Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/12/2016
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The vadose zone exhibits large spatial and temporal variability in many physical, chemical, and biological factors that strongly influence the transport and fate of colloids (e.g., microbes, nanoparticles, clays, and dissolved organic matter) and colloid-associated contaminants (e.g., heavy metals, radionuclides, pesticides, and antibiotics). This presentation highlights our research activities to better understand and predict the influence of specific biogeochemical processes on colloid and colloid-facilitated transport. Results demonstrate the sensitivity of colloid transport, retention, release, and clogging to transients in solution chemistry (e.g., ionic strength, pH, cation and anion type, and surfactants), water velocity and saturation, and preferential flow. Mathematical modeling at interface-, pore-, and continuum-scales is shown to be a critical tool to quantify the relative importance and coupling of these biogeochemical factors on colloid and contaminant transport and fate, which otherwise might be experimentally intractable. Existing gaps in knowledge and model limitations are identified.