Falta to Continue Research on Groundwater Cleanup

November 7, 2018

Heterogeneous groundwater aquifer systems that are impacted by matrix diffusion of contaminants

Dr. Ron Falta was recently awarded a $857,213 grant from the Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP) to continue his research on the fate and remediation of hazardous chemicals in the subsurface.  The project is entitled Incorporating Matrix Diffusion in the New MODFLOW Flow and Transport Model for Unstructured Grids.  Falta is an international expert on modeling the fate of chemicals in the subsurface.  This project extends work he has done over many years to develop novel mathematical tools that can be used by practitioners to predict what happens to hazardous chemicals once they seep into the pores of rocks or clay that form the boundary layer for aquifers.  Since nearly one half of the US population obtains drinking water from aquifers, understanding the fate of contaminants in these systems is of great importance.

Numerical simulation of groundwater plumes with matrix diffusion effects

ESTCP is the Department of Defense’s environmental technology demonstration and validation program. The Program was established in 1995 to promote the transfer of innovative technologies that have successfully established proof of concept to field or production use. ESTCP demonstrations collect cost and performance data to overcome the barriers to employ an innovative technology because of concerns regarding technical or programmatic risk, the so-called “Valley of Death.”  When completed, the modeling tool that Falta delivers is certain to have a big impact on the procedures used to evaluate and remediate hazardous chemicals in groundwater.  Congratulations to Dr. Falta.