Bureau of Economic Geology

Dr. Toti Larson

Toti Larson
Research Associate
Bureau of Economic Geology
The University of Texas at Austin
University Station, Box X
Austin, Texas 78713-8924

Dr. Toti Larson’s research focuses on the chemostratigraphy of sedimentary rocks and the geochemistry of subsurface fluids. His work includes measurement of stable isotopes of organics and carbonates from mudrock and carbonate systems, carbon dioxide and fluids from carbon capture projects, natural gas from unconventional shale systems, and dissolved gases from a wide range of subsurface settings. His recent research is the development of a coupled carbon – phosphate – trace element numerical model to interpret oceanic anoxic events observed in mud rock systems.


Ph.D., Geochemistry, University of New Mexico, Earth and Planetary Sciences, 2003

M.S., Geology, University of New Hampshire, Department of Earth Sciences, 1999

B.A., Geology, Albion College, Geological Science, 1993

Professional History

Present position: Research Associate, Bureau of Economic Geology (November 2017 – Present).

Research Engineering/Scientist Associate IV, Department of Geological Sciences, The University of Texas at Austin (2012–2017).

Team Leader, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico (2008-2012). Geochemistry and Geomaterials Research Laboratory.

Technical Staff Member, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico (2006-2008). Geochemistry and Geomaterials Research Laboratory.

Research Technician, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico (2005-2006). Geochemistry Research Laboratory.

Postdoctoral Fellow, The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada (2004-2005).

Geologist, Kennecott Mining Company, Salt Lake City, Utah. (1995-1996).

Geologist, Bureau of Land Management, Salt Lake City, Utah. (1994).

Selected Publications

Google Scholar H-index of 11; 

Nicot, J.P., Larson, T.E., Darvari, R., Mickler, P., Slotten, M., Aldridge, J., Uhlman, K., Costley, R. (2017) Controls on Methane Occurrences in Shallow Aquifers Overlying the Haynesville Shale Gas Field, East Texas. Groundwater.

Wen, T.,  Castro, M.C., Nicot, J.P., Hall, C.M., Larson, T.E., Mickler, P., Darvari, R. (2016)
Methane Sources and Migration Mechanisms in Shallow Groundwaters in Parker and Hood Counties, Texas. A Heavy Noble Gas Analysis. Environmental Science and Technology, v.50, 21, pp.12012-12021.

Sathaye, K.J., Larson, T.E., and Hesse, M.A. (2016) Noble gas fractionation during subsurface gas migration. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 450, p 1-9

Hooker, J.N., Larson, T.E., Eakin, A., Laubach, S.E., Eichhubl, P., Fall, A., and Marrett, R. (2015) Fracturing and fluid flow in a sub-decollement sandstone; or, a leak in the basement. Journal of the Geological Society. doi:10.1144/jgs2014-128

Lu, J., Larson, T.E., Smyth, R.C. (2015) Carbon isotope effects of methane transport through Anahuac Shale —a core gas study.  Journal of Geochemical Exploration, 148, 138-149

Liu, Y., Larson, T.E., Nicot, J.P. (2015) Theoretical and experimental study of controls on CO2 dissolution and CH4 outgassing. Energy Procedia, v.63, 4773-4781

Cassel, E.J., Breecker, D.O., Henry, C.D., Larson, T.E., Stockli, D.F., (2014) Profile of a paleo-orogen: High topography across the present-day Basin and Range from 40–23 million years ago. Geology, 42, 1007-1010.

Breecker, D.O., Bergel, S., Nadel, M, Trembley, M., Osuna-Orozco, R., Larson, T.E., Sharp, Z.D. (2015) Minor stable carbon isotope fractionation between respired carbon dioxide and bulk soil organic matter during laboratory incubation of topsoil. Biogeochemistry

Cisneros-Dozal, LM, Hunag, Y., Heikoop, JM, Fawcett, PJ, Fessenden, J., Anderson, S.,Meyers, P., Larson, T.E., Perkins, G., Toney, J., Werne, J.P., Goff, F., WoldeGabriel, G., Allen, C.D., Berke, M.A. (2014) Assessing the strength of the monsoon during the late Pleistocene in southwestern United States. Quaternary Science Reviews, 103, 81-90

Newell, D.L., Larson, T.E., Perkins, G., Pugh, J.D., Stewart, B.W., Capo, R.C., Trautz, R.C. (2014) Tracing CO2 leakage into groundwater using carbon and strontium isotopes during a controlled CO2 release field test. International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control. 29, 200-208

Eiler, J.M., Bergquist,B., Bourg, I., Cartigny, P., Farquhar, J., Gagnon, A., Guo, W., Halevy, I. Hofmann, A., Larson, T.E., Levin, N., Schauble, E.A.,  Stolper, D. (2014) Frontiers of Stable Isotope Geoscience. Chemical Geology, 372, 119-143.

Larson, T.E., Breecker, D. (2014) Adsorption isotope effects for carbon dioxide from illite- and quartz-packed column experiments. Chemical Geology. 370, 58-68.

Yang, C., Mickler, P., Reedy, R., Scanlon, B., Romanak, K., Nicot, J.P., Hovorka, S., Trevino, R.,  Larson, T. (2013) Single-well push–pull test for assessing potential impacts of CO2 leakage on groundwater quality in a shallow Gulf Coast aquifer in Cranfield, Mississippi, International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control. V. 18 p.375-387.

Cisneros-Dozal, L.M., Heikoop, J.M., Fessenden, J., Anderson, S.R., Meyers, P.A., Allen, C.D., Hess, M., Larson, T., Perkins, G., Rearick, M. (2010) A 15,000-yr Record of Climate Change in Northern New Mexico, USA, inferred from isotopic and elemental contents of bog sediments. Journal of Quaternary Science. V.25, p.1001-1007 

Larson, T.E., Heikoop, J.M., Perkins,G. Chipera, S., Hess, M. (2008) Pretreatment technique for siderite removal from organic samples for carbon isotope and C:N analysis in geological samples. Rapid Comm. in Mass Spectrometry, v.22, p.865-872. 

Russell, S.D., Longstaffe, F.J., King, P.L., Larson, T.E. (2008) Whole-rock, clay mineral, and olivine oxygen and hydrogen isotope compositions of the Tagish Lake carbonaceous chondrite. Lunar and Planetary Science Conference.

Larson, T.E., Longstaffe (2007) Deciphering seasonal variations in the diet and drinking water of modern White-tailed deer by in situ analysis of osteons in cortical bone. JGR-Biogeo., v.112.

Larson, T.E.; Sharp, ZD (2005) Interpreting prograde-growth histories of Al2SiO5 triple-point rocks using oxygen-isotope thermometry: an example from the Truchas Mountains, USA, Journal of Metamorphic Geology, v.23, p.847-863. 

Larson, T.E.; Sharp, ZD (2003) Stable isotope constraints on the Al2SiO5 ‘triple‐point’rocks from the Proterozoic Priest pluton contact aureole, New Mexico, USA. Journal of Metamorphic Geology, 21, 785-798.

University of Texas at Austin

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