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Columbia University

Superfund Research Program

Biogeochemistry Core

Project Leader: Alexander F. van Geen
Co-Investigators: Steven N. Chillrud, Beizhan Yan (Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University)
Grant Number: P42ES010349
Funding Period: 2000-2021
View this project in the NIH Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools (RePORT)

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Project Summary (2017-2021)

This analytical core is housed primarily at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University and at McMaster University in Canada and the University of Manchester in the UK. The Biogeochemistry Core generates data in support of other research projects and cores of the Columbia University Superfund Research Program (CU SRP) Center. The generated data includes:

  • Field and laboratory analysis of 15,000 groundwater samples for dissolved arsenic (As) and, where required, laboratory measurements of redox-sensitive elements Fe, Mn, S, and P, the major cations Na, Mg, Ca, K, and potentially toxic constituents Cr, Ni, Co, Cu, Zn, Mo, Cd, Sb, Pb, and U. Other constituents of groundwater analyzed under this Core will include the anions Cl, Br, SO4 (sulfate), and F in 3,000 samples; dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in 3,000 samples; and reactive organic acids such as lactate and pyruvate in 150 samples.
  • Radiocarbon analysis of DNA/RNA isolated from 30 groundwater samples and phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA) extracted from 30 aquifer sediment samples. The same 30 aquifer sediment samples will be analyzed by next-generation Illumina pyrosequencing methods to characterize microbial populations and metagenomics.
  • Speciation analysis of As and Fe in 300 aquifer sediment samples determined by synchrotron-based Xspectroscopy (XANES and EXAFS).
  • X-ray fluorescence analysis of 1,000 aquifer sediment samples for bulk concentrations of Fe, As, Ca, and other relevant elements.
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