Hydrogeology/Glaciology

The Jackson School has a long tradition of leadership in fundamental and applied studies of liquid and solid water. Our research addresses broad questions such as: How is water distributed and routed through the Earth’s surface and subsurface? What are the impacts of human activities on water resource availability and quality? How are different components of the Earth system including the biosphere linked, and what is the role of water in these linkages? How will the hydrosphere and cryosphere respond to climate change? Researchers use complementary high-performance computing, laboratory experiments and measurements, and intensive field work in order to address these questions.


Hydrogeologists and hydrologists in the Jackson School have expertise in aqueous and microbial geochemistry, isotope geochemistry, physical hydrogeology, surface water hydrology, vadose zone hydrology, ecohydrology, and hydrogeophysics. Glaciologists in the Jackson School have expertise in ice sheet evolution and dynamics, supra-, sub- and englacial hydraulic systems, and the geologic setting of ice sheets.

Jackson School researchers and students are currently investigating hydrogeologic and glacial processes around the world. Some of our studies are conducted in Greenland, Antarctica, the Pacific Islands, Australia, Mexico, Chile, Switzerland, Egypt, and China, in addition to studying the hydrogeology of Austin’s interesting karst landscape and other parts of Texas. Some researchers also study ice sheets and potential water flow paths on Mars and Europa.

Faculty

Jay L Banner

Jay L Banner

Isotopic methods, sustainability, groundwater, oceans, ancient oceans, climate change, aquifers, caves, environmental science, geochemistry, paleoclimatology, urbanization, environmental justice.
M Bayani Cardenas

M Bayani Cardenas

Hydrology and Hydrogeology
Ginny Catania

Ginny Catania

Ice sheet mass balance, ice dynamics, subglacial hydrology, ice sheet stratigraphy, radar, GPS methods, uncertainty in ice sheet response to climate, satellite observations, remote-sensing observations, outlet glaciers, Greenland, glaciology, Antarctica, sea level, ice-ocean interactions.
Ashley M Matheny

Ashley M Matheny

Ecohydrology, Bio- and Micro-meteorology, Vegetation Hydrodynamics, Watershed Hydrology, Land-Atmosphere Interactions, Biogeochemistry, Water and Carbon Cycles, and Modeling
Daniella M Rempe

Daniella M Rempe

Hydrology, Geomorphology, Ecohydrology, Catchment Hydrology, Near-surface Geophysics, Hydrogeology
Demian M Saffer

Demian M Saffer

Active tectonics, fault/sediment mechanics, geohydrology.

Lecturers

Marcus Gary

Marcus Gary

Karst Hydrogeology
Jeffrey G Paine

Jeffrey G Paine

Near-surface geophysics in hydrogeology and environmental and Quaternary geology; coastal geology; Quaternary geology and geomorphology; computer applications in the geological sciences
Kenneth W Wisian

Kenneth W Wisian

Geothermal Geophysics, SETI, Exoplanets, Space Exploration, Disaster Response, Recovery & Resiliency, Military Technology Applications, International Affairs, Innovation, Curriculum Development

Affiliated Faculty

Kathy Ellins

Kathy Ellins

Geoscience education; Discipline Based Education Research (DBER); teacher professional development; geoscience curriculum development; undergraduate geoscience teacher preparation; climate literacy; geoscience, art and design engagement

Emeriti

Philip C Bennett

Philip C Bennett

Aqueous geochemistry, geomicrobiology, environmental and microbial geochemistry, hydrogeology
John M Sharp

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.

