About this Research Topic
Widespread pollution in Critical Zone environments poses a global challenge to soil and water quality, with potentially serious threats to human health, ecosystems, and water resource sustainability. The pollutants which are often encountered include solutes and particulate matter, such as herbicides, pesticides, nitrite, heavy metals from mining wastes, pathogens (e.g., viruses, bacteria), and other toxic materials.
The spatiotemporal spread of these pollutants in soil and water systems is complex and is influenced by a variety of factors including physicochemical properties of pollutants, soil grain properties and structure (mineral composition, moisture, pH, and organic matter content), flow conditions and pathways, biota activity, and environmental factors (temperature, precipitation). Understanding the interplay of all these factors from microscopic pore-scale, to continuum scale, and to field study is crucial in order to develop models that predict pollutant distribution in soil and water systems, and take preventive measures to reduce pollution.
In this Research Topic, we invite manuscripts that focus on recent advancements in our fundamental understanding of the transport and spread of pollutants in Critical Zone environments, including but not limited to:
• Saturated groundwater zone and unsaturated vadose zones such as soil, sediment or permeable rock systems;
• Experimental investigations, numerical modeling, or theoretical developments, which can focus on single scale or span multiple scales of solute and particle transport in the water/soil environments;
• Studies on the characterization of new or emerging pollutants, such as pharmaceuticals, personal care products (PCPs), endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs), nanoparticles, micro-plastics, and per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and their interactions with soil particles;
• Reporting on novel materials that facilitate contaminant removal from water or soil remediation.
The following article types are available: Original Research, Opinion, Review, Mini Review, Brief Research Report, Conceptual Analysis, Perspective, and Methods.
Keywords: Pollutant, particle transport, water quality, groundwater, subsurface water, soil remediation, Critical Zone, contaminant removal, hydrology
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.