- Chemical & Dynamic Evolution of Planets
- Extraterrestrial Seismology
- Human Exploration & Habitability
- Planetary Surface Processes
- Solar System Materials
Planetary Sciences News
November 21, 2017
The Earth’s Moon had a rough start in life. Formed from a chunk of the Earth that was lopped off during a planetary collision, it…Read More
July 5, 2017
The lakes of liquid methane on Saturn’s moon, Titan, are perfect for paddling but not for surfing. New research led by The University of Texas…Read More
November 22, 2016
Frozen beneath a region of cracked and pitted plains on Mars lies about as much water as what’s in Lake Superior, largest of the Great…Read More
November 10, 2016
A strangely shaped depression on Mars could be a new place to look for signs of life on the Red Planet, according to a University…Read More
May 26, 2016
Scientists using radar data from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) have found a record of the most recent Martian ice age in the planet’s north…Read More
Faculty & Research Scientists
|William A Ambrose|
Sedimentology, subsurface mapping of clastic depositional systems, oil and gas production analysis, coalbed methane
|Jaime D Barnes|
Stable isotope geochemistry, metamorphism and volatile transport in subduction zones, fluid-rock interaction and metasomatism, geochemical cycling, stable chlorine isotopes
mantle dynamics; fault system dynamics; structural seismology; numerical modeling
|Donald D Blankenship|
Antarctic ice sheets, robotic space missions to Europa, airborne and ground-based geophysical techniques (including laser altimetry, radar sounding, seismic reflection and refraction), West Antarctic rift system, West Antarctic Ice Sheet, climate change, global warming, remote sensing
|Elizabeth J Catlos|
My primary research focus is [bold]geochemistry[/bold], and how the fundamentals of chemistry (mineral reactions, radiogenic and stable isotopes, major and trace elements) can be and are used to understand what the Earth was like in the past. In this, I have interests that span a broad range of range of plate boundary processes and laboratory approaches. Many ancient fault systems are clues to determine the evolution and migration of Earth's continents in the ...
|Jacob A Covault|
sedimentology, stratigraphy, marine geology
Seismology, deep earthquakes, Texas earthquakes, moonquakes, statistical analysis of earthquake catalogs
|James E Gardner|
Volcanology, volcanic eruption processes, magmatic processes, experimental petrology, volatiles in magmas, degassing of volatiles from magmas, control of degassing behavior on volcanic eruptions and formation of ore bodies
|Sean S Gulick|
Tectonic processes, tectonic-climate interactions and geohazards of convergent margins and transitional tectonic environments Role of catastrophism in the geologic record including impact cratering, hurricanes, and tectonic events Marine geophysical imaging at nested resolutions and ground truth through drilling, coring, logging, and submersibles
|Romy D Hanna|
carbonaceous chondrites, planetary geology, remote sensing, VISNIR and TIR spectroscopy, X-ray computed tomography (CT), electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD), 3D image analysis and processing, scientific software development
|Mark A Helper|
Dr. Helper is a field geologist, a generalist whose interests span igneous and metamorphic petrology, structural geology, tectonics, mineralogy and planetary field geology. His current research explores geochemical and isotopic similarities of Proterozoic and Archean crust in East Antarctica and the southwestern U.S., the Precambrian geology of Texas, and the origin of epidote blueschists in the Klamath Mountains of northern California. Recent senior honors theses under his supervision have examined the mineralogy of Texas ...
|Jack Holt (Theme Lead)|
Mars ice and paleoclimate, Alaskan glaciers, airborne and orbital geophysics, hydrogeophysics, paleomagnetism. See Jack's UTIG webpage: http://www.ig.utexas.edu/people/staff/jack/
|Joel P Johnson|
Process geomorphology, feedbacks between channel morphology and hydrology and sediment transport, landscape sensitivity to climate and lithology, bedrock river erosion, flash floods, arroyo erosion, canyon formation, debris flows, environmental monitoring and sensor networks, laboratory flume experimentation, numerical modeling, tsunami sediment transport and deposition.
