Researcher Profile

Jackson School of Geosciences

Ronald J Steel

Ronald J Steel
Professor, Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences
Morgan J. Davis Centennial Chair in Petroleum Geology

Work: +1 512 471 0954
Office: JGB 6.114
Mailcode: C1100

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.

Areas of Expertise

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.

Research Locations

Distinguished Educator Award, American Assoc. Petrol. Geologists, 2011 - AAPG (2011)

Distinguished Teaching Award, Jackson School, University of Texas, 2010 - UT Austin (2010)

Walter Excellence Award, Jackson School, University of Texas at Austin 2009 - Jackson School. UT Austin (2009)

SEPM Best Paper (Honorable Mention), Gerber et al. 2009 - SEPM (2009)

SEPM Best Paper (Honorable Mention) award 2007 and AAPG Best Paper (2nd Place), 2008 - AAPG & SEPM (2007 - 2008)

Awarded 6th Century Chair - University of Aberdeen, UK (2006)

Distinguished Lecturer - AAPG (2004 - 2005)

Distinguished Lecturer - Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (2002)

Excellence of Poster Award - SEPM (2001)

Outstanding Research Award - University of Wyoming (2000)

Best Lecturer, 2nd Place - SEPM, Rocky Mountain Section (1999)

Best Paper Award - Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists, Denver (1999)

Dr Steel currently supervises or co-supervises 8 graduate students working within RioMAR (shelf and shelf-margin depositional systems and architecture) IA Program, BITE (Bars in Tidal Environments) IA Program, Campanian Dynamic Stratigraphy (& impact of Laramide tectonics) Project in US Western Interior, as well as newer projects on peri-Tethyan, Miocene Lake Basins (Romania and Black Sea), Deepwater Channel-to-Lobe Transitions (Argentina) and large paleo-Deltas (Orinoco, Colorado).


Anjali M Fernandes

Graduate Students

Woong Mo Koo , Ph.D., expected 2018 (Co-supervisor)
My current research interests focus on depositional processes in subaqueous transitional flows and their resultant sedimentary characteristics.

Keri L Belcher , M.S., expected 2018 (Co-supervisor)
I'm a first year Master's student studying the Campanian age, shallow marine, clastic sedimentary deposits of the Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway in Wyoming. My research focuses on the Blair Formation, which is considered to be an isolated shallow marine sandstone. Isolated shallow marine sandbodies are abundant along the Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway and commonly act as hydrocarbon traps. An integral part of modeling these reservoirs is the determination of their depositional process which informs about the structures and architectures within the formation (that can act as baffles and barriers to flow). However, the depositional processes of these sandbodies are recurrently debated. I plan to integrate outcrop data with subsurface data (such as wireline well logs and core), to analyze the facies/ architecture of the fine-grained Blair Formation, and to ultimately develop a paleoenvironmental and unconventional tight gas reservoir model of the Blair that can act as an analog for other less well-exposed isolated shallow marine sandstones.

Yaser A Alzayer , Ph.D., expected 2018 (Committee Member)
I am interested in understanding the spatial distribution of natural fractures in carbonate depositional systems and the effect of the stratigraphy and lithology on fracture intensity and geometry. I take a process-based approach to understand early fracture development with a focus on carbonate mounds/build-ups. This is accomplished by geomechanical forward models that takes into account variable mechanical properties, differential compaction, and layer-parallel slip to simulate early fracture development processes.

Evelin G Gutierrez Tamayo , M.S., expected 2018 (Committee Member)
My Master's thesis involves stratigraphy, geochronology, and provenance analysis of the basin-fill deposited during orogenesis, as well as seismic structural analyses. My thesis presents 1,500 new detrital zircon U-Pb ages from Upper Cretaceous and Cenozoic clastic formations to provide maximum depositional ages and a comprehensive provenance analysis for key stratigraphic units that span critical timeframes during orogenesis in the Ecuadorian Andes.

Reynaldy Fifariz , Ph.D., expected 2017 (Committee Member)
Carbonate Sedimentology & Sequence Stratigraphy, Seismic Geomorphology, Geo-cellular Modelling.

Rattanaporn Fong-Ngern , Ph.D., expected 2016 (Supervisor)
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.

