The Bureau of Economic Geology Jackson School of Geosciences

BEG directorate

For the best overview of research programs at the Bureau of Economic Geology, read more about our Research Consortia (PDF).


The Fossil Energy component conducts approximately two-thirds of the current Bureau research effort. This component of the Bureau focuses on research involving energy resources, primarily oil and natural gas. It includes four Industrial Associates programs for basic research, as well as numerous sponsored-research projects funded by the State of Texas, the DOE, and individual companies or groups of companies.

Main areas of focus include salt tectonics, carbonate and clastic reservoir characterization, fracture characterization and prediction, multicomponent seismic applications, and basin analysis. We are noted for continuing to bring insight and innovation from outcrop studies to the evolving science of reservoir characterization. With 70% of in-place reserves typically remaining in the ground at the time of oil field abandonment, this research has enduring economic and societal importance.

  Advanced Energy Consortium (AEC)  
  Basin Analysis  




  Computational Geophysics  
  Gas Hydrates  
  Industrial Associates  
  Permian Basin  
  Reservoir Characterization  
  Resource Assessment  
  Salt Tectonics  
  State Lands (STARR)  
  Structural Geology and Tectonics  
  Unconventional Energy Resources  

The diverse Geoscience and Environmental studies group conducts a wide range of basic and applied research in groundwater resources, vadose-zone hydrology, coastal studies, near-surface geophysics, and geologic mapping. We also have additional programs that relate energy and the environment, including our major initiative in sequestration of greenhouse gases. The group investigates characteristics and processes of shallow Earth systems and impacts of human activities on those systems. Many of our projects address the needs of State and Federal agencies in Texas, although we conduct research in other states and in Latin America as well.

The Bureau owns and operates an airborne laser terrain mapping system (lidar) and a ground-based system, which provide unique opportunities for conducting research requiring lidar data. Our projects are well supported by appropriate hardware and advanced software for data analysis and modeling, and we apply related technologies in GIS, GPS, and remote sensing.

  CO2 Sequestration  

Coastal Studies




Energy and Environment


Geologic Mapping

  Lidar and Hyperspectral Imaging  
  Near Surface Observatory  

Sustainable Water Resources


Vadose Zone and Soil Research

WORLDWIDE RESEARCH • Research by Country  
  Advanced Energy Consortium (AEC)    
  Applied Geodynamics (AGL)    
  Center for Energy Economics    
  Quantitative Clastics Laboratory    
  Exploration Geophysics (EGL)    
  Fracture Research and Application Consortium (FRAC)    
    UT GeoFluids    
    Reservoir Characterization Research (RCRL)    


The University of Texas
Contact information
Maps and Directions
Media Contacts
Employment Opportunities
Bureau Reports

Water and Energy Studies

©2015 Bureau of Economic Geology, The University of Texas at Austin Institute for Geophysics Department of Geological Sciences