Carbonate Geochemistry: Reactions and Processes in Aquifers and Reservoirs



With increasing attention on the carbon cycle in our daily lives, it has never been a better time to study and understand carbonate geochemistry from ancient, modern, and future settings. The primary focus of the upcoming Carbonate Geochemistry conference is to bring together academics and professional scientists to discuss issues related specifically to carbonates, from sedimentology, diagenesis, biogeochemistry, and karst processes, to aquifer and petroleum reservoir characterization, as well as issues associated with climate change and alternative energy.

Much like previous Karst Waters Institute meetings with strong participation from academia, industry, and government agencies, and combined with low general registration fees and reduced charges for students, we expect a stimulating and well-attended meeting. Our main goal is to provide stakeholders in carbonate geochemistry research an unprecedented opportunity to expand research networks that may develop into new and revolutionary research opportunities in the future.

The conference will occur over two and a half days in Billings, Montana. The format will be in the style of past Karst Waters Institute conferences, which uniquely combines the best parts of a traditional conference with workshop-style, long-format lectures. As such, all speakers are invited because of their important and diverse contributions to the field. The planned, and already confirmed, plenary and invited speakers are a mixture of broad overviews to serve as background for all attendees, especially students, and dynamic presentations on specific topics centered on innovation and technological advances to stimulate scientific discussion about possible directions for future research. All conference attendees will have the opportunity to present their research as poster presentations, and as peer-reviewed, extended abstracts or short papers published as the Karst Waters Institute’s Special Publication 16. Some volunteered abstracts may also be selected for oral presentations.

A multiple-day, post-conference field trip through the Bighorn Basin, based in Cody, Wyoming. Registration for the field trip will be separate from the main conference and will be limited, so register early to ensure your seat! The field trip will provide unprecedented access to some of the most renowned carbonate reservoirs and karst systems in the world, with ample opportunity to learn and interact with some of the world’s leading experts.

The organizing committee invites you to participate in this exciting, special conference and field tip experience.

Conference Chairs:

Dr. Annette Summers Engel, Louisiana State University

Dr. Paul J. Moore, ExxonMobil

Mr. Harvey DuChene, VectaOil and Gas, Ltd



Patron Level

- National Cave and Karst Research Institute

- Edwards Aquifer Authority

- Geochemical Society



The conference will be divided into sessions organized by theme. Below is our growing list of the invited speakers and their presentation titles:

"Mineralogy and Crystal Chemistry of the Karstic Carbonate Minerals" -William B. White

"Meteoric versus Magmatic-hydrothermal Calcites in Lick Creek Cave, Little Belt Mountains, Montana, USA" -Kevin L. Carriere, H.G. Machel, & John C. Hopkins

"Bacterially Induced Precipitates of Minerals" -Henry Chafetz

"Vadose Flow in a Tropical Island Karst Aquifer, Guam, Mariana Islands" -J.W. Jenson, M.A. Lander, & Richard H. Randall

"Physical and Chemical Oceanographic Influences on the Distribution, Morphology, and Sedimentology of Holocene Oolitic Sand Bodies" -Eugene C. Rankey

"Dissolution in Bahamian Blue Holes from Tidal Pumping" -Jonathan B. Martin, Jason Gulley, & Patricia Spellman

"Determining CO2 Concentrations in Natural Waters: A Review of Common Methods and Their Limitations" -Dorothy J. Vesper, & Harry M. Edenborn

"Diagenetic Controls on Character of Carbonate Reservoirs: Surfaces and Setting" -Robert H. Goldstein, Zhaoqi Li, & Evan K. Franseen

"Syngenetic, Diagenetic and Hypergenic Features in the Koněprusy Limestone (Lower Devonian, Prague Synform, Czech Republic)" -Pavel Bosak

"Volcanogenic Karst Porcesses at Sistema Zacaton: Forming Mega-porosity in a Hypogene Setting" -Marcus Gary

