Major advances in the petrology and diagenesis of sedimentary rocks can also be tied to the program. Marine geology and geophysics has become an equally strong component through expertise across the Jackson School. The program was among the first to use multichannel seismic reflection techniques to understand the geologic history of continental margins around the world, and has pioneered the academic use of 3D seismic imaging for a variety of applications, from basin history and evolution to reservoir assessment. The program is currently focused in the areas of global change, geochemistry and diagenesis, sequence stratigraphy, seismic stratigraphy and geomorphology, surficial processes and sedimentary process modeling, and pore-scale to full field reservoir characterization.
The sedimentology/stratigraphy research community at JSG includes over 30 Ph.D. faculty, research scientists, and senior research scientists spread across the Department of Geological Sciences, Bureau of Economic Geology, and Institute for Geophysics. This group provides as wide a range of areas of research specialization as any similar program in the nation.
The Department of Geological Sciences group has core areas in seismic and sequence stratigraphic analysis of both clastic and carbonate systems, diagenesis and geochemistry of carbonates and clastics including extensive stable and radiogenic isotope labs, physical and numerical modeling of eolian, fluvial, and shallow to deep marine transport systems with an emphasis on the construction of sedimentary deposits, petrology, basin analysis, and the application of field, petrologic, chemical, and isotopic methods for studying chemical evolution of groundwater and ancient oceans.
The Institute for Geophysics is focused on large multidisciplinary research programs looking at 2D and 3D geophysical studies of stratigraphic evolution of marine and lacustrine basins worldwide. The sedimentology/stratigraphy group at the Institute makes use of a wide range of geophysical tools and datasets to attack problems of global geodynamics and climate change.
The Bureau of Economic Geology has research efforts in clastic and carbonate sequence stratigraphy, diagenesis and reservoir characterization, as well as seismic geomorphologic analysis of 3D seismic data, visualization of subsurface systems, mudrock depositional systems, basin-forming processes, and classic and digital outcrop analysis. They are working on basins and outcrop areas all over the world to answer questions concerning the fundamental processes that act to control rock properties in the subsurface.
Faculty & Research Scientists
|William A Ambrose|
Sedimentology, subsurface mapping of clastic depositional systems, oil and gas production analysis, coalbed methane
|James A Austin|
Stratigraphic evolution of a wide range of marine and lacustrine environments around the world
|M Bayani Cardenas|
Hydrology and Hydrogeology
|Jacob A Covault|
sedimentology, stratigraphy, marine geology
|Laurie S Duncan|
|Shirley P Dutton|
Sandstone petrography and diagenesis, interpretation of diagenetic history by integration of petrographic, geochemical, and stratigraphic data; relationship of diagenesis to porosity, permeability, and other petrophysical properties of oil and gas reservoirs; timing of diagenesis and hydrocarbon maturation with respect to basin thermal and subsidence history
|William L Fisher|
Basin analysis, sequence stratigraphy, depositional systems, petroleum geology, resource assessment, energy policy
|Peter 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)
|Craig S Fulthorpe|
Marine geology, sedimentary geology, seismic stratigraphy and sedimentary architecture of continental margins, sequence stratigraphy and sea-level variation.
|John A Goff|
Seafloor morphology and bathymetry, swath sonar mapping, stratigraphy of the shallow seabed, ultra-high resolution seismic reflection (chrip) systems, sedimentary horizons, sea ice draft, crustal heterogeneity, canyon morphology on continental slopes, abyssal hills
|Sean S Gulick|
Tectonic processes, tectonic-climate interactions and geohazards of convergent margins and transitional tectonic environments Role of catastrophism in the geologic record including impact cratering, hurricanes, and tectonic events Marine geophysical imaging at nested resolutions and ground truth through drilling, coring, logging, and submersibles
|Herbert S Hamlin|
Stratigraphy, sedimentology, and depositional systems integrating subsurface data (geophysical logs and cores) with outcrops. Applications in hydrogeology and petroleum geology.
|Bob A Hardage|
Seismic stratigraphy interpretation; reservoir characterization; acquiring, processing, and interpreting downhole and surface seismic data; multicomponent seismic technology
|Brian K Horton|
Tectonics of sedimentary basins, evolution of orogenic systems, sediment provenance and routing systems, nonmarine depositional processes.
|Susan 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 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.
Carbonate sequence stratigraphy, depositional systems, reservoir characterization, basin analysis, seismic interpretation, seismic stratigraphy, paleokarst analysis, carbonate diagenesis
Quantitative stratigraphy, Shoreline dynamics, Morphodynamcis, Sediment transport, Deltaic sedimentation, River delta restoration, Coupled mathematical modeling and experimental stratigraphy, Planetary surface processes.
|Gary A Kocurek|
Sedimentology, geomorphology and stratigraphy of aeolian systems; fluid flow and grain transport; bedform dynamics and pattern evolution of dune fields; the stratigraphic record of aeolian and related systems on Earth and Mars.
|J. Richard Kyle|
Ore deposits geology, strata-controlled mineral resources, metals & industrial minerals exploration, ore petrology, characterization of ore-forming fluids, high resolution X-ray computed tomography applications to ore genesis & processing, geology of energy critical elements, resources & society, geology & mineral resources of Texas
|Stephen E Laubach|
Structural diagenesis, structural geology, fracture analysis, fluid inclusion and cathodoluminescence studies, rock mechanics, mechanical and fracture stratigraphy, hydrocarbon exploration and development in deep and/or structurally complex areas, tight gas sandstone, coalbed methane, shale gas; geologic aspects of hydraulic fracturing, application of borehole-imaging geophysical logs to stress and fracture evaluation, structural evolution of North American Cordillera, fracture history of NW Scotland, regional fracture studies Argentina.
