Soil and groundwater contamination is a significant problem in many communities. In the United States, there are more than 1,000 Superfund sites and more than 450,000 brownfields that are contaminated by heavy metals, organic solvents, and/or radionuclides. The Department of Energy has stewardship over clean-up of many legacy sites that are contaminated with metals, radionuclides, and other constituents.
The Environmental Geophysics group has long been involved in using geophysical approaches to characterize hydrogeological properties helpful for understanding plume migration and designing remediation treatment, as well as approaches for remotely monitoring biogeochemical responses to both in situ treatments and natural attenuation strategies. Our research has included: laboratory petrophysics; sensor development; and strategies to integrate crosshole, ground surface, UAV, and remote-sensing datasets with hydrological, geochemical, geological, and biological datasets. Recent efforts have focused on the use of machine learning to advance cheap and effective long-term monitoring strategies using proxy measurements.