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.
Science and Products
Two Scientists Receive Early Career Excellence in Leadership Award
Dataset of trace dissolved hydrocarbons in surface water and groundwater in North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia between 2014 and 2017
A multi-year record of chemical and isotopic composition of water from springs of the Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
Groundwater quality and geochemistry of the western wet gas part of the Marcellus Shale Oil and Gas Play in West Virginia
DGMETA (version 1)—Dissolved gas modeling and environmental tracer analysis computer program
Groundwater quality and geochemistry of West Virginia’s southern coal fields
Spatial fingerprinting of biogenic and anthropogenic volatile organic compounds in an arid unsaturated zone
Acetylenotrophy: A hidden but ubiquitous microbial metabolism?
Detection of diazotrophy in the acetylene-fermenting anaerobe Pelobacter sp. strain SFB93
Organic geochemistry and toxicology of a stream impacted by unconventional oil and gas wastewater disposal operations
Dating base flow in streams using dissolved gases and diurnal temperature changes
Environmental signatures and effects of an oil and gas wastewater spill in the Williston Basin, North Dakota
Measurements of HFC-134a and HCFC-22 in groundwater and unsaturated-zone air: implications for HFCs and HCFCs as dating tracers
Groundwater Dating with Atmospheric Halogenated Compounds
Changes in monoterpene mixing ratios during summer storms in rural New Hampshire (USA)
Science and Products
Two Scientists Receive Early Career Excellence in Leadership AwardThe U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) 2016 Early Career Excellence in Leadership Award was given to Dr. Denise M. Akob and Dr. Karl B. Haase. Drs. Akob and Haase have demonstrated outstanding leadership through their scientific accomplishments and service to the USGS.
Dataset of trace dissolved hydrocarbons in surface water and groundwater in North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia between 2014 and 2017This dataset contains measurements of dissolved hydrocarbons in various water sources, as well as ancillary raw calibration data showing the stability of the gas chromatograph with an atomic emission detector and flame ionization detector (GC-AED-FID) analytical system over time. Across multiple studies, samples from tap water, groundwater, surface water, springs, mine outflows, and blank material
A multi-year record of chemical and isotopic composition of water from springs of the Shenandoah National Park, VirginiaFrom 1994 through 2017, the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the National Park Service, Luray, Virginia Station collected and analyzed samples of selected springs, air and unsaturated-zone gases in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia. These data include field measurements of water temperature, specific conductance, concentrations of dissolved oxygen (O2), and pH. Laboratory measurements i
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Groundwater quality and geochemistry of the western wet gas part of the Marcellus Shale Oil and Gas Play in West VirginiaThirty rural residential water wells in the wet gas region of the Marcellus Shale oil and gas play in northwestern West Virginia were sampled by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in 2018, in cooperation with West Virginia State agencies, to analyze for a range of water-quality constituents, including major ions, trace metals, radionuclides, bacteria, and methane and other dissolved hydrocarbon gas
DGMETA (version 1)—Dissolved gas modeling and environmental tracer analysis computer programDGMETA (Dissolved Gas Modeling and Environmental Tracer Analysis) is a Microsoft Excel-based computer program that is used for modeling air-water equilibrium conditions from measurements of dissolved gases and for computing concentrations of environmental tracers that rely on air-water equilibrium model results. DGMETA can solve for the temperature, salinity, excess air, fractionation of gases, or
Groundwater quality and geochemistry of West Virginia’s southern coal fieldsCoal mining has been the dominant industry and land use in West Virginia’s southern coal fields since the mid-1800s. Mortality rates for a variety of serious chronic conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, and some forms of cancer in Appalachian coal mining regions, are higher than in areas lacking substantial coal mining activity within the Appalachian Region or elsewhere in the United State
Spatial fingerprinting of biogenic and anthropogenic volatile organic compounds in an arid unsaturated zoneSubsurface volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can pose risks to human and environmental health and mediate biological processes. VOCs have both anthropogenic and biogenic origins, but the relative importance of these sources has not been explored in subsurface environments. This study synthesizes 17 years of VOC data from the Amargosa Desert Research Site (ADRS) with the goal of improving understan
Acetylenotrophy: A hidden but ubiquitous microbial metabolism?Acetylene (IUPAC name: ethyne) is a colorless, gaseous hydrocarbon, composed of two triple bonded carbon atoms attached to hydrogens (C2H2). When microbiologists and biogeochemists think of acetylene, they immediately think of its use as an inhibitory compound of certain microbial processes and a tracer for nitrogen fixation. However, what is less widely known is that anaerobic and aerobic microor
Detection of diazotrophy in the acetylene-fermenting anaerobe Pelobacter sp. strain SFB93Acetylene (C2H2) is a trace constituent of the present Earth's oxidizing atmosphere, reflecting a mixture of terrestrial and marine emissions from anthropogenic, biomass-burning, and unidentified biogenic sources. Fermentation of acetylene was serendipitously discovered during C2H2 block assays of N2O reductase, and Pelobacter acetylenicus was shown to grow on C2H2 via acetylene hydratase (AH). AH
Organic geochemistry and toxicology of a stream impacted by unconventional oil and gas wastewater disposal operationsWater and sediment extracts samples were analyzed for extractable hydrocarbons by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) using an Agilent (Agilent Technologies, Palo Alto, CA, USA) 7890 series GC and 5975 electron ionization (EI) mass selective detector (MSD) operated in scan mode. Agilent ChemStation software was used for data acquisition and analysis (version E.02.00.493 on GC/MS computer
Dating base flow in streams using dissolved gases and diurnal temperature changesA method is presented for using dissolved CFCs or SF6 to estimate the apparent age of stream base flow by indirectly estimating the mean concentration of the tracer in the inflowing groundwater. The mean value is estimated simultaneously with the mean residence times of the gas and water in the stream by sampling the stream for one or both age tracers, along with dissolved nitrogen and argon at a
Environmental signatures and effects of an oil and gas wastewater spill in the Williston Basin, North DakotaWastewaters from oil and gas development pose largely unknown risks to environmental resources. In January 2015, 11.4 M L (million liters) of wastewater (300 g/L TDS) from oil production in the Williston Basin was reported to have leaked from a pipeline, spilling into Blacktail Creek, North Dakota. Geochemical and biological samples were collected in February and June 2015 to identify geochemical
Measurements of HFC-134a and HCFC-22 in groundwater and unsaturated-zone air: implications for HFCs and HCFCs as dating tracersA new analytical method using gas chromatography with an atomic emission detector (GC–AED) was developed for measurement of ambient concentrations of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in soil, air, and groundwater, with the goal of determining their utility as groundwater age tracers. The analytical detection limits of HCFC-22 (difluorochloromethane, CHClF2) and HFC-13
Groundwater Dating with Atmospheric Halogenated Compounds"Atmospheric environmental releases refer to the emission of stable, long-lived compounds of solely anthropogenic origin into the atmosphere and the use of the compounds to estimate dates of their incorporation into groundwater."
Changes in monoterpene mixing ratios during summer storms in rural New Hampshire (USA)Monoterpenes are an important class of biogenic hydrocarbons that influence ambient air quality and are a principle source of secondary organic aerosol (SOA). Emitted from vegetation, monoterpenes are a product of photosynthesis and act as a response to a variety of environmental factors. Most parameterizations of monoterpene emissions are based on clear weather models that do not take into accoun