From plate tectonic and deformation processes to mantle evolution and dynamics and melt generation and volcanism, our research spans the range of tectonics and deep crustal processes.
Research in the Solid Earth & Tectonic Processes theme focuses on the following subthemes:
Research in the Solid Earth & Tectonic Processes theme focuses on the following subthemes:
- Crustal Strain & Deformation Processes
- Deep Crustal Processes
- Evolution of Orogenic Belts
- Fault/Fracture Mechanics, Structural Diagenesis & Earthquakes
- High T Fluid-Rock Interactions
- Mantle Dynamics & Evolution
- Melt Generation, Magmas & Volcanism
- Paleogeography, Plate Tectonics & Plate Boundary Evolution
- Plate Boundary Processes
- Tectonic & Climate Interactions
Faculty & Research Scientists
|James A Austin|
Stratigraphic evolution of a wide range of marine and lacustrine environments around the world
|Jaime D Barnes|
Stable isotope geochemistry, metamorphism and volatile transport in subduction zones, fluid-rock interaction and metasomatism, geochemical cycling, stable chlorine isotopes
Mechanics and kinematics of deformation in continental lithosphere, rheology of the crust and upper mantle, mechanisms of strain localization, experimental rock mechanics, tectonic geomorphology and long term slip rates on large-scale strike-slip faults.
|William D Carlson|
Field, analytical, and experimental studies of metamorphic petrogenesis, with emphasis on the rates and mechanisms of metamorphic reactions. Geological applications of high-resolution X-ray computed tomography. Analytical and computational studies of intracrystalline and intergranular diffusion.
|Elizabeth 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.
|Gail L Christeson|
Marine seismology, mid-ocean ridge structure and emplacement processes, oceanic crustal structure, ocean-bottom seismology, seismic refraction
|Ian W Dalziel|
Tectonics, geodynamics, geography of ancient times, plate reconstructions, structural geology
|Ian 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.
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
Fluids in diagenetic and hydrothermal systems, Fluid inclusion techniques, Fracture analysis, Structural diagenesis, Unconventional hydrocarbon reservoirs, Raman spectroscopy
|Peter P Flaig|
|Peter B Flemings|
Stratigraphy, basin analysis, basin-scale fluid flow, pore pressures in seafloor sediments, submarine landslides, oil and gas migration, methane hydrates, Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP)
Seismology, deep earthquakes, Texas earthquakes, moonquakes, statistical analysis of earthquake catalogs
|Edmund L Frost|
|Julia F Gale|
Natural fracture / vein systems in sedimentary and metamorphic rocks; structural geology; tectonics
|James E Gardner|
Volcanology, volcanic eruption processes, magmatic processes, experimental petrology, volatiles in magmas, degassing of volatiles from magmas, control of degassing behavior on volcanic eruptions and formation of ore bodies
Computational geoscience and engineering, simulation and optimization of complex solid, fluid, and biomechanical systems, inverse problems, optimal design, and optimal control
|Stephen P Grand|
Seismic imaging of Earth's mantle, tomography, dynamics of flow in the mantle, regional seismic studies
|Sean S Gulick|
Studies of convergent margins to examine tectonic influences, structural deformation, fluid flow, and earthquake hazards; imaging and geologic sampling of in situ tectonic and crater laboratories: microplates, triple junctions, transitional plate boundaries, and bolide impacts; and quantitative high-resolution marine geological and geophysical studies of tectonic and climate interactions on glaciated orogenic margins.
|Bob A Hardage|
Seismic stratigraphy interpretation; reservoir characterization; acquiring, processing, and interpreting downhole and surface seismic data; multicomponent seismic technology
|Nicholas 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.
|Mark A Helper|
Dr. Helper is a field geologist, a generalist whose interests span igneous and metamorphic petrology, structural geology, tectonics, mineralogy and planetary field geology. His current research explores geochemical and isotopic similarities of Proterozoic and Archean crust in East Antarctica and the southwestern U.S., the Precambrian geology of Texas, and the origin of epidote blueschists in the Klamath Mountains of northern California. Recent senior honors theses under his supervision have examined the mineralogy of Texas ...
|Marc A Hesse|
Multiphase flow in porous media, geomechanics, numerical simulation, mathematical, modeling, reactive transport, magma dynamics.
|Brian K Horton|
Tectonics of sedimentary basins and orogenic systems
|Michael 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 Jackson|
Salt tectonics, diapirism, tectonics of sedimentary basins, structural analysis of experimental models, reflection seismic.
|Eric W James|
Isotope geochemistry, igneous petrology, analytical chemistry
|Joel P Johnson|
Process geomorphology, feedbacks between channel morphology and hydrology and sediment transport, landscape sensitivity to climate and lithology, bedrock river erosion, flash floods, arroyo erosion, canyon formation, debris flows, environmental monitoring and sensor networks, laboratory flume experimentation, numerical modeling, tsunami sediment transport and deposition.
