Faculty & Research Scientists


William A AmbroseWilliam A Ambrose
Sedimentology, subsurface mapping of clastic depositional systems, oil and gas production analysis, coalbed methane
James A AustinJames A Austin
Stratigraphic evolution of a wide range of marine and lacustrine environments around the world
Jay L BannerJay L Banner
Isotopic methods, groundwater, oceans, ancient oceans, climate change, aquifers, caves, environmental science, geochemistry, paleoclimatology
M Bayani CardenasM Bayani Cardenas
Hydrology and Hydrogeology
Elizabeth J CatlosElizabeth J Catlos
The geological evolution of the Turkey (various regions), Himalayas (India and Nepal), south India (Tamil Nadu), and Slovakia (Carpathians); models for heat, mass, and fluid flow along tectonic structures; developing techniques for isotopic microanalysis; applying mineral equilibria to estimate environmental conditions during dynamic recrystallization; accessory mineral geochronology; stone decay and deformation mechanisms. Overall, I am interested in developing and applying petrochemical and geochemical techniques to the study of lithosphere dynamics.
Robert E DickinsonRobert E Dickinson
Climate, Global Warming, Land Surface Processes, Remote Sensing, Hydrological Cycle, Carbon Cycle, and Modeling.
Tim P DooleyTim P Dooley
Dynamics and kinematics of fault systems using scaled analog modeling, field studies, remote sensing, seismic data, and comparison with published examples; 3D geometries and kinematics of strike-slip fault systems using innovative analog modeling techniques; modeling of delta tectonics, salt tectonics, and segmented strike-slip and extensional fault systems
Ian J DuncanIan J Duncan
Expertise in geomechanic and geochemistry applied to: risks associated with CO2 sequestration; hydraulic fracturing for shale gas production; environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing; and the water-energy nexus. Current research focuses on the scientific, environmental and public policy aspects of unconventional natural gas production, the water-energy nexus, and carbon capture and storage. He has a particular interest in risk analysis, decision making, and legal/regulatory issues related to fracing, CO2 sequestration, CO2-EOR, and energy production.
Shirley P DuttonShirley 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
Peter  EichhublPeter Eichhubl
Fault and fracture mechanics, diagenesis and low-temp. geochemistry, fluid flow and transfer processes in sedimentary basins, deformation mechanisms of the upper crust, structural control of mass and heat transfer in sedimentary basins, effects of chemical mass transfer on the mechanical and hydraulic behavior of fractures and faults, chemical interaction between fluids and minerals
Andras  FallAndras Fall
Fluids in diagenetic and hydrothermal systems, Fluid inclusion techniques, Fracture analysis, Structural diagenesis, Unconventional hydrocarbon reservoirs, Raman spectroscopy
William L FisherWilliam L Fisher
Basin analysis, sequence stratigraphy, depositional systems, petroleum geology, resource assessment, energy policy
Peter P FlaigPeter 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 FlemingsPeter B Flemings
Stratigraphy, basin analysis, basin-scale fluid flow, pore pressures in seafloor sediments, submarine landslides, oil and gas migration, methane hydrates, Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP)
Sergey FomelSergey Fomel
Computational and exploration geophysics; seismic imaging; wave propagation; seismic data analysis; inverse problems; geophysical estimation
Gregory  FrebourgGregory Frebourg
Sedimentology, sedimentary processes, sedimentary dynamics, depositional environments, micropaleontology, mudrocks, carbonates, siliciclastics
Qilong  FuQilong Fu
Sedimentology and stratigraphy, petrology of sedimentary rocks, reservoir characterization
Craig S FulthorpeCraig S Fulthorpe
Marine geology, sedimentary geology, seismic stratigraphy and sedimentary architecture of continental margins, sequence stratigraphy and sea-level variation.
Julia F GaleJulia F Gale
Natural fracture / vein systems in sedimentary and metamorphic rocks; structural geology; tectonics
Omar  GhattasOmar Ghattas
Computational geoscience and engineering, simulation and optimization of complex solid, fluid, and biomechanical systems, inverse problems, optimal design, and optimal control
Herbert S HamlinHerbert S Hamlin
Stratigraphy, sedimentology, and depositional systems integrating subsurface data (geophysical logs and cores) with outcrops. Applications in hydrogeology and petroleum geology.
Ursula  HammesUrsula Hammes
Sequence stratigraphy, Mudrock analyses, Carbonate and clastic sedimentology, Seismic and wire-log interpretation
Bob A HardageBob A Hardage
Seismic stratigraphy interpretation; reservoir characterization; acquiring, processing, and interpreting downhole and surface seismic data; multicomponent seismic technology
Nicholas W HaymanNicholas W Hayman
Currently active projects include studies of ocean-crustal faulting, the dynamics of continental rifting, evolution of forearc basins and accretionary prisms, and mudrock microstructure. Also many projects involve sailing on research vessels to study active spreading centers in various corners of the globe.
Seyyed Abolfazl HosseiniSeyyed Abolfazl Hosseini
Research interests are mainly topics related to fluid transport in porous media. Current research includes: Enhanced Oil Recovery - Enhanced Gas Recovery - Upscaling and Upgridding - Above Zone Monitoring Interval - Reservoir Simulation and History Matching - Unconventional Reservoirs
Susan D HovorkaSusan D Hovorka
Geologic carbon sequestration in deep sedimentary environments as part of carbon capture and storage. PI of the Gulf Coast Caron Center (www.gulfcoastcarbon.org) focused on research relevant to commercial development of geologic sequestration in regions where it is both needed and possible. Monitoring field projects. Petrography and sedimentology supporting hydrogeology in karst and contaminated systems. K-12 and public outreach and education.
Michael R HudecMichael R Hudec
Salt tectonics, 3-D computer modeling, kinematic models for evolution and growth of salt structures, structural geology, cross-section restoration and balancing, seismic interpretation
Martin P JacksonMartin P Jackson
The primary goal of my research lies in developing (1) strategies for predictive multiscale, multiphysics computational models which can be utilized to guide the rational design and fabrication of next generation nanoscale devices and (2) a detailed understanding of the relationship between the synthesis, structure, and properties of nanostructured materials and systems.
Xavier  JansonXavier Janson
Carbonates sedimentology and sequence stratigraphy, petrophysics of carbonate, seismic signature of carbonate rock, seismic modeling, carbonate modern depositional environment
Farzam  JavadpourFarzam Javadpour
Dispersion phenomena in porous systems (hydrocarbon reservoirs and brine aquifers); shale gas; CO2 injection up-scaling; EOR, EGR, and sequestration; nonotechnology in rock characterization.
Charles  KeransCharles Kerans
Carbonate sequence stratigraphy, depositional systems, reservoir characterization, basin analysis, seismic interpretation, seismic stratigraphy, paleokarst analysis, carbonate diagenesis
Richard A KetchamRichard A Ketcham
High-resolution X-ray computed tomography, CT scanning, 3D image analysis, fission-track dating, thermochronology, structural geology, tectonics, digital morphology, trabecular bone
