Hongbin Zhan

Hongbin Zhan

Professor of Geology & Geophysics, Water Management & Hydrological Science, and Energy Institute

Holder of Dudley J. Hughes '51 Chair in Geology and Geophysics

Subsurface hydrology; Environmental Geoscience; Environmental fluid mechanics, Subsurface chemical/heat transport; Geothermal energy production and storage


  (979) 862-7961

  Halbouty 259


Dr. Hongbin Zhan is a Subsurface Hydrologist/Environmental Geoscientist, and a Professor of Geology and Geophysics, Professor of Water Management and Hydrological Science, Professor of Energy Institute at Texas A&M University (TAMU). He is the Holder of Endowed Dudley J. Hughes ’51 Chair in Geology and Geophysics at Texas A&M University. His teaching and research interests are in fundamental processes of groundwater hydrology, flow and transport in geological formations, and their applications in water resources management and geological, environmental, and energy engineering, covering a wide range of topics such as: 1) Flow and solute transport in highly deformable low-permeability porous media; 2) Interaction of aquifer with connected and disconnected rivers; 3) Non-Darcy flow and its impact on anomalous transport; 4) Coupled unsaturated-saturated flow and transport problems; 5) Radial dispersion and push-and-pull tests; 6) Geothermal energy production and storage.


Dr. Zhan has published more than 347 peer-reviewed articles with a google scholar citation of 8411 with an H-index of 50. He has graduated 57 graduate students and has supervised 25 visiting scholars and postdoctoral scientists. He has served in many national and international committees and panels, such as the US DOE Subsurface Biogeochemical Research (SBR) program; AAAS Research Competitiveness Program; US DOD/EPA/DOE Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP); American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), and the Institute for Regulatory Science (RSI) peer review board. Dr. Zhan was the Montague Scholar from the Center for Teaching Excellence at TAMU (1999), the Fred Burggraf Award recipient (2004) for recognition of excellence in transportation research by researchers 35 years of age or younger from the Transportation Research Board (TRB), administrated by The National Academies of Sciences & Engineering & Medicine. He was the recipient of the Distinguished Achievement Award in Faculty Teaching (2009) and the Distinguished Achievement Award in Faculty Research (2016) from the College of Geosciences at TAMU. He is an elected Fellow of the Geological Society of America (2006).

Selected Publications

Peer-Reviewed Publications in recent three years (2022-2024)

(* denotes a supervised graduate student,** denotes a supervised visiting scholar /research associate)

  1. Liu, Y.Q., Shan, H.M.**, You, S.H., Mo, H.N., and Zhan, H.B., Enhanced arsenic removal by graphene oxide chitosan composites through FeOx decoration: Influences and mechanism, International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, 266, 131078, 2024. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2024.131078.
  2. Wang, X.G.**, Hu, S., Lian, B.Q.**, Wang, J.D., Zhan, H.B., Wang, D.Z, Liu, K., Luo, L., and Gu, C.Y., Formation mechanism of a disaster chain in Loess Plateau: A case study of the Pucheng County disaster chain on August 10, 2023, in Shaanxi Province, China, Engineering Geology, 331, 107463, 2024. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enggeo.2024.107463.
  3. Li, Z.X.**, Xiao, J., Wan, J.W., Cheng, J.M., Feng, H.B., Zhan, H.B., Yuan, S., and Huang, K., A dynamic modeling approach to predict water inflow during tunnel excavation in relatively uniform rock masses, Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology, 146, 105668, 2024. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tust.2024.105668.
  4. Zhang, L.*, Zhang, Z.X., Huang, X., Zhang, J.W., Schneidewind, U., Krause, S., Jin, M.G., Liang, X., and Zhan, H.B., Ammonium enrichment, nitrate attenuation and nitrous oxide production along groundwater flow paths: Carbon isotopic and DOM optical evidence, Journal of Hydrology, 632, 130943, 2024. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2024.130943.
  5. Si, J.J., Zhang, L.*, Zhang, S.Z., Li, Y.J., Zhang, Z.X., He, Z.Q., Chen, Y., and Zhan, H.B., Response of spatiotemporal characteristics of air pollutants to meteorological conditions and socioeconomic activities associated to the COVID-19 outbreak over the Yangtze River Economic Belt, Atmospheric Environment, 323, 120390, 2024. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosenv.2024.120390.
  6. Zhang, Y., Liu, X.T., Lei, D.W., Yin, M.S., Sun, H.G., Guo, Z.L., and Zhan, H.B., Modeling hydrologically mediated hot moments of transient anomalous diffusion in aquifers using an impulsive fractional-derivative equation, Water Resources Research 60, e2023WR036089, 2024. https://doi.org/10.1029/2023WR036089.
  7. Zhang, J.Y.*, and Zhan, H.B., A novel analytical model of fluid leakage through an abandoned well, Advances in Water Resources, 185, 104644, 2024. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.advwatres.2024.104644.
  8. Xiong, T., Li, Z.X.**, Zhan, H.B., Wan, J.W., Huang, K., Yuan, S., and Xiao, J., Two-dimensional high-resolution numerical investigation of eddy effect in artificial rough conduits with different shapes, Advances in Water Resources, 184, 104621, 2024. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.advwatres.2024.104621.
  9. Wu, Y., Zhang, L.*, Zhang, Z.X., Chen, W.L., Zhan, H.B., Ling, J.Y., Ma, B., and Yang, S.Q., Influence of solar activity and large-scale climate phenomena on extreme precipitation events in Yangtze River Economic Belt, Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment, 38, 211-231, 2024. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00477-023-02573-3.
  10. Wang, L.L.**, Zhan, H.B., Qian, J.Z., Zhang, R.G., Zhang, Q., and Guan, H.C., Phosphorus sources and transport pathways in the North Chaohu Lake catchment of China, Water, 16, 244, 2024. https://doi.org/10.3390/w16020244.
  11. Shi, W.G.*, Zhan, H.B., and Wang, Q.R.**, Quantifying vertical streambed fluxes and streambed thermal properties using heat as a tracer during extreme hydrologic events, Journal of Hydrology, 629, 130553, 2024. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2023.130553.
  12. