Low frequency electrical measurements (0.1-1000 Hz) were conducted to investigate the adsorption effect of Pseudomonas aeruginosa cells onto clean quartz sands and iron-oxide coated sands. The clean quartz sands showed a gradual increase in the microbial adsorption to mineral grains, concurrent with an increase of 13% in the imaginary conductivity component (σ″). However, iron-oxide coated sands (20-100% by weight) showed a rapid increase in microbial adsorption with σ″ reaching a maximum of 37% for the 80-100% iron coated sands. No significant changes were observed in the real conductivity component (σ′) due to microbial adsorption. A power law dependency was observed between the adsorbed cells and σ″. We suggest that the polarization results from the increase in the surface roughness and surface area of the grain due to bacteria sorption. These results suggest that low frequency electrical measurements can play an important role in assessing microbial transport in subsurface environments.


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Adsorption Effect; Bacterial Adsorption; Coated Sand; Electrical Measurement; Iron-coated Sands; Low Frequency; Low Frequency Electrical Property; Microbial Transport; Mineral Grains; Power Law; Quartz Sand; Subsurface Environment; Surface Area; Adsorption; Bacteriology; Electric Properties; Electric Variables Measurement; Iron Oxides; Mining; Oxide Minerals; Quartz; Surface Roughness; Sand; Bacterium; Electrical Property; Iron Oxide; Microbial Activity; Bacteria (microorganisms); Pseudomonas

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Final Version

File Type





© 2009 American Geophysical Union (AGU), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Feb 2009

Included in

Geology Commons