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FrezChem Model

This page provides resources for the FREZCHEM (FREeZing CHEMistry) computer model, which simulates and predicts the behavior of substances at extremely cold temperatures. This FORTRAN model allows researchers to look at and predict geochemical processes at sub-zero temperatures. The potential applications are numerous, including examining the possibility of life on other planets, mine reclamation in cold regions, gas hydrate stability in oceans, and commercial refrigeration processes.

The authors of this work are: Giles Marion, Mikhail V. Mironenko and Morien W. Roberts.


Right-click on the links below to download the FORTRAN source code, release notes for new features in each version, and support files. You are encouraged to use an earlier version if you do not require the features added in later versions. Earlier versions tend to be faster and more robust.

Version Source Code Release Notes (PDF) Support Files
17.1 source code  notes  input | solidmass | solidphase | nuances
16.1 source code notes input | solidmass | solidphase | nuances
15.1 source code notes input | solidmass | solidphase | nuances
14.2 source code notes input | solidmass | solidphase | nuances
13.3 source code notes input | solidmass | solidphase | nuances
12.2 source code notes N/A
11.2 source code notes N/A
9.2 source code notes N/A
8.3 source code notes N/A
7.2 source code notes N/A
6.2 source code notes N/A
5.2 source code notes N/A

Geobiology and the emergence of terraced architecture during carbonate mineralization

Affiliation(s)PI/CoPIProject PeriodFunded by
DEES Murray, Alison 9/2002 - Present NSF- Biocomplexity: Coupled Biogeochemical Cycles

Keywords: carbonate terraces, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, hot springs, thermophiles

 Project Description

Angel Terrace, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park.
Angel Terrace, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park.

Carbonate terraces are a pervasive geological form on this planet, and perhaps other planets. This project, led by Bruce Fouke of the University of Illinois, has taken place at Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park. The aim has been to decipher the origins and evolution of carbonate terraces as a function of the biological, chemical and physical regime in hot spring systems. The Murray group has participated in four key aspects of this field-oriented geobiolgy research program. (i) They have described the community structure of bacteria over geological facies transitions and in association with specific crystalline features in the hot spring system. The community structure varies closely with the geological facies model based on chemical/physical boundaries in the system. (ii) An examination into the phylogenetic diversity of archaeal thermophiles in the hot spring vent pool has shown that there are several forms of archaeal life that appear to be abundant there, one that appears to be quite distinct from anything known, and the another that forms a very deep-branching lineage (Korarchaeota) that has no cultivated members. (iii) They have surveyed carbon fixation pathways (and genes involved in them) that are active in photosynthesis in the hot spring system where temperatures exceed 45C. (iv) In fall 2005, they participated in an experimental field study aimed to study carbonate mineralization in hot spring waters with microbes present, with killed microbes, and with the microbes removed by filtration. They are working to the identity of organisms associated with primary mineralization and biofilm development events, while the Illinois groups are working on comparing the quantity and form of minerals formed in each of the three treatments.

DRI News: Seeking the origin of Yellowstone's Travertine Terrace Formation: Are the bugs involved? (2003 Summer newsletter, PDF 1 MB)

Late Quaternary history of the Walker River: The tale of a river with a split personality

Affiliation(s)PIProject PeriodFunded by

Adams, Kenneth D

February 2001 - January 2003 This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. EAR-0087840

Keywords:Walker river, quaternary history, Lahontan basin, Walker lake

Project Description

Walker River
                   Walker River

The Walker River is one of five major streams that flow into the Lahontan basin of northwestern Nevada and adjacent northeastern California. The behavior of this river since the late Pleistocene is quite unusual because instead of flowing into Walker Lake as it does today, at times during the Holocene it diverted to flow into the Carson Sink. When this happened, Walker Lake became a relatively dry playa whereas the Carson Sink gained a significant new water source. When the river diverted back to Walker Lake, the playa was flooded and lakes in the Carson Sink presumably shrank in size. Paleoclimatic reconstructions based on the behavior and status of lakes in both basins must therefore consider the diversion history of the Walker River. The goal of this project is to delineate the behavior of the Walker River since the last highstand of Lake Lahontan and its effects on the paleohydrology of Walker Lake and the Carson Sink.

This research is significant to a host of past, present, and future research efforts in the Great Basin:

  • The results of this research will serve to test the hypothesis that rapid isostatic rebound after the last major lake cycle caused the Walker River to change its course.
  • Fluctuations of lake levels in the Walker Lake basin may, in part, be a function of river diversions and not solely climatic fluctuations.
  • Large short-lived lakes in the Carson Sink that displaced people, animals, and vegetation to the periphery of the Sink in the late Holocene may also be due to river diversion and not climatic fluctuations.
  • The results of this research will serve as revised input parameters for isostatic rebound modeling efforts.

Standard geologic and geomorphic techniques are being used to determine the diversion history of the Walker River including mapping fluvial terraces and channels on aerial photographs, stratigraphic and sedimentologic description, collecting samples for age control, coring channel remnants with a Giddings coring rig, and surveying channel remnants with a Total Station. Field efforts are concentrated in five main areas including Adrian Valley, northern Mason Valley, the point of diversion near Yerington, NV, the lower Walker River near Walker Lake, and low elevation shorelines rimming the Carson Sink.

