Investigations of colloid movement through geologic materials are driven by a variety of issues, including contaminant transport, soil-profile development, and subsurface migration of pathogenic microorganisms. In this review, we address recent advances in understanding of colloid transport through partially saturated porous media. Special emphasis is placed on features of the vadose zone (i.e., the presence of air–water interfaces, rapid fluctuations in porewater flow rates and chemistry) that distinguish colloid transport in unsaturated media from colloid transport in saturated media. We examine experimental studies on colloid deposition and mobilization and survey recent developments in modeling colloid transport and mass transfer. We conclude with an overview of directions for future research in this field.

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