"Multiple cave types in Miocene and Pleistocene carbonates of Barbados, West Indies" -Hans G. Machel, Johnathan B. Sumrall, Patricia N. Kambesis, Joan R. Mylroie, John E. Mylroie, and Michael J. Lace

"Predicting Carbonate Diagenesis: Emerging Insights from Reactive Transport Modelling" -Fiona Whitaker and Peter Smart

"Evolution of Dolines from Caves– Case Study from Kras Plateau - W Slovenia" -Andrej Mihevc

"Endogenic Upflow of CO2 as a Possible Driver in Removal of Large Rock Volume at Detachment Faults" -R. Ernest Anderson

"Carbonate Pore Space: A 3D Problem" -F. Jerry Lucia

"Understanding and Characterizing Slope Heterogeneity in Carbonates" -David Katz, Ted Playton, Jerome Bellian, Paul (Mitch) Harris, & Chris Harrison

"Burial Corrosion and Porosity Formation: from the seismic to micropore scale, but what processes do we blame?" -Paul Wright & Andrew Barnett

"Incorporating the Hydraulic Effects of the Epikarst into MODFLOW-DCM, a Karst Groundwater Flow Simulator" -R. Green, J. Winterle, P. Bertetti, and R. McGinnis

"Dynamics and Patterns of Karst Aquifer Evolution: A Modeling Perspective" -Franci Gabrovšek

"The Impact of Karst on Agriculture" -Michael T. Talbot and E. Calvin Alexander, Jr.

"Bed-scale Reaction Transport Modeling of Dolomitization and the Emergence of Lateral Patterns during Dolomitization" -D.A. Budd & A. J. Park

"Hydrochemistry of Drip Waters in an Intergranular Flow Carbonate Aquifer: Turks and Caicos Islands" -Peter Smart, David Richards, Warren Beck, and Fiona Whitaker

"Potential and Challenges for Speleothems as Paleoclimate Archives" Corinne Wong, Jay Banner, Richard Casteel, Weimin Feng, and Eric James


The Keynote Speaker is Dr. Noel James, who will speak about "Cool-water Carbonates and the Nullarbor Karst System, Southern Australia."

The Banquet Speaker is Dr. Art Palmer, who promises to provide an entertaining look at weird karst-related things.

Download 1st Circular

Calendar of Events

  • Day 1 - August 5, 2011

    August 6 (Saturday)

    Registration opens at 3:00 PM

    6:00 PM Welcome

    6:45 PM Plenary Lecture (Dr. Noel James)

    8:00 PM Opening reception

  • Day 2 - August 6, 2011
  • August 7 (Sunday)

    8:00 AM - 11:30 AM Invited Speakers for Session 1 (Mineralogy) and a break

    Lunch (on your own)

    1:00 PM - 4:00 PM Invited Speakers for Sessions 2 and 3 (Modern Depositional Environments) and a break

    4:30 PM - 6:30 PM Poster Session 1

    Dinner (on your own)

  • Day 3 - August 7, 2011
  • August 8 (Monday)

    8:00 AM - 12:00 PM Sessions 4 and 5 (Diagenesis and Petrophysics) and a break

    Lunch (on your own)

    1:30 - 3:30 PM Session 6 (Circulation and Fluid Flow) and a break

    7:00 PM Banquet (Dr. Art Palmer)

  • Day 4 - August 8, 2011
  • August 9 (Tuesday)

    8 AM - 10:00 AM Session 7 (Looking Forward)

    10:00-10:30 AM Break

    10:30 - 11:30 AM Summary Talks and Discussion

    12:00 PM Conference official ends (lunch on your own)

    2:00 PM Departure for Field Trip

Registration information


The full registration fee includes all printed materials, coffee breaks, and banquet. Participants arrange their own lodging and transportation. Discount registration is available for those who are full-time graduate and undergraduate students as of August 2011 (documentation will be requested).

