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Carl Steefel: A “Hall of Fame” Geochemist

Source: Dan Hawkes, Carl Steefel


Geochemical transport modelling’s Hall ofFame (seen from a petrologist’s perspective).Dimitrii Korzhinskii (upper left), Jim Thompson(upper right), Hal Helgeson (middle left),Peter Lichtner (middle right), Carl Steefel(lower left) and Ray Fletcher (lower right).

In the July 2012 issue of Geochemical Perspectives, Norwegian scientists Bjorn Jamveit and Oyvind Hammer, in their lengthy article entitled “Sculpting of Rocks by Reactive Fluids,” hail ESD geochemist Carl Steefel as a star in the field of reactive transport modeling (Jamveit and Hammer, 2012, p. 351). The authors specifically cite Steefel as one of the six "Hall of Fame” contributors to the field (i.e., “perceived from a petrologist’s perspective…as the most influential in driving geochemical transport modeling forward during the last 50 years”). They elaborate upon this description in the following passage:


From 1990 onwards, geochemical modeling became more focused on instabilities and emergent patterns. Carl Steefel became a key player in this activity, introducing finite difference methods to analyse instabilities driven by reaction effects on permeability in systems with variable contributions from advective transport and reaction kinetics (Steefel and Lasaga, 1992; 1994). In 1996, [an] MSA [Mineralogical Society of America] Review…specifically addressed reactive transport in porous media. In addition to presenting the advances in modeling techniques (Steefel and MacQuarrie, 1996, with references therein), this volume made it clear that the entire market for reactive transport modeling had expanded significantly and penetrated into disciplines outside hard-core geochemistry (Jamveit and Hammer, 2012, p. 354).

Jamveit and Hammer go on to also acknowledge LBNL-ESD’s general lead role in numerical modeling that accompanied advances in computing:

Computer programs such as the TOUGH family (and its many varieties, TOUGH2, iTOUGH2, etc.) that were developed by Karsten Pruess and others at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) have been used to perform highly sophisticated simulations for multiphase, multicomponent, non-isothermal flows in fractured porous media. TOUGH and similar codes have been applied to a variety of problems, including transport of radionuclides in the vicinity of radioactive waste repositories and geological CO2 sequestration….Steefel et al. (2005) and Steefel and Maher (2009) review these topics. (Jamveit and Hammer, 2012, p. 355)

Congratulations, Carl!


Jamveit, B., and O. Hammer (2012), Sculpting of rocks by reactive fluids. Geochemical Perspectives, 1 (3), 351–354.