Surface & Hydrologic Processes

From watersheds and aquifers to source-to-sink sediment transport and land surface dynamics, our research focuses on processes that shape the Earth's surface, the rock record results, and interaction with hydrologic systems.

Research in the Surface & Hydrologic Processes theme focuses on the following subthemes:

Surface & Hydrologic Processes News

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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.
Peter B Flemings

Peter 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)
James E Gardner

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
Timothy A Goudge

Timothy A Goudge

Remote sensing; surface processes; geomorphology; sedimentology; reflectance spectroscopy; martian surface geology; planetary science.
Marc A Hesse

Marc A Hesse

Multiphase flow in porous media, geomechanics, numerical simulation, mathematical, modeling, reactive transport, magma dynamics.
Brian K Horton

Brian K Horton

Tectonics of sedimentary basins, evolution of orogenic systems, sediment provenance and routing systems, nonmarine depositional processes.
Joel P Johnson

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, environmental monitoring and sensor networks, laboratory flume experimentation, numerical modeling, tsunami sediment transport and deposition.
Luc L Lavier

Luc 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
Matthew A Malkowski

Matthew A Malkowski

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
David  Mohrig

David Mohrig

Sedimentary Geology, Sedimentology, Stratigraphy, Geomorphology, Rivers, Deltas, Coastlines, Submarine Channels, Geohazards, Sediment-Gravity Currents, Sediment Transport, Seismic Interpretation, Basin Analysis
Dev  Niyogi

Dev Niyogi

Research Group: The University of Texas Extreme weather and Urban Sustainability "TExUS" Lab. Research seeks to significantly contribute to our understanding of the Earth system, particularly the urban and agricultural landscapes, and the dynamic role of coupled land surface processes on regional hydroclimatic and environmental extremes. An important ongoing and ...
Mary F Poteet

Mary F Poteet

karst ecosystems, biotic response and vulnerability to climate change, invasive species
Daniella M Rempe

Daniella M Rempe

Hydrology, Geomorphology, Ecohydrology, Catchment Hydrology, Near-surface Geophysics, Hydrogeology
Timothy B Rowe

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
Demian M Saffer

Demian M Saffer

Active tectonics, fault/sediment mechanics, geohydrology.
Timothy M Shanahan

Timothy M Shanahan

The Shanahan research group uses a combination of geochemical and stable isotopic proxy reconstructions of past climate, in combination with climate model simulations, to understand past and future climate change. Our primary focus is the use of organic geochemical and stable isotopic techniques applied to marine, lacustrine and terrestrial sediment ...
Danny  Stockli

Danny Stockli

Thermo-/Geochronology, Tectonics and Structural Geology, Isotopic Provenance Analysis, Archeometry, Geothermal Exploration, and Thermal Maturation
Zong-Liang  Yang

Zong-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 ...

Lecturers

Marcus Gary

Marcus Gary

Karst Hydrogeology
Nathaniel R Miller

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/]
Cornel  Olariu

Cornel Olariu

Clastic Sedimentology, Stratigraphy, Depositional Environments, Basin Analysis
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

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
Claudio  Faccenna

Claudio Faccenna

Topics: subduction tectonic and morphological evolution of convergent margin, evolution of orogenic belt and exhumation of deep metamorphic rocks, dynamic topography, trench migration and back-arc deformation, mantle convection, volcanism and fluid circulation in the crust. Tools: Structural geology and geomorphology, experimental / numerical geodynamic modelling, paleomagnetism, seismic lines interpretation. Field sites: ...

Emeritus

Philip C Bennett

Philip C Bennett

Aqueous geochemistry, geomicrobiology, environmental and microbial geochemistry, hydrogeology
Robert E Dickinson

Robert E Dickinson

Climate, Global Warming, Land Surface Processes, Remote Sensing, Hydrological Cycle, Carbon Cycle, and Modeling.
William L Fisher

William L Fisher

Basin analysis, sequence stratigraphy, depositional systems, petroleum geology, resource assessment, energy policy
Gary A Kocurek