Wonsuck  KimWonsuck Kim
Quantitative stratigraphy, Shoreline dynamics, Morphodynamcis, Sediment transport, Deltaic sedimentation, River delta restoration, Coupled mathematical modeling and experimental stratigraphy, Planetary surface processes.
Alexander  KlokovAlexander Klokov
Seismic diffractions, fracture characterization, seismic processing, seismic imaging
J. Richard KyleJ. 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 LaubachStephen 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.
Luc L LavierLuc L Lavier
Tectonics; the structural and geodynamical evolution of continental and oceanic rifts, as well as collisional environments; numerical techniques to model tectonic processes on crustal and lithospheric scales; deformation; subduction
Jung-Fu  LinJung-Fu Lin
Mineral physics, physics and chemistry of planetary materials, solid-Earth geophysics and geochemistry, high-pressure diamond anvil cell, X-ray and laser spectroscopy
Robert G LoucksRobert G Loucks
Research in carbonate, sandstone, and mudrock stratigraphy, sedimentology, diagenesis, reservoir characterization, and pore network analysis.
Tip MeckelTip Meckel
Stratigraphy, structural geology, tectonics, CO2 sequestration, carbon capture and storage
Kitty L MillikenKitty L Milliken
Petrography and geochemistry of siliciclastic rocks; diagenesis; electron microbeam methods: X-ray mapping, cathodoluminescence imaging; micro-scale reservoir characterization
David  MohrigDavid Mohrig
Sedimentary Geology, Sedimentology, Stratigraphy, Geomorphology, Rivers, Deltas, Coastlines, Submarine Channels, Geohazards, Sediment-Gravity Currents, Sediment Transport, Seismic Interpretation, Basin Analysis
Hardie S NanceHardie S Nance
Stratigraphy, structural geology, hydrogeology, sedimentology
Jean-Philippe NicotJean-Philippe Nicot
Subsurface hydrology, numerical modeling and optimization of groundwater resources, multiphase flow and contaminant transport in both the unsaturated and saturated zones, geochemistry modeling and subsurface reactive transport, Mathematical geology, geostatistics, inverse modeling, optimization, risk assessment and risk analysis
Maria-Aikaterini  NikolinakouMaria-Aikaterini Nikolinakou
Maria-Katerina Nikolinakou is currently a Research Associate at the Bureau of Economic Geology, Jackson School of Geosciences, at the University of Texas at Austin. She works for the AGL and GeoFluids consortia. Maria is a Civil/Geotechnical Engineer. She received her Science Doctorate on Theoretical Soil Mechanics from MIT in 2008. She holds a M.Sc. in Geotechnical Engineering from MIT and a Civil Engineering degree from NTUA, Greece. Before joining the Jackson School, she worked ...
Cornel  OlariuCornel Olariu
Clastic Sedimentology, Stratigraphy, Depositional Environments, Basin Analysis
Suzanne A PierceSuzanne A Pierce
Integrated Water Resources Management Decision Support Systems Sustainability Science Energy-Water Groundwater Management Participatory Modeling
Katherine D RomanakKatherine D Romanak
Geochemistry and isotope systematics of carbon cycling in the vadose zone and in freshwater aquifers; soil-gas monitoring and surface gas flux measurements at CO2 sequestration sites; microbial influences on carbon geochemistry in the shallow subsurface; fate and transport of organic contaminants.
Stephen C RuppelStephen 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
Diana C SavaDiana C Sava
Statistical rock physics for reservoir characterization, quantitative integration of geological and seismic data, seismic fracture characterization, gas hydrates
Bridget R ScanlonBridget R Scanlon
Evaluation of the impact of climate variability and land use change on groundwater recharge, application of numerical models for simulating variably saturated flow and transport, controls on nitrate contamination in aquifers
Mrinal K SenMrinal K Sen
Seismic wave propagation including anisotropy, geophysical inverse problems, earthquakes and earth structure, applied seismology, petroleum exploration including 4D seismology
John M SharpJohn M Sharp
Hyrdogeology; flow in fractured rocks; thermohaline free convection; fracture skin effects; regional flow in carbonate rocks; hydrology of arid and semi-arid zones; subsidence and coastal land loss; effects of urbanization; alluvial aquifers; hydrogeology of sedimentary basins;hydrological processes in ore deposit formation; and hydrogeophysics.
John W SneddenJohn W Snedden
Sequence Stratigraphy, Sedimentology, Reservoir Development and Connectivity, Petroleum Geoscience
Kyle T SpikesKyle T Spikes
Exploration Geophysics, in particular rock physics applications and seismic inversion techniques for reservoir characterization.
Ronald J SteelRonald 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.
Daniel  StockliDaniel Stockli
Thermo-/Geochronology, Tectonics and Structural Geology, Isotopic Provenance Analysis, Archeometry, Geothermal Exploration, and Thermal Maturation
Alexander  SunAlexander Sun
Subjects: Carbon sequestration, hydrological modeling, computational geoscience, fracture/fault modeling Skill sets: Geostatistical modeling, inversion and optimization algorithms, numerical modeling, web-based decision support systems Programming: Matlab, Python, Fortran, C, ArcGIS
Scott W TinkerScott W Tinker
Global energy supply and demand, Technology Administration, Multidisciplinary reservoir characterization, Carbonate sedimentology, Sequence stratigraphy, 3-D reservoir modeling, Resource assessment.
Estibalitz  UkarEstibalitz Ukar
Harm J Van AvendonkHarm J Van Avendonk
Van Avendonk is an active-source seismologist who specializes in the acquisition and inversion of seismic refraction data on land and at sea. Often these seismic refraction data are used for a tomographic inversion. The resultant seismic velocity models help us to interpret the composition of the Earth’s crust and mantle, the geometry of sedimentary basins, and the structure of plate boundaries.
Clark R WilsonClark R Wilson
Geophysics, including gravity, space geodesy, and applied seismology
Brad WolaverBrad Wolaver
Lesli J WoodLesli 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.
Zong-Liang  YangZong-Liang Yang
Dr. Yang's primary research interest is to understand the exchanges of momentum, radiation, heat, water, carbon dioxide, and other materials between the atmosphere and the Earth surface spanning from small (short) to very large (long) scales. This includes analysis of in-situ and remotely-sensed data for the Earth's surface, and modeling studies of weather, climate and hydrology at local, regional and global scales.
Michael H YoungMichael H Young
Ecohydrology of arid and semiarid landscapes; groundwater recharge in both managed agriculture and natural (arid and semi-arid) systems; influence of soil structure and vegetation on water cycling; design and implementation of monitoring systems for above-ground and near-surface below ground environments.
Christopher K ZahmChristopher K Zahm
Reservoir characterization, flow modeling in fractured reservoirs, porosity-permeability evolution
Hongliu  ZengHongliu Zeng
Seismic sedimentology; seismic geomorphology; seismic and sequence stratigraphy; Characterization of thin-bed reservoirs; seismic chrono-stratgraphy
Tongwei  ZhangTongwei Zhang
Gas geochemistry and isotope geochemistry; Petroleum and gas generation kinetics and basin modeling; Fluid transport processes in basins and reservoirs; Organic-inorganic interactions; Unconventional gas reservoir characterization; CO2 sequestration and H2S risk prediction.

