The Jackson School has a long tradition of leadership in fundamental and applied studies of liquid and solid water. Our research addresses broad questions such as: How is water distributed and routed through the Earth's surface and subsurface? What are the impacts of human activities on water resource availability and quality? How are different components of the Earth system including the biosphere linked, and what is the role of water in these linkages? How will the hydrosphere and cryosphere respond to climate change? Researchers use complementary high-performance computing, laboratory experiments and measurements, and intensive field work in order to address these questions.

Hydrogeologists and hydrologists in the Jackson School have expertise in aqueous and microbial geochemistry, isotope geochemistry, physical hydrogeology, surface water hydrology, vadose zone hydrology, ecohydrology, and hydrogeophysics. Glaciologists in the Jackson School have expertise in ice sheet evolution and dynamics, supra-, sub- and englacial hydraulic systems, and the geologic setting of ice sheets.

Jackson School researchers and students are currently investigating hydrogeologic and glacial processes around the world. Some of our studies are conducted in Greenland, Antarctica, the Pacific Islands, Australia, Mexico, Chile, Switzerland, Egypt, and China, in addition to studying the hydrogeology of Austin's interesting karst landscape and other parts of Texas. Some researchers also study ice sheets and potential water flow paths on Mars and Europa.

Faculty & Research Scientists


Jay L BannerJay L Banner
Isotopic methods, groundwater, oceans, ancient oceans, climate change, aquifers, caves, environmental science, geochemistry, paleoclimatology
Philip C BennettPhilip C Bennett
Aqueous geochemistry, geomicrobiology, environmental and microbial geochemistry, hydrogeology
Daniel O BreeckerDaniel O Breecker
Soil biogeochemistry, calcic soils, stable isotope geochemistry
Todd  CaldwellTodd Caldwell
Dr. Caldwell is a hydrologist and geoscientist specializing in field investigations and numerical modeling associated with near-surface vadose zone hydrology, landscape evolution, and soil moisture/ET. His current research focuses on ecohydrology, soil moisture modeling and monitoring, restoration and characterization of disturbed lands, the characterization and scaling of soils and hydraulic parameters, near-surface geophysics, and parameter optimization and numerical methods.
M Bayani CardenasM Bayani Cardenas
Hydrology and Hydrogeology
Ginny CataniaGinny Catania
Ice sheet mass balance, ice dynamics, subglacial hydrology, ice sheet stratigraphy, radar, GPS methods, uncertainty in ice sheet response to climate.
Bruce L CutrightBruce L Cutright
Katherine K EllinsKatherine K Ellins
Geoscience education, outreach, K-12 programs, diversity programs, public information.
Peter B FlemingsPeter B Flemings
Stratigraphy, basin analysis, basin-scale fluid flow, pore pressures in seafloor sediments, submarine landslides, oil and gas migration, methane hydrates, Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP)
Patrick M Fulton
Fluid flow, heat transport, and tectonics; modeling thermal and hydrologic processes; earthquake physics; frictional heating on faults, fault strength, thermal geophysics, geomechanics, overpressure development.
Marcus GaryMarcus Gary
Karst Hydrogeology
Herbert S HamlinHerbert S Hamlin
Stratigraphy, sedimentology, and depositional systems integrating subsurface data (geophysical logs and cores) with outcrops. Applications in hydrogeology and petroleum geology.
Marc A HesseMarc A Hesse
Multiphase flow in porous media, geomechanics, numerical simulation, mathematical, modeling, reactive transport, magma dynamics.
Jack HoltJack Holt
Mars ice and paleoclimate, Antarctica, glaciers, airborne and orbital geophysics, hydrogeophysics, paleomagnetism
Seyyed Abolfazl HosseiniSeyyed Abolfazl Hosseini
Research interests are mainly topics related to fluid transport in porous media. Current research includes: Enhanced Oil Recovery - Enhanced Gas Recovery - Upscaling and Upgridding - Above Zone Monitoring Interval - Reservoir Simulation and History Matching - Unconventional Reservoirs
Susan D HovorkaSusan D Hovorka
