Yong Zhang

Yong Zhang

Undergraduate Program Director


  • BS, Hydrogeology and Geo-Engineering, Nanjing University, China, 1993
  • PhD, Hydrology and Water Resources, Nanjing University, China, 1998
  • Post-Doctoral, University of California, Davis, CA, 1999-2004
  • Post-Doctoral, Desert Research Institute, Reno, NV, 2004-2005
  • Post-Doctoral, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO, 2005-2007

Research Areas

  • Hydrogeology, Hydrology
  • Environmental Geochemistry, Fractional Calculus


Research Interests

  • Stochastic hydrology & numerical modeling
  • Contaminant transport and remediation in soil/water/aquifer (heavy metals, PFAS, microplastics, anti-biotics)
  • Surface water – groundwater interaction

Current Research Projects

Project: “Groundwater 2070 in Baldwin County, Alabama under a changing climate and threatened by seawater intrusion: From sustainability to vulnerability

* Student paper

  • Ponprasit, C.*; Zhang, Y. (corresponding author), & Wei, W. (2022). Backward location and travel time probabilities for pollutants moving in three-dimensional aquifers: Governing equations and scale effect. Water, 14, 624.
  • Ponprasit, C.*, Zhang, Y. (corresponding author), Gu, X., Goodliffe, A.M., & Sun, H.G. (2023). Assessing vulnerability of regional-scale aquifer-aquitard systems in East Gulf Coastal Plain of Alabama by developing groundwater flow and transport models. Water, 15(10), 1937.
  • Gholizadeh, H.*, Zhang, Y. (corresponding author), Frame, J.M.*, Gu, X.F., & Green, C.T. (2023). Long short-term memory models to quantify long-term evolution of streamflow discharge and groundwater head in Alabama. Science of The Total Environment, 901, 165884.
  • Oluwaniyi, O.*, Zhang, Y. (corresponding author), Gholizadeh, H.*, Li, B., Gu, X., Sun, H.G., & Lu, C.P. (2023). Correlating groundwater storage change and precipitation in Alabama, United States from 2000–2021 by combining the water table fluctuation method and statistical analyses. Sustainability, 15(21), 15324.
  • Zhang, Y., Brusseau, M.L., Neupauer, R.M., & Wei, W. (2022), General backward model to identify the source for contaminants undergoing non-Fickian diffusion in water. Environmental Science & Technology, 56, 10743-10753.

Research Group Members


Welcome students with various background and interest (hydrogeology, hydrology, computational physics, geochemistry, applied mathematics, statistics and/or probability, and/or environmental sciences)

Current students:

  • Jonathan Frame (PhD) (2020.1~2022.8, Chaired by Dr. Grey Nearing in the first 3 years) – 2022 UA Outstanding Ph.D. Student Research Award
  • Chaloemporn Ponprasit (MS) (2021.8~2023.5) – 2023 A&S Outstanding Thesis Award
  • Hossein Gholizadeh (PhD) (2022.1~2025.12)
  • Olaoluwa Oluwaniyi (PhD) (2022.8~2026.5)
  • Bahareh Dermani (PhD) (2022.8~2026.5)
  • Mary Puckett (PhD: Co-advised with Dr. Geoff Tick)
  • Rebecca Greenberg (PhD: Co-advised with Dr. Geoff Tick)
  • Ojo Ogundare (PhD: Co-advised with Dr. Geoff Tick)

Courses Taught

  • GEO 101 – The Dynamic Earth
  • GEO 306 – Introduction to Hydrogeology
  • GEO 450 – Geostatistics
  • GEO 525 – MODFLOW Groundwater Modeling
  • GEO 525 – Modeling of Contaminant Transport in Earth Surface
  • GEO 525 – Scientific Programming
  • GEO 525 – Soil Physics
  • GEO 525 – Applied Hydrology (Watershed Hydrology)
  • GEO 525 – Introduction Hydrology
  • GEO 525 – Surface Water – Ground Water Interaction
  • GEO 525 – Probability
  • GEO 525 – Fractional Calculus I
  • GEO 525 – Geochemical and Biogeochemical Reaction Modeling