Postdoctoral Researchers


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 ...
Athma R BhandariAthma R Bhandari
Zhiqiang  FanZhiqiang Fan
Poroelastic modeling of sedimentary basins, Fracture and damage mechanics of rocks, Borehole stability, Natural and Induced hydraulic fracture, Fluid injection induced earthquake
Akand W Islam
Fluid Phase Equilibria (PVT); Petroleum Reservoir Simulation/Engineering; Low salinity CO2- and Water- flooding, EOR; Data Assimilation, Pressure and geochemical responses in CO2 injection; Petrophysics, specially of unconventional gas reservoirs; Carbon storage and sequestration; Geothermal Energy; Applied mathematics
Hejun  ZhuHejun Zhu
Seismic inversion based on full wavefield information; Statistic inverse problems and uncertainty quantification; Seismic structure of the crust and upper mantle; Numerical simulations of seismic wave propagation

Adjunct/Emeritus Faculty​ & Research Scientists


Lorena G MoscardelliLorena G Moscardelli
Paul L StoffaPaul L Stoffa
Multichannel seismic acquisition, signal processing, acoustic and elastic wave propagation, modeling and inversion of geophysical data
Robert H TathamRobert 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.

Research Staff


Bruce L CutrightBruce L Cutright
Michael V DeangeloMichael V Deangelo
2-D/3-D seismic interpretation and seismic inversion analysis; geological/geophysical database management; development of seismic vector-wavefield technologies; seismic data acquisition and 3D acquisition design
Raymond L Eastwood
Petrophysics; mainly creation of core-calibrated interpretation models for well logs.
Tucker F HentzTucker F Hentz
Siliciclastic sequence stratigraphy, sandstone petrology, continental depositional systems, field mapping and stratigraphy
Thomas Hess
Geoscience software, anisotropic imaging, seismic processing, seismic geometry, deconvolution, problem solving.
Carey W KingCarey W King
Energy and renewable energy generation, usage, conservation, policy, and education; energy systems approaches; energy return on energy invested, net energy; carbon capture and sequestration; nexus of water and energy; renewable energy and electricity integration
Jay P KipperJay P Kipper
Personnel management, fiscal reporting, budget management, contract negotiation, management of geological samples
Toti E LarsonToti E Larson
Dr. Larson is a stable isotope geochemist specializing in novel methods of light isotope measurement that include silicate laser fluorination, compound-specific carbon isotope measurement, and gas chromatography. His current research focuses on developing tracers to probe shallow (vadose zone) and deeper CO2 sequestration and unconventional reservoirs. He integrates experimental flow through column experiments with diffusion-advection modeling to understanding the behavior of tracer compounds in a variety of substrates. He also couples light isotope fractionation with ...
Jiemin  LuJiemin Lu
Diagenesis; CO2-rock-water geochemistry; stable isotopes; geology, geochemistry, and basin modeling related to CO2 geological storage.
Lorena G MoscardelliLorena G Moscardelli
Sean C MurphySean C Murphy
Management of Industry Consortia, Technology Transfer, Nanoscience, Nanotechnology.
Ian O NortonIan O Norton
Plate tectonics, structural evolution of continental margins, reconciliation of observations from structural geology with regional tectonics
Eric C PotterEric C Potter
Oil and gas exploration, Permian Basin, Rocky Mountains basins, Basin and Range.
Robert M ReedRobert M Reed
Microstructural analysis of rocks, particularly small-scale deformation structures and pores in mudrocks.
Harry Rowe
Karl L Schleicher
Ramon TrevinoRamon Trevino
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
Donggao  ZhaoDonggao Zhao
Electron microbeam and X-ray techniques, mantle mineralogy and petrology, environmental mineralogy, nuclear waste management, and materials science.

Graduate Students


Mustafa  Al-WailyMustafa Al-Waily
Tricia G AlvarezTricia 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 ...
Yaser A AlzayerYaser A Alzayer
I am studying the opening mechanism of opening-mode fractures in tight sandstone reservoirs. My research examines synkinematic cements within macro-fractures and micro-fractures in cores and outcrops from multiple formations. I use the synkinematic cement textures and cross-cutting relationships as a proxy for fracture opening history and behavior. In that effort, I employ both standard petrography and scanning electron microscope with cathodoluminescence detector to discern the aforementioned relationships and characterize the fractures under high resolution. The ...
Khushboo Arora
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 ...
Oguzhan Ayhan
Petroleum Geology and Basin Analysis
Marcelo Azagra
Marcelo has more than twelve years experience in innovation and entrepreneurship in Chile providing technology integration services. He graduated from McCombs Business School at University of Texas at Austin with a Master's degree in Technology Commercialization and currently he is pursuing a Master's degree in Energy and Earth Resources at The Jackson School of Geosciences. He wants to continuously generate innovation and wealth through successful entrepreneurship with a focus on energy innovation in emerging markets.
Lauren E Becker
Reetam Biswas
Barry M BorgmanBarry M Borgman
Owen A CallahanOwen A Callahan
My research is focussed on the interplay between fault and fracture permeability, hydrothermal fluid flow, alteration, mechanical properties, and deformation. I am currently working on projects in Dixie Valley, NV, and in the North Cascades, WA. I worked as a geologist in the geothermal industry for 5 years before returning to graduate school.
Sebastian  CardonaSebastian Cardona
Mass Transport Deposits (MTDs) may constitute a critical factor in modeling fluid flow because they have low porosity and permeability values. However the ability for MTDs to act as subsurface seals is, at present, a poorly understood phenomenon. A research project was undertaken in field of the Atwater Valley 349 block, eastern Gulf of Mexico to specify the role of mass transport processes in defining the geometry and transmissibility nature of contacts between MTDs and reservoir-bearing ...
Russell W CarterRussell W Carter
Kyung Won ChangKyung Won Chang
Kyung Won aims to understand the dynamics of multiphase flow in geological porous media. He started his academic career with engineering minds, a BS in geotechnical engineering and a MS in petroleum engineering. He is continuing his ph.D in geological sciences. Kyung Won believes that his multidiscipline background will allow him be a smart bridge between geo-engineers and geo-scientists.
David L Clay
Lauren K CopleyLauren K Copley
Pedro CuevasPedro Cuevas
A Civil, Industrial Engineer and currently an Energy and Earth Resources masters student at UT Austin with a background in Energy Efficiency, Biomass and Solar Energy. Interested develop the natural gas resources in the Magallanes Basin in Chile. Expertise include: Entrepreneurship, Energy Consumption in the Commercial and Industrial Sector; Biomass; Solar Energy; Energy Finance.
Nick Danger
Colleen  DawesColleen Dawes
An Energy and Earth Resources masters student at UT Austin with a background in Environmental Geosciences interested in community and stakeholder engagement to create triple-bottom line solutions to our greatest resource problems in the nexus of energy, water, food and waste. Diverse work and research experience in zero waste planning and development, clean energy technology, nuclear mineralogy and the solar industry. Expertise include: Water Resources Planning and Management; Groundwater Resource Evaluation; Decision Support Systems; Participatory ...
Luke A Decker
Adviser: Dr. Sergey Fomel Research Interest: Seismic Diffraction Imaging Member of Texas Consortium for Computational Seismilogy
Julie N Ditkof
Jeanne Eckhart
Rattanaporn Fong-Ngern
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 Gao
Baiyuan is currently working on pore pressure prediction within dipping reservoirs. She will systematically study the effects of reservoir relief, mudstone properties, and 3D geometry on reservoir pressure. She will also develop simple approaches to predict the in-situ reservoir pressure.
Sarah George
Sarah is a first year master’s student focused on the interplay between regional tectonics and sedimentation. Specifically, she is working on elucidating the timing and mechanisms of shortening, exhumation, and basin evolution in the Andes of northern Peru. Methods include field work, U-Pb geochronology and (U-Th)/He thermochronology.
Menal  GuptaMenal Gupta
My current research is about using multi-component seismology to understand the angle dependent reflectivity of different pure and converted wave modes and its linkage to the rock anisotropy. My interests also include seismic wave propagation in orthorhombic media to characterize fractured stratified formations. Previously, I have been working as a development geophysicist for an independent hydrocarbon exploration and production company. Some of the key projects I delivered include: 3D structural and stratigraphic interpretation, 3D Velocity ...
Patrick J Gustie
Ahmed Hassan
I'm interested in carbonate rock physics and sedimentology.
Christopher K Hendrix
Jessica  HudockJessica Hudock
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 ...
Meijuan  JiangMeijuan Jiang
I am interested in characterizing the reservoir properties of unconventional gas shales using rock physics modeling, seismic inversion, and statistical methods. I use well log data and core data to calibrate rock physics models at well locations, and apply these rock physics models to seismic scale to obtain continuous distributions of the reservoir properties for gas shales.
Tingwei (Lucy) Ko
Source Rock Characterization Geochemistry (Organic, Biomarker, Gas Isotope) Mudrock Characterization Petrography, SEM
Siwei  LiSiwei Li
Seismic inversion; tomography and velocity estimation; seismic imaging.
Jonathan  MajorJonathan Major
I consider myself primarily an applied structural geologist and tectonicist, but I have a wide range of interests and research experiences. My current research is focused on understanding the interactions between structures, fracturing, and geochemistry, primarily focusing on fracture systems found in mudrocks. My dissertation project is assessing fault and top seal behavior in CO2-rich systems by looking at an natural analog near Green River, Utah. I am combining field work, experimental geomechanics, petrography, ...
Faith S MartinezFaith S Martinez
Justin V Mauck
Dylan W MeyerDylan W Meyer
My research is centered around methane hydrate stability and gas migration mechanisms in submarine sediments on continental slopes around the world. I have been working on determine the thermodynamic phase state of the hydrates within these sediments to gain understanding into the formation of these hydrate-systems as well as the sensitivity of these systems to fluctuating in situ conditions. This research is important for three reasons: a) Methane hydrates are an important potential energy resource ...
Canalp  OzkulCanalp Ozkul
The main focus of my research is the study of fracture characteristics and their relationship with structural position in tight gas sandstone reservoirs. I study distribution and characteristics of opening mode fractures in thrust belt systems. I also compare the strain distribution, attributes of fractures in outcrop, and kinematic models in order to estimate the timing of the fracture formation relative to the evolution of the thrust belt system. I use kinematic models in 2D ...
Laura E Pommer
Multifaceted research experience including geochemistry, structural geology, sedimentology, petrophysics, and energy geoscience.
Maria I PrietoMaria 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 ...
Kristie A RamlalKristie A Ramlal
My research interests involve the integration of 2D and 3D seismic data with well data to understand deep-water clastic depositional systems in a variety of structural settings. I focus on: 1. The architecture of deep-water deposits, particularly slope-channels and mass transport complexes, through use of quantitative methods 2. The nature of sediment transfer from continental margins to deep-water basins and its impact on reservoir distribution and architecture.
Qi Ren
Valentina M RossiValentina 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 ...
Kiran SathayeKiran Sathaye
I am a PhD candidate studying the Bravo Dome carbon dioxide reservoir near the Texas-Oklahoma-New Mexico border. My work involves incorporation of stable and radioactive isotope geochemistry, reservoir engineering and multiphase flow, and petrophysics and geostatistics. I am interested in incorporation of data and models from these varying disciplines to better understand subsurface fluid flow.
Katherine R Shover
Junzhe  SunJunzhe Sun
Seismic imaging, forward modeling and seismic anisotropy.
David Tang
Adenike Tokan-Lawal
Fluid flow in fractured (partially) cemented porous media using x-ray microtomography images. X-ray microtomography imaging is used to provide information on fracture geometry, this serves as input for simulation. 3DMA Rock software is used for Image analysis and characterization of the connectivity and geometric tortuosity of the fractured pore space. A combination of the level-set-method-based progressive-quasistatic algorithm (LSMPQS software), and lattice Boltzmann simulation (Palabos software) are used to characterize the capillary dominated displacement properties and ...
Kelsi R UstipakKelsi R Ustipak
Clastic sedimentology, deepwater depositional systems, turbidites, transitional flow deposits, siliciclastic petrology, experimental sedimentology, energy resources, karst hydrogeology
Kristopher Voorhees
Carbonate Sedimentology and Sequence Stratigraphy
Jie Xu
Yang Xue
seismic inversion for reservoir characterization and monitoring
Andrew  YankeAndrew Yanke
My current research interests focus on bridging the gap between rock physics (small scale) and large scale seismic attributes. This problem of scale necessitates an integrated understanding of rock physics models (i.e. both isotropic and anisotropic) and their affects on seismic wave propagation. In broader terms, my research hinges on forward and inverse modeling between subsurface rock properties and surface-seismic measurements (i.e. related to acoustic properties of the subsurface). This area of study ...
Yu Ye
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.
Hanyue  ZhengHanyue Zheng
The Jackson School offers graduate level courses covering a wide range of subject areas in the Energy Geosciences ranging from depositional systems to geochemistry, reservoir structure and tectonics, and exploration geophysics. A course selection is listed below. Students frequently take additional courses in the Cockrell School of Engineering (Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering) and the McCombs School of Business. Please consult the online course schedule to determine when courses are offered.