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.
J. Richard Kyle

J. Richard Kyle

Ore deposits geology, mineral resources and society, geology and supply chains of critical materials, minerals exploration and evaluation, industrial mineral resources, origin of ore-forming fluids in sedimentary environments, fluid inclusions, stable isotopes, salt dome cap rock formation, surficial processes and earth resource formation, high resolution X-ray computed tomography applications to ...
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.
Clark R Wilson

Clark R Wilson

Geophysics, including gravity, space geodesy, and applied seismology

Postdocs

Tian Y Dong

Tian Y Dong

Fluvial Geomorphology, Surface Processes, Stratigraphy
Andrew  Moodie

Andrew Moodie


Research Scientists

James A Austin

James A Austin

Stratigraphic evolution of a wide range of marine and lacustrine environments around the world
Jacob A Covault

Jacob A Covault

sedimentology, stratigraphy, marine geology
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 ...

Cyril Grima

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
Xavier  Janson

Xavier Janson

Carbonates sedimentology and sequence stratigraphy, petrophysics of carbonate, seismic signature of carbonate rock, seismic modeling, carbonate modern depositional environment
Robert G Loucks

Robert G Loucks

Research in carbonate, sandstone, and mudrock stratigraphy, sedimentology, diagenesis, reservoir characterization, and pore network analysis.
Kitty L Milliken

Kitty L Milliken

Petrography and geochemistry of siliciclastic rocks; diagenesis; electron microbeam methods: X-ray mapping, cathodoluminescence imaging; micro-scale reservoir characterization
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
Katherine D Romanak

Katherine D Romanak

Geochemistry and isotope systematics of carbon cycling in the vadose zone and in freshwater aquifers; soil-gas monitoring and surface gas flux measurements at CO2 sequestration sites; microbial influences on carbon geochemistry in the shallow subsurface; fate and transport of organic contaminants.
Bridget R Scanlon

Bridget R Scanlon (Theme Lead)

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
Frederick W Taylor

Frederick W Taylor

Tectonic geomorphology, stratigraphy, and paleogeodesy/paleoseismology at convergent plate margins Paleoclimate, fossil corals as a proxy for past sea-surface temperatures. Corals as recorders of relative sea level for vertical tectonics and sea-level history.
Timothy L Whiteaker

Timothy L Whiteaker

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in water resources engineering; hydrologic, hydraulic, and water quality modeling; scientific information management; bringing water resources engineering solutions to end users by developing Web and desktop applications.
Xiaohua  Xu

Xiaohua Xu

Kehua  You

Kehua You

Methane Hydrate, Hydrogeology, Flow and Transport in Porous Media, Analytical and Numerical Modeling
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
Nathaniel R Miller

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/]
Cornel  Olariu

Cornel Olariu

Clastic Sedimentology, Stratigraphy, Depositional Environments, Basin Analysis

Graduate Students

Rawan Alasad

Rawan Alasad

I study the sedimentary record, surficial processes, tectonic relief and catchment evolution that occurs during rifting.

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.
Kristina  Butler

Kristina Butler

I am a field-based sedimentologist and geochronologist who uses sedimentary basin records to understand the drivers and consequences of mountain building. My current research focus is sediment routing and foreland basin evolution of Northern Patagonia. I combine a variety of provenance techniques (sandstone petrography, detrital zircon U-Pb, Lu-Hf and trace ...
Amanda Z Calle

Amanda Z Calle

My research is focused on the Cenozoic sedimentary, structural and exhumational history of the Eastern Cordillera to modern Chaco foreland basin in southern Bolivia. A multidisciplinary approach of source-to-sink, geochronology, low-temperature thermochronology and structural mapping will be used. Inherited pre-Andean structures and their response to contractional settings will also be ...

Morgan A Carrington

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 ...
Daniel Graf

Daniel Graf

My research focuses on harmonizing ecosystem services into assessments of the life cycle impacts of utility-scale electricity generation options.
E. Gabriela Gutierrez

E. Gabriela Gutierrez

My current research is focused on sediment routing systems at various temporal and spatial scales. I am interested on elucidating how these systems respond to allogenic controls in sedimentary basins as well as understanding the impact on the structural setting, stratigraphy and hydrocarbon systems of the basin.
Scarlette  Hsia

Scarlette Hsia

My PhD Research is focused on constraining the timing and amplitude of Marine Isotope Stage 5a deposits across the Western Atlantic Ocean. My primary interests include carbonate facies mapping, sedimentology, paleo-sea level reconstruction, stratigraphy, and STEM outreach. I am an English as a Second Language (ESL) and first generation PhD ...