|Richard A Ketcham|
High-resolution X-ray computed tomography, CT scanning, 3D image analysis, fission-track dating, thermochronology, structural geology, tectonics, digital morphology, trabecular bone
Quantitative stratigraphy, Shoreline dynamics, Morphodynamcis, Sediment transport, Deltaic sedimentation, River delta restoration, Coupled mathematical modeling and experimental stratigraphy, Planetary surface processes.
|Gary A Kocurek|
Sedimentology, geomorphology and stratigraphy of aeolian systems; fluid flow and grain transport; bedform dynamics and pattern evolution of dune fields; the stratigraphic record of aeolian and related systems on Earth and Mars.
|John C Lassiter|
Earth's origin and evolution, isotope and trace element geochemistry, the role of crust and lithospheric mantle recycling in the generation of mantle chemical heterogeneity, the origin and distribution of water and other volatile elements in the Earth's interior, and the thermal and chemical evolution of the Earth's core and core/mantle boundary
Permafrost, Antarctica, Planetary geology, Mars, Geomorphology, Remote Sensing, GIS
Mineral physics, physics and chemistry of planetary materials, solid-Earth geophysics and geochemistry, high-pressure diamond anvil cell, X-ray and laser spectroscopy
Sedimentary Geology, Sedimentology, Stratigraphy, Geomorphology, Rivers, Deltas, Coastlines, Submarine Channels, Geohazards, Sediment-Gravity Currents, Sediment Transport, Seismic Interpretation, Basin Analysis
|Timothy B Rowe|
Vertebrate paleontology, evolution and development of the vertebrate skeleton, phylogenetic systematics, the early history of mammals and their extinct relatives among Synapsida, the history of birds and their extinct relatives among Dinosauria, the history of other amniotes, high-resolution X-ray computed tomography, CT scanner, DigiMorph, informatics
|Krista M Soderlund|
Astrobiology, Cryosphere, Geophysical Fluid Dynamics, Magnetohydrodynamics, Planetary Science
Thermo-/Geochronology, Tectonics and Structural Geology, Isotopic Provenance Analysis, Archeometry, Geothermal Exploration, and Thermal Maturation
|Clark R Wilson|
Geophysics, including gravity, space geodesy, and applied seismology
|Duncan A Young|
Ice-rock physical interactions in an ice cap context, tectonic evolution of the younger planetary crusts
Plate Tectonics, Numerical Models, Diapirs, Finite Deformation, Anisotropie
|Timothy A Goudge|
Remote sensing; reflectance spectroscopy; geomorphology; surface processes; martian surface geology; planetary science.
|Matthew B Weller|
geodynamics, heat transfer, numerical analysis, fault systems, planetary evolution
Adjunct/Emeritus Faculty & Research Scientists
|William D Carlson|
Field, analytical, and experimental studies of metamorphic petrogenesis, with emphasis on the rates and mechanisms of metamorphic reactions. Geological applications of high-resolution X-ray computed tomography. Analytical and computational studies of intracrystalline and intergranular diffusion.
Permafrost, Antarctica, Planetary geology, Mars, Geomorphology, Remote Sensing, GIS
|Lorena G Moscardelli|
Geophysics, lunar and planetary seismology, ocean-bottom seismometry
|Nathaniel R Miller|
Sedimentary geochemistry, isotope geochemistry, Earth system evolution, Q-ICP-MS, microanalytics, GIS, Neoproterozoic climate [link: http://www.jsg.utexas.edu/news/2018/05/new-research-suggests-that-dawn-of-plate-tectonics-could-have-turned-earth-into-snowball/] [/link]
|Lorena G Moscardelli|
Geophysics, lunar and planetary seismology, ocean-bottom seismometry
|Benjamin T Cardenas|
sedimentary geology | geomorphology | planetary science [bold]Publications[/bold] Cardenas, Mohrig, and Goudge, 2018, Fluvial stratigraphy of valley fills at Aeolis Dorsa, Mars: Evidence for base-level fluctuations controlled by a downstream water body. GSA Bulletin, 130, 484-498. Goudge, Mohrig, Cardenas, Hughes, and Fassett, 2018, Stratigraphy and paleohydrology of delta channel deposits, Jezero crater, Mars. Icarus, 301, 58-75. Kocurek, Martindale, Day, Goudge, Kerans, Hassenruck-Gudipati, Mason, Cardenas, Petersen, Mohrig, Aylward, Hughes, and Nazworth, in press, Antecedent aeolian dune topographic control on carbonate ...
