The University of Arizona - Contaminant Transport Group

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Mark L. Brusseau


429 Shantz Building
Tucson, Arizona 85721
520-621-3244; FAX: 520-621-1647







7/98 - present Professor of Subsurface Hydrology/Environmental Chemistry;
Soil, Water, and Environmental Science Department (Home), and
Hydrology and Water Resources Department (Joint);
University of Arizona.

7/93 - 6/98 Associate Professor; University of Arizona.

11/89 - 6/93 Assistant Professor; University of Arizona.


1989 Ph.D. Subsurface Hydrology/Environmental Chemistry University of Florida

Major: Contaminant Transport, Department of Soil and Water Science.
Minor: Environmental Engineering Science [Environmental Chemistry], Department of
Environmental Engineering Science.
Minor: Civil Engineering [Subsurface Hydrology], Department of Civil Engineering.

1984 M.S. Geology [Watershed Hydrology] University of Iowa

1982 B.S. Geology [Environmental Geology] University of Nevada

1982 B.A. Political Science [Environmental Policy] University of Nevada


Mark Brusseau's research is focused on developing a fundamental understanding of the factors and processes influencing the transport and fate of contaminants in the subsurface. His approach integrates theoretically and experimentally based investigations with the development and use of process-based mathematical models. Specific research interests include: (1) transport of reactive contaminants in heterogeneous porous media; (2) rate-limited inter-phase mass transfer (e.g. diffusion, sorption/desorption, NAPL dissolution); (3) behavior of complex contaminant systems (multi-solute, multi-solvent, multi-phase); (4) coupled processes such as inter-phase mass transfer and biodegradation; (5) vapor-phase transport; (6) colloid transport. Mark is also interested in the development and evaluation of innovative methods for characterization and remediation of subsurface contamination, and the evaluation of risks posed to human health by contamination.

New Focal Area: Transport and Fate of PFAS

My lab's research on per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) is focused on developing and testing the theory governing the transport of PFAS in environmental systems, and developing methods to predict PFAS migration potential in soil and groundwater. We have conducted the first conceptual and experimental investigations of the influence of adsorption at air-water and oil-water interfaces on the retention and transport of PFAS in porous media. Our work has demonstrated that these retention processes have significant impact on PFAS migration and storage in source zones. We have developed comprehensive conceptual and mathematical models for PFAS retention that accounts for all potential retention processes in multi-phase systems. In addition, we have used chemometric tools to develop the first quantitative structure-property relationship (QSPR) model for predicting interfacial adsorption coefficients for PFAS. This QSPR model can be combined with our comprehensive retention model to predict the retention and migration potential of PFAS in soil and groundwater systems. We have also developed multiple methods for measuring fluid-fluid interfacial areas in porous media, and have generated a large database of measured values. This information is critical for improving characterization of contaminated sites, examining soil leaching potential, assessing exposure risk, developing management and mitigation strategies, and implementing effective remediation efforts.


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