Livia Capaldi, Master's Candidate
Department of Earth Sciences
Fairchild Hall, Room 218
Hanover, NH 03755
Areas of Expertise: Groundwater geochemistry, contaminant transport
Background: Livia Capaldi received her B.A. in Geology from Oberlin College in 2010 with her senior research focused on weathering signals in groundwater geochemistry. As a Lab Assistant under Dr. Samuel Bowring at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, she assessed flow paths using trace element geochemistry in groundwater. Her work as a field scientist for an environmental consulting firm involved conducting site investigations and managing heavy metal and organic contaminant remediation sites.
Research: Due to the persistent nature of mercury, legacy contamination from historic sources can pose a threat to the environment for decades after release. One potential location of long term mercury storage is on the banks of rivers, in the floodplain. To better understand the processes that lead to mercury being sequestered or released from the floodplain we are conducting field investigations in Northern New Hampshire on the floodplain of a river that has been contaminated with mercury associated with paper production in the region. Along with field sampling, we are conducting laboratory experiments to investigate the mechanisms of mercury release from soils in the floodplain. With this information we hope to understand how long legacy mercury contamination will adversely impact the environment and how this timescale may be influenced by increased precipitation and flooding.