• E-mailMauro.Passarella@uib.no
  • Phone+393406966376
  • Visitor Address
    Allégaten 41
    5007 Bergen
    4G13c - 4131a
  • 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 is linked to the Arctic spreading ridges, with a main focus on spreading processes, hydrothermal activity, CO2 storage in basaltic rock, and formation of mineral resources. My work will be concentrated on laboratory simulations of rock-fluid-gas interactions at subcritical and supercritical condition by using a high T-P hydrothermal apparatus, in flow-through (max T=400˚C / max P=400 bar). The study will give the opportunity to explore fundamental geochemical processes occurring at Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge (AMOR) environment. During experiments, particular attention will be given to the study of basalt-seawater-CO2 interaction, at different T-P conditions. This will permit a better comprehension of the mechanisms that regulate the Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) in oceanic environment.

Academic article
  • Show author(s) (2023). Reactive transport modelling under supercritical conditions. Geothermics.

More information in national current research information system (CRIStin)

  1. (Article). Altar, D.E., Kaya, E., Zarrouk, S.J., Passarella, M. and Mountain, B.W., 2023, Reactive transport modelling under supercritical conditions. Geothermics, 111: 102725. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geothermics.2023.102725;
  2. (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;
  3. (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;
  4. (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...
  5. (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;
  6. (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...
  7. (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...
  8. (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;
  9. (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 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.

The laboratory offers a wide range of experimental equipment to investigate mineral replacement and dissolution reactions at conditions ranging from Earth surface weathering to deep-crustal hydrothermal, in rock- and fluid-dominated, open and closed systems. The integrated post-experimental analysis of recovered fluid and solid samples is conducted in collaboration with LabELISA, ELMILAB, and through external research collaborations. The current research focus lies on metal release and transport, CO2 sequestration, and feedback mechanisms between coupled reactions.  

  • Continuous-flow hydrothermal reactor

PARR Instruments™ custom-built hydrothermal reactor capable of continuous-flow hydrothermal fluid-solid experiments up to conditions of 400˚C and 400 bar. All wetted parts are built from C276 and Ta-coated T316, thus offering strong resistance to corrosion. The fluid-delivery system comprises a VINDUM VP-6K-HC High-Pressure Metering Pump (flowrate: 0.00002 – 54 mL/min) and a SFT-10 constant flow/constant pressure dual piston supercritical CO2 pump made by Supercritical Fluid Technologies, INC. (flowrate: 0.01 to 24.0 mL/min, and P: 10 to 10,000 psi, and constant PC data logging). CO2 dissolution is achieved in a stirred 250 mL water-cooled high-pressure mixing reactor. Continuous logging of pressure and temperature data from three thermocouples and two pressure transducers, as well as up- and downstream fluid sampling ports allow for complete monitoring of reaction parameters. A DEGASi 6-channel degasser system has been added for hydrothermal flow experiments at low fO2 conditions relevant for deep-crustal fluid flow systems.

  • Compact stirred high-pressure reactors

Two series 5500 HP Stirred Compact Reactors (PARR Instruments™) offer closed system hydrothermal fluid-rock interaction experimental capabilities up to 350 ˚C and 200 bar. Wetted parts (dip tube, stirrer, thermocouple, liner) are composed of grade-2 titanium. The reactors are equipped with liquid and gas sampling ports connected to a 1 mL Vici sampling loop. An additional gas-inlet port allows for experiments in e.g., N2 or Ar atmospheres and closed-system carbonation experiments.

  • Closed system acid digestion vessels

Closed system vessels represent the simplest hydrothermal reactors but nevertheless offer exciting capabilities for large-scale screening and time-series experiments. The vessels are fitted with PTFE liners (Tmax: 220˚C) with few additional PPL liners (Tmax: 280˚C) for higher temperature experiments at vapor pressure. Three VWR forced convection ovens allow for simultaneous experiments at three different temperatures, one of which is equipped with a custom-built N2-purged vacuum chamber for experiments in O2-free atmosphere.


Research groups