Geologic carbon sequestration in deep sedimentary environments as part of carbon capture and storage. PI of the Gulf Coast Caron Center (www.gulfcoastcarbon.org) focused on research relevant to commercial development of geologic sequestration in regions where it is both needed and possible. Monitoring field projects. Petrography and sedimentology supporting hydrogeology in karst and contaminated systems. K-12 and public outreach and education.
Joel P JohnsonJoel P Johnson
Process geomorphology, feedbacks between channel morphology and hydrology and sediment transport, landscape sensitivity to climate and lithology, bedrock river erosion, flash floods, arroyo erosion, canyon formation, debris flows, environmental monitoring and sensor networks, laboratory flume experimentation, numerical modeling, tsunami sediment transport and deposition.
Joe LevyJoe Levy
Permafrost, Antarctica, Planetary geology, Mars, Geomorphology, Remote Sensing, GIS
Joseph A MacgregorJoseph A Macgregor
glaciology, radar, geophysics
Kevan  MoffettKevan Moffett
David  MohrigDavid Mohrig
Sedimentary Geology, Sedimentology, Stratigraphy, Geomorphology, Rivers, Deltas, Coastlines, Submarine Channels, Geohazards, Sediment-Gravity Currents, Sediment Transport, Seismic Interpretation, Basin Analysis
Hardie S NanceHardie S Nance
Stratigraphy, structural geology, hydrogeology, sedimentology
Jean-Philippe NicotJean-Philippe Nicot
Subsurface hydrology, numerical modeling and optimization of groundwater resources, multiphase flow and contaminant transport in both the unsaturated and saturated zones, geochemistry modeling and subsurface reactive transport, Mathematical geology, geostatistics, inverse modeling, optimization, risk assessment and risk analysis
Jeffrey G PaineJeffrey G Paine
Near-surface geophysics in hydrogeology and environmental and Quaternary geology; coastal geology; Quaternary geology and geomorphology; computer applications in the geological sciences
Suzanne A PierceSuzanne A Pierce
Integrated Water Resources Management Decision Support Systems Sustainability Science Energy-Water Groundwater Management Participatory Modeling
Bridget R ScanlonBridget R Scanlon
Evaluation of the impact of climate variability and land use change on groundwater recharge, application of numerical models for simulating variably saturated flow and transport, controls on nitrate contamination in aquifers
Britney E SchmidtBritney E Schmidt
Europa, Vesta, Pallas, Ceres, small bodies, icy moons, rotational dynamics
Timothy M ShanahanTimothy M Shanahan
Paleoclimatology, paleoceanography, paleolimnology, sedimentary geology and geochemistry, organic geochemistry, isotope geochemistry, compound-specific stable isotope analysis
John M SharpJohn M Sharp
Hyrdogeology; flow in fractured rocks; thermohaline free convection; fracture skin effects; regional flow in carbonate rocks; hydrology of arid and semi-arid zones; subsidence and coastal land loss; effects of urbanization; alluvial aquifers; hydrogeology of sedimentary basins;hydrological processes in ore deposit formation; and hydrogeophysics.
Alexander  SunAlexander Sun
Subjects: Carbon sequestration, hydrological modeling, computational geoscience, fracture/fault modeling Skill sets: Geostatistical modeling, inversion and optimization algorithms, numerical modeling, web-based decision support systems Programming: Matlab, Python, Fortran, C, ArcGIS
Jake WalterJake Walter
ice sheet and glacier dynamics, tectonic tremor and slow slip, earthquakes, seismic triggering of earthquakes and other phenomena
Brad WolaverBrad Wolaver
Zong-Liang  YangZong-Liang Yang
Dr. Yang's primary research interest is to understand the exchanges of momentum, radiation, heat, water, carbon dioxide, and other materials between the atmosphere and the Earth surface spanning from small (short) to very large (long) scales. This includes analysis of in-situ and remotely-sensed data for the Earth's surface, and modeling studies of weather, climate and hydrology at local, regional and global scales.
Michael H YoungMichael H Young
Ecohydrology of arid and semiarid landscapes; groundwater recharge in both managed agriculture and natural (arid and semi-arid) systems; influence of soil structure and vegetation on water cycling; design and implementation of monitoring systems for above-ground and near-surface below ground environments.
Duncan A YoungDuncan A Young
Ice-rock physical interactions in an ice cap context, tectonic evolution of the younger planetary crusts
Mehdi  ZeidouniMehdi Zeidouni
CO2 EOR/sequestration, Cap-rock characterization, Leakage modelling

