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Hydrogeology/Glaciology News Archive


As the bitter 2011 Texas drought stretched on into its third year, the Jackson School of Geoscience’s Center for Integrated Earth System Science (CIESS) hosted its third annual Water Forum. The forum, held Oct. 14 -15, 2013, focused on the latest research on droughts and other extreme weather events and provided a forum for discussion…

When Jay Banner accepted his first faculty position, teaching was just something he had to do so he could do what he really loved—research. In particular, studying the processes by which ocean sediments become rock, tracing underground flow paths of water and using cave formations to reconstruct past climate. His first teaching assignment was an…

Joseph Levy was preparing for a season of scientific research in Antarctica last week when he got the call: Stand down. Dr. Levy, a research associate at UT Austin’s Institute for Geophysics, is studying the climate history of the dry valleys of Antarctica by analyzing buried ice sheets that have been frozen since the last ice age…

For the first time, scientists have documented an acceleration in the melt rate of permafrost, or ground ice, in a section of Antarctica where the ice had been considered stable. The melt rates are comparable with the Arctic, where accelerated melting of permafrost has become a regularly recurring phenomenon, and the change could offer a…

Los Angeles Times, July 13, 2013 Featuring: Ian Dalziel Ancient volcanoes discovered deep in the ocean off Antarctica may explain a climate mystery critical to predicting Earth’s fate as humans pump more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. University of Texas geologists dredging thousands of feet below the surface of the central Scotia Sea off the…

A team of scientists led by Ian Dalziel from the Institute for Geophysics has found geologic evidence that casts doubt on one of the conventional explanations for how Antarctica’s ice sheet began forming. The team discovered an ancient volcanic arc that might have prevented the creation of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current.

LiveScience, July 10, 2013 Featuring: Dusty Schroeder, Don Blankenship A sprawling network of low-lying canals, similar to a swamp, hides under Antarctica’s Thwaites Glacier, a new study finds. The fast-flowing Thwaites Glacier is one of the largest ice streams in West Antarctica. Scientists think Thwaites could significantly retreat in the next 20 years, adding to global sea level…

USA Today, July 9, 2013 Featuring: J.P. Nicot Texas’ current drought is caused by changes in ocean circulation patterns such as La Nina, anthropogenic climate change, and other factors. One thing intensifying the drought’s impact is hydraulic fracturing. Water consumption for fracking in the state jumped 125% in three years and will continue to increase…

Rising Sea Level Tied to Faster Melt

Wall Street Journal, June 2, 2013 Featuring: Clark Wilson Accelerated melting of polar ice sheets and mountain glaciers was the driving factor behind a rise in the global sea level of 16.8 millimeters, or about two-thirds of an inch, between 2005 and 2011, according to a study published Sunday in Nature Geoscience. The study resolves long-standing…

Groundwater depletion is a massive problem worldwide, but aside from hydrogeologists and farmers, how many people are aware of it? This year’s Oliver Distinguished Lecturer, Tom Gleeson of McGill University, wants to make sure both the problem and its potential solutions are well understood—so well understood, they can even be explained at a cocktail party….

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