|Richard A Ketcham|
High-resolution X-ray computed tomography, CT scanning, 3D image analysis, fission-track dating, thermochronology, structural geology, tectonics, digital morphology, trabecular bone
|J. Richard Kyle|
Ore deposits geology, strata-controlled mineral resources, metals & industrial minerals exploration, ore petrology, characterization of ore-forming fluids, high resolution X-ray computed tomography applications to ore genesis & processing, geology of energy critical elements, resources & society, geology & mineral resources of Texas
|John C Lassiter|
Earth's origin and evolution, isotope and trace element geochemistry, the role of crust and lithospheric mantle recycling in the generation of mantle chemical heterogeneity, the origin and distribution of water and other volatile elements in the Earth's interior, and the thermal and chemical evolution of the Earth's core and core/mantle boundary
|Stephen E Laubach|
Structural diagenesis, structural geology, fracture analysis, fluid inclusion and cathodoluminescence studies, rock mechanics, 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 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
|Lawrence A Lawver|
Marine geophysics, plate tectonics, magnetics, gravity, heat flow, seismic studies, paleogeographic reconstructions of Gondwana, the Polar Regions, East Asia, and the Western Pacific
Mineral physics, physics and chemistry of planetary materials, solid-Earth geophysics and geochemistry, high-pressure diamond anvil cell, X-ray and laser spectroscopy
|Staci L Loewy|
Diagenesis; CO2-rock-water geochemistry; stable isotopes; geology, geochemistry, and basin modeling related to CO2 geological storage.
Lithospheric Geodynamics; Fault Interaction; Fault, Earthquake and Seismicity; Finite Element Modeling; Salt Geomechanical Modeling; Pore Pressure in Salt Basins; Wellbore Stability
Structural geology, tectonics, deformation processes in the upper continental crust, folds, faults, opening-mode fractures, fluid flow through fracture systems, applications of fractals, natural hazards
|Kirk D McIntosh|
Structure and development of continental margins along convergent and transpressive plate boundaries; sediment accretion, subduction, and erosion at convergent margins; forearc and backarc extension and compression; fluid dynamics in accretionary prisms; shallow-subduction seismicity
|Kitty L Milliken|
Petrography and geochemistry of siliciclastic rocks; diagenesis; electron microbeam methods: X-ray mapping, cathodoluminescence imaging; micro-scale reservoir characterization
Structural petrology, field-oriented structural geology, the evolution of complexly deformed terranes, strain analysis, deformation mechanisms, the interaction between chemical and physical processes during deformation
Geotechnical Engineering Constitutive modeling Coupled stress-pore pressure prediction Dipping structures Borehole stability Poromechanical modeling of basin sediments, Transient pore pressure dissipation Salt Tectonics Numerical modeling: Abaqus, ELFEN
|Ian O Norton|
Plate tectonics, structural evolution of continental margins, reconciliation of observations from structural geology with regional tectonics
|Timothy B Rowe|
Vertebrate paleontology, evolution and development of the vertebrate skeleton, phylogenetic systematics, the early history of mammals and their extinct relatives among Synapsida, the history of birds and their extinct relatives among Dinosauria, the history of other amniotes, high-resolution X-ray computed tomography, CT scanner, DigiMorph, informatics
|Mrinal K Sen|
Seismic wave propagation including anisotropy, geophysical inverse problems, earthquakes and earth structure, applied seismology, petroleum exploration including 4D seismology
|Timothy M Shanahan|
Paleoclimatology, paleoceanography, paleolimnology, sedimentary geology and geochemistry, organic geochemistry, isotope geochemistry, compound-specific stable isotope analysis
|John 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.
|Thomas H Shipley|
Marine seismology; subduction processes occurring at converging plate margins; the role of fluids in accretionary trench margins and their influence on the distribution of low-shear-strength fault zones; 3D seismic techniques
Research on mantle evolution using tools of mineralogy, petrology, and geochemistry.
|James T Sprinkle|
Invertebrate paleontology; evolutionary biology; fossil and living echinoderms; echinoderm systematics; Paleozoic marine communities and ecosystems; paleoecology; crinoids; blastoids; rhombiferans; eocrinoids; parablastoids; blastozoans; edrioasteroids; edrioblastoids; starfish; stylophorans; ctenocystoids; helicoplacoids; Cambrian evolutionary fauna; Paleozoic evolutionary fauna; Ordovician radiation; Cambrian explosion; environment & earth science
|Ronald J Steel|
Dr. Steel's research is aimed at using clastic sedimentology to address problems in basin analysis, dynamic stratigraphy and clastic reservoirs. I am particularly interested to decipher the signatures of tectonics, climate, sea level change and sediment supply in stratigraphic successions.
Thermo-/Geochronology, Tectonics and Structural Geology, Isotopic Provenance Analysis, Archeometry, Geothermal Exploration, and Thermal Maturation
|Paul L Stoffa|
Multichannel seismic acquisition, signal processing, acoustic and elastic wave propagation, modeling and inversion of geophysical data
|Robert H Tatham|
Dr. Tatham's research is presently on interpretation and analysis of multi-component seismic data. In particular, by considering both seismic P-wave and S-wave data, many of the effects of solid rock properties and pore-fluid properties may be separated.
|Frederick W Taylor|
Tectonic geomorphology and stratigraphy at convergent plate margins Paleoclimate, fossil corals as a proxy for past sea-surface temperatures.
|Harm 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.
