The Berkeley Nanogeoscience Center at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory studies the role of nanoscale mineral particles -- nanoparticles -- in geochemical and biogeochemical processes including:

  • Biogeochemistry
  • Structure and Reactivity of Nanoparticle and Bulk Mineral Interfaces
  • Molecular Structure and Processes and Mineral-Water Interfaces
  • Environmental and Human Health Impacts of Engineered Nanomaterials
  • Ultrafast Science
  • Nanoparticle Growth Mechanisms

Berkeley Nanogeoscience Center

The objective of the DOE Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC) for Nanoscale Control of Geologic CO2 (NCGC) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is to use new investigative tools, combined with experiments and computational methods, to build a next-generation understanding of molecular-to- pore-scale processes in fluid-rock systems, and to demonstrate the ability to control critical aspects of flow and transport in porous rock media, in particular as applied to geologic sequestration of CO2. The objectives address fundamental science challenges related to far-from-equilibrium systems, nanoscale processes at interfaces, and emergent phenomena.

Center for Computational Geophysics at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is working to continue the development of efficient, 3D numerical codes for modeling seismic wave propagation and electromagnetic wave propagation and diffusion.

The Center for Computational Geoscience maintains a state-of-the-art computing environment in support of various seismological and geophysical research programs, in particular the development of new methods for imaging the subsurface and its processes, and methods for visualizing results.

The Earth Sciences Division's Aqueous Geochemistry Lab (AGL) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory specializes in aqueous geochemical/biochemical studies. The lab has a modest selection of analytical instruments as well as experimental equipment to support its research projects. The analytical instruments are also available for other projects and users within LBNL.

 The new Aqueous Geochemistry Analytical Service Center has been set up within the Earth Sciences Division at LBL to provide ICP-MS (Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry) elemental analyses of aqueous samples.  With the optional use of microwave digestion available in the Center, it is also possible to determine quantitatively elemental abundances of solid samples.  Speciation of selected elements (e.g., selenium, arsenic, chromium) can be carried out using the dedicated High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) instrumentation.  Analyses ranging from Semi-Quantitative (72 elements) to Ultra-Trace Metal analysis are available.  Analyses can be run on a sample by sample fee basis by the staff in the Center, or time can be rented on the instrument for self-analysis.  

Computational Geophysics and Geoscience

Aqueous Geochemistry Laboratory

Aqueous Geochemistry Laboratory

The Hydrogeochemcial Research Lab at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory supports experiments on colloid transport, multiphase fluid flow, surface chemistry, geochemistry, and reactive transport, at ambient and elevated pressures and temperatures. Areas of study include:

  • Subsurface Water and C Fluxes: Land Surface to Groundwater
  • Geological Carbon Sequestration
  • BES (Water Potentials and Water Films on Mineral Surfaces)
  • CO2-Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR):  CO2 Mobility Control
  • Hydraulic Fracturing Fluids
  • Contaminant Biogeochemistry and Plume Remediation
  • Colloidal and Interfacial Hydro-Geochemistry

The Earth Science Division’s Rock Dynamics and Imaging Laboratory at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has capabilities to make measurements on rock, fractured rock, and soil samples over a wide range of temperature and pressure conditions needed to understand mechanical and hydrologic processes. Many studies can also be performed with concurrent X-ray computed tomography (CT) imaging, allowing not only a means of process visualization, but also another means of quantification of processes.

In these laboratories, we study processes that occur under conditions applicable to geothermal systems, carbon dioxide sequestration reservoirs, conventional oil and gas reservoirs, caprocks, unconventional oil and gas systems such as coalbed methane, gas hydrate-bearing systems, and tight hydrocarbons (shales and tight sandstones).

Rock Dynamics and Imaging

The Geosciences Measurement Facility (GMF) is a DOE-supported facility designed to develop and maintain a variety of geophysical and geoscience instrumentation and measurement equipment. The GMF will allow for management of the full complement of sophisticated field instrumentation and associated support vehicles necessary to test and develop a piezoelectric multisource phased array. This facility also assists in development of new instrumentation and field methods for investigating the subsurface and its processes by providing professional in-field technical support for scientific staff and management of the complex and varied field studies required in scientific research programs. The GMF includes electronic and mechanical engineers as well as technicians, shop facilities, field support vehicles (including wireline and recording trucks), and a three borehole test facility.

Geosciences Measurment Facility

The Seismological Laboratory at the University of California Berkeley specializes in

  • Earth Imaging
  • Real-time seismology
  • Global seismology
  • Active techtonics

Tomographic imaging of the Earth's deep interior to better understand the physical processes responsible for upwelling and downwelling in the mantle, including the role of plumes, subduction zones and drips.

High-resolution seismic imaging of 3D crustal, lithospheric, and uppermost mantle structure to constrain melt pathways from the mantle and through the crust, deformation and tearing of subducting slabs, and delamination of the lithosphere.
Mapping of anisotropic structure to determine strain fields and flow.