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

Hydrogeology Department

Core Capabilities ESD scientists Tim Kneafsey and Barry Friefeld igniting a methane hydrate sample using ice as a starting material to investigate wettability and water and gas flow properties through hydrate-containing media.

The five areas above are considered the Hydrogelogy Department's Core Capabilities. Photo right:  ESD scientists Tim Kneafsey and Barry Friefeld are igniting a methane hydrate sample using ice as a starting material to investigate wettability and water and gas flow properties through hydrate-containing media.

Overview

Hydrogeology has been an important component of Berkeley Lab’s Earth Sciences Division (ESD) since the Division's inception in 1977 and together with geophysics and geochemistry researchers, addressed subsurface energy challenges at that time, which focused on geophysical charaterization and numerical modeling of fracture flow, associated first with fundamental geosciences, geotheraml energy exploration, and nuclear waste isolation and research activities heavily relied upon understanding flow and transport in the subsurface. Consisting of scientists, postdocs, research associates, and graduate students, the Hydrogeology Department was formerly established (by name) in 1998.

Currently the broad range of cutting-edge research that is carried out is in fundamental and applied hydrology. The Hydrogeology Department has expertise in theoretical, experimental, field, and modeling approaches in a variety of research areas, among which are advanced process modeling, reservoir engineering, vadose-zone and fracture hydrology, contaminant hydrology, and coupled nonsothermal, geochemical, and geomechanical processes. The Hydrogeology Department addresses national needs in the areas of subsurface energy resources recovery, subsurface remediation, geological CO2 storage, and nuclear waste disposal, with a continued focus on mass and heat transport through porous and fractured earth materials under saturated and unsaturated conditions.The Department has a presence throughout all four ESD Program Areas, most notably within Energy Resources.

The current Hydrogeology Department Head is Tim Kneafsey (pictured above with Barry Freifeld in the background).