12/11-15/2017: GPMG is heading for AGU Fall meeting 2017

Monday: Daria [H11A-1150],  Alex [], Wednesday: Colin [H33E-1739], Jake [DI33C-05], Friday: Kimmy [G53B-07], Marc [P54A-01], Jake [DI53A-04]

09/12/2017: Taylor dispersion with sorption

The Journal of Fluid Mechanics just published Li‘s paper on Transient solute transport with sorption in Poiseuille flow. Li was visiting GPMG in 2016/2017 from Tsinghua University in China. His paper resolves the apparent contradiction between fluid mechanical and chromatographic studies of solute transport with sorption, by identifying early and late transport regimes.

09/06/2017: Acidity-Salinity Two-step

Environmental Science & Technology just published Colin’s paper on Challenges in coupling acidity and salinity transport in porous media. In contrast to most models, his experiments show that acidity-salinity coupling is equally strong under both acidic and basic conditions. Image shows the asymmetric response predicted by the standard triple layer model under acidic and basic conditions.

07/22/2017: Nic Dygert moves to UT Knoxville

Jackson Postdoctoral Fellow Nic Dygert has moved to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Nic will be an assistant professor of planetary science in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. Congratulations Nic!

06/15/2017: Jake Jordan defends PhD

Jake successfully defended his PhD thesis Gooie To Kablooie: The Partial Melting Of Planetary Interiors in Geological Sciences. After graduation Jake took a trip to pay homage to Josiah Willard Gibbs and will take up postdoctoral work with David Bercovici at Yale.

05/18/2017: Noble gas subduction paper published

Earth and Planetary Science Letters just published Noble gases recycled into the mantle through cold subduction. The study that models the transport of noble gases during subduction of oceanic crust was lead by former JSG Postdoc Andy Smye. Andy has now moved on to a faculty position at Penn State.

03/30/2017: Mixed Method for Magma Dynamics

The SIAM Journal on Scientific Computing just published our article on Mixed Methods for Two-Phase Darcy–Stokes Mixtures of Partially Melted Materials with Regions of Zero Porosity. The was led by Todd Arbogast from the Department of Mathematics and resulted from the PhD of co-supervised CSEM student Avi Taicher. The methods allows us to treat regions with vanishing porosity without deterioration of the condition number of the linear system.

03/21/2017: Kimberly McCormack selected as P.E.O. Scholar

P.E.O. Scholar Awards are one-time, competitive, merit-based awards for women of the United States and Canada who are pursuing a doctoral level degree at an accredited college or university. In addition to recognizing and encouraging excellence in higher education, these awards provide partial support for study and research for women who will make significant contributions in their varied fields of endeavor. Congratulations, Kimmy!

03/20-24/2017: GPMG is heading for 48th LPSC

Monday: Nic [#2421], Tuesday: Jake [#2054], Wednesday: Marc [#1584]

Nic and Marc at the poster session Tuesday evening.

03/18/2017: Convection paper cited 100 times

The paper Convective dissolution of carbon dioxide in saline aquifers has been cited 100 times in since 2010. The paper provides the first experimental constraints on convective solute fluxes. A topic of fundamental fluid mechanical importance and with direct implications for geological carbon storage. This paper arose from a summer Marc spent at the Institute of Theoretical Geophysics in Cambridge in 2010.

12/12-17/2016: GPMG is heading for AGU Fall meeting 2016

Monday: Nic [DI11A-2343], Colin [H13H-1494],  Tuesday: Kimberly [NH21A-1839], Daria [PA23C-2248] Friday: Li [H51D-1520], Marc [MR51D-03H53M-01],

11/20-22/2016: GPMG is heading for APS-DFD meeting 2016

Tuesday: Baole [M40]

11/01/2016: Daria’s paper on underpressure published

Geology has published Daria’s study of Causes of underpressure in natural CO2 reservoirs and implications for geological storage. The paper discusses the origin of the surprising under pressure at Bravo Dome natural CO2 reservoir.

10/09/2016: Colin’s paper on proton transport in porous media is published

Advances in Water Resources has published Colin‘s study of Reactive transport of aqueous protons in porous media. The paper extends chromatographic theory to modern surface complexation models and identifies auto-ionization of water as the key to unusual transport behavior of protons. Oh, and then there are also a few experiments.

