Dr. Susan D. Hovorka

I am interested in application of geological techniques to environmental problems, particularly focusing on the issue of permeability in both tight and very transmissive systems. This interest has led me to work on diverse problems, from characterization of salt as a containment material to analysis of carbonate fabrics to better understand flow in karst aquifers. Currently, I am leading teams in field COinjections to assess geologic sequestration as a mechanism for reducing atmospheric greenhouse gas emissions. (www.beg.utexas.edu/gccc/)

Research Interests

Sedimentology for environmental application


Ph.D. Geology, The University of Texas at Austin, 1990

M.A. Geology, The University of Texas at Austin, 1981

B.A. Geology, Earlham College, 1974

Professional History

Research Scientist, Bureau of Economic Geology, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, 1981-present

Geologist, Bendix Field Engineering Corporation, Austin, Texas, 1979–1981

Selected Publications

Hovorka, S. D., 2012, In quest of robust and commercial CO2 monitoring. Greenhouse Gas Sci Technol, 2: 145–147. doi: 10.1002/ghg.1290

Zahid, K., Hosseini, S. A., Nuñez López, Vanessa, and Hovorka, S. D. 2012, Characterizing CO2 storage reservoirs and shallow overburden for above-zone monitoring in Texas Gulf Coast EOR fields: Greenhouse Gases Science and Technology, v. 2, p. 460-473.

Lu, Jiemin, Kharaka, Y. K., Thordsen, J. J., Horita, J., Karamalidis, A., Griffith, C., Hakala, J. A., Ambats, G., Cole, D. R., Phelps, T. J., Manning, M. A., Cook, P. J., and Hovorka, S. D., 2012, CO2-rock-brine interactions in Lower Tuscaloosa Formation at Cranfield CO2 sequestration site, Mississippi, U.S.A.: Chemical Geology, v. 291, p. 269-277.

Romanak, K. D., Bennett, P. C., Yang, C., and Hovorka, S. D., 2012, Process-based approach to CO2 leakage detection by vadose zone gas monitoring at geologic CO2 storage sites: Geophysical Research Letters, v. 39, L15405, doi:10.1029/2012GL052426.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.

Lu, Jiemin, Milliken, K., Reed, R. M., and Hovorka, S. D., 2011, Diagenesis and sealing capacity of the middle Tuscaloosa mudstone at the Cranfield carbon dioxide injection site, Mississippi: Environmental Geosciences, v. 18, no. 1, p. 35–53.

Hovorka, S. D., Meckel, Timothy, Treviño, R. H., Lu, Jiemin, Nicot, J. -P., Choi, Jong-Won, Freeman, D., Cook, P. G., Daley, Tom, Ajo-Franklin, J., Freifeld, Barry, Doughty, C. A., Carrigan, C. R., La Brecque, D., Kharaka, Yousif, Thordsen, J. J., Phelps, Tommy, Yang, Changbing, Romanak, Katherine, Zhang, Tongwei, Holt, R. M., Lindler, J. S., and Butsch, R. J., 2011, Monitoring a large volume CO2 injection: year two results from SECARB project at Denbury's Cranfield, Mississippi, USA, in Energy Procedia, v. 4, Proceedings of 10th International Conference on Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies GHGT10, September 19-23, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, p. 3478-3485.

Nicot, J. -P., and Hovorka, S. D., 2009, Chapter 17. Leakage pathways from potential CO2 storage sites and importance of open traps: case of the Texas Gulf Coast, in Grobe, M., Pashin, J. C., and Dodge, R. L., eds., Carbon dioxide sequestration in geological media—state of the science: AAPG Studies in Geology, 59, p. 321–334.

Hovorka, S. D., Doughty, Christine, and Holtz, M. H., 2005, Testing efficiency of storage in the subsurface: Frio Brine Pilot Experiment, in Wilson, M., Morris, T., Gale, J., and Thambimuthu, K., eds., Greenhouse gas control technologies: San Diego, Elsevier, Volume II, 1361–1372

Selected Committees

Member BIG CCS review group, IEA GHG Monitoring Network; GHGT 2014 Steering committee host location

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