Carl Steefel, a senior scientist in the Earth & Environmental Sciences Area at Berkeley Lab, has been named by the American Geophysical Union (AGU) as a 2019 AGU Fellow.
Every year, the AGU Fellows program recognizes members who have made exceptional contributions to the Earth and Space sciences. Vetted by a committee of AGU Fellows, honorees represent no more than 0.1 percent of AGU’s 60,000 members.
“It is a great honor to be recognized by an organization that is so well-known within the professional Geosciences community across the world,” said Steefel. “I think that my research, which intersects the fields of geochemistry and hydrology, is a good example of the type of interdisciplinary environmental science research that AGU promotes.”
Steefel is a geochemist who develops and applies models for multicomponent reactive transport to topics including subsurface water-rock interaction, contaminant migration, chemical weathering, and biogeochemical cycling. He developed the first multicomponent, multi-dimensional code for simulating water-rock interaction in non-isothermal environments, and in more recent years has continued to be active in developing capabilities for modeling transport and electrostatic effects in clays, pore scale reactive transport, isotopic fractionation, reaction-induced porosity and permeability change in porous media, and watershed hydrological and biogeochemical function.
“This honor is particularly timely,” said Steefel. “The study of reactive transport is at a crossroads given that many achievements have finally come to fruition, but a whole new set of challenges and opportunities lie ahead. It is an exciting time to be at Berkeley Lab where we have a chance to contribute to the future of multi-scale transport, coupled chemo-hydro-mechanical phenomena, and nanogeosciences.”
Reactive transport modeling plays important roles in many collaborative research projects at Berkeley Lab. In the area of fundamental geochemistry, where Steefel and co-workers are studying the emergent mechanical and transport properties of clay-rich materials, the modeling framework and perspective enables an ambitious long-term research effort to be planned, assists in identifying specific gaps in basic science knowledge, and ensures that breakthroughs in understanding translate to useful predictive models.
Steefel leads/co-leads a number of large Department of Energy projects focused on advancing new modeling capabilities and using the capabilities to understand complex hydro-biogeochemical processes. The ongoing projects include the Subsurface Exascale Project, the ExaSheds Project, the Watershed Function SFA, and Basic Energy Sciences projects.
He serves as a Specialty Editor for Frontiers in Water–Water and Critical Zone and is an Associate Editor of Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta.
Steefel holds a Ph.D. in Geochemistry from Yale University, an M.S. in Geology from the University of Colorado-Boulder, and a B.A. in English Literature from Washington University in St. Louis.
The 2019 AGU Fellows will be honored with a special awards presentation during the AGU’s annual fall meeting on December 11 in San Francisco.