Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Newton Horace Winchell School of Earth and Environmental Sciences

William Seyfried


443 Tate Hall



Ph.D., 1977, University of Southern California


Aqueous Geochemistry Research Group

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.
  • Seafloor serpentinization in modern and ancient oceans, with implications for microbial metabolism  
  • 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 chemical and physical processes affecting the modern ocean, recent research has expanded to consider how these and related processes operated in oceans throughout geological time, with influence on metal budgets and microbial reactions. Recent experiments have also been conducted to examine fractionation of non-traditional isotopes of Fe and sulfur to better constrain reaction conditions and microbial and inorganic sources in natural aquatic systems. Important new insight on reactive transport models on the pore scale has been recognized from recent experiments as well, with implications for reactions and processes associated with sequestration of carbon dioxide in subsurface geological formations and governing heat and mass transfer in sub-lacustrine hydrothermal vent on the floor of Yellowstone Lake. Thus, research in aqueous geochemistry in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Minnesota has both basic science and applied research opportunities, with strong emphasis on experimental, analytical and theoretical approaches.


   Professional Society Memberships

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



   Honors and Awards

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


   Courses Taught

  • Oceanography
  • Aqueous Environmental Geochemistry
  • Geochemical Modeling


   Recent Supervised Graduate Theses

  • Peter Scheuermann (2020)
  • Amanda Tudor (2020)
  • Tim Kiesel, M.Sc., 2018
  • Christine Cino, M.Sc., 2018
  • Drew Syverson, Ph.D., 2015
  • Ben Tutolo, Ph.D., 2015
  • Adam Schaen, M.Sc. 2014
  • Nick Pester, Ph.D., 2012
  • Mikaella Rough, M.Sc. 2011
  • Evelyn Pan, M.Sc., 2007


   Recent and Current Post-Doctoral Fellows

  • Dr. Yanlu Xing
  • Dr. Andrew Fowler
  • Dr. Chunyang Tan
  • Dr. Liheng Wang



   Selected Recent Publications


Tutolo, B. M., W. E. Seyfried, and N. J. Tosca (2020), A seawater throttle on H2 production in Precambrian serpentinizing systems, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 117(26), 14756-14763.


Scheuermann, P. P., Y. Xing, K. Ding, and W. E. Seyfried Jr (2020), Experimental measurement of H2 (aq) solubility in hydrothermal fluids: application to the Piccard hydrothermal field, Mid-Cayman Rise, Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta.


Tutolo, B. M., A. J. Luhmann, X. Z. Kong, B. Bagley, D. Alba-Venero, N. Mitchell, M. O. Saar, and W. E. J. Seyfried (2020), The contribution of visible and invisible pores to porosity generation and anomalous trace element release from dolomite Geochemical Perspectives Letters. 14, 42–46 


Tutolo, B.M., Kiesel, T., Luhmann, A.J., Solheid, P. and Seyfried, W.E. (2020) Experimental evaluation of the role of redox during glauconite-CO2-brine interactions. Appl. Geochem. 115, 104558.


Tao, C., W. Seyfried, R. Lowell, Y. Liu, J. Liang, Z. Guo, K. Ding, H. Zhang, J. Liu, and L. Qiu (2020), Deep high-temperature hydrothermal circulation in a detachment faulting system on the ultra-slow spreading ridge, Nature communications, 11(1), 1-9.


Coogan, L.A., Seyfried, W.E., Jr. and Pester, N.J. (2019) Environmental controls on mid-ocean ridge hydrothermal fluxes. Chem. Geol. 528, 119285.


Scheuermann, P.P., Tutolo, B.M. and Seyfried, W.E., Jr. (2019) Anhydrite solubility in low-density hydrothermal fluids: Experimental measurements and thermodynamic calculations. Chem. Geol. 524, 184-195.


Fowler, A.P.G., Scheuermann, P., Tan, C. and Seyfried, W.E., Jr. (2019) Titanium reactors for redox-sensitive hydrothermal experiments: An assessment of dissolved salt on H2 activity-concentration relations. Chem. Geol. 515, 87-93.


Fowler, A.P.G., Tan, C., Luttrell, K., Tudor, A., Scheuermann, P., Pat Shanks, W.C. and Seyfried, W.E., Jr. (2019) Geochemical heterogeneity of sublacustrine hydrothermal vents in Yellowstone Lake, Wyoming. J. Volcanol. Geotherm. Res. 386, 106677.


Fowler, A.P.G., Liu, Q.-l., Huang, Y., Tan, C., Volk, M.W.R., Shanks, W.C.P. and Seyfried, W. E., Jr. (2019) Pyrite δ34S and Δ33S constraints on sulfur cycling at sublacustrine hydrothermal vents in Yellowstone Lake, Wyoming, USA. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 265, 148-162.


Fowler, A. C., Tan, C., Cino, C. D., Scheuermann, P., Volk, M. W. R., Shanks III, W. C., and Seyfried W. E., Jr. (2019) High temperature sublacustrine fumaroles in Yellowstone Lake, Wyoming: Geology, 


Du M., Peng, X., Ta K., Guo Z., Seyfried W. E. Jr., Chou I.-M., Xu H., Liu S., Chen S., Li J. and Bai S. (2019) Iddingsite mud volcanism in subduction zone. Geochemical Perspectives Letters v.11, doi: 10.7185/geochemlet.1916.


Scheuermann, P.P., Tan, C. and Seyfried, W. E., Jr. (2018) Quartz Solubility in the Two-Phase Region of the NaCl-H2O System: An Experimental Study with Application to the Piccard Hydrothermal Field, Mid-Cayman Rise. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 19, 3570-3582.


Syverson, D.D., Scheuermann, P., Higgins, J.A., Pester, N.J. and 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 236, 160-178.


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.


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.


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.


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., 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.


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.


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., 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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., 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.


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.