RESEARCH PROJECTS

The Applied Geochemistry group (AGg) specializes in conducting chemical and isotopic analyses on water, rock and gas samples to trace water, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and sulfurcontaining compounds in surface and subsurface environments. Research topics range from geochemical aspects of shale gas development, geologic CO2sequestration, insitu oilsands production, to tracing sources and fate of nutrients in surface water and groundwater systems. The goal of AGg research is to reduce environmental impacts during responsible resource development. Current research focus on five key areas:

Shale gas and shale oil development: Reservoir processes and environmental impacts

The research group uses novel and established chemical and isotopic tracers to assess the environmental impacts of shale gas and shale oil development on shallow aquatic systems, soils and the atmosphere. The group also investigates the water-gas-rock interactions in hydraulically fractured reservoirs and processes potentially leading to scale formation.

- Tracing of CO2injected into the subsurface

The group uses chemical, isotopic and modeling approaches to trace the movement and fate of CO2injected into deep saline aquifers or mature oilfields.

- Geochemical Processes Affecting Oil Sands Operations

The research group uses chemical, isotopic and modeling techniques to trace water and dissolved constituents affecting produced fluids from in-situ thermal recovery operations. This information is used to predict the key processes leading to scaling in production wells and Once Through Steam Generators (OTSGs).

- Groundwater Quality

The group uses chemical, isotopic and modeling approaches to better understand the quality of shallow groundwater and to identify the sources and the fate of select contaminants including nitrate, sulfate, ammonium, methane, ethane and propane, among others.

- Sources and fate of nutrients in surface water systems

The group uses chemical and isotopic approaches to identify the sources and the fate of nutrients in riverine and lake systems with special focus on nitrate and phosphate.