|Mackenzie D Day|
Covering a broad range of topics under the thesis title [italic] Sedimentary Dynamics of Aeolian Systems on Earth and Mars [/italic], Mackenzie Day's research includes inter-planetary comparison of dunes, analysis of aeolian features on the surface of Mars, and the physics of aeolian bedform formation. Currently Mackenzie is in her fourth year of graduate school and plans to leave UT in May of 2017. She has been a member of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) science ...
|Dilge G Kanoglu|
I am a graduate of Bilkent University Department of Economics and a student of the interdisciplinary graduate program Earth System Science of Middle East Technical University, with concentration on energy economics and policy. I have interdisciplinary training in energy economics. I have taken courses from diverse departments including but not limited to Economics, International Relations and the Faculty of Law. During my studies, I took the courses Environmental Economics, World Energy Politics; Environment, Climate Change ...
Dan Lalich is a PhD student working on the Martian polar caps. He is interested in using remote sensing techniques to explore the internal structure and material properties of the planet's ice caps and how those properties might relate to Mars' climate. Dan uses the SHARAD orbital radar sounder in combination with radar reflection models to determine the composition of the polar ice, and then relates that information to relevant climate models.
Stefano is interested in the evolution of the Planum Boreum of Mars as a record of past global climate. Investigations are based on orbital radar profiles and high-resolution imagery. More specifically, his current research focuses on the distribution and paleo topography of water ice deposits and their stratigraphic relationship with aeolian siliciclastic deposits. Observations are compared to orbitally-forced water ice accumulation models and global circulation models specifically tuned for the north polar region of Mars.
I'm currently working on a project where I'm determining the age of formation of two impact structures, Ames Astrobleme in Oklahoma and Slate Islands in Ontario Canada. It is thought that both of these were formed during the mid-Ordovician. If true, this means they would be part of the Ordovician Meteor Event. The OME was a drastic increase in the amount of meteors hitting the Earth from roughly 470 Ma to 450 MA, and would have left ...
|Eric I Petersen|
Eric Petersen is a PhD student working on Martian lobate debris aprons (LDAs), strange landforms interpreted as massive debris-covered glacier systems. As remnants of past obliquity-driven glacial cycles on Mars, these features are valuable indicators of Amazonian palaeoclimate. Eric's work involves using SHARAD orbital radar sounding data in conjunction with ice flow modeling and geomorphic analysis to provide constraints on LDA formation and history. He is also interested in geophysical studies of debris-covered glaciers and ...
Graduate CoursesGEO 391 Meteoritics and Early Solar System Processes
GEO 391 Planetary geology and geophysics
GEO S391 Field Methods in Planetary Geology
GEO 380G Construction and Interpretation of 3-D Stratigraphy
GEO 384C Seismology I
GEO 380C Advanced Structural Geology
GEO 380N Sequence Stratigraphy
GEO 381E Brittle Structure
GEO 381G Geomicrobiology
GEO 380T Geoclimatology
GEO 382G Fluid Physics for Geologists
GEO 383 Clastic Depositional Systems
GEO 383D Numerical Methods I: Computational Methods in Geological Sciences
GEO 383G Geochemistry of Sedimentary Rocks
GEO 383P Potential Field Applications in Geophysics
GEO 384D Physics of Earth
GEO 384M Inverse Theory
GEO 384F Computational Methods for Geophysics
GEO 384R Geophysical Time Series Analysis
GEO 386G GIS and GPS Applications in Earth Sciences
GEO 385Q Mathematical Methods in Geophysics
GEO 387D Climate Dynamics
GEO 387F Dynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans
GEO 387H Physical Climatology
GEO 389P Digital Methods in Morphology
GEO 390M Thermodynamics of Geologic Processes
GEO 191 Proposal Writing
GEO 291 Geomorphology/Glaciology Seminar
GEO 391 Essentials of Flow in Porous Media
GEO 391 Field Stratigraphy: Guadalupe Mountains
GEO 391 Hydrogeophysics
GEO 391 Morphodynamics
GEO 391Q Topics in Quarternary Geology
AST 364 Solar System Astronomy
AST 380E Radiative Processes and Radiative Transfer
AST 381 Planetary Astrophysics
AST309L The Search for Extraterrestrial Life and Intelligence
AST 383 Astroseismology
AST 392J Astronomical Instrumentation
CH391L Astrobiology for Chemists & Biochemists
CH391L Biochemistry and Astrobiology
ASE 382Q Fluid Mechanics.