9/25/2016: Jake and Evan are Presidential

Congratulations to Jake Jordan for receiving the Brundrett Endowed Presidential Scholarship and to Evan Ramos for receiving the Duchin Endowed Presidential Scholarship, based on their academic achievements.

9/25-28/2016: GPMG is heading for GSA 2016

Evan and Marc are heading to Denver for the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America.

Monday: Marc [281217], Marc [281446]
Tuesday: Evan [283355]

06/20/2016: Kiran’s paper on noble gas fractionation during gas migration published

Earth and Planetary Science Letters has published Kiran’s analysis of Noble gas fractionation in subsurface migration in collaboration with Toti Larson. The paper demonstrates the co-enrichment co-injected and dissolved noble gases, at the front of a migrating gas plume.

23/05/2016: Soheil Ghanbarzadeh defends PhD

Soheil successfully defended his PhD thesis Pore Fluid Percolation and Flow in Ductile Rocks in Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering. After graduation Soheil will work for BP in Houston.

05/06/2016: 300-th citation

Marc’s first PhD paper is cited 300 times [link]. The work with Amir Riaz, at the time postdoc at Stanford, and my advisors Hamdi Tchelepi and Lynn Orr looks at the stability of a gravitationally unstable diffusive boundary layer. A theoretical analysis of the classic Elder problem in porous media convection.

03/23/2016: Kiran’s paper on retention of noble gases in the continental crust published in EPSL

Earth and Planetary Science Letters has published Kiran’s paper showing that  Noble gases preserve history of retentive continental crust in the Bravo Dome natural CO2 field, New Mexico. The paper is collaboration with Jake Jordan and Andrew Smye currently at Oxford University.

01/30/2016: Marc’s paper on convective dissolution with Mario Martinez published in WRR

Water Resources Research has published Marc’s paper co-authored with Mario Martines from Sandia National Laboratory on Two-phase convective CO2 dissolution in saline aquifers that studies the effect of the capillary transition zone on the convective dissolution flux.

12/14-18/2015: GPMG is heading for AGU Fall meeting 2015

Monday: Nic [V11E-02] Tuesday: Soheil [H21A-1324], Kimberly [G21A-1012], Alex [V21C-3051], Valentina [H24A-03], Colin [H24A-07], Kiran [H23K-07Wednesday: Marc [V33A-3084], Nic [T32C-05] Thursday: Daria [H41C-1318]

12/11/2015: Marc wins Jackson School outstanding research award

Dean Mosher awarded Marc the Jackson School Outstanding research award for the work completed in the Geological Porous Media Group in the last five years.

12/19/2015: Jake’s analysis of reactive melt transport published in G3

Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems has published Jake‘s paper on Reactive transport in a partially molten system with binary solid solution that extends classic analysis of the ‘mantle as a chromatographic column’ to major elements. It is also notable for notational flourishes.

11/27/2015: Soheil’s paper on fluid percolation in rock salt published in Science

Science Magazine has published Soheil’s paper on Deformation-Assisted Fluid Percolation in Rock Salt that presents evidence for fluid percolation in rock salt.

14-15 & 21-22 Nov 2015: Jake at EAST Austin Studio Tour

Pretentious pen plotter pageant. Peerless plots for public purchase. EAST

08/01/2015: Visiting graduate student Li  Zhang arrived

Li is a PhD student with Moran Wang‘s group at Tsinghua in Bejing. He is interested in reactive transport and electrokinetic phenomena in porous media. I am developing numerical tools, basically with lattice Boltzmann method, to simulate the pore-scale processes. Welcome Li!

07/01/2015: Postdoc Baole Wen joins Institute of Computational Engineering and Science

Baole is a ICES Postdoctoral Fellow, his research focuses on unstable fluid flows and inverse methods. Baole got his PhD at the University of New Hampshire. He will be working with GPMG and the Omar Ghattas to develop an inverse model for Bravo Dome Natural CO2 reservoir. Welcome Baole!

