Energy Geosciences

After more than a century of fossil fuel use, new techniques have generated additional interest in exploration and extraction of hydrocarbon resources and their environmental impacts, including greenhouse gas emissions. The local Appalachian Basin region is the site of unconventional resources such as the Marcellus and Utica Shales.

Current research in this area is focused on (1) understanding the structural, paleoenvironmental, depositional, diagenetic and thermal processes associated with the formation and modification of these resources; (2) remediation of legacy problems such as acid mine drainage (AMD); (3) monitoring and tracking carbon stored in geologic formations through geophysical and geochemical techniques; and (4) reduction of the environmental impact of current and future energy-related activities on water resources and air quality through development and application of geophysical and geochemical tools to characterize the subsurface, establish baselines and monitor changes, and identify contaminant sources in complex geologic, hydrologic systems and surrounding atmosphere.