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Integrating Field Observations and Reactive Transport Modeling to Investigate Bank Filtration at a Major European River

September 19, 2019 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm


Dustin Knabe is Research Assistant/PhD-Student in the Department of Hydrogeology of the Technische Universität Berlin. He has an MSc. in Geosciences with a focus on Hydrogeology. His research interest lies in colloid and reactive transport modeling on laboratory and field scale. He currently works on a project studying the transport of pathogens in bank filtration.

Managed aquifer recharge through bank filtration is a regionally important method to create a sustainable drinking water source but water quality can be affected by poor surface water conditions. To study the transport of pathogens during bank filtration, we conducted a 1-year sampling campaign on a monitoring transect of an active bank filtration plant at the Rhine river in Düsseldorf, Germany. As many factors can influence the transport of (bio-)colloids like pathogens, we first set out to characterize the main reactive transport processes at our bank filtration site. Results show that the area close to the river was biogeochemicallysensitive, exhibiting partially oxic to anoxic redox conditions. Oxygen was mostly consumed within the first few meters along the flow path; however, nitrate reduction occurred much further along the flow path but in a limited temporal window. Indeed, the redox conditions never moved beyond denitrification, even during the hot and dry summer/fall of 2018 when higher microbial activity was expected. Field observations of nitrate and temperature demonstrate considerable spatial variability indicating the presence of heterogeneity in the aquifer, which will be included in the model through geophysical characterization.


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