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
|Mead A Allison|
Sedimentology of upper continental margin, microfabric of modern sediments, Quaternary geologic evolution and sedimentary processes of deltas, geochronology, radioisotopes as tracers of sediment accumulation, sediment transport, remote sensing analysis of coastal geological processes, seafloor mapping, contaminated sediment depocenters and transport mechanisms
|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
|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 P Flaig|
Research Focus: North Slope-Alaska, Central Transantarctic Mountains-Antarctica, Canada, Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway of North America - Clastic sedimentology - Fluvial sedimentology - Paleoenvironmental reconstruction of continental to shallow-marine systems using sedimentology, stratigraphy, architecture, and ichnology in outcrop studies - Photography and high-resolution imagery (e.g. LiDAR, GigaPan) of clastic systems - Paleopedology - Remote logistics.
|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)
|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.
|Edmund L Frost|
Sedimentology and stratigraphy, petrology of sedimentary rocks, reservoir characterization
|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
|Herbert S Hamlin|
Stratigraphy, sedimentology, and depositional systems integrating subsurface data (geophysical logs and cores) with outcrops. Applications in hydrogeology and petroleum geology.
Sequence stratigraphy, Mudrock analyses, Carbonate and clastic sedimentology, Seismic and wire-log interpretation
|Bob A Hardage|
Seismic stratigraphy interpretation; reservoir characterization; acquiring, processing, and interpreting downhole and surface seismic data; multicomponent seismic technology
|Tucker F Hentz|
Siliciclastic sequence stratigraphy, sandstone petrology, continental depositional systems, field mapping and stratigraphy
|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.
|Martin P Jackson|
Salt tectonics, diapirism, tectonics of sedimentary basins, structural analysis of experimental models, reflection seismic.
Carbonates sedimentology and sequence stratigraphy, petrophysics of carbonate, seismic signature of carbonate rock, seismic modeling, carbonate modern depositional environment
|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.
|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.
Diagenesis; CO2-rock-water geochemistry; stable isotopes; geology, geochemistry, and basin modeling related to CO2 geological storage.
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, paleoecology, carbonate petrography, warm-water and cool-water carbonate (eco)systems, low-temperature geochemistry.
Stratigraphy, structural geology, tectonics, CO2 sequestration, carbon capture and storage
|Nathaniel R Miller|
Sedimentary geochemistry, isotope geochemistry, Earth system evolution, Q-ICP-MS, microanalytics, GIS, Neoproterozoic climate
|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
|Lorena G Moscardelli|
|Hardie S Nance|
Stratigraphy, structural geology, hydrogeology, sedimentology
|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
|Eric C Potter|
Oil and gas exploration, Permian Basin, Rocky Mountains basins, Basin and Range.
|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
|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
|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.
|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.
|Scott W Tinker|
Global energy supply and demand, Technology Administration, Multidisciplinary reservoir characterization, Carbonate sedimentology, Sequence stratigraphy, 3-D reservoir modeling, Resource assessment.
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
|Lesli J Wood|
Outcrop analysis of clastic systems architecture and sequence stratigraphy; seismic geomorphology and sedimentology of clastic systems; tectonics and sedimentation of active margin basins; shallow hydrocarbon features and shale diapirism; remotely sensed study (lidar, 2-D, 3-D and multicomponent seismic multibeam bathymetry and sonar) of clastic depositional systems.
|Christopher K Zahm|
Reservoir characterization, flow modeling in fractured reservoirs, porosity-permeability evolution
Seismic sedimentology; seismic geomorphology; seismic and sequence stratigraphy; Characterization of thin-bed reservoirs; seismic chrono-stratgraphy
|Owen A Anfinson|
Specializes in the use of heavy mineral geochronology and thermochronology to understand the geologic evolution of sedimentary basins and their source regions. Past Research Topics Include: Ph.D.- New Insights into Arctic Tectonics: U-Pb, (U-Th)/He, and Hf Isotopic data from the Franklinian Basin, Canadian Arctic Islands; M.S.- Sediment Sources for Catastrophic Glacial Outburst Flood Rhythmites and Quaternary Eolian Deposits at the Hanford Reach National Monument, Washington; B.A.- Stratigraphy and ...
|Elizabeth J Cassel|
The interactions between tectonics, climate, and erosion; Earth surface processes; tectonic geomorphology; stable isotope geochemistry and its applications to paleo-elevation, -climate, and -hydrology; fluvial and alluvial depositional environments; sediment provenance and drainage evolution through detrital mineral geochronology; sedimentology and stratigraphy; major, trace element, rare earth element, and stable isotope compositions of volcanic glass; Laramide tectonics and drainage system responses.
|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.