Selected Publications


  1. Yu, X.N., Dentz, M., Sun, H.G., and Zhang, Y., 2024. The impact of microscale physics in continuous time random walks for hydrodynamic dispersion in disordered media. In revision
  2. Zhou, D.B., Zhang, Y. (Corresponding author), Sun, H.G., and Reeves, D.M., 2024. Vertical matrix advection dominates transient anomalous diffusion within fracture-matrix systems using a modified diffusion model. In review
  3. Sun, H.G., Jiang, Y.H., Zhang, Y., and Jiang, L.J., 2024. A review of constitutive models for non-Newtonian fluids. In review
  4. Yang, Y., Sun, H.G., Zhang, Y., Yu, Z.B., and Gu, H.H., 2024. Spatiotemporal characteristics of extreme precipitation in China during 1959-2015. In review
  5. Yang, S., Sun, H.G., Zhang, M.K., Zhang, Y., and Hao, X.X., 2024. Ammonia nitrogen removal using natural zeolite and zero-valent iron: Experimental and numerical analysis with a tempered one-sided stable density model. In review
  6. Wu, C.C., Lu, C.P., Wang, Y.F., Xie, Y., Plattner, A.M., Liu, B., Shu, L.C., and Zhang, Y., 2024. Satellite and hydrologic approaches to unraveling groundwater complexity in a coastal plain in China. In review
  7. Jiang, Y.H., Sun, H.G., and Zhang, Y., 2024. Convection heat and mass transfer of non-Newtonian fluids in porous media with Soret and Dufour effects using a two-sided space fractional derivative model. In review
  8. Wei, H., Wei, S., Ling, M., Sun, H.G., and Zhang, Y. (corresponding author), 2024. Utilizing time fractional Saint‐Venant equations to model hydrograph retardation. Journal of Hydrology, in revision
  9. Yin, L., Xu, L., Shi, K.P., Chen, W.Y., Zhang, Y., Wang, J., An, J., He, H., Yang, S.G., Li, S.Y., and Ni, L.X., 2024. Physiology, microcystin production, and transcriptomic responses of Microcystis aeruginosa exposed to calcium and magnesium. Science of the Total Environment, 913, 169786.
  10. Yao, Y., Ma, K., Li, S., Zhang, Y., Zhang, Z., Fang, F., Lin, Y., Yin, L., Sun, L. and Zhang, C., 2024. Dissolved organic matter and Fe/Mn enhance the combination and transformation of As in Lake Chaohu Basin. Journal of Environmental Management, 349, 119425.


