Geochemistry Division Medal Symposium – Medal presentation and invited lecture

Symposium Organizers:
Douglas Kent, U.S. Geological Survey (
Sebastien Kerisit, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (
Every two years the Geochemistry Division recognizes an individual for his or her outstanding contributions to geochemistry. The 2015 Geochemistry Division Medal will be awarded to Dr. Donald L. Sparks, Professor of Plant and Soil Science, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Delaware, for his highly influential, transformative work in geochemistry, environmental chemistry, and soil chemistry; outstanding record as an educator and mentor; and service to the geochemical community.  After presentation of the medal, Dr. Spark’s contributions will be celebrated with a series of invited lectures highlighting critical issues in soil and environmental geochemistry.
Confirmed invited speakers: Donald Sparks (University of Delaware), William Casey (University of California, Davis), Scott Fendorf (Stanford University), and Alexandra Navrotsky (University of California Davis).

We gratefully acknowledge financial support from Elsevier, the Department of Soil and Plant Sciences, University of Delaware, the Delaware Environmental Institute, University of Delaware, and the Division of Geochemistry.


Symposium in honor of Dr. Donald Sparks, 2015 Geochemistry Division Medal Recipient – Open to all

Symposium Organizers:
Douglas Kent, U.S. Geological Survey (
Scott Fendorf, Stanford University (  
Over the past 35 years, Dr. Donald Sparks has been a pioneering researcher in geochemistry from his early work on chemical kinetics of metal ion adsorption/desorption to his recent work on metal-organic complexes. Within this symposium, we honor Dr. Donald Sparks’ impact within the geochemical field by inviting contributions describing phenomena influencing metal ion fate in the environment. We also welcome contributions on state-of-the-art methods for investigating reactions at the solid-water interface, particularly those revealing molecular-level and time-dependent information.

We gratefully acknowledge financial support from Elsevier, the Department of Soil and Plant Sciences, University of Delaware, the Delaware Environmental Institute, University of Delaware, and the Division of Geochemistry.



Iron Oxides: Formation, Structure, Reactivity and Applications

Symposium Organizers:
Yandi Hu, University of Houston (
Mengqiang Zhu, University of Wyoming (
William D. Burgos, Pennsylvania State University (
Thomas Borch, Colorado State University (
Iron (Fe) is the fourth abundant element in the earth’s crust. The high availability of resource and ease in synthesis render ferric (oxyhydr)oxides, usually existing in nanometer sizes, to have broad applications in multiple fields, such as biogeochemistry, environmental and chemical engineering, and biomedical and materials engineering. For example, Fe (oxyhydr)oxide nanoparticles play essential roles in fate and transport of various contaminants and nutrients in many natural and engineered environmental systems through co-precipitation, adsorption, and redox processes. These complex processes have been one of the research foci in the fields of geochemistry, environmental chemistry, and contamination remediation for many decades. This symposium seeks contributions that advance the current understanding of the biogeochemical behavior of Fe (oxyhydr)oxide in natural environments as well as their environmental engineering applications. We welcome both experimental and modeling contributions across multiple spatial and temporal scales. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to (a) Homogeneous and heterogeneous Fe (oxyhydr)oxide nucleation, growth, aggregation, and its biotic and abiotic phase transformations in the presence/absence of aqueous contaminants; (b) Adsorption of aqueous ions and molecules and electron transfer occurring at (oxyhydr)oxide-water interfaces; and (c) the applications of Fe (oxyhydr)oxides for pollution control in natural and engineered environmental systems.

Precipitation, Dissolution and Adsorption under Confinement

Symposium Organizers:
Alejandro Fernandez-Martinez, CNRS & University Grenoble Alpes (
Andrew G. Stack, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (
Porous media are commonly known to affect the transport of dissolved species, inhibit mixing of fluids, and greatly diminish the ratio of fluid volume to mineral surface area relative to bulk solution. What are less well-known are the effects that porous media could have over the nature of the reactions themselves, and any potential intrinsic pore-size dependences affecting reactions and nucleation at the nanoscale. The same way as nanoparticles show distinct properties from their bulk counterparts, the effects of fluid confinement and structuration affect the reactivity of nanopores, with a high impact on rock or soil reactivity, where nanopores can dominate internal surface area.
We invite contributions dealing with studies of precipitation, dissolution and sorption in confined media using both experimental and theoretical techniques. Studies addressing the fundamentals of nucleation, growth and dissolution in these media at the nanoscale are encouraged.

Understanding the Geochemical Interactions of Organic Compounds in the Subsurface

Symposium Organizers:
Athanasios Karamalidis, Carnegie Melon University (
Vanda Glezakou, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (
Jens Blotevogel, Colorado State University (
As the global energy demands increase, new technologies are implemented in enhancing production or taking advantage of new resources. Enhanced oil recovery, unconventional oil and gas production and tight oil sands are only few of those options. In all of those energy extraction operations, organic compounds are present and affect CO2 storage. On the other hand, the solubility of organic compounds in supercritical CO2, as well as organic/ion complexation also influence their partitioning and mobility in subsurface environments. This session covers various aspects of organic compound speciation, transport and interactions with metal cations, water and minerals most related, albeit not limited, to energy extraction operations, e.g. shale gas development, under geologic sequestration conditions. The aim of this collection of papers will be to understand the effect of co-solvency, temperature, pressure or pH on the  processes, mechanisms, and products involving organics as well as their implications for the environment. We welcome contributions of analytical, laboratory, field investigations and molecular simulations on fundamental aspects of physicochemical, environmental, hydrological, and biogeochemical processes in the energy extraction play. Combined experimental and modeling studies are particularly encouraged.

