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Institute for Geophysics News Archive


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…

A new study correlates a series of small earthquakes near Snyder, Texas between 2006 and 2011 with the underground injection of large volumes of gas, primarily carbon dioxide (CO2) — a finding that is relevant to the process of capturing and storing CO2 underground. Although the study suggests that underground injection of gas triggered the…

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…

Each summer, scientists from the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics run one of the world’s most advanced field courses for marine geosciences and geophysics, offering valuable hands-on experience for Jackson School students.  

So much oil and water is being removed from South Texas’ Eagle Ford Shale that the activity has probably led to a recent wave of small earthquakes, according to a study that appears in the online edition of the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters. The peer-reviewed study’s authors suggest that taking oil and water out…

Most of the small earthquakes in the Eagle Ford region of South Texas are probably the result of extraction of large volumes of oil and associated water, according to new research by Cliff Frohlich, associate director at The University of Texas at Austin’s Institute for Geophysics. No injuries or severe damage were reported from any…

SciGuy Blog (Houston Chronicle), August 7, 2013 & Austin American-Statesman, September 8, 2013 Featuring: Don Blankenship For the first time scientists have done a complete study of a possible Europa lander mission. The work will be reported in the journal Astrobiology. I had the opportunity to speak with Don Blankenship, a University of Texas geophysicist who is…

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…

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