Enrichment Spotlight- Murtadha Al-Malallah and Brine Pool Research


KGSP student Murtadha Al-Mallalah is a rising junior studying geoscience at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Over the summer Murtadha participated in an exciting KAUST internship at the Red Sea Research Center, working alongside Juan-Carlos Santamarina, Professor and Associate Director of the Ali Al-Naimi Petroleum Engineering Center https://anperc.kaust.edu.sa/Pages/Home.aspx .

The Red Sea Rift represents one of the world’s most geologically-active regions, where hydrothermal brines were first discovered on the sea floor. These brines, or high concentration salt solutions, result from active volcanic processes and create a nutrient-rich environment that is perfect for supporting the Red Sea’s unique ecosystem. Through analysis of sediment samples collected from these brine pools, researchers like Murtadha define and describe the physical properties, mineralogy, crystal structures, and other characteristics of the sediment. Throughout his project, Murtadha had the opportunity to utilize the resources provided by KAUST’s Core Labs in analyzing collected sediment samples. His research provides insight and data that will help build an informative database to be used by future researchers.