Geological Sciences


Sedimentary Petrology, Sedimentology, and Stratigraphy

GEO 380G. Construction and Interpretation of 3-D Stratigraphy.
Uses three-dimensional volumes of basin-filling stratigraphy to explore how depositional landscapes are preserved in the sedimentary record and how sedimentary deposits can be analyzed to produce quantitative reconstructions of past environmental states. Four lecture hours a week for one semester. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

GEO 380N. Sequence Stratigraphy.
Organization and interpretation of stratigraphic successions in time-bounded units of genetically related strata. Sequence stratigraphy, as a predictive branch of stratigraphic analysis, provides insight into the origin of the entire spectrum of siliciclastic, carbonate, and evaporite sediments from shallow to deep settings. Laboratory component involves the interpretation of sequences using outcrop measured sections, core data, wireline log sections, field trips, and 2D and 3D seismic data from modern and ancient settings. Three lecture hours and one and one-half laboratory hours a week for one semester. Normally offered in the spring semester only. Prerequisite: Graduate standing, and Geological Sciences 416M and 465K or their equivalents.

GEO 380P. Advanced Reservoir Characterization: Carbonates.
Advanced instruction in the integration of geologic and engineering methods for building 3-D reservoir models of carbonate reservoirs. Four lecture hours a week for one semester. Offered in alternate years. Geological Sciences 380P and 391 (Topic: Advanced Reservoir Characteristics: Carbonates) may not both be counted. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

GEO 380R. Dynamics of Sedimentary Systems I.
Explores the fundamental concepts of transport systems at the Earth's surface, focusing on principles and quantitative aspects of fluid flow, sediment transport, and bedforms, as well as atmospheric and oceanic circulation, complex systems, and the integration of small-scale processes in developing quantitative stratigraphic models. Four lecture hours a week for one semester. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

GEO 380S. Dynamics of Sedimentary Systems II.
Explores the fundamental concepts of transport systems at the Earth's surface, focusing on principles and quantitative aspects of fluid flow, sediment transport, and bedforms, as well as atmospheric and oceanic circulation, complex systems, and the integration of small-scale processes in developing quantitative stratigraphic models. Four lecture hours a week for one semester. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and Geological Sciences 380R.

GEO 383. Clastic Depositional Systems.
River-, wave-, tide-, and gravity-driven processes are examined in modern depositional systems and considered in relation to sediment-flux, base-level, and autogenic changes. Application to the development of dynamic facies models and alluvial-shoreline-shelf-deepwater transitions in stratigraphic data. The equivalent of four lecture hours a week for one semester, including a four- to five-day field seminar. Normally offered in the fall semester only. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in geological sciences.

GEO 383S. Sedimentary Basin Analysis.
Quantitative and applied study of basin subsidence and sediment accumulation. The first half of the course considers theoretical basin evolution due to flexural, thermal, dynamic, and fault-related subsidence. The second half of the course involves in-depth analysis of selected basin systems and includes student research projects and presentations on assigned topics. Specific topics vary from year to year. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. Normally offered in the spring semester only. Prerequisite: Graduate standing, and Geological Sciences 383 or the equivalent.

GEO 383T. Tectonic and Climatic Interactions in Foreland Basins.
Integration of recent advances in the understanding of modern and ancient foreland basin sedimentation, quantitative basin modeling, regional and global climate change, and the geometry and kinematics of fold-thrust belts. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.

GEO 383L. Petrography of Sandstones.
Interpretation of microscale features of sandstones to decipher the paleogeographic, tectonic, and postdepositional controls on sandstone composition and texture. Examines the effects of chemical and mechanical processes in the subsurface on sandstone properties, including porosity. Two lecture hours and three laboratory hours a week for one semester. Offered irregularly. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in geological sciences.

