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Applied Geology and Geochemistry

Charlotte Sullivan

Charlotte Sullivan

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
PO Box 999
Richland, WA 99352


Charlotte is a subsurface geologist with 25+ years in research and industry, including four years in academia/seismic attribute research, eight years in development geology, and five years in hydrocarbon exploration. Subsurface reservoir characterization experience includes Paleozoic reservoirs in the Permian Basin, Michigan Basin, the Fort Worth Basin; Cretaceous reservoirs in Mexico and offshore Qatar; Miocene reservoirs of the Philippine Islands and Indonesia; and hydrothermally altered reservoirs of the Appalachian Basin. PNNL activities include responsibility for geophysical characterization of the Wallula basalt sequestration pilot, the Mattoon Illinois FutureGen1 CO2 sequestration site, and the FutureGen2 Illinois sequestration project. Charlotte is also involved in conducting regional sequence stratigraphic analyses; expanding the application of multicomponent seismic and other geophysical methods to carbon dioxide sequestration; and developing and testing subsurface geologic and numerical models of CO2 sequestration candidates. Additional research includes unconventional hydrocarbon resources and enhanced oil recovery (EOR).

Research Interests

  • Enhanced oil recovery and carbon dioxide storage
  • Application of multicomponent surface seismic and VSP technology to subsurface imaging and evaluation
  • Reservoir characterization and resistivity-based image logs
  • Sequence stratigraphy
  • Carbonates

Education and Credentials

  • Ph.D., Geology, University of Houston, Houston, Texas, 1989
  • M.S., Geology, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas, 1972
  • B.S., Geology (Honors), Arkansas Tech University, Russellville, Arkansas, 1969

Affiliations and Professional Service

  • Reviewer for Geophysics, Environmental Geosciences, Interpretation, the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) Development and Production Forum, SEG Annual Symposia volumes, Journal of Foraminiferal Research and Journal of Asian Earth Sciences.
  • Chief associate editor 2014 “ Advances in Geophysical Monitoring Technologies for CCUS and CO2 Storage” Special Section in the SEG/AAPG journal Interpretation
  • Co-Chair 2010 AAPG RM CO2 session; Co-chair 2011 AAPG ACE CO2 session
  • Co-Chair 2014 AAGP ACE Division of Environmental Sciences
  • Chairperson, 2010 SEG CO2 Research Forum
  • Advisory board American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) Division of Environmental Geosciences
  • Member of the following professional societies: SEG, AAPG, AAPG-DEG, GSA, AGU, WTGS,GSW

Awards and Recognitions

  • 2006 PNNL Energy Science and Technology Directorate: FutureGen Siting Team Award
  • 2004 Charter Member AAPG Publication Pipeline Committee
  • 1997 Pennzoil Qatar Exploration Team Award
  • 1989 HGS Graduate Student of the Year, University of Houston
  • B.S. Geology with Honors

PNNL Publications


  • McGrail BP, HT Schaef, FA Spane, JB Cliff, III, O Qafoku, JA Horner, CJ Thompson, AT Owen, and EC Sullivan. 2017. "Field Validation of Supercritical CO2 Reactivity with Basalts." Environmental Science & Technology Letters 4(1):6-10.  doi:10.1021/acs.estlett.6b00387


  • Gilmore TJ, AH Bonneville, EC Sullivan, ME Kelley, D Appriou, VR Vermeul, SK White, Z Zhang, BN Bjornstad, F Cornet, JL Gerst, N Gupta, G Hund, JA Horner, GV Last, DC Lanigan, M Oostrom, C McNeil, MA Moody, ML Rockhold, ML Elliott, FA Spane, CE Strickland, LL Swartz, PD Thorne, CF Brown, J Hoffmann, and KK Humphreys, JR. 2016. "Characterization and Design of the FutureGen 2.0 Carbon Storage Site." International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control 53:1-10.  doi:10.1016/j.ijggc.2016.07.022


