University of Florida Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering


Fate and Transport of Fine Particles



Fate and Transport of Colloidal and Nano-Sized Particles in the Vadose Zone


This project mainly focuses on exploring the mechanisms that govern the fate and transport of abiotic colloids (defined as particles with size range between 10nm to 10 μm) in the soil vadose zone. Multi-scale experimentation and modeling investigations are applied in this study to identify and qualify these mechanisms and to improve current understanding of colloid transport in the vadose zone.



MicroscopePore-Scale Visualization
Computer Model VisualizationModeling
ColumnsColumn Breakthrough
Computer Model VisualizationModeling


Selected Videos

Selected Publications

  • Morales, V.L., B. Gao, T.S. Steenhuis. 2009. Grain Surface-Roughness Effects on Colloidal Retention in the Vadose Zone. Vadose Zone Journal 8:11-20, doi: 10.2136/vzj2007.0171.
  • Gao, B., T.S. Steenhuis, Y. Zevi, V.L. Morales, J.L. Nieber, B.K. Richards, J.F. McCarthy, J.Y. Parlange. 2008. Capillary Retention of Colloids in Unsaturated Porous Media. Water Resources Research. W04504, doi: 10.1029/2006WR005332.
  • Gao, B., J.E. Saiers, J.N. Ryan. 2006. Pore-Scale Mechanisms of Colloid Deposition and Mobilization during Steady and Transient Flow through Unsaturated Granular Media. Water Resources Research. 42, W01410, doi: 10.1029/2005WR004233.


Drs. Tammo Steenhuis (Cornell), Brian Richards (Cornell), and Jim Saiers (Yale).