Crustal deformation, GPS/Geodesy, active plate boundary processes, subduction tectonics, geohazards
|Lesli J Wood|
Outcrop analysis of clastic systems architecture and sequence stratigraphy; seismic geomorphology and sedimentology of clastic systems; tectonics and sedimentation of active margin basins; shallow hydrocarbon features and shale diapirism; remotely sensed study (lidar, 2-D, 3-D and multicomponent seismic multibeam bathymetry and sonar) of clastic depositional systems.
|Christopher K Zahm|
Reservoir characterization, flow modeling in fractured reservoirs, porosity-permeability evolution
Electron microbeam and X-ray techniques, mantle mineralogy and petrology, environmental mineralogy, nuclear waste management, and materials science.
|Owen A Anfinson|
Specializes in the use of heavy mineral geochronology and thermochronology to understand the geologic evolution of sedimentary basins and their source regions. Past Research Topics Include: Ph.D.- New Insights into Arctic Tectonics: U-Pb, (U-Th)/He, and Hf Isotopic data from the Franklinian Basin, Canadian Arctic Islands; M.S.- Sediment Sources for Catastrophic Glacial Outburst Flood Rhythmites and Quaternary Eolian Deposits at the Hanford Reach National Monument, Washington; B.A.- Stratigraphy and ...
|Elizabeth J Cassel|
The interactions between tectonics, climate, and erosion; Earth surface processes; tectonic geomorphology; stable isotope geochemistry and its applications to paleo-elevation, -climate, and -hydrology; fluvial and alluvial depositional environments; sediment provenance and drainage evolution through detrital mineral geochronology; sedimentology and stratigraphy; major, trace element, rare earth element, and stable isotope compositions of volcanic glass; Laramide tectonics and drainage system responses.
|Lada L Dimitrova|
|Rodrigo A Fernandez-Vasquez|
Glacial geology, marine geology, tectonics, tectonics-climate-glacial interactions, sedimentary processes on fjords, rivers and coastal environments, paleomagnetism (block rotations, anisotropy of susceptibility). Current Spatial/Temporal areas of research: Cz/Pleistocene-Holocene of Patagonia and the Antarctic Peninsula.
|Eric D Kelly|
Metamorphic petrology; mineralogy; geochronology; thermodynamics; mineral chemical zoning; disequilibrium crystallization; crystallization kinetics including nucleation rates, diffusion rates, and interfacial energies of crystal nucleation; numerical models of metamorphic processes used to extract fundamental constraints on crystallization and geologic history; P-T-t path construction
|Jeffrey H Marsh|
|Andrew J Smye|
Radiogenic isotope systematics of metamorphic rocks; U-Th-Pb geochronology; 40Ar/39Ar thermochronology; Thermal models of crustal evolution; Metamorphic petrology; Phase equilibria calculations; Exhumation mechanisms; Subduction-related devolatisation; Fluid--mineral/rock interaction
CO2 sequestration, Reservoir Characterization, Capacity Estimate, Sediment Provenance, Clastic Stratigraphy.
|Patrick M Fulton|
Fluid flow, heat transport, and tectonics; modeling thermal and hydrologic processes; earthquake physics; frictional heating on faults, fault strength, thermal geophysics, geomechanics, overpressure development.
|Tucker F Hentz|
Siliciclastic sequence stratigraphy, sandstone petrology, continental depositional systems, field mapping and stratigraphy
|Nathaniel R Miller|
Sedimentary geochemistry, isotope geochemistry, Earth system evolution, Q-ICP-MS, microanalytics, GIS, Neoproterozoic climate
|Robert M Reed|
Microstructural analysis of rocks, particularly small-scale deformation structures
|Tricia G Alvarez|
Tricia Alvarez is a PhD student at the Jackson School of Geosciences at The University of Texas at Austin. She completed a B.Sc. in Geology at The University of the West Indies in 2001 and an M.S. in Geosciences at the University of Texas at Austin in 2008. Her research interest at the Jackson School of Geosciences is focused on the study of sedimentary basins in the context of their tectonic setting with emphasis on ...
Understanding metamorphic core complexes in western Turkey through petrological, geochemical, and geochronologic work. Focus on metamorphic petrology and studying garnets to identify the pressure, temperature, and crystallization timing recorded by metamorphic rocks. Using data to construct structural interpretation of the region's formation.
|Meredith A Bush|
Cenozoic tectonic evolution of the Tibetan Plateau; Sedimentary basin analysis of the Qaidam Basin
|Benjamin L Byerly|
I use the major element, trace element, and isotopic (Sr-Nd-Pb-Hf-Os) chemistry of abyssal peridotites and mantle xenoliths to understand the evolution of the lithospheric and asthenospheric mantle.
|Owen A Callahan|
Structural geology, geothermal geology (exploration and development), engineered geothermal systems, GIS
|Michael E Cloos|
|Drew R Eddy|
|Adam S Goldsmith|
Understanding the role of radiation damage on helium diffusion kinetics in zircon through the characterization of alpha-radiation damage by Raman spectroscopy a la Nasdala, et al 1995,2001,2004.
Modern thermochronometric dating techniques have become increasingly powerful tools with a diverse range of applications in quantifying tectonic and sedimentary processes at rifted continental margins. While detrital zircon U-Pb is commonly used in detrital provenance studies, zircon (U-Th)/He (ZHe) dating has been shown to be a complimentary tool that not only constrains sediment provenance, but also the exhumation history of a sediment source region(s). In particular, analysis of ZHe lag time - time ...
|Emily Hernandez Goldst|
Novel geo/thermochronology techniques and applications to tectonics. Currently developing method to date serpentinization using (U-Th)/He chronometry at the UT Thermochronology lab.
