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Karl B Haase, Ph.D.

Dr. Karl Haase is the technical lead of the USGS Reston Groundwater Dating Lab, and a Research Chemist with the USGS Water Resources Mission Area.

I am a research chemist studying methods of groundwater age determination. I am generally interested in the relationships between atmospheric gases and groundwater, as mediated by the interactions in the vadose zone, the layer of the ground that water must pass through before it enters an aquifer.

I have a background in experimental atmospheric chemistry, having worked with several groups on topics including ocean fertilization, biogeochemical impacts to atmospheric chemistry, oceanic emissions of halocarbons to the atmosphere, instrument validation studies, long term observations, anthropogenic emissions, and air quality measurements.

Dissolved Gases are important chemical tracers in groundwater systems. They provide information about groundwater age, aquifer mixing, and the climate conditions when water entered the aquifer. This information can be used to study issue of groundwater availability, quality, and quantity. Additionally direct measurements of these properties can be used to validate groundwater model output and improve model algorithms, allowing more accurate assessment of aquifer systems. I have designed, constructed several noble gas mass spectrometer and GC systems to measure dissolved fixed gases (O2, N2, He, Ne, Ar, Kr, and Xe) to assess groundwater recharge temperatures more accurately, and I am studying the behavior of various anthropogenic compounds in the groundwater system.

In pursuit of these research goals, I have developed novel and customized analytical systems and sensors for research and production operations. Among others, these include an automated economical quadruple mass spectrometer based noble gas analyzer, a dual channel GC-FID-AED system for measuring trace hydrofluorocarbons (as novel groundwater age tracers) and trace hydrocarbons (to better understand hydrocarbon geochemistry, a highly automated multi-port noble gas analyzer for tritium-helium dating and noble gas concentrations in groundwater, a self contained low cost pCO2 sensor, and GC-TCD system for measurements of He/Ne in groundwater samples.