Since 1986, fluorescent carboxylate-modified polystyrene/latex microspheres (FCM) have been co-injected into aquifers along with conservative tracers and viruses, bacteria, and (or) protozoa. Use of FCM has resulted in new information about subsurface transport behaviors of microorganisms in fractured crystalline rock, karst limestone, soils, and granular aquifers. FCM have been used as surrogates for oocysts of the pathogenic protist Cryptosporidium parvum in karst limestone and granular drinking-water aquifers. The advantages of FCM in subsurface transport studies are that they are safe in tracer applications, negatively charged, easy to detect, chemically inert, and available in wide range of sizes. The limitations of FCM are that the quantities needed for some field transport studies can be prohibitively expensive and that their surface characteristics may not match the microorganisms of interest. These limitations may be ameliorated, in part by using chemically modified FCM so that their surface characteristics are a better match to that of the organisms. Also, more sensitive methods of detection may allow using smaller quantities of FCM. To assess how the transport behaviors of FCM and pathogens might compare at the field scale, it is helpful to conduct side-by-side comparisons of their transport behaviors using the geologic media and site-specific conditions that characterize the field site.
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Microbial-sized, carboxylate-modified microspheres as surrogate tracers in a variety of subsurface environments: An overview|
|Series title||Procedia Earth and Planetary Science|
|Contributing office(s)||National Research Program - Central Branch|
|Google Analytic Metrics||Metrics page|