Research Associate Professor
Department of the Geophysical Sciences
The University of Chicago
5734 S. Ellis Avenue
Chicago IL, 60637 USA
Being chemically inert, noble gases constitute the ideal tracers to disentangle the complex aspects of water’s geochemical behavior while remaining chemically unaltered. Another virtue of noble gases is their low abundance, which makes them sensitive to the contribution of radiogenic and cosmogenic isotopes enabling determination of the closure time of minerals, rocks, and geochemical reservoirs.
My research goal has been and will be to track the origin, evolution and current geochemical cycle of water e Earth using noble gases as tools. This goal covers a broad range of topics, but my current focus is on projects studying groundwater hydrology and gas-water ice interactions. In groundwater hydrology, I use innovative tracers: short-lived noble gas radionuclides 81Kr (t1/2=229,000 years) and 85Kr (t1/2=10.8 years), which are ideal for tracing subsurface water residence time. Owing to their atmophile nature, they constitute by far the simplest dating system compared to other commonly used groundwater tracers such as tritium, CFCs, SF6, 14C, which suffer from many problems caused by complex source functions and subsurface aqueous pro- ceases. I also study gas-water ice interaction using a unique experimental setup where solid ice is formed only within a volume of uniform temperature, which is essential for accurate determinations of physical parameters such as partition coefficients. Both approaches are unique, and backed by more than a decade of innovative technical developments.