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

Result 1 – Conference presentations:

  • Ponprasit, C., Zhang, Y., Guthrie, G., & Goodliffe, A. (2022). Groundwater model for Alabama: Development and application to groundwater storage and vulnerability assessment. Poster presentation in: American Water Resources Association (AWRA) 2022 Spring Conference. (The 2nd Student Presentation Award)
  • Ponprasit, C.* (student advised), Zhang, Y., Guthrie, G.M., Gu, X.F., Goodliffe, A., & Sun, H.G. Modeling groundwater resources in coastal plain of Alabama: From sustainability to vulnerability. 2022 American Geophysical Union (AGU) Annual Fall Meeting, Chicago, IL
  • Gholizadeh, H.* (student advised), Zhang, Y., & Frame, J.M. Long short-term memory networks to explore the spatiotemporal evolution of surface and subsurface water sources in Alabama state. 2022 American Geophysical Union (AGU) Annual Fall Meeting, Chicago, IL.

Result 2 – Journal publications:

  • 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.
  • 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)
  • Chaloemporn (Chloe) Ponprasit (MS) (2021.8~2023.5)
  • 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. Tick)

Courses Taught

  • GEO 101 – The Dynamic Earth
  • GEO 525 – MODFLOW Groundwater Modeling (Groundwater Models)
  • GEO 525 – Modeling of Contaminant Transport in Earth Surface (Stochastic Hydrology)
  • GEO 525 – Scientific Programming
  • GEO 525 – Vadose Zone Hydrology (Soil Physics)
  • GEO 525 – Applied Hydrology (Watershed Hydrology)
  • GEO 525 – Introduction Hydrology
  • GEO 525 – Surface Water – Ground Water Interaction
  • GEO 525 – Probability in Hydrology
  • GEO 450/550 – Geostatistics

Selected Publications

* Student paper

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.