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Department of Geology and Geophysics|People

Department of Geology and Geophysics
Dept. 3006
1000 E. University Ave.
Laramie, WY 82071-2000
Phone: (307)766-3386
Fax: (307)766-6679 

G&G Department logo

Ye Zhang

Ye Zhang

Associate Professor

Geological Modeling and Simulation, Hydrogeology

Office Phone: (307) 223-2292
Fax Phone: (307) 766-6679

Dept. #3006
1000 E. University Ave.
Laramie, Wyoming 82071-3006

Office Room No: GE 220

➤ Personal Website


Hydrogeology, PhD, Indiana University, 2005
Hydrogeology, MS, University of Minnesota, 2004
Hydrogeology, BS, Nanjing University (PR China), 1998

Research Projects

  • PI, An Integrated Well Location Optimization Study for Commercial-Scale CO2 Storage in A Deep Saline Aquifer, UW CFSF, WYDEQ49811. Co-PI: KJ Reddy (UW Renewable Resources) and Phil Stauffer (Los Alamos National Lab).
  • PI, Determination of Optimal Geological Model Complexity in CO2 Sequestration Simulation: A Pre-Injection Numerical Scoping Analysis at the La Barge Anticline, Moxa Arch, Wyoming, DOE, DOE42609TASK10.
  • PI, Evaluation of CO2 Modeling Uncertainties in Deep Saline Aquifers: Mount Simon Sandstone, Illinois Basin, ACS PRF and SER, PRF# 48773 -DNI 8.
  • PI, Evaluation of Model Uncertainty in CO2 Sequestration in Deep Aquifers: A Flow Relevance Study using Experimental Stratigraphy and Field Verification (Teapot Dome, Wyoming), NSF, EAR-0838250.
  • PI, Optimal Parameter Estimation for Groundwater Flow Models to Evaluate the Impact of Coalbed Methane Development on Regional Aquifer Drawdowns in the Powder River Basin, USGS (to be submitted by Oct 2009).

Details on current research can be found on my Personal Website where publications (in pdf) can be downloaded.

Details on current or future course offerings (i.e., syllabi) can be
found on my Personal Website, under "Teaching".

Recent Publications

Links to Publications in PDF format

§  student/postdoc supervised

S-Q Li§, Morteza Akbarabadi, Ye Zhang, Mohammad Piri (2015), Feasibility of Commercial-Scale Carbon Sequestration in western Wyoming: An Optimization Study Integrating Laboratory and Field Data, International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, accepted.

Zee Y. Ma, William R. Moore, Ernest Gomez, William J. Clark, Ye Zhang (2015) Tight Gas Sandstone Reservoirs, Part 1: Overview and Lithofacies, in Unconventional Oil and Gas Resources Handbook: Evaluation and Development, Elsevier, in press.

William R. Moore, Zee Y. Ma, Iain Pirie, Ye Zhang (2015) Tight Gas Sandstone Reservoirs, Part 2: Petrophysical Analysis and Reservoir Modeling, in Unconventional Oil and Gas Resources Handbook: Evaluation and Development, Elsevier, in press.

Mingkan Zhang§, Ye Zhang (2015)  Multiscale Dispersivity Upscaling for Three-Dimensional Hierarchical Porous Media, Water Resources Research, in press, 51, doi:10.1002/2014WR016202.

Jianying Jiao§, Ye Zhang (2014) Functional Parameterization for Hydraulic Conductivity Inversion with Uncertainty Quantification, Hydrogeology Journal, accepted for publication, doi:10.1007/s10040-014-120205 [PDF]

Ye Zhang, Guang Yang§, S-Q Li§ (2014) Significance of Conceptual Model Uncertainty in Simulating Carbon Sequestration a Deep Inclined Saline Aquifer, Journal of Hazardous, Toxic, and Radioactive Waste, in press. [PDF]     

Jianying Jiao§, Ye Zhang (2014)c A method based on Local Approximate Solution (LAS) for Inverting Transient Flow in Heterogeneous Aquifers, Journal of Hydrology, Vol. 514, p. 145-149, [PDF]

Jianying Jiao§, Ye Zhang (2014)b Tensor Inversion of Hydraulic Conductivities for Heterogeneous Aquifer, Groundwater, in press, doi: 10.1111/gwat.12202 [PDF]