Molecular-Scale Processes Controlling Reactivity at Mineral-Water Interfaces – Co-sponsored by the Division of Colloid and Surface Chemistry (COLL)

Symposium Organizers:
Sang Soo Lee, Argonne National Laboratory (
Anastasia G. Ilgen, Sandia National Laboratories (
Sara E. Mason, University of Iowa (
We invite research presentations that highlight recent experimental and computational results on mineral-water interfacial chemistry, including structure and reactivity of mineral surfaces, ion adsorption-desorption rate and mechanisms, chemical and biological controls on mineral growth and dissolution, surface-mediated redox reactions, and the effects of organic matter on the surface reactivity.  Presentations will be focused on the fundamental studies of the mechanisms controlling surface and interfacial chemistry, as well as advances in experimental design and technical development.

Geochemistry and Reactive Transport in Nano-Pore Geomaterials

Symposium Organizers:
Hongkyu Yoon, Sandia National Laboratories (
Louise J. Criscenti, Sandia National Laboratories (
Yifeng Wang, Sandia National Laboratories (
Geomaterials such as shales and carbonate rocks have become increasingly highlighted for emerging problems such as unconventional gas and oil resources and storage of CO2. Accurate description of fluid properties, surface interactions, and surface wettability in nano- to micro-pore structures is crucial to designing safer energy-related subsurface operation strategies, predicting their performance, and assessing potential risks. This session seeks contributions with a focus on water/rock/gas interactions, characterization of micro- to nano-pore structures with different phases (e.g., kerogen/bitumen, clay lining), and surface wettability for understanding the mechanisms and processes involved in generation, migration, trapping, and recovering of these resources in unconventional low-permeability geomaterials. We welcome imaging, experiments, and modeling contributions from the molecular to the continuum scale. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, reactive transport in mineral and oil phases, osmotic effects in nano-confinement, adsorption, and nanopore and brine chemistry related to shale gas extraction, enhanced oil recovery with CO2 sequestration, and geologic storage of CO2 in low permeability geomaterials.

How Do Geologic Processes Drive the Structure and Function of Aquatic and Riparian Ecosystems?

Symposium Organizers:
Travis S. Schmidt, U.S. Geological Survey (
Johanna M. Kraus, U.S. Geological Survey (
Richard B. Wanty, U.S. Geological Survey (
Geologic processes such as hydrothermal alteration change the chemistry of portions of the earth’s crust by distributing alkaline and acid generating minerals into concentrated areas. These mineral deposits can be economically valuable and exploited. However they also provide basal resources to aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, which can be strongly shaped by the chemistry, mineralogy, and physical extent of the alteration. Commonly scientists characterize the geochemical and aquatic ecological condition of local deposits and use this information for risk assessments. But little is known about how catchments of similar lithology vary in water and sediment quality across a region. Rarely are ecological and geologic assessments linked to ask how geologic processes drive ecological structure and function. Specifically, geologic processes can fundamentally alter biological communities in aquatic systems with large, cross-ecosystem implications for terrestrial food webs.
This symposium will focus on multidisciplinary studies that scale up from the fundamental geologic processes that form mineral and ore deposits to effects on aquatic and adjacent terrestrial ecosystems across space and time. We invite submission of multidisciplinary geo-ecological studies that ask questions beyond traditional risk assessments and seek out the emergent properties of these valuable ecosystems.

Coupled Cycling of Biogeochemical Critical Elements and Contaminants

Symposium Organizers:
Hui Lin, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (
John Bargar, Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (
Marco Keiluweit, Stanford University (
Baohua Gu, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (
The cycling of biogeochemically important elements such as Fe, Mn, C, N, and S and contaminants (e.g., Hg, U, As) are tightly coupled in natural systems. Numerous efforts have been devoted to explore their interactions and to improve our understanding of the transformation and fate of these elements. This symposium focuses on current progress in understanding the interactions among these elements including, but not limited to, redox transformation, complexation, mineralization, adsorption/desorption, and transport in environmental systems. We specifically invite contributions that range from laboratory to field investigations and/or theoretical simulations.

Analytical Chemistry of Natural Resources: Elemental and Isotopic Analysis: Microanalytical Instrumentation and Applications. Co-sponsored by the Division of Analytical Chemistry (ANYL)

Symposium organizers:

Mostafa Fayek, University of Manitoba (

Alan Koenig, U.S. Geological Survey (


A number of novel elemental and isotopic techniques (e.g., transition metal isotopes) have been developed over that past several decades.  Many of these techniques have been used in innovative ways to understand processes associated with the formation of natural resources, in particular ore systems. Contributions involving new elemental and isotopic applications or techniques to natural resources are strongly encouraged.

Geochemistry Division: General Session

Symposium Organizers:
Sebastien Kerisit, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (
This is a general session for the Geochemistry Division. This session accepts both oral and poster contributions, including posters for the SCI-MIX session.