Postdoctoral Researchers


Cedric H DavidCedric H David
Feras A Habbal
Krista M SoderlundKrista M Soderlund
Astrobiology, Cryosphere, Geophysical Fluid Dynamics, Magnetohydrodynamics, Planetary Science
Long  ZhaoLong Zhao
soil moisture, data assimilation

Research Staff



Graduate Students


Kevin M BefusKevin M Befus
Kevin is studying hydrology for two reasons: its demand scientifically and its relevance globally. Currently, Kevin investigates coastal groundwater-surface water interaction, focusing on the dynamics of the subterranean estuary. His previous research includes studying the effects of glacial isostasy on paleo-lake hydrology and applying geophysical techniques to constrain weathering properties of the shallow subsurface.
Alyse C Briody
Alyse's research focuses on characterizing the hyporheic zone of Austin's Lower Colorado River and the subsurface biogeochemistry that occurs there. Her broader research interests include groundwater-surface water interactions, snow hydrology, and water resource availability.
Kyung Won ChangKyung Won Chang
Kyung Won aims to understand the dynamics of multiphase flow in geological porous media. He started his academic career with engineering minds, a BS in geotechnical engineering and a MS in petroleum engineering. He is continuing his ph.D in geological sciences. Kyung Won believes that his multidiscipline background will allow him be a smart bridge between geo-engineers and geo-scientists.
Kuldeep Chaudhary
I am an expert in pore-scale computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and in doing so, I can obtain hydraulic parameters which can then be used for basin scale flow or reservoir simulators. Both single phase and two phase fluid flow simulation can be performed using different numerical methods as a means to obtain solution to Navier-Stokes equations. I also conduct laboratory drainage-imbibition experiments at reservoir conditions, a set-up of which I have designed myself, both to ...
Baiyuan Gao
Baiyuan is currently working on pore pressure prediction within dipping reservoirs. She will systematically study the effects of reservoir relief, mudstone properties, and 3D geometry on reservoir pressure. She will also develop simple approaches to predict the in-situ reservoir pressure.
Brad T Gooch
I am a PhD student working at the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics. I am researching the importance of basin-scale groundwater flow, geothermal heat flow, and geomechanics on the dynamics of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet via numerical modeling and geophysical observations. My expertise/interests include: * Physical Hydrogeology * Near-Surface/Reservoir Geophysics * Cryospheric Science * Crustal Heat Flow * Basin Analysis * Geomechanics * Reservoir Characterization, Modeling, and Monitoring * Inverse Theory
Chad A GreeneChad A Greene
My PhD research is toward reducing uncertainty in projections of sea level rise by assessing the effects of ocean interaction with the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. In my masters research, I developed tools for acoustic quantification of methane hydrates and gas flow from underwater seeps.
Eric J Guiltinan
Gail GutowskiGail Gutowski
I am interested in better understanding uncertainty in climate predictions in order to reduce that uncertainty. My research explores the intersection of data and modeling efforts, in order to evaluate how uncertain models make use of uncertain data. My current projects focus on the contribution of ice sheets (Greenland and Antarctica) to rising sea level. I have been using the Community Earth System Model to evaluate the evolution of the Greenland ice sheet from pre-industrial ...
Allan E Jones
Brian A KielBrian A Kiel
Using remotely collected data to measure attributes of modern rivers and ancient river deposits. Currently focusing within the contiguous US, and modeling river-groundwater interaction as it relates to contaminant transport.
Jenna Kromann
I am interested in studying the dynamics of surface water-groundwater interactions and karst hydrogeology. Currently, I am researching the Nueces River in Uvalde County, investigating the interaction between surface water and groundwater. Focusing on: estimating the amount of recharge into the Edwards Aquifer using innovative technologies, determining the controls on gains and losses in the river, and investigating the effects of gravel alluvium on aquifer recharge. Then combining collected data to develop a water balance ...
Colin J McNeece
Michael T O'connorMichael T O'connor
I am studying hydrology and biogeochemistry, with an emphasis on wet systems. My thesis investigates a water and nitrogen balance within the islands of the Wax Lake Delta in southern Louisiana. I am advised by Dr. Kevan Moffett.
Eric I Petersen
Eric Petersen is a PhD student working on Martian lobate debris aprons (LDAs), strange landforms interpreted as massive debris-covered glacier systems. As remnants of past obliquity-driven glacial cycles on Mars, these features are valuable indicators of Amazonian palaeoclimate. Eric's work involves using SHARAD orbital radar sounding data in conjunction with ice flow modeling and geomorphic analysis to provide constraints on LDA formation and history. He is also interested in geophysical studies of debris-covered glaciers and ...
Brittany C Smith
Lichun Wang
Fluid flow, solute transport and reactive transport through fractures
Corinne  WongCorinne Wong
University of California Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow (2013-current) Dept. of Earth and Planetary Sciences University of California Davis Assistant Professor (starting Jan 2015) Dept. of Earth and Environmental Science Boston College I use environmental isotopes to investigate processes controlling modern hydrologic systems and reconstruct past climate from speleothems. I am currently working on a model-data comparison of the response of rainfall over the western US to past warm and cool intervals. For additional detail, please visit my ...
Yao  YouYao You
I am interested in studying the coupling of geomechanics and geomorphology.
Graduate and undergraduate research in geologic sequestration of CO2 (Graduate or Undergraduate)
Gulf Coast Carbon Center supports a team of students and post docs working in geologic sequestration (deep subsurface long-duration storage) of the major greenhouse gas CO2, as a method to reduce release to the atmosphere. Student projects are wide ranging, from sedimentology to policy, linked in that they are 1) multidisciplinary and 2) applied to current issues. Students are typically jointly supervised by faculty in geology or petroleum geosystems engineering and staff at the GCCC. A class in geologic sequestration is offered in the fall some years.
Posted by: Susan Hovorka

