Research Questions and General Approach
Groundwater in fractured limestone aquifers is often polluted by nitrate and pesticides, including legacy compounds such as atrazine. Due to long groundwater residence-times in these aquifers, microbial activities associated with pollutant turnover may substantially influence the fate of pollutants. A particular example is denitrification, which depends on the availability of electron donors such as organic carbon or Fe(II) minerals within the rock matrix. Further, storage of pollutants (e.g. atrazine) in immobile water of the rock matrix may become relevant and impact contaminant loads in these systems. A multidisciplinary approach is used to:
- Determine the locations of pollutant (nitrate, atrazine) turnover in fractured rock aquifers
- Identify microbial key players mediating these processes and study their physiology
- Quantify rates of microbial pollutant turnover
- Examine factors that limit microbial activities and associated pollutant transformations
Picture and Video Gallery
In Cooperation with the Center for Media Competence at the University of Tübingen CAMPOS produced a short video showing background and details of the aseptic drilling at the Baisingen research site: P5 researchers (Jun. Prof. Sara Kleindienst, Dr. Karsten Osenbrück) explain goals and plans of their project.
Jonah Schooss (ongoing): Nitrate reduction rates in heterotrophic, mixotrophic and autotrophic cultures enriched from a pyrite-bearing limestone aquifer.
Moritz Lyska (2019): Hydrochemische und hydrogeologische Charakterisierung von Lettenkeuperquellen westlich von Tübingen.
Barbara Kurz (2018): Development of a headspace vial method for identifying active microaerophilic iron oxidizers in environmental samples.
Raphael König (2018): Atrazine and nitrate degradation in selected wells in the Ammer catchment.
Yelin Tang (ongoing): Isolation of glyphosate-degrading bacteria from soils in the Ammer catchment and metagenomic insights into pesticide and xenobiotic degradation in the Artesian Well, Altingen.
Ines Sanchez (ongoing): Isolation of atrazine-degrading bacteria from soils in the Ammer catchment and metagenomic insights into atrazine and hydrocarbon degradation in the Artesian Well, Altingen.
Freya Fünfgeld (2020): Tritium-Helium Dating of Groundwater in the Fractured and Karstified Muschelkalk Aquifer of the Ammer Catchment (Baden-Württemberg, Germany).
Rebecca Debo (2019): Enrichment and characterization of pesticide degraders in the Ammer catchment area.