Eric L. Sonnenthal

Staff Scientist

Building 84, Room 0214


Phone: 510-486-5866

Fax: 510-486-5686

Curriculum Vitae


Over twenty years experience in the study of coupled thermal, chemical, transport, and mechanical processes and the development of reaction-transport models and codes. Obtained a Ph.D. in Geological Sciences at the University of Oregon focused on the geochemical and physical processes associated with volatile evolution and melt segregation in basaltic lava flows/lakes and in the Skaergaard Intrusion, East Greenland. This started an interest in the coupling of geochemical reactions with fluid transport and deformation which led to postdoctoral work at Indiana University and the French Institute of Petroleum on modeling the development of overpressured compartments in sedimentary basins through coupling of sedimentation, pressure solution compaction, fluid flow, heat and chemical transport, and hydrofracturing. Since coming to Berkeley Lab in 1996, worked on modeling the geochemical and hydrological evolution of the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, and led the development of coupled thermal-hydrological-chemical models for the geologic emplacement of nuclear waste and in-situ thermal experiments. Current projects involve development of coupled thermal-hydrological-mechanical-chemical (THMC) models for enhanced geothermal systems, integration of isotopic systems in reaction-transport modeling of microbially-mediated environmental remediation, and leading an NSF-supported project to design a potential coupled process experiment in the Deep Underground Science and Engineering Lab in the Homestake Mine, South Dakota. Co-developer of the widely-used reaction-transport code Toughreact, as well as author of reaction-transport codes for magmatic differentiation and sedimentary basin evolution.