I study the processes of and driving forces for mineral reactions with a focus on fluid-rock interactions. My research publications span environments from the upper mantle to the near surface. Over the past decade, my primary research interests have migrated from deep crustal metamorphic processes to shallower magmatic-hydrothermal systems and associated mineral deposits to, most recently, carbon sequestration at and near the surface of the Earth. The commonality between these projects is the integration of field data and forward models for heat-mass transport and reaction, and the conscription of appropriate geochemical tracers as monitors of fluid-rock interactions.
My research activities in crustal fluid flow, including metamorphism and magmatic-hydrothermal systems, are directed towards answering two questions: What do alteration patterns tell us about fluid flow? and What controls fluid flow? To answer these questions, I combine field-based petrologic, geochemical and isotopic study of specific metamorphic terranes with forward modeling of reactive transport during fluid flow. My long-term objectives are to:
- develop and test transport models that delineate the first-order structure of fluid circulation, and
- discern the controls on and driving forces for fluid flow.
My research program in carbon sequestration identifies and evaluates novel CO2 fixation pathways that offset anthropogenic greenhouse gas production. Central to these studies are the field identification of active carbon fixation; field examination of geologic analogues to industrial fixation processes; mineralogical, geochemical and isotopic analysis of carbon sinks; and reactive transport modeling of carbon transport and fixation. My long-term objectives are to:
- develop new efficient reaction pathways for carbon sequestration,
- provide an objective scientific verification protocol for crystallographic trapping of carbon, and
- evaluate the stability and safety of stored carbon.