 
Postdoctoral Fellowship Position (Graduate - July 2014-July 2016)
The Bureau of Economic Geology in the Jackson School of Geosciences at The University of Texas at Austin currently has long-term, funded projects on the environmental implications of CO2 sequestration. We are currently recruiting new or recent Ph.D. scientists or engineers for a postdoctoral fellowship position. Position: Numerical and Analytical Modeling of Fluid Flow in Porous Media and Associated Geomechanical Effects of CO2 Sequestration We are interested in outstanding fellowship applicants with direct experience in one or more of the following topics: effects of poro-elastic stresses created by CO2 plumes, and near wellbore thermo-elastic analyses of rocks, detecting CO2 leaks by interrogating pressure data in monitoring zones, and/or detecting plume extension by pressure analysis in the injection zone. We anticipate that the successful candidate will have formal training in petroleum engineering, hydrogeology, civil engineering or related fields. Candidates with interest in theoretical analyses and mathematical modeling of coupled fluid flow/geomechanics problems are of particular interest. These potential projects are managed by the Gulf Coast Carbon Center (GCCC), an interdisciplinary team of research geologists and engineers who conduct CO2-sequestration research at the Bureau of Economic Geology. GCCC is one of the world’s leading research groups in CO2 sequestration. Our Frio brine injection experiment was the first to monitor CO2 injection into brine, and our current Cranfield injection project builds on that earlier research, monitoring an injection of more than 1 million tons CO2/year into a brine reservoir. Several other field-scale monitoring projects are currently being studied by GCCC scientists and engineers. GCCC collaborates closely with faculty in departments across the UT-Austin campus, other universities, and U.S. Department of Energy national laboratories. This position will be based in North Austin, at the J.J. Pickle Research Campus, The University of Texas at Austin. Austin is often on the list of top 10 or top 5 places to live in the U.S. Please send a resume and an expression of interest to: Dr. Seyyed Abolfazl Hosseini Email at: seyyed.hosseini@beg.utexas.edu The University of Texas at Austin is an equal employment opportunity/affirmative action employer. All positions are security sensitive, and conviction verification is conducted on applicants selected.
Posted by: Seyyed Hosseini