I am broadly interested in Earth surface system evolution, thus my research focuses on sedimentary geology, geochemistry, and paleontology. My field-based projects utilize integrative methods that include detrital zircon geochronology and provenance, carbonate isotope geochemistry, paleontology and biostratigraphy.
|Mauricio M Perillo|
Sedimentary Geology, Process Sedimentology, Stratigraphy, Geomorphology, Subaqueous Bedforms, Sediment Transport, Wave-Current Interaction, Fluid Dynamics, Coastlines and Sediment-Gravity Currents.
|Julia S Reece|
soil and rock mechanics, geotechnical engineering, sedimentology, physical sediment properties
|R. Wayne Wagner|
Environmental fluid mechanics, thermal dynamics in natural estuarine systems
|Tricia G Alvarez|
Tricia Alvarez is a PhD student at the Jackson School of Geosciences at The University of Texas at Austin. She completed a B.Sc. in Geology at The University of the West Indies in 2001 and an M.S. in Geosciences at the University of Texas at Austin in 2008. Her research interest at the Jackson School of Geosciences is focused on the study of sedimentary basins in the context of their tectonic setting with emphasis on ...
|Veronica J Anderson|
My research focuses on understanding the tectonic history of the Eastern Cordillera using a variety of methods, with an emphasis on using paleoclimatic proxies to understand the effects of surface uplift on Colombian climate. I have utilized organic geochemical proxies for paleotemperature (the MBT/CBT index) and for the isotopic composition of rainfall (hydrogen isotopes in leaf waxes) in order to quantify surface uplift in the Eastern Cordillera. I am also analyzing sedimentary provenance data ...
The main purpose of my current research is to establish a model of where, why, and how hummocky bedforms and associated HCS (Hummocky Cross-Stratification) forms, allowing us to interpret hydrodynamic conditions such as wavelength, orbital velocity, wave period, wave-motion direction, water depth, storm frequency and magnitude, and, potentially, the extent to which storms influenced the ancient shelf. HCS is commonly reported in outcrop and core throughout paleo-shelf deposits of the U.S. Western Interior (WI)...
|Thomas C Brothers|
My research focuses on the interpretation of remotely sensed data to investigate the surface geomorphology and subsurface stratigraphic record of planetary bodies. I make extensive use of orbital radar soundings, high resolution satellite imagery, and digital elevation models. My research involves processing, interpreting and integrating observations from multiple types of remotely sensed data in collaboration with other researchers to deduce the evolution of planetary surfaces. Throughout my dissertation, my research has been focused on applying ...
|Meredith A Bush|
Meredith is a third year PhD student, focusing on the evolution of contractional mountain belts and intra-continental basins. She received her B.A. in Geology from Colorado College and her M.S. in Information Studies from the School of Information at the University of Texas at Austin. 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 ...
|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.
|David L Clay|
|Michael E Cloos|
|Mackenzie D Day|
Katie's research focuses on physical modeling of tsunami flows and sediment deposits, with interests in paleotsunami field studies and flow reconstruction of ancient tsunamis, storm surge, and floods from preserved deposit characteristics.
|Joshua F Dixon|
My dissertation focuses on the analysis of the architecture, stratigraphy, sedimentology of shelf-edge deltas and the connectivity between these features and other depositional systems on the adjacent slope and basin floor. Primarily through the study of outcrop examples of shelf-edge strata, my work addresses the role of processes at the shelf edge in delivery of sediment to the deep water, a fundamental step in the formation of deep-water hydrocarbon reservoirs.
I am currently in a PhD program. My research project involved both surface and subsurface data. My study area is the western Dacian of Romania. My area of expertise includes: sequence stratigraphy, sedimentology and basin analysis that focus on fieldwork, well log correlation and interpretation and seismic interpretation.
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.
Research Interests: Fluvial Geomorphology, Sediment Transport, Flash Floods, Laboratory Experiments, Ephemeral Channels, Bed Surface Armoring Dissertation: Flash Floods and Unsteady Flows: Sediment Transport, Turbulence, and Bed Surface Armoring (working title) Committee: Joel Johnson, David Mohrig, Wonsuck Kim, Paola Passolaqua, Johnathan Laronne
Modern thermochronometric dating techniques have become increasingly powerful tools with a diverse range of applications in quantifying tectonic and sedimentary processes at rifted continental margins. While detrital zircon U-Pb is commonly used in detrital provenance studies, zircon (U-Th)/He (ZHe) dating has been shown to be a complimentary tool that not only constrains sediment provenance, but also the exhumation history of a sediment source region(s). In particular, analysis of ZHe lag time - time ...
