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News Release, Kansas Geological Survey, July 10, 2008

Survey Scientists Awarded Grant for Ground-Water Contamination Research

LAWRENCE--Predicting how ground-water contaminants will move is the goal of water specialists at the Kansas Geological Survey, based at the University of Kansas, who have received a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation.

The $147,000 grant will be used to develop and refine technology for assessing how ground water travels through unconsolidated sediment, such as sand and gravel. Before they can stop the spread of pollutants in ground water, scientists first must better understand how water moves underground.

"For years researchers have had difficulty predicting the movement of ground water and the contaminants that it may carry," said Survey geohydrologist Jim Butler, principal investigator for the project. "We've been developing tools and methods for this purpose that we believe will be a major advance from what's been used in the past."

Techniques developed by Butler and Survey scientists Geoff Bohling and Gaisheng Liu will be tested at field sites in Kansas as well as at a heavily studied aquifer in eastern Mississippi known for its varied characteristics and unpredictability. Their findings will be applicable to ground-water resources throughout Kansas and around the world.

The Survey scientists will be joined in this project by researchers from Michigan State University, the University of Alabama, and the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research--UFZ in Leipzig, Germany.

National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that is a major source of federal support for research in science and related fields. NSF funds approximately 11,000 of the 40,000 grant proposals it receives each year.

Story by Cathy Evans, (785) 864-2195.
For more information, contact Jim Butler, (785) 864-2116

Kansas Geological Survey, Public Outreach