 
Aerogeophysical DataAerogeophysical Data
The Institute for Geophysics shares data from a range of aerogephysical missions flown over Antarctica.
Aerogeophysical SystemsAerogeophysical Systems
UTIG has developed, maintained, and operated a suite of aerogeophysical instrumentation since the early 1990s with continual improvements since inception. The suite was installed aboard a Dehavilland DHC-6 ("Twin Otter") up to 2005 and aboard a Basler BT-67 (a version of DC-3T -- a Douglas DC-3 refitted with turboprop engines) since 2008. The current instruments are: High Capability Radar Sounder (HiCARS); Multibeam, Scanning Photon Counting Lidar; Cesium Vapor Magnetometer; Gravimeter; Dual-frequency, carrier-phase Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS); Laser Altimeter; Two GPS-aided Inertial Measurement Units; Three-Axis Fluxgate Magnetometer; System Control, Data Acquisition, and Real-time QC and Monitoring functions.
Analytical Geochemistry Lab
Aqueous Geochemistry Lab
Characterizes the chemical properties of water and solids to support research in hydrogeology, geochemistry, and geomicrobiology. Equipment used: carbon analyzer (TC), Organic analysis Field and laboratory gas chromatographs, thermal desorber, high pressure liquid chromatographs, Inorganic analyses Ion chromatograph, autotitrator, field and lab spectrophotometers. BET sorptometer for N2, Ar, and Kr BET surface areas, and A microporosities, organic carbon analyzer.
Electron MicroprobeElectron Microprobe
Installed in 2002-2003, the JEOL JXA-8200 electron probe microanalyzer (EPMA) is equipped with five wavelength dispersive spectrometers (WDS), an energy dispersive detector (EDS), and two image detectors in secondary and backscattered electron modes. The primary aim of the microprobe is quantitative elemental analysis of minerals on a microscale with high precision (less than a percent relative for major constituents) and low detection limits (commonly a few tens to few hundreds ppm)
Flash Flood & Tsunami FlumeFlash Flood & Tsunami Flume
The Flash Flood and Tsunami flume is a large (approximately 40 x 1.5 x 0.8 m) outdoor flume with a computer-controlled headbox lift gate that generates reproducible flood bores. It is being used to study the hydraulics and sediment transport of rapidly changing hydrographs.
Geomicrobiology LaboratoriesGeomicrobiology Laboratories
Facilities for culturing and characterizing aerobic and anaerobic prokaryotes (Eubacteria and Archaeabacteria) using a Coy anaerobic chamber (H2/N2 atmosphere), Constant temperature water baths, autoclave, incubator, horizontal and vertical gel rigs, refrigerated centrifuge, UV light box, Thermalcycler, phase-contrast and fluorescent microscope. HPLC and GC facilities for degradation studies.
Geophysical Equipment for GlaciologyGeophysical Equipment for Glaciology
We have a custom built, low-frequency, short-pulse, ground-based radar system to image deep (>100 m) internal layers and the base of the ice sheet. Frequencies used with this system include 1, 2, 5 and 10 MHz. We also have a GSSI high-frequency (100MHz) ground-based radar system which can be used in several configurations and with a range of antennae frequencies. In addition, we have 7 GNSS GPS units for high-precision positioning, as well as multiple data loggers and time-lapse cameras for use in glaciological settings.
HR-ICP Mass Spectrometers
Equipment available: Thermo Element2 HR-ICP-MS with ESI autosampler system for solutions; and Thermo Element2 HR-ICP-MS with Photonmachines Analyte G2 Excimer laser ablation system.
Hydro Lab
This lab is dedicated to hydrogeology and environmental geology courses. It has facilities for grain-size analyses, porosity/ permeability testing, and a wide variety of lab demonstration techniques. It is also used as the base for groundwater field methods courses.
Hydrogeophysical EquipmentHydrogeophysical Equipment
These tools include: 1) Electrical Resistivity Meter. The AGI SuperSting R8 IP is an 8-channel resistivity and induced polarization imaging system specially designed for large surveys where speed of data acquisition is of essence. Can be used for land applications with 6 m spacing, underwater applications with 2 m spacing, or boat-towed surveys with 1 to 5 m spacing. 2) Infrared Camera. The FLIR ThermaCAM SC640 is a high-resolution thermal infrared camera. The portable handheld radiometer (7.5 to 13 micron wavelength) takes images at 640x480 pixels at rates of down to 16 Hz. The precision of the camera is 0.08 C.
