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


Aktuelle Publikationen 

Vieweg, M., Trauth, N., Fleckenstein, J.H., Schmidt, C., (2013): Robust optode-based method for measuring in situ oxygen profiles in gravelly streambeds
Environ. Sci. Technol. 47 (17), 9858 - 9865


Trauth, N., Schmidt, C., Maier, U., Vieweg, M., Fleckenstein, J.H., (2013): Coupled 3-D stream flow and hyporheic flow model under varying stream and ambient groundwater flow conditions in a pool-riffle system
Water Resour. Res. 49 (9), 5834 - 5850

Bartsch, S., Frei, S., Ruidisch, M., Shope, C.L., Peiffer, S., Kim, B., Fleckenstein, J.H., (2013): River-aquifer exchange fluxes under monsoonal climate conditions
Journal of Hydrology 509 (2014) 601-614

Bartsch, S., Pfeiffer, S., Shope, C.L., Arnhold, S., Jeong, J.J., Park, J.-H., Eum, J., Kim, B., Fleckenstein, J.H., (2013): Monsoonal-type climate or land-use management: Understanding their role in the mobilization of nitrate and DOC in a mountainous catchment
Journal of Hydrology 507 (2013) 149-162

Shope, C.L., Bartsch, S., Kim, K., Kim, B., Tenhunen, J., Peiffer, S., Park, J.-H., Ok, Y.S., Fleckenstein, J.H., Koellner, T., (2013): A weighted, multi-method approach for accurate basin-wide streamflow estimation in an ungauged watershed
Journal of Hydrology 494 (2013) 72-82

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
Environmental Modelling & Software 52 (2014) 5-18