  • Bonneville A, E Heggy, CE Strickland, J Normand, JA Dermond, Y Fang, and EC Sullivan. 2015. "Geophysical Monitoring of Ground Surface Deformation Associated with a Confined Aquifer Storage and Recovery Operation." Water Resources Management 29(13):4667-4682.  doi:10.1007/s11269-015-1083-y
  • Wang G, N Qafoku, AR Lawter, ME Bowden, O Harvey, EC Sullivan, and CF Brown. 2015. "Geochemical Impacts of Leaking CO2 from Subsurface Storage Reservoirs to an Unconfined Oxidizing Carbonate Aquifer." International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control 44(2016):310-322.  doi:10.1016/j.ijggc.2015.07.002


  • Gilmore TJ, A Bonneville, VR Vermeul, FA Spane, ME Kelley, EC Sullivan, and J Hoffman. 2014. "Overview of the CO2 Geological Storage Site for the FutureGen Project in Morgan County Illinois, USA." Energy Procedia 63:6361-6367.  doi:10.1016/j.egypro.2014.11.671
  • Strickland CE, VR Vermeul, A Bonneville, EC Sullivan, TC Johnson, FA Spane, and TJ Gilmore. 2014. "Geophysical Monitoring Methods Evaluation for the FutureGen 2.0 project." Energy Procedia 63:4394-4403.  doi:10.1016/j.egypro.2014.11.474
  • Sullivan EC, BA Hardage, CE Strickland, A Bonneville, and TJ Gilmore. 2014. "Application of three component VSP technology at seismically difficult sites: An example from the FutureGen 2.0 site, Morgan County, Illinois, USA." Energy Procedia 63:5051-5062.  doi:10.1016/j.egypro.2014.11.535
  • Vermeul VR, CE Strickland, PD Thorne, BN Bjornstad, RD Mackley, ME Kelley, EC Sullivan, MD Williams, JE Amonette, JL Downs, BG Fritz, JE Szecsody, A Bonneville, and TJ Gilmore. 2014. "FutureGen 2.0 Monitoring Program: An Overview of the Monitoring Approach and Technologies Selected for Implementation." Energy Procedia 63:4062-4070.  doi:10.1016/j.egypro.2014.11.438


  • Bonneville A, TJ Gilmore, EC Sullivan, VR Vermeul, ME Kelley, SK White, D Appriou, BN Bjornstad, JL Gerst, N Gupta, JA Horner, C McNeil, MA Moody, WM Rike, FA Spane, PD Thorne, ER Zeller, ZF Zhang, J Hoffman, and KK Humphreys. 2013. "Evaluating the Suitability for CO2 Storage at the FutureGen 2.0 Site, Morgan County, Illinois, USA." Energy Procedia 37:6125-6132.  doi:10.1016/j.egypro.2013.06.541
  • Qafoku N, CF Brown, G Wang, EC Sullivan, AR Lawter, OR Harvey, and M Bowden. 2013. Geochemical Impacts of Leaking CO2 from Subsurface Storage Reservoirs to Unconfined and Confined AquifersPNNL-22420, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA. 


  • McGrail BP, CJ Freeman, CF Brown, EC Sullivan, SK White, S Reddy, R Garber, D Tobin, J Gilmartin, and E Steffensen. 2012. "Overcoming Business Model Uncertainty in a Carbon Dioxide Capture and Sequestration Project: Case Study at the Boise White Paper Mill." International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control 9:91-102.  doi:10.1016/j.ijggc.2012.03.009
  • Zakharova NV, DS Goldberg, EC Sullivan, MM Herron, and JA Grau. 2012. "Petrophysical and Geochemical Properties of Columbia River Flood Basalt: Implications for Carbon Sequestration." Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems. G3 13(11):Article No. Q11001.  doi:10.1029/2012GC004305





  • Last GV, CJ Murray, DA Bush, EC Sullivan, ML Rockhold, RD Mackley, and BN Bjornstad. 2007. "Standardization of Borehole Data to Support Vadose Zone Flow and Transport Modeling." Vadose Zone Journal 6(4):906-912.  doi:10.2136/vzj2006.0175


Additional Information