I consider myself primarily an applied structural geologist and tectonicist, but I have a wide range of interests and research experience. Some of these include metamorphism, glacier-climate interactions, collisional and extensional tectonics, tectonic geomorphology, and isotope geochemistry. My primary field research areas are the Colorado Plateau, Utah, and eastern Indonesia.
|Edward W Marshall|
My current research project looks at mantle hydration and metastomatism underneath the Colorado Plateau. My research will look into the timing and circumstances of the alteration as well as the rheologic implications on the stable Colorado Plateau. Prior research has been in the petrology and geochemistry of the Allsaw Anorthosite in the Ontario Grenville province, oxygen fugacity of the upper zone of the Bushveld Complex and the serpentinites of the Philadelphia area.
|Renas I Mohammed|
|Stephanie J Moore|
My research interests are focused on small-scale processes in metamorphic systems and include: crystallization of porphyroblasts, chemical equilibrium/disequilibrium, rare-earth element and trace element zoning in garnet, and geochemistry of fluid infiltration.
|Nicholas D Perez|
|Michael G Prior|
My current research focuses on brittle deformation within the lower plate of metamorphic core complexes. I am using a combination of structural analysis and apatite (U-Th)/He dating to determine the fault-slip history along low-angle normal faults (LANFs). The Bullfrog Hills and Bare Mountain in westernmost Nevada expose several LANF splays that have exhumed Proterozoic to Devonian rocks during southern Walker Lane transtensional deformation. The cooling history of detachment splays has important implications for the ...
|Timothy A Shin|
Expertise: Tectonics and Structural Geology, Thermo-/Geochronology, Petrology, and Geochemistry. I am interested in crustal and lithospheric dynamics and how they affect our environment and planet. I like to combine field-based geological, structural, and petrological observations with geo-/thermo- chonometric and geochemical analyses to elucidate the fundamental processes that drive the tectonics that have and continue to shape our world and resources. I am interested in a range of problems from extensional to contractional tectonics ...
My research interest focuses on understanding the deep-Earth geodynamics and seismology using laboratory mineral physics results. Specifically, I am interested in using laser spectroscopic techniques coupled with high-pressure diamond anvil to investigate transport properties of mantle minerals at extreme pressures and temperatures.
|Marin C Trautman|
I focus on tectonics, geodynamics and basin analysis. I also have interests in relatively small scale phenomena, such as anisotropy, fracturing, faulting and strain softening/weakening.
|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 email@example.com for further information.
Posted by: Jung-Fu Lin
|Magnetite He dating of serpentinization and mantle exhumation along rift margins (Graduate)|
The goal of this project is the understand the role of mantle exhumation and serpentinization during the rupturing of continental lithosphere and radiometrically constrain the age of serpentinization and/or exhumation along rifted and hyper-extended margins by (U-Th)/He dating of magnetite, olivine, and chromite. Our state-of-the-art thermochronology laboratory at UT is ideally suited for the developmental dating work and is augmented by UT's great ebeams lab (with SEM and EMP) and specially the micro-CT facility. The micro-CT has been key in non-destructive characterization of the samples and image the opaque grains in 3D with micron resolution without destroying them. The project would involve a lot of cutting-edge laboratory work, work on drill-cores (IODP), but also field work on exhumed mantle rocks (most likely in the Pyrenees and S Spain), but other places could be included as well. This exciting project has full funding and is intended for a Ph.D. student interested in petrology, tectonics, and geo-thermochronometry.
Posted by: Daniel Stockli
|Novel Coupled Thermochronometric and Geochemical Investigation of Blind Geothermal Resources in Fault- Controlled Dilational Corners, Dixie Valley, Nevada (Graduate)|
Geothermal plays in extensional and transtensional tectonic environments have long been a major target in the exploration of geothermal resources and the Dixie Valley area has served as a classic natural laboratory for this type of geothermal plays. In recent years, the interactions between normal faults and strike-slip faults, acting either as strain relay zones have attracted significant interest in geothermal exploration as they commonly result in fault-controlled dilational corners with enhanced fracture permeability and thus have the potential to host blind geothermal prospects. However, structural ambiguity, complications in fault linkage, etc. often make the selection for geothermal exploration drilling targets complicated and risky. Though simplistic, the three main ingredients of a viable utility-grade geothermal resource are heat, fluids, and permeability. In light of this, in this Proof of Concept study, we propose a novel integrated approach combining footwall thermochronometry and soil-gas geochemistry to pin-point heat and geothermal fluids in a well-characterized structural context (permeability and alteration) in order to minimize these ambiguities, reduce the geothermal exploration risks, and improve the feasibility evaluation of blind geothermal exploration. While the individual techniques themselves are still quite novel, the exciting combination of the two techniques holds tremendous promise as it addresses two crucial ingredients for a exploitable geothermal resources, the thermal history (heat) and fluid flow and chemistry in an unprecedented fashion. 4He/3He dating, an exciting new technique to recovering thermal histories from a single sample, will be applied for the first time in geothermal exploration. The combination of conventional (U-Th)/He and 4He/3He thermochronometric dating in conjunction with soil-gas surveys is a exciting new approach in the exploration of blind geothermal resource in collaboration with the Lawrence Berkeley NL and the Univ of Kansas. The aim of our proposed work is to develop and test a novel integrated geochemical approach to the exploration of blind-geothermal resources that is cost-effective, efficient, and directly addresses key ingredients of the geothermal resource itself.
Posted by: Daniel Stockli
|Present-day rheology of the lithospheric mantle in the western Mojave from naturally deformed peridotite xenoliths (Graduate - 5 years)|
Microstructure and petrology of upper mantle xenoliths erupted from volcanoes in the Mojave desert in the western US. Correlating properties of these xenoliths to geophysical measurements of seismic anisotropy, mantle tomography, seismic reflection data, and post-seismic relaxation models from geodesy.
