Hydrogeology and Environmental Geosciences
Research in hydrogeology and aqueous geochemistry deals with a large variety of issues. Large-scale groundwater flow, the estimation of fluid and solute fluxes and transport properties of rocks are investigated by Henk Haitjema. The groundwater models are used by Haitjema in designing pumping schemes to withdraw contaminants from the subsurface. Jeff White studies the aqueous chemistry and biogeochemistry of lakes and lake sediments.
Professors Jeffrey White has a laboratory for water analyses which contains a wide suite of instruments for aqueous analytical chemistry including an ion chromatograph, spectrofluorophotometer and an atomic absorption spectrometer. He also makes routine use of the stable isotope and ICP laboratories maintained by the Department. Quantitative hydrogeologic research at IU benefits from two well-networked arrays of powerful workstations with sophisticated 3-D computer graphics for scientific visualization of data and for mathematical modeling, operated by Hendrick Haitjema.
Laura Wasylenki is a biogeochemist investigating metal chemistry in the earth’s lithosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere. Specifically she examines stable isotope fractionation of transition and post-transition metals in order to develop new tools for tracing chemical reactions that involve metals.
Greg Olyphant is involved in projects concerning acid mine drainage and the use of coal-combustion byproducts in abandoned mine land reclamation. He also works with models of wetland hydrology for guiding restoration plans, and on development of three-dimensional models of shallow aquifer systems.Chen Zhu works on the fundamental processes in groundwater systems, particularly the interplay of chemical reactions and fluid flow.
Greg Olyphant is also involved with the Center For Geospatial Data Analysis (CGDA) at the Indiana Geological Survey, whose personnel are involved in a wide variety of research and service projects including geophysical data acquisition for mapping contaminated ground water (picture at right).
Laboratories for detailed analyses of soils and unconsolidated sediments are available in the Department and Indiana Geological Survey. Available field equipment includes a Giddings soil corer, a truck-mounted auger for drilling unconsolidated materials, and portable gamma-ray and neutron logging devices. Instrumentation is available for field studies of wind, stream flow, and sediment transport. The Department also has a machine shop for construction of custom equipment and installations used for monitoring surficial processes.
The Department maintains the instrumented Willow Creek Demonstration Watershed near the Geologic Field Station in Montana. It serves as a field laboratory for teaching and research.