ASE 387P Flight Mechanics, Guidance, Navigation, and Control.
ASE 388P Celestial Mechanics.
ASE 389P Satellite Applications.
Computational Courses: https://www.ices.utexas.edu/graduate-studies/course-information/
Undergraduate CoursesGEO 303C Introduction to the Solar System
UGS 303 Extraterrestrial Life
Geosciences Courses Currently Scheduled for 2013-2014GEO 380J MATHEMATICAL METHS IN GEOPHYS
GEO 380C ADVANCED STRUCTURAL GEOLOGY
GEO 381E BRITTLE STRUCTURE
GEO 381G GEOMICROBIOLOGY
GEO 382W HYDROGEOPHYSICS
GEO 383 CLASTIC DEPOSITIONAL SYSTEMS
GEO 383D NUM METH I: COMP METH GEOL SCI
GEO 383M PETROG OF CARBONATE/EVAPORITE
GEO 384C SEISMOLOGY I
GEO 386G GIS & GPS APPLICS IN EARTH SCI
GEO 387H PHYSICAL CLIMATOLOGY
GEO 388T HIGH-TEMPERATURE GEOCHEMISTRY
GEO 371C MORPHODYNAMICS
GEO 271C GEOMORPHOLOGY SEMINAR
GEO 366M MATHEMATICAL METHS IN GEOPHYS
|Graduate Student Position in Mineral Physics Lab (Graduate)|
The mineral physics lab at the Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences, the University of Texas at Austin invites applications for graduate student positions towards a Master's or Ph.D. degree in mineral physics. The Jackson School of Geosciences has exceptionally well-funded research programs and offers a number of scholarships to support graduate students for an extended period of time. Candidates with strong background and/or interest in physics (solid state physics), math, and geophysics/geochemistry are strongly encouraged to apply. Our mineral physics research programs focuses on high pressure-temperature experimental studies on materials properties using synchrotron X-ray and optical spectroscopies in a diamond anvil cell. Information about the graduate student programs at the Jackson School is available at: http://www.jsg.utexas.edu/. Please contact Dr. Jung-Fu Lin at email@example.com for further information.
Posted by: Jung-Fu Lin
|General Opportunities in Field and Laboratory Based Studies (Graduate or Undergraduate)|
My position does not permit sole supervision of graduate student theses, but I co-supervise or serve on graduate student theses committees, particularly those involving aspects of GIS, GPS, structural geology, tectonics and petrology/mineralogy. I have supervised several undergraduate student honors thesis, both lab- and field-based, and look forward to continuing to do so.
Posted by: Mark Helper
|IMPACT: Geo- and thermochronometry of the Chicxulub Crater and KPg ejecta deposits (Graduate)|
Seeking motivated Ph.D. student interested in investigating the thermal history of the recently drilled Chicxulub impact crater (IODP 364) in collaboration with Drs. Dan Stockli (DGS) and Sean Gulick (UTIG). The aim of the project is to test different hypotheses for the formation of the peak ring, to investigate the thermal evolution of the impact and the post-impact hydrothermal alteration as well as to explore KPg deposits in the USA and Cuba using U-Pb and (U-Th)/He geo-and thermochronometry. In addition, we envision to use other IODP and industry borehole samples as well as outcrop samples from the USA and potentially Cuba to elucidate the ejecta and tsunami deposits related to the KPg impact in the southern Gulf of Mexico to more holistically understand the impact and its effects on the circum-GOM region.
