The Hydrogeology Lab is part of the Oklahoma Geological Survey (OGS) and the Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy (MCEE) at The University of Oklahoma (OU). I am the group leader of the Water, Environmental, & Engineering Group at the OGS. Projects originating from our group examine earth, water, and energy resources in the state of Oklahoma and beyond. Recent projects were focused on the Arbuckle Group of Oklahoma and Kansas, the Antlers Formation/Aquifer of southern Oklahoma (aka Edwards/Trinity Group of Texas), and Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CEC) in various water sources and wastewater streams.

Kyle E. Murray, Ph.D.

The majority of my research at OGS and OU examines the interplay between water and energy resources. My research examines spatial and temporal trends to understand (1)volumes of water that are co-produced with oil and gas, (2)formations, zones and plays from which brine is co-produced, (3)management of saltwater, (4)injection of wastewater, (5)correlation of injection with earthquakes, and (6)strategies for reduction or mitigation of seismic hazard.

I have presented this line of research in numerous public venues and conferences including meetings of the Groundwater Protection Council (GWPC), Geological Society of America (GSA), American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), National Ground Water Association (NGWA), National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), American Geophysical Union (AGU), and the National Academy of Science (NAS).

Click Here to Browse SWDs in Oklahoma

To manage this breadth of research, I am organizing a Water and Energy Resources Consortium (WERC) at OU. The WERC group has several goals, two of which are to: 1) Create a forum for communication between industry and the research community regarding all water-energy issues. 2) Equip members with research findings that can be used to plan for a challenging regulatory environment. Please contact me ( if you or your company want to participate in the WERC group.

I am a proponent of recycle and reuse of water that is co-produced with oil and gas, so my research also evaluates produced water quality and treatment technologies. I have participated in several workshops that address economically viable treatment technologies, and have formed partnerships with industry to implement realistic strategies.

I also examine municipal water issues with an emphasis on the occurrence and toxicity of organic pollutants (Emerging Contaminants) in water and wastewater, specifically Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products (PPCPs). Research on this topic is designed to address public concerns about safety of drinking water, and to make wastewater treatment and reuse an option for future water supply. In this line of research, we work closely with municipalities, consultants, and water suppliers.

See my Academic CV or One-Page Infographic Resume, for a more detailed description of my background and experience. I welcome contact from new collaborators or potential students with an interest in developing geology, hydrogeology, or environmental engineering research projects.

OGS Reports:

Murray, K. E. (2015) Class II Saltwater Disposal for 2009-2014 at the Annual-, State-, and County- Scales by Geologic Zones of Completion, Oklahoma. Oklahoma Geological Survey Open File Report (OF5-2015). Norman, OK. 18 pages. Murray (2015)

Morgan, B. C., and Murray, K. E. (2015) Characterizing Small-Scale Permeability of the Arbuckle Group, Oklahoma. Oklahoma Geological Survey Open File Report (OF2-2015). Norman, OK. 12 pages. Morgan & Murray (2015)

Murray, K. E. (2014) Class II Underground Injection Control Well Data for 2010-2013 by Geologic Zones of Completion, Oklahoma. Oklahoma Geological Survey Open File Report (OF1-2014). Norman, OK. 32 pages. Murray (2014)

Journal Articles:

Zhou, W., Minnick, M.D., Mattson, E.D., Geza, M., Murray, K.E., 2015, GIS-based geospatial infrastructure of water resource Assessment for supporting oil shale development in Piceance basin of northwestern Colorado: Computers & Geosciences, v. 77, p. 44-53. Zhou et al. (2015)

Murray, K. E., Manitou-Alvarez, E.I., Inniss, E.C., Healy, F.G., and Bodour, A.A., 2015, Assessment of oxidative and UV-C treatments for inactivating bacterial biofilms from groundwater wells: Frontiers of Environmental & Engineering, v. 1, no. 1, p. 39-49. Murray et al. (2015)

Schweitzer, H., Murray, K.E., and Healy, F.G., 2014, Evaluation of media and nitrogen:phosphorus ratios for optimal growth of biotechnologically important unicellular microalgae: American Journal of Biomass and Bioenergy, v. 3, no. 3, p. 139-150. Schweitzer et al. (2014)

Murray, K.E., and Holland, A.A., 2014, Inventory of Class II Underground Injection Control Volumes in the Midcontinent: Shale Shaker, v. 65, no. 2, p. 98-106. Murray and Holland (2014)

Murray, K. E. 2013, State-scale perspective on water use and production associated with oil and gas operations, Oklahoma, U.S.: Environmental Science & Technology, v. 47, p. 4918-4925. Murray (2013)

Murray, K. E., and Yosko, L.S., 2013, Multi-observation well aquifer test case study: is recovery coincident with the cessation of pumping?: Environmental Earth Sciences, v. 68, p. 1955-1965. Murray and Yosko (2013)

Murray, K. E., Shields, J.A., Garcia, N.D., and Healy, F.G., 2012, Productivity, carbon utilization, and energy content of mass in scalable microalgae systems: Bioresource Technology, v. 114, p. 499-506. Murray et al. (2012)

Murray, K. E., Healy, F.G., McCord, R., and Shields, J.A., 2011, Biomass production and nutrient uptake by Neochloris oleoabundans in an open trough system: Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, v. 90, no.1, p. 89-95. Murray et al. (2011)

