From the Core to the Cosmos

Fluid Transport Through Porous Media

Research couples observation on natural systems and laboratory experiments with theoretical analysis and numerical simulations to study crustal fluid flow on a wide range of scales in space and time. We address questions such as: 1) How do hydrocarbons, freshwater and brine, and CO2 move at both geological and production time scales? 2) What are the relationships among sedimentation, deformation, pore pressure, and stress? 3) What is the shallow crust's permeability and how does it vary with pore pressure, depth, tectonic environment, and diagenetic state?

Faculty & Research Scientists

Jay L BannerJay L Banner
Isotopic methods, groundwater, oceans, ancient oceans, climate change, aquifers, caves, environmental science, geochemistry, paleoclimatology
Athma R BhandariAthma R Bhandari
Todd  CaldwellTodd Caldwell
Dr. Caldwell's research focuses on field investigations and modeling of soil and vadose zone processes across multiple scales and environments. He is principle investigator for the Texas Soil Observation Network, a core calibration and validation site for the NASA Soil Moisture Active Passive Satellite Mission.
M Bayani CardenasM Bayani Cardenas
Hydrology and Hydrogeology
Ian J DuncanIan 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.
Peter  EichhublPeter Eichhubl
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
Andras  FallAndras Fall
Fluids in diagenetic and hydrothermal systems, Fluid inclusions, Fractures, Structural diagenesis
William L FisherWilliam L Fisher
Basin analysis, sequence stratigraphy, depositional systems, petroleum geology, resource assessment, energy policy
Peter B FlemingsPeter 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)
Omar  GhattasOmar Ghattas
Computational geoscience and engineering, simulation and optimization of complex solid, fluid, and biomechanical systems, inverse problems, optimal design, and optimal control
Seyyed Abolfazl HosseiniSeyyed 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 HovorkaSusan D Hovorka
Geologic carbon sequestration in deep sedimentary environments as part of carbon capture and storage. PI of the Gulf Coast Caron Center ( 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 hydrogeology in karst and contaminated systems. K-12 and public outreach and education.
Farzam  JavadpourFarzam Javadpour
Dispersion phenomena in porous systems (hydrocarbon reservoirs and brine aquifers); shale gas; CO2 injection up-scaling; EOR, EGR, and sequestration; nonotechnology in rock characterization.
Luc L LavierLuc 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
Robert G LoucksRobert G Loucks
Research in carbonate, sandstone, and mudrock stratigraphy, sedimentology, diagenesis, reservoir characterization, and pore network analysis.
Dr. Tip MeckelDr. Tip Meckel
Stratigraphy, structural geology, CO2 sequestration, carbon capture and storage, CCS, high-resolution 3D seismic imaging
Jean-Philippe NicotJean-Philippe 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
Maria-Aikaterini  NikolinakouMaria-Aikaterini Nikolinakou
Maria-Katerina Nikolinakou is currently a Research Associate at the Bureau of Economic Geology, Jackson School of Geosciences, at the University of Texas at Austin. She works for the AGL and GeoFluids consortia. Maria is a Civil/Geotechnical Engineer. She received her Science Doctorate on Theoretical Soil Mechanics from MIT in 2008. She holds a M.Sc. in Geotechnical Engineering from MIT and a Civil Engineering degree from NTUA, Greece. Before joining the Jackson School, she worked ...
John M SharpJohn 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.
Kyle T SpikesKyle T Spikes
Exploration Geophysics, in particular rock physics applications and seismic inversion techniques for reservoir characterization.
Alex  SunAlex 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
Nicola  TisatoNicola Tisato
Experimental rock physics and rock mechanics. Digital Rock Physics. Speleology. Seismic wave attenuation, Physical properties of rocks, Wave-Induced-Phenomena, Genesis of caves and speleothems, Reservoir characterization, Nuclear waste management.
Brad WolaverBrad Wolaver
Zong-Liang  YangZong-Liang Yang
Dr. Yang's primary research interest is to understand the exchanges of momentum, radiation, heat, water, carbon dioxide, and other materials between the atmosphere and the Earth surface spanning from small (short) to very large (long) scales. This includes analysis of in-situ and remotely-sensed data for the Earth's surface, and modeling studies of weather, climate and hydrology at local, regional and global scales.
Kehua  YouKehua You
Fluid Flow and Transport Through Porous Media Parameter Optimization Finite Element and Finite Difference Modeling Analytical Modeling

Postdoctoral Researchers

Mahdi Heidari Moghadam
Mahdi Heidari Moghadam is currently a Research Associate at the Bureau of Economic Geology, Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Austin (UT). He works for the AGL and GeoFluids consortia. Mahdi is a Civil/Geotechnical Engineer. He received his PhD on Tunneling in Difficult Ground Conditions from UT in 2013. He holds a M.Sc. in Structural Engineering from SUT, Iran, and a M.Sc. in Earthquake Engineering from University of Tehran, Iran. ...

Research Staff

Richard J ChuchlaRichard J Chuchla
Graduate studies were focused on igneous processes, magmatism and related formation of ore deposits. Professional career included exploration for base and precious metal ore deposits, coal assessment and development, and research, exploration and development in the upstream sector of the oil and gas business. Managerial positions led to development of skills in commercial analysis, strategic planning and valuation. Concurrently, led numerous teams negotiating new contracts which led to a strong grounding in analysis of fiscal ...
Toti E LarsonToti E Larson
Dr. Larson is a stable isotope geochemist specializing in novel methods of light isotope measurement that include silicate laser fluorination, compound-specific carbon isotope measurement, and gas chromatography. His current research focuses on developing tracers to probe shallow (vadose zone) and deeper CO2 sequestration and unconventional reservoirs. He integrates experimental flow through column experiments with diffusion-advection modeling to understanding the behavior of tracer compounds in a variety of substrates. He also couples light isotope fractionation with ...
Peter J Polito
Designing and building complex experimental systems, working with high fluids, metrology, data acquisition, LabVIEW programing, down hole tool development and testing, odds and ends.