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 ...
Mariel D Nelson

Mariel D Nelson

Hi! I'm a geomorphologist and second year PhD student in the Department of Geological Sciences. I'm co-advised by David Mohrig (sedimentology) and Tim Goudge (remote sensing). I study the shape of landscapes and seek process-based descriptions of how they change over time. For my graduate research, I conduct repeat lidar ...
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
Cole M Speed

Cole M Speed

I am a Ph.D. student with interests in remote sensing, geospatial data analytics, and Earth/planetary surface processes. My current research focuses on quantifying the evolution of modern fluvial landscapes and their preservation in the ancient rock record using high-resolution topography, time-lapse satellite imagery, numerical models, and field data. ...
Michelle Tebolt

Michelle Tebolt

As a planetary scientist, I study sedimentary processes on Mars to better understand the paleoenvironment, or the conditions that once existed on the surface. I am particularly interested in Martian fluvial processes that occurred ~3.8 billion years ago when there was liquid water on the surface and consider the question: How ...
Ebony  Williams

Ebony Williams

Innovative Detrital Provenance Studies - Double Dating PLUS

Graduate
A major thrust of my current research the development and application of more comprehensive isotopic detrital provenance tools. U-Pb on zircon is clearly the big work horse, but only goes so far and sometimes yields "no" useful info, e.g., if the source of the sediment is mostly recycled sediment. We have extensively pursued double dating of zircons by U-Pb and He, as zircon He ages yield very interesting insights into the thermal and tectonic history of the source terrane; often yielding very different insights than crystallization ages. The combination is powerful, but I think we can take things so much farther by combining double dating with other constrains. People have tried fission track (not precise enough), Hf/Hf (to get mantle separation model ages), etc., but what we want to do and are working on is really Double Dating ++, combining zircon U-Pb-He dating with a variety of other geochemical aspects to more comprehensive understand detrital provenance and improve paleo-tectonic reconstructions. For example, trace-element thermometry (Ti in zirc), REE on zircon (met vs mag origin), Hf/Hf (see above), oxygen isotopes, etc. and also to develop rutile in an analogous manner (e.g., Zr in rut thermometry, Cr/Nb ratio (mafic vs granulitic), REE, etc.). The sky is the limit and what can learn so much. The issue in part it, how much can a single grain tell us before it's gone? The project sounds very laboratory oriented, but it's really a combination of field and lab work. We have identified a few possible case study areas, e.g., Morocco; great exposures, long-lived and preserved record of basin deposition since the Precambrian. My group is already working on some case studies in NW Himalayas, the N & S Pyrenees, the Sevier FTB, Permian Basin and other foreland basin. New projects include provenance studies along rifted and passive continental margins such the Gulf of Mexico, the central Atlantic Margins in Canada, USA, Portugal, and Morocco.
Posted by: Daniel Stockli

PhD/MS opportunities

Graduate
My group welcomes new students with strong motivations on understanding how solid Earth and planets operate and its impacts on shaping habitable surface environments. Prospective students are expected to have a STEM background. If these describe you, feel free to contact me through email for position openings in my group.
Posted by: Chenguang Sun

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

Paleoclimate reconstructions and modern hydrology of karst systems (NSF Paleo Perspectives on Climate Change Program)

Graduate
Our group reconstructs regional climate change in response to global change using speleothems and tree rings. These studies are advanced by analysis of modern karst hydrologic systems in which the speleothems are found. 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.

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.

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.

Research Groups

Dynamic Stratigraphy Workgroup

ENCOMPASS: Research for Earth-Society Systems

Morphodynamics and Quantitative Stratigraphy

Posted by Peter P Flaig
Photo set includes images of fieldwork done on the North Slope of Alaska from 2005-2013 Posted by Peter P Flaig
Photos of fieldwork in the Central Transantarctic Mountains during the 2003-2004 and 2010-2011 field seasons. Posted by Peter P Flaig
Photos of fieldwork on clastic wedges of the Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway in Utah, Colorado, and Wyoming