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Marine Geosciences News Archive


Growing up amid the crisp, cold landscape of the Canadian Rockies, Rowan Martindale’s family liked to vacation in tropical environs with warm waters. As a result, the high-country farm girl learned to snorkel and scuba dive and explored coral reefs at an early age. Now, through her studies of ancient reefs, Martindale, an assistant professor…

Shale has the spotlight for now. But there’s another, lesser-known substance with the potential to yield even greater quantities of natural gas: methane hydrate. “A lot of geoscientists are fascinated by hydrates because of how odd it is that you can take methane gas and add water and have it result in something with such…

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,…

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…

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.  

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.

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…

Peter Flemings was on a family vacation hiking in the White Mountains in New Hampshire when his cell phone rang. It was U.S. energy secretary Stephen Chu’s assistant. Could he join a web conference with Secretary Chu, and dozens of scientists from government, academia and industry, in a few hours? After packing up and making…

Andrew Smith studies undersea gas vents, large volcano-like features on the seafloor that spew plumes of oil and gas into the ocean. Scientists have long been interested in them because many contain large amounts of gas hydrate, an icy substance made of natural gas and water. Gas hydrates might be mined someday as an alternative…

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