Subsurface Biogeochemical Research. Click to return to home page.
Department of Energy Office of Science. Click to visit main DOE SC site.

Subsurface Biogeochemical Research Program

Former Programmatic Component

Integrated Field Research Challenge (IFRC) Projects

IFRC field sites provide multi-investigator researcher teams with opportunities to obtain environmental samples of different types for analysis and to test their laboratory-derived hypotheses under natural conditions at the field scale. These sites also are used to test and evaluate computer models describing contaminant mobility in the environment. There are three IFRC projects: (1) Uranium Mill Tailings Site in Rifle, CO; (2) Hanford 300 Site, Hanford, WA; and (3) Y-12 Site, Oak Ridge, TN.

Microbiological, Geochemical, and Hydrologic Processes Controlling Uranium Mobility: An Integrated Field-Scale Subsurface Research Challenge Site at Rifle, Colorado

Rifle, CO

Uranium Mill Tailings Site, Rifle, CO
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is leading a field study at a uranium mill tailings site in Rifle, Colorado, to identify new approaches and strategies to help resolve questions about the movement of subsurface contaminants. The Rifle field study involves examining the stimulation of subsurface microorganisms aimed at reducing and immobilizing uranium in the subsurface.

Multiscale Mass Transfer Processes Controlling Natural Attenuation and Engineered Remediation: An IFRC Focused on Hanford’s 300 Area Uranium Plume


Hanford 300 Site, Hanford, WA
The Hanford field study, led by PNNL, involves the development, characterization, and instrumentation of a vadose zone and saturated zone field site. Researchers will perform state-of-science field experiments at this site to resolve the geochemical, hydrophysical, and microbiologic factors that control the migration of contaminant uranium through the vadose zone (water unsaturated sediments below the soil and above groundwater) and groundwater.

Multiscale Investigations on the Rates and Mechanisms of Targeted Immobilization and Natural Attenuation of Metal, Radionuclide, and Co-Contaminants in the Subsurface


Y-12 Site, Oak Ridge, TN
The Y-12 IFRC, led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, seeks to advance the understanding and predictive capability of coupled hydrological, geochemical, and microbiological processes that control in situ transport, remediation, and natural attenuation of metals, radionuclides, and co-contaminants across multiple scales ranging from molecular to watershed levels.

Subsurface Biogeochemical-Related BER Research Highlights

Submit Research Highlight

Search Submitted Highlights

Now Featuring

DRAFT: Open Watershed Science by Design

Report from the January 2019 Workshop. Published August 2019 [PDF]

CESD Strategic Plan 2018

Climate and Environmental Sciences Division (CESD) Strategic Plan 2018 (PDF; 14MB)

Subsurface Biogeochemical Research Overview

April 2018 [PDF]