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Faculty for Biology, Chemistry, and Earth Sciences

Soil Physics - Prof. Dr. Andrea Carminati

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Finished Theses

Master's Theses
Eva Bayreuther (2019) Displacement and behavior of microplastic particles in porous media at temporary water flow

Plastics have a high impact on our world, and it is estimated that about 6300 million tonnes of plastic waste werre produced until 2015 and 79% of it was released into the environment. In recent years, particles in the micro- and nanoscale have particularly moved into the focus of science, but how those particles impact our immensely important ecosystem, the soil, so far little is known.
The behaviour of the particles underground, or whether, for what reasons and at what rate they are distributed, whether they could get into the groundwater and whether they change the properties of the soil, is of particular interest.

The planned thesis hopes to answer some basic questions in an experimental way.
In order to better understand the basic behavior of microplastics in porous media with a temporary flow of water, experiments with particles of different material, shape and size will be conducted and modelled with an simplified soil model. Another focus is on whether and how repeated drying and rewetting cycles affect the mobility and accumulation behavior of the particles and whether microplastic causes changes in the contact angle between soil and water phase.

Supervisor: Andrea Carminati
Judith Schepers (2019) Biophysical properties of root exudates and their impact on the shape of water in soil

Mucilage is a polymeric gel that is exuded at the root tips and that maintains the rhizosphere moist
during soil drying (Carminati et al. 2017). Despite mucilage has been recently subject of intensive
investigation, the knowledge of its physical properties and impact on soil hydraulic properties is still
Mucilage surface tension and viscosity are two key physical properties to understand the effect of


Supervisor: Pascal Benard, Andrea Carminati
Patrick José v Jeetze (2019) Effects of soil heterogeneity on root water uptake under drying conditions and varying transpiration rates

Water flow in soils is heterogeneous at many scales. In a given representative elementary volume these heterogeneities can be described by an effective hydraulic conductivity. Standard root water uptake models commonly rely on this representative hydraulic conductivity and assume that the hydraulic conductivity of the soil cylinder around the roots is equal to that measured in soil samples representative of the bulk soil.



Supervisor: Andrea Carminati, Mohsen Zarebanadkouki
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