Posted by: Whitney Behr
|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
|Exhumation of the Central Alps, Switzerland (Graduate)|
Being Swiss, I have had a long-standing interest in the Alps and over the past few yearsI have had two students working on the exhumation of the eastern Alps (Engadin) and the Molasse foreland basin. Over the past decade different models have explored the role of climate (incl. Messinian salinity crisis) vs tectonics (out-of-sequence thrusting etc.). The exhumation of the northern Alpine external massives (esp. central Aar Massif) in Switzerland is key in solving this problem. We have a detailed study in the western Aar Massif and it has really questioned a lot of the thinking in terms of the late-stage structural and tectonic reconstruction of the Alps and the evolution of the Alpine critical taper. This is also a project a lot of people would be very interested in in terms of the results. I have collected some samples, but a lot more work needs to be done in the field and the laboratory. Some of the sampling might require good fitness etc. or more. In addition to surface sampling, there are also a lot of tunnels and the potential of 3D modeling to really understand and solve this problem.
Posted by: Daniel Stockli
|Thermochronometric Paleohydrology (Graduate)|
The impact of fluid flow on the upper-crustal thermal structure is often difficult to evaluate. We have a suite of tunnel samples from the Alps (Mt. Blanc and new NEAT Gotthard base tunnel (55 km long and just recently completed) that cross either major fracture zones or infolded porous sediment, promoting tremendous amounts of water circulation and depressing the isotherms. For example in the Gotthard tunnel, the temperature in the tunnel is about 45C (!), but drops to about 15C at the location with the infolded seds and recovers to 45C north of the syncline. Similar things can be said for the Mt Blanc road tunnel, but there it's a fracture zone with plumbing linked to a glacial carapace some 2-3 km above the tunnel. I have detailed sample transects from these tunnels and this would or could be supplemented with surface samples. The goal would be do apatite and zircon He dating and to model the long-term thermal evolution of these isotherm deflections. This project and case study explores the implications of thermochronometric data coupled with numerical modeling and the long-term thermal structure and paleohydrology and its possible implications for paleoclimate (in the case of Mt Blanc).
Posted by: Daniel Stockli
|Research in structural diagenesis (Graduate or Undergraduate)|
Fundamental and applied research on fractures, particularly as these studies apply to petroleum reservoirs, is conducted under the auspices of the Fracture Research and Application Consortium at The University of Texas at Austin. The academic program of research, mentoring and teaching is led by staff of the Bureau of Economic Geology, the Department of Petroleum & Geosystems Engineering and the Department of Geological Sciences. Students in the Energy & Earth Resources Graduate Program also participate in FRAC sponsored research projects. For further information on opportunities for fracture studies within the program see the FRAC pages on opportunities in Geology, Petroleum Engineering, Geophysics, and Energy Economics. FRAC welcomes Visiting Scientists from industry and from other academic institutions. Contact Steve Laubach for more information about these opportunities. A key part of the FRAC academic program is the Structural Diagenesis Initiative, a new teaching and mentoring perspective on interacting mechanical and chemical processes at high crustal levels in the Earth. For more information on the initiative see the Structural Diagenesis Initiative web site. If you are a prospective student, please see the admissions information on the Petroleum & Geosystems Engineering or Jackson School of Geosciences web sites.
Posted by: Stephen Laubach
|General Opportunities in Field and Laboratory Based Studies (Graduate or Undergraduate)|
My position does not permit sole supervision of graduate student theses, but I co-supervise or serve on graduate student theses committees, particularly those involving aspects of GIS, GPS, structural geology, tectonics and petrology/mineralogy. I have supervised several undergraduate student honors thesis, both lab- and field-based, and look forward to continuing to do so.
Posted by: Mark Helper
|It's wide open... (Graduate or Undergraduate)|
Prospective students with an interest in any topic related to the kinetics of deep crustal processes are invited to contact me. If you can come up with good science, we can make it happen!
Posted by: William Carlson
|Magma dynamics of monogenetic vents (Graduate - Start Fall 2013)|
We are looking for a PhD student interested in modeling the compositional variations observed in the lavas of monogenetic vents. These short lived magmatic systems are thought to arise from a single pulse of melt formed from a chemical heterogeneity in the Earth's mantle. The importance of chemical heterogeneities for the melting processes in planetary interiors has only recently been recognized and the monogenetic vents provide unique constraints on the role of mantle heterogeneities in mantle melting. The student will be part of an interdisciplinary team comprising Profs. Lassiter and Barnes and their students. Lassiter and Barnes will provide a detailed geochemical characterization of the temporal variations in monogenetic vent lavas and our group will develop numerical models for the geochemical evolution of an isolated pulse of melt rising through the mantle. Comparison between model results and observations will then provide constraints on the depth of melting and the size of the heterogeneity that gave rise to it. Interested applicants can learn more about our previous work in this area from these papers: Liang, Schiemenz, Hesse & Parmentier (2011) Waves, channels, and the preservation of chemical heterogeneities during melt migration in the mantle, Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L20308, doi:10.1029/2011GL049034 Hesse, Schiemenz, Liang & Parmentier (2011) Compaction-dissolution waves in viscously deforming porous media, Geophys. J. Int., 187(3), 1057-1075, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2011.05177.x
Posted by: Marc Hesse
|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.
