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



Goldschmidt 2015, Prague CZ. Website

"Catchment Science: Interactions of Hydrology, Biology & Geochemistry" Gordon Research Conference, Andover USA. Website


EGU 2015, Vienna Austria.
Abstracts:  Musolff Neubauer Oosterwoud Schmidt Trauth

HydroEco 2015, Vienna Austria.
Conference website

AGU 2014 Fall Meeting,
San Francisco USA.
Abstracts: Kurz, Laube, Müller, Musolff, Newcomer/Maier

2014 AGU Chapman Conference on Catchment Spatial Organization and Complex Behavior, Luxembourg City, LU. Website
Abstracts: Fleckenstein, Neubauer

International Workshop on Temporal High Resolution Water Quality Monitoring & Analysis, Magdeburg, DE.
Workshop website

Newest Publications

González-Pinzón et al. 2015 Nighttime and daytime respiration in a headwater stream, Ecohydr. Abstract

Trauth et al. 2015 Hydraulic controls of in-stream gravel bar hyporheic exchange and reactions, WRR. Abstract

Kurz et al. 2015 Diffusion and seepage-driven element fluxes from the hyporheic zone of a karst river, FwS. Abstract

Trauth et al. 2014 Hyporheic transport and biogeochemical reactions in pool-riffle systems under varying ambient groundwater flow conditions, JGR. Abstract

Schmidt et al. 2014 A method for automated, daily, temperature-based vertical streambed water-fluxes, F&AL. Abstract

HDG Seminar

Jobs & Internships