Registration Fees (before July 1, 2011)

Registration $425

Student Registration $250

Extra banquet ticket $50

Late Registration Fees (July 2, 2011 onward)

Late Registration $600

Student $250

Extra banquet ticket $60 (if available)


The deadline for abstract submissions has passed.

Details for content submission, recommended content organization, copyright release information, and deadlines are found on the abstract link at the top of this page.

Attendees are encouraged to submit extended abstracts or short papers to the conference that fall into these themes. Submissions are limited to 4 published pages, will be internally peer-reviewed, and will be published as a Special Publication by the Karst Waters Institute. The proceedings will be available to all attendees at the conference.


Registration for the post-conference field trip is closed.

Registration fees include all of the transportation to and from Billings, Montana, to Cody, Wyoming, including all of the daily field excursions, field meals (e.g., lunches, snacks), lodging every night in Cody, fees and permits, and all printed materials.

Field Trip Details:

The post-meeting, 2 1/2 day field trip will depart from Billings, Montana, en route to Cody, Wyoming, at 2:00 PM on Tuesday, August 9, 2011. The conference officially ends at noon on the 9th.

The field trip will provide ample opportunity to learn and interact with some of the world’s leading experts. Prior to arriving in Cody, we will stop and Elk Basin for an overview of the hydrocarbon system in the greater Big Horn Basin. Wednesday, the first full day of the trip, will include a stop at Sheep Mountain anticline, which provides some of the better outcrops of karst-related features in the Bighorn and Torchlight Basins, and where we will examine carbonate rock and karst feature in cores. Thursday will include a boat trip along the Bighorn River to observe the Madison Formation and related features, and will cover topics related to sequence stratigraphy and karstification. Following the boat trip, we will travel to Devil’s Canyon to continue discussions from the boat trip. On Friday, the final day of the trip, we will return to Billings, making a few stops along the route.

Note that the field trip ends on Friday, August 12. Attendees should arrange their own overnight lodging in Billings individually for a Saturday departure.


KWI Travel Awards for Young Scientists

KWI distributed funds to young scientists to assist in travel expenses to attend the conference.

The following recipients received travel awards:

- Jon Sumrall (Mississippi State University)

- Katherine Cooper (Bristol University)

- Corinne Wong (University of Texas at Austin)

- Teresa Brown (Louisiana State University)

- Amy Brown (University of Florida)

Eligibility: the KWI travel awards were open to all students who are currently enrolled in an academic institution, either as a graduate or undergraduate students, as well as someone who is no more than 1 year past completion of their PhD.

The applicant must also be the first and presenting author of an abstract submitted to the conference.



Patron Level

- National Cave and Karst Research Institute

- Edwards Aquifer Authority

- Geochemical Society

Travel and Location Information

Montana is nicknamed the "Big Sky Country," and Billings is an urban gateway to breathtaking starry nights and rugged Montana and Wyoming mountains. The Billings Logan International Airport is Montana's largest and busiest airport, with over 25 passenger flights per day.

The main part of the conference will take place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Billings, Montana (USA). Discounted room rates are available at the Crowne Plaza (information provided by registering for the conference, upon request).

If attending the conference, you will need to arrive by the evening reception and opening ceremonies on August 6. Registration opens at 3:00 PM on August 6, and the Welcome and Plenary Session starts at 6:00 PM, with a reception to follow. The conference officially ends at noon on August 9 (check-out at 10am).

If you are planning on going on the field trip, our departure will be the afternoon of the 9th. All field trip lodging in Cody, WY, is covered in the field trip registration. Participants will stay at the Holiday Inn Cody at the Buffalo Bill Village, with daily excursions to some of the world's premier outcroppings of carbonate rocks and structural features important to both aquifer and hydrocarbon reservoirs. However, the field trip will return to Billings, MT, the evening of August 12 (after almost all flights from the airport). Individuals should arrange for their own lodging for the night of the 12th, in the hotel of their own choice.