Subsurface greenhouse gases: An atmospheric or groundwater problem?

Our reliance on the subsurface for freshwater resources and sources of energy has created a nexus of concern for the environment and human health. A principal concern is the potential generation and/or release of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the shallow subsurface because of energy development and usage. These gases may pass through the subsurface becoming a source of emissions to the atmosphere or dissolve to groundwater threatening potability through physiochemical and biological changes. Some might see dissolution as a process to reduce GHG emissions and resulting climate changes. However, this comes at the expense of vital sources of fresh drinking water. Each of these potential impacts to the environment are severe and require quantitative understanding to develop monitoring techniques and engineering solutions to mitigate risk. This talk will explore energy applications to show the complex interactions between subsurface GHGs, shallow groundwater, and the atmosphere.

Speaker’s Biography:

Dr. Cole Van De Ven is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carleton University. His research focuses on studying physical, chemical, and biological processes controlling the movement and fate of gases and other contaminants in the saturated and unsaturated subsurface. Applications of this work include energy development, industrial contamination, waste storage, and natural processes. Overall, he seeks to develop sound monitoring techniques and engineering solutions to reduce environmental impacts to groundwater, soils, and the atmosphere. Prior to joining Carleton University, Dr. Van De Ven was a NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of British Columbia. He received a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from McMaster University and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Queen’s University

To attend, please send a Zoom link request to Dr. Banu Ormeci: