Research

Currently the group research is focused on three major themes:

Dessication of the Jordan River (summer 2003)

(1)  Salinization of water resources and impacts on development and health. Current studies focused on shallow groundwater in the sub-Saharan basins of Morocco and coastal aquifer of the southeastern United States. Studies also include the geochemistry of “new water” generated by reverse osmosis desalination of seawater and saline groundwater.

Water in the Atlas mountain, Morocco

(2)  The energy-water quality-health nexus that includes (i) studies on the impact of coal combustion products on the environment (e.g., the TVA coal ash spill in Tennessee); (ii) the origin of contaminants associated with mountaintop mining in valley fill head waters in West Virginia; and (iii) the impact of deep shale gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing on the quality of shallow groundwater and surface water (methane and brine contamination from the Marcellus Shale, Pennsylvania).

Shale gas drilling pad, Pennsylvania

(3)   The relationships between groundwater geochemistry, water quality, and human healthin different aquifer systems, worldwide. Current studies including high arsenic drinking water in private wells from Union County, North Carolina; high fluoride and arsenic in groundwater from the Rift Valley in Ethiopia; high salinity, fluoride, and radium in groundwater in Morocco; high arsenic in the Mekong delta, Vietnam and fluorosis in central Vietnam,

Fluorosis in dug wells, central Vietnam

and high radium in fossil groundwater in the Middle East. Studies include developing new diagnostic tools to evaluate their bioaccumulation in the local populations by measuring the contaminants in nails and conducting health surveys in exposed populations.

Fluoride-contaminated well in the Rift valley, Ethiopia

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