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 Papers and Preprints
In Situ Measurements of Dynamic Bacteria Transport and Attachment in Heterogeneous Sand-Packed Columns
Published in Environmental Science & Technology (Data and analysis codes)
Three-Dimensional Permeability Inversion Using Convolutional Neural Networks and Positron Emission Tomography
Published open access in Water Resources Research (Data and analysis codes)
See Google Scholar for additional publications
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.
American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting 2023 (San Francisco, CA)
AGU WaterSciCon 2024 (St. Paul, MN)