I'm interested in carbonate rock physics and sedimentology.
|Sam F Hiebert|
I have been studying washover fans (WOFs) in modern systems using remote sensing and satellite imagery to quantify various morphological characteristics of washover fans including throat width, intrusion length, fan area, barrier widths, channel lengths, etc. WOFs are deposited in multiple types of geometries and tend to vary in location of deposition. I have begun categorizing WOFs according to these geometries and examining the morphological trends amongst the different sub-families. I am using these relationships ...
|Tingwei (Lucy) Ko|
Source Rock Characterization Geochemistry (Organic, Biomarker, Gas Isotope) Mudrock Characterization Petrography, SEM
|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 ...
|Allison M Ned|
|Michael 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.
Interests: Studying fluvial geomorphology, focusing on feedbacks between stream morphology and sediment transport with interest in incorporating hydrologic research into resource management and public policy as well as science outreach education. My dissertation field work focuses on setting up stream monitoring in Reynolds Creek Experimental Watershed, near Murphy, ID. Other field campaigns during my PhD have also included the Kohala Peninsula, HI and the Henry Mountains, UT. Background: My PhD research includes developing technologies to ...
|Nicholas D Perez|
My work focuses on understanding the Cenozoic deformation history of the central Andes of southern Peru. I use a mix of basin analysis (sedimentology/stratigraphy, provenance, geochronology) and structural (field mapping, balanced cross sections, thermochronology) techniques. With this work I will address questions regarding the timing and mechanisms responsible for the high elevations found in the central Andes. I am also interested in how preexisting structural geometries influence subsequent shortening and basin development in orogens.
|Anastasia M Piliouras|
My research focuses on sediment transport and morphodynamics of fluviodeltaic systems using both physical experiments and field studies. I am interested in the environmental feedbacks that shape the landscape at both large and small scales, and I am currently studying how vegetation affects river delta growth and channel dynamics.
|Maria I Prieto|
My research work involves understanding the interaction between gravity-driven and current-controlled sedimentary processes in the lower continental slope to abyssal plain transition in the central Gulf of Mexico (GOM); and how the local structural controls (salt) affecting the bathymetry of the basin can influence these processes. I use near seafloor high resolution geophysical data as my primary dataset. The outcome of my research will be also useful as an analog model for interpreters working with ...
|Michael T Ramirez|
|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 ...
|Kristie A Ramlal|
My research involves seismic data interpretation integrated with well data to understand clastic depositional systems. In particular, I study deep-water channels in terms of their morphology, spatial and temporal evolution, relationships with structure, and association with sediment transfer from shelf-edge systems to deep water repositories.
|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 ...
|Migdalys B Salazar|
My research involves the investigation of processes of sediment transport from the shelf region to the slope and deeper positions of the basin, as well as the relationships between basin fill architectures and ocean processes, sea level fluctuations, and tectonics through seismic geomorphological and clinoform architecture analyses. .
|Jason C Sanford|
|John B Shaw|
|Isaac B Smith|
|Brittany C Smith|
|John M Swartz|
|Eugen P Tudor|
|Dolores A Van Der Kolk|
My research focuses on marine environments and marine-continental transitions preserved within siliciclastic depositional systems. I extract clues from the sedimentary rock record in order to understand how paleoclimates and paleoenvironments evolved through time. For example, I am currently exploring how a greenhouse (warm) climate is reflected in the sedimentary rock record in both high- and mid-latitude environments. I utilize both field-based and subsurface data and apply various sedimentologic, stratigraphic, biostratigraphic, geochronologic and geochemical methods in ...
|Nataleigh K Vann|
Outcrop based research of slope and basin floor channel and lobe deposits in the Neuquen Basin of Argentina. Sponsored by Statoil.
My current Master's research focuses on the depositional system and architectures of Campanian M1 sandstone in Oriente Basin, Ecuador. This research uses seismic data, 11 cores and more than 300 well logs to investigate the lateral sand-mud heterogeneity of M1 sandstone. The expected result of the research includes clarification of the origin of lateral sand-mud heterogeneity and prediction of major sandstone distribution.
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
|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 NE Africa (Egypt), Sevier FTB and foreland basin, and the Colombian Llanos and Magdalena Basins.
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
|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 American Forum on Energy & the Environment|
This forum is a unique program that addresses a critical need to bring together government and industry decision makers, scholars and scientists, to foster dialogue around energy and environmental issues. The friendships and partnerships being formed by participants will, if properly maintained, impact our future ability to educate students, transfer knowledge, and make a difference for our hemisphere.
|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