Research Scientists

Ian J Duncan

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 ...
Seyyed Abolfazl Hosseini

Seyyed 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 Hovorka

Susan 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 ...
Jean Nicot

Jean 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
Sheng  Peng

Sheng Peng

Multi-scale pore system characterization; Fluid flow in porous media; Unconventional reservoir
Bridget R Scanlon

Bridget 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
Alex  Sun

Alex 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
Kenneth W Wisian

Kenneth W Wisian

Geothermal Geophysics, SETI, Exoplanets, Space Exploration, Disaster Response, Recovery & Resiliency, Military Technology Applications, International Affairs, Innovation, Curriculum Development
Kehua  You

Kehua You

Methane Hydrate, Hydrogeology, Flow and Transport in Porous Media, Analytical and Numerical Modeling
Duncan A Young

Duncan A Young

Polar remote sensing (especially areogeophysics), glaciology and geoscience. Member of the Europa Clipper project science group, a mission to Jupiters ocean world Europa. Lead for the Europa Clipper's radar instrument's (REASON) Science Data System and science requirements validation and verification. Ice-rock physical interactions in an ice ...
Michael H Young

Michael 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.

Research Staff

Marcus Gary

Marcus Gary

Karst Hydrogeology
Rebecca C Smyth

Rebecca C Smyth

Current: Design and oversight of monitoring for CO2 at geologic sequestration sites; hydrogeologic characterization of industrial sites where subsurface materials and groundwater have been contaminated or have the potential of becoming contaminated, including environmental assessment of sites impacted by petroleum exploration and production activities. Past: Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) ...

Graduate Students

Emily Bamber

I am a PhD student in the Planetary Surface Processes lab My current research addresses the past evolution of impact crater lakes on Mars, Earth, and elsewhere with fieldwork, satellite observations and landscape modelling.
Noah K Benitez-Nelson

Noah K Benitez-Nelson

Cansu  Demir

Cansu Demir

With increasing concerns on global climate change, there has been a growing interest in the potential impacts of it to groundwater reservoirs along with the surface waters. My principal research interest is based on the interaction between these major reservoirs in regional and local scales with the emphasis on water ...

Sophie A Goliber

Sophie Goliber has been a Geological Sciences PhD student at UTIG since August 2017. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Buffalo where she got into remote sensing and glaciology research. Her fascination with the cryosphere drew her to UTIG and working with Ginny Catania who shared her interests ...

Alexander Janelle

Katherine L Jones

Katherine L Jones

I use remote sensing and modeling tools to quantify the land use and ecosystem services impacts of renewable energy (wind and solar) expansion, with a focus on the west Texas region. My broader research interests include remote sensing, applications of modeling tools to geologic problems, and aqueous geochemistry.
Evan King

Evan King

Evan is a MS student advised by Dr. Daniella Rempe. Evan's research focuses on understanding subsurface hydrological processes, primarily in the vadose zone. Her study area is the Eel River Critical Zone Observatory (ERCZO), where she uses field measurements and geochemical data to understand how water flows change seasonally in ...

Christopher S Linick

I am a geophysicist with roots in geodesy. I study inverse problems at the intersection of hydrology and geodesy; for instance, currently I am working to quantify snowpack across the Sierra Nevada of California from dense GPS observations of crustal deformation and other data types. I also work with gravimeters, ...

Tyson McKinney

Neelarun Mukherjee

Neelarun Mukherjee

My primary research interest lies in modeling transport and flows in the subsurface. My goal is to address the growing drinking water crisis due to groundwater contamination around the world by developing robust models to explain complex transport phenomena in the subsurface, primarily in the vadose and the critical zones ...
Ana Maria  Restrepo Acevedo

Ana Maria Restrepo Acevedo

I am interested in studying the potential effects of ecological stresses, specifically drought, disturbance, and salinity, in forest ecosystems at tree-level scale and how can this understanding informs a global perspective. Moreover, I want to determine how forests' ecosystems react to more frequent and severe ecological stress events due to ...
Kevin W Shionalyn

Kevin W Shionalyn

ice-ocean interactions, glaciology, geophysics
Ebony  Williams

Ebony Williams

Shuai  Yan

Shuai Yan

Graduate and undergraduate research in geologic sequestration of CO2

Graduate
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

Hydrogeochemical investigations in urban riparian zones

Graduate
Hydrogeochemical investigations in urban riparian zones
Posted by: Darrel Tremaine

