Expert Services | Environmental Contamination | Risk Management | Third-Party Review
A Geometric Construction of Traveling Waves in a Bioremediation Model

Abstract: Bioremediation is a promising technique for cleaning contaminated soil. We study an idealized bioremediation model involving a substrate (contaminant to be removed), electron acceptor (added nutrient), and microorganisms in a one-dimensional soil column. Using geometric singular perturbation theory, we construct traveling waves (TW) corresponding to the motion of a biologically active zone, in which the microorganisms consume both substrate and acceptor. For certain values of the parameters, the traveling waves exist on a three-dimensional slow manifold within the five-dimensional phase space. We prove persistence of the slow manifold under perturbation by con- trolling the nonlinearity via a change of coordinates, and we construct the wave in the transverse intersection of appropriate stable and unstable manifolds in this slow manifold. We study how the TW depends on the half-saturation constants and other parameters and investigate numerically a bifurcation in which the TW loses stability to a periodic wave.

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