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Jerry Fairley

Jerry P. Fairley



McClure 401C



Mailing Address

Department of Geological Sciences
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive, MS 3022
Moscow, ID 83844-3022

  • Ph.D., Earth Resources Engineering, 2000—University of California, Berkeley
  • M.S., Geosciences, 1991—University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • B.S., Geology, 1984—State University of New York, Cortland

  • Multiphase flow and transport in heterogeneous porous media
  • Faults and fluid flow
  • Geothermal systems
  • Geologic carbon sequestration
  • Nuclear waste disposal site characterization

  • Pollyea, R.M. and Fairley, J.P. 2012. Experimental evaluation of terrestrial LiDAR-based surface roughness estimates. Geosphere, 8(1), 1-7, February. doi:10.1130/GES00733.1
  • Pollyea, R.M. and Fairley, J.P. 2012. Implications of spatial reservoir uncertainty for CO2 sequestration in low-volume basalt. Hydrogeology Journal, 20(4):689-699.
  • Pollyea, R. and Fairley, J.P. 2011. Estimating surface roughness of terrestrial laser scan data using orthogonal distance regression. Geology, 39(7):623-626, doi:10.1130/G32078.1.
  • Fairley, J.P. 2010. Fracture/matrix interaction in a fracture of finite extent. Water Resources Research 46, doi:10.1029/2009WR008849.
  • Fairley, J.P., Ingebritsen, S.E., and Podgorney, R.K. 2010. Challenges for numerical modeling of enhanced geothermal systems. Ground Water, doi:10.1111/j.1745-6584.2010.00716.x
  • Moravec, B.G., Keller, C.K., Smith, J.L., Allen-King, R.M., Goodwin, A.J., Fairley, J.P., and Larson, P.B. 2010. Oxygen-18 dynamics in precipitation and streamflow in a semi-arid agricultural watershed, Eastern Washington, USA. Hydrologic Processes 24:446–460.
  • Fairley, J.P. 2009. Modeling fluid flow in a heterogeneous, fault-controlled hydrothermal system. Geofluids 9:153–166, doi:10.1111/j.1468-8123.2009.00236.x.
  • Hess, S., J.P. Fairley, J. Bradford, M. Lyle, and W. Clement. 2009. Evidence for composite hydraulic architecture in an active fault system based on 3D seismic reflection, time-domain electromagnetics and temperature data. Near Surface Geophysics 7:341–352.
  • Anderson, T.R., and Fairley, J.P. 2008. Relating permeability to the structural setting of a fault-controlled hydrothermal system in southeast Oregon, USA. Journal of Geophysical Research, doi:10:1029/2007JB004962.
  • Podgorney, R.K., and Fairley, J.P. 2008. Investigation of episodic flow from unsaturated porous media into a macropore. Vadose Zone Journal 7:332–339, doi:10.2136/vzj2006.0107.
  • Fairley, J.P. and Zakrajsek, J.R. 2007. A physical antialias filter for time-series temperature measurements. Ground Water Monitoring and Remediation 27(1):103-107.
  • Fairley, J.P. and Nicholson, K.N. 2006. Imaging lateral groundwater flow in the shallow subsurface. Journal of Hydrology 321:276-285.
  • Fairley, J.P. and Hinds, J.J. 2004. Field observation of fluid circulation patterns in a normal fault system. Geophysical Research Letters 31:L19502, doi:10.1029/2004GL020812.
  • Fairley, J.P. and Hinds, J.J. 2004. Permeability distribution in an active Great Basin fault zone. Geology 32:825-828.
  • Fairley, J.P., Podgorney, R.K., and Wood, T.R. 2004. Unsaturated flow through a small fracture-matrix network: Part 2. Uncertainty in modeling flow processes. Vadose Zone Journal 3:101-108.

  • Fluid flow in faults
    The objective of this project is to understand the distribution of properties controlling fluid flow in fault systems. The project focuses on characterizing fault properties by detailed examination of the discharge of hydrothermal fluids along exposed faults in the Basin and Range province of the western U.S. The study has important implications for petroleum hydrocarbon trapping and migration, management of power production in geothermal reservoirs, geologic carbon sequestration, and earthquake prediction.
  • Carbon sequestration in fractured basalts
    New strategies for the sequestration of carbon-based compounds (e.g., carbon dioxide, methane, etc.) are currently in demand, given the current carbon-constrained business environment. This study seeks to understand the distribution of pore space available for the sequestration of carbon dioxide in the deep, fractured basalts of the Eastern Snake River Plane (ESRP). By characterizing surface exposures of ESRP basalts we have developed a spatial-statistical model that allows numerical simulation of CO2 injections to test the physical and economic potential of ESRP basalts as a permanent storage location for greenhouse gases.
  • Fracture/matrix exchange in the vadose zone
    This project aims at developing a theoretical basis for an understanding of fracture/matrix interaction in unsaturated or multiphase fractured porous media. The mathematical and computational underpinnings of the study were developed on the basis of a series of experiments carried out at the laboratory scale at the Idaho National Laboratory and at the field scale in the underground laboratory at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The study has applications to oil and gas production, contaminant transport, and the safe disposal of high-level radioactive waste.

  • Lloyd and Caroline Harding Professor of Geology (2012-2015)


Department of Geological Sciences

Physical Address:
McClure Hall 203

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Drive, MS 3022
Moscow, ID 83844-3022

Phone: 208-885-6192


Web: Geological Sciences