|Robert G Loucks|
Research in carbonate, sandstone, and mudrock stratigraphy, sedimentology, diagenesis, reservoir characterization, and pore network analysis.
|Rowan C Martindale|
Triassic and Jurassic reef paleoecology, mass extinctions (Triassic-Jurassic, 201 Ma), carbon cycle perturbation events in deep time, ocean acidification in deep time, invertebrate paleontology (corals, sponges, algae, microbes), Mesozoic marine communities and ecosystems, exceptional fossil preservation, paleoecology, carbonate petrography, warm-water and cool-water carbonate (eco)systems, low-temperature geochemistry.
|Dr. Tip Meckel|
Stratigraphy, structural geology, CO2 sequestration, carbon capture and storage, CCS, high-resolution 3D seismic imaging
|Kitty L Milliken|
Petrography and geochemistry of siliciclastic rocks; diagenesis; electron microbeam methods: X-ray mapping, cathodoluminescence imaging; micro-scale reservoir characterization
Sedimentary Geology, Sedimentology, Stratigraphy, Geomorphology, Rivers, Deltas, Coastlines, Submarine Channels, Geohazards, Sediment-Gravity Currents, Sediment Transport, Seismic Interpretation, Basin Analysis
Clastic Sedimentology, Stratigraphy, Depositional Environments, Basin Analysis
|Hilary C Olson|
Biostratigraphic and paleoenvironmental analysis of foraminifera
|Jeffrey G Paine|
Near-surface geophysics in hydrogeology and environmental and Quaternary geology; coastal geology; Quaternary geology and geomorphology; computer applications in the geological sciences
|Terrence M Quinn|
Paleoclimate, climate, climate change, climate dynamics, paleoclimatology, paleoceanography, sedimentary geology and geochemistry
|Daniella M Rempe|
Hydrology, Geomorphology, Ecohydrology, Catchment Hydrology, Near-surface Geophysics, Hydrogeology
inorganic geochemistry, stable isotope geochemistry, mineral chemistry, paleoceanography
|Stephen C Ruppel|
Mudrock systems sedimentology, stratigraphy, and rock attributes; Paleozoic depositional systems and basin analysis; carbonate reservoir characterization; conodont biostratigraphy and 87Sr/86Sr chemostratigraphy, carbonate sedimentology and geochemistry
|Timothy M Shanahan|
Paleoclimatology, paleoceanography, paleolimnology, sedimentary geology and geochemistry, organic geochemistry, isotope geochemistry, compound-specific stable isotope analysis
|John W Snedden|
Sequence Stratigraphy, Sedimentology, Reservoir Development and Connectivity, Petroleum Geoscience
|Ronald J Steel|
Dr. Steel's research is aimed at using clastic sedimentology to address problems in basin analysis, dynamic stratigraphy and clastic reservoirs. I am particularly interested to decipher the signatures of tectonics, climate, sea level change and sediment supply in stratigraphic successions.
|Frederick W Taylor|
Tectonic geomorphology, stratigraphy, and paleogeodesy/paleoseismology at convergent plate margins Paleoclimate, fossil corals as a proxy for past sea-surface temperatures. Corals as recorders of relative sea level for vertical tectonics and sea-level history.
|Scott W Tinker|
Global energy supply and demand, Technology Administration, Multidisciplinary reservoir characterization, Carbonate sedimentology, Sequence stratigraphy, 3-D reservoir modeling, Resource assessment.
|Christopher K Zahm|
Reservoir characterization, flow modeling in fractured reservoirs, porosity-permeability evolution
|Eric D Kelly|
Structural, microtextural, and chemical investigations of metamorphism using field, analytical, and numerical techniques: Petrogenesis of metamorphic rocks including pressure-temperature-time-deformation paths that reveal crustal processes; thermodynamic and kinetic investigations of nucleation and diffusion, including impacts of slow kinetics on metamorphic crystallization that cause disequilibrium.
|Stephen C Phillips|
methane hydrates, sediment biogeochemistry, environmental magnetism, paleoceanography
|Daniel M Sturmer|
Adjunct/Emeritus Facultyâ€‹ & Research Scientists
|Robert L Folk|
Sedimentary Petrology. studying mineralogy and nannobiology of hot springs in Italy, the role of nannobacteria in creating carbonate rocks. work on cherts, opals, sulfides of iron and other metals, and metal oxides, nannobacteria in martian meteorites and weathering of igneous rocks by nannobacteria under a variety of conditions in Tahiti, West Texas, and Lombardia, Italy.
|James T Sprinkle|
Invertebrate paleontology; evolutionary biology; fossil and living echinoderms; echinoderm systematics; Paleozoic marine communities and ecosystems; paleoecology; crinoids; blastoids; rhombiferans; eocrinoids; parablastoids; blastozoans; edrioasteroids; edrioblastoids; starfish; stylophorans; ctenocystoids; helicoplacoids; Cambrian evolutionary fauna; Paleozoic evolutionary fauna; Ordovician radiation; Cambrian explosion; environment & earth science
|Robert H Tatham|
Dr. Tatham's research is presently on interpretation and analysis of multi-component seismic data. In particular, by considering both seismic P-wave and S-wave data, many of the effects of solid rock properties and pore-fluid properties may be separated.
