X-ray micro- computed tomography image of Bentheimer sandstone

Lab Overview

The subsurface hydrophysics group is focused on gaining fundamental mechanistic understanding of fluid, solute, and colloid transport processes in heterogeneous porous and fractured media. The image above highlights the complexity of the pore space (black regions) that fluids navigate as they flow through the subsurface. Our approach often leverages in situ imaging—such as X-ray computed tomography, positron emission tomography, or optical imaging—combined with analytical, numerical, and data science methods to describe transport processes in these complex geologic systems across time and length scales. Due to the fundamental nature of this approach, and the ubiquity of fluid transport in porous media, this work has important applications across a range of environmental and geological processes including contaminant migration in the vadose zone, heat recovery in geothermal energy systems, bacteria transport in the subsurface, and carbon dioxide transport and immobilization in geologic carbon storage projects.

We currently have multiple graduate research positions open for students applying for Fall 2021. Open projects include, but are not limited to, PFAS transport experiments for understanding long-term fate and remediation in the subsurface, colloid transport in geologic porous media with applications to microplastic and nanoparticle pollution control, image-based deep learning model development.

Recent Conferences and Presentations

AGU Fall Meeting, December 2019: San Francisco

Presented: Pore network model predictions of Darcy-scale multiphase flow heterogeneity validated with high resolution experimental observations

Trondheim CCS Conference, June 2019: Trondheim, Norway

Presented: In Situ Quantification of Capillary Pressure During Spontaneous Imbibition in Carbon Storage Reservoirs

Interpore 11th Annual Meeting, May 2019: Valencia, Spain

Presented: Positron Emission Tomography in Water Resources and Subsurface Energy Resources Engineering Research

AGU Fall Meeting, December 2018: Washington DC

Presented: Multimodal Imaging and Simulation for Improved Quantification of Effective Porosity and Surface Area in Basalt Carbon Storage Reservoirs