Speleothems and cave monitoring

Graduate
Speleothems and cave monitoring
Posted by: Darrel Tremaine

Stable isotopes as hydroclimatic indicators

Undergraduate
I am looking for an undergraduate student researcher to work on the analysis of stable isotopes in natural waters and plant materials. No experience necessary. The student researcher will be trained in extracting water samples on a vacuum system and analysis of stable isotopes using a laser spectrometer. Depending on progress, there may be opportunities to publish this research
Posted by: Timothy Shanahan

Paleoclimate reconstructions in the southern Rocky Mountains

Undergraduate
I am looking for one or more undergraduate student researchers to work on paleoclimate reconstructions in the southern Rockies using geochemical indicators in lake sediments. No experience necessary. Depending on progress, there will be opportunities to publish.
Posted by: Timothy Shanahan

Urbanization and water resources (NSF Hydrologic Sciences Program)

Graduate
Our group studies the impacts of urbanization on hydrologic systems using geochemical, field, laboratory, and modeling methods. New opportunities for graduate research in this area are available for students applying for Fall admission. Contact Jay Banner at banner@jsg.utexas.edu.
Posted by: Jay Banner

NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates

Undergraduate
This summer program trains and supports undergraduates to undertake environmental science research. Details may be found at https://www.esi.utexas.edu/education/summer-research-experience-for-undergraduates-reu/.
Posted by: Jay Banner

NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates

Undergraduate
This summer program trains and supports undergraduates to undertake environmental science research. Details may be found at https://www.esi.utexas.edu/education/summer-research-experience-for-undergraduates-reu/.
Posted by: Jay Banner

CRESSLE: Community Resilience integrated into an Earth System Science Learning Ecosystem (NSF Cultural Transformation of the Geoscience Community Program)

Graduate
CRESSLE represents an emerging approach to environmental resilience that emphasizes bidirectional learning between universities and communities. These teams will comprise a ‘Community of Practice’ to design and implement research projects addressing community challenges and Environmental Justice in three themes: Water Resources, Climate Resilience, and Communities & Landscapes.
Posted by: Jay Banner

Center for Integrated Earth System Science

The Center for Integrated Earth System Science (CIESS) is a cooperative effort between the Jackson School of Geosciences and the Cockrell School of Engineering. The center fosters collaborative study of Earth as a coupled system with focus on land, atmosphere, water, environment, and society.

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.

Center for Planetary Systems Habitability

The Center for Planetary Systems Habitability is an interdisciplinary research center at UT and is the result of a partnership between the Jackson School, the College of Natural Sciences, and the Cockrell School of Engineering. The center advances our ability to search for life on other planets by collaborating on research that helps better understand where habitable zones develop and how they evolve within planetary systems.

Land, Environment & Atmospheric Dynamics

The LEAD group consists of graduate research assistants, postdoctoral fellows, research scientists and visiting scholars. We view the earth system in a holistic way, linking the atmosphere, ocean, biosphere, cryosphere, and solid earth as an integrated system. We use powerful methodologies such as satellite remote sensing and supercomputing simulations which are now profoundly changing research in earth system sciences. We place a strong emphasis on the societal impact of the research in earth system sciences.

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.

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 Space Research

The University of Texas at Austin, Center for Space Research was established in 1981 under the direction of Dr. Byron D. Tapley. The mission of the Center is to conduct research in orbit determination, space geodesy, the Earth and its environment, exploration of the solar system, as well as expanding the scientific applications of space systems data.

Environmental Science Institute

The Environmental Science Institute is a multi-disciplinary institute for basic scientific research in environmental studies founded by The University of Texas at Austin. The Institute serves as a focal point on campus for a wide scope of interdisciplinary research and teaching involving the complex interactions of the biosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere in the Earth system, as well as the human dimensions of these interactions.

Research Groups

ENCOMPASS: Research for Earth-Society Systems

Posted by Marcus Gary
Photos of research of the Sistema Zacaton karst area