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Paul C Hackley

Research Geologist

Geology, Energy & Minerals Science Center

Office Phone: 703-648-6458
Fax: 703-648-6419
ORCID: 0000-0002-5957-2551

John W Powell FB
12201 Sunrise Valley Drive
Reston , VA 20192-0002

Supervisor: Evan A Bargnesi
To test if reflectance increases to sedimentary organic matter (vitrinite) caused by broad ion beam (BIB) milling were related to molecular aromatization and condensation, we used Raman and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopies to evaluate potential compositional changes in the same vitrinite locations pre- and post-BIB milling. The same locations also were examined by atomic force microscopy (AFM) to determine topographic changes caused by BIB milling (as expressed by the areal root-mean-square roughness parameter Rq). Samples consisted of four medium volatile bituminous coals. We used a non-aggressive BIB milling approach with conditions of [(5 min, 4 keV, 15°incline, 360° rotation at 25 rpm and 100%...
Solid organic matter (OM) in sedimentary rocks produces petroleum and solid bitumen when it undergoes thermal maturation. The solid OM is a 'geomacromolecule', usually representing a mixture of various organisms with distinct biogenic origins, and can have high heterogeneity in composition. Programmed pyrolysis is a common conventional method to reveal bulk geochemical characteristics of the dominant OM while detailed organic petrography is required to reveal information about the biogenic origin of contributing macerals. Despite advantages of programmed pyrolysis, it cannot provide information about the heterogeneity of chemical compositions present in the individual OM types. Therefore, other analytical techniques...
The refractory nature of zircon to temperature and pressure allows even a single zircon grain to preserve a rich history of magmatic, metamorphic, and hydrothermal processes. Isotopic dating of micro-domains exposed in cross-sections of zircon grains allows us to interrogate this history. Unfortunately, our ability to select the zircon grains in a heavy mineral concentrate that records the most geochronologic information is limited by our inability to predict internal zonation from observations of whole zircon grains. Here we document the use of a petrographic microscope to observe and image the photoluminescence (PL) response of whole zircon grains excited under ultraviolet (UV) light, and the utility of this PL...
Geological models for petroleum generation suggest thermal conversion of oil-prone sedimentary organic matter in the presence of water promotes increased liquid saturate yield, whereas absence of water causes formation of an aromatic, cross-linked solid bitumen residue. To test the influence of exchangeable hydrogen from water, organic-rich (22 wt.% total organic carbon, TOC) mudrock samples from the Eocene lacustrine Green River Mahogany zone oil shale were pyrolyzed under hydrous and anhydrous conditions at temperatures between 300 and 370°C for 72 hrs. Petrographic approaches including optical microscopy, reflectance, Raman spectroscopy, and scanning electron and transmission electron microscopy, supplemented...
For nearly two and a half decades following World War II, production wastes from the world’s largest manufacturer of technical DDT were discharged into sewers of Los Angeles County. Following treatment, the wastes were released via a submarine outfall system to nearshore coastal waters where a portion accumulated in shallow sediments of the Palos Verdes Shelf (PVS). An investigation of the pore-water geochemistry of DDT-related compounds (DDX) was undertaken in an effort to understand factors controlling the rate of reductive dechlorination (RDC) of the major DDT degradate, 4,4’-DDE. Equilibrium matrix-solid phase microextraction (matrix-SPMEeq) combined with automated thermal desorption-gas chromatography/mass...
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