|Dallas B Dunlap|
Quantitative Clastics Laboratory, Geologic Subsurface Mapping, Deepwater Depositional Processes
|Rodrigo A Fernandez-Vasquez|
Glacial geology, marine geology, tectonics, tectonics-climate-glacial interactions, sedimentary processes on fjords, rivers and coastal environments, paleomagnetism (block rotations, anisotropy of susceptibility). Current Spatial/Temporal areas of research: Cz/Pleistocene-Holocene of Patagonia and the Antarctic Peninsula.
|Robert L Folk|
Sedimentary Petrology. studying mineralogy and nannobiology of hot springs in Italy, the role of nannobacteria in creating carbonate rocks. work on cherts, opals, sulfides of iron and other metals, and metal oxides, nannobacteria in martian meteorites and weathering of igneous rocks by nannobacteria under a variety of conditions in Tahiti, West Texas, and Lombardia, Italy.
|Nathaniel R Miller|
Sedimentary geochemistry, isotope geochemistry, Earth system evolution, Q-ICP-MS, microanalytics, GIS, Neoproterozoic climate
Sequence stratigraphic interpretations (well logs, 3-D seismic), integrated reservoir characterization, subsurface correlation and mapping (using workstation and PC) and subsurface structural interpretation (using 3-D seismic), project management, CO2 sequestration
|Abdulkarim M Alhussaini|
The main purpose of my current research is to study the influence of long-period surface gravity waves on sediment transport and deposition of hummocky cross-stratified deposits on marine shelves. An integrated study of paleo-hydraulic analysis and reservoir architecture of hummocky cross-stratified sands is critical for achieving a greater understanding of shelf sands deposited in shoreface and deeper settings. An improved understanding of how these sands and muds distribute themselves in the shelf settings with varying ...
|Keri L Belcher|
|Meredith A Bush|
Meredith is a PhD candidate focusing on the evolution of contractional mountain belts and intra-continental basins. Meredith is interested in the tectonics of sedimentary basins in intra-continental settings, clastic sedimentology and provenance analysis. Her current field areas include the Qaidam basin on the Tibetan Plateau, the Raton basin in Colorado and New Mexico, and the Galisteo-El Rito basin of New Mexico. Her research includes a variety of analytical techniques, including magnetostratigraphy, detrital mineral geochronology, heavy ...
|Amanda Z Calle|
My research is focused on the Cenozoic sedimentary, structural and exhumational history of the Eastern Cordillera to modern Chaco foreland basin in southern Bolivia. A multidisciplinary approach of source-to-sink, geochronology, low-temperature thermochronology and structural mapping will be used. Inherited pre-Andean structures and their response to contractional settings will also be evaluated to decipher the Cenozoic evolution of this part of the Central Andes.
|Taylor W Canada|
|Tomas N Capaldi|
I am a third year PhD student, focusing on Cenozoic to modern tectonic evolution of the flat-slab region in western Argentina. I study modern river networks using zircon U-Pb chronology to assess what factors are represented by sand provenance, such as: drainage area, variable erodibility, and zircon fertility of different source rocks. I use the modern river provenance as a baseline to reconstruct Cenozoic paleo-drainages during Andean mountain building and to differentiate the timing of ...
|Benjamin T Cardenas|
sedimentary geology, Mars
Research Interests: Geomorphology, Sediment transport, Ecogeomorphology, Fluid Mechanics, Bioturbation, Particle Imaging Velocimetry, Experimental Sedimentology Current Projects: Vegetation effects on delta island development Fish generated turbulence and sediment transport during redd building Bedform interactions on the North Loupe River, NE Rio Grande Fan provenance and evolution
|Mackenzie D Day|
Covering a broad range of topics under the thesis title [italic] Sedimentary Dynamics of Aeolian Systems on Earth and Mars [/italic], Mackenzie Day's research includes inter-planetary comparison of dunes, analysis of aeolian features on the surface of Mars, and the physics of aeolian bedform formation. Currently Mackenzie is in her fourth year of graduate school and plans to leave UT in May of 2017. She has been a member of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) science ...
My research focuses on carbonate systems of the Lower Jurassic, in which I aim to document sedimentological and geochemical changes between the Pliensbachian and Toarcian. We predict changes in the early Toarcian to be apparent as a result of the Toarcian Ocean Anoxic Event. Through studying these systems in the Dinaric and Adriatic platforms of the Paleo-Tethys Ocean, I endeavour to draw analogies to other Lower Jurassic conjugate margin platforms that are not as accessible.
Carbonate Sedimentology & Sequence Stratigraphy, Seismic Geomorphology, Geo-cellular Modelling.
Baiyuan is currently applying geomechanical models to study thin-skinned fold and thrust belts system. The research will further our understanding of stress, strain and compaction behaviors in fold and thrust belts. Baiyuan also aims to comp up with an improved approach to predict pore pressure in compressional regions. Past experience inclides: Developed techniques and software to predict reservoir pressure in two and three dimensions Reconstructed porosity, permeability and pressure evolution with basin modeling approach Analyzed ...
My research focuses on elucidating the timing and mechanisms of shortening, exhumation, and basin evolution in the Eastern Cordillera of northern Peru and Ecuador. By integrating U-Pb geochronology and measured sections from Cenozoic hinterland basins with (U-Th)/He thermochronology and mapping on uplifted Mesozoic and basement units, I hope to provide a detailed chronology of the uplifts that link the Northern and Central Andes.
