Earth Sciences Division (ESD) Department of Energy (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL)

Earth Sciences Division Staff: Nicolas Spycher

Nicolas Spycher

Nicolas Spycher

Staff Geological Scientist

Geochemistry Department



Phone: 510-495-2388

Fax: 510-486-7714


Biographical Summary

Nic Spycher has over twenty years of applied research experience in aqueous geochemistry and water/rock/gas interactions, including the development and application of multicomponent geochemical and reactive transport models.  His current research activities focus on developing biogeochemical conceptual and numerical models to understand water/gas/rock/sediment interactions in various types of subsurface environments. 


  • BA        Geological Sciences, 1979, University of Geneva, Switzerland
  • MS        Geological Sciences (Geophysics), 1980, University of Geneva, Switzerland
  • Ph.D.    Geological Sciences (Geochemistry), 1987, University of Oregon

Professional Experience

  • 1998-present    Staff Geological Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  • 1993-1997        Geochemist/Hydrogeologist, DBA AquaLogic (private consultant)   
  • 1988-1998        Senior Project Scientist, International Technology Corporation, Irvine, CA   
  • 1987-1988        Post-Doctoral Research Associate (Geochemistry), University of Oregon   
  • 1981-1987        Research Assistant (Geochemistry), University of Oregon

Research Interests

Nic’s research activities cover water/rock interactions in geothermal systems, the impact of CO2 geological sequestration on groundwater quality, U(VI) transport and reactive chemistry at contaminated DOE sites, metal cycling in contaminated lake sediments, and the study of coupled thermal, hydrological, and chemical processes related to nuclear waste geologic storage.  He has also been working on the development of chemical geothermometry software (GeoT), gas solubility correlations for carbon dioxide sequestration and geothermal studies, and has developed and compiled thermodynamic data for use with geochemical models, including the aqueous speciation and surface complexation of various metals.  He is part of the TOUGHREACT reactive transport simulator development team and has significantly contributed to the development of the CHILLER/SOLVEQ geochemical modeling codes.  Besides his academic background, Nic has extensive experience in the field of environmental hydrogeology and hydrogeochemistry, including ten years of private-sector consulting experience dedicated to the remedial investigation of contaminated sites.  His investigations included predicting the fate of metals, spilled fuels, and solvents in the subsurface using various field measurements and modeling techniques.