High Temperature Geochemistry

Te Manaroa hot spring in New Zealand. (Photo credit: Dr. Jen Blank/New Zealand Astrobiology Network).

Our geochemists quantify high temperature, high pressure rock-water-gas interactions. Using these data, they explore the behavior and fate of CO2 injected into deep subsurface formations, geochemical interactions within geothermal systems, and mineral-aqueous fluid interfacial geochemical processes. We have developed geochemical experimental capabilities at extreme temperatures and pressures, beyond conditions characteristic of environmental geochemistry. Our experimental geochemistry capabilities span from the bench-scale to the nanoscale. Lead contact: Nic Spycher.

Reaction Kinetics

  • Crystallographic control of mineral dissolution (K-feldspar, diopside, labradorite, dolomite, etc.)
  • Evolution of crystal habit/morphology with dissolution












Fluid Chemistry and Fracture Growth

  • Subcritical crack growth using Atomic Force Microscope (AFM)
  • Quartz and soda-lime glass
  • Bending experiments at elevated T, up to 80°C, in deionized water
















Phase Partitioning

  • Supercritical CO2-water partitioning experimental data of CH4 and Kr
  • Theoretical model development


























  • Time- and temperature-dependence of carbon steel corrosion and formation of potentially protective FeCO3 surface films
  • Passivation and passivation breakdown of alloyed materials (e.g., stainless steels)
  • Application of electrochemical AC and DC methods (electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, cyclic polarization, open circuit potential (OCP) measurements) to study the electrical and ionic properties of thin oxide/hydroxide and carbonate films
  • Equivalent circuit modeling to quantify these properties



















  • Deuterium exchanges rates between H2 and H2O
  • High-temperature in-situ pH measurements
  • Amino acid hydrothermal stability on mineral surfaces