Deformation Research Group Banner

Here are the current student research projects in the Deformation Research Group:

Graduate students

Samuel FleagleSam Fleagle is working on his MS, looking at the geology of Western Nebraska and the opportunities for sequestration of carbon dioxide in the Nebraska subsurface. He is using a combination of structural, stratigraphic and geophysical techniques including 3D modeling, wireline log correlation and core logging. The research is primarily sponsored by the Nebraska Environmental Trust, although Sam has obtained other grant monies to extend the scope of the original project. Sam expects to graduate with his MS in Spring 2023.

Shashank KhatriShashank Khatri (MS 2017, now working on his PhD) studied structural controls on the fracture network characteristics of the Middle Member of the Bakken Formation in the Elm Coulee Field using seismic data (post-stack processing techniques in Petrel 2015) and analog structural models. He analyzed a wrench fault network in south-eastern part of the Elm Coulee Field and created a fracture model for the Middle Member of the Bakken Formation which correlates well with areas of enhanced EUR in the Elm Coulee Trend. PhD work focuses on damage zones and fault architecture.

Fahad QassimFahad Qassim is working on his MS on fracture network connectivity and characterization in the tight carbonates of the Ozark Plateau in AR, using fracture topology. He carried out a field campaign in the summer of 2022, measuring fracture orientation data and photographing fracture networks for analysis and is now processing these data. He is also carrying out a detailed thin-section petrography of the investigated carbonates. Fahad expects to graduate during the Spring of 2023.

Nick RichardNick Richard is working jointly in the DRG and the UNITE group with Dr. Lynne Elkins. He has an MS from New Mexico, and is making good progress on his PhD. He has carried out a field season in Vietnam in early 2020. Nick is looking at the development of block breakdown and faulting in Vietnam, using field measurements of faults, slickenlines and age relationships. He further studies the age and evolution of the lithosphere through geochemical analyses, partially supported by an NSF grant. Nick is also interested in the overall geodynamic evolution of Indochina.


Spencer SchmidtSpencer Schmidt is working jointly in the DRG and with Dr. Erin Haacker on the structural geology and hydrogeology of the Brule Formation in Western Nebraska, towards his senior thesis. Spencer has been reprocessing some vintage structural data for quality assurance purposes, and has added his own data after several field campaigns in summer 2022. He is double majoring in mathematics and geology and will use GIS, modeling and statistical methods to understand the fracture networks in the Brule Formation, the relationship to pre-existing structures, and the effect on present-day or paleo fluid flow. Spencer expects to graduate in Spring 2023.

Return to homepage