Picture of boy being examining by doctor at a tuberculosis sanatorium

Understanding our future through Open Access research about our past...

Strathprints makes available scholarly Open Access content by researchers in the Centre for the Social History of Health & Healthcare (CSHHH), based within the School of Humanities, and considered Scotland's leading centre for the history of health and medicine.

Research at CSHHH explores the modern world since 1800 in locations as diverse as the UK, Asia, Africa, North America, and Europe. Areas of specialism include contraception and sexuality; family health and medical services; occupational health and medicine; disability; the history of psychiatry; conflict and warfare; and, drugs, pharmaceuticals and intoxicants.

Explore the Open Access research of the Centre for the Social History of Health and Healthcare. Or explore all of Strathclyde's Open Access research...

Image: Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust. Wellcome Collection - CC-BY.

Hydrodynamic coupling in microbially mediated fracture mineralization : formation of self-organized groundwater flow channels

El Mountassir, Grainne and Lunn, Rebecca J. and Moir, Heather and MacLachlan, Erica (2014) Hydrodynamic coupling in microbially mediated fracture mineralization : formation of self-organized groundwater flow channels. Water Resources Research, 50 (1). pp. 1-16. ISSN 0043-1397

[img]
Preview
PDF (El Mountassir et al., 2014)
El_Mountassir_et_al._2014.pdf
Final Published Version
License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 logo

Download (1MB) | Preview

Abstract

Evidence of fossilized microorganisms embedded within mineral veins and mineral-filled fractures has been observed in a wide range of geological environments. Microorganisms can act as sites for mineral nucleation and also contribute to mineral precipitation by inducing local geochemical changes. In this study, we explore fundamental controls on microbially induced mineralization in rock fractures. Specifically, we systematically investigate the influence of hydrodynamics (velocity, flow rate, aperture) on microbially mediated calcite precipitation. Our experimental results demonstrate that a feedback mechanism exists between the gradual reduction in fracture aperture due to precipitation, and its effect on the local fluid velocity. This feedback results in mineral fill distributions that focus flow into a small number of self-organizing channels that remain open, ultimately controlling the final aperture profile that governs flow within the fracture. This hydrodynamic coupling can explain field observations of discrete groundwater flow channeling within fracture-fill mineral geometries where strong evidence of microbial activity is reported.