Valentina M Rossi , Ph.D., expected 2016 (Supervisor)
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 in interpreting the paleo-environmental conditions for tidal deposits, and in particular disentangling the tidal signals from other signals (e.g., storm waves, river currents) within the stratigraphic record in general, and within selected stratal packages. My project is mainly based on outcrop examples of a tide-influenced delta developed in a back-arc basin, and a tidal strait-fill developed in a narrow corridor of extensional/transtensional origin. Additionally, numerical modeling of tide-influenced deltas (Delft3D) is used to better constrain the role of tidal currents in controlling delta morphologies, sediment transport, channel network patterns, and sediment partitioning (coarse vs. fine sediment distribution to downstream). Finally, I am collaborating on a project on shelf tidal bodies developed in the Western Interior Seaway.

German D Merletti , Ph.D., expected 2015 (Supervisor)

Rene R Winter , Ph.D., expected 2015 (Supervisor)

Kelsi R Ustipak , M.S., expected 2015 (Committee Member)
Clastic sedimentology, deepwater depositional systems, turbidites, transitional flow deposits, siliciclastic petrology, experimental sedimentology, energy resources, karst hydrogeology

Eugen P Tudor , M.S., expected 2014 (Supervisor)

Tricia G Alvarez , Ph.D., expected 2014 (Committee Member)
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 the influence of tectonics on spatial and temporal structural patterns, and clastic sediment partitioning through the application of integrated geologic, geophysical and remotely sensed datasets.

Michael Cloos , M.S., expected 2014 (Co-supervisor)

Joshua F Dixon , Ph.D., expected 2013 (Supervisor)
My dissertation focuses on the analysis of the architecture, stratigraphy, sedimentology of shelf-edge deltas and the connectivity between these features and other depositional systems on the adjacent slope and basin floor. Primarily through the study of outcrop examples of shelf-edge strata, my work addresses the role of processes at the shelf edge in delivery of sediment to the deep water, a fundamental step in the formation of deep-water hydrocarbon reservoirs.

Allison M Ned , M.S., expected 2013 (Supervisor)

Nataleigh K Vann , M.S., expected 2013 (Supervisor)
Outcrop based research of slope and basin floor channel and lobe deposits in the Neuquen Basin of Argentina. Sponsored by Statoil.

Julio Leva Lopez , Ph.D., expected 2013 (Supervisor)

Abdulkarim M Alhussaini (Supervisor)

Yuqian(Philomena) Gan (Supervisor)
I have broad interests in sedimentology and stratigraphy with focus on: Slope channel architecture and evolution Sediment density flow processes and deposits Sequence stratigraphy of medium depth (200-500m) back-arc and foreland systems

Eunsil Jung (Supervisor)

Carla Sanchez, Ph.D., 2011 (Supervisor)
Controls on Sedimentary Processes and 3D Stratigraphic Architecture of a Mid-Miocene to Recent, MIxed Carbonate-siliciclastic Continental Margin: Northwest Shelf of Australia

Georgia Huggins, M.A., 2007 (Supervisor)

Sarah Milewski, M.S., 2007 (Supervisor)

Rikke Bruhn, Ph.D., 2003 (Supervisor)
KÝbenhavns Universitet / University of Copenhagen

Anton Wroblewski, Ph.D., 2002 (Supervisor)
University of Wyoming

Manasij Santra (Supervisor)

Daniel Pinkston (Supervisor)

Chris Armstrong (Supervisor)

Ozge Karaman (Supervisor)

Bryn Clark (Supervisor)

Victor Pusca (Supervisor)

Maija Schellpeper (Supervisor)

Ariana Osman, M.S. (Supervisor)

Cristian Carvahal (Supervisor)

Andrew Petter, Ph.D. (Supervisor)

Stuart Blackwood (Supervisor)

Carlos Uroza (Supervisor)

Jennifer Aschoff, Ph.D. (Supervisor)

Carolina Gomez (Supervisor)

2018Spring GEO 383U Dynamic Field Strtgrphy-Ut/Rou
2018Spring GEO 394 Rsch In Geological Sciences
2017Fall GEO 383 Clastic Depositional Systems
2017Fall GEO 394 Rsch In Geological Sciences
2016Fall GEO 383 Clastic Depositional Systems
2016Fall GEO 394 Rsch In Geological Sciences
2016Spring GEO 394 Rsch In Depositional Systems
2015Fall GEO 394 Rsch In Geological Sciences
2015Spring GEO 330K Energy Exploration
2015Spring GEO 394 Rsch In Depositional Systems
2014Fall GEO 383 Clastic Depositional Systems
2014Fall GEO 394 Rsch In Depositional Systems
2014Summer GEO f320L Introductory Field Geology
2014Summer GEO f660A Field Geo-Tx/Nm/Co/Wy/Mt/Id/Ut
2014Spring GEO 291 Dynamic Field Stratig: Andes
2014Spring GEO 394 Rsch In Depositional Systems