Publication

New Research Shows How Surface Roughness Affects Subsurface Rock Micro-Fractures

  Mineral surface area largely controls the interactions of minerals with fluids and microbes, and the rate of chemical reactions, including mineral dissolution, precipitation, and oxidation-reduction which involves a transfer of electrons between two species. New research from EESA explores the impact of surface roughness on mineral dissolution rates in micro-fractures within rocks deep underground.…

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Algorithm Provides Early Warning System for Tracking Groundwater Contamination

Groundwater contamination is increasingly recognized as a widespread environmental problem. The most important course of action often involves long-term monitoring. But what is the most cost-effective way to monitor when the contaminant plumes are large, complex, and long-term, or an unexpected event such as a storm could cause sudden changes in contaminant levels that may…

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Berkeley Lab Isotope Geochemists Study Isotopic Fractionation by Plants

            Isotope geochemists at Berkeley Lab are the first to establish the degree of Potassium (K) isotopic fractionation by plants. Isotopes are atoms of the same element that have a different number of neutrons. Scientists have just in the past decade begun studying for key nutrient elements (other than C,…

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Berkeley Lab Study Provides New Insights Into Measuring Aquifer Recharge in Semi-Arid Regions

Berkeley Lab researchers who study aquifer recharge and groundwater quality measured concentrations and isotopic composition of the trace element Strontium (Sr) in groundwater to evaluate how local topography affects the amount of groundwater recharge across a semi-dry riparian floodplain in the Upper Colorado River Basin. Their study location was the Rifle Site, one of 18 former…

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EESA Scientists Leverage Machine Learning to Connect Measurements of Shale Across Scales

  EESA Scientists were able to use the new synchrotron Infrared Nano Spectroscopy (SINS) capability at Advanced Light Source. Above: Diagrams of the setup of (a) the Germanium-hemisphere enhanced attenuated total reflection (Ge micro-ATR) and (b) the resonance enhanced SINS.   Berkeley Lab scientists have identified a way to use machine learning to connect fine-…

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Two Papers by EESA Geophysicists Honored by Society of Exploration Geophysicists

Two papers published in 2017 by geophysics researchers within the Energy Geosciences Division have been honored by the Society of Exploration Geophysicists. Geophysics Department Head Jonathan Ajo-Franklin was notified that the studies received Honorable Mention in the category of Best Paper in Geophysics in April.  The papers published by the society are: An effective-medium model for P-wave…

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EESA Scientists Are First to Directly Measure Methane’s Increasing Greenhouse Effect at the Earth’s Surface

Scientists have directly measured the increasing greenhouse effect of methane at the Earth’s surface for the first time. A research team from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) tracked a rise in the warming effect of methane — one of the most important greenhouse gases for the Earth’s atmosphere — over a…

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EESA Researcher’s Enzyme Discovery at JBEI Enables First-Time Microbial Production of an Aromatic Biofuel

  Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have discovered a new enzyme that will enable microbial production of a renewable alternative to petroleum-based toluene, a widely used octane booster in gasoline that has a global market of 29 million tons per year. Results…

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Plants Really Do Feed Their Friends

  Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and UC Berkeley have discovered that as plants develop they craft their root microbiome, favoring microbes that consume very specific metabolites. Their study could help scientists identify ways to enhance the soil microbiome for improved carbon storage and plant productivity. “For more…

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‘Magic Pools’ Approach Accelerates Study of Novel Bacteria

This article originally appeared on the website of the Biosciences Area at Berkeley Lab. Several of the diverse microbes used in the study described were isolated from nitrate-contaminated and pristine groundwater wells at Oak-Ridge Field Research Center by a team led by Romy Chakraborty, head of the Ecology Department within the Earth and Environmental Sciences Area…

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