Office: 417-B1 Davis Hall
Ph.D., University of Idaho, 2012
B.S., University of Dayton, 1999
My research area is generally described as physical hydrogeology, and I am specifically interested in the influence of reservoir heterogeneity on nonisothermal, multi-component and multi-phase systems. In pursuing my research, I deploy a suite of computational tools, including numerical models of heat and mass transport and geostatistical reservoir simulation. For situations where production software is not available to complete a given task, I enjoy writing code for specialized applications. To bridge the simulated and natural worlds, I investigate modeling results using principles from geomechanics, spatial analysis, and fluid mechanics to enhance our understanding of the physical processes governing complex hydrogeologic systems. Although this work is computational in nature, my research is based on high-quality field data obtained using a range of techniques from state-of-the-art (e.g., terrestrial LiDAR and field deployable laser absorption gas analyzers) to low-tech (e.g., manual fracture counts and homemade experiments).
I am presently investigating the influence of fracture heterogeneity on geologic carbon sequestration in low-volume basalt reservoirs. This work focuses on understanding how the spatial distribution of fractures impacts CO2 injection pressure and geomechanical changes in a low-volume basalt reservoir. In addition, I am currently seeking support for two innovative projects: 1) applying passive microseismic technology for mapping in situ fracture distributions in basalt reservoirs, and 2) developing a technique for quantifying the minimum induced soil CO2 flux that can be filtered from the natural soil respiration signal in response to CO2 leakage from geologic carbon sequestration sites.
Graduate students in my research group will learn traditional methods for groundwater investigations and gain exposure to new and exciting techniques for hydrogeologic site characterization. In addition to these skills, students in my group will become functional in a Unix/Linux environment, and may learn a computer programming language, if needed for their research. I encourage applications from students with broad scientific interests in groundwater and energy resources, modeling and simulation, applied mathematics, and a fair dose of fieldwork to keep us all honest!
Please contact me if you would like more information about my research program or current student opportunities.
Pollyea, R.M., Fairley, J.P., Podgorney, R.K., and McLing, T.L. (In Press) A field sampling strategy for semivariogram inference of fractures in rock outcrops. Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment. doi:10.1007/s/00447-013-0710-5
Pollyea, R.M. and Fairley, J.P. 2012. Implications of spatial reservoir uncertainty for CO2 sequestration in low-volume basalt. Hydrogeology Journal, April. doi:10.1007/s10040-012-0487-1
Pollyea, R.M. and Fairley, J.P. 2012. Experimental evaluation of terrestrial LiDAR- based surface roughness estimates. Geosphere, Vol. 8, No. 1, p. 1–7, February. doi:10.1130/GES00733.1
Pollyea, R.M. and Fairley, J.P. 2011. Estimating surface roughness of terrestrial laser scan data using orthogonal distance regression. Geology, Vol. 39, No. 7, p. 623–626, July. doi:10.1130/G32078.1