“How water reacts with minerals and rocks is not merely an intellectual curiosity, but is intimately related to societal needs.”

chen zhu

Hydrogeology and Geochemistry

Professor of Geological Sciences
Adjunct Professor, Environmental Science
Adjunct Professor, Environmental Health

Associate Editor, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Member of Editorial Board, Journal of Contaminant Hydrology
Member of Editorial Board, Chemical Geology

Educational Background

  • Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University
  • M.Sc. University of Toronto
  • B. Eng., Chengdu College of Geology
  • Post-doctoral Fellowship, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Biographical Highlights:

  1. Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2017
  2. Fellow, Mineralogical Society of America, 2016-present
  3. Fulbright Scholarship to Norway (2009) and Guest Professor, University of Oslo, Norway, 2009-2014
  4. Research Fellow, Okayama University, Japan (2005, 2010)
  5. Guest Professor, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) - Zurich, Switzerland (2008)
  6. Sabbatical Professor, University of California - Berkeley (2008)
  7. The John Hem Excellence in Science and Engineering Award, National Ground Water Association (2006)
  8. Lilly Freshman Learning Project Fellow (teaching), Indiana University, 2006-
  9. Fellow, Geological Society of America, 2005-
  10. Associate and Full Professor of Geological Sciences, Indiana University - Bloomington (2004-2011, 2011-, respectively)
  11. Guest Professor, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH)-Zurich, Switzerland (2004)
  12. Senior Associateship Award, National Research Council, the National Academy of Sciences (2003)

Research Interests

HydroGeochemistry, Geochemical modeling, Water resources, Thermodynamics and kinetics of chemical reactions, Carbon sequestration, Arsenic contamination.

I study the chemistry of water and its reactions with minerals and rocks. Through these reactions, water acquires chemical constituents and isotopic signatures. The chemical and isotopic signatures are useful to map the movement of fluid flow and allow us to calculate the in situ rates of chemical reactions under geological conditions. On a global scale, these chemical reactions are a key component of the interactions between the Earth’s hydrosphere, lithosphere, biosphere, and atmosphere. Many fundamental processes in Earth’s geological systems, such as chemical weathering, diagenesis, and the movement, distribution, and global cycling of chemical elements are related to these interactions.

How water reacts with minerals and rocks is not merely an intellectual curiosity, but is intimately related to societal needs.

My research has addressed water quality (what chemicals are in water, how did they get there, and where are they going to end up), water quantity (how much water recharges an aquifer and whether the amount of withdrawal is environmentally sustainable), arsenic, antimony, and uranium contamination of surface and ground water, and large scale numerical models of water flow and contaminant transport.


Click on this link to view my current publications list.

geochemical modeling resources

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Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
Indiana University MSBII 424
725 N. Walnut Grove
Bloomington IN 47405