GEO 383M. Petrology of Carbonates and Evaporites.
Description and interpretation of carbonate and evaporite rock deposition and paragenesis. Essentials of petrology; petrography, including identification of grain types, cement types, recrystallization, and dolomitization; and porosity evolution. Global geochemical signals in carbonate sediments, and geochemical processes of early and late diagenesis. Three lecture hours and two laboratory hours a week for one semester. Offered irregularly. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

GEO 383N. Depositional Systems: Carbonates and Evaporites.
Analysis of carbonate and evaporite depositional systems from sedimentary structures, faunal and ichnofaunal associations, grain types, vertical and lateral facies successions within time-significant packages, and sediment body geometries. Three lecture hours and three laboratory hours a week for one semester. Offered irregularly. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.

GEO 383R. Reservoir Geology and Advanced Recovery.
Analysis of geologic controls on composition and architecture of oil and gas reservoirs, with emphasis on reservoir heterogeneity resulting from depositional and diagenetic processes. Geological and petrophysical determinants of fluid flows and behavior. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. Normally offered in the fall semester only. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: Graduate standing; and credit or registration for Geological Sciences 380N, 383, and 383N, or consent of instructor.

Reservoir structure and tectonics

GEO 380C. Advanced Structural Geology.
Origin of earth structures, solution of advanced structural problems, newest techniques, field techniques, and field problems. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. Normally offered in the fall semester only. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.

GEO 381E. Brittle Structure.
Quantitative analysis of folding, faulting, and fracturing at all scales in the upper crust, with emphasis on cross-section construction, subsurface mapping, and fracture analysis. Three lecture hours a week for one semester, and several field trips. Normally offered in the spring semester only, in alternate years. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and a course in structural geology.

GEO 381K. Tectonic Problems.
Origin of regional structural features, complex and controversial structures; tectonic control of ore deposits. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. Offered irregularly. May be repeated for credit when the topics vary. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in geological sciences and consent of instructor.

GEO 381T. Marine Tectonics.
Tectonic processes within the dynamic Earth, with a focus on oceanic structures. Subjects may include fundamentals of plate tectonics; plate motion, driving forces, and mantle convection; evolution of triple junction and plate margins; plate reconstructions; earthquakes and focal mechanisms; structure and geochemistry of the Earth's interior; mantle structure and tomography; rheology and deformation mechanisms in mantle and crust; heat flow, gravity, the geoid, and paleomagnetism; hotspots and mantle plumes; seafloor spreading and oceanic spreading ridges; oceanic transform faults and fracture zones; and subduction zones, volcanic island arcs, and marginal seas. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. Normally offered in the spring semester only. Only one of the following may be counted: Geological Sciences 338T, 371C (Topic: Tectonics I), 381T, 391 (Topic: Tectonics I). May not be substituted for any required geological sciences course. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in geological sciences, or graduate standing and consent of instructor.

GEO 382T. Continental Tectonics.
Tectonic processes, with a focus on continental lithospheric structures. Subjects may include convergent margins, subduction zones, magmatic arcs, and foreland structures; collisional orogenesis, arc-continent collisions, continent-continent collision, and mountain building; formation of supercontinents; uplift and exhumation; orogenic collapse and extensional tectonics; continental rifting and passive margins; transform margins; and the effect of tectonics on climate and oceanic circulation. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. Normally offered in the fall semester only. Only one of the following may be counted: Geological Sciences 339T, 371C (Topic: Tectonics II), 382T, 391 (Topic: Tectonics II). May not be substituted for any required geological sciences course. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in geological sciences, or graduate standing and consent of instructor.

GEO 388R. Radiogenic Isotopes and Tectonic Processes.
Application of radiogenic isotopes to tectonic problems. Particular attention is given to methods and tools in thermochronology and geochronology for understanding thermal histories, uplift rates, slip rates, timing relationships, landform development, and provenance. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. Offered in alternate years. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

GEO 391D. Regional Tectonics.
Development of tectonic theory culminating in the new global tectonics, and application of theory to selected orogenic areas. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. Offered irregularly. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in geological sciences.

GEO 348k/397F Marine Geology and Geophysics Field Course
Field course designed to provide hands-on instruction for graduate and upper-level undergraduate students in the collection and processing of marine geological and geophysical (MG&G) data. The course covers high-resolution air gun and streamer seismic reflection, CHIRP seismic reflection, multibeam bathymetry, sidescan sonar, sediment coring, grab sampling and the sedimentology of resulting seabed samples (e.g., core description, grain size analysis, x-radiography, etc.) Scientific and technical experts in each of the techniques first provide students classroom instruction. The class then travels to the Gulf Coast for a week of at-sea field work as well as on-shore lab work. Two small research vessels are used concurrently: one for multibeam bathymetry, sidescan sonar, and sediment sampling, and the other for high-resolution seismic reflection and CHIRP sub-bottom profiling. Students rotate daily between the two vessels and lab work. Upon returning to Austin, students, working in teams, are expected to integrate the techniques into a final project that examines the geologic history and/or sedimentary processes as typified by a small area of the Gulf Coast continental shelf. This class satisfies field experience requirements for some degree programs. Enrollment is limited to 12 students.

GEO 191 - Topics in Marine Geology and Geophysics
"Topics in Marine Geology and Geophysics" is tailored to graduate students researching active plate boundaries, with an emphasis on marine geophysical and geological data (seismic, potential field, bathymetric, geological sample, and other relevant data) from rifting and passive margins, mid-ocean ridges, and convergent margins. However, the course is open to all graduate-level geologists and geophysicists. The primary goal of the class is to use the literature to equip students with an ability to efficiently read a scientific paper, and recognize the relative importance, roots, and possible future impact of the paper. Each student and lecturer will be responsible for mediating discussions with appropriate materials, including original research. A secondary goal is to provide a community-building forum for marine geology and geophysics students where they can discuss their original research and other goals.

Exploration Geophysics/Seismology

GEO 380J. Mathematical Methods in Geophysics.
Vectors and matrices, linear algebra, complex variables and contour integration, integral transforms, partial differential equations of geophysics (Laplace, Poisson, and acoustic wave equations), and simple solutions. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. Normally offered in the fall semester only. Geological Sciences 366M and 380J may not both be counted. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

GEO 382M. Programming in FORTRAN and MATLAB.
FORTRAN for students without knowledge of a computer programming language: survey of all variable types, loops, arrays, subroutines, and functions; overview of UNIX and MATLAB. Two lecture hours and two laboratory hours a week for one semester. Normally offered in the spring semester only. Geological Sciences 382M and 391 (Topic: Programming in FORTRAN and MATLAB) may not both be counted. Prerequisite: Graduate standing, and Mathematics 408D or the equivalent.

GEO 383D. Numerical Methods I: Computational Methods in Geological Sciences.
A survey of geophysical data analysis methods, with a focus on time series, including sampling and aliasing, convolution and correlation, statistics, linear digital filters, properties and applications of the discrete Fourier transform, and least squares. Instruction in MATLAB and Fortran and solution of data analysis problems using these two languages. Two lecture hours and two laboratory hours a week for one semester. Normally offered in the fall semester only. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

GEO 383P. Potential Field Applications in Geophysics.
Introduction to the theory, measurement, and application of gravity and magnetic and electric fields to exploration and global-scale problems. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. Normally offered in the spring semester only. Geological Sciences 365P and 383P may not both be counted. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

GEO 384C. Seismology I.
GEO 384C and GEO 465K provide an introduction to exploration seismology intended for first year graduate students with a minimal exposure to exploration geophysics. Three lecture hours and two laboratory hours a week for one semester. Normally offered in the fall semester only. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

GEO 384F. Computational Methods for Geophysics.
Numerical methods for solution of partial differential equations arising in continuum geophysics and geodynamics. Focuses on finite element methods and their application to heat conduction, viscous flow, wave propagation, and transport problems in geophysics. Four lecture hours a week for one semester. Geological Sciences 384F and 391 (Topic: Computational Methods for Geophysics) may not both be counted. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.

