Geochemistry 

Water Quality

The Water Quality technical group, led by Peter Nico, focuses on deep understanding of the interface between water and the subsurface, the surface, and the atmosphere, and applies the results to solving complex water quality problems. Researchers use experimental approaches to combine field and laboratory investigations with state-of-the-art spectroscopic and microscopic imaging techniques (principally using the Advanced Light Source at Berkeley Lab, and the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Light Source at SLAC). They work with the Geochemistry Department’s Reactive Transport technical group to develop an integrated understanding of complex water, environmental and geochemical systems..

Currently the research focus for this group is on:

  • Contaminant transport and speciation, especially in biostimulated systems
  • Chemical weathering, including the kinetics of mineral precipitation and dissolution

In addition to their access to the synchrotron-based beamlines at the National Laboratories, the Water Quality group maintains a state-of-the-art ICPMS facility consisting of a Perkin-Elmer Elan DRC-II, with a dedicated HPLC system for speciation studies. In addition, they have added capabilities for surface area measurement, along with measurement of both total inorganic and organic carbon.