Geotechnical and Geological Engineering

, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 181–191 | Cite as

On the Inclusion of Some Biological Impacts and Influences in Coupled Transport Phenomena in Unsaturated Soil

  • Hywel Rhys ThomasEmail author
  • Suresh Channarayapatna Seetharam
  • Philip James Vardon
Original paper


This paper presents a first attempt at the inclusion of some biological impacts and influences in the authors’ continued research on coupled transport phenomena through unsaturated porous media. The work presented here forms an extension to an existing coupled Thermo-Hydraulic-Chemical–Mechanical Model (THCM) to include the biological aspects, as a first attempt towards a new THCMB framework. The biological model incorporates biodegradation kinetics of organic substrates and resultant effects in the inorganic geochemistry. In order to achieve this, the biological aspects of the model are coupled to an equilibrium geochemical model following a two-step partial equilibrium approach. Additionally, of concern in contaminant/pollutant transport studies, including the biological aspects, is the effect on human health. This paper therefore also presents some aspects of a health impact analysis model adopted in this study.


Biogeochemical Contaminant transport Soil behaviour Porous media THCM Health impact analysis Sustainable geoenvironment 


  1. Allison JD, Brown DS, Novo-Gradac KJ (1991) MINTEQA2/PRODEFA2, a geochemical assessment model for environmental systems: version 3.0 user’s manual. Environmental Research Laboratory, US EPA, GeorgiaGoogle Scholar
  2. Amber WR (2007) Enhanced natural attenuation of organic chemical contaminants in groundwater. PhD Thesis, Cardiff UniversityGoogle Scholar
  3. Bear J, Verruijt A (1987) Modeling groundwater flow and pollution. D Reidel, DordrechtGoogle Scholar
  4. Brice KM (2007) An investigation into the use of chicken manure to enhance the biodegradation of total petroleum hydrocarbons. PhD Thesis, Cardiff UniversityGoogle Scholar
  5. Brun A, Engesgaard P (2002) Modelling of transport and biogeochemical processes in pollution plumes: literature review and model development. J Hydrol 256:211–227. doi: 10.1016/S0022-1694(01)00547-9 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brun A, Engesgaard P, Frind EO (1994) A coupled microbiology-geochemistry transport model for saturated groundwater flow. In: Dracos TH, Stauffer F (eds) Transport and reactive processes in aquifers. Balkema, Rotterdam, pp 457–462Google Scholar
  7. Christensen TH, Kjeldsen P, Albrechtsen H-J, Heron G, Nielsen PH, Bjerg PL, Holm PE (1994) Attenuation of landfill leachate pollutants in aquifers. Crit Rev Environ Sci Technol 24(2):119–202CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cleall PJ, Seetharam SC, Thomas HR, Chalabi Z, Dowie J, Leonardi G (2005) Development of a framework for integrated health impact analysis of geoenvironmental pollution. In: Barla G, Barla M (eds) Proceeding of 11th IACMAG, vol 3. Pàtron editore, Torino, Italy, pp 93–100Google Scholar
  9. Cleall PJ, Seetharam SC, Thomas HR (2007a) On the inclusion of some aspects of chemical behaviour of an unsaturated soil in thermo-hydro-chemical-mechanical models: part I model development. J Eng Mech ASCE 133(3):338–347. doi: 10.1061/(ASCE)0733-9399(2007)133:3(338) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cleall PJ, Seetharam SC, Thomas HR (2007b) On the inclusion of some aspects of chemical behaviour of an unsaturated soil in thermo-hydro-chemical-mechanical models: part II application: transport of soluble salts in a compacted bentonite. J Eng Mech ASCE 133(3):348–356. doi: 10.1061/(ASCE)0733-9399(2007)133:3(348) CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Craun GF (ed) (1986) Waterborne diseases in the United States. CRC Press, Boca RatonGoogle Scholar
  12. Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) (2009) Press release—no new coal without CCS—miliband. Press Release 2009/050Google Scholar
