School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences
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Professor of Geophysics, Emeritus
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsEarthquake seismology, natural hazards, and ancient earthquakes and archaeology
Keleen and Carlton Beal Professor of Petroleum Engineering and Senior Fellow at the Precourt Institute for Energy
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsResearch
I am interested in the recovery of unconventional hydrocarbon resources and mitigating carbon emissions from fossil fuels via geological sequestration of greenhouse gases. My research group and I examine the physics of flow through porous media at length scales that vary from the pore to the laboratory to the reservoir. The organizing themes are flow imaging to delineate the mechanisms of multiphase flow (oil, water, and gas) in porous media and the synthesis of models from experimental, theoretical, and field data. In all of our work, physical observations, obtained mainly from laboratory and field measurements, are interwoven with theory.
My teaching interests center broadly around education of students to meet the energy challenges that we will face this century. I teach undergraduate courses that examine the interplay of energy use and environmental issues including renewable energy resources and sustainability. At the graduate level, I offer classes on enhanced oil recovery and the thermodynamics of hydrocarbon mixtures.
Member, American Geophysical Union (2006); Editorial Board, SPE Reservoir Evaluation and Engineering (2006-present); Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Distinguished Achievement Award for Petroleum Engineering Faculty (2006); School of Earth Sciences Award for Excellence in Teaching (1998); Earth Systems Program Executive Committee (2002-present); Woods Institute for Environment Energy Committee (2005-present); SPE Continuing Education Committee (2000-present, chair 2004-05); steering committee chair, SPE Forum, Enhanced Oil Recovery: What's Next? (2005-06); Editorial Board of the Journal of Petroleum Technology (2004-present) and SPE Reservoir Engineering and Evaluation (2006-present); member, Society of Petroleum Engineers, American Geophysical Union, and the American Chemical Society.
Ph.D. Student in Geological Sciences
BioAs a Ph.D. student in the Mantle Processes Group led by Jessica Warren, my research revolves around the mantle. In particular, I study water in the mantle and how water affects mantle processes. I do field work in the Josephine Peridotite of southwestern Oregon, the mantle section of an ophiolite that formed 150 million years ago. My field site contains numerous, easily observed shear zones ranging from tens of centimeters to tens of meters in width, allowing me to study mantle deformation on a relatively fine scale. I compare the degree of deformation and deformation style with water content to learn more about water's effect on small-scale mantle flow. I also look at the relationship between water and other mantle properties.
For more detail, please see my website: kmkumamoto.squarespace.com