Ice Dynamics ModelIce Dynamics Model
A 4' x 6' bench-top physical model simulating water flow under ice sheets and glaciers. Ice is represented by a transparent polymer. Water is injected below the "ice" at varying rates to observe the effects of discharge pulses on the channel geometry and surface motion of the "ice." Changes in discharge are designed to mimic a typical diurnal discharge pattern observed on alpine glaciers.
Isoprobe ICP Mass Spectrometer
The IsoProbe MC-ICP-MS is a multicollector, magnetic-sector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer featuring a hexapole collision cell immediately behind the interface region of the ICP, and the multicollector contains nine Faraday collectors, three channeltron ion-counting detectors for low-level signals (ion currents below 10-16 amp), and an axial Daly detector located behind a wide aperature retarding potential filter for high abundance sensitivity on the Daly detector. The IsoProbe mass spectrometer is capable of making isotope ratio measurements in a large number of systems, including Ca, Fe, Cu, Se, Rb-Sr, Sm-Nd, Lu-Hf, Re, common Pb, Th-U series isotopes, and in situ laser ablation measurements of Sr, common Pb, Lu-Hf, and U-Pb.
Isotope Clean Lab (Banner)
The Isotope Clean Lab is a 600 square foot clean chemistry lab with seven Class-100 workspaces for preparation of rock, mineral, soil, plant and water samples for chemical and isotopic analysis under low-contamination conditions.
Narrow Temperature-controlled Open Channel FlumeNarrow Temperature-controlled Open Channel Flume
Custom built 5-m tilting flume. Width: 30 cm. Depth: 1 meter. Other features: 3 removable windows with septa ports, fluids can be extracted or injected from the floor.
Quadrupole ICP Mass Spectrometer
The Quadrupole ICP-MS laboratory (with laser ablation) is used for elemental determinations in a wide range of liquid (e.g., natural waters, dissolved sediments/rocks, digested biomass) and solid (e.g., rocks, minerals, glasses) samples. The ICP-MS instrument is an Agilent 7500ce, capable of measuring trace element concentrations in solution over a nine-order linear dynamic range, from ppt to 100s of ppm. Sample introduction systems include a Micromist concentric nebulizer with a Peltier-cooled spray chamber for aspirating solutions, and a New-Wave UP¬193-FX 193 nm excimer laser ablation system for micro-sampling of solids. Sub-ppm detection limits are obtained routinely by laser ablation. The Agilent 7500ce is equipped with a collision/reaction cell, allowing for quantification of environmentally important matrix/plasma-sensitive elements such as As, Se, and Fe. The instrument is housed in a positive-pressure HEPA-filtered laboratory equipped with a weighing station, laminar flow bench, and Type 1 (18.2 M?) ultrapure water station.
R/V Lake ItascaR/V Lake Itasca
UTIG owns and operates a 22' aluminum hulled research vessel, the R/V Lake Itasca. The Itasca is a custom built hull powered by twin 115 HP Honda outboard engines equipped with hydraulic steering. The vessel is equipped with a starboard side davit (Fig. 5) that has been used to deploy a variety of water column gear including CTDs, grab samplers, gravity corers, isokinetic water samplers and niskin bottle samplers. Generally the vessel operates in survey mode with a maximum of 3-5 persons onboard. The vessel is equipped with rack mounts that contain a Reson Seabat multibeam system. Other acoustic devices that have been towed by the Itasca include the UTIG CHIRP subbottom profiler, sidescan sonars, and acoustic Doppler current profilers. The R/V Lake Itasca has been used throughout the Gulf of Mexico in rivers, estuaries and the inner shelf in calm seas. It has also been transported as far afield as British Columbia (Fraser River). The vessel can be shipped worldwide in a standard shipping container.
Revolving Environmental Lab
The REL includes a geoprobe for drilling, an Ion Chromatograph for analyzing anions and cations, and a stratified aquifer sampler for analyzing varying groundwater flow and quality with depth.
