Lab work


Currently our lab work focuses on coupled heat and water transfer in soils under non-isothermal conditions. Heat transfer and water transfer in response to thermal gradients are intricately interrelated. For example, if a thermal gradient is applied to a soil column as seen in the figure above, heat will be transferred from the hot end to the cold end of the soil column. Liquid water will be vaporized on the hot end of the soil column resulting in a vapor density gradient. The vaporized water is then transferred to the cold end due to the vapor density gradient, taking along with it large amounts of heat called latent heat. As the water vapor condenses on the cold end of the soil column, liquid water moves back to the hot end of the soil column due to a matric potential gradient. Our lab work focuses on understanding the complicated and interrelated processes of heat, water, and chemical transfer in unsaturated, wettable, hydrophobic, and partially frozen soils.