Edinburgh Research Explorer

Ian Butler

Senior Research Fellow

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Willingness to take PhD students: Yes

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of Wales (UC Cardiff)
Bachelor of Science, University of Reading

Area of Expertise

Research expertiseExperimental geochemistry and geology, Isotope geochemistry, Geochemical kinetics and mechanism, Sulfide mineralogy, petrology and geochemistry, Fluid-rock reaction, X-ray microtomography, Fluid transport processes in porous media

Current Research Interests

I'm an experimental geoscientist and geochemist interested in the application of laboratory techniques and experiments to understand geological and geochemical processes. This interest includes the design, construction and implementation of novel experimental and analytical equipment and techniques.

The majority of my research has focused upon the kinetics, mechanism and isotope geochemistry of geochemical processes in low temperature to hydrothermal aqueous environments. In particular this research has focused on processes in anoxic sulfidic environments where the geochemical behaviour of metals is dominated by their reactions with sulfide. My group has published the first experimental quantifications of Fe and Cu isotope fractionation factors for the incorporation of aqueous Fe and Cu into sulfide mineral phases, and during mineral phase transformations. More recently this interst has extended in to the carbonate mineral system and to the geochemical impact of microbial processes. I also have an interest in processes associated with metalliferous mineralisation, especially in hydrothermal environments at mid-ocean ridges and processes linked to lanthanoid mineralisation.

An increasing area of interest for me is the application of x-ray microtomographic imaging to time dependent processes, and especially the new insights offered by this technique to experimental geoscience. This work utilises laboratory and synchrotron microtomography mehtods and has included the design and construction of a microtomography instrument and a variety of x-ray trasparent experimental environments to investigate fluid flow, fluid-rock reaction and deformation processes. My current focus in this area addresses the characterisation of coupled processes using 4D µCT, including coupling of fluid-rock reaction with deformation and evolving permeability.



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