Scanning Electron Microscope Lab (DGS)Scanning Electron Microscope Lab (DGS)
Installed in 2008, this is a high-performance, 30 kV tungsten gun scanning electron microscope with a high resolution of 3.0 nm. The low vacuum mode allows for observation of specimens which cannot be viewed at high vacuum due to a non-conductive surface. This SEM has three detector systems - secondary electron (SE), backscattered electron (BSE), and X-ray EDS detectors.
Stable Isotope Lab for Critical Zone Gases
This lab is designed for the study of caves, soils and vegetative canopies. The GasBench II and Thermo Electron 253 in the High Temp. Stable Isotope lab are currently being used to measure the carbon isotope composition of soil and cave CO2, CO2 respired in soil respiration experiments, and dissolved inorganic carbon and calcium carbonates from multiple environments.
UT Experimental Deep Water BasinUT Experimental Deep Water Basin
The UTDW Basin is an experimental tank designed to physically model morphodynamic and stratigraphic evolution of continental margins and other subaqueous sediment transport systems. It is 4 m wide, 8 m long, and 2 m deep. The tank has 5 observation windows, underwater lighting and an array of synced overhead cameras. The facility is designed to map underwater deposit surfaces in space through time and measure fluid dynamic and sediment transport properties of formative density flows.
UT Sediment Transport and Earth-surface Processes (STEP) BasinUT Sediment Transport and Earth-surface Processes (STEP) Basin
The STEP Basin is an experimental flume designed to physically model morphodynamic and stratigraphic evolution of the fluviodeltaic system. It is 4 m wide, 5 m long, and 1.5 m tall. This facility is one of only three in the world with a computer-controlled basement motion, which can mimic 1) fore-hinge (passive margin), 2) back-hinge (foreland basin), and 3) lateral tilting subsidence patterns.
Center for Integrated Earth System Science
The Center for Integrated Earth System Science (CIESS) is a cooperative effort between the Jackson School of Geosciences and the Cockrell School of Engineering. The center fosters collaborative study of Earth as a coupled system with focus on land, atmosphere, water, environment, and society.
Center for International Energy & Environmental Policy
In 2005, the University of Texas at Austin chartered the Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy (CIEEP), to join the scientific and engineering capabilities of the University's Jackson School of Geosciences and the College of Engineering with the LBJ School of Public Affairs. The University's first center dedicated to energy and environmental policy, CIEEP will seek to inform the policy-making process with the best scientific and engineering expertise.
Center for Sustainable Water Resources
The Center for Sustainable Water Resources conducts studies related to water quantity and quality aspects of water resources at local scales using field studies and regional scales using remote sensing and at annual to millennial timescales. Impacts of land use change and climate variability/change are important drivers considered in these studies. The results of these studies will have important implications for development of sustainable water resource programs in different regions.
Land, Environment & Atmospheric Dynamics
The LEAD group consists of graduate research assistants, postdoctoral fellows, research scientists and visiting scholars. We view the earth system in a holistic way, linking the atmosphere, ocean, biosphere, cryosphere, and solid earth as an integrated system. We use powerful methodologies such as satellite remote sensing and supercomputing simulations which are now profoundly changing research in earth system sciences. We place a strong emphasis on the societal impact of the research in earth system sciences.
Latin America & Caribbean Energy Program
The Latin America & Caribbean Energy Program will create, foster and maintain a regional outreach network that will nurture cooperative and frank discussions of issues related to sustainable development of energy resources and environmental stewardship. The network will include representatives from governments, universities, private sector, multilateral agencies, industry and professional associations and other stakeholders.


