thumbnail

Viruses as groundwater tracers: using ecohydrology to characterize short travel times in aquifers

Ground Water

By:
, ,
DOI: 10.1111/gwat.12158

Links

Abstract

Viruses are attractive tracers of short (<3 year) travel times in aquifers because they have unique genetic signatures, are detectable in trace quantities, and are mobile in groundwater. Virus “snaphots” result from infection and disappearance in a population over time; therefore, the virus snapshot shed in the fecal wastes of an infected population at a specific point in time can serve as a marker for tracking virus and groundwater movement. The virus tracing approach and an example application are described to illustrate their ability to characterize travel times in high-groundwater velocity settings, and provide insight unavailable from standard hydrogeologic approaches. Although characterization of preferential flowpaths does not usually characterize the majority of other travel times occurring in the groundwater system (e.g., center of plume mass; tail of the breakthrough curve), virus approaches can trace very short times of transport, and thus can fill an important gap in our current hydrogeology toolbox.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Viruses as groundwater tracers: using ecohydrology to characterize short travel times in aquifers
Series title:
Ground Water
DOI:
10.1111/gwat.12158
Volume
52
Issue:
2
Year Published:
2014
Language:
English
Publisher:
Wiley Online Library
Contributing office(s):
Wisconsin Water Science Center
Description:
7 p.
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Ground Water
First page:
187
Last page:
193