Research Topic

Environmental Contamination Solutions for Complex Heterogeneous Systems

About this Research Topic

There are nearly 5 million potentially contaminated greenfield and brownfield sites yet to be remediated, despite over 75 years of practitioners tackling the problems associated with contamination. This problem is well recognized, but the pace at which evidence-based policies to facilitate clean-up are developed is very slow. This can be attributed to the complex nature of contaminants including the heterogeneity of environmental media impacted by such toxic substances.

Soil for instance is made up of solid, liquid, and gaseous phases plus macro and micro pores. The solid matrix is made up of organics and mineral constituents that vary depending on the depth variation of the soil profile and geographical location. Indeed, the composition of ground water and the matrix through which it flows varies as well. Further, the fate and dynamics of any chemical in such an environment would vary with the chemistry of contaminants and physics of the mobility of such chemicals, including the microbiome. Coupling these considerations together with engineering approaches is needed for tackling complex environmental contamination problems. However, rarely does one see disciplines working together to generate solutions.

There is a desperate need for a more wholistic and trans-disciplinary research approach to contamination research, that involves different disciplines jointly conducting research that leads to the creation of new conceptual, theoretical, methodological, and translational innovations. This Research Topic focusses on transdisciplinary research aimed at developing solutions for complex heterogeneous systems such as environmental contamination that cuts across:

(a) Multiple media including solid-liquid and gaseous phase;
(b) Varying soil texture and physico-chemical properties on a site by site basis;
(c) Mixed contamination with varying toxicity;
(d) Emergent contaminants;
(e) In situ coupled with ex-situ solutions and technologies, e.g. sensor tools, soil, surface- and ground-water remediation technologies;
(f) Point source to diffuse contamination; and
(g) End-points for remediation;

Scientists and engineers jointly working towards developing solutions for environmental contamination problems are invited to contribute towards this Research Topic, which is likely to be the first such issue globally. Manuscripts focusing, but not limited to, on one of the above or related points are particularly welcome. Available article formats include Original Research, Review, Technology and code, Policy and Practice Review.

Topic Editor Dr Aravind Surapaneni is employed by South East Water Corporation, Australia. The other Topic Editors declare no competing interests with regard to the Research Topic subject.


Keywords: contaminants, bioavailability, risks, remediation, risk communication, predictive modelling, climate change, monitoring


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.

There are nearly 5 million potentially contaminated greenfield and brownfield sites yet to be remediated, despite over 75 years of practitioners tackling the problems associated with contamination. This problem is well recognized, but the pace at which evidence-based policies to facilitate clean-up are developed is very slow. This can be attributed to the complex nature of contaminants including the heterogeneity of environmental media impacted by such toxic substances.

Soil for instance is made up of solid, liquid, and gaseous phases plus macro and micro pores. The solid matrix is made up of organics and mineral constituents that vary depending on the depth variation of the soil profile and geographical location. Indeed, the composition of ground water and the matrix through which it flows varies as well. Further, the fate and dynamics of any chemical in such an environment would vary with the chemistry of contaminants and physics of the mobility of such chemicals, including the microbiome. Coupling these considerations together with engineering approaches is needed for tackling complex environmental contamination problems. However, rarely does one see disciplines working together to generate solutions.

There is a desperate need for a more wholistic and trans-disciplinary research approach to contamination research, that involves different disciplines jointly conducting research that leads to the creation of new conceptual, theoretical, methodological, and translational innovations. This Research Topic focusses on transdisciplinary research aimed at developing solutions for complex heterogeneous systems such as environmental contamination that cuts across:

(a) Multiple media including solid-liquid and gaseous phase;
(b) Varying soil texture and physico-chemical properties on a site by site basis;
(c) Mixed contamination with varying toxicity;
(d) Emergent contaminants;
(e) In situ coupled with ex-situ solutions and technologies, e.g. sensor tools, soil, surface- and ground-water remediation technologies;
(f) Point source to diffuse contamination; and
(g) End-points for remediation;

Scientists and engineers jointly working towards developing solutions for environmental contamination problems are invited to contribute towards this Research Topic, which is likely to be the first such issue globally. Manuscripts focusing, but not limited to, on one of the above or related points are particularly welcome. Available article formats include Original Research, Review, Technology and code, Policy and Practice Review.

Topic Editor Dr Aravind Surapaneni is employed by South East Water Corporation, Australia. The other Topic Editors declare no competing interests with regard to the Research Topic subject.


Keywords: contaminants, bioavailability, risks, remediation, risk communication, predictive modelling, climate change, monitoring


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.

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Submission Deadlines

20 January 2021 Abstract
30 June 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

20 January 2021 Abstract
30 June 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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