06/02/2015: Soheil’s paper on Level-set methods is published in JCP

The Journal of Computational Physics has published Soheil’s paper on A level set method for texturally equilibrated pore networks that allows the three-dimensional computations of the geometry of pores in realistic irregular grains.

05/21/2015: DOE highlights Bravo Dome research

The Department of Energy has highlighted Kiran’s PNAS paper constraining dissolution trapping at Bravo Dome, NM on its Basic Energy Science and Discovery and Innovation websites and in the quarterly Energy Frontiers Research Center (EFRC) newsletter. This work was funded by the DOE through Center for Subsurface Energy Security (CFSES) an EFRC operated by Sandia National Labs and the University of Texas at Austin. The release of the highlight has been picked up by


04/15/2014: Kiran and Soheil receive Statoil Fellowships

Soheil’s and Kiran’s Statoil Fellowships have been renewed. Congratulations Soheil and Kiran.

04/15/2015: Kimberly McCormack receives NSF Graduate Fellowship

Kimmy is one of 5 Jackson School Graduate students that have been selected for the prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowship [link]. Congratulations Kimmy.

04/12/2015: Soheil Ghanbarzadeh presents at APS-April meeting

Soheil presented his work on A level set method for solid-liquid interface tracking in texturally equilibrated pore networks in the session Advances in Computational Physics at the APS April Meeting 2015 in Baltimore.

03/25/2015: Kimberly McCormack defends PhD proposal

Kimmy successfully defended her PhD proposal on Bayesian inversion of geodetic and hydrological data to study the coupling of flow and seismicity in Geological Sciences. Congratulations!

03/16/2015: Paper with collaborators from BP-Institute is published in JFM

The Journal of Fluid Mechanics has published a paper on Multiple steady states in exchange flows across faults and the dissolution of CO2 that is the result of Kyung-won Chang’s visits to the BP-Institute in the summers of 2012 and 2013.

03/01/2015: Nic’s paper on CO2 leakage published in IJGGC

The International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control has published Nic’s paper on Reactive transport of CO2-saturated water in a cement fracture: Application to wellbore leakage during geologic CO2 storage that shows that the flow of CO2 saturated brine along fractures is likely to diminish over time.

01/01/2015: Postdoc Nicholas Dygert joins Jackson School of Geoscience

Nick is a JSG Postdoctoral Fellow, his research focuses on understanding the physical and chemical evolution of the terrestrial and lunar mantles using experiments, numerical models, and field studies. Nick got his PhD at Brown University and planning to collaborate with GPMG. Welcome Nick!

12/15-19/2014: GPMG is heading for AGU Fall meeting 2014

Monday: Kiran [V13A-4761], Jake [DI13B-4272], Soheil [DI13B-4282], Colin Jackson (collaborator from Brown) [V11C-4742] Tuesday: Daria [H21A-0693], Mario Martinez (collaborator from Sandia) [H24A-03] Wednesday: Kyung-Won (now at Stanford) [H33D-0841] Thursday: Colin [H43M-1145] Friday: Kimmy [S53A-4476]

12/15/2014: Deep Carbon Observatory highlight

The press release for the Midterm Scientific Report of the of the Deep Carbon Observatory highlights Kiran’s constraints on CO2 volumes and fluxes at Bravo Dome, NM as “an often-overlooked reservoir of the deep carbon cycle” [Sathaye et al. 2014].


12/8/2014: 100-th citation

Marc’s third PhD paper, Gravity currents with residual trapping, has been cited 100 times. The work with my advisors Hamdi Tchelepi and Lynn Orr determines the migration distance of a gravity current that is continuously loosing mass due to capillary trapping in a sloping layer.


12/05/2014: Daria Ahkbari defends PhD proposal

Daria successfully defended his PhD proposal on Causes of abnormally low-pressure in natural CO2 reservoirs and implications for the safety of Geological CO2 Storage in Geological Sciences.


12/01/2014: Colin McNeece defends PhD proposal

Colin successfully defended his PhD proposal on Surface Complexation and Transport Behavior of Protons in Geological Sciences.

