Occurence and transport of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances in soil and groundwater

Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences
Weekly Colloquium

Thursday, October 10, 2019
4:00 pm in Harshbarger 206 ~ Refreshments at 3:45 pm hosted by HASSA

Mark Brusseau
Department of Environmental Science, University of Arizona


This presentation will focus on a specific class of contaminants of emerging concern called per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). These compounds have been found in groundwater, surface water, soil, treated wastewater, biosolids, and drinking water in communities across the U.S. and many other countries. I will first discuss the basic properties of PFAS, their many uses and associated sources, reported occurrences in Arizona, and their current regulatory status. I will then discuss their unique transport and fate behavior in soil and groundwater. Conceptual and mathematical models describing PFAS retention and transport in multi-phase systems will be presented. The results of laboratory experiments will be used to illustrate the influence of PFAS molecular structure, fluid saturation, solution chemistry, and porous-medium properties on PFAS retention and transport.


Dr. Mark Brusseau is a Joint Professor with the UA Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences, a tenured Professor with the University of Arizona's Department of Environmental Science, and an Investigator with the UA Center for Toxicology. He is an elected Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and the Geological Society of America and received the UA Honors College Undergraduate Honors Mentoring Award in 2017. His research interests include contaminant transport and fate, mass-transfer processes, modeling, and soil/groundwater contamination and remediation. His areas of research include critical zone science, environmental quality-justice-health, pollution dynamics, remediation-reclamation-restoration, and water quality, security, and sustainability.