Rebecca C. Smyth

Research Interests

  • Studies related to geologic sequestration of carbon dioxide 
  • Hydrogeologic assessment of sites impacted by petroleum exploration and production activities 
  • LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) and GPS (Global Positioning System) data acquisition and processing 
  • Hydrogeology of ash-flow tuffs


B.S. Geology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia, 1980

M.A. Geology (with specialty in Hydrogeology), The University of Texas at Austin, 1995

Professional History

Hydrogeologist, McCulley, Frick & Gilman, Inc., Austin, Texas, 1989–1997 

Research Assistant, Department of Geological Sciences, The University of Texas at Austin, 1993–1994.

Geologist, Hall Southwest Water Consultants, Inc., Austin, Texas, 1987–1989

Research Scientist Assistant, The University of Texas at Austin, Bureau of Economic Geology, Austin, Texas, 1983–1985

Hydrologic Technician, U.S. Geological Survey, Water Resources Division, Austin, Texas, 1982–1984

Petrologist II, Core Laboratories Inc., Geochemistry and Petrology Section, Dallas, Texas, 1981–1982

Selected Publications

Romanak, K. D., Smyth, R. C., Yang, C., Hovorka, S. D., Rearick, M., and Lu, J., 2012, Sensitivity of groundwater systems to CO2: application of a site-specific analysis of carbonate monitoring parameters at the SACROC CO2-enhanced oil field: International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, v. 5, no. 1, p. 142‒152.

Lu, J., Cook, P. J., Hosseini, S. A., Yang, C., Romanak, K. D., Zhang, T., Freifeld, B. M., Smyth, R. C., Zeng, H., and Hovorka, S. D., 2012, Complex fluid flow revealed by monitoring CO2 injection in a fluvial formation: Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 117, B03208, doi:10.1029/2011JB008939.

Smyth, R. C., Hovorka, S. D., Lu, J., Romanak, K. D., Partin, J. W., Wong, C., and Yang, C., 2009, Assessing risk to fresh water resources from long term CO2 injection-laboratory and field studies: Energy Procedia, v. 1, p. 1957-1964. 

Smyth, R. C., and Sharp, J. M., Jr., 2006, Chapter 4.1. The hydrology of tuffs, in Heiken, Grant, Tuffs - Their properties, uses, hydrology, and resources: Geological Society of America, Special Paper 408, 91-111 [PDF]

Paine, J. G., White, W. A., Smyth, R. C., Andrews, J. R., and Gibeaut, J. C., 2005, Combining EM and lidar to map coastal wetlands: an example from Mustang Island, Texas, in Geophysical solutions for today's challenges: 18th Annual Symposium on the Application of Geophysics to Engineering and Environmental Problems, April 3-7, Atlanta: Environmental and Engineering Geophysical Society, p. 745-756, CD-ROM.

Mace, R. E., and Smyth, R. C., 2003, Hydraulic properties of the Carrizo-Wilcox aquifer in Texas: information for groundwater modeling, planning, and management: The University of Texas at Austin, Bureau of Economic Geology Report of Investigations No. 269, 40 p. + CD-ROM.

Gibeaut, J. C., White, W. A., Smyth, R. C., Andrews, J. R., Tremblay, T. A., Gutierrez, Roberto, Hepner, T. L., and Neuenschwander, Amy, 2003, Topographic variation of barrier island subenvironments and associated habitats, in Coastal Sediments '03: Crossing disciplinary boundaries: Proceedings, Fifth International Symposium on Coastal Engineering and Science of Coastal Sediment Processes, Clearwater Beach, Florida, May 18-23, 10 p., CD-ROM.

Warne, A. G., Meade, R. H., White, W. A., Guevara, E. H., Gibeaut, J. C., Smyth, R. C., Aslan, Andres, and Tremblay, T. A., 2002, Regional controls on geomorphology, hydrology, and ecosystem integrity in the Orinoco Delta, Venezuela: Geomorphology, v. 44, p. 273-307.

Smyth, R. C., Dutton, A. R., and Gutierrez, Roberto, 2002, Forensic hydrogeology applied to a half-century-old crude oil seep, Colorado River, Wharton County, Texas: Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies Transactions, v. 52, p. 907-917.

Aslan, Andres, Warne, A. G., White, W. A., Guevara, E. H., Smyth, R. C., Raney, J. A., and Gibeaut, J. C., 2001, Mud volcanoes of the Orinoco delta, eastern Venezuela: Geomorphology, v. 41, p. 323-336.

Selected Committees

BEG representative, Senate Bill 1387 reporting committee, 2010. SB 1387 amends current law relating to the implementation of projects involving the capture, injection, and sequestration or geologic storage of carbon dioxide. 

Representative, American Institute of Professional Geologists, District 2 (Central/South Texas), 2001

Legislative Recommendations Subcommittee Member, Texas Ground Water Protection Committee

Past Treasurer, Austin Geological Society, 2000–2001


Phi Kappa Phi

The University of Texas at Austin, Department of Geological Sciences, Geology Foundation Scholarships: 1992, 1993


Texas Association of Professional Geoscientists, License No. 68

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