Abraham Taicher

12/01/2014: Avi Taicher defends PhD

Avi Taicher successfully defended his PhD thesis Mixed Framework for Darcy-Stokes Mixtures in Computational Science, Engineering, and Mathematics. After graduation Avi will look for employment in industry.

Article on fast solute waves

11/24/2014: Fast solute transport highlighted

Together with his collaborators Valentina Prigiobbe (Stevens Institute of Technology) and Steven Bryant (University of Calgary), Marc published an accessible article titled “Breaking Waves” (page 34-36) in International Innovation that summarizes their work on fast solute transport over the last few years.

Sampling Bravo Dome gases

10/14/2014: Science News covers Kiran’s paper

Today Science News featured Kiran’s constraints on convective dissolution rates in their news section under the headline “Storing greenhouse gases — for a million years“, this article also made it into the news letter of the Geochemical Society. Science writer Jia You apparently decided that senior GPMG affiliate Martin Cassidy was the most photogenic team member. A good summary of Kiran’s work is also featured on Ars Technica under the title Natural underground CO2 reservoir reveals clues about storage.

Bravo Dome

10/13/2014: Kiran’s paper on CO2 dissolution published

The Proceedings of the National Academy have published Kiran’s paper on Constraints in the magnitude and rate of CO2 dissolution at Bravo Dome natural gas field, co-authored with Daniel Stockli from the Jackson school and Martin Cassidy from the University of Houston.


09/26/2014: Celebrating the (re) discovery of spinosaurus

In Marc’s absence the Geological Porous Media Group decided to repurpose the weekly group meeting to visit to the Texas Natural History Museum to celebrate the re-discovery of spinosaurus by Jake’s former girlfriend’s brother’s uncle – or something like that.


07/25/2014: Soheil’s paper on textural equilibrium published

Physical Review Letters have published Soheil’s paper on Percolation and grain boundary wetting in anisotropic texturally equilibrated pore networks, co-authored with Maša Prodanović, Soheil’s advisor in Petroleum and Geosystem Engineering.


07/16/2014: Ashwin’s paper on reactive transport published

Water Resources Research has published Ashwin’s paper on Analytical Solutions for Flow in Porous Media with Multicomponent Cation Exchange Reactions. The work is co-authored with Larry Lake, Ashwin’s advisor in Petroleum and Geosystem Engineering and Russell John from Energy and Mineral Engineering at PennState.


07/11/2014: DOE Energy Frontiers Research Center is renewed

The Center for Subsurface Energy Security a DOE Energy Frontiers Research Center lead by the Center for Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering (PGE) has been been renewed for 4 additional years. The center aims to improve geologic CO2 storage, which is a key technology for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel consumption — especially from coal and natural gas used to generate electricity. Our GPMG team will continue to address the long-term fate of CO2 in geological formations through the study of geological analogs.

[PGE announcement]


07/6-11/2014: GRC Flow and Transport on Permeable Media

Kiran, Jake, Daria and Colin are attending the GRC on Flow and Transport in Porous Media at Bates College in Lewiston, ME. Amongst other distinctions the conference provides a prime training ground for crustacean etiquette, i.e., lobster eating skills.



05/10/2014: Nic’s in-official graduation

While Dr. Huerta could not visit Austin for official graduation ceremonies, he made sure he does not miss out on his co-advisors annual spring BBQ. Nic’s advice to graduate students: “Enjoy grad school, because work sucks”. He is a man of his word, he max’d out on his time in graduate school with two masters degrees and a PhD. Well done.


04/29/2014: Jacob Jordan defends PhD proposal

Congratulations to Jake for successfully defending his Ph.D. proposal on The role of lithological heterogeneities during partial melting in the continental mantle. Well done, Watson!


04/25/2014: Soheil Ghanbarzadeh defends PhD proposal

Congratulations to Soheil for successfully defending his Ph.D. proposal on Characterization and Compaction Phenomena in Anisotropic Polycrystalline Materials with Texturally Equilibrated Pores in the Department of Geosystems and Petroleum Engineering.


04/24/2014: Dr. Ashwin Venkatraman successfully defends PhD

Congratulations to Ashwin for successfully defending his Ph.D. in the Department of Geosystems and Petroleum Engineering (PGE). His main advisors in PGE were Prof.’s Lake and John (now and Penn State). He pursued a side project on reactive transport with ion-exchange with Marc. After graduating from UT Austin Ashwin is considering to join the City College of New York as a faculty member.


