Visualization of Site-Specific Phytoremediation

EPA Grant Number: F6C30884
Title: Visualization of Site-Specific Phytoremediation
Investigators: Nelson, Mary E.
Institution: University of Virginia
EPA Project Officer: Lee, Sonja
Project Period: September 1, 2006 through September 1, 2008
Project Amount: $73,631
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (2006) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Academic Fellowships , Environmental Justice , Fellowship - Environmental


The success of any phytoremediation strategy depends upon an accurate match to site-specific conditions. To date, the process for making a successful match remains a stumbling block for scientific and design communities alike. This project tests a decision-making tool for creating site-specific phytoremediation strategies.


Using geographic information systems (GIS) technology, this project will integrate the following components:

  • A database of existing scientific data on phytoremediation processes and species
  • An interactive geographic data set for site-specific conditions
  • Cross-reference of the phytoremediation database with site-specific conditions
  • 2D and 3D visualization of site conditions and plant species

The phytoremediation database will include the remedial, biological, spatial and temporal qualities of plant species as searchable, linkable features. The features of the geographic data set will include contaminant(s), climate zone, topographic qualities, soil condition and solar orientation. This data set will be cross-referenced with the plant database to establish the species available for successful and sustainable (non-invasive) phytoremediation. The methodology for 2D and 3D visualization will develop in response to the graphics procedures available within current GIS technology. The project will examine USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 6 and 7 of the Mid-Atlantic as its study area.

Expected Results:

The expected result is a model for an interactive GIS application that identifies the phytoremediation processes and plant species available to a specific site and facilitates the visualization of their spatial and temporal impact. Its potential as an environmental decision-making and educational tool will interest academia, government agencies, non-profit organizations, landscape architects and environmental engineers.

Supplemental Keywords:

Land, soil, groundwater, absorption, adsorption, hyper-accumulators, ecological effects, human health, chemicals, toxins, PAH, heavy metals, solvents, ecosystem, restoration, cleanup, remediation, bioremediation, socio-economic, public good, modeling, EPA Region 3, VA, Virginia,, Scientific Discipline, Waste, TREATMENT/CONTROL, Treatment Technologies, Bioremediation, Ecology and Ecosystems, contaminated sediments, plant-based remediation, decision making tool, geochemistry, bioremediation of soils, GIS, phytoremediation

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2007
  • Final