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Title: Microbial transport and fate in the subsurface: An introduction to the special collection

item Bradford, Scott
item SCHIJVEN, JACK - National Institute For Public Health And The Environment (RIVM)
item HARTER, THOMAS - University Of California

Submitted to: Journal of Environmental Quality
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/17/2015
Publication Date: 9/16/2015
Citation: Bradford, S.A., Schijven, J., Harter, T. 2015. Microbial transport and fate in the subsurface: An introduction to the special collection. Journal of Environmental Quality. doi: 10.2134/jeq2015.07.0375.

Interpretive Summary: An understanding of microorganism transport and fate in soils and aquifers is needed for many industrial and environmental applications, including assessing and mitigating the risks associated with pathogenic microorganisms. This manuscript provides an introduction to a special collection of papers on the topic of microbial transport and fate in the subsurface. This paper is divided into four sections: (1) Pathogen Sources and Occurrence; (2) Laboratory Studies; (3) Field Studies; and (4) Mathematical Models. We provide a brief introduction of each of these research topics and then a concise summary of the objectives and contributions of papers in the special collections. This information will be of interest to students, scientists, engineers, government researchers, and health professionals that are concerned with quantifying the transport and fate of microorganisms in the subsurface.

Technical Abstract: Microorganisms constitute the almost exclusive form of life in the earth’s subsurface (not including caves), particularly at depths exceeding the soil horizon. While of broad interest to ecology and geology, scientific interest in the fate and transport of microorganisms, particularly those introduced through the anthropogenic environment, has focused on understanding the subsurface as a pathway for human pathogens and on optimizing the use of microbial organisms in environmental remediation of potable groundwater. This special issue, inspired by the recent Ninth International Symposium for Subsurface Microbiology, brings together recent efforts to better understand the spatio-temporal occurrence of anthropogenic microbial groundwater contamination and their fate and transport in the subsurface environment, in soils, deep unsaturated zones, and within aquifer systems. Work includes field reconnaissance, controlled laboratory studies to improve our understanding of specific fate and transport processes, and the development and application of improved mechanistic understanding of microbial fate and transport processes in the subsurface environment. Findings confirm and challenge the limitations of our current understanding of highly complex microbial fate and transport processes across spatio-temporal scales in the subsurface environment and add to the increasing knowledge base to improve our ability to protect drinking water resources and perform in-situ environmental remediation