04/15/2014: Kiran and Soheil receive Statoil Fellowships

Soheil’s Statoil Fellowship to study salt permeability was renewed for the third time and Kiran has received a new Statoil Fellowship to study the use of novel geochemical tracers in reservoir characterization.


02/24/2014: Marc’s paper on poroelastic inversion published

The Journal of Geophysical Research – Solid Earth published Marc’s paper on Joint inversion in coupled quasi-static poroelasticity, co-authored with Georg Stadler from the Institute of Computational Sciences and Engineering at UT Austin.

SIAM GS 2013 - Padua

01/28/2014: “Focus on Fluids” article discusses recent paper

Diogo Bolster’s Focus on Fluids article in the Journal of Fluid Mechanics discusses a recent paper Marc co-authored with MIT collaborators Michael Szulczewski and Ruben Juanes from the Department of Civil Engineering at MIT. The paper discusses the dissolution of structurally trapped CO2 driven by the formation of a dense current of dissolved CO2 along the base of the aquifer. JFM Focus on Fluids selects one particularly interesting article published in Journal of Fluid Mechanics for an extended review and discussion by an acknowledged and invited expert in the field.

JFM cover

12/07/2013: Dr. Kyung-won Chang and Dr. Nicolas Huerta graduate

Kyung-won and Nic successfully defended their Ph.D.’s this fall. Congratulations to the first two graduates of the Geological Porous Media Group. Nic will join the National Energy Technology Laboratory in Albany, Oregon as a full-time research scientist. Kyung-won will join the Stanford Center for Induced and Triggered Seismicity as a postdoctoral scholar working with Prof. Paul Segall.


JFM cover

12/01/2013: Journal of Fluid Mechanics volume 736 cover art

A figure from from paper Carbon dioxide dissolution in structural and stratigraphic traps co-authored by Marc together with Michael Szulczewski and Ruben Juanes from the Department of Civil Engineering at MIT has been selected as cover art for the Journal of Fluid Mechanics volume 736. The image shows dense CO2 saturated brine sinking below a trapped plume of CO2 and coalescing to form a diffusive gravity current along the base of the reservoir.

SIAM GS 2013 - Padua

06/18/2013: Marc wins SIAM Geosciences Junior Scientist Prize

Marc Hesse received the SIAG/Geosciences Junior Scientist Prize at the 2013 SIAM Conference on Mathematical and Computational Issues in the Geosciences (GS13), to be held June 17-20, 2013, in Padua, Italy. The SIAM Activity Group on Geosciences (SIAG/GS) awards its Junior Scientist Prize to an outstanding junior researcher in the field of geosciences.

The award is a recognition for “outstanding contributions to mathematical analysis and computational methods for waves in complex subsurface applications.”

TiPM logo

06/01/2013: Associate editor TiPM

Marc becomes associate editor of the journal Transport in Porous Media.


05/09/2013: 2nd annual group canoe trip on the Guadalupe river

The second annual Guadalupe river canoe trip was completed in high spirits despite low water and followed up with some pulled pork sandwiches, curly fries, and funnel cake in Luckenbach, TX (pop. 3). Click on the Gruppenphoto to enlarge it.


04/17/2013: Marc receives Distinguished Teaching Award

Marc received the G. Moses and Carolyn G. Knebel Distinguished Teaching Award for his new graduate class Essentials of Flow in Porous Media. The class was first taught in the Spring semester 2013 and aims to introduce students from the geosciences, engineering and applied mathematics to fundamental concepts of flow and transport in porous media. The award recognized excellence in graduate teaching and the awardee is selected by the graduate students in the Department of Geological Sciences.


02/27/2013: Ashwin wins GAIN 2013 competition

GAIN (Graduate and Industry Networking) is an annual event hosted by the Graduate Engineering Council at The University of Texas at Austin. It is both a broad Networking opportunity and an academically rigorous competition that allows The Cockrell School of Engineering to showcase its best and brightest graduate students.


