Mauro Passarella's picture

Mauro Passarella

Postdoctoral Fellow, SEAS (Shaping European Research Leaders for Marine Sustainability) - Centre for Deep Sea Research/Geochemistry and Geobiology Group
  • E-mailMauro.Passarella@uib.no
  • Phone+393406966376
  • Visitor Address
    Allégaten 41
    5007 Bergen
    4F14d - 4130a
  • Postal Address
    Postboks 7803
    5020 Bergen

The SEAS project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 101034309. SEAS project is aimed at training future research leaders for the conservation and sustainable use of the ocean, seas, and marine resources. We are an interdisciplinary group of postdoctoral fellows at the University of Bergen, Norway who aim to deliver high-quality research with a positive, on the ground impact. Our goals are healthy marine ecosystems and equitable livelihoods.

My position at Centre for Deep-Sea Research (supervised by Associate Prof. Andreas Beinlich) is linked to the Arctic spreading ridges, with a main focus on spreading processes, hydrothermal activity and formation of mineral resources. My work will be concentrated on laboratory simulations of mafic/ultramafic rock-fluid interactions at subcritical and supercritical condition (max T=400˚C / max P=400 bar), in flow-through. These conditions are active in the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge (AMOR) in the Norwegian-Greenland Sea at sub-seafloor hydrothermal conditions. The study will give the opportunity to explore fundamental geochemical processes occurring in the submarine AMOR environment, as for example: rock physical property changes (porosity, density, rheology), formation of economic mineral deposits (Seafloor Massive Sulfide, SMS, deposits) and energy source for seafloor microbial vent communities. In addition, during the laboratory experiments, particular attention will be also given to the study of CO2 behaviour at different T-P. This will permit a better comprehension of the mechanisisms that regulate the carbon capture and storage (CCS) in oceanic environment. In previous experimental works, some insight was gained into the fluid-rock exchanges that gave rise to the fluid chemical signature. However, many fundamental questions involving the equilibrium and kinetic aspects of reactions, and secondary mineral formation from fluid-rock interaction, remain. In addition, the chemical evolution of the fluid compositions and the elemental fluxes of major and trace elements, with respect to pressure-temperature conditions over time, are still poorly understood.

  1. (Article). Altar, D.E., Kaya, E., Zarrouk, S.J., Passarella, M. and Mountain, B.W., 2022, Numerical geochemical modelling of basalt-water interaction under subcritical conditions. Geothermics, 105: 102520. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geothermics.2022.102520;
  2. (Ph.D. Thesis). Passarella, M., 2021, Basalt - fluid interactions at subcritical and supercritical conditions: An experimental study, Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington. https://doi.org/10.26686/wgtn.17089220.v1;
  3. (Conference Paper). Passarella, M., Mountain, B. and Seward, T., 2017, Basalt-seawater interaction at near-supercritical conditions (400˚C, 500 bar): Hydrothermal alteration in the sub-seafloor. Proceedings 39th New Zealand Geothermal Workshop, 24. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/346626040_Basalt-seawater_inter...
  4. (Article). Passarella, M., Mountain, B.W. and Seward, T.M., 2017, Experimental Simulations of Basalt-fluid Interaction at Supercritical Hydrothermal Condition (400˚C – 500bar). Procedia Earth and Planetary Science, 17: 770-773. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.proeps.2017.01.022;
  5. (Conference Paper). Passarella, M., Mountain, B.W. and Seward, T.M., Year 2016, Basalt-Fluid Interaction at Supercritical Conditions (400˚C, 500 bar): an Experimental Approach. Proceedings 38th New Zealand Geothermal Workshop, 25. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/308973015_BASALT-FLUID_INTERACT...
  6. (Conference Paper). Passarella, M., Mountain, B., Zarrouk, S. and Burnell, J., Year, Experimental simulation of re-injection of non-condensable gases into geothermal reservoirs: greywacke-fluid interaction. Proceedings, 37th New Zealand Geothermal Workshop. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/283516840_EXPERIMENTAL_SIMULATI...
  7. (Article). Brothelande, E., Finizola, A., Peltier, A., Delcher, E., Komorowski, J.-C., Di Gangi, F., Borgogno, G., Passarella, M., Trovato, C. and Legendre, Y., 2014, Fluid circulation pattern inside La Soufrière volcano (Guadeloupe) inferred from combined electrical resistivity tomography, self-potential, soil temperature and diffuse degassing measurements. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 288: 105-122. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2014.10.007;
  8. (Article). Giordano, N., Bima, E., Caviglia, C., Comina, C., Ntandrone, G. and Passarella, M., 2013, Thermal box: analogical and numerical modeling of thermal flow in saturated and unsaturated conditions. GEAM-GEOINGEGNERIA AMBIENTALE E MINERARIA-GEAM-GEOENGINEERING ENVIRONMENT AND MINING: 23-32. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/286817378_Thermal_box_Analogica.... https://www.researchgate.net/publication/286817378_Thermal_box_Analogica...
  1. Best Paper in New Zealand Current Innovation: “Basalt-Fluid Interaction At Supercritical Conditions (400˚C, 500 bar): An Experimental Approach” at the 38th New Zealand Geothermal Association Conference, Auckland (2016).

As part of the SEAS programme I have the great opportunity to look for a "mentor" working external to the academic environment. For this reason, I recently contacted Alden Denny at ADEPTH Minerals AS with the opportunities to exchange ideas, and possibly setting up laboratory experiments aim to the exploration of sub-sea mineral resources formation. ADEPTH Minerals is founded by an experienced team with complementary experience from geoscience and subsea operations. They are based in Bergen, Norway, where there is a strong professional environment with the University in Bergen in front on deep sea minerals, together with a cluster of subsea companies developing the next generation of sustainable ocean technology.

Research groups