S-Q Li§, Ye Zhang (2014) Model Complexity in Carbon Sequestration: A Design of Experiment and Response Surface Uncertainty Analysis, International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, Vol. 22, p. 123-138 [PDF]

Jianying Jiao§, Ye Zhang (2014)a Two-Dimensional Inversion of Confined and Unconfined Aquifers under Unknown Boundary Conditions, Advances in Water Resources, Vol. 65, p. 43-57, [PDF] 

Ye Zhang, Juraj Irsa§, Jianying Jiao§ (2014) Three-Dimensional Aquifer Inversion under Unknown Boundary Conditions, Journal of Hydrology, Vol. 509, p. 416-429, 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2013.11.024. [PDF] 

Ye Zhang (2014) Nonlinear Inversion of an Unconfined Aquifer: Simultaneous Estimation of Heterogeneous Hydraulic Conductivities, Recharge Rates, and Boundary Conditions, Transport in Porous Media, Vol. 102, p. 275-299, [PDF], DOI: 10.1007/s11242-014-0275-x.    

Ye Zhang (2013) Nonlinear Inversion of an Unconfined Aquifer: Simultaneous Estimation of Heterogeneous Hydraulic Conductivities, Recharge Rates, and Boundary Conditions, Transport in Porous Media, in press. [PDF], DOI: 10.1007/s11242-014-0275-x.


(1) Introduction to Geostatistics (GEOL 5446), Fall 2009, syllabus [PDF] .

Geostatistics course notes (Chp1 only) [PDF]

(2) Geohydrology (GEOL 4444/5444), Spring 2009, syllabus [PDF] .

Geohydrology course notes (Chp1 only) [PDF].

(3) Groundwater Flow and Solute Transport Modeling (GEOL 5200), Fall 2008, syllabus [PDF]. Students can sign up in either S/U or A/F grading.

Modeling course notes (Chp1 & Chp2 only) [PDF].

(4) Classical Papers in Hydrogeology (GEOL 5210), Fall 2008, syllabus [PDF].

Current Graduate Students

  • Minh Nguyen  - PhD Candidate

  • Fangyu Gao  - PhD Candidate

Research Statement

(1) Parameter Estimation

Permeability heterogeneity is the single most salient feature of sedimentary aquifers. It exerts a dominant control on subsurface fluid flow and solute transport, while the lack of its representation in hydrogeological models accounts for much uncertainty in model predictions. In lieu of heterogeneity, models adopt effective parameters to represent the bulk flow/transport behaviors arising out of the unresolved heterogeneity. To address the issues related to "the heterogeneity problem", my research focuses on (a) innovative data; (b) new upscaling method; (c) high performance computing; (d) novel statistical analysis technique.

(2) Regional Hydrogeology

In the hydrocarbon-rich intermontane basins of the Rocky Mountain region, little is understood of the interplay of groundwater flow, salinization, and petroleum generation/migration. At the basin scale, groundwater flow is coupled to heat transfer and salinity transport (variable-density flow). The data-rich Uinta Basin in Utah provides a natural laboratory to understand a variety of subsurface phenomena. My research focuses on (a) realistic 3D model building; (b) regional 3D mapping of water and gas chemistry; (c) geostatistical modeling (CoKriging) to predict gas concentration/migration pathways; (d) based on field sampling, theoretical analysis on fluids co-migration via multiphase flow modeling.

Teaching Statement

My teaching approach is one of thorough preparation, student participation, and individual mentoring. I use both mathematical models and hands-on exercises to clearly illucidate the concepts, theories and their applications. Though mathematical rigour in developing the models is an integral part of the instruction, practical applications and appropriate use of models are also emphasized. Thus, most of the exercises, howework and projects involve solving practical hydrogeological problems either by hand or by computers (more advanced classes only). I emphasize to the students the importance of being professional at this early stage of their career, by encouraging critical thinking, logical and clear writing, and quantitative rigour. In general, I assist students to “learn how to learn” and solve problems independently. For complex projects, students are sometimes encouraged to work in groups and to seek solutions in a collaborative environment, as team work is key to success in many real-world situations.

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