  1. Zhang, M.J., Wei, S., Dong, S.N., Wei, W., and Zhang, Y. (corresponding author), 2023. Effects of sodium dodecyl sulfate and solution chemistry on retention and transport of biogenic nano-hydroxyapatite in saturated porous media. Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects, 661, 130956.
  2. Lei, D.W., Sun, H.G., Zhang, Y., Blaszczyk, T., and Yu, Z.B., 2023. Upscaling solute transport in rough single-fractured media with matrix diffusion using time fractional advection-dispersion equation. Journal of Hydrology, 627, part B, 130280.
  3. Yin, M.S., Ma, R., Zhang, Y., Lin, J.J., Guo, Z.L., and Zheng, C.M., 2023. Competitive control of multiscale aquifer heterogeneity on solute transport in an alluvial aquifer. Journal of Hydrology, 616, 128819.
  4. Shi, K., Wang, J., Yin, L., Xu, Y., Kong, D., Li, H., Zhang, Y., Yao, Y., He, H., Yang, S., and Ni, L., 2023. Efficient synergistic degradation of tetracycline hydrochloride by protonated g-C3N4 and Chlorella pyrenoidosa: kinetics and mechanism. Chemical Engineering Journal, 462, 142331.
  5. Wang, J., Shi, K.P., Liu, W.J., Yin, L., Xu, Y., Kong, D.S., Ni, L.X., Yao, Y.R., Li, S.Y., Zhang, Y., Yang, S.G., and He, H., 2023. Novel ZIF-8@CHs catalysts for photocatalytic degradation of tetracycline hydrochloride. Chemical Engineering Journal, 461, 142130.
  6. Zhang, Y., 2023. Adjoint models with non-Fickian reactive transport to identify pollutant sources in water. Journal of Hazardous Materials Advances, 12, 100331.
  7. Niu, X.Y., Lu, C.P., Zhang, Y., Zhang, Y., Wu, C.C., Saidy, E., Liu, B., and Shu, L.C., 2023. Hysteresis response of groundwater depth on the influencing factors using an explainable learning model framework with Shapley values. Science of the Total Environment, 904, 166662.
  8. Li, Z.P., Oshtorjani, M.K., Chen, D., Zhang, Y., and Sun, H.G., 2023. Dynamics of dual-mode bedload transport with three-dimensional alternate bars migration in subcritical flow: Experiments and model analysis. Journal of Geophysical Research – Earth Surface, 128(3), e2022JF006882.
  9. Yao, Y.R., Wang, W., Ma, K., Tan, H.R., Zhang, Y., Fang, F.M., and He, C., 2023. Transmission paths and source areas of near-surface ozone pollution in the Yangtze River Delta region, China from 2015 to 2021. Journal of Environmental Management, 330(15), 117105.
  10. Dong, P.Y., Yin, M.S., Zhang, Y., Chen, K., Finkel, M., Grathwohl, P., and Zheng, C.M., 2023. A fractional-order dual-continuum model to capture non-Fickian solute transport in a regional-scale fractured aquifer. Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, 258, 104231.


  1. Zhang, Y., 2022. Backward particle tracking of anomalous transport in multi-dimensional aquifers. Water Resources Research, 58(10), e2022WR032396.
  2. Yin, M.S., R. Ma, Y. Zhang (corresponding author), K. Chen, Z. Guo, and C.M. Zheng, 2022. A dual heterogeneous domain model for upscaling anomalous transport with multi‐peaks in heterogeneous aquifers. Water Resources Research, 58(4), e2021WR031128.
  3. Wei, S., Y. Zheng, X. Liang, P. Xu, Y. Tian, J.M. Frame, and Y. Zhang (corresponding author), 2022. A distributed domain model coupling open channel flow and groundwater flow to quantify the impact of lateral hydrologic exchange on hydrograph. Journal of Hydrology, 611, 128010.
  4. Gu, X.F., H.G., Sun, Y. Zhang, S.J Zhang, and C.P. Lu, 2022. Partial wavelet coherence to evaluate scale-dependent relationships between precipitation/surface water and groundwater levels in a groundwater system. Water Resources Management, 36(7), 2509-2522.
  5. Yao, Y.R., L. Yin, C. He, J. Li, C. Ponprasit, Y. Zhang, X.Y. Cheng, H. He, S.G. Yang, and S.Y. Li, 2022. Removal kinetics and mechanisms of tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA) by HA-n-FeS colloids in the absence and presence of oxygen. Journal of Environmental Management, 311, 114885.
  6. Li, J., X. Hu, J. Wang, Y.R. Yao, Y. Zhang, H. He, S.G. Yang, L.X. Ni, and S.Y. Li, 2022. Methyl silicate promotes the oxidative degradation of bisphenol A by permanganate: Efficiency enhancement mechanism and solid-liquid separation characteristics. Chemosphere, 293, 133634.
  7. Yao, Y.R., X. Hu, Y. Zhang, H. He, and S.Y. Li, 2022. Visible light promoted the removal of tetrabromobisphenol A from water by humic acid-FeS colloid. Chemosphere, 289, 133192.
  8. Tick, G.R., Slavic, D.R., Akyol, N.H., and Y. Zhang , 2022. Enhanced-solubilization and dissolution of multicomponent DNAPL from homogeneous porous media. Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, 247, 103967.
  9. Liu, X.T., Y. Zhang, H. G. Sun, and Z.L. Guo, 2022. A fractional-order dependent collocation method with graded mesh for impulsive fractional-order system. Computational Mechanics, 69, 113-131.
  10. Sun, H.G., S.Q. Nie, A.I. Packman, Y. Zhang, D. Chen, C.P. Lu, and C.M. Zheng, 2022. Application of Hausdorff fractal derivative to the determination of the vertical sediment concentration distribution. International Journal of Sediment Research, 38(1), 12-23.


