Nitrate transport is an issue of growing importance to the economy of the tall corn state. Michael Perez, a construction engineering assistant professor in Iowa State University’s Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering Department (ISU CCEE), wants to gain a deeper understanding of saturated riparian buffers.
“We will be collecting field data and using lab testing paramaters to develop groundwater hydrology and geotechnical slope stability models to provide sound engineering design guidance for the installation of saturated buffers across farm land in Iowa” says Michael Perez.
Perez is working alongside graduate students Loulou Dickey and Andrea McEachran, as well as fellow principal investigators Cassandra Rutherford and Chris Rehmann, both faculty members of ISU CCEE. Co-principal investigators Tom Isenhart and Dan Jaynes are also helping with this project.
The work that Perez and his team is conducting deals with research sites across eight different locations in central Iowa. This team currently has two projects focusing on saturated buffers, one for characterizing groundwater hydrology within the buffer, and the other for examining slope stability at the buffer site. The team hopes to develop an interface to incorporate field tiles and drainage practices into seepage and slope stability models.