall, S.J., Borns, D., Ellis, D., Everett, L.G., Van Genuchten, M.T., Graham, M., Parker, F., Weeks, E., Wilson, J. 2002. Letter to the editor on a national strategy for vadose zone science and technology. Vadose Zone Journal. Vol 1:197-198

Interpretive Summary: The Department of Energy recently developed and in 2001 published a National Roadmap for Vadose Zone Science and Technology (http://www.inel.gov/vadosezone). Main purpose of the Roadmap was to develop a national science program necessary to implement, fund, and coordinate interdisciplinary research on fluid flow and contaminant fate and transport processes in the vadose zone between the land surface and the groundwater table. The Roadmap was worked out by a team of scientists from a spectrum of federal agencies, national laboratories, universities, and the private sector to identify key areas of research necessary to improve our ability to predict and monitor vadose zone flow and transport. This Letter-to-the-Editor of Vadose Zone Journal gives a brief synopsis of the different areas of research identified in the Roadmap: Reveal the fundamental nature of complex processes and their interactions at various scales, develop sensors for characterization and monitoring, and enhance our computational capabilities to predict behavior and performance. Significant emphasis was placed on delineating laboratory and field research programs dealing with both porous and fractured media. Moving existing research and recent technology developments into common practice was identified as an important priority for early implementation. The Roadmap outlines a long-term program that also has short-term potential benefits that cut across multiple federal and state agencies subsurface needs. As such, the identified research needs are applicable to many other programs, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Geological Survey, and the Department of Energy, among others. The vadose zone research community is invited to read, understand, and support the implementation of the National Roadmap for Vadose Zone Science and Technology as a national research priority under a well-funded multi-agency research and development program.

Technical Abstract: The purpose of this Letter is to make readers of Vadose Zone Journal aware of the recently completed Department of Energy's (DOE's) National Roadmap for Vadose Zone Science and Technology, DOE/ID10871. This Roadmap was published in August 2001 at http://www.inel.gov/vadosezone. The Roadmap represents an important step in developing a national science program necessary to implement, fund, and coordinate interdisciplinary research into vadose zone fluid flow and contaminant transport and fate. A team of scientists from a spectrum of federal agencies, national laboratories, universities, and the private sector identified key areas of research necessary to improve our ability to predict and monitor vadose zone flow and transport. These categories include proposed research to: reveal the fundamental nature of complex processes and their interactions at various scales, develop sensors for characterization and monitoring, and enhance our computational capabilities to predict behavior and performance. Significant emphasis was placed on delineating laboratory and field research programs dealing with both porous and fractured media. Moving existing research and recent technology developments into common practice was identified as an important priority for early implementation. The Roadmap outlines a long-term program that also has short-term potential benefits that cut across multiple federal and state agencies subsurface needs. Within DOE, the vadose zone research effort has the potential to benefit some of the ongoing environmental restoration projects as well as stewardship efforts. The broad scope of the research needs identified is applicable to many other programs, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and U.S. Geological Survey, among others. We invite the vadose zone research community to read, understand, and support the implementation of the National Roadmap for Vadose Zone Science and Technology as a national research priority under a well-funded multi-agency research and development program.

Last Modified: 10/1/2014
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