Shaun Frape

Shaun Frape
Professor, Inorganic Geochemistry
Location: EIT 5005
Phone: 519-888-4567 x36382


Shaun Frape studies groundwater flow, specializing in isotopic tracers used to follow contaminants being transported in natural systems. He studies both deep groundwater systems as well as interactions between groundwater, lakes and rivers on local and regional scales.

His projects have included research in Finland, Canada and Greenland, as well as locally within Waterloo Region and Southern Ontario.

Research Interests

  • Groundwater flow and chemistry
  • Interactions between groundwater and surface water (rivers and lakes)
  • Contaminant transport in groundwater and natural systems
  • Management of the quantity and quality of regional groundwater resources, including projects in Waterloo Region and Southern Ontario
  • Geohazards: Risks and Prevention
  • Climate Change and Geosciences
  • Protection of Surface and Groundwater Resources
  • Sustainable Water Use and Management

Scholarly Research

Prof. Frape is a hydrogeologist/geochemist who specializes in groundwater flow systems, isotopic tracers to delineate the transport of contaminants in natural systems and regional groundwater resource studies. He has extensive experience on ongoing studies in the following areas of geochemistry. Hydrogeochemical Systems in Deep Crystalline (Granite) and Sedimentary Rocks Ongoing research in Finland, Canada and Greenland associated with the safe disposal of radioactive and other wastes. An association over the past 30 years with projects around the world has resulted in an extensive knowledge base concerned with groundwater chemistry and movement in deep hydrogeologic systems. Groundwater-Surface Water Interaction Experience as a graduate student and then over the past 30 years with problems of contaminant migration, salination and surface water management as a result of groundwater migration into surface waters such as rivers and lakes. Projects have been concerned with the natural migration of petroleum rich deep groundwaters into the Great Lakes of Canada, contaminant migration into surface water bodies from landfill sites and migration of refinery wastes into local lakes and rivers in Australia. Groundwater Resource Evaluation Local projects concerned with groundwater chemistry, age and amount in the Waterloo region and southern Ontario; coupled to extensive groundwater management projects in South America and India has provided a solid knowledge base for assessing the quality and quantity of ground and surface water systems.


  • 1979, Doctorate Geological Sciences, Queen's University, Canada
  • 1974, Master of Science Geological Sciences, Queen's University, Canada
  • 1972, Bachelor of Science (BSc) Honours Geology, Queen's University, Canada


  • 2015 UW Outstanding Performance Award
  • 2013 Appointed as “A friend of Water/Reaction” of the IAGC Primary Working Group
  • 2011 Fellow of the International Association of Geochemistry
  • 2007 Awarded the O.E. Meinzer Prize in Hydrogeology from the Hydrogeology Division, Geological Society of America
  • 2006 Elected Fellow of the Geological Society of America


  • 2006 Elected Fellow of the Geological Society of America
  • 2003 Peer Review Committees for Finnish Nuclear Waste Storage Program and the Canadian Nuclear Waste Storage Program.
  • 2000-2004 Working member of the study group (PERMA) to assess the impact of Permafrost and Glaciation on a Nuclear Waste Repository. The group consists of Ontario Power Generation, NIREX (UK), SKB (Sweden), POSIVA and GTK (Finland).
  • 2004-2011 Elected Councilor International Association of Geochemistry (IAGC)
  • 2000 Workshop for POSIVA (Finnish Nuclear Power) on needs and priorities for future R & D on spent fuel disposal
  • 2000-2005 Associate Editor, journal “Applied Geochemistry”
  • 1998-1999 Review Panel of (STUK) for Finnish Nuclear Waste Storage Program.
  • 1999 Working member of Swedish SKB “Matrix Block Experiment at Aspoo, Sweden”
  • 1995-2003 Canadian Geochemist and Advisor to European Union Project concerning the hydrogeology and geochemistry of the Palmutto Natural Analogue Site, Finland
  • 1997-1999 Associate Editor of the journal "Groundwater"
  • 1996 Canadian delegate to Technical Workshop on Biodegradation/Bioaccumulation of Metals in the Environment. Held December 11-13, European Union, Brussels, Belgium.
  • 1996 Co-chair hydrogeochemistry: Workshop on Glaciation and Hydrogeology. April 17-19, Stockholm, Sweden. Sponsored by SKB/SKI, Sweden.
  • 1993-1994 Peer review for (STUK) Finnish Nuclear Safely Institute, Review of the Final Disposal of Radioactive Waste in the Finnish Shield.
  • 1992-1995 Peer review and proposal review as part of the MITEC (Mineral Industry) committee to advise the mining companies of Canada on new exploration issues.
  • 1992-1995 Associate Editor of the journal "Geology"
  • 1990-1996 Peer review of Canadian Radioactive Waste Program as part of the Subsurface Advisory Team (SAT) for Environment Canada
  • 1986-1987 Peer Review Committee, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois, Review of ONWI, Nuclear Waste Isolation in Salt Documents.
  • 1980 to present: Reviewer of approximately 5 journal articles per year for major geochemical and hydrogeology journals.

Affiliations and Volunteer Work

  • Undergraduate Officer, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • Member, The Water Institute


  • EARTH 232 - Introductory Petrography
    • Taught in 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024
  • EARTH 281 - Geological Impacts on Human Health
    • Taught in 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
  • EARTH 358 - Earth System Science
    • Taught in 2020

* Only courses taught in the past 5 years are displayed.

Selected/Recent Publications

  • ​Rebeix, R., Le Gal LaSalle, C., Jean-Baptiste, V., Lavastre, V., Fourre, E., Bensenouci, F., Matray, J.M., Landrein, P., Shouakar-Stash, O., Frape, S.K., Michelot, J.L. and Lancelot, J. (2014). Chlorine transport processes through a 2000 m aquifer/aquitard system. Marine and Petroleum Geology, 53: 102-116.
  • Hossain, M., Bhattacharya, P., Frape, S.K., Jacks, G., Islam, M.M., Rahman, M.M., von Bromssen, M., Hasan, M.A., and Ahmed, K.M. (2014). Sediment color tool for targeting arsenic-safe aquifers for the installation of shallow drinking water tube wells, Science of the Total Environment, 493: 615-625.
  • Stotler, R.L., Frape, S.K. and Labelle, L. (2014). Insights gained from geochemical studies in the Waterloo Moraine: Indications and implications for antropogenic loading, Canadian Water Resources Journal (CWRJ) Special Issue, 39: 136-148.
  • Hwang, H.T., Park, Y.J., Sudicky, E.A., Unger, A.J.A., Illman, W.A., Frape, S.K., & Shouakar-Stash, O. 2013. A multiphase flow and multispecies reactive transport model for DNAPL-involved Compound Specific Isotope Analysis. Advances in Water Resources. 59, 111-122.
  • Lojkasek-Lima, P., Aravena, R., Shouakar-Stash, O., Frape, S.K., Marchesi, M., Fiorenza, S., and Vogan, J. 2012. Evaluating TCE Abiotic and Biotic Degradation Pathways in a Permeable Reactive Barrier Using Compound Specific Isotope Analyses. Ground Water Monitoring and Remediation. 10p.