Posted by: Peter Eichhubl
|(U-Th)/He Geo- and Thermochronometry Lab|
The UT (U-Th)/He Geo- and Thermochronometry Laboratory is a state-of-the art facility for the development of (U-Th) dating and its applications to tectonics, petrology, volcanology, stratigraphy, geomorphology, and geoarcheology. The facility houses: (1) 3 fully-automated UHV He extraction lines with 2 diode lasers, 1 Nd:YAG lasers, cryogenic purification systmes, quadrupole mass-specs, and step-heating apparati for diffusion measurements, (2) a Helix SFT magnetic sector noble gas mass-spectrometer with automated UHV gas extraction system with diode and excimer laser, (3) two Element2 HR-ICP-MS instruments for solution and laser ablation analysis for thermo- and geochronometery, as well as a dedicated clean room and sample preparation laboratories.
|Academic Seismic Portal at UTIG|
The portal is the gateway to the Marine Seismic Data Center (MSDC). MSDC's goal is to support education and research with access to and preservation of academic active-source seismic data. Our partner, the Academic Seismic Portal at LDEO, has a complementary seismic inventory primarily of field data. These cooperating data centers, part of the Marine Geoscience Data System, are supported by the National Science Foundation.
The desktop cathodoluminescence system provides valuable visual information from rocks and minerals not seen using regular light petrography or other electron beam equipment. Here, electrons bombard a regular rock thin section and the sample glows in visible light. A high-resolution digital camera captures the images. Applications include examining carbonate textures, quartz overgrowths and filled fractures in sedimentary rocks and understanding mineral zoning and fluid interactions in intrusive igneous rocks.
|Core Research Center (Austin)|
The Austin Core Research Center (CRC), located adjacent to Bureau headquarters, is the Bureau of Economic Geology's main core repository for core and rock material donated to the university. More than 500,000 boxes of core and cuttings from wells drilled throughout Texas, the U.S., and the world are available at this facility for public viewing and research. Austin, Houston, and Midland core facilities have combined holdings of nearly 2 million boxes of geologic material. The Integrated Core and Log Database (IGOR) is a searchable database for all CRC core and well cutting holdings. Public facilities include core examination layout rooms and processing rooms for slabbing core. Other services are available upon request.
|Core Research Center (Houston)|
The Houston Research Center (HRC), is located on the west side of Houston, Texas, six miles north of I-10 and two miles south of U.S. Highway 290. This state-of-the-art climate-controlled facility is equipped to permanently store and curate over 900,000 boxes of geologic core and cuttings. The Houston, Austin, and Midland core facilities have combined holdings of nearly 2 million boxes of geologic material. In addition to the climate-controlled core and cuttings warehouse, the HRC complex has offices, laboratories, and a well-lit core layout room available for visiting scientists. There are also two conference rooms to accommodate guests attending short courses and seminars. Other services are available upon request. Nominal fees are charged to rent table space and to view core. The HRC has space dedicated for storing samples and cores acquired by NSF-funded research. The HRC curates this material and facilitates continued access to the material by researchers. The Integrated Core and Log Database (IGOR) is a searchable database for all core and well cutting holdings.
|Devine Geophysical Test Site|
The 100-acre Devine Test Site (DTS) is located less than 50 miles southwest of San Antonio, Texas, in Medina County, Texas. The site is managed by the Exploration Geophysics Laboratory (EGL), an Industrial Associate Program at the Bureau of Economic Geology. It is a state-of-the-art public-domain geophysical research facility for academia and industry donated to the university in 1998 by BP. The test site is used for surface-based seismic and potential-field experiments performed in conjunction with downhole and crosswell experiments.
|Dual-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.
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)
|Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope|
Installed in the fall of 2001, this is a 30 kV tungsten gun high-resolution environmental scanning electron microscope (ESEM) with a 3.5 nm resolution in high vacuum, low vacuum, and environmental modes at 30 kV. The ESEM is equiped with a Peltier cooled stage, a heating stage, an EDS sytem (EDAX), a EBSD system (HKL – Oxford Instruments), and a cathodoluminescence detector (Gatan).
|Experimental Petrology Lab|
A state-of-the-art laboratory that consists of three DelTech furnaces for TZM-style pressure vessels and eleven cold-seal pressure vessel systems, four of which are equipped with rapid-quench capabilities. The pressure line for the cold-seal vessels allows for controlled, continuous decompressions. Combined, the experimental facilities allow experiments to be run at up to ~1250 degrees C and from atmospheric to 4000 bars pressure, depending on temperature. The lab also is equipped with a one-atmosphere gas-mixing furnace for homogenization of glasses in controlled atmospheres. Recent funding from the National Science Foundation will allow the laboratory to acquire a Piston Cylinder Apparatus to allow experimental conditions to be extended to 1700 degrees C and up to 4 GPa (40,000 bars) pressure.
|Fission 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 (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.
|Geometrics GEODE Seismograph Systems|
The Department has 2 boxes (total 48 Channels) with 48 vertical phones and 16 3 component phones).
|Geophysical Equipment for Glaciology|
We have a custom built, low-frequency, short-pulse, ground-based radar system to image deep (>100 m) internal layers and the base of the ice sheet. Frequencies used with this system include 1, 2, 5 and 10 MHz. We also have a GSSI high-frequency (100MHz) ground-based radar system which can be used in several configurations and with a range of antennae frequencies. In addition, we have 7 GNSS GPS units for high-precision positioning, as well as multiple data loggers and time-lapse cameras for use in glaciological settings.