GEO 384G. Subsurface Mapping and Petroleum Workstations.
Introduction to basin analysis, subsurface mapping, and petroleum exploration using a workstation. Subjects may include common tectonic settings of petroleum basins, seismic stratigraphy, structural styles, and petroleum systems. Workstation techniques include well log editing, lithology interpretation, correlation of tectonic events, integration of seismic and subsurface well data, interpretation of two- and three-dimensional seismic reflection data and structure, and isopach and seismic attribute mapping. Four lecture hours a week for one semester. Geological Sciences 384G and 391 (Topic: Introduction to Petroleum Workstations) may not both be counted. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.

GEO 384M. Inverse Theory.
Vector spaces; model parameter estimation methods from inaccurate, insufficient, and inadequate measurements; linear, quasi-linear, and highly non-linear problems; local and global optimization methods. Emphasis on practical problem solving. Three lecture hours and two laboratory hours a week for one semester. Normally offered in the spring semester only, in alternate years. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and knowledge of linear algebra, basic calculus, and statistics.

GEO 384N. Rock Physics.
Focuses on how rocks, pore fluids, and physical conditions of temperature, stress, diagenesis, and geological processes impact wave propagation, with an emphasis on how laboratory and theoretical results can be applied to field data. Presentation of case studies that outline strategies for seismic interpretation, site characterization, and recovery monitoring. Upscaling seismic and rock properties from the laboratory scale to borehole and reservoir scales. Multidisciplinary approaches to combination of geostatistical and stochastic methods, seismic-to-rock property transforms, and geologic information for reservoir characterization. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. Geological Sciences 384N and 391 (Topic: Rock Physics) may not both be counted. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

GEO 384R. Geophysical Time Series Analysis.
Surveys the following topics in time series analysis with geophysical applications: Fourier transforms, linear digital filters and their design, frequency domain analysis methods (power and coherence spectrum estimation), least squares and related methods with time series applications. MATLAB is used extensively. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. Prerequisite: Graduate standing, and Geological Sciences 325K or 383D or the equivalent.

GEO 384U. Quantitative Seismic Interpretation.
Seismic inversion, a tool for reservoir characterization, post- and pre-stack modeling, rock physics and fluid replacement modeling, wavelet estimation and post-stack inversion, AVO and pre-stack inversion, multiattribute regression and neural network, and net pay estimation. Extensive hands-on training with three-dimensional seismic and well-log data. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. Normally offered in the spring semester only, in alternate years. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

GEO 384W. Seismic Imaging.
Seismic reflection imaging for visualizing the interior of Earth's upper crust. Study of fundamental imaging concepts from a unified geometrical point of view. Hands-on practical experience with imaging seismic data in an open-source software environment. Three lecture hours and one laboratory hour a week for one semester. Normally offered in the fall semester only, in alternate years. Geological Sciences 384W and 391 (Topic: Wavefield Imaging) may not both be counted. Prerequisite: Graduate standing; programming experience and familiarity with seismology are helpful.

GEO 390D. Seismology III.
Advanced treatment of elastic wave propagation in heterogeneous anisotropic media, vectors and tensors, Christoffel equation, group and phase velocities, invariant embedding (reflectivity), finite difference, finite elements, and spectral elements. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. Normally offered in the spring semester only, in alternate years. Prerequisite: Graduate standing, and Geological Sciences 380F or the equivalent.

GEO 391 Multidimensional Data Analysis in Geosciences
Multidimensional analysis of digital geoscience datasets from different sources (seismic, satellite, bathymetry, CT- scan, etc.) using an open-source software environment. This BYOD ("bring your own data") course addresses the first steps of multidimensional data analysis. How does one extract predictable patterns from the data? Is it possible to reconstruct missing data? What is signal and what is noise and how to separate them?

GEO 185G. Geophysics Colloquium.
Open to non-geological sciences majors, but registration priority is given to geological sciences majors. Exploration of a variety of problems in modern geophysics. Two lecture hours a week for one semester, and at least one weekend field trip. Geological Sciences 185G and 194 (Topic: Geophysics Colloquium) may not both be counted. May be repeated for credit. Offered on the credit/no credit basis only. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

Geochemistry, Geofluids, Petroleum Systems

GEO 382D. Crustal Geofluids.
Designed to provide a technical foundation for exploring how fluids drive fundamental geologic processes in sedimentary basins. Includes characterizing pressure and stress in sedimentary basins, exploring the origin of overpressure through theory and characterization, and examining how pressure and stress couple. Problems include how sedimentation generates overpressure, how hydrocarbons are trapped in the subsurface, how mud volcanoes form, how submarine landslides are generated, and the origin of methane hydrates. Three lecture hours per week for one semester, with a four-day field trip to be arranged during spring break. Normally offered during the spring semester. Geological Sciences 382D and 391 (Topic: Crustal Fluids) may not both be counted. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

GEO 382F. Fractured Rock Hydrology and Mechanics.
Introduction to the physics of flow in fractured rocks and soils; fracture mechanics; fracture skins; analysis of solute transport; and methods of characterizing and modeling fractured systems. Class field trips are an integral part of the class. Three lecture hours a week for one semester, with field trips to be arranged. Offered irregularly. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in geological sciences and consent of instructor. Previous coursework in hydrogeology (such as Geological Sciences 476K or the equivalent) and mathematics (such as Mathematics 427K or the equivalent) is recommended.

GEO 382G. Fluid Physics for Geologists.
Flow and transport phenomena within an earth science context. Includes extensive use of Maple, MATLAB, and COMSOL Multiphysics. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. Normally offered in the spring semester only, in alternate years. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in geological sciences or graduate standing and consent of instructor; and Geological Sciences 346C or 391C, 383D or 383E, and Mathematics 408D, 408L, or 427K.

GEO 383G. Geochemistry of Sedimentary Rocks.
The hydrologic cycle, the early diagenesis, carbonate sediments, chemical sediments, and burial processes. Three lecture hours a week for one semester, with laboratory hours to be arranged. Offered irregularly. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

GEO 388L. Isotope Geology.
Relation of isotope fractionation to earth processes; age determinations from ratios of unstable isotopes to daughter products; techniques of mass spectrometry. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. Normally offered in the fall semester only. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.

GEO 390M. Thermodynamics of Geologic Processes.
Applications of physical chemistry to natural systems; interactions of minerals, solutions, and the atmosphere. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. Offered in alternate years. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.

GEO 390R. Analytical Methods: Electron-Microbeam Techniques.
An introduction to electron-microbeam instruments and their applications in the earth sciences. Lectures on relevant theory and concepts are supplemented by hands-on experience. Two lecture hours and three laboratory hours a week for one semester. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in geological sciences or graduate standing and consent of instructor.

GEO 390S. Analytical Methods: Mass Spectrometry.
An introduction to mass spectrometers and their applications in the earth sciences. Lectures on relevant theory and concepts are supplemented by hands-on experience. Two lecture hours and three laboratory hours a week for one semester. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in geological sciences or graduate standing and consent of instructor.

Resource Geology

GEO 381R. Regional Studies in Mineral Resources Geology.
Geologic evolution of a region, with emphasis on factors that control the origin of selected mineral resources. Study area varies according to the interests of participants and other factors. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. Normally offered in the spring semester only. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.

GEO 386R. Geology of Earth Resources.
Same as Energy and Earth Resources 396 (Topic 5: Geology of Earth Resources). Study of geologic, economic, societal, and environmental issues related to the production and consumption of energy, metal, industrial mineral, and water resources. Emphasizes the descriptive geology and origin of earth resources within the context of their overall geologic settings. Three lecture hours and one laboratory hour a week for one semester. Only one of the following may be counted: Energy and Earth Resources 396 (Topic: Geology of Earth Resources), 396 (Topic 5), Geological Sciences 386R, 391 (Topic: Geology of Earth Resources). May not be counted toward a graduate degree in geological sciences or petroleum engineering. Offered on the letter-grade basis only. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

GEO 391 Advances in Unconventional Shale Gas Resources
Overview over shale gas and mudrocks, and the major differences between "conventional" and "unconventional" reservoirs. The course is suitable for students in both geosciences and petroleum engineering programs. Graduate students, engineers and geologist in industry alike can learn and develop a useful knowledge base from this course on cutting-edge subjects dealing with gas and liquid production from mudrock/shale gas systems.

Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering


PGE 322K. Transport Phenomena in Geosystems.
Applications of mass, heat, and momentum balances to fluid flow problems; shell balances; non-Newtonian fluids; transport processes through permeable media. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. Prerequisite: Engineering Mechanics 306 and Mathematics 427K with a grade of at least C- in each.

PGE 334. Reservoir Geomechanics.
Basic stress and strain analysis; pore pressure and in situ stress estimation and measurement; deformation mechanisms in rock; rock fracture description and analysis; wellbore stresses and failure; wellbore stability analysis; fault stability analysis; depletion-induced reservoir deformation; and hydraulic fracturing. Emphasis on applications to petroleum engineering. Two lecture hours and three laboratory hours a week for one semester. Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering 432 and 334 may not both be counted. Prerequisite: Engineering Mechanics 319, Geological Sciences 416M, and admission to the major sequence.

PGE 337. Introduction to Geostatistics.
Basic probability and statistics, study of correlated variables, statistical interpolation and simulation, and global optimization. Emphasis is on the ways the results of these procedures are related to geology and fluid flow. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. Prerequisite: For petroleum engineering majors, Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering 310, Mathematics 408D or the equivalent, and admission to the major sequence; for others, Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering 210, and Mathematics 408D or the equivalent.

PGE 368. Fundamentals of Well Logging.
Principles, applications, and interpretation of well logs as used in exploration and evaluation of subsurface formations. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. Prerequisite: Geological Sciences 416M and Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering 424, and admission to an appropriate major sequence in engineering or consent of instructor.
Unless otherwise noted, student opportunities listed here are for students admitted to the Geosciences graduate program. For opportunities in the EER program, please contact EER faculty directly.

Graduate Student Position in Mineral Physics Lab (Graduate)
The mineral physics lab at the Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences, the University of Texas at Austin invites applications for graduate student positions towards a Master's or Ph.D. degree in mineral physics. The Jackson School of Geosciences has exceptionally well-funded research programs and offers a number of scholarships to support graduate students for an extended period of time. Candidates with strong background and/or interest in physics (solid state physics), math, and geophysics/geochemistry are strongly encouraged to apply. Our mineral physics research programs focuses on high pressure-temperature experimental studies on materials properties using synchrotron X-ray and optical spectroscopies in a diamond anvil cell. Information about the graduate student programs at the Jackson School is available at: http://www.jsg.utexas.edu/. Please contact Dr. Jung-Fu Lin at afu@jsg.utexas.edu for further information.
Posted by: Jung-Fu Lin

 
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

 
Graduate research opportunities in computational seismology (Graduate)
Texas Consortium for Computational Seismology is looking for Ph.D. students interested in computational research. Our group works on a broad range of topics in exploration geophysics, from wave-equation seismic imaging and inversion to computational algorithms for seismic data processing and seismic interpretation. The work is supported by industrial sponsors. We use open-source software tools and high-performace computing resources.
Posted by: Sergey Fomel

 
Graduate and Post-Doctoral opportunities in GeoFluids Research Group (Graduate)
The GeoFluids Research Group has immediate opportunities for graduate and post-doctoral study. Dr. Flemings is most enthused by students who have a commitment to a doctoral program because that allows time to delve deeply into research. However, he also regularly accepts exceptional M.S. students into our research group. If you are interested, please e-mail, Peter Flemings (pflemings@jsg.utexas.edu). Current Research Opportunities: 1. Hydrate Melting: Examine the melting of methane hydrates in Arctic systems. DOE funded effort will examine the impact of warming over human time scales and longer. The project description is found here. We are looking for students and post-doctoral scientists with a fascination for marine geology and a yen for quantitative analysis of fluid flow. 2. Mass Transport in Shales: Study transport processes in shale systems! You will perform permeability testing of shales (e.g. the Barnett, the Marcellus…) and develop multi-scale numerical models to describe mass transport within these systems. The work will include both laboratory analysis and sample characterization. This project is supported by Shell. 3. GeoPressure Analysis: Study geopressure in sedimentary basins through our industry funded consortium UTGeoFluids. Dr. Flemings is always looking for students with a yen to characterize and model overpressure in sedimentary basins. 4. Mudrock Geomechanics: Study the geomechanics of mudrocks through experimental analysis. This research is supported by UTGeoFluids. In this research, we analyze both intact samples (from industry and the ocean drilling program) and we synthetically create mudrocks. We ask fundamental questions such as: How to mudrocks compact? What is the permeability of mudrocks and how does it evolve? What is the strength of mudrocks?
Posted by: Peter Flemings

 
Fault and fracture processes, structural diagenesis (Graduate)
Graduate student projects combine the fields of fault and fracture mechanics and low-temperature geochemistry addressing deformation mechanisms of the upper crust, structural control of mass and heat transfer in sedimentary basins, the effects of chemical mass transfer on the mechanical and hydraulic behavior of fractures and faults, and the chemical interaction between fluids and minerals. Projects usually require the integration of field and laboratory analytical or numerical work and preference goes to applicants that are equally comfortable in the field and in the lab. Research topics include field- and core-based structural geology, geomechanics, geofluids, geochemistry, and natural resources including CO2 sequestration. A current research emphasis lies in Structural Diagenesis which combines the traditionally separate fields of brittle structural geology and diagenesis/geochemistry. Preference goes to PhD applicants with a prior MS degree and MS applicants with undergraduate research experience, preferentially through completion of a senior's thesis. Applications for Fall 2014 should be submitted to the MS or PhD program in Geological Sciences (GEO). Please contact Peter Eichhubl (peter.eichhubl@beg.utexas.edu for further details.
Posted by: Peter Eichhubl

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

 
International Research Experiences for Students (IRES): Closing Oceans: Assessing the Dynamics of Turkish suture zones (Graduate or Undergraduate)
I currently have a proposal in review with the National Science Foundation that requests funds to provide 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. If funded, 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

 
Applied Geodynamics LabApplied 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)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)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)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 SiteDevine 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.

Dual-frequency Geodetic Quality GPS ReceiversDual-frequency Geodetic Quality GPS Receivers
We have 5 Trimble Net-RS receivers, tripods, choke ring antennas. One is with Tiffany Caudle at BEG used to support the Optech Lidar system. The other 4 are in JGB 3.122 and used by various groups.

Electron MicroprobeElectron Microprobe
Installed in 2002-2003, the JEOL JXA-8200 electron probe microanalyzer (EPMA) is equipped with five wavelength dispersive spectrometers (WDS), an energy dispersive detector (EDS), and two image detectors in secondary and backscattered electron modes. The primary aim of the microprobe is quantitative elemental analysis of minerals on a microscale with high precision (less than a percent relative for major constituents) and low detection limits (commonly a few tens to few hundreds ppm)

Fission Track Thermochronology LaboratoryFission Track Thermochronology Laboratory
Enables analysis of fission tracks in apatite and zircon to constrain the low-temperature time-temperature (t-T) history of sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rocks.

Fluid Inclusion Lab (BEG)Fluid Inclusion Lab (BEG)
Principal equipment includes: an Olympus BX 51 optical microscope, fitted for use with transmitted, reflected and UV light; a FLUID, Inc.-adapted USGS-type gas flow heating/cooling stage; a Linkam THMSG 600 degree C programmable heating/cooling stage; and a digital camera. The lab is fully equipped with sample preparatory facilities for preparation of doubly-polished thin and thick sections. The lab will soon incorporate an experimental hydrothermal lab component that will include 6 externally-heated cold-seal pressure vessels (up to 800°C, up to 700 MPa) used for the preparation of synthetic fluid inclusions and for quartz cement growth experiments.

Fluid Inclusion Lab (DGS)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.

