Dr. Clay A. Cooper

Associate Research Professor Hydrology
436c61792e436f6f706572406472692e656475
775-673-7372
groundwater, geothermal, reservoir engineering, multiphase flow, unsaturated zone

Professional Interests

My research interests are in many aspects of fluid dynamics and transport phenomena in multiphase, multicomponent systems above and below the land surface. These include diffusion and dispersion in aquifers and reservoirs, gas flow in both porous media and fractures, density-driven flow due to unstable solute gradients, thermal convection and buoyancy-driven processes, and coupled (chemical and physical) phenomena, all operating over scales from millimeters to tens of kilometers. These processes operate in aquifers, unsaturated zones, petroleum and geothermal reservoirs, and CO2 sequestration sites. Some of these problems lend themselves well to laboratory study, which are under-utilized in the hydrologic sciences, even though they fill a basic need to further our understanding of certain types of flow and transport processes. Laboratory investigation enhances our understanding primarily by allowing one to work with few assumptions, explore the physics and scaling properties of phenomena, and develop analytical models that explain correlations at full scale. The results can then be used to challenge and improve existing conceptual models, which in turn can be used to produce more refined numerical models.

Research Areas

  • Hydrology of the Unsaturated Zone
  • Contaminant Transport
  • Hydrogeological Controls on Availability and Quality of Ground Water 

Education

DegreeInstitutionArea
Ph.D. University of Nevada, Reno Hydrology
M.S. University of Nevada, Reno Hydrology/Hydrogeology
B.S. Northern Arizona University Geology

Academic Affiliations

Publications & Presentations

2017

Cooper, C. A., Chapman, J. B., Hodges, R., Dayvault, J. (2017). Radionuclide migration at a Plowshare Program site: the Gasbuggy Underground Nuclear Test Site, San Juan County, New Mexico, Waste Management: Phoenix, March 5, 2017-March 9, 2017

2015

Chapman, J. B., Cooper, C. A., Lyles, B. F., Hershey, R. L., Healey, J. M. (2015). Handbook: Collecting Groundwater Samples from Monitoring wells in Frenchman Flat, CAU 98, DOE/NV/0000939-23, DRI 45261
Cooper, C. A., Chapman, J. B. (2015). Radionuclide MIgration at the Gasbuggy Underground Nuclear Test Site, LMS/GSB/S13226, DRI Report No. 41262

2014

Cooper, C. A., Crews, J. B., Schumer, R., Breitmeyer, R. J., Voepel, H. E., Decker, D. L. (2014). Experimental investigation of transient thermal convection in porous media, Transport in Porous Media, 104, (2), 335-347, doi: 10.1007/s11242-014-0337-0
Crews, J. B., Cooper, C. A. (2014). Experimental evidence for seismically initiated gas bubble nucleation and growth in groundwater as a mechanism for co-seismic borehole water level rise and remotely triggered seismicity, Journal of Geophysical Research Solid Earth, 119, doi: 10.1002/2014JBO11398
Crews, J. B., Cooper, C. A. (2014). Transient pore pressure response to confining stress excursions in Berea sandstone flooded with an aqueous solution of CO2, Water Resources Research, 50, 4775-4786, doi: 10.1002/2014WR015305
Crews, J. B., Cooper, C. A. (2014). Experimental Investigation of Remote Seismic Triggering by Gas Bubble Growth in Groundwater, S51A-4396, American Geophysical Union 2014 Fall Meeting: San Francisco, California, December 15, 2014-December 19, 2014

2013

Cooper, C. A., Hershey, R. L., Healey, J. M., Lyles, B. F. (2013). Estimation of groundwater recharge at Pahute Mesa using the chloride mass-balance method, Desert Research Institute
Hodges, R., Falta, R., Cooper, C. A. (2013). Modeling of flow and transport induced by production of hydrofracture stimulated gas wells near the Rulison nuclear test, Transport in Porous Media, doi: 10.1007/s11242-013-0264-5
Maples, S. R., Andraski, B. J., Stonestrom, D. A., Cooper, C. A., Pohll, G. M., Michel, R. L. (2013). Tritium plume dynamics in the shallow unsaturated zone in an arid environment, Vadose Zone Journal, 12, doi: 10.2136/vzj2013.05.0080
Stonestrom, D. A., Andraski, B. J., Cooper, C. A., Mayers, C. J., Michel, R. L. (2013). On the conversion of tritium units to mass fractions for hydrologic applications, Isotopes in Environmental and Health Studies, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10256016.2013.766610, doi: http://dx..org/10.1080/10256016.2013.766610

