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The challenges of global warming and energy security are the drive behind our research. We develop new methods and geomaterials, and help members learn new skills that are vital in a sustainable future.

We lead multidisciplinary research linking chemistry to earth science and engineering. We synthesize and characterize heterogeneous geomaterials which underpin the development of geoenergy, underground gas storage, and water treatment. We investigate fluid-rock physicochemical processes (coupled geochemistry-geomechanics) to identify and mitigate environmental risks.


Key interests and expertise

Our scientific vision is to adress the challenge of complexity and heterogeneity of rocks and fluids in controlling the mechanistic pathways and kinetics of chemical reactions and reactive transport.

The application and context of our research focuses mainly on underground gas storage, and water contamination and treatment. We have also abundant expertise in diagenesis, fluid-rock physicochemical processes, in particular in carbonate rocks.

We take a multidisciplinary approach, and have expertise with geological field work, remote sensing, microscopy (polarization microscopy, cathodoluminescence microscopy, scanning electron microscopy), fluid inclusion geothermometry, X-ray diffraction analysis, chemical analysis (inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry and mass spectrometry, X-ray fluorescence spectrometry), isotopic analysis (carbon, oxygen, sulphur, strontium, and clumped isotopes), structural analysis (fractures), geomechanical analysis (uniaxial, triaxial), batch reactor, column and flow reactor experiments (rock and mineral dissolution kinetics, heavy metal leaching, contaminant adsorption), 3D imaging (computed tomography).

Current projects

  • Modeling membrane efficiency in desalination
  • Acidic fluid flow in heterogeneous porous media
  • Water treatment in Egypt
  • Fluid-rock interaction in geothermal systems
  • Environmental risks of gas storage in salt rocks
  • Mobilization of elements during shale-water contact

Recent publications

Vandeginste, V., Snell, O., Hall, M.R., Steer, E., Vandeginste, A. (2019) Acceleration of dolomitization by zinc in saline waters. Nature Communications 10, 1851.

Singh, K., Muljadi, B.P., Raeni, A.Q., Jost, C., Vandeginste, V., Blunt, M.J., Theraulaz, G., Degond, P. (2019) The architectural design of smart ventilation and drainage systems in termite nests. Science Advances 5 (3), eaat8520

Ji, Y., Zhou, G., Zhou, Y., Vandeginste, V. (2019) Frost heave in freezing soils: A quasi-static model for ice lens growth. Cold Regions Science and Technology 158, 10-17.

Booth, A., Vandeginste, V., Pike, D., Abbey, R., Clark, R.A., Green, C.M., Howland, N. (2018) Geochemical constraints in near-surface geophysical surveying from in situ XRF spectrometry: Field trials at two aviation archaeology sites. In: Persico, R., Piro, S., Linford, N. (Eds) Near-Surface Geophysics: Instrumentation, Application, and Data Processing Methods. 1. Elsevier, pp. 97-119.

Beckert, J., Vandeginste, V., McKean, T.J., Alroichdi, A., John, C.M. (2018) Ground-based hyperspectral imaging as a tool to identify different carbonate phases in natural cliffs. International Journal of Remote Sensing 39, 4088-4114.

Madjid, M.Y.A., Vandeginste, V., Hampson, G., Jordan, C.J., Booth, A.D. (2018) Drones in carbonate geology: opportunities and challenges, and application in diagenetic dolomite geobody mapping. Marine and Petroleum Geology 91, 723-734.

Vandeginste, V., Stehle, M.C., Jourdan, A.-L., Bradbury, H.J., Manning, C., Cosgrove, J.W. (2017) Diagenesis in salt dome roof strata: Barite - Calcite assemblage in Jebel Madar, Oman. Marine and Petroleum Geology 86, 408-425.

Booth, A., Vandeginste, V., Pike, D., Abbey, R., Clark, R.A., Green, C.M., Howland, N. (2017) Geochemical insight during archaeological geophysical exploration through in situ X-ray fluorescence spectrometry. Archaeological Prospection, 24, 361-372.

Beckert, J., Vandeginste, V., John, C.M. (2016) Relationship between karstification and burial dolomitization in Permian platform carbonates (Lower Khuff - Oman). Sedimentary Geology 342, 165-179.

Beckert, J., Vandeginste, V., John, C.M. (2015) Exploring the geological features and processes that control the shape and internal fabrics of late diagenetic dolomite bodies (Lower Khuff equivalent - Central Oman Mountains). Marine and Petroleum Geology 68, 325-340.

Vandeginste, V., Rafiuddin, N.L., Peskin, A. (2015) Three-dimensional reconstruction of diagenetic geobodies for geological carbon dioxide storage. International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control 42, 319-328.

Bradbury, H.J., Vandeginste, V., John, C.M. (2015) Diagenesis of phosphatic hardgrounds in the Monterey Formation: A perspective from bulk and clumped isotope geochemistry. Geological Society of America Bulletin 127, 1453-1463.

Quye-Sawyer, J., Vandeginste, V., Johnston, K.J. (2015) Application of handheld energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometry to carbonate studies: opportunities and challenges. Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry 30, 1490-1499.

Research team

The Geochemistry group consists of members of Dr. Veerle Vandeginste's research team.

Related research centres


July 2019: Congratulations to Grace for a travel award from the Royal Society of Chemistry!

July 2019: Congratuations to Grace for winning the best poster award at the Postgraduate Symposium!

June 2019: Congratulations to Grace for a Geochemistry travel grant award from the Geological Society!

May 2019: Welcome to new sponsored researcher Junjian Zhang!

April 2019: Welcome to new postdoc Yukun Ji!

April 2019: New publication on dolomitization in Nature Communications!

March 2019: Welcome to new sponsored researcher Liang Yue!

March 2019: New paper on termite nests in Science Advances!

February 2019: New paper on frost heave published in Cold Regions Science and Technology!

January 2019: Welcome to new PhD student Riccardo Ena and postdoc Hossein Fazeli!

November 2018: Conducting clumped isotope analyses at the Heidelberg Center for the Environment at the University of Heidelberg

November 2018: New book chapter on XRF in archaeological prospection!

October 2018: Visiting the State Key Laboratory For Geomechanics and Deep Underground Engineering at the China University of Mining and Technology

October 2018: Welcome to MSci project students Rayan Fernando, Harry Potter and Andris Siska!

September 2018: Presenting at the Solution Mining Research Institute meeting in Belfast

July 2018: Welcome to Rayan Fernando who will conduct BP sponsored summer research on the interplay of fractures and crystal growth in mixed salt-clay sediments

June 2018: New project Award! NERC £ 1.7 million project led by Imperial College London to improve our understanding of shale gas in the UK

May 2018: New project award! EC H2020 € 9 million project SECURe, led by BGS, to monitor and mitigate risks for environmental protection to underpin the development of subsurface geoenergy

March 2018: New paper on hyperspectral imaging of carbonate cliffs!

February 2018: New publication on the use of drones in carbonate geology published in Marine and Petroleum Geology! Read more about this research in this blog




The University of Nottingham
School of Chemistry
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 748 4140