Potter-McIntyre | Department Name | SIU

Southern Illinois University



College of Science

Sally Potter-McIntyre

Assistant Professor


Office: Parkinson Lab
Phone: 618-453-3351

Research Interests:

My research focuses on diagenesis of sedimentary rocks with application to petroleum geology and Mars sedimentology. Iron is the fourth most common element on the surface of the Earth and authigenic iron minerals record subsurface biota-water-rock interactions. This record helps illumine petroleum system diagenetic properties.  As iron is also a common element on Mars, similar subsurface processes may have occurred in abundant martian sedimentary rocks and diagenetic minerals may also preserve evidence of past microbial life on that planet.

Current Projects:

Depositional environment and provenance of the Jurassic Wanakah Formation, Colorado Plateau, USA

• Provenance analysis of the Cretaceous rocks in southern Illinois using U/Pb age dating of detrital zircons

• Evaluating the role of organics, mineralogy and petrophysical properties on early diagenesis and concretion formation in volcaniclastic host rock composition

• Identification of Biosignatures in Tufas and Preservation Potential on Geological Time Scales

• Hydraulic Fracturing in Southern Illinois: Evaluating the Risks of Fracking Fluid Migration

• Life, Habitability and Biosignatures in Sulfur-Rich Environments

Graduate Students:


Jeremy Breeden, Cretaceous Paleogeography of Southern Illinois using Detrital Zircon Age Dating
Matthew Johnson, Permeability Variability in the Illinois Basin and Evaluation of the Potential for Upward Migration of Fracking Fluid into Shallow Aquifers
Joshua Groth


John Ejembi

Selected Publications:

Potter-McIntyre, S.L., Chan, M.A., and McPherson, B.J., 2014, Evaluating the Role of Organics, Mineralogy and Petrophysical Properties on Early Diagenesis and Concretion Formation in Volcaniclastic Host Rock Composition, Journal of Sedimentary Research.

Potter-McIntyre, S.L., Chan, M.A. and McPherson, B.J., 2014, Textural and Mineralogical Characteristics of Microbial Fossils Associated with Modern and Ancient Iron (Oxyhydr)oxides, Astrobiology, v.14, no.1.

Diniega, S., Balcerski, J., Carande, B., Diaz-Silva, R.A., Fraeman, A.A., Guzewich, S.D., Hudson, J., Nahm, A.L., Potter-McIntyre. S.L., Route, M., Sayanagi, K., Urban, K., Vasisht, S., Benneke, B., Gil, S., Livi, R., Williams, B., Budney, C.J., Lowes, L.L., 2013. Mission to the Trojan Asteroids: lessons learned during a JPL Planetary Science Summer School mission design exercise. Planetary and Space Science, Planetary and Space Science, DOI:10.1016/j.pss.2012.11.011.

Potter-McIntyre, Sally L., Allen, J.L., Lee, S-Y., Chan M.A., McPherson, B.J., 2013. Iron Precipitation in a Natural CO2 Reservoir: Jurassic Navajo Sandstone in the northern San Rafael Swell, UT, USA. Geofluids, doi: 10.1111/gfl.12014.

Allen, J.L., Lee, S-Y., Potter, S.L., 2013, Three Dimensional Geologic Model of the Eolian Jurassic Navajo Sandstone in Central Utah for the Evaluation of CO2 Sequestration, UGA Publication 42.

Chan, M.A., Parry, W. T., Bowen, B.B., and Potter, S.L., 2011. Follow the water: Connecting a CO2 reservoir and bleached sandstone to iron-rich concretions in the Navajo Sandstone of south-central Utah, USA – COMMENT. Geology.

Potter, Sally L., Chan, M., Petersen, E., Dyar, M.D., Sklute, E., 2011. Characterization of Navajo Sandstone Concretions: Mars comparison and criteria for distinguishing diagenetic origins. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 301, 444-456.

Potter, Sally L., Chan, M.A., 2011. Joint controlled fluid flow patterns and iron mass transfer in Jurassic Navajo Sandstone, Southern Utah, USA. Geofluids 11, 184-198.

Barge, L.M., Hammond, D.E., Chan, M.A., Potter, S.L., Petruska, J., Nealson, K.H., 2011. Precipitation patterns formed by self-organizing processes in porous media. Geofluids 11, 124-133.


Book Chapters:

Chan, M.A., Potter, S.L., Bowen, B.B., Petersen, E.U., Parry, W. T., Bowman, J.R., Barge, L., and Seiler, W., 2011. Characteristics of terrestrial ferric oxide concretions and implications for Mars, in: Grotzinger, J. and Milliken, R. (eds.), Sedimentary Geology of Mars:  SEPM Special Publication 102.