The Bedrock Bioremediation Center

BBC News
BBC Multidisciplinary Research Objectives
Current Research and Technology Transfer
BBC Faculty
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 Upfront ::  BBC News
  GSA presentation preview slide  

Effects of Hydraulic Fracturing in Shallow Bedrock Formations
Thomas P. Ballestero, Sergio José Dos Santos, Ernesto Pitombeira

Presented at the 2009 GSA in Portland, Oregon.

View the presentation here>>

  Bedrock Poster Preview  

Interpretation of Hydraulic Tests and Implications Towards the Representative Elementary Volume for Bedrock Systems

Thomas P. Ballestero and Gonzalo Pulido

View the poster here>>

  NGWA 2007  

2007 US EPA/NGWA Fractured Rock Conference Demonstration

Portland, Maine
September 24-26, 2007

Dr. Tom Ballestero's presentations are available:

  Inquiry Journal Homepage  

Bioremediation of an Organically Contaminated Bedrock Aquifer

The UNH Undergraduate Research Journal, Inquiry Journal, has published an article by Maureen Lewis in the Spring '06 issue. Maureen's article is about the research she conducted with Dr. Nancy Kinner and the Bedrock Bioremediation Center while she was an undergrad. Read the article here>>


Fractured Rock Preview       

NGWA Eastern Regional Conference 2005 - Fractured Rock Characterization Workshop

Portland, Maine
September 28, 2005

Dr. Tom Ballestero's presentation is available here >>


NGWA - EPA Fractured Rock Conference

Portland, Maine
September 13 - 15, 2004

Pease Tradeport, Portsmouth, NH
September 16, 2004

Details of our participation can be found here >>


HyTests Update

Please visit the BBC Software page to download the latest version of HyTests (updated - 10/1/03).


Primera Conferencia Regional Sobre Agua Subterranea
March 20, 2003

Dr. Tom Ballestero gave three presentations which are available upon request (

  • Monitoreo de Acuíferos

  • Proyecto de Exploración y Evaluación de Aguas Subterráneas

  • Contaminacion de Acuiferos

Fluids in Fractured Rocks, Theory and Applications - Mini-Symposium supported by the Department of Geology and Geophysics at the University of Connecticut
March 8, 2003

Dr. Tom Ballestero's presentation, "Experiences of hydraulic testing at a metasedimentary bedrock site: type of test; analyses of data; and interpretation of results," available upon request (

Multidisciplinary Research Objectives

The Bedrock Bioremediation Center (BBC) is a center situated within the Environmental Research Group (ERG) at the University of New Hampshire. Housed in the University's state-of-the-art Environmental Technology Building, it specializes in multidisciplinary research on bioremediation of organically-contaminated bedrock aquifers including developing:

  • techniques for characterizing groundwater flow and fracture patterns,

  • field technologies to control hydraulic and flow conditions in contaminated zones,

  • innovative microbial and molecular techniques to accelerate and monitor in situ bioremediation,

  • field/lab methods to determine and accelerate in situ bioremediation rates,

  • remediation technologies for organically contaminated aquifers.

The Center is comprised of a consortium of faculty from the Environmental Research Group and the Departments of Microbiology and Earth Sciences. The consortium has received $3,500,000 in support of its activities from US EPA.


Current Research and Technology Transfer

The Center will soon begin work with local communities to verify in situ technologies and transfer technology to federal, state, and local agencies. The BBC's Scientific Advisory Board, consisting of US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), US Geological Survey (USGS), US Air Force, and NH Department of Environmental Services (DES) scientists and regulators, provides input on research topics and experimental design.

The BBC's first task was to determine the extent of natural attenuation and bioremediation occurring in an organically-contaminated bedrock aquifer at the Pease International Tradeport (Portsmouth, NH; formerly Pease Air Force Base). The Center is also conducting research to:

  1. more efficiently and economically characterize the direction of groundwater flow and fracture patterns (size, direction, secondary mineralization) in the contaminated bedrock aquifers. Without an understanding of the fracture patterns, flow paths and contaminant distributions (sorbed and dissolved phases), it is very difficult to develop strategies for implementing bioremediation in situ.
  2. improve and develop new field technologies to control hydraulic and flow conditions in the contaminant zone. Without controlling these parameters, the ability to affect biodegradation is limited.
  3. develop laboratory and field methods to estimate and accelerate in situ rates of bioremediation of organic contaminants in bedrock aquifers. Knowing these rates is crucial because they must be used in fate and transport models to predict whether bioremediation will reduce the organic concentrations to acceptable levels before the contaminants reach the nearest receptors (e.g. drinking water wells)
  4. develop and apply innovative microbial and molecular biology techniques to enhance in situ bioremediation and assess the efficacy of remedial strategies.

The major outreach effort of the BBC is to transfer information gained during its research to Federal, state and local regulatory agencies and environmental consultants.

The BBC Faculty

BALLESTERO, Thomas P. (PE, PhD, PH, CGWP, Colorado State University, 1981, Associate Professor of Civil/Environmental Engineering) Interests: hydrogeology, hydrogeologic monitoring, water resources and hydrology.

BENOIT, Jean (PhD, Stanford University, 1983, Professor of Civil Engineering) Interests: in situ soils characterization dealing with various boring advances and testing techniques, geoenvironmental engineering. Dr. Benoit is currently the principal investigator of the National Geotechnical Experimentation Sites (NGES) program funded by NSF and FHWA.

BIRCH, Francis S. (PhD, Princeton University, 1969, Professor of Earth Sciences) Interests: geophysics as it relates to ground water, electrical resistivity, magnetic surveying, seismic refraction, electromagnetic surveys and ground-penetrating radar.

BOTHNER, Wallace A. (PhD, University of Wyoming, 1967, Professor of Earth Sciences). Interests: structural geology, bedrock geologic mapping, structural analysis, and interpretation of igneous and metamorphic rocks in central and northern New England.

DAVIS, J. Matthew (PhD, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, 1985, Associate Professor of Earth Sciences) Interests: sedimentary materials, geologic controls on fluid flow and solute transport, use of geological information in the quantification of hydrologic models, integration of geological and geophysical data with statistical models of flow and transport.

EIGHMY, T. Taylor (PhD, University of New Hampshire, 1986, Research Professor of Civil/Environmental Engineering) Interests: element speciation, surface analysis, environmental chemistry of leaching behavior, residue characterization, use of recycled materials in highway applications, chemical stabilization, reactive barriers, innovative and alternative treatment technologies, and technovation.

KINNER, Nancy (PhD, University of New Hampshire, 1983, Professor of Civil/Environmental Engineering) Interests: microbial ecology, groundwater microbiology, biogeochemical processes, in situ remediation, bioremediation. Advisor to NH DES on in situ bioremediation.

SULLIVAN, Elise R. (PhD, University of Maryland, 1999, Assistant Professor of Microbiology) Interests: microbial degradation of pollutants, including identification of responsible organisms and determination of specific genes involved in the breakdown process.

TISA, Louis S. (PhD, University of Wisconsin, 1987, Associate Professor of Microbiology) Interests: microbial physiology and diversity and the impact that they have on the environment, Biology of the Actinomycetes; Signal Transduction; Bioremediation; Environmental Genomics; Insect-Microbe Interactions; Plant-Microbe Interactions.


Need More Information?

Please contact:

Dr. Nancy Kinner
Director, UNH Bedrock Bioremediation Center
Department of Civil Engineering
236 Gregg Hall
35 Colovos Rd.
University of New Hampshire
Durham, NH 03824
(+1) 603.862.1422 tel
(+1) 603.862.3957 fax

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University of New Hampshire
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