I'm interested in quantifying and describing the effects of carbonate depositional and diagenetic overprints on well-log signatures and production-governing properties. My dissertation title is "Factors controlling dual porosity networks in low-resistivity pay carbonates from Lower Cretaceous Thamama Group, Abu Dhabi"
|Hima J Hassenruck-Gudipati|
|Christopher K Hendrix|
Depositional setting, lithofacies and chemostratigraphy of the Buda and Austin Chalk intervals in south Texas using core-based XRF data. Isotopic and elemental approaches to carbonate stratigraphy, depositional settings and diagenesis.
|Tingwei (Lucy) Ko|
Source Rock Characterization Geochemistry (Organic, Biomarker, Gas Isotope) Mudrock Characterization Petrography, SEM
|Woong Mo Koo|
My current research interests focus on depositional processes in subaqueous transitional flows and their resultant sedimentary characteristics.
My research focuses on the structural and tectonic evolution of the Argentine Andes. I will be using a combination of structural analysis and thermochronometry to provide modern age constraints for deformation and exhumation events in the Frontal and Pre-Cordillera. Ultimately, this work seeks to relate observed crustal shortening and related age constraints to the structures observed at depth (significantly, at the transition from normal to flat-slab subduction) in order to better characterize the mechanisms that ...
fluvial geomorphology, sediment transport, coastal rivers, bed forms, bar forms, backwater zone, deltas
|Justin V Mauck|
|Patrick K Meazell|
|Renas I Mohammed|
Renas is working on the Zagros fold-thrust belt and foreland basin in Iraq's northern region, Kurdistan. His fields of interest are assessing the effect of sedimentation on deformation sequence and styles, and the controls on wedge dynamics of the northwestern Zagros orogenic belt. He is also interested in understanding the competitive role of axial and transverse drainages in filling sedimentary foreland basins and how sediment dispersal pattern change in response to thrust propagation. In his ...
|Ashlyn V Murphy|
Stefano is interested in the evolution of the Planum Boreum of Mars as a record of past global climate. Investigations are based on orbital radar profiles and high-resolution imagery. More specifically, his current research focuses on the distribution and paleo topography of water ice deposits and their stratigraphic relationship with aeolian siliciclastic deposits. Observations are compared to orbitally-forced water ice accumulation models and mesocale wind models specifically tuned for the north polar region of Mars.
Carbonate Sedimentology & Sequence Stratigraphy, Carbonate Rock Properties, Geo-mechanical Modeling. Research is focused on steep-rimmed carbonate shelf systems, specifically the timing and controls behind shelf margin syndepositional deformation.
|Edgardo J Pujols|
My main expertise and research centers on quantifying the temporal aspects and interplay between hinterland deformation and basin evolution. For the past years (both my M.S. and Ph.D. thesis research), my studies have focus on the intricate dynamic processes linking basin evolution and large-scale tectonics combining conventional field techniques and extensive laboratory work. My M.S. research at the University of Kansas investigated the timing and linkages of normal faulting and its influence ...
|Sebastian G Ramirez|
I am currently working on two sub-projects. The first aims at understanding the conditions of Kumano forearc basin (offshore Japan) nucleation and early evolution through 3D-seismic and sandstone petrography provenance analyses. The second involves the study of the Cretaceous-to-Recent sedimentary record in the northernmost Neuquen basin (western Argentina) through traditional field work and detrital zircon analysis. My goal is to better constrain the timing and characteristics of early Andean compression and to test whether or ...
|Valentina M Rossi|
My dissertation focuses on the study of tide-influenced, clean-sand tidal depositional systems: deltas, transgressive shelves and paleostraits. Because tides are an important agent of sand transport and sorting in many shallow marine environments, there are both commercial and scientific interests in improving our knowledge of tide-influenced depositional successions and environments. This work focuses on the architecture, stratigraphy and role of different processes (waves, tides, rivers) in tide-influenced settings. As sedimentologists and stratigraphers we are interested ...
|Peter D Soto-Kerans|
Fluvial geomorphology, chemical weathering, aqueous geochemistry
|John M Swartz|
Research interests: Sedimentology/stratigraphy, coastal and nearshore processes, quantitative geomorphology, marine geophysics, statistical methods in geoscience
|Nathan S Tinker|
|Gabriel Travassos Tagliaro|
Gabriel received a B.S degree in Geology from Unisinos University in Brazil, and is currently a Ph.D Student at University of Texas. He is interested in the evolution of continental margins. Gabriel uses seismic data, well data, and numerical modeling to better understand the mechanisms that control sedimentation and deposition in continental margin sedimentary basins, and the interactions between sea-level changes and tectonic processes. Research focuses on Neogene interval of the Northwestern Australian ...
|Anna M Weiss|
I am a PhD candidate in the Martindale lab. I received my undergraduate degree in Anthropology and Geology from Stony Brook University in 2013. My research interests are broad and include the consequences of climate change for biotic communities, the evolution of keystone species, and the use of databases, statistical analyses, and models in paleoecology. At UT, I focus on the impacts of temperature, nutrients, and other environmental stressors on corals during a carbon-cycle perturbation event ...
