William Seyfried

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William Seyfried

Professor, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences


John T. Tate Hall
Room 443
116 Church Street Se
Minneapolis, MN 55455


Ph.D., 1977, University of Southern California

Scientific & Professional Societies

  • Geochemical Society
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • American Geophysical Union
  • Society of Economic Geologists
  • Geological Society of America
Research Interests

My research largely involves studies designed to understand better geochemical processes controlling the chemical evolution of natural fluids in and on the Earth. Accordingly, the research group in aqueous geochemistry, uses experimental, theoretical and field-based approaches to develop process oriented information for mineral-fluid systems at a wide range of temperatures and pressures. Recent and continuing research projects, which illustrate application of these approaches, include:

  • Dynamics of Yellowstone Lake (DYLAKE): Integrated, multi-disciplinary research to model the response of hydrothermal systems to multi-scale perturbations (climatic, tectonic, and magmatic).
  • Seafloor hydrothermal Systems: Experimental and field studies of iron, sulfur, and hydrogen transport in deep sea vent fluids.
  • Fluid-mineral reaction experiments - Implications for reactive transport modeling at the pore scale.
  • Development and deployment of autonomous and remotely operated chemical sensor (pH and redox) systems: Integrated laboratory and field studies.


A common theme throughout includes development and application of new technologies to measure, monitor and control key components in aqueous fluids. Although largely focused on inorganic chemical systems, recent studies have expanded to include organic components, which provide new clues to a broader range of heat and mass transport reactions. Moreover, we have conducted experiments to calibrate the fractionation of non-traditional isotopes of Fe and sulfur to better constrain reaction conditions and microbial and inorganic sources of these components in natural systems. Important new insight on reactive transport on the pore scale has been recognized from recent experiments, with implications for reactions and processes associated with sequestration of carbon dioxide in subsurface geological formations. Thus, research in aqueous geochemistry in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Minnesota has both basic science and applied research opportunities.  

Aqueous Geochemistry Lab

Currently Teaching Courses
Aqueous Environmental Geochemistry
Geochemical Modeling

Honors and Awards

  • Fellow, American Geophysical Union, 2011
  • Geochemical Society Fellow, 2010
  • Fellow, European Association of Geochemistry, 2010

Selected Publications

Seyfried W. E., Jr., Pester N. J., Tutolo B. M., and Ding, K. (2015) The Lost City hydrothermal system: Constraints imposed by vent fluid chemistry and reaction path models on subseafloor heat and mass transfer processes. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, v. 163, p. 59-79.

Tutolo B. M., Schaen A., Saar M.O., and Seyfried W. E., Jr. (2015) Implications of the redissociation phenomenon for mineral-buffered fluids and aqueous species transport at elevated temperatures and pressures. Applied Geochemistry, v. 55, p. 119-127.

Tutolo B. M., Kong, X.-Z., Seyfried, W.E., Jr., and Saar, M.O. (2015) High performance reactive transport simulations examining the effects of thermal, hydraulic, and chemical (THC) gradients on fluid injectivity at carbonate CCUS reservoir scales. International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, v. 39, p. 285-301.

Tutolo B. M., Luhmann, A.J., Kong X.-Z., Seyfried W. E., Jr., and Saar M. O. (2015) CO2 sequestration in feldspar-rich sandstone: The importance of solution composition and saturation state. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, v. 160, p. 132-154.

Syverson D. D., Ono S., Shanks W.C., III, and Seyfried W. E., Jr. (2015) Multiple sulfur isotope fractionation and mass transfer processes during pyrite precipitation and recrystallization: An experimental study at 300 and 350°C. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, v. 165, p. 418-434.

Tutolo B. M. Mildner David F. R. Gagnon Cedric V. L., Saar M. O. and Seyfried W. E. Jr., (2015) Nanoscale constraints on porosity generation and fluid flow during serpentinization Geology,  v. 44,  p. 103-106. 

Pester N. J. and Seyfried W. E. Jr. (2015) Vapor-liquid partitioning of alkaline earth and transition metals in NaCl dominated hydrothermal fluids: An experimental study conducted at 360-460°C. Geochim Cosmochim Acta, v. 168, p.111-132.

Gulmann L. K., Beaulieu S. E., Shank, T. M., Seyfried, W. E. Jr., Ding K., and Sievert, S. M. (2015) Microbial colonization of freshly exposed basalt surfaces at deep-sea hydrothermal vents at 9˚N on the East Pacific Rise, Frontiers in Microbiology, v. 6, p. 1664-1678.

