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Department of Geology and Geophysics
1000 E. University Ave.
Laramie, WY 82071-2000
Phone: (307) 766-3386
Fax: (307) 766-6679

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Dr. John Kaszuba



John and Jane Wold Centennial Chair in Energy

Office Phone: (307) 766-6065Office: ESB 1010

➤ Personal Website

SER web page


Geochemistry, PhD, Colorado School of Mines, 1997
Geology, MS, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University , 1986
Geology, BS, Beloit College, 1982


Research Statement and Projects

The study of water-rock interactions spans a wide range of disciplines in a variety of geologic environments. I have been working on fundamental and applied problems related to the geochemistry of water-rock interactions for over 15 years. While at Los Alamos National Laboratory I established an experimental hydrothermal laboratory capable of evaluating multiphase (CO2-H2O) fluid-rock reactions in the Earth’s crust. We produced seminal papers on the nature of these interactions in brine aquifers. In 2008 I moved to the University of Wyoming; I have since established a new research group and constructed a new experimental hydrothermal laboratory.  

My research group works on a wide variety of projects regarding the geochemistry of fluid-rock interactions in the shallow to middle crust. My students all strive to work on fundamental problems as a primary focus. We also seek to apply these fundamentals to understanding problems of societal relevance. Our approach is to integrate laboratory, computational, and field techniques to solve scientific problems. Current projects focus on the geochemistry of fluid-rock interactions in the following: 

  1. fresh water aquifers and brine formations, thermal waters and springs, natural CO2 reservoirs, and carbon storage systems. Geochemical insights that we develop are used to expand our understanding of the architecture of crustal basins;

  2. drinking water resources and interactions with energy development (including oil & gas fields and geologic carbon sequestration);

  3. CO2 in geothermal systems; and

  4. unconventional petroleum systems.  A new student in my group would be given the opportunity to expand on one of these areas or define a new direction.

Traditionally we have focused on the mineralogy and inorganic geochemistry of these fluid-rock systems. Much of our work is centered on experimental geochemistry that is grounded in field-related problems; field geochemistry represents a smaller but important and growing proportion of our work. We are currently developing methodologies to add stable isotope geochemistry to our experimental protocols. We are also beginning to look at the organic geochemistry of water-rock systems. My other long-term research interests include contact metamorphism; quartz and carbonate veins and textures; redox equilibria in crustal-scale (deep) aquifers; and mass and energy transfer in the crust.

Our research is synergistic with the many new and ongoing projects at the University of Wyoming. Candidates with a background or interest and aptitude for geochemistry are encouraged to contact me. Candidates familiar with quantitative geochemical analysis and/or experimental geochemistry are especially encouraged to contact me.

Recent Publications

Mouzakis, K.M., Navarre-Sitchler, A.K., Rother, G., Banuelos, J.L., Wang, X., Kaszuba, J.P., Heath, J.E., Miller, Q.R.S., Alvarado, V., and McCray, J.E., 2016, Experimental study of porosity changes in shale caprocks exposed to carbon dioxide-saturated brines I: Evolution of mineralogy, pore connectivity, pore size distribution, and surface area:  Environmental Engineering Science; Special Issue: The Science and Innovation of Emerging Subsurface Energy Technologies, v. 33, #10, p. 725-735.

Miller, Q.R.S., Wang, X., Kaszuba, J.P., Mouzakis, K.M., Navarre-Sitchler, A.K., Alvarado, V., McCray, J.E., Rother, G., Banuelos, J.L., and Heath, J.E., 2016, Experimental study of porosity changes in shale caprocks exposed to carbon dioxide-saturated brine II: Insights from aqueous geochemistry:  Environmental Engineering Science; Special Issue: The Science and Innovation of Emerging Subsurface Energy Technologies, v. 33, #10, p. 736-744.

Marcon, Virginia, and Kaszuba, John P., 2015, Carbon dioxide-brine-rock interactions in a carbonate reservoir capped by shale:  Experimental insights regarding the evolution of trace metals:  Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, v. 168, p. 22-42. DOI:10.1016/j.gca.2015.06.037.

Miller, Quin R.S., Kaszuba, John P., Schaef, Herbert T., and Bowden, Mark E., 2015, Impacts of organic ligands on forsterite reactivity in supercritical CO2 fluids:  Environmental Science & Technology, v. 49, #7, p. 4724–4734, DOI:10.1021/es506065d.

Navarre-Sitchler, Alexis, Rother, Gernot, and Kaszuba, John P., 2015, Porosity in reactive geochemical systems; in Poate, John, Kazemi, Hossein, Illangasekare, Tissa , and Kee, Robert (Editors), Pore Scale Phenomena – Frontiers in Energy and Environment. World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., Hackensack, New Jersey, p. 223-242.

Lo Re, Caroline, Kaszuba, John, Moore, Joseph, and McPherson, Brian, 2014, Fluid-rock interactions in CO2-saturated, granite-hosted geothermal systems: Implications for natural and engineered systems from geochemical experiments and models: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, v. 141, 160-178.

Kaszuba, John P., Sims, Kenneth W. W., and Pluda, Allison, 2014, Aqueous geochemistry of the Thermopolis hydrothermal system, southern Bighorn Basin, Wyoming: Rocky Mountain Geology, v. 49, p. 1-16.