Jie's current research involves detrital zircon double dating (U-Pb and U-Th/He) to make provenance interpretations for the Gulf of Mexico basin, as well as using seismic and well logging data to study the depositional system of Lower Miocene interval from onshore to offshore.
|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
|Innovative Detrital Provenance Studies - Double Dating PLUS (Graduate)|
A major thrust of my current research the development and application of more comprehensive isotopic detrital provenance tools. U-Pb on zircon is clearly the big work horse, but only goes so far and sometimes yields "no" useful info, e.g., if the source of the sediment is mostly recycled sediment. We have extensively pursued double dating of zircons by U-Pb and He, as zircon He ages yield very interesting insights into the thermal and tectonic history of the source terrane; often yielding very different insights than crystallization ages. The combination is powerful, but I think we can take things so much farther by combining double dating with other constrains. People have tried fission track (not precise enough), Hf/Hf (to get mantle separation model ages), etc., but what we want to do and are working on is really Double Dating ++, combining zircon U-Pb-He dating with a variety of other geochemical aspects to more comprehensive understand detrital provenance and improve paleo-tectonic reconstructions. For example, trace-element thermometry (Ti in zirc), REE on zircon (met vs mag origin), Hf/Hf (see above), oxygen isotopes, etc. and also to develop rutile in an analogous manner (e.g., Zr in rut thermometry, Cr/Nb ratio (mafic vs granulitic), REE, etc.). The sky is the limit and what can learn so much. The issue in part it, how much can a single grain tell us before it's gone? The project sounds very laboratory oriented, but it's really a combination of field and lab work. We have identified a few possible case study areas, e.g., Morocco; great exposures, long-lived and preserved record of basin deposition since the Precambrian. My group is already working on some case studies in NW Himalayas, the N & S Pyrenees, the Sevier FTB, Permian Basin and other foreland basin. New projects include provenance studies along rifted and passive continental margins such the Gulf of Mexico, the central Atlantic Margins in Canada, USA, Portugal, and Morocco.
Posted by: Daniel Stockli
|Research in structural diagenesis (Graduate or Undergraduate)|
Fundamental and applied research on fractures, particularly as these studies apply to petroleum reservoirs, is conducted under the auspices of the Fracture Research and Application Consortium at The University of Texas at Austin. The academic program of research, mentoring and teaching is led by staff of the Bureau of Economic Geology, the Department of Petroleum & Geosystems Engineering and the Department of Geological Sciences. Students in the Energy & Earth Resources Graduate Program also participate in FRAC sponsored research projects. For further information on opportunities for fracture studies within the program see the FRAC pages on opportunities in Geology, Petroleum Engineering, Geophysics, and Energy Economics. FRAC welcomes Visiting Scientists from industry and from other academic institutions. Contact Steve Laubach for more information about these opportunities. A key part of the FRAC academic program is the Structural Diagenesis Initiative, a new teaching and mentoring perspective on interacting mechanical and chemical processes at high crustal levels in the Earth. For more information on the initiative see the Structural Diagenesis Initiative web site. If you are a prospective student, please see the admissions information on the Petroleum & Geosystems Engineering or Jackson School of Geosciences web sites.
Posted by: Stephen Laubach
|Geochronology of the Ordovician (Graduate or Undergraduate)|
The Ordovician time scale is bracketed by major extinction events, including one that is the 2nd largest in Earth's history. The goal of this project is to date zircon grains collected from bentonite (clay-rich) samples from Ordovician exposures from a range of locations (Canada, US, Scandinavia) to further understand the late Ordovician Hirnantian Ice Age and the big end Ordovician extinction. The project would involve analysis of sedimentary and volcanic rocks, petrology, geochemistry, zircon geochronology, and tectonic interpretations. With Dr. Michael Brookfield (Univ. Mass Boston)
Posted by: Elizabeth Catlos
|International Research Experiences for Students (IRES): Closing Oceans: Assessing the Dynamics of Turkish suture zones (Graduate or Undergraduate)|
The National Science Foundation is providing support for 4 weeks of geological field-based research and training experiences across Turkey for undergraduate and graduate students. They will conduct research within a multidisciplinary, regional framework focusing on investigating arc accretion processes that occurred in Turkey during the closure of branches of ancient ocean basins. Because of its Tethyan suture zones and fragments, Turkey is an ideal location to develop models for accretionary orogenesis and how continents grow. Students will partner with Turkish researchers to explore a multidisciplinary range of geological concepts discussed in their courses while making a significant impact on our understanding of processes related to the formation of continental crust. Students will visit field areas across Turkey to develop a regional-scale perspective. All IRES students will undego an intense pre- and post-departure program developed with the assistance of Turkish colleagues and numerous UT Austin resources. Recruitment will begin in Fall 2015. The recruitment plan is geared towards attracting members of underrepresented groups and all IRES student participants will be US citizens or permanent residents, as required by the program solicitation. We target high-achieving graduate students and sophomore level undergraduates or internal transfers majoring in geology because others at higher levels will likely have time constraints on their summers due to degree-required field camp. Consideration will also be made for students attending other geoscience departments in Texas outside the Jackson School. With Drs. Rich Kyle and Brent Elliott (Jackson School); Tolga Oyman (Dokuz Eylul University, Dept. Geological Engineering), Bora Rojay (Middle East Technical University, METU Dept. of Geological Engineering) and Sebnem Duzgun (METU Dept. of Mining Engineering), and Aykut Akgun (Karadeniz Technical University, Dept. Geological Engineering).
Posted by: Elizabeth Catlos
|High Resolution 3D marine seismic for fluid studies (Graduate)|
Opportunities exist to become involved in the design, acquisition, processing, and interpretation of high-resolution 3D marine seismic data. Current applications include characterization for subsurface storage of carbon dioxide and natural fluid migration studies. We anticipate development into imaging modern systems as reservoir analogs.