  1. Zhou, D.B.* (visiting student), M.L. Brusseau, Y. Zhang (corresponding author), S.Y. Li, W. Wei. H.G. Sun, and C.M. Zheng (2021), Simulating PFAS adsorption kinetics, adsorption isotherms, and nonideal transport in saturated soil with tempered one-sided stable density (TOSD) based models. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 411, 125169.
  2. Zhou, D.B.* (visiting student), X. Han, Y. Zhang (corresponding author), W. Wei, C.T. Green, H.G. Sun, and C.M. Zheng (2021), Co-transport of biogenic nano-hydroxyapatite and Pb(II) in saturated sand columns: Controlling factors and stochastic modelling. Chemosphere, 275, 130078.
  3. Han, X., Y. Zhang, C.M. Zheng, X.N. Yu, S.Y. Li, and W. Wei (2021), Enhanced Cr(VI) removal from water using a green synthesized nanocrystalline chlorapatite: Physicochemical interpretations and fixed-bed column mathematical model study. Chemosphere, 264, 128421.
  4. Wu, C.C., X.Q. Zhang, W.J. Wang, C.P. Lu, Y. Zhang (corresponding author), W. Qin, G.R. Tick, B. Liu, and L.C. Shu (2021), Groundwater level modeling framework by combining the wavelet transform with a long short-term memory data-driven model. Science of The Total Environment, 783, 146948.
  5. Wei, W., J.S. Li, X. Han, Y.J. Yao, W. Zhao, R.M. Han, S.Y. Li, Y. Zhang (corresponding author), and C.M. Zheng (2021), Insights into the adsorption mechanism of tannic acid by a green synthesized nano-hydroxyapatite and its effect on aqueous Cu (II) removal. Science of the Total Environment, 778, 146189.
  6. Zhang, Y., D.B. Zhou, W. Wei, J.M. Frame (student), H.G. Sun, A.Y. Sun, and X. Chen (2021), Hierarchical fractional advection-dispersion equation (FADE) to quantify anomalous transport in river corridor over a broad spectrum of scales: theory and applications. Mathematics, 9, 790.
  7. Yu, X.N., Y. Zhang (corresponding author), and H.G. Sun (2021), Modeling COVID-19 spreading dynamics and unemployment rate evolution in rural and urban counties of Alabama and New York using fractional derivative models. Results in Physics, 26, 104360.
  8. Zhang, Y., X.N. Yu, J. H. Fleckenstein, H.G. Sun, C.P. Lu, M.S. Yin, R. Ma, K. Salsky (undergraduate student funded), W. Wei, and C.M. Zheng (2021), Upscaling heat flow in porous media with periodic surface temperature fluctuation using a one-dimensional subordinated heat transfer equation. Water Resources Research, 57(7), e2020WR027266.
  9. Li, Z.P., D. Chen, H.G. Sun, Z.Z. Meng, Y. Zhang, and R.T. Sibatov (2021), Analyzing and modeling sub-diffusive transport of bedload along a heterogeneous gravel bed using stochastic and statistical methods. Journal of Hydrology, 596, 125697.
  10. Dong, P.Y., W.H. Qiu, X. He, Y. Zhang, and C.M. Zheng (2021), Analysis of physicochemical factors regulating transport behaviors of sulfonamide antibiotics in saturated porous media. Journal of Hydrology, 599, 126381.