Posted by: Daniel Stockli
UTIG has developed, maintained, and operated a suite of aerogeophysical instrumentation since the early 1990s with continual improvements since inception. The suite was installed aboard a Dehavilland DHC-6 ("Twin Otter") up to 2005 and aboard a Basler BT-67 (a version of DC-3T -- a Douglas DC-3 refitted with turboprop engines) since 2008. The current instruments are: High Capability Radar Sounder (HiCARS); Multibeam, Scanning Photon Counting Lidar; Cesium Vapor Magnetometer; Gravimeter; Dual-frequency, carrier-phase Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS); Laser Altimeter; Two GPS-aided Inertial Measurement Units; Three-Axis Fluxgate Magnetometer; System Control, Data Acquisition, and Real-time QC and Monitoring functions.
|Airborne Optech LIDAR System|
For fine-scale topographic mapping
|Digital Morphology Library|
The Digital Morphology library (www.digimorph.org) is a National Science Foundation-funded initiative offering 2D and 3D visualizations of the internal and external structure of living and extinct vertebrates, and a growing number of non-vertebrates. Images are generated using the world's first high-resolution X-ray CT scanner in an academic science department, in the CT lab at the Jackson School.
|Optec Laser Scanners (ILRIS)|
The Optec ILRIS Laser Scanners are part of the BEG RCRL/JSG consortium. They are state-of-the-art ground-based terrestrial laser scanning/mapping devices, that, when coupled with the Innovmetric Polyworks software, allows high-resolution mapping of earth-surface features,with accuracies of a few cm. These tools are part of the aresenal of tools that the RCRL uses to generate digital 3D earth models for carbonate reservoir analogs.
There are several aspects to our laboratory that make it different from others. One is our automatic handler system created at California Institute of Technology and adapted for our needs. Scientists and students can keep up with changes to our system by keeping in touch with the other 6 similar systems in the world and RAPID Consortium at http://rapid.gps.caltech.edu/. It also includes a cryogenic magnetometer and portable magnetic susceptibility meter (TerraPlus KT-10 Plus).
|Walter Geology Library|
The primary research collections of the library presently include more than 100,000 book and journal volumes and 46,000 geologic maps, among them the publications of the U.S. Geological Survey, most state geological surveys, and those of many foreign countries. Regional emphasis of the collection is on the Southwestern United States, Texas, and Mexico. The Institute and Bureau also have extensive libraries related to their specific research areas.
|Wind Tunnel/Flume Lab|
The Department of Geological Sciences maintains two wind tunnels for experiments in aeolian transport. One tunnel (0.5 m2 X 10 m) features a long transport section that ends in a slipface. The second tunnel features a rotating table (1 m in diameter) that can be used to simulate any range of wind directions.
Affiliated UT Programs & Centers
|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.
|Texas Advanced Computing Center|
The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at The University of Texas at Austin is one of the leading centers of computational excellence in the United States. Located on the J.J. Pickle Research Campus, the center's mission is to enable discoveries that advance science and society through the application of advanced computing technologies.
|Jack Holt's Research Group|
Our research group is comprised of graduate students, undergraduates, technical staff and visiting students all focused on understanding both the current state of Mars ice and processes governing the distribution, history, and role of ice in Mars climate evolution. Our primary tool is orbital radar sounding, a technique that is relatively new for Mars, and for planetary exploration in general. Two radar sounders, MARSIS and SHARAD, are currently in orbit at Mars. Due to Dr. Holt's role as a Co-Investigator on SHARAD, we are very busy with the acquisition and analysis of new data. Building on UTIG's extensive experience in airborne radar sounding of ice on Earth, we have developed new analysis techniques specifically for SHARAD that give us unique capabilities and put us at the forefront of this exciting field.