Quantitative Structural Geology
Quantitative Structural Geology Research at The University of Texas
The Department of Geological Sciences is the main academic unit of the Jackson School. Founded in 1888, the Department is one of the oldest, largest, and most prestigious geoscience programs in the world. With approximately 50 faculty members, the Department is large and academically diverse. Enrollment is typically about 600 students, which are generally split half and half between undergraduates and graduates. We have more than 4,200 alumni.
The Department has strong ties to industry. Students further benefit from opportunities for employment, research support, and academic mentorship working with Jackson School scientists at the Bureau of Economic Geology and the Institute for Geophysics.
Dr. Randall Marrett leads the quantitative structural geology research program in brittle structure within the Department. Marrett is also a co-PI and founder of the Fracture Research and Application Consortium and the Structural Diagenesis Initiative.
Dr. Marrett’s research concentrates on deformation processes in the upper continental crust where folds, faults, and opening-mode fractures are the most important products. This work is applicable to a wide range of human concerns such as natural hazards (e.g., earthquakes, volcanoes) and the flow of fluids through rock (e.g., hydrocarbons, water, contaminants).
Some common themes that relate his disparate interests are quantitative field observations and analysis, especially using techniques that address spatial and size scaling of structures.
See the Fault Diagenesis research tab for more information on SDI work on faults.
Dr. Marrett currently leads a diverse quantitative structural geology research program that includes field-based research in numerous areas.
The following papers reflect some of Marrett’s current research interests:
- Hooker, J.N., Laubach, S.E., and Marrett, R., 2014, A universal power-law scaling exponent for fracture apertures in sandstone. Geological Society of America Bulletin. doi: 10.1130/B30945.1
- Twiss, R. and R. Marrett, 2010, Determining brittle extension and shear strain using fault length and displacement systematics: Part I: Theory, Journal of Structural Geology, v. 32, no. 12, p. 1960-1977. doi:10.1016/j.jsg.2010.04.007
- Twiss, R. and R. Marrett, 2010, Determining brittle extension and shear strain using fault length and displacement systematics: Part II: Data evaluation and test of the theory, Journal of Structural Geology, v. 32, no. 12, p. 1978-1995. doi:10.1016/j.jsg.2010.04.006
- Marrett, R., Laubach, S.E. Olson, J.E., 2007, Anisotropy and beyond: geologic perspectives on geophysical prospecting for natural fractures. The Leading Edge, 26/9, 1106-1111. | Reprinted in Fractured reservoirs: A compendium of influential papers (2008), AAPG.