Gas Geochemistry Lab
This lab provides the following geochemical analysis capabilities: 1) Wasson-ECE Agilent 7890A gas chromatograph for gas compositional analysis of natural gas, soil gas, dissolved gas, and rock crushed gas; 2) Shimadzu QP2010S GCMS for liquid hydrocarbon compositional analysis of oil, solvent extracts, soil contaminants; 3) TharSFC H/PT apparatus Gas solubility measurement under high temperature and pressure conditions; 4) A high temperature and pressure gas adsorption system for gas adsorption isotherm analyses; 5) SA 3100 Surface Area Analyzer for surface area and pore size distribution analysis in porous rocks and mediums; 6) Foss Soxlet 2403 automatic extraction system for hydrocarbon extraction from soils, oil-bearing source rocks, and sandstones and carbonates; and 7) DIONEX ICS-1100 ion chromatography system for ion concentration analysis of brines.

GeoMechanics Lab (BEG)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 SystemsGeometrics GEODE Seismograph Systems
The Department has 2 boxes (total 48 Channels) with 48 vertical phones and 16 3 component phones).

Geophysical Log Facility
Geophysics SoftwareGeophysics Software
Landmark and Geoquest software is used for processing and interpreting 3 dimensional seismic data.

Isotope Clean Lab (Lassiter)Isotope Clean Lab (Lassiter)
Within the Department of Geological Sciences there are three clean-room laboratories supplied with HEPA-filtered class 100 air where sample preparation and ion-exchange chromatography for isotopic analysis may be done under ultra-clean conditions, making possible very low analytical blanks (e.g., < 1 pg Pb for U-Pb geochronology, and <10 pg Sr). There are also two other laboratories with HEPA-filtered work stations where sample preparation and ion-exchange chromatography are performed. These labs are affiliated with the Mineral Separation Facility (see description).

Nano Geosciences LabNano 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)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.

Scanning Electron Microscope Lab (BEG)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 SystemsSub-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 BasinUT Experimental Deep Water Basin
The UTDW Basin is an experimental tank designed to physically model morphodynamic and stratigraphic evolution of continental margins and other subaqueous sediment transport systems. It is 4 m wide, 8 m long, and 2 m deep. The tank has 5 observation windows, underwater lighting and an array of synced overhead cameras. The facility is designed to map underwater deposit surfaces in space through time and measure fluid dynamic and sediment transport properties of formative density flows.

UT Sediment Transport and Earth-surface Processes (STEP) BasinUT Sediment Transport and Earth-surface Processes (STEP) Basin
The STEP Basin is an experimental flume designed to physically model morphodynamic and stratigraphic evolution of the fluviodeltaic system. It is 4 m wide, 5 m long, and 1.5 m tall. This facility is one of only three in the world with a computer-controlled basement motion, which can mimic 1) fore-hinge (passive margin), 2) back-hinge (foreland basin), and 3) lateral tilting subsidence patterns.

Walter Geology LibraryWalter Geology Library
The primary research collections of the library presently include more than 100,000 book and journal volumes and 46,000 geologic maps, among them the publications of the U.S. Geological Survey, most state geological surveys, and those of many foreign countries. Regional emphasis of the collection is on the Southwestern United States, Texas, and Mexico. The Institute and Bureau also have extensive libraries related to their specific research areas.

Center for Energy Economics
The Center for Energy Economics (CEE) seeks to educate stakeholders on energy economics and commercial frameworks using comparative research to facilitate energy development. Research focus is on frameworks for commercially viable energy projects and the business-government interface.
Center for International Energy & Environmental Policy
In 2005, the University of Texas at Austin chartered the Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy (CIEEP), to join the scientific and engineering capabilities of the University's Jackson School of Geosciences and the College of Engineering with the LBJ School of Public Affairs. The University's first center dedicated to energy and environmental policy, CIEEP will seek to inform the policy-making process with the best scientific and engineering expertise.
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.
Exploration Geophysics
The Exploration Geophysics Laboratory (EGL) develops a wide range of technologies using all components of the seismic wavefield, including seismic field-recording techniques, data-processing and data-interpretation procedures, for improved reservoir characterization and prospect evaluation.
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.
Project STARR
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.
RioMAR
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.
UT GeoFluids
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.
Center for Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering
The mission of the Center for Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering Research (CPGE) is to encourage and develop interdisciplinary research in petroleum and geosystems engineering as well as other areas related to energy and the environment, provide educational opportunities for graduate students, provide an organizational structure for funding new areas of research, and conduct meetings, symposia, and workshops on research topics and provide a mechanism for technology transfer.
Texas Advanced Computing Center
The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at The University of Texas at Austin is one of the leading centers of computational excellence in the United States. Located on the J.J. Pickle Research Campus, the center's mission is to enable discoveries that advance science and society through the application of advanced computing technologies.
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.

Research Groups


Dynamic Stratigraphy Workgroup
Morphodynamics and Quantitative Stratigraphy
Structural Diagenesis Initiative
Field Team 2012 summer field season. From left to right: Dolores van der Kolk, Andrea Miller, Peter Flaig, Doug Hissom, Steve Hasiotis. Posted by Peter P Flaig

Photo set includes images of fieldwork done on the North Slope of Alaska from 2005-2013

Field Team 2012 summer field season. From left to right: Dolores van der Kolk, Andrea Miller, Peter Flaig, Doug Hissom, Steve Hasiotis. Preparing to boat to work, summer 2012.Small aircraft put in, Shivugak Bluffs Alaska 2012.Cretaceous meandering channels and floodplain facies of the Prince Creek Formation, North Slope - Alaska.Cook tent and fall tundra colors, Colville River, North Slope - Alaska.Alaskan dinosaur Pachyrhinosaurus Perotorum skulls and bones loaded into a Cessna Caravan and ready for shipment to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Dallas - Texas.Pachyrhinosaurus Perotorum skull from the previous photo prepared and on display at the  Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Dallas - Texas.It's a rough job, but someone has to do it :) Boating the Colville River during fieldwork in 2006.The Cretaceous coastal plain of Arctic Alaska, Colville River, North Slope - AlaskaBoating the Colville River in a sandstorm.

 

Stratigraphy in the Rangley area of Colorado including the Castlegate, Buck Tongue of the Mancos Shale, Loyd, and Sego. Posted by Peter P Flaig

Photos of fieldwork on clastic wedges of the Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway in Utah, Colorado, and Wyoming

Stratigraphy in the Rangley area of Colorado including the Castlegate, Buck Tongue of the Mancos Shale, Loyd, and Sego.Textbook Ophiomorpha in the Loyd, Rangley, Colorado.Incised valley in the Sego, Rangley, Colorado.Potential tidal inlet in the Loyd, Rangley, ColoradoHummocky cross stratified sandstones of the Kennelworth, book cliffs UtahTidally influenced facies of the Sego, Book Cliffs Utah

 

Joseph Smitherman from the CRC stepping over the edge of an outcrop to help with handheld gamma spectrometer measurements Posted 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...

Joseph Smitherman from the CRC stepping over the edge of an outcrop to help with handheld gamma spectrometer measurementsBrains at work (Drs. Loucks, Ruppel and Frébourg - pic: J. E. Sivil) MSRL field trip 2012 (R. Baumgardner)Just another day in the field (D. Valencia)The truth revealed (Drs. Loucks and Ruppel in foreground, Frébourg in background). MSRL field trip 2013 (R. Baumgardner)Logging a section in the middle Boquillas (D. Smith)

 

Katie at the top of the Ernst member Posted 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

Katie at the top of the Ernst memberThe Rio Grande, with Mexico on the left, and outcrops of the Ernst and San Vicente members of the Boquillas on the rightLogging a section near the hot springsMeasuring sections in remote areas (San Vicente member)Ochotillo flower (K. Fry)Highway cleaning patrolExtensive outcrops of the Ernst member of the Boquillas Fm. overlain by the regional