Field site on the Wisconsin River studying surface water-groundwater contaminant transport

Lab Overview

The Subsurface Hydrophysics Group is focused on gaining a fundamental mechanistic understanding of fluid, solute, and colloid transport processes in subsurface environments. Our approach often leverages experimental observations and in situ imaging—such as X-ray computed tomography, positron emission tomography, or optical imaging—combined with field observations and analytical, numerical, and data science methods to describe transport processes in complex geologic and environmental systems across temporal and spatial 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, solute transport in fractured aquifers, heat recovery in geothermal energy systems, bacteria transport in the subsurface, and carbon dioxide transport and immobilization in geologic carbon storage projects.

We are currently recruiting graduate students for Fall 2024 who are interested in doing research on PFAS fate and transport in the vadose zone, bacteria transport in porous media, or fluid flow in fractured groundwater systems.

Recent Conferences and Presentations

Interpore 15th Annual Conference on Porous Media 2023: Edinburgh, Scotland

Group members presented work on bacteria transport in porous media and fracture-matrix solute exchange in low permeability rocks.

AGU Fall Meeting, December 2022: Chicago

Group members presented work on PFAS in the vadose zone, bacteria transport in porous media, permeability inversion using deep learning methods, and fines migration in fractured rocks.

Society of Core Analysts 2022: Austin, Texas

Collin Sutton and Zitong Huang wrote and presented conference papers related to fines migration and permeability inversion methods, respectively.