Research Opportunities

Opportunities for Graduate Students and Post Doctoral Scientists

The GeoFluids Research Group has opportunities for graduate and post-doctoral study. If you join our group, you will couple geological observation with quantitative modeling to gain a process understanding of geological processes. I am particularly fascinated with how fluid flow impacts active geological processes (e.g. faulting, gas venting, submarine landslides) and I think that combining the study of geology and fluid flow is a ripe interface for research. I am most enthused by students who have a commitment to a doctoral program because that allows you time to delve deeply into research. However, I also regularly accept exceptional M.S. students. If you are interested, please e-mail me, Peter Flemings, (pflemings@jsg.utexas.edu).

Current Research Opportunities:

1. Impact of Methane Hydrates on Energy and Climate

2. Mass Transport in Shales

3. Overpressure and Fluid Flow in Basins

4. Mudrock Geomechanics


1. Impact of Methane Hydrates on Energy and Climate:

We have opportunities for students to characterize methane hydrates in the subsurface with 3-D seismic and borehole geophysical data and to use these analyses to develop a process understanding of hydrate formation. We also have opportunities for students to characterize and model the petrophysical conditions of hydrate reservoirs through direct measurements and/or analysis of pressurized core samples. There is the potential to participate in an offshore scientific drilling cruise to directly acquire these data. Above all, we look for creative individuals with a passion for quantitative geological analysis of methane hydrate systems.

Contributors to this research:
Kris Darnell
Kehua You
Dylan Meyer

Predicting methane venting due to climate change (Darnell and Flemings, in review).

Predicting methane venting due to climate change (Darnell and Flemings, in review).

Related publications by Flemings’ group:

 


2. Mass Transport in Shales:

We are measuring permeability of oil and gas shales with nanometer scale pores (e.g. the Barnett, the Marcellus…) and we are developing numerical models to describe mass transport within these systems.

Contributors to this research:
Michael Cronin
Athma Bhandari

Pulse Transient Decay Equipment

Pulse Transient Decay Equipment

Related publication by Flemings’ group:

 


3. Overpressure and Fluid Flow in Basins:

We study how overpressure is generated and how fluids flow in sedimentary basins. Students will study overpressured systems and develop models to describe pressure and stress in basins.

Contributors to this research:
Baiyuan Gao

Pressure Distribution in the Auger Basin, Gulf of Mexico

Pressure Distribution in the Auger Basin, Gulf of Mexico

Related References:

 


4. Mudrock Geomechanics

Study the geomechanics of mudrocks through experimental analysis. We analyze both intact samples (from industry and the ocean drilling program) and we synthetically create mudrocks. We ask fundamental questions such as, how to mudrocks compact?, what is the permeability of mudrocks and how does it evolve?, and what is the strength of mudrocks?

Contributors to this research:
Brendan Casey

Synthetically prepared mudrock

Synthetically prepared mudrock

Related publication by Flemings’ group: