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Environmental and Theoretical Geochemistry

Our environment, from the atmosphere to the Earth's deeper interior, is driven by a great variety of geochemical processes involving gases, water, and solids. Many such processes are being studied with the goal of understanding the past, present and future of our environment--at physical scales ranging from atomic to global. 

Andrew Jacobson's field and laboratory studies employ reactive transport modeling to quantify reaction rates, isotope fractionation factors, and other phenomena fundamental to water-rock interactions. He also conducts computational simulations having important implications for natural processes. For example, Jacobson and his students recently developed a 1D reactive transport model to predict how chemical weathering and atmospheric CO2 consumption during soil development vary with tectonic uplift rate, temperature, and soil water velocity.

Neal Blair’s lab group investigates how humans have impacted the carbon cycle and environment via land use and climate change. Our planet is being increasingly engineered on a global scale; humans, for example, have moved over 40% of the land surface, primarily as the result of agriculture. The Carbon Biogeochemistry Lab investigates the consequences of that movement of soils, sediments, and associated organic carbon. Conceptual models are developed to describe the fate of organic carbon as it migrates across the Earth’s surface.

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