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Environmental EngineerContact Info
Gary Curtis is a hydrogeochemist who develops and applies reactive transport models to groundwater contamination problems involving hexavalent uranium (U(VI)) and chloroethenes. His research interests include:
Developing upscaled reactive transport models that can be applied to real-world plume scale simulations that honor detailed understanding developed from small scale laboratory and field tracer tests.
Curtis, G.P., Kohler, M., Davis, J.A. Comparing Approaches for Simulating the Reactive Transport of U(VI) in Ground Water, 2009, Mine Water and the Environment, 28:84-93.
Cygan, R.T., Stevens, C.T., Puls, R.W., Yabusaki, S.B., Wauchope, R.D., McGrath, C.J., Curtis, G.P., Siegel, M.D., Veblen, L.A., Turner, D.R., 2007, Research activities at U.S. government agencies in subsurface reactive transport modeling, Vadose Zone Journal, 6 (4):805-822.
Curtis, G.P., Davis, J.A., and Naftz, D.L., 2006, Simulation of reactive transport of uranium(VI) in groundwater with variable chemical conditions: Water Resources Research, v. 42, no. 4, W04404, doi: 10.1029/2005WR003979.
Bekins, B. A., Cozzarelli, I.M., and Curtis, G.P., 2005, A simple method for calculating growth rates of petroleum hydrocarbon plumes: Ground Water, 43:817-826.
Davis, J.A., Yabusaki, S.B., Steefel, C.I., Zachara, J.M., Curtis, G.P., Redden, G.P., Criscenti, L.J., and Honeyman, B.D., 2004, Assessing Conceptual Models for Subsurface Reactive Transport of Inorganic Contaminants: EOS, 85(44): 449 and 455.
Curtis, G.P., Fox, P., Kohler, M., and Davis, J.A., 2004, Comparison of in situ uranium Kd values with a laboratory determined surface complexation model: Applied Geochemistry, 19:1,643-1,653.
Kohler, M., Curtis, G.P.,Meece, D.E., and Davis, J.A., 2004, Methods for estimating adsorbed uranium(VI) and distribution coefficients in contaminated sediments, Environ.Sci.Technol., 34:240-247.
Curtis, G.P., 2003. Comparison of approaches for simulating reactive solute transport involving organic degradation reactions by multiple terminal electron acceptors, Computers in Geosciences, 18(3):319-329.
Kohler, M., Curtis, G. P.; Kent, D. B., and Davis, J. A., 1996, Experimental investigation and modeling of uranium(VI) transport under variable chemical conditions. Water Resources Research, 32(12):3539-3552.
Curtis, G.P. and M. Reinhard, 1993. Reductive dehalogenation of hexachloroethane, carbon tetrachloride and bromoform by anthrahydroquinone disulfonate and humic acid. Environmental Science and Technology. 28(12):2393-2401.
Powell, R.M., Bledsoe, B.E., Curtis, G.P. and Johnson, R.M., 1989, Interlaboratory methods comparison for the total organic carbon analysis of aquifer material: Environmental Science and Technology. 23(10):1246-1251.
Curtis, G.P., Roberts, P.V., and Reinhard, M., 1986, A natural gradient experiment on solute transport in a sand aquifer: IV. Sorption of organic solutes and its influence on mobility: Water Resources Research. 22(13):2059-2067.
Curtis, G.P., and Davis, J.A., 2004, Simulation of U(VI) transport in groundwater with variable geochemical conditions, in Wanty, R.B., and Seal, R.R., II, eds., Water-Rock Interaction, Proceedings of the Eleventh International Symposium on Water-Rock Interaction, Saratoga Springs, New York, July 2004: New York, A.A. Balkema, v. 2, p. 927-933.
Reinhard, M., Curtis, G.P., and Barbash, J.E., 1997. Natural chemical attenuation of halogenated hydrocarbon compounds via dehalogenation. In: C.H.Ward, J.A.Cherry and M.R. Scalf, eds, Subsurface Restoration.
Ball, W.P., Curtis, G.P., and Roberts, P.V., 1997. Physical/Chemical Processes affecting the subsurface fate and transport of synthetic organic materials. In: C.H.Ward, J.A.Cherry and M.R. Scalf, eds, Subsurface Restoration.
Curtis, G.P., Reinhard, M., and Roberts, P.V., 1986, Sorption of hydrophobic organic compounds by sediments. in: J.A. Davis and K.F.Hayes, eds., Geochemical Processes at Mineral Surfaces. ACS Symposium Series 323, American Chemical Society,
Davis, J.A. and G.P. Curtis, 2007, Consideration of Geochemical Issues in Groundwater Report NUREG CR-6870,
Curtis, G.P. and Davis, J.A., 2006, Tests of Uranium(VI) Adsorption Models in a Field Setting, Report NUREG CR-6911,
Curtis, G.P., 2005, Documentation and Applications of the Reactive Geochemical Transport Model RATEQ, Report NUREG CR-6871, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Rockville, MD, 97 p.
Rousseau, J.P., Landa, E.R., Nimmo, J.R., Cecil, L.D., Knobel, L.L., Glynn, P.D., Kwicklis, E.M., Curtis, G.P., Stollenwerk, K.G., Anderson, S.R., Bartholomay, R.C., Bossong, C.R., and Orr, B.R., 2005, Review of the transport of selected radionuclides in the interim risk assessment for the Radioactive Waste Management Complex, Waste Area Group 7 Operable Unit 7-13/14, Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory, Idaho: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2005-5026, 283 p. in 2 volumes.
Davis, J.A., and Curtis, G.P., 2003, Application of Surface Complexation Modeling to Describe Uranium(VI) Adsorption and Retardation at the Uranium Mill Tailings Site at
Curtis, G.P., Cozzarelli, I.M., Baedecker, M.J., Bekins, B.A., 1999. Coupled biogeochemical modeling of ground water contamination at the
My Science Topics
Field Research Sites
Naturita UMTRA Site
Statement of Problem:
Groundwater contamination from hexavalent uranium U(VI) is a problem at many federal sites because of its importance in the nuclear fuel cycle. The adsorption and therefore mobility of U(VI) in groundwater is controlled by the local geochemical conditions such as pH and especially the alkalinity which is usually composed primarily of bicarbonate and carbonate ions. Understanding the mobility of U(VI) in groundwater is a key prerequisite to estimating the discharge to receiving water bodies, quantifying risks from the use of contaminated groundwater and evaluating site management alternatives.
Current Research Activities at the Naturita Site:
We gratefully acknowledge the support of our funding agencies
1994-2004 US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research
2005-2010 US Department of Energy Subsurface Biogeocemical Research
Bldg 15, McKelvey Building, 345 Middlefield Road
Menlo Park, CA 94025-3561
650-329-4327 - Fax
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