Student Profile

Jackson School of Geosciences

Jonathan Major

Jonathan  Major
Ph.D., Geological Sciences, The University of Texas at Austin, expected 2017
M.S., Geology, Brigham Young University, 2011
B.S., Geology, Brigham Young University, 2008

Mobile: 8013762046


I consider myself primarily an applied structural geologist and tectonicist, but I have a wide range of interests and research experiences. In the Jackson School I work with the FRAC group at the Bureau of Economic Geology. My current research is focused on understanding the interactions between structures, fracturing, and geochemistry, primarily focusing on fracture systems found in mudrocks. More specifically, my dissertation 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, petrology, and numerical modeling to do this. The primary application of my work is long-term carbon sequestration, but it also has relevance to CO2-injection for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) and mudrock fracture systems in general.

My primary field research areas are the Colorado Plateau in Utah, and eastern Indonesia where I conducted my MS thesis.

Current Research Projects

Natural fractures in mudrocks and top seal integrity: insights from diagenesis, rock mechanics, and modeling applied to CO2 sequestration and hydrocarbon exploration. ( view )

Past Research Projects

Evolution and Emergence of the Hinterland in the Active Banda Arc-Continent Collision: Insights from the Metamorphic Rocks and Coral Terraces of Kisar Island

Tectonic Hazards and Seismic History of Eastern Indonesia

Earthquake hazards of the Wasatch Front

Off Campus Research Fellowship - Jackson School of Geosciences (2012 - 2013)

BYU Graduate Research Fellowship - Brighan Young University Graduate Studies (2009)

Outstanding Teaching Assistant - Dept. of Geological Sciences, Brigham Young University (2008 - 2009)

Wm. Revell Phillips Scholarship - Dept. of Geological Sciences, Brigham Young University (2008 - 2010)

ORCA Research Grant (Undergraduate) - Brigham Young University Office of Research and Creative Activities (2007)

Academy of Sciences Graduate - Mountain View High School (Orem, Utah) (2002)

AP Scholar with Distinction - The College Board (2002)

Outstanding Achievement in Earth Systems - Lakeridge Jr. High School (Orem, Utah) (1998 - 1999)

Session Convener and Chair, Fractures and Fracturing in Chemically Reactive Environments, AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco (2015)

Co-trip leader, FRAC Structural Diagenesis Field Trip, NV, UT, CO (2014)

Historian, BYU Geology Club (2009 - 2010)

Effect of natural CO2-related alteration on the mechanical and flow properties of reservoir rock and shale caprock with application for CO2 sequestration, Jackson School iPGST Seminar Series, Austin, TX (2017)

The Previously Unknown Seismic History of Eastern Indonesia: What 400 Years of Dutch Colonial Records Reveal, Jackson School UTIG Brown Bag Seminar, Austin, TX (2015)

Effect of chemical environment and rock composition on fracture mechanics properties of reservoir lithologies in context of CO2 sequestration, American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA (2015)

Effect of natural CO2 alteration on seal capacity of shale caprock: observations from the Crystal Geyser analog, 14th Annual Conference on Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Sequestration, Pittsburgh, PA (2015)

The effect of CO2-related diagenesis on geomechanical failure parameters: fracture testing of CO2-altered reservoir and seal rocks from a natural analog at Crystal Geyser, Utah, American Rock Mechanics Association's 48th Mechanics / Geomechanics Symposium, Minneapolis, MN (2014)

Fracture Mechanics in reactive CO2 Systems, Fracture Research & Application Consortium (FRAC) Annual Meeting, Hill Country, TX (2014)

Evolution and Emergence of the Hinterland in the Active Banda Arc-Continent Collision: Insights from the Metamorphic Rocks and Coral Terraces of Kisar Island, Jackson School iPGST Seminar, Austin, TX (2011)

Tectonics and Seismic History of Eastern Indonesia, Universitas Pembangunan Nasional Veteran, Yogyakarta, Indonesia (2008)

A few favorite photos from field trips and field work I have been involved in with the Jackson School.

Epic pictures from some epic places

Jon's Geopoetics
My geology/science blog including travels, research, books, and things I've learned from other geoscientists

Fracture Research and Application Consortium, the research group I am involved in

Joint CO2 sequestration research program website that funded my PhD research

In Harm's Way
This organization was organized by my MS supervisor to conduct outreach relating to hazards research I have been involved in