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Institute for Geophysics News Archive


  AUSTIN, Texas — A research team led by The University of Texas at Austin has been awarded approximately $58 million to analyze deposits of frozen methane under the Gulf of Mexico that hold enormous potential to increase the world’s energy supply.   The grant, one of the largest ever awarded to the university, will…

The University of Texas at Austin has won $58 million to investigate a potentially massive energy resource: methane trapped in ice-like crystals under the Gulf of Mexico and oceans around the world. The Department of Energy is providing $41.2 million toward the grant, one of the largest government grants ever awarded to the university, with…

  A team led by scientists at the University of Texas at Austin’s Institute for Geophysics has for the first time directly observed multiple parts of Greenland’s subglacial plumbing system and how that system evolves each summer to slow down the ice sheet’s movement toward the sea. These new observations could be important in accurately…

AUSTIN, Texas — Thwaites Glacier, the large, rapidly changing outlet of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, is not only being eroded by the ocean, it’s being melted from below by geothermal heat, researchers at the Institute for Geophysics at The University of Texas at Austin (UTIG) report in the current edition of the Proceedings of…

Hurricane Sandy last year did more harm to coastal cities and homes than any hurricane in U.S. history, except Katrina. Most of that damage has been repaired. But there’s other damage that people can’t see to the underwater coastline, known as the shoreface. Apparently, Long Island’s shoreface did remarkably well against the storm of the…

As coastal communities continue to rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, scientists at this week’s annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union offer some encouraging news: The storm did not seriously damage the offshore barrier system that controls erosion on Long Island. Long-term concerns remain about the effects on the region of sea-level rise,…

AUSTIN, Texas — In a finding of relevance to the search for life in our solar system, researchers at The University of Texas at Austin’s Institute for Geophysics, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research have shown that the subsurface ocean on Jupiter’s moon Europa may have deep…

In October 2013, the Bureau of Economic Geology’s Tip Meckel led a crew of 27 on a 10-day 3D seismic data collection cruise off the Texas coast in the Gulf of Mexico. This activity was part of a multi-year geologic characterization effort to identify potential carbon dioxide (CO2) storage sites beneath the Texas portion of…

A Geophysics Legend Retires

Paul Stoffa, professor and Shell Distinguished Chair in Geophysics, has retired after 30 years of service to the University of Texas at Austin. As a leader of geophysical research for 40 years, he has inspired colleagues, fellow geophysicists, and a long succession of graduate students, including over 50 PhDs. He has published over 100 research…

A cluster of 18 small earthquakes in western Texas was likely triggered by the injection of carbon dioxide into oil wells, according to a study published Monday in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study is the first to link carbon dioxide injections to actual earthquakes, and may help scientists evaluate the…

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