Murray, K.E., Thomas, S.M., and Bodour, A.A., 2010, Prioritizing research for trace pollutants and emerging contaminants in the freshwater environment: Environmental Pollution, v. 158, p. 3462-3471. Murray et al. (2010)

Geza, M., Murray, K.E., and McCray, J.E., 2010, Watershed scale impacts of nitrogen from onsite wastewater systems: Parameter sensitivity and model calibration: Journal of Environmental Engineering, v. 136, p. 926-938. Geza et al. (2010 a)

Geza, M., McCray, J.E., and Murray, K.E., 2010, Model evaluation of the impacts of on-site wastewater systems on phosphorus in Turkey Creek watershed: Journal of Environmental Quality, v. 39, p. 1636-1646. Geza et al. (2010 b)

Thomas, S.M., Bodour, A.A., Murray, K.E., and Inniss, E.C., 2009, Sorption behavior of a synthetic antioxidant, polycyclic musk, and an organophosphate insecticide in wastewater sludge: Water Science and Technology, v. 60, p. 145-154. Thomas et al. (2009)

Weissling, B.P., Xie, H., and Murray, K.E., 2009, Evaluation of NRCS curve number and MODIS time-series proxies for antecedent moisture condition: Civil Engineering and Environmental Systems, v. 26, p. 85-101. Weissling et al. (2009)

Murray, K.E., Straud, D.R., and Hammond, W.W., 2007, Characterizing groundwater flow in a faulted karst system using optical brighteners from septic systems as tracers: Environmental Geology, v. 53, p. 769-776. Murray et al. (2007)

Daniele, L., Pulido-Bosch, A., Murray, K.E., and Molina-Sanchez, L., 2007. Estudio de la evolució de un humedal en una región semiárida mediante GIS. El caso de la Cañada de las Norias (Campo de Dalías, SE España): Geogaceta, v. 41, p. 63-66. Daniele et al. (2007)

Weissling, B.P., Xie, H., and Murray, K.E., 2007, A multitemporal remote sensing approach to parsimonious streamflow modeling in a southcentral Texas watershed, USA: Hydrology and Earth System Sciences Discussions, v. 4, p. 33. Weissling et al. (2007)

Murray, K.E., and McCray, J.E., 2005, Development and application of a regional-scale pesticide transport and groundwater vulnerability model: Environmental & Engineering Geoscience, v. XI, p. 271-284. Murray and McCray (2005)

Schlosser, S.A., McCray, J.E., Murray, K.E., and Austin, B., 2002, A subregional-scale method to assess aquifer vulnerability to pesticides: Ground Water, v. 40, p. 361-367. Schlosser et al. (2002)

Other Publications:

Murray, K.E., 2012. Oklahoma Rocks! Groundwater. Newspapers In Education (NIE) The Oklahoman, Oklahoma City, OK. pp. 16. OK Rocks! Groundwater (2012)

Murray, K.E., 2012. Geologic controls on groundwater recharge to the central Oklahoma aquifer: Oklahoma Geology Notes, v. 72, no. 2, 1-8. OK Geology Notes (2012)

McCray, J.E., Geza, M., Murray, K.E., Poeter, E.P., and Morgan, D.S., 2009. Modeling of onsite wastewater systems at the watershed scale: A user guide. IWA Publishing, London, U.K., ISBN 978-1-84339-528-7/1-84339-528-2, pp. 230.

Turner, K.J., Hudson, M.R., Murray, K.E. and Mott, D.N., 2007. Three-dimensional geologic framework model for a karst aquifer system, Hasty and Western Grove Quadrangles, northern Arkansas, U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2007-5095, Denver, CO, pp. 12. SIR 2007-5095

Blome, C.D., Faith, J.R., Collins, E.W., Pedraza, D.E., and Murray, K.E., 2004. Geologic map compilation of the Upper Seco Creek area, Medina and Uvalde Counties, south-central Texas, U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2004-1430, Denver, CO., pp. 21. OFR 2004-1430

Hudson, M.R. and Murray, K.E., 2004. Geologic map of the Hasty quadrangle, Boone and Newton Counties, Arkansas, Denver, CO, U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map, SIM-2847. SIM 2004-2847

Hudson, M.R. and Murray, K.E., 2003. Geologic map of the Ponca quadrangle, Newton, Boone and Carroll Counties, Arkansas, Denver, CO, U.S. Geological Survey Misc Field Studies, MF-2412. MF-2412

Bryant, B., Shroba, R.R., Harding, A.E., and Murray, K.E., 2002. Geologic map of the Storm King Mountain quadrangle, Garfield County, Colorado (1:24,000). U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Field Studies, MF-2389. MF-2389

Hudson, M. R., Murray, K.E., and Pezzutti, D., 2001. Geologic map of the Jasper quadrangle, Newton and Boone Counties, Arkansas (1:24,000). U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Field Studies, MF-2356. MF-2356

Scott, R.B., Carrara, P.E., Hood, W.C., and Murray, K.E., 2001. Geologic map of the Grand Junction quadrangle, Mesa County, Colorado, (1:24,000). U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Field Studies, MF-2363. MF-2363

Research Interests

Educational Materials