Posted by: Timothy Meckel
|Postdoctoral Fellow (Graduate - ongoing)|
Purpose of position: To conduct research in numerical simulation of fluid flow using both traditional Darcy flow simulators as well as Invasion Percolation methods, sandbox flow modeling, and development of a strong publication record on the topic. Essential functions: Develop numerical simulations of fluid flow CO2 in mm to m scale models informed by geologic depositional heterogeneity. Assist in designing and implementing laboratory validation experiments of sandbox flow modeling to support theoretical and numerical simulations. Publish results in peer reviewed outlets, assist in project reporting and make presentations, as needed to support project. Required qualifications: PhD in hydrogeology, environmental engineering, or closely related geoscience field earned within the last three years. Relevant laboratory experience with sandbox scale flow experiments. Demonstrated research interest in forward and inverse modeling of subsurface flow and transport pertaining multi-phase flow. Preferred qualifications Demonstrated strong oral and written communication skills. Demonstrated ability to conduct experimental studies. Demonstrated experience in presenting and publishing results, including CO2 or CCS.
Posted by: Timothy Meckel
|PhD Student (Graduate)|
I am accepting applications for a new PhD Student in my lab. This student must be interested in paleontological or carbonate sedimentology research (both would be best), and should be aware of the current/recent projects in the Martindale Lab. Exceptional MSc students will be considered, but preference is for a doctoral student (prior research experience at the undergraduate or MSc level is desired).
Posted by: Rowan Martindale
|Prospective Students (Graduate or Undergraduate)|
Thank you for your interest in joining my research group! There are currently opportunities at all levels beginning in the Fall of 2016. I welcome the opportunity to work with students who have a strong academic record, quantitative skills, research and writing experience, and unquenchable curiosity and creativity. Our group focuses on spatial and temporal patterns of water movement in the near surface. If you're interested in joining the lab, please contact me directly (firstname.lastname@example.org) with a CV and a statement of your research experience and interests.
Posted by: Daniella Rempe
|Detrital Geo- and Thermochronometry of Atlantic Rift Basins (Graduate)|
Seeking motivated Ph.D. students interested in conducting integrated detrital zircon U-Pb and (U-Th)/He work on Triassic and Jurassic rift basins along the Atlantic margin in the NE USA and Canada and the conjugate margin of Morocco. The goal of the project is to understand basin sedimentation, sediment routing, and sediment provenance to shed light on lithospheric rift processes leading to Atlantic rifting and break-up. This project will combine stratigraphy, detrital geo-thermochronometry, and geodynamics to more holistically understand 2D and 3D sediment dispersal and lithospheric-scale controls on sediment dispersal and stratigraphic record during progressive rifting through time.
Posted by: Daniel Stockli
|Applied Geodynamics Lab|
An industry-funded consortium dedicated to producing innovative new concepts in salt tectonics. This research comprises a mix of physical and mathematical modeling and seismic-based mapping and structural-stratigraphic analysis of some of the world's most spectacular salt basins.
|Carbonate Petrography Lab|
The lab is a combined effort of the Department of Geological Sciences and the Bureau of Economic Geology's Carbonate Reservoir Characterization Research Laboratory. The lab contains tools for characterization of carbonate outcrops including the most recent version of the Optech Ilris long-range ground-based LIDAR system and a full suite of interpretation software and high-end workstations using Innovmetric Polyworks, Petrel, GoCad, and standard ARC software tools. Other tools include low- and high-magnification petrographic scopes, digital photographic capabilities, and a cold-cathode microscope setup with low-light-capable photomicroscopy. An extensive collection of samples from classic carbonate field areas both modern and ancient is also available for comparative analysis.
|Core Research Center (Austin)|
The Austin Core Research Center (CRC), located adjacent to Bureau headquarters, is the Bureau of Economic Geology's main core repository for core and rock material donated to the university. More than 500,000 boxes of core and cuttings from wells drilled throughout Texas, the U.S., and the world are available at this facility for public viewing and research. Austin, Houston, and Midland core facilities have combined holdings of nearly 2 million boxes of geologic material. The Integrated Core and Log Database (IGOR) is a searchable database for all CRC core and well cutting holdings. Public facilities include core examination layout rooms and processing rooms for slabbing core. Other services are available upon request.
|Core Research Center (Houston)|
The Houston Research Center (HRC), is located on the west side of Houston, Texas, six miles north of I-10 and two miles south of U.S. Highway 290. This state-of-the-art climate-controlled facility is equipped to permanently store and curate over 900,000 boxes of geologic core and cuttings. The Houston, Austin, and Midland core facilities have combined holdings of nearly 2 million boxes of geologic material. In addition to the climate-controlled core and cuttings warehouse, the HRC complex has offices, laboratories, and a well-lit core layout room available for visiting scientists. There are also two conference rooms to accommodate guests attending short courses and seminars. Other services are available upon request. Nominal fees are charged to rent table space and to view core. The HRC has space dedicated for storing samples and cores acquired by NSF-funded research. The HRC curates this material and facilitates continued access to the material by researchers. The Integrated Core and Log Database (IGOR) is a searchable database for all core and well cutting holdings.
|Core Research Center (Midland)|
The Midland Core Research Center (MCRC) contains nearly 500,000 boxes of core and cuttings available for public viewing and research. Midland, Austin, and Houston core facilities have combined holdings of nearly 2 million boxes of geologic material. The Integrated Core and Log Database (IGOR) is a searchable database for all CRC core and well cutting holdings. Public facilities include core examination layout rooms and processing rooms for slabbing core.