This research is part of a longer-term effort to reconstruct the paleoclimatic and rebound history of the Lahontan region over the last 30 ka. Recognition that rapid isostatic rebound may have invoked large-scale geomorphic and hydrographic effects underlies the importance of refining the isostatic rebound model for the Lake Lahontan basin and documenting these effects on the paleoenvironmental history of the region. The results of the research will lead to a more complete paleoclimatic record from the basin and will also document the interrelationships between climate change, deep Earth processes, and surface processes.

Goshute Valley Prehistory Project

Affiliation(s)PIProject PeriodFunded by
DEES Buck, Paul 2000-2003 U.S. Department of the interior, Bureau of Land Management

Keywords: Goshute Valley, Oranjeboom Cave, archaeology

Project Description

Orangeboom Cave
Oranjeboom  Cave

This interdisciplinary project aimed to examine the prehistory and paleoenvironment of the Goshute Valley in Northwestern Nevada, the location of Pleistocene Lake Waring. Running north-south for about 50 miles south from wells, NV, the Goshute Valley contains dozens of important archaeological and paleoenvironmental sites. The Goshute Valley includes faculty from the Desert Research Institute, Dr. Ted Goebel (UNR) and Dr. Bryan Hockett of the Bureau of Land Management (Elko District).

Buck and colleagues tested and excavated a small rockshelter in the Goshute Mountains called Oranjeboom Cave in 1998 and 1999 (Buck et al. n.d.). This site represents a small single component Eastgate occupation dating to around 1100-1200 years BP. An open lithic site was tested and surface collected at Flowery Lake in the central Goshute Valley in 2000. A number of other sites are being or have been investigated by Dr. Goebel and others.

Analysis of Desert Shrubs Along First-order Channels on Desert Piedmonts: Possible Indicators of Ecosystem Health and Historic Variation

Affiliation(s)PI/CoPIFunded by

McDonald, Eric

SERDP SEED Project #CS1153

Collaborators: Dr. Erik Hamerlynck (Rutgers University), Dr. Joseph McAuliffe (Desert Botanical Garden)

Keywords: desert shrubs, Desert Piedmonts

Project Description

The objectives of these projects are to develop critical knowledge about the relation between key soil processes, soil and surface water hydrology, and plant ecological dynamics common to desert piedmonts at the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground (YPG). Objectives are being met using a multidisciplinary approach, combining key aspects of the soil-water balance, historic background mortality of plants, ecophysiological measurements of living plants that are marginal to areas of plant mortality, and a the development of the basic soil-hydrological foundation connecting zones of mortality and living plants. The projects have five main objectives:

  1. Characterize fundamental physiochemical and hydrological processes of key desert soil areas critical to YPG
  2. Apply knowledge of soil processes to determine important linkages among soils, soil hydrology, and ecological dynamics.
  3. Evaluate if changes in soil and surface hydrology, due to both military activities and natural environmental variation, can be shown to predominantly account for changes in ecosystem health, especially the historic contraction of vegetation along the margins of alluvial fan surfaces.
  4. Determine historic range in variation of key desert vegetation common to alluvial fan surfaces and first-order rills.
  5. Provide recommendations that can be used to further develop and test methods or procedures that can be used to monitor ecosystem status and identify impacts related to natural disturbance relative to military activities

Much of the ephemeral water available for desert ecology appears to be derived from episodic surface runoff from alluvial surfaces; therefore, any change in surface runoff will directly correspond to changes in vegetation vitality along active washes. Vegetation along first-order drainages is likely to be impacted first by any natural or anthropogenic changes in the flux of surface runoff because these drainages are directly linked to surface runoff. Higher order channels may not be as sensitive to environmental change because as channel order increases, an increasingly larger contributing area and greater number of contributing channels supply runoff. An increase in likelihood of ephemeral runoff may result in a decrease in sensitivity to environmental change. If this hypothesis is true, then monitoring the ecology of selected first-order channels across both impacted and non-impacted drainage basins may provide an environmental “heads-up” about potential impact to downstream ecosystems due to a change in the supply of water from upland areas.

Research Image Gallery

Click an image to zoom. Use your arrow keys to switch between images.

Oblique aerial view of a typical desert piedmont and complex ephemeral drainage networks in the lower Colorado River region of the Sonoran Desert. Roads across drainages directly impact vegetation health (a). Upstream side of drainage has abundant vegetation and good biodiversity (b). By comparison, down stream side of road has lost all major trees and most shrubs (c).
Above Left: Oblique aerial view of a typical desert piedmont and complex ephemeral drainage networks in the lower Colorado River region of the Sonoran Desert.

Above Right: Roads across drainages directly impact vegetation health (a). Upstream side of drainage has abundant vegetation and good biodiversity (b). By comparison, down stream side of road has lost all major trees and most shrubs (c).

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