Tan C., Ding K. and Seyfried W. E. Jr. (2016) Development and application of a new mobile pH Calibrator (MpHC) for real time monitoring of pH in diffuse flow hydrothermal vent fluids, Marine Technology Journal, v. 50, p. 37-47.

Tan C.Y., Ding K., Yang W. C. and Seyfried W. E. Jr. (2016) Accurate pH Measurement and Determination in Deep-sea Environments by an in-situ pH Sensor Calibration Device, Oceans 2016 - Shanghai. 978-1-4673-9724-7.

Syverson Drew D., Luhmann Andrew J., Tan Chunyang, Borrok David M., Ding, Kang and  Seyfried, W. E. Jr. (2017) Fe isotope fractionation between chalcopyrite and dissolved Fe during hydrothermal recrystallization: An experimental study at 350°C and 500 bars. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, v. 200, p. 87-109.

Douglas P. M. J., Stolper D. A., Eiler J. M., Sessions A. L., Lawson M., Shuai Y. H., Bishop A., Podlaha O. G., Ferreira A. A., Neto E. V. S., Niemann M., Steen A. S., Huang L., Chimiak L., Valentine D. L., Fiebig J., Luhmann A. J., Seyfried W. E. Jr., Etiope G., Schoell, M., Inskeep W. P., Moran J. J. and Kitchen N. (2017) Methane clumped isotopes: Progress and potential for a new isotopic tracer. Organic Geochemistry v. 113, p. 262-282.

Luhmann A. J., Tutolo B. M., Bagley B. C., Mildner D. F. R., Scheuermann P. P., Feinberg J. M., Ignatyev K. and Seyfried W. E. Jr. (2017) Chemical and physical changes during seawater flow through intact dunite cores: An experimental study at 150-200⁰ C. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta v. 214, p. 86-114.

Luhmann A. J., Tutolo B.  M., Bagley B. C., Mildner D. F. R., Seyfried W. E. Jr. and Saar, M. O. (2017) Permeability, porosity, and mineral surface area changes in basalt cores induced by reactive transport of CO2-rich brine. Water Resources Research v. 53, p. 1908-1927.

Luhmann A. J., Tutolo B. M., Tan C.Y., Moskowitz B. M., Saar M. O. and Seyfried W. E. Jr. (2017) Whole rock basalt alteration from CO2-rich brine during flow-through experiments at 150 ⁰ C and 150 bar. Chem. Geol. V. 453, p. 92-110.

Syverson D. D., Luhmann A. J., Tan C., Borrok D. M., Ding K. and Seyfried W. E. Jr. (2017) Fe isotope fractionation between chalcopyrite and dissolved Fe during hydrothermal recrystallization: An experimental study at 350⁰ C and 500 bars. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta v. 200, p. 87-109.

Tan C., Cino C. D., Ding K. and Seyfried W. E. Jr. (2017) High temperature hydrothermal vent fluids in Yellowstone Lake: Observations and insights from in-situ pH and redox measurements. J. Volcanol. Geotherm. Res. v. 343, p. 263-270.

Syverson D. D., Tutolo B. M., Borrok D. M. and Seyfried W. E. Jr. (2017) Serpentinization of olivine at 300 ⁰ C and 500 bars: An experimental study examining the role of silica on the reaction path and oxidation state of iron. Chem. Geol. v. 475, p. 122-134.

Tutolo B. M., Luhmann A. J., Tosca N. J. and Seyfried W. E. Jr. (2018) Serpentinization as a reactive transport process: The brucite silicification reaction. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. v. 484, p. 385-395.

Scheuermann P., Syverson D. D., Higgins J. A., Pester N. J., and Seyfried W. E. Jr (2018) Ca isotope systematics at hydrothermal conditions: Mid-ocean ridge vent fluids and experiments in the CaSO4-NaCl-H2O system: Geochim Cosmochim Acta, v. 226, p. 18-35.

Syverson Drew D., Scheuermann Peter, Higgins John A., Pester Nicholas J., Seyfried W. E. Jr. (2018) Experimental partitioning of Ca isotopes and Sr into anhydrite: consequences for the cycling of Ca and Sr in subseafloor mid-ocean ridge hydrothermal systems. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta (in press).