Research for the Environment

Sascha Oswald

Research areas

  • Numerical modeling of reactive transport in soil and groundwater
  • Remediation strategies for regionally contaminated aquifers (including Natural Attenuation, Enhanced Natural Attenuation, Gas Sparging, Constructed Wetlands)
  • Application of non-invasive imaging methods to study dynamic processes in porous media
  • Urban hydrogeology (including soil-plant-groundwater interactions)
  • Variable density flow in porous media
  • Integrated water- and soil management

Key working areas

  • 2-D and 3-D imaging of flow & transport, biodegradation and plant uptake mechanisms via Magnetic Resonance Imaging (NMR), Neutron Radiography (NR) and Fluorescence Imaging
  • Simulations of biogeochemical reactions in the subsurface including degradation of organic chemicals and the transfer of heavy metals
  • Kinetic mass exchange at interfaces and gradients, e.g. at the surface of trapped gas bubbles, reactions fronts and permeability contrasts
  • Improvement of remediation and land use strategies

Current own research projects

  • Dynamics of heavy metal distribution in the rhizosphere – Non-invasive imaging by NMRI in a rhizobox system aided by numerical modelling, ETH Zürich, vom Schweizer Nationalfond.
  • Transport behaviour at reaction gradients ("NMR als Mittel zur Charakterisierung des biologischen Schadstoffaubbaus im Porenraum"), UFZ Project jointly with Dr. Frank Stallmach at University of Leipzig.

Research projects participating

  • Highly-resolved imaging in aggregated soils: Which are the interfaces formed by interaction of water flow oxygen transport and biodegradation?, DFG-Project (January 2008 - January 2011); SPP1315 Biogeochemical Interfaces in Soil
  • EU Marie Curie Project "Water Watch", started March 2007); project co-ordination and project part: neutron radiography imaging of water flow
  • METhyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) - LEUNA as reference test site for the implementation of the "Enhanced-Natural-Attenuation"-approach (METLEN); BMBF-Project (September 2002 - February 2007); project part: flow and reactive transport modelling
  • UFZ-project "Mankind and Global Change: Cities and Contaminated Land" (urbane Wasser- und Stoffflüsse; Strömungs- und Transportmodellierung)
  • Integrating modelling of the river-sediment-soil-groundwater systems: Advanced tools for the management of catchment areas and river basins in the context of Global Change (AQUATERRA), EU-Project (March 2004 - February 2008); Subproject BIOGEOCHEM, via ITÖ, ETH Zürich


Recent Publications

Trauth, N., Schmidt, C., Maier, U., Vieweg, M. Fleckenstein, J. H. 2014. Hyporheic transport and biogeochemical reactions in pool-riffle systems under varying ambient groundwater flow conditions, Journal of Geophysical Research, doi:10.1002/2013JG002586

Schmidt, C., Buettner, O., Musolff, A., Fleckenstein, J. H. 2014. A method for automated, daily, temperature-based vertical streambed water-fluxes. Fundamental and Applied Limnology. 184 (3), 173-181.

Krause, S., Boano, F., Cuthbert, M. O., Fleckenstein, J. H., Lewandowski, J., 2014. Understanding process dynamics at aquifer-surface water interfaces: An introduction to the special section on new modeling approaches and novel experimental technologies, Water Resour. Res., 50, 1-7.

Frei, S., Fleckenstein, J.H., 2014. Representing effects of micro-topography on runoff generation and sub-surface flow patterns by using superficial rill/depression storage height variations Environ. Modell. Softw. 52, 5-18.

Bartsch, S., Frei, S., Ruidisch, M., Shope, C.L., Peiffer, S., Kim, B., Fleckenstein, J.H., 2014.
River-aquifer exchange fluxes under monsoonal climate conditions J. Hydrol. 509, 601-614.

Müller, E.N., van Schaik, L., Blume, T., Bronstert, A., Carus, J., Fleckenstein, J.H., Fohrer, N., Geißler, K., Gerke, H.H., Graeff, T., Hesse, C., Hildebrandt, A., Hölker, F., Hunke, P., Körner, K., Lewandowski, J., Lohmann, D., Meinikmann, K., Schibalski, A., Schmalz, B., Schröder, B., Tietjen, B., 2014. Skalen, Schwerpunkte, Rückkopplungen und Herausforderungen der ökohydrologischen Forschung in Deutschland. Scales, key aspects, feedbacks and challenges of ecohydrological research in Germany
Hydrol. Wasserbewirtsch, 58 (4), 221-240.