UBC Mineral Carbonation Team

Left to Right: Greg Dipple, James Thom, Lyle Hansen, Sasha Wilson

Gregory Dipple (Associate Professor at UBC)

Web: Research Interests

Bob Anderson (Geological Survey of Canada, Vancouver, BC)


Lyle Hansen (M.Sc. Student)

B.Sc. (Specialization Geology) from Dept. of EAS, University of Alberta.

Project: Lyle's main interest is the study of carbonate-altered serpentinite deposits (listwanite) in the Atlin BC area as a proxy for serpentinite carbonation. Of secondary interest is that listwanite at Atlin, and elsewhere (e.g. the Motherlode district of California), is commonly associated with lode-gold mineralization. The carbonate-alteration is structurally controlled by a regional scale fault-fracture permeability system and extends into intact wallrock. The fault-fracture system allowed ingress of the mineralizing fluid, but distal infiltration and reaction within the wallrock may be important for precious- and base-metal scavenging within the Atlin ophiolite. In a similar process, industrial greenhouse sequestration systems could exploit bedrock fractures for injection of carbon dioxide into the subsurface. This also requires fluid access to intact bedrock to fully utilize the storage capabilities of mafic rock reservoirs. An understanding of how reactive fluid accessed the interior of the Atlin ophiolite is therefore of economic and environmental interest.

Web: Carbonate Altered Serpentinite (Listwanite) at Atlin, British Columbia.

James Thom (PhD Student)

B.Sc. (Honours Geology) from SEOS, University of Victoria

M.Sc (Geological Sciences) from Dept. of Geology, University of Toronto

Project: James Thom’s contribution to the UBC Mineral Carbonation Team will be in the form of reaction rates and reaction mechanisms in the MgO-SiO2-CO2-H2O system. In particular, the study will focus on the dissolution rates of ultramafic minerals such as those that belong to the serpentine group. Dissolution rate information of the serpentine group minerals are of particular interest as it is these dissolution reactions that supply the magnesium ions involved in the precipitation of magnesium carbonate minerals in ultramafic terranes. The precipitation rates of magnesium carbonate minerals like hydromagnesite will also be investigated. Results from this experimental study will be important in identifying the environmental conditions that control the CO2 sequestration process in nature and how they might be accelerated.

Web: Modeling in the MgO-SiO2-CO2-H2O system

Sasha Wilson (M.Sc. Student)

B.Sc. (Physics) from McMaster University

Project: Sasha Wilson's current research involves the study of carbon dioxide sequestration by serpentine-kaolinite group minerals from Cassiar (B.C.) and Clinton Creek (Yukon) chrysotile mines.

Web: Hydromagnesite Crust Growth on Chrysotile (asbestiform serpentine) Mine Tailings

Eleanor Alesi (B.Sc. Student)

Project: Eleanor's study focuses on the precipitation of magnesium carbonate minerals such as hydromagnesite in ephemeral lake environments. Modern hydromagnesite deposits are a potential analog to mineralogical binding of atmospheric carbon dioxide in mine wastes. The research includes mineralogical, geochemical, and isotopic analysis of surficial and core samples of hydromagnesite deposits. The results of this study are important to understand the meachanisms of carbon dioxide fixation and may permit prediction of the stability of mine waste alteration.

Web: Hydromagnesite flats of Atlin BC