Photo: Lillian Morales


Professor Emeritus
Hydrology, Hydrogeochemistry, Groundwater Microbiology

Craig Bethke
University of Illinois
Department of Geology
1301 West Green Street
Urbana, Illinois 61801

Professor Bethke retired from his chair on July 1, 2012. He remains active in his field, but no longer accepts graduate students.

Prof. Bethke and his students study groundwater hydrology, including groundwater flow, mass and heat transfer, chemical reaction analysis, and reactive transport modeling. They are interested in fluid migration in sedimentary basins; environmental aspects of groundwater geochemistry and microbiology, including acid drainage from mine tailings, mobility of radioactive species near waste repositories; and the roles of microbes in controlling the chemical composition of groundwater.

Bethke received the Presidential Young Investigator Award in 1986, the Lindgren Award from the Society of Economic Geologists in 1987, and the Meinzer Award from the Geological Society of America in 1992. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Geological Society of America.

For more details, please see a brief version of Dr. Bethke's CV.

For information about Dr. Bethke's research, please visit the Hydrogeology Program home page.

Courses taught:

Geology 470, Introduction to Hydrogeology.

Geology 570, Hydrogeology.

Geology 571, Geochemical Reaction Analysis.

Recent Publications

Flynn, T.M., R.A. Sanford, H. Ryu, C.M. Bethke, A.D. Levine, N.J. Ashbolt and J.W. Santo Domingo, 2012, Functional microbial diversity explains groundwater chemistry in a pristine aquifer. BMC Microbiology, in press.

Flynn, T.M., R.A. Sanford and C.M. Bethke, 2012, The active bacterial community in a pristine confined aquifer. Water Resources Research, in press.

Bethke, C.M., R.A. Sanford, M.F. Kirk, Q. Jin and T.M. Flynn, 2011, The thermodynamic ladder in geomicrobiology. American Journal of Science, 311, 183–210.

Jin, Q. and C.M. Bethke, 2009, Cellular energy conservation and the rate of microbial sulfate reduction. Geology, 37, 1027–1030.

Park, J., R.A. Sanford, and C.M. Bethke, 2009, Microbial activity and chemical weathering in the Middendorf Aquifer, South Carolina. Chemical Geology, 258, 232–241.

Bethke, C.M., 2008, Geochemical and Biogeochemical Reaction Modeling, Cambridge University Press, 543 pp. [cover] [reviews]

Bethke, C.M., D. Ding, Q. Jin and R.A. Sanford, 2008, Origin of microbiological zoning in groundwater flows. Geology, 36, 739–742.

Flynn, T.M., R.A. Sanford and C.M. Bethke, 2008, Attached and suspended microbial communities in a pristine confined aquifer. Water Resources Research, 44, W07425.

Bethke, C.M. and T.M. Johnson, 2008, Groundwater age and groundwater age dating. Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences, 36,121–152.

Kwon, M.J., R.A. Sanford, J. Park, M.F. Kirk and C.M. Bethke, 2008, Microbiological response to well pumping, Ground Water, 46, 286–294.

Jin, Q. and C.M. Bethke, 2007, The thermodynamics and kinetics of microbial metabolism. American Journal of Science, 307, 643–677.

Kieffer, S.W., X. Lu, C.M. Bethke, J.R. Spencer, S. Marshak and A. Navrotsky, 2006, A clathrate reservoir hypothesis for Enceladus' south polar plume. Science, 314, 1764-1766. (Commentary)

Roadcap, G.S., R.A. Sanford, Q. Jin, J.R. Pardinas and C.M. Bethke, 2006, Extremely alkaline (pH > 12) ground water hosts diverse microbial community. Ground Water, 44, 511-517.

Park, J., R.A. Sanford, and C.M. Bethke, 2006, Geochemical and microbiological zonation of the Middendorf Aquifer, South Carolina. Chemical Geology,230, 88-104.

Roadcap, G.S., W.R. Kelly, and C.M. Bethke, 2005, Geochemistry of extremely alkaline (pH >12) ground water in slag-fill aquifers, Ground Water, 43, 806-816.

Jin, Q. and C.M. Bethke, 2005, Predicting the rate of microbial respiration in geochemical environments. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 69, 1133-1143.

Kirk, M.F., T.R. Holm, J. Park, Q. Jin, R.A. Sanford, B.W. Fouke, and C.M. Bethke, 2004, Bacterial sulfate reduction limits natural arsenic contamination of groundwater. Geology, 32, 953–956.

Jin, Q. and C.M. Bethke, 2003, A new rate law describing microbial respiration. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 69, 2340-2348.

Bethke, C.M. and T.M. Johnson, 2002, Ground water age. Ground Water, 40, 337–339.

Park, J., C.M. Bethke, T. Torgersen and T.M. Johnson, 2002, Transport modeling applied to the interpretation of groundwater 36Cl age. Water Resources Research, 38, 1–15.

Jin, Q. and C.M. Bethke, 2002, Kinetics of electron transfer through the respiratory chain. Biophysical Journal, 83, 1797–1808.

Bethke, C.M. and T.M. Johnson, 2002, Paradox of groundwater age. Geology, 30, 385-388.

Xie, X., C.M. Bethke, S. Li, X. Liu and H. Zheng, 2001, Overpressures and petroleum generation and accumulation in the Dongying depression of the Bohaiwan basin, China. Geofluids, 1, 257-271.

Bethke, C.M., T. Torgersen, J. Park, 2000, The “age” of very old groundwater: Insights from reactive transport models, Journal of Geochemical Exploration, 69–70, 1–4.

Berger, A. and C.M. Bethke, 2000, A process model of natural attenuation at a historic mining district. Applied Geochemistry, 15, 655-666.

Bethke, C.M. and P.V. Brady, 2000, How the Kd approach undermines groundwater cleanup. Ground Water, 38, 435-443.

Brady, P.V. and C.M. Bethke, 2000, Beyond the Kd approach. Ground Water, 38, 321-322.

Bethke, C.M., Zhao, X., and T. Torgersen, 1999, Groundwater flow and the 4He distribution in the Great Artesian Basin of Australia. Journal of Geophysical Research, 104, 12999-13011. [Download Basin2 input files.]

Bethke, C.M., J. van der Lee and J.-M. Schmitt, 1999, The chemistry beneath our feet – Modeling reacting flow in the Earth's crust. In C. Jablon, ed., Scientific Bridges for 2000 and Beyond, Academie des Science, Paris, 1-11.

Zhao, X., T.L.B. Fritzel, H.A.M. Quinodoz, C.M. Bethke and T. Torgersen, 1998, Controls on the distribution and isotopic composition of Helium in deep groundwater flows. Geology, 26, 291-294.

Bethke, C.M., 1997, Modelling transport in reacting geochemical systems. Comptes Rendus de l'Academie des Sciences, 324, 513-528.

Bethke, C.M., 1996, Geochemical Reaction Modeling, Concepts and Applications. Oxford University Press, New York, 397 pp. [reviews]


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