The Geofluids Research Group (GRG) specialises in understanding how fluids are transported, evolve, and interact with rock within the Earth's crust. As fluids travel through a volume of rock they influence its mechanical behaviour, and leave behind a fingerprint of their presence. These fingerprints can be found in the chemistry and structure of the minerals that precipitate from these fluids, the way the fluids chemically interact with the minerals in the rock they travel through, or in minute pockets of trapped fluids within minerals, known as fluid inclusions. Our group’s research in this field of geoscience aims to unravel complex, interrelated geological processes involving volcanic and magmatic materials, metamorphism, and tectonics, as well as provide insight into the presence, quality, and evolution of important resources like petroleum, groundwater, and geothermal reservoirs, and ore bodies. 

GRG has a well-established (over 25 years) national and international track record in the study of fluid-rock interactions, and the links between crustal structure, stress, and fluid flow. Research topics include:

  • Investigation and characterisation of fluid flow networks in established and green-field geothermal reservoirs (Taupo Volcanic Zone, New Zealand; Astor Pass, USA).
  • Investigation of the role of geofluids in mineral and evaporate deposit formation (Galway granite, Ireland; Herkimer diamonds, New York, Sierra Nevada granites, USA; Houghton Meteorite Impact Crater, Devon Island; Brazilian Carbonatites; Llanos Field Colombia, Mediterranean Rim).
  • Determining structural controls on oil and gas migration through faulted petroleum basins (New Zealand's Taranaki and East Coast basins).
  • Geofluid migration in a range of hydrocarbon settings, including basins of the North Atlantic conjugate margins (offshore Ireland and Newfoundland & Labrador), North Sea basins and ridges, as well as onshore and offshore West African basins.
  • The role of geofluids and stress in plate tectonics (the Hikurangi Subduction Margin and the Alpine Fault, New Zealand). 

Disciplines 

structural geology, mineralogy, petrology, geomechanics, petroleum, geothermal, groundwater, economic geology, metamorphism, igneous processes, carbon sequestration, gemmology

Research Group Members

Dr David McNamara (Academic Head of Geofluids Research Group)
Dr Alessandra Costanzo (Senior Technical Officer and Researcher)
Dr Jon Hunt (Senior Technical Officer and Post-Doctoral Researcher)
Aisling Scully (PhD Candidate)
Prof. Martin Feely (Emeritus Professor)