University Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Director, Tufts Institute of the Environment
Linda M. Abriola is University Professor and Director of Tufts University Institute of the Environment. She is a member of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union. From 2003 to 2015, she served as the Dean of the Tufts University School of Engineering. Prior to joining Tufts, she was the Horace Williams King Collegiate Professor of Environmental Engineering at the University of Michigan. An expert in the multiphase transport, fate, and recovery/destruction of contaminants in the subsurface, Professor Abriola is the author of more than 150 refereed publications. She has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the National Ground Water Association’s Distinguished Darcy Lectureship (1996), the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program Project of the Year Award in Remediation (2006, 2012), and appointment as a U.S. Science Envoy (2016). Her many professional activities include service on the U.S. EPA Science Advisory Board, the National Academies Water Science and Technology Board, and the Stockholm Environment USA Board of Directors.
Dr. Abriola received her Ph.D. and M.S degrees from Princeton University and a B.S. degree from Drexel University, all in Civil Engineering.
Addressing the Challenges in Source Zone Characterization and Remediation: Recent Progress
Chlorinated solvent contamination of aquifers is a recalcitrant problem that has challenged environmental professionals, regulators, and site managers for decades. In particular, the management of sites containing DNAPL source zones is hampered by the difficulties associated with characterizing the location and distribution of DNAPL mass and the estimation of effective mass transfer and transformation rates that control contaminant plume evolution. This presentation reviews recent results of interdisciplinary research, sponsored by SERDP, designed to improve our understanding of the processes controlling the fate of DNAPLs in heterogeneous subsurface formations and to develop improved methodologies for source zone characterization and management. Numerical simulations and experimental observations are used to illustrate advances in our understanding of the hydrologic and abiotic/biotic transformation processes influencing source zone persistence. The presentation also highlights research demonstrating the potential utility of innovative methods, based upon machine-learning techniques, for site characterization and risk assessment.