Category: Groundwater

395018 - Transport of cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins in soils: Implications for groundwater contamination adjacent to eutrophic lakes and ponds

Tuesday, Jun 5
8:30 AM – 5:30 PM

The occurrence of cyanobacterial blooms (harmful algal blooms) in surface waters is often accompanied by the production of a variety of cyanotoxins. The current scenario in global climate change, increased carbon dioxide concentrations and warmer days during a year can contribute to excess cyanobacteria blooms by creating ideal conditions for cyanobacteria to grow. Once toxic cyanobacteria come in contact with soil, cyantoxins can be released and infiltrate from the soil surface to deeper layers and potentially contaminate groundwater. Therefore, there is a possibility that soils and groundwater adjacent to lakes, reservoirs and other surface water bodies may be contaminated by cyantoxins. Soil type could be critical for controlling the transport kinetics of cyanobacteria and cyantoxins in the environment. Knowledge of transport parameters of cyanobacteria and cyantoxins is essential for reliable predictions of their fate and transport in porous medium. In this study, the transport and retention of cyanobacteria and cyantoxins (Microcystin and Anatoxins) is being studied through soil column experiments using undisturbed soil cores collected from Lake Erie basin in Erie, PA. Laboratory column experiments with flow interruptions will also be conducted. The HYDRUS 2D/3D software will be used to model the impact of cyanobacteria concentrations, hydraulic loading rates, and soil textures on transport parameters of cyanobacteria and cyantoxins. This presentation will describe on how cyanobacteria and cyantoxins fluxes move between surface water bodies and surrounding soils and groundwater bodies.

Varun K. Kasaraneni

Assistant Professor
Gannon University
Erie, Pennsylvania

Varun Kasaraneni, Assistant Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering at Gannon University.

Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from University of Rhode Island (2015).

Research interests
 Development and testing of engineered materials for water and stormwater treatment
 Fate and transport of organic contaminants and nanomaterials in the environment
 Urban and agricultural stormwater runoff management
 Evaluation of environmental pollution, levels, sources and risk assessment