Carbonate diagenesis, sedimentary petrology and geochemistry, petroleum geology
Prof. Hans G. Machel's fields of research and expertise are mainly in carbonate diagenesis with applications to petroleum reservoirs. His current research program deals with all types of diagenesis in carbonate rocks, with an emphasis on processes that commonly result in large yet often unpredictable changes in porosity and permeability: dolomitization (limestone transformation to dolostone), karstification (large-scale dissolution, including cave formation), brine chemistry and fluid flow in shallow and deep carbonate aquifers. Locations recently investigated or under consideration are outcrops in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, Montana, Texas, Barbados, Bahamas, Spain, Italy, and Hungary, ranging in age from Devonian to Pleistocene. Most investigated oil and gas reservoirs are in the Alberta subsurface. He has also published several conceptual papers, such as on dolomitization, bacterial and thermochemical sulfate reduction, and cathdoluminescence in carbonates. Individual research projects commonly apply a variety of surface, subsurface, and geochemical methods.
Graduate projects under consideration are as follows.