Kaszuba, John P., Yardley, Bruce, and Andreani, Muriel, 2013, Experimental perspectives of mineral dissolution and precipitation due to carbon dioxide-water-rock interactions:  Reviews in Mineralogy & Geochemistry, v. 77, p. 153-188.

Marcon, Virginia and Kaszuba, John, 2013, Trace metal mobilization in an experimental carbon sequestration scenario:  Procedia Earth and Planetary Science, v. 7, p. 554-557.

Wang, Xiuyu, Alvarado, Vladimir, Swoboda-Colberg, Norbert and Kaszuba, John P., 2013, Reactivity of dolomite in water-saturated supercritical carbon dioxide: Significance for carbon capture and storage and for enhanced oil and gas recovery:  Energy Conversion and Management, v. 65, p. 564-573.

Chopping, Curtis, and Kaszuba, John P., 2012, Supercritical carbon dioxide-brine-rock reactions in the Madison Limestone of Southwest Wyoming: An experimental investigation of a sulfur-rich natural carbon dioxide reservoir: Chemical Geology, v. 322, p. 223-236.

Kaszuba, John P., Navarre-Sitchler, Alexis, Thyne, Geoffrey, Chopping, Curtis, and Meuzelaar, Tom, 2011, Supercritical carbon dioxide and sulfur in the Madison Limestone: A natural analog in southwest Wyoming for geologic carbon–sulfur co-sequestration: Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 309, p. 131–140.

Kaszuba, John P., Viswanathan, Hari, Carey, J. William, 2011, Relative stability and significance of dawsonite and aluminum minerals in geologic carbon sequestration: Geophysical Research Letters, v. 38, L08404, doi:10.1029/2011GL046845.

Wigand, M., Kaszuba, J.P., Carey, J.W., and Hollis, W.K., 2009, Geochemical effects of CO2 sequestration on fractured wellbore cement at the cement/caprock interface: Chemical Geology, v. 265, p. 122-133.

Newell, D.L., Kaszuba, J.P., Viswanathan, H.S., Pawar, R.J. and Carpenter, T., 2008. Significance of carbonate buffers in natural waters reacting with supercritical CO2 - Implications for monitoring, measuring and verification (MMV) of geologic carbon sequestration: Geophysical Research Letters, v. 35, no. 23, L23403, DOI: 10.1029/2008GL035615.

Mitchell, Andrew C., Phillips, Adrienne, Hamilton, Marty, Gerlach, Robin, Hollis, W. Kirk, Kaszuba, John, and Cunningham, Alfred, 2008, Resilience of Bacillus mojavensis planktonic and biofilm communities to supercritical CO2: Journal of Supercritical Fluids, v. 47, p. 318–325.

Viswanathan, Hari S., Pawar, Rajesh J., Stauffer, Philip H., Kaszuba, John P., Carey, J. William, Olsen, Seth C., Keating, Gordon N., Kavetski, Dmitri, and Guthrie, George D., 2008, Synergistic process and systems modeling to assess carbon sequestration: Environmental Science and Technology, v. 42, p. 7280–7286, 10.1021/es800417x.

Kaszuba, John P., and Janecky, David R., 2009, Geochemical impacts of sequestering carbon dioxide in brine formations; in Sundquist, E., and McPherson, B. (Editors), Carbon Sequestration and its Role in the Global Carbon Cycle, Geophysical Monograph 183, American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC, p. 239-247.

Kaszuba, John P., Williams, Laurie, Janecky, David R., Hollis, W. Kirk, and Tsimpanogiannism, Ioannis N., 2006, Immiscible CO2-H2O fluids in the shallow crust:  Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems (G3), v. 7, Q10003, doi:10.1029/2005GC001107.

Kaszuba, John P., Janecky, David R., and Snow, Marjorie G., 2005, Experimental evaluation of mixed fluid reactions between supercritical carbon dioxide and NaCl brine:  Relevance to the integrity of a geologic carbon repository:  Chemical Geology, v. 217, no. 3-4, p. 277-293.

Kaszuba, John P., Janecky, David R., and Snow, Marjorie G., 2003, Carbon dioxide reaction processes in a model brine aquifer at 200oC and 200 bars: Implications for geologic sequestration of carbon:  Applied Geochemistry, v. 18, no. 7, p. 1065-1080.


1100 Physical Geology
2010 Mineralogy
5450 Geochemical Modeling
4200/5200 Developments in Water-Rock Interactions

Current Graduate Students

  • Matt Edgin – MS Candidate
  • Ryan Herz-Thyhsen – PhD Candidate
  • Mary Kate McCarney – MS Candidate
  • Quin Miller – PhD Candidate
  • Amber Zandanel – MS Candidate

Teaching Statement

Important components of my teaching approach are experiential learning; integrated field, laboratory (qualitative and quantitative/analytical), and classroom techniques; and incorporation of active research questions into field trips, laboratory experiments, and problem sets.  Important goals are to develop in students the ability to recognize and articulate significant problems, the solutions to which represent important contributions to science and society, as well as abilities to identify problems, think creatively, and embrace change.  I strive to foster these qualities in students as teacher and mentor in the classroom, the field, and the laboratory.

Contact Us

Department of Geology and Geophysics
1000 E. University Ave.
Laramie, WY 82071-2000
Phone: (307) 766-3386
Fax: (307) 766-6679

Geology & Geophysics Logo

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