Environmental Remediation Sciences Program

Field Scale Research

Field investigations are a crucial component of the ERSP. In order to support DOE’s cleanup mission and long-term stewardship responsibilities new insights into the behavior of contaminants derived at smaller scales or in the laboratory ultimately require validation in natural materials and at the field scale. This is an important part of assessing the accuracy of conceptual and/or computational models of subsurface contaminant transport and for determining the relative importance of various biogeochemical mechanisms postulated to affect contaminant transport and/or transformation. In situ field investigations also provide an opportunity to test measurement and monitoring tools developed to describe subsurface processes and the functioning of microbial communities. Field research is an inherently multi-disciplinary endeavor encompassing elements of geology, hydrology, geochemistry, geophysics, microbiology, environmental engineering, and/or computer science. Elements of molecular biology and genome-enabled techniques are also increasingly applied to environmental studies. Of particular concern for ERSP-funded field projects is the development of integrative, multidisciplinary investigations of key biogeochemical processes affecting the subsurface transport of DOE relevant contaminants. Research teams are encouraged to be multi-disciplinary in scope and to incorporate a contaminant transport modeling component and an innovative monitoring and/or measurement component as integral parts of the project.  Each of the field projects listed below has a component of outreach support for ERSD (now CESD) funded investigators.  This may include access to samples of environmental media or limited, short-term site access.  Please contact the Lead Scientist for the site of interest to obtain information regarding sample availability, sampling schedules or limited site access.


Integrated Field-Scale Subsurface Research Challenges (IFCs)

In FY 2007 ERSP made three large awards for multidisciplinary field scale research at three different field sites. For two of these field sites (Oak Ridge, Tennessee and Old Rifle, Colorado) the awards represent a new format for directed research that continues ongoing subsurface science at these sites. The third award provides a framework for a more focused, integrated research effort at the Hanford 300 Area (Washington State). These sites are an important component of ERSP-funded research enabling the testing of laboratory-derived hypotheses under natural conditions at the field scale. Information about these three projects can found in the links below.


Other Field-Scale Projects

  • Chromium Bioremediation test site at Hanford
    The objectives of this project are to perform field investigations to assess the potential for immobilizing and detoxifying chromium contaminated soils and groundwater using bioremediation at Site 100H at Hanford.


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