Doctoral Dissertations

Keywords and Phrases



"The goals of this study were to investigate the effect of: (1) microbial metabolic byproducts, microbial growth, and biofilm formation on the low frequency electrical properties of porous media, (2) biofilm formation on acoustic wave properties, and (3) the natural electrical (self-potential) signatures associated with an in-situ biological permeable reactive barrier (PRB). The results suggest: (1) increases in electrolytic conductivity are consistent with increased concentrations of organic acids and biosurfactants; (2) mineral weathering promoted by organic acids causes increases in electrolytic conductivity, concomitant with increases in major cation concentrations; (3) interfacial conductivity generally parallels microbial cell concentrations and biofilm formation; (4) variations in microbial growth and biofilms causes spatiotemporal heterogeneity in the elastic properties of porous media; (5) SP signatures associated with the injection of groundwater into an in-situ biological PRB are dominated by diffusion potentials induced by the injections. The results suggest that electrolytic conductivity may be useful as an indicator of metabolism, while interfacial conductivity may be used as proxy indicator for microbial growth and biofilm formation in porous media. In addition, acoustic measurements may provide diagnostic spatiotemporal data for the validation of bioclogging models/simulations. Collectively, this study provides further evidence that geophysical measurements are sensitive to microbial-induced changes to geologic media, and may be useful for the detection and monitoring of subsurface microbial growth, activity, and distribution such as in microbial enhanced oil recovery, assessing biofilm barriers used for contaminant remediation, or as sealants for reservoirs in CO₂ sequestration studies"--Abstract, page iv.


Atekwana, Estella A.

Committee Member(s)

Atekwana, Eliot A.
Anderson, Neil L. (Neil Lennart), 1954-
Mormile, Melanie R.
Slater, Lee D.


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Degree Name

Ph. D. in Geology and Geophysics


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Summer 2009

Journal article titles appearing in thesis/dissertation

  • On the contribution of microbial metabolic byproducts to the electrical properties of porous media
  • Microbial growth and biofilm formation in geologic media is detected with complex conductivity measurements
  • Effects of microbial growth and biofilm formation on acoustic wave propagation in porous media
  • Self-potential signatures associated with an injection experiment at an in-situ biological permeable reactive barrier


xiv, 134 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references.


© 2009 Caroline Ann Davis, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

File Type




Subject Headings

Microbiologically influenced corrosion

Thesis Number

T 9525

Print OCLC #


Electronic OCLC #