  13. GRP Project (2007) Home page [online]. Available from: Accessed 2 Jan 2007
  14. Islam J, Singhal N (2002) A one-dimensional reactive multi-component landfill leachate transport model. Environ Model Softw 17(6):531–543. doi: 10.1016/S1364-8152(02)00009-9 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Khan AA, Hoque S, Huq SM, Kibria KQ, Hoque MA (2003) Evidence of bacterial activity in the release of arsenic—a case study from the Bengal delta of Bangladesh. J Geol Soc India 61(2):209–214Google Scholar
  16. Konhauser K (2007) Introduction to geomicrobiology. Blackwell, LondonGoogle Scholar
  17. Lewis RW, Schrefler BA (1998) The finite element method in the static and dynamic deformation and consolidation of porous media. Wiley, ChichesterGoogle Scholar
  18. Pusch R, Yong RN (2006) Microstructure of smectite clays and engineering performance. Taylor and Francis, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  19. Schrefler BA (2001) Computer modelling in environmental geomechanics. Comput Struct 79:2209–2223CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Seetharam SC, Thomas HR, Cleall PJ (2007) Coupled thermo/hydro/chemical/mechanical model for unsaturated soils—numerical algorithm. Int Methods Numer Methods Eng 70:1480–1511. doi: 10.1002/nme.1934 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Shaw D, Thomas HR (2004) Mobility of arsenic in saturated, laboratory test sediments under varying pH conditions. In: Proceedings of the 4th BGA geoenvironmental engineering conference, vol 1. pp 256–259Google Scholar
  22. Smith SL, Jaffe PR (1998) Modeling the transport and reaction of trace metals in water-saturated soils and sediments. Water Resour Res 34(11):3135–3147CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Stroes-Gascoyne S, West JM (1996) An overview of microbial research related to high-level nuclear waste disposal with emphasis on the Canadian concept for the disposal of nuclear fuel waste. Can J Microbiol 42:349–366CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Tan BK, Yong RN, Thomas HR (2006) Leaching column tests on arsenic-soil interactions. Adv Unsaturated Soil, Seepage. Env Geotech (GSP 148) 192(35):306–314. doi:  10.1061/40860(192)35
  25. Thomas HR (ed) (2005) Opportunities, challenges and responsibilities for environmental geotechnics. In: Proceedings of 5th ICEG Environmental Geotechnics, vol 1 and 2. Thomas Telford, LondonGoogle Scholar
  26. Thomas HR, He Y (1995) Analysis of coupled heat, moisture and air transfer in a deformable unsaturated soil. Géotechnique 45(4):677–689CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Thomas HR, He Y, Onofrei C (1998) An examination of the validation of a model of the hydro/thermo/mechanical behaviour of engineered clay barriers. Int J Numer Anal Methods Geomech 22:49–71. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1096-9853(199801)22:1<49:AID-NAG908>3.0.CO;2-I CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. United Nations (1998) Kyoto protocol to the United Nations framework convention on climate change, United NationsGoogle Scholar
  29. Walter AL, Frind EO, Blowes DW, Ptacek CJ, Molson JW (1994) Modelling of multicomponent reactive transport in groundwater: model development and evaluation. Water Resour Res 30(11):3137–3148. doi: 10.1029/94WR00955 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Yong RN (2001) Geoenvironmental engineering, contaminated soils, pollutant fate and mitigation. CRC Press, Boca Raton. doi: 10.1016/S0304-3894(02)00053-5 Google Scholar
  31. Yong RN, Mulligan CN, Fukue M (2006) Geoenvironmental sustainability. CRC Press, Boca RatonCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hywel Rhys Thomas
    • 1
    Email author
  • Suresh Channarayapatna Seetharam
    • 1
  • Philip James Vardon
    • 1
  1. 1.Geoenvironmental Research Centre, School of EngineeringCardiff UniversityCardiffUK

Personalised recommendations