Landmark and Geoquest software is used for processing and interpreting 3 dimensional seismic data.
|High Temp. Stable Isotope Lab|
This newly renovated lab is overseen by Jaime Barnes and houses a ThermoElectron MAT 253 with associated peripheral devices and instrumentation (TC/EA, GasBench II, Conflo IV, online silicate laser extraction line, general purpose vacuum extraction lines, Cl purification line). Instrumentation permits measurements of the stable H, C, N, O, S, and Cl isotope ratios of silicate, phosphate, and carbonate minerals, volcanic gases, air, and waters
|High-Resolution X-ray Computed Tomography Facility|
Provides high resolution non-destructive, density maps of solid samples (rocks, fossils, etc) up to a maximum size of 50 cm diameter by 150 cm high (50 kg mass). Equipment: An industrial CT scanner that is an adaptation of medical CAT scanners.
|Hockley Seismic Station|
Part of the USGS Seismic Network, the Hockley Station vault is 472 meters below surface in a salt mine. Site Geology: Located in the Willis Formation that is made of clay, silt, sand, and minor siliceous gravel. Deposited in the lower Pleistocene and is approximately 200 feet thick.
|HR-ICP Mass Spectrometers|
Equipment available: Thermo Element2 HR-ICP-MS with ESI autosampler system for solutions; and Thermo Element2 HR-ICP-MS with Photonmachines Analyte G2 Excimer laser ablation system.
|Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy|
This lab uses Fourier-Transform Infrared (FTIR) analyses to measure dissolved water and carbon in natural and experimental silicate glasses. The lab is equipped with a Thermo Electron Nicolet 6700 FTIR spectrometer and Continuum IR microscope, equipped with automated x-y-z stage and stage purge system so that the spectrometer, microscope, and sample position are all purged with dry air that has <10 ppm CO2 for very precise measurements of CO2 poor glasses. Dedicated polishing facilities are also available for sample preparation.
|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).
|Mineral Physics Lab|
The Mineral Physics Laboratory has a variety of diamond anvil cells (DACs) and relevant facilities that allow the study of planetary materials (minerals, fluids, glasses, single-crystal and polycrystalline compounds) under under extreme high pressure-temperature conditions. The DACs are integrated with laser and synchrotron X-ray spectroscopic techniques to probe material properties.
|Mineral Separation Facility|
Includes shatterboxes for sample pulverization, a crusher, a disc mill pulverizer, a Rogers table, a Wilfly table, a mica table, sieves, heavy liquids and Franz magnetic separators for mineral separation.
|Ocean-Bottom Seismometer (OBS)|
An Ocean-Bottom Seismometer (OBS) is a seismometer that can be deployed on the seafloor for weeks or months, recording either earthquakes or man-made seismic signals. To withstand pressures at large depth (up to 5500 m) in the oceans, all electronics of this instrument are kept inside a glass sphere which can withstand such pressures. The sensors of all instruments (discussed below) include a 3-component accelerometer and a hydrophone, all designed for seismic data with a dominant frequency near 10 Hz. The seismic data are recorded on flash memory. Correct timing of the seismic recording is provided by an accurate clock, which also resides inside the sphere. After a seismic study on the seafloor is complete, the instrument is brought back to the sea surface using an acoustic release mechanism. UTIG has long been involved in marine seismology. The development of a UTIG OBS instrument program began in 1978.
There are several aspects to our laboratory that make it different from others. One is our automatic handler system created at California Institute of Technology and adapted for our needs. Scientists and students can keep up with changes to our system by keeping in touch with the other 6 similar systems in the world and RAPID Consortium at http://rapid.gps.caltech.edu/. It also includes a cryogenic magnetometer and portable magnetic susceptibility meter (TerraPlus KT-10 Plus).
Micro-scale imaging of rocks using directly observed visible light. Equipment: Low-power stereo microscopes, high resolution low-magnification scanned imaging, transmitted and reflected cross-polarized microscopy, high resolution 3D light microscopy (Edge R400) UV-stimulated fluorescence microscopy, microscope-mounted CL Photomicrography systems for all of these methods, both digital (Polaroid DMC) and conventional film.
|Portable High-Resolution Multichannel Seismic System (MCS)|
UTIG owns and maintains elements of a self-contained, portable, high resolution multichannel seismic (MCS) system that has been used over the past several years in salt- and fresh-water depths from ~4m to over 1km, on vessels from 10m to 35m in length. The 24-channel system is designed to be transported worldwide and to be installed on vessels of opportunity. Survey design, navigation, data acquisition, and near real-time MCS processing can be performed on non-dedicated laptops in the field. Deployment and recovery of gear is done by hand, requiring as few as 3 persons. The only constraints on the system are weight limits of the vessel and electrical requirements of the dedicated air compressors. For platforms with insufficient electrical capabilities, a fuel-powered generator or air compressor can be rented as a substitute.
|Quadrupole ICP Mass Spectrometer|
The Quadrupole ICP-MS laboratory (with laser ablation) is used for elemental determinations in a wide range of liquid (e.g., natural waters, dissolved sediments/rocks, digested biomass) and solid (e.g., rocks, minerals, glasses) samples. The ICP-MS instrument is an Agilent 7500ce, capable of measuring trace element concentrations in solution over a nine-order linear dynamic range, from ppt to 100s of ppm. Sample introduction systems include a Micromist concentric nebulizer with a Peltier-cooled spray chamber for aspirating solutions, and a New-Wave UP¬193-FX 193 nm excimer laser ablation system for micro-sampling of solids. Sub-ppm detection limits are obtained routinely by laser ablation. The Agilent 7500ce is equipped with a collision/reaction cell, allowing for quantification of environmentally important matrix/plasma-sensitive elements such as As, Se, and Fe. The instrument is housed in a positive-pressure HEPA-filtered laboratory equipped with a weighing station, laminar flow bench, and Type 1 (18.2 M?) ultrapure water station.
|Scanning Electron Microscope Lab (DGS)|
Installed in 2008, this is a high-performance, 30 kV tungsten gun scanning electron microscope with a high resolution of 3.0 nm. The low vacuum mode allows for observation of specimens which cannot be viewed at high vacuum due to a non-conductive surface. This SEM has three detector systems - secondary electron (SE), backscattered electron (BSE), and X-ray EDS detectors.
