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Adjunct Associate Research Scientist
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Marine/Large Programs


Fields of interest: 
Borehole geophysics, carbon sequestration, induced seismicity, unconventional reservoirs, Newark Rift basin
         I do research in environmental and energy applications of borehole geophysics. My recent projects have focused on evaluating risks of induced seismicity from underground injections, geologic carbon storage in unconventional rock types, and petrophysical characterization of fractured media. I use borehole geophysical data for petrophysical, geochemical and geomechanical analysis, and integrate them with core and/or large-scale survey information to characterize geologic formations across multiple scales. Using advanced borehole techniques, I aim to 1) improve our knowledge of in situ stress distribution to aid in predicting induced seismicity; 2) advance our understanding of unconventional reservoir systems, such as igneous rocks and fractured formations; and 3) develop characterization and monitoring techniques for CO2 geologic storage.
         In Situ Stress and Induced Seismicity
         An emerging concern for large-scale CO2 storage, as well as for other types of underground fluid injections, is the risk of induced seismicity. The basic mechanism of inducing earthquakes by fluid injection is known, but prediction remains unattainable due to the high complexity of natural reservoir systems, and a lack of detailed information about stress distribution in the subsurface. I am currently working on geomechanical evaluation of formation stability and in situ stresses in the Newark Rift basin, located within the New York Metropolitan area, where understanding seismic hazard is particularly important due to high population density. This project covers all facets of geomechanical analysis, from detailed lab measurements of rock properties, through borehole stress evaluation, to basin-wide geomechanical modeling. My preliminary results suggest that local stress perturbations exist at multiple scales and create variable risk of fault reactivation at different depths. I believe that such localized stress variations contribute to the challenge of predicting induced earthquakes, and require better understanding of the factors influencing stress distribution at the reservoir scale.
         Carbon Sequestration in Unconventional Reservoirs
         Global warming is one of the primary environmental challenges of our generation. Carbon capture and storage (CCS), also known as CO2 sequestration, provides a vital option for mitigating climate change by reducing CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. CCS involves collecting anthropogenic emissions of CO2 and injecting them underground for permanent storage in geologic formations. To broaden and diversify storage opportunities, I am looking at unconventional reservoir such as volcanic rocks, fractured formations and moderate permeability aquifers. My research focuses on understanding petrophysical, geomenchanical and geochemical properties of such reservoirs using borehole geophysical data collected in a variety of geologic settings, e.g. extrusive continental flood basalt (Columbia River Plateau), igneous intrusion (the Palisades Sill) and fractured aquifers in the Newark Rift Basin.
List of degrees from highest to lowest:
Columbia University
Lomonosov Moscow State University
Lomonosov Moscow State University

Lamont Projects:

Referenced in the Following News Items:

Selected Publications:

New insights into lithology and hydrogeology of the northern Newark Rift Basin Zakharova, N.V., Goldberg, D.S., Olsen, P.E., Kent, D.V., Morgan, S., Yang, Q., Stute, M., Matter, J., Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems Volume: 17(6) (2016) 10.1002/2015GC006240
Microbial stimulation and succession following a test well injection simulating CO2 leakage into a shallow Newark Basin aquifer O’Mullan, G; Dueker, M; Clauson, K; Yang, Q; Umemoto, K; Zakharova, N; Matter, J; Stute, M; Takahashi, T; Goldberg, D. PLOS ONE (2015) 10.1371/journal.pone.0117812
Analysis of shear wave anisotropy in upper oceanic crust, ODP/IODP Hole 1256D Zakharova, N.V., Goldberg, D.S. Proceedings of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program, 335 (2015) 10.2204/iodp.proc.335.202.2015
Groundwater hydrogeochemistry in field injection experiments simulating CO2 leakage from geosequestration in a shallow aquifer in Newark Basin Yang, Q.; Matter, J.; Stute, M.; Umemoto, K.; Clauson, K.; Dueker, M. E.; O’Mullan, G.; Takahashi, T.; Zakharova, N.; Goldberg, D. International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control Volume: 26 p.: 193-203 (2014)
In situ stress analysis in the northern Newark Basin: Implications for induced seismicity from CO2 injection Zakharova, N.V.; Goldberg, D.S. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth Volume: 119 Issue: 3 p.: 2362-2374 (2014)
In Situ Stress Constrains from Borehole Data in the Context of CO2-Storage Site Characterization Zakharova, N.V.; Goldberg, D.S.; Collins D. Proceedings of the 47th US Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium 23/06/2013 (2013)
Petrophysical and Geochemical Properties of Columbia River Flood Basalt: Implications for Carbon Sequestration Zakharova, N. V.; Goldberg, D.S.; Sullivan, C.; Herron, M.; Grau, J. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems (G-cubed) Volume: 13 Issue: 11 (2012) 10.1029/2012GC004305