2012

Cooper, C. A., Thomas, J. M., Lyles, B. F., Reeves, D. M., Pohll, G. M., Parashar, R. (2012). A Preliminary Geochemical Description of the Geothermal Reservoir at Astor Pass, Northern Pyramid Lake, Nevada, GRC 36th Annual Meeting: Reno, Nevada
Crews, J. B., Cooper, C. A. (2012). Bubble nucleation in groundwater triggered by seismic stimulation: A laboratory study, 46th US Rock Mechanics / Geomechanics Symposium: Chicago, Il
Hodges, R., Cooper, C. A., Falta, R. (2012). Modeling of flow and transport induced by production of hydrofracture stimulated gas wells near the Rulison nuclear test, TOUGH Symposium 2012: Berkeley, Calif.
Howe, S. D., Bedsun, D., Lee, D., Townsend, M., Cooper, C. A., Chapman, J. B., Bulman, M., Samborski, R., Brasuell, D., Zillmer, A., Borowski, S. (2012). Ground testing of a nuclear thermal rocket: Design of a sub-scale demonstration experiment, 48th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference: Pasadena, Calif.
Shope, C., Constantz, J. E., Cooper, C. A., McKay, W. A., Pohll, G. M., Reeves, D. M. (2012). Influence of a large fluvial island, streambed, and streambank on surface water-groundwater fluxes and water table dynamics, Water Resources Research, doi: :10.1029/2011WR011564

2011

Cooper, C. A., Decker, D. L. (2011). Injection of nuclear rocket exhaust and water into a deep unsaturated zone, Nuclear Technology, 174, 452-459
Crews, J. B., Cooper, C. A. (2011). Release of dissolved CO2 from water in laboratory porous media following rapid depressurization, AGU: San Francisco
Crews, J. B., Cooper, C. A. (2011). Seismically Driven Outgassing of CO2 from Water in Laboratory Porous Media, H51G-1266, American Geophysical Union 2011 Fall Meeting: San Francisco, California, December 5, 2011-December 9, 2011
Garcia, C. A., Andraski, B. J., Stonestrom, D. A., Cooper, C. A., Simunek, J., Wheatcraft, S. W. (2011). Interacting vegetative and thermal contributions to water movement in desert soil, Vadose Zone Journal, 10, 552-564
Voepel, H. E., Schumer, R., Breitmeyer, R. J., Cooper, C. A., Decker, D. L. (2011). Laboratory Models of Thermal Convection in Porous Media, AGU Fall Meeting: San Francisco, CA

2010

Cooper, C. A., Chapman, J. B., Zhang, Y., Hodges, R., Ye, M. (2010). Update of Tritium Transport Calculations for the Rulison Site: Report of Activities and Results During 2009-2010
Shope, C., Constantz, J. E., Cooper, C. A., McKay, W. A. (2010). Stream and Ground Water Water Exchange at a Large Fluvial Island, American Geophysical Union (AGU) Annual Fall Meeting, San Francisco, California

2009

Cooper, C. A., Decker, D. L. (2009). Injection of nuclear rocket exhaust and water into a deep unsaturated zone, TOUGH Symposium 2009: Berkeley, Calif.
Garcia, A., Andraski, B. J., Stonestrom, D. A., Cooper, C. A., Johnson, M. J., Michel, R. L., Wheatcraft, S. W. (2009). Transport of tritium contamination to the atmosphere in an arid environment, Vadose Zone Journal, 8, 450-461, doi: 10.2136/vzj2008.0022
Ye, M., Cooper, C. A., Chapman, J. B., Gillespie, D. R., Zhang, Y. (2009). Geologically based Markov chain model for simulating tritium transport with uncertain conditions in a nuclear-stimulated natural gas reservoir, SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering, 12, (6), 974-984, doi: 10.2118/114920-PA

