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Theses

Caractérisation des hot spots de réactivité biogéochimique dans les eaux souterraines

Abstract : Microbial processes play a key role in controlling biogeochemical reactivity in groundwater. The understanding of the spatial and temporal variability of these phenomena and the development of novel experimental field methods, has opened new fields of research and applications, ranging from groundwater remediation to understanding of global biochemical cycles. In the first part of this thesis, we present field observations providing new insights on the role of fractures in the formation of a hotspot of microbial activity. Because of their large reactivity, these hotspots can dominate the biogeochemical dynamics of subsurface systems, despite their small spatial extent. We have thus analyzed the conditions for the formation of a microbial mat composed of iron-oxidizing bacteria at 60 meters depth in the Ploemeur fractured rock observatory (H+ network) while these phenomena are usually observed at the surface. These results show that heterogeneous flowpaths, linked to the structure of fractured media, create mixing zones between iron rich water and oxygen rich water, at the origin of the microbial hotspot. The second part of this work was devoted to the development of a novel method for a continuous measurement of microbial activity in groundwater. The method is based on the use of Fluorescein DiAcetate (FDA) whose product of reaction can be measured continuously by a field fluorimeter. After testing and validating protocols in the lab on enzymatic solutions and natural water, we have implemented this technic in the field in reactive tracer test experiments. A kinetic model allowed us to interpret the lab results, and to compare them to the field kinetics. This method thus opens new perspectives for the characterization of biogeochemical processes in the field.
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Olivier Bochet. Caractérisation des hot spots de réactivité biogéochimique dans les eaux souterraines. Sciences de la Terre. Université Rennes 1, 2017. Français. ⟨NNT : 2017REN1S066⟩. ⟨tel-01727221⟩

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