02/02/2013: GPMG best represented research group
Jake Jordan wins early career poster award

Geological Porous Media Group comes out top the 2nd Annual Jackson School Research Symposium. Jake Jordan won 2nd place in the ‘early career graduate’ category for his poster on reactive melt transport.


04/30/2012: Soheil Ghanbarzadeh wins Statoil doctoral fellowship:

Soheil won the Statoil graduate fellowship to study the pore network in rock salt. Due to the high solubility the shape of the pores is close to textural equilibrium, and therefore a minimal surface. The topology of the network is determined by the surface tension between different salt grains and between the salt and the brine.  As the surface energies change with temperature and pressure, the porenetwork may become connected and salt, which is usually considered impermeable, can become a major fluid pathway.


04/02/2012: Quinn Wenning wins Undergrad Best Poster Award:

Quinn Wenning won the Undergraduate Best Poster Award at the 1st Annual Jackson School Research Symposium, for his project Characterizing Reactive Flow Paths in Fractured Cement with PhD student Nicolas Huerta.


12/18/2011: 100-th citation

Marc’s first PhD paper is cited 100 times. The work with Amir Riaz, at the time postdoc at Stanford, and my advisors Hamdi Tchelepi and Lynn Orr looks at the stability of a gravitationally unstable diffusive boundary layer. A theoretical analysis of the classic Elder problem in porous media convection.


Undergraduate research fellowship competition

Quinn Wenning won a $1000 a Spring 2012  Undergraduate Research Fellowship for his project on reactive flow on in cement fractures with PhD student Nicolas Huerta.


Cover art: Communications in Computational Physics

The cover of for volume 10, number 1 of Communications in Computational Physics features a simulation from our article Modelling magma dynamics with a mixed Fourier collocation – discontinuous Galerkin method co-authored with Dr. Alan Schiemenz (LMU Munich) and Prof. Jan Hesthaven (Brown).

The image, shown on the right, shows the localization of the melt flow due to reactive feedback in the top row and the orthopyroxene abundance in the mantle in the lower row.


Abraham Taicher receives NIMS Fellowship 2011-2012

PhD student Abraham Taicher has received the 2011-2012 National Initiative for Modeling and Simulations Fellowship from the CSEM graduate program.


15-16/08/11: Reactive Flow Summer School
by Peter Lichtner (LANL) and Glenn Hammond (PNNL)

This shortcourse will provide a hands-on introduction to PFLOTRAN, a massively parallel subsurface reactive flow and transport computer code that runs on labtops to high-end supercomputers. The code includes Richards equation for variably saturated media, two-phase CO2-H2O, and thermal-hydrologic-chemical (THC) modes coupled to reactive transport in multicomponent systems.

jwj Explore UT 0243

5/3/11: Austin Statesman features JSG Explore UT experiment

With great support from the Jackson School Marc Hesse and Kelly Quinney built a large version of the famous cornstarch & water experiment for Explore UT. The  experiment demonstrates shear thickening behavior and allows you to “walk on water”.  It was a big success and more than 500 children walked the walk.

K-Won Photo-web

Kyung-won wins AAPG – Allan & Eleanor Martini Grant

Kyung-won Chang received the grant to study buoyancy driven exchange flows at the BP-Institute. He developed a technique to quantify the exchange flow and is now using it to constrain leakage rates along permeable conduits and the role of hydro-mechanical dispersion in counter current flows.


12/8/10: GRL editor’s highlight:
Characterizing channels for transport of melt in mantle

To investigate how dunite channels would form and how melt would flow through them in an upwelling mantle, Liang et al. (2010) conducted numerical simulations. They found that interconnected dunite channels form the shallow part of the porous channels through which melt passes; deeper in the mantle, melt travels through channels composed of the rocks harzburgite and lherzolite. These results could help geologists interpret field measurements and improve models for mantle melt migration, shedding light on mantle dynamics and crust formation.

Liang, Y., A. Schiemenz, M. A. Hesse, E. M. Parmentier, and J. S. Hesthaven (2010), High-porosity channels for melt migration in the mantle: Top is the dunite and bottom is the harzburgite and lherzolite, Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L15306, doi:10.1029/2010GL044162.