2008

Cooper, C. A., Decker, D. L. (2008). Injection of nuclear rocket engine exhaust into deep unsaturated zones, AGU 2008 Joint Assembly

2007

Decker, D. L., Cooper, C. A., Jacobson, R. L., Oberlander, P. L., Shafer, D. S. (2007). Preliminary numerical modeling and sub-scale experimental design of a nuclear rocket test facility with vadose zone exhaust sequestration at the Nevada Test Site
Decker, D. L., Cooper, C. A., Jacobson, R. L., Oberlander, P. L., Shafer, D. S. (2007). Preliminary Numerical Modeling and Sub-scale Experimental Design of a Nuclear Rocket Test Facility with Vadose Zone Exhaust Sequestration at the Nevada Test Site, DRI Report No. 41238

2006

Breitmeyer, R. J., Cooper, C. A., Decker, D. L. (2006). Thermal convection in laboratory-scale porous media
Cooper, C. A., Ye, M., Chapman, J. B. (2006). Tritium transport through a low-permeability natural gas reservoir, TOUGH Symposium 2006, May 15-17: Berkeley, Calif.
Weisbrod, N., Dragila, M., Kamai, T., Pillersdorf, M., Cooper, C. A. (2006). On the connection between surface exposed fractures, atmospheric conditions and groundwater salinization in arid environment, Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, October 22-25: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

2005

Mayers, C. J., Andraski, B. J., Cooper, C. A., Wheatcraft, S. W., Stonestrom, D. A., Michel, R. L. (2005). Modeling tritium transport through a deep unsaturated zone in an arid environment, Vadose Zone Journal, 4, 967-976, doi: 10.2136/vzj2004.0179
Mihevc, T. M., Thomas, J. M., Cooper, C. A., Powell, R., Larson, J. (2005). Groundwater Nutrient Loading to Bridgeport Reservoir, DRI Report No. 41215
Thomas, J. M., Mihevc, T. M., Cooper, C. A., Gunter, M., Heyvaert, A. C., Michalski, G. (2005). Groundwater Nutrient Loading to Lake Tahoe in a Near-Shore Area with High Turbidity and Chlorophyll, DRI Report No. 41213
Weisbrod, N., Pillersdorf, M., Dragila, M., Graham, C., Cassidy, J., Cooper, C. A. (2005). Evaporation from fractures exposed at land surface: Impact of gas-phase convection on salt accumulation, Dynamics of Fluids and Transport in Fractured Rock, Geophysical Monograph Series 162, American Geophysical Union, 151-164

2003

Young, M. H., Lyles, B. F., Dana, G. L., Cooper, C. A. (2003). Evaluation of Infiltration Through Biocovers at the Outerloop RDF Louisville, KY, DRI Report No. 41187

2002

Pringle, S., Glass, R. J., Cooper, C. A. (2002). Double-diffusive finger convection in a Hele-Shaw cell: An experiment exploring the evolution of concentration fields, length scales and mass transfer, Transport in Porous Media, 47, 195-214

2001

Cooper, C. A., Glass, R. J., Tyler, S. W. (2001). Effect of buoyancy ratio on the development of double-diffusive finger convection in a Hele-Shaw cell, Water Resources Research, 37, 2323-2332

2000

Pringle, S. E., Cooper, C. A., Glass, R. J. (2000). Highly unstable double-diffusive finger convection in a Hele-Shaw cell: Baseline experimental data for evaluation of numerical models, 34 pp., SAND2000-3209J, Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico

1998

Stockman, H. W., Glass, R. J., Cooper, C. A., Rajaram, H. (1998). Accuracy and computational efficiency in 3D dispersion via lattice-Boltzmann: Models for dispersion in rough fractures and double-diffusive fingering, International Journal of Modern Physics C, 9, 1-13

1997

Cooper, C. A., Glass, R. J., Tyler, S. W. (1997). Experimental investigation of the stability boundary for double-diffusive finger convection in a Hele-Shaw cell, Water Resources Research, 33, 517-526
Stockman, H. W., Li, C., Cooper, C. A. (1997). Practical application of lattice-gas and lattice Boltzmann methods to dispersion problems, InterJournal of Complex Systems, manuscript no. 90

Authors

Abstract