Fluid-Rock Interactions Along Active Fault Zones
I am currently assessing how fluid-rock interactions, and more specifically clay mineral precipitation, affect the evolution of frictional strength, permeability, and deformation mechanisms of faults through time. I am studying active fault systems in southern California.
This work also address the need to better understand the K-Ar geochronometer of fault gouge, a tool often used to determine the 'most recent phase of major fault slip' - although I am finding that this is not always the case.
You can view a recent poster that I presented on this ongoing work at the Southern California Earthquake Center annual meeting in September, 2023.
Subsurface Microbe-Rock-Fluid Systems
I am working with a multidisciplinary group of geochemists, structural geologists, hydrogeologists, and microbiologists, led by Dr. Jennifer McIntosh, to explore how subsurface microbial communities have evolved in large-scale sedimentary basin systems.
This project investigates how changes to the Earth's surface over geologic time have affected the deep biosphere, the geologic and climatic factors that favor or limit the potential for subsurface microbial life, and the history of microbial life and its relationship to fluids and fluid-rock reactions.
Subsurface Fluid Flow Driven by Rapid Erosion
I studied the distribution of and applied K-Ar geochronology to authigenic clay in bleached sandstones and Mn-oxide deposits in the Paradox Basin, SE Utah, to understand the driving forces behind past episodes of subsurface fluid flow that are now preserved in the geologic record.
I found that recent erosion of the Colorado Plateau 3-4 Ma created steep topographic gradients that enhanced regional groundwater flow. Meteoric water circulation flushed reduced fluids towards discharge zones. Dissolved gases, transported from hydrocarbon reservoirs, may also have been exsolved by rapid depressurization.
Carbon Utilization and Storage
I am passionate about using my knowledge of subsurface flow systems and fluid-rock interactions to drive forward future climate solutions and carbon sequestration.
During my PhD at the University of Arizona, I had two summer internships working for the Arizona Geological Survey on the CUSP project (Carbon Utilization and Storage Partnership of the Western USA). I used ArcGIS and 3D data compiliation (well-logs, stratigraphy, geologic maps, etc) to quantify the CO₂ storage capacity of sedimentary basins across Arizona.
Dating Fluid Flow along Fault Zones