FURI | Spring 2024

Understanding the Influence of Vibrational Forces on Soil Chemistry and Microbial Dynamics

Sustainability icon, disabled. A green leaf.

This research investigates the effect of mechanical vibrations on interactions between soil particles, with a specific focus on alterations in pore fluid chemistry and the microbial ecosystem within the soil. The premise is that external vibrational forces could modify the behavior of granular soils, leading to changes in pore fluid pH, electrical conductivity, and microbial community structure. Such modifications are critical as they can impact the longevity and integrity of underground infrastructure through effects on corrosion rates and other degradation mechanisms. Utilizing a controlled experimental framework that mimics soil pore conditions, the study examined how several factors ranging from pH levels and microbial compositions to ionic strengths and vibration frequencies interact to influence soil properties. The outcome of this research is expected to bridge a significant gap in current knowledge, thereby facilitating the adoption of more sustainable practices in the maintenance and preservation of infrastructure.

Student researcher

Rashid Alwashahi

Civil engineering

Hometown: Muscat, Oman

Graduation date: Spring 2024