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Biological Sciences

Molecular-scale mechanisms
Molecular interaction at cytochrome-mineral interfaces facilitating microbial electron transfer. (Molecular dynamics simulation of a model cytochrome-hematite (001) interface.) ENLARGE

Pore-scale coupled processes
The SEM images shown here illustrate the end-product of U(VI) reduction by strain HRCR-1, aggregated UO2 nanoparticles, and their association with extracellular polymer. We anticipate that microbial ecology investigations of Hanford subsurface and hyporheic sediments will yield similar organisms with the capacity for biotransformation of polyvalent metals. ENLARGE

Microbial ecology
The SEM images shown here illustrate the end-product of U(VI) reduction by strain HRCR-1, aggregated UO2 nanoparticles, and their association with extracellular polymer. We anticipate that microbial ecology investigations of Hanford subsurface and hyporheic sediments will yield similar organisms with the capacity for biotransformation of polyvalent metals. ENLARGE

Selected Field Studies

The SFA will explore scientific issues identified or implied to be important by field observations at Hanford and other DOE sites at different and appropriate scales through fundamental research in the laboratory and at selected field sites. SFA research emphasizes lab-based experimentation with model systems and field samples; and exploring molecular, microscopic, and macroscopic mechanisms and phenomena underlying coupled microbiologic, geochemical, and hydrogeophysical behavior in the field.

The SFA will also engage in selected field studies coordinated with the PNNL Hanford Integrated Field Research Challenge Site to provide a robust understanding of the contributions of microenvironments and transition zones to field-scale behavior. To accomplish this, the SFA will develop mechanistic understandings of the functioning of microenvironments and transition zones and hydrogeophysical means to characterize their spatial and temporal properties and extent, while the IFC site will provide access to subsurface environments where these zones exist and are significant to contaminant transport and/or microbial ecology and biogeochemistry.

The SFA's Science Areas are divided into primary and enabling research, both of equal scientific merit and designed to be interactive and interdependent. The primary areas include

Associated enabling areas include:

  • Molecular-scale mechanisms
  • Pore-scale coupled processes
  • Microbial ecology
  • In situ structures and reactive transport properties
  • Reactive transport science
  • In situ field experiments
  • Multi-scale reactive transport models

Subsurface Science
Scientific Focus Area

Background

Research

Fundamental & Computational Sciences