Katherine Romanak

Katherine Duncker Romanak - Research Associate, Bureau of Economic Geology - The University of Texas at Austin

Research Interests

Geochemistry and isotope systematics of carbon cycling in the vadose zone and in freshwater aquifers.
Soil-gas monitoring and surface gas flux measurements at CO2 sequestration sites. Watch a video and read about Dr. Romanak's new soil-gas monitoring techniques used in the IPAC-CO2 Kerr Investigation.
Microbial influences on carbon geochemistry in the shallow subsurface.
Fate and transport of organic contaminants.



B.S. Geology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX, 1984
M.S. Geology, University of Texas, Arlington, TX, 1988
Ph.D. Geology, The University of Texas at Austin, 1997

Read about the latest on Dr. Romanak's work in the news:

Leader-Post April 19, 2011

The principal investigator (Kerr Investigation) is Katherine Romanak of the Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas at Austin. Romanak, an internationally-recognized expert, has conducted geochemical analyses of soil gas samples at a number of sites, including a carbon sequestration project in Cranfield, Miss.

Katherine Romanak from the STORE Alliance at the University of Texas at Austin comments on soil-gas variability at an industrial CO2-Monitoring Site, Cranfield Field. Dr. Romanak conducts field research on shallow sub-surface monitoring of sequestered CO2 at the Cranfield Site outside of Natchez, Mississippi.


Dr. Romanak discusses carbon capture and storage as one of the Grand Challenges in Engineering. View the presentation online

Selected Publications

Romanak, K. D., and Smyth, R. C., 2008, Geochemical Effects of CO2-Enhanced Oil Recovery on the Shallow Dockum Aquifer, West Texas (abs.): 7th Annual Conference on Carbon Capture & Sequestration, May 5th–8th, 2008, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


Smyth, R. C., Hovorka, S. D., Romanak, K. D., Partin, J. W., Wong, C., Meckel, T. A., Nicot, J. P., and Holt, R. H., 2008, Assessing Risk to Fresh Water Resources from Long Term CO2 Injection—Laboratory and Field Studies (abs.): 9th International Conference on Greenhouse Gas Technologies, November 16–20, Washington, D.C.


Romanak, K. D., Bennett, P. C., and Nicot, J. P., 1996, Vadose Zone Processes Beneath a Perched Playa Wetland, Texas High Plains (abs.): Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, South-Central Section, v. 28, no. 1, p. 61.


Duncker, K. E., Wolff, J. A., Harmon, R. S., Leat, P. T., Dickin, A. P., and Thompson, R. N., 1991, Diverse Mantle and Crustal Components in Lavas of the NW Cerros del Rio Volcanic Field, Rio Grande Rift, New Mexico: Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 108, 331–345.


Duncker, K. E., Wolf, J. A., Harmon, R. S., Leat, P. T., Thompson, R. N. and Dickin, A. P., 1989, Mantle and Crustal Components in Mafic to Intermediate Lavas of the Cerros del Rio Volcanic Field, Rio Grande Rift, New Mexico (abs.): New Mexico Bureau of Mines Mineral Resources Bulletin, v. 131, p. 77.