The Geology and Geospatial Analysis (G2A) Team applies geologic and geospatial tools and techniques to better understand geologic and environmental systems for mission areas that include energy security, facility safety, spent fuel disposition, nuclear nonproliferation and nuclear verification. We are a diverse group of scientists, research technologists and students that provides quantitative results to solve important problems for a wide range of customers and mission areas including NNSA’s Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation and Office of Nuclear Verification, DOE’s Office of Science and Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management, Laboratory Directed Research and Development, as well as other government agencies and industry partnerships.
- Field Geology and Structural Geology
- Geospatial Analysis and Remote Sensing
- Structure-from-Motion (SfM) Photogrammetry
- Geologic Framework Modeling and Subsurface Characterization
- Uncrewed Aerial System (UAS)
- Repository Science
- Carbon and Hydrogen Storage
- Nuclear Nonproliferation
SCIENTIFIC TOOLS AND TECHNOLOGY
- Esri ArcGIS comprehensive tool suite
- JewelSuiteTM Subsurface Modeling Software
- Finite Element Heat and Mass Transfer Code (FEHM)
- Agisoft Photoscan/Metashape
- SolidWorks Professional
- PluralView 3D Monitor
- Survey-grade global navigation satellite systems (GNSS)
- Heavy lift Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)
- UAS sensor suite - RGB Camera, Thermal, LiDAR, Magnetometer, Radiologic sensors
- Geophysical survey equipment
- Petrographic Microscope
RECENT MAJOR PROJECTS
NA-22 Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation R&D: We develop dynamic 3D geologic framework models, characterize subsurface damage and quantify surface morphological change from underground conventional high-explosive experiments to improve event discrimination and explosion monitoring. We evaluate geologic controls on signature generation and extent of damage. We lead projects to understand persistent signatures in ground-based and remote sensing data from legacy underground nuclear explosions at the former U.S. nuclear test site.
LDRD Directed Research ML Optimization: We research, investigate and test commercial-off-the-shelf and bespoke machine learning tools and algorithms to bring efficiency and optimization into our UAS field operations, data collection and data analysis without sacrificing accuracy in signature detection.
LDRD Directed Research Subsurface Hydrogen Storage: In this three-year project, we will explore the feasibility of using underground geologic formations to store hydrogen derived from renewable energy. Successfully storing H2 in the subsurface relies on the ability to inject massive volumes of H2 underground, keep it there safely without leakage, and recover it when needed. Through a combination of experimental work, numerical modeling and subsurface observations, we hope to perform the fundamental science on (1) H2-mineral interactions within reservoirs and caprock, (2) H2 transport within, and retrievability from subsurface formations, and (3) the dynamics of field-scale hydrogen storage.
Seismic Hazards Geology Program: We perform site-specific investigations to determine the potential for natural phenomena hazards to affect the LANL campus. The team focuses on refining our understanding of past earthquake histories and the potential for seismic surface rupture by obtaining data on fault geometry and seismic event chronologies derived from paleoseismic trenches and boreholes. Project features include:
- Extensive field mapping throughout the LANL campus.
- Capturing data for a robust understanding of Pajarito fault system behavior to provide better fidelity in seismic hazard calculations.
- Paleoseismic trenching and data interpretation to improve the understanding of the Holocene paleoearthquake record around Los Alamos.
- Geologic and geospatial data stewardship to track new and improved data, models and methods for understanding the seismotectonic setting of LANL.
- Tectonic geomorphologic mapping and development of novel technologies to advance fault mapping.
- Development of an interactive and dynamic geologic framework model for subsurface structure visualization and interpretations.
DOE Spent Fuel and Waste Disposition Program: We evaluate various geologic settings and rock types for their potential to serve as subsurface repositories for spent nuclear fuel and waste. We build 3D geologic models that incorporate faults, stratigraphy and physical properties such as porosity and permeability to enable flow and transport modeling of radionuclides through the geologic media. Our research efforts focus on salt, alluvium, argillite and crystalline rocks.
Foundation-level open Energy Database (FED): A multi-lab collaborative project focused on GIS based mapping of the power infrastructure of the western United States.
New Mexico Small Business Association (NMSBA): A collaboration between EES groups and regional New Mexico farmers examines frost detection and mitigation during critical spring crop growing periods.
Lighthouse: A collaboration between EES, Q, and W Divisions to fund and develop UAS capabilities to survey areas that are harsh and inhospitable to manned survey teams meant to locate targets of interest.