The structural geology lab is where rocks are processed for structural geology and tectonics research. Storage space and all necessary equipment are available for preparing slabs, thin sections, and mineral separation for geochronology.
|Sub-Bottom Profiling Systems|
UTIG owns and maintains an integrated sonar system for use in conducting Compressed High Intensity Radar Pulse (CHIRP) subbottom profiling of the upper sediment layers of the ocean bottom or various fresh water systems. The 3200-XS system was purchased in 2007 from Edgetech Corp. of West Wareham, MA (see www.edgetech.com) and can be deployed in water depths from ~2 m to >300 m with an optimum towing height of 3-5 m above seafloor. Deployment and recovery of the towfish can be done by shipboard winches for shallower deployments or a larger UTIG-owned Electro-Hydraulic winch. Constraints on vessel size are dependent on shipboard winches capability of handling either the large (190kg SB-512i) or small (76 kg SB-216S) towfish. Power control, navigation, video display, data acquisition and data storage are all performed by one topside processing unit. The system can be powered by 18-36 VDC or 110/240 VAC (auto-ranging). The system is presently comprised of: 3200-XS topside computer processor, 4-transducer SB-512i towfish, 1-transducer SB-216s towfish, electro-hydraulic winch with 500 m of armored tow cable, 3 shallow water tow cables of 10, 25, and 50 m length, GPS navigation system.
|Superconducting Gravimeter Lab|
A GWR superconducting gravimeter (precision ~0.01 micrGals) configured to be transportable, used in hydrologic and other studies. This is usually deployed in the field for campaigns of months and longer.
|Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometry (TIMS) Lab|
Measures the isotopic compositions and elemental concentrations of Rb-Sr, Sm-Nd, Lu-Hf, U-Th-Pb, Li, B, Mg, K, Zr, and REE. Equipment: Seven-collector Finnigan-MAT 261 thermal ionization mass spectrometer (1987) A single-channel ion-counting systems.
|U-Pb Geochronology Clean Labs|
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 supported by the departmental sample preparation facility, which includes shatterboxes for sample pulverization, and a crusher, a disc mill pulverizer, a Rogers table, a Wilfly table, a mica table, sieves, heavy liquids and Franz magnetic separators for mineral separation.
This lab is equipped with a Spectrex PC-2200 Laser Particle Counter and several sets of 8" brass mesh sieves to analyze volcanic particles in sizes from centimeters down to 1 micrometer for determining size distributions of volcanic tephra deposits and their componentry.
|Walter 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 Computational Geosciences & Optimization|
The Center for Computational Geosciences and Optimization addresses modeling of the solid and fluid earth systems, with emphasis on large scale simulation and inversion on supercomputers. Problems of interest include forward and inverse modeling of regional and global seismic wave propagation, mantle convection, atmospheric and subsurface contaminant transport, ocean dynamics, and flow in porous media. Research in the CCGO is conducted jointly with collaborators from the Jackson School of Geosciences, other ICES centers, the College of Engineering, the Department of Computer Sciences, other universities including Carnegie Mellon, Penn, MIT, Columbia, and Emory, and Sandia National Labs. Related inverse and optimization problems in the mechanical and biomedical engineering sciences are also being pursued.
|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.
|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.
|High-Resolution X-ray Computed Tomography Facility|
The High-Resolution X-ray Computed Tomography Facility at The University of Texas at Austin (UTCT) is a national shared multi-user facility supported by the Instrumentation and Facilities Program of NSF's Earth Sciences (EAR) directorate. UTCT offers scientific researchers across the earth, biological and engineering sciences access to a completely nondestructive technique for visualizing features in the interior of opaque solid objects, and for obtaining digital information on their 3D geometries and properties.
|Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation|
The George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) is a national, networked, simulation resource that includes geographically-distributed, shared-use, next-generation experimental research Equipment Sites built and operated to advance earthquake engineering research and education through collaborative and integrated experimentation, theory, data archiving, and model-based simulation. The goal of NEES is to accelerate progress in earthquake engineering research and to improve the seismic design and performance of civil and mechanical infrastructure systems through the integration of people, ideas, and tools in a collaboratory environment. Open access to and use of NEES research facilities and data by all elements of the earthquake engineering community, including researchers, educators, students, practitioners, and information technology experts, is a key element of this goal.
A program of research into plate tectonics and geologic reconstructions, the PLATES Project is supported by an industry consortium. Our primary objectives are to model past and present plate movement, compile comprehensive databases, develop plate motion computer software and apply plate motion models.
|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.
|Texas Consortium for Computational Seismology|
The mission of the Texas Consortium for Computational Seismology is to address the most important and challenging research problems in computational geophysics as experienced by the energy industry while educating the next generation of research geophysicists and computational scientists.