Affiliated UT Programs & Centers

Center for Frontiers of Subsurface Energy Security
CFSES is one of only two centers out of 46 EFRCs with focus on subsurface energy. Our goal is a scientific understanding of the physical, chemical, and biological subsurface processes from the very small scale to the very large scale so that we can predict the behavior of CO2 and other byproducts of the energy production that may need to be stored in the subsurface. At this aim, we need to integrate and expand our knowledge of subsurface phenomena across scientific disciplines using both experimental and modeling methodologies to better understand and quantify the behavior at conditions far from equilibrium. The unique aspect of our research is the approach of the uncertainty and of the complexity of the fluids in the geologic media from the molecular scale to the basin scale and their integration in computational tools to better predict the long term behavior of subsurface energy byproduct storage.
Center for Space Research
The University of Texas at Austin, Center for Space Research was established in 1981 under the direction of Dr. Byron D. Tapley. The mission of the Center is to conduct research in orbit determination, space geodesy, the Earth and its environment, exploration of the solar system, as well as expanding the scientific applications of space systems data.
Environmental Science Institute
The Environmental Science Institute is a multi-disciplinary institute for basic scientific research in environmental studies founded by The University of Texas at Austin. The Institute serves as a focal point on campus for a wide scope of interdisciplinary research and teaching involving the complex interactions of the biosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere in the Earth system, as well as the human dimensions of these interactions.


Research Groups

ENCOMPASS: Research for Earth-Society Systems
Jack Holt's Research Group
Our research group is comprised of graduate students, undergraduates, technical staff and visiting students all focused on understanding both the current state of Mars ice and processes governing the distribution, history, and role of ice in Mars climate evolution. Our primary tool is orbital radar sounding, a technique that is relatively new for Mars, and for planetary exploration in general. Two radar sounders, MARSIS and SHARAD, are currently in orbit at Mars. Due to Dr. Holt's role as a Co-Investigator on SHARAD, we are very busy with the acquisition and analysis of new data. Building on UTIG's extensive experience in airborne radar sounding of ice on Earth, we have developed new analysis techniques specifically for SHARAD that give us unique capabilities and put us at the forefront of this exciting field.
Collecting depth profiles at the Poza Verde Posted by Marcus Gary

Photos of research of the Sistema Zacaton karst area

Collecting depth profiles at the Poza VerdeStaging for a dive at CaracolDEPTHX being lowered into El Zacaton.Sheck Exley and Jim Bowden after discovering Zacaton was deep.Camping area at La Pilita.Deploying a decompression system for dive exploration.Aerial view of El Zacaton (left) and the resurgence of Nacimiento.Poza Verde with the Miocene granitic peak of Granadillas in the background.Floating islands are called El ZacatonEl Zacaton