Stephen Grasby - Geochemistry

Stephen Grasby

>Name:   Stephen Grasby
Field of Expertise: Geochemistry
Education: Ph.D. in Low Temperature Aqueous Geochemistry, University of Calgary
Works at: Natural Resources Canada’s Geological Survey of Canada in Calgary, Alberta

What he studies

Dr. Grasby studies natural factors that control the geochemistry of groundwater, including potable waters, brines associated with petroleum development, and geothermal waters.  Dr. Grasby and his team also study the geochemistry of shale that forms petroleum source rocks.

What is the importance of his research?

Sustainable energy usage requires minimizing impacts of energy development on the environment.  Knowledge of natural controls on water geochemistry helps to distinguish between natural and anthropogenic impacts of groundwater systems to trace potential sources of contaminants. Similarly, this knowledge can be used to develop methods to limit impacts and to explore new forms of renewable energy such as geothermal power.

Interesting fact

A recent discovery determined that 252 million years ago, volcanoes caused significant combustion of coal.  The ash produced has been found in ancient rocks and appears to be related to the greatest extinction in Earth history, when over 90% of marine life became extinct.

Current research projects

Geothermal energy potential in Canada; Groundwater Resources of the Nanaimo Lowlands.

Key publications:

Grasby, S.E., H. Sanei, and B. Beauchamp, (2011). Catastrophic dispersion of coal fly ash into oceans during the latest Permian extinction. Nature Geoscience, 4, 104-107.

Grasby, S.E., J. Osborn, Z. Chen, and P. Wozniak, (2010). Influence of till provenance on regional groundwater geochemistry. Chemical Geology, 273, 225-237.

Majorowicz, J. and S.E. Grasby, (2010). High potential regions for enhanced geothermal systems in Canada. Natural Resources Research, 19, 177-188.

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