|Devine Geophysical Test Site|
The 100-acre Devine Test Site (DTS) is located less than 50 miles southwest of San Antonio, Texas, in Medina County, Texas. The site is managed by the Exploration Geophysics Laboratory (EGL), an Industrial Associate Program at the Bureau of Economic Geology. It is a state-of-the-art public-domain geophysical research facility for academia and industry donated to the university in 1998 by BP. The test site is used for surface-based seismic and potential-field experiments performed in conjunction with downhole and crosswell experiments.
|Fluid Inclusion Lab (DGS)|
The fluid inclusion laboratory is based around a modified USGS-type gas-flow heating/freezing stage capable of microthermometry of fluid inclusions over a range of 700° to -180°C. The stage is mounted on an Olympus BX51 microscope with a 40X long-working distance objective, 2X image magnifier, and digital camera for image capture. The microscope also has capability for UV fluorescence petrography. Complementary facilities are available for reflected and transmitted light petrography and image capture.
|GeoMechanics Lab (BEG)|
In the GeoMechanics lab we study pore-scale sediment and fluid behavior. In this lab are components to make experimental specimens through resedimentation from either powdered sediment or extracted core material. Using the sediment, this lab can measure permeability and porosity with constant rate of strain experiments using any of our three load frames rated from 10,000 to 40,000 pounds or examine flow-through permeability and failure dynamics using a triaxial system. This lab is also capable of measuring permeability in tight gas shales using a series of Quizix pumps rated to 10,000 psi. The GeoMechanics lab is also spearheading the design of the ‘temperature 2 pressure’ (T2P) probe and a motion-decoupled hydraulic delivery system (MDHDS), a borehole tool capable of measuring in-situ temperature and pressure while de-coupled from the vessel and reporting data in real time. This probe will be deployed on an upcoming IODP (Integrated Ocean Drilling Program) expedition.
|Geometrics GEODE Seismograph Systems|
The Department has 2 boxes (total 48 Channels) with 48 vertical phones and 16 3 component phones).
|Geophysical Log Facility|
Landmark and Geoquest software is used for processing and interpreting 3 dimensional seismic data.
|Grain-sizing Sedimentology Lab|
This laboratory contains Ro-tap seiving apparatus, a Micromeritics 5100 clay and silt size x-ray analyzer, and an automated settling column for sizing sand fraction.
|Nano Geosciences Lab|
NanoGesociences Lab is equipped with state-of-the-art atomic force microscopy (AFM) and a set-up for accurate measurements of fluid flow and nanoparticle (NP) transport in porous media. We use AFM (1) to study surface features on geological samples such as nanopores in shale samples, (2) to measure interactive forces between different fluid molecules and pore walls in shales and (3) to measure adhesion parameters of nanoparticles to the minerals. With the flow system, we study transport and retention of NP in porous media at flow conditions.
|Optec Laser Scanners (ILRIS)|
The Optec ILRIS Laser Scanners are part of the BEG RCRL/JSG consortium. They are state-of-the-art ground-based terrestrial laser scanning/mapping devices, that, when coupled with the Innovmetric Polyworks software, allows high-resolution mapping of earth-surface features,with accuracies of a few cm. These tools are part of the aresenal of tools that the RCRL uses to generate digital 3D earth models for carbonate reservoir analogs.
|Radioisotope Counting Lab|
This laboratory contains gamma and alpha spectrometers for measuring radioistope activities in sediment and water samples.
|Scanning Electron Microscope Lab (BEG)|
The Bureau houses two SEMs devoted primarily to research on unconventional reservoirs under projects supported by industry consortia (FRAC, MSRL, RCRL) and by government-sponsored programs (STARR, GCCC). One is a conventional SEM devoted to wide-area mosaic mapping for the study of microscale fracture populations in tight formations. The other is a high-resolution instrument largely devoted to the study of gas shales.
|Sub-Bottom Profiling Systems|
UTIG owns and maintains an integrated sonar system for use in conducting Compressed High Intensity Radar Pulse (CHIRP) subbottom profiling of the upper sediment layers of the ocean bottom or various fresh water systems. The 3200-XS system was purchased in 2007 from Edgetech Corp. of West Wareham, MA (see www.edgetech.com) and can be deployed in water depths from ~2 m to >300 m with an optimum towing height of 3-5 m above seafloor. Deployment and recovery of the towfish can be done by shipboard winches for shallower deployments or a larger UTIG-owned Electro-Hydraulic winch. Constraints on vessel size are dependent on shipboard winches capability of handling either the large (190kg SB-512i) or small (76 kg SB-216S) towfish. Power control, navigation, video display, data acquisition and data storage are all performed by one topside processing unit. The system can be powered by 18-36 VDC or 110/240 VAC (auto-ranging). The system is presently comprised of: 3200-XS topside computer processor, 4-transducer SB-512i towfish, 1-transducer SB-216s towfish, electro-hydraulic winch with 500 m of armored tow cable, 3 shallow water tow cables of 10, 25, and 50 m length, GPS navigation system.
|Trimble Real Time Kinematic System|
The Trimble RTK GPS system is a real-time kinematically corrected GPS surveying tool that allows mapping resolution of within a few cm in X, Y, and Z,so substantially more accurate than any standard hand-held GPS unit that has a vertical error commonly of several meters. This is part of the arsenal of tools that the RCRL uses to generate digital 3D earth models for carbonate reservoir analogs.
|UT 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) 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.
|Wind Tunnel/Flume Lab|
The Department of Geological Sciences maintains two wind tunnels for experiments in aeolian transport. One tunnel (0.5 m2 X 10 m) features a long transport section that ends in a slipface. The second tunnel features a rotating table (1 m in diameter) that can be used to simulate any range of wind directions.
|Gulf Coast Carbon Center|
The Gulf Coast Carbon Center (GCCC) seeks to apply its technical and educational resources to implement geologic storage of anthropogenic carbon dioxide on an aggressive time scale with a focus in a region where large-scale reduction of atmospheric releases is needed and short term action is possible.
|Advanced Energy Consortium|
The Advanced Energy Consortium facilitates research in micro- and nanotechnology for recovery of hydrocarbons from new and existing reservoirs. The primary goal is to develop intelligent subsurface micro and nanosensors that can be injected into reservoirs to characterize the space in 3D and improve recovery of resources.
|Applied Geodynamics Laboratory|
The Applied Geodynamics Laboratory (AGL) is dedicated to producing innovative new concepts in salt tectonics. This research comprises a mix of physical and mathematical modeling and seismic-based mapping and structural-stratigraphic analysis of some of the world's most spectacular salt basins.
|Bars in Tidal Environments|
|EDGER Forum (Exploration & Development Geophysics Education & Research)|
The Edger Forum is a consortium of industry participants sponsoring Education & Research in Exploration Geophysical Technology.
|Fracture Research and Application Consortium|
The Fracture Research and Application Consortium (FRAC) is an alliance of scientists from the Bureau and the departments of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering and Geological Sciences that seeks fundamental understanding of fractures and fracture processes dedicated to conquering the challenges of reservoir fractures.
|Gulf Basin Depositional Synthesis Project|
The UT Gulf Basin Depositional Synthesis Project (GBDS) is an ongoing, industry-supported, comprehensive synthesis of Cenozoic fill of the entire Gulf of Mexico basin. The results are distributed as a digital data base that is updated regularly. The project has led to major new contributions to the understanding of the depositional history and framework of the Gulf of Mexico Basin. The project has focused on refining sequence correlations between the continental margin and deep basin stratigraphies, mapping sedimentary transport axes and paleogeographies through time, defining the evolving roles of submarine canyons, retrogradational margins, and shelf-margin delta systems in localizing in time and space sand transport to the slope and abyssal plain, and better understanding regional controls on reservoir facies and their deposition.).
|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.
|Mudrock Systems Research Laboratory|
The Mudrock Systems Research Laboratory (MSRL) is dedicated to the twin goals of unraveling fundamental scientific aspects of the most common sedimentary rock type and devising applications of this understanding to the characterization of an important and growing unconventional resource.
The original Project STARR was developed to increase royalty income to the Permanent School Fund through working with operators of State Land leases to improve efficiency of producing fields using the latest reservoir characterization technology. During the last Texas legislative session, the State increased the budget for the Project STARR.
|Quantitative Clastics Laboratory|
The Quantitative Clastics Laboratory (QCL) carries out geologic studies of the processes, tectonics, and quantitative morphology of basins around the world, with research that emphasizes the use of mega-merged 3D seismic data sets for quantitative seismic geomorphologic study of the basin fill, evaluation of source-to-sink relationships between the shelf, slope and deep basin and analyses of the influence of tectonics and fluids on the evolution of these complex continental margin settings.
|Reservoir Characterization Research Laboratory|
The Reservoir Characterization Research Laboratory (RCRL) seeks to use outcrop and subsurface geologic and petrophysical data from carbonate reservoir strata as the basis for developing new and integrated methodologies to better understand and describe the 3-D reservoir environment.
|Structural Diagenesis Initiative|
Structural diagenesis is a new perspective on interaction of mechanical and chemical processes at high crustal levels in the Earth. SDI promotes the growth of this new discipline.
The UT GeoFluids studies the state and evolution of pressure, stress, deformation and fluid migration through experiments, theoretical analysis, and field study. This industry-funded consortium is dedicated to producing innovative concepts that couple geology and fluid flow.
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.
|UT Austin Energy Institute|
The Energy Institute has been established at the University of Texas at Austin to provide the State of Texas and the Nation guidance for sustainable energy security through the pursuit of research and education programs - good policy based on good science. The Institute will determine the areas of research and instruction in consultation with an Institute Advisory Board, faculty and staff at the University of Texas at Austin, the private energy sector, public utilities, non-governmental organizations, and the general public. The economic future of the State of Texas, and our Nation, depends upon the viability of sustainable energy resources. The mission of the Energy Institute is to provide the transformational changes through research and instruction that are required for this State's and Nation's sustainable energy security.
|Dynamic Stratigraphy Workgroup|
|Morphodynamics and Quantitative Stratigraphy|
Alaska FieldworkPosted by Peter P Flaig
Photo set includes images of fieldwork done on the North Slope of Alaska from 2005-2013
Antarctic FieldworkPosted by Peter P Flaig
Photos of fieldwork in the Central Transantarctic Mountains during the 2003-2004 and 2010-2011 field seasons.
Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway FieldworkPosted by Peter P Flaig
Photos of fieldwork on clastic wedges of the Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway in Utah, Colorado, and Wyoming
middle Boquillas Fm. (Eagle Ford equivalent) along HWY 90, West TexasPosted by Gregory Frebourg
Sedimentary dynamics and processes involved in the deposition of the middle Boquillas Fm. (Eagle Ford equivalent) along HWY 90, West Texas. Work is done on the outcrop, sometimes in interesting conditions...
Ernst member of the Boquillas Fm. (Eagle Ford equivalent), Big Bend national ParkPosted by Gregory Frebourg
Field work of the Ernst member of the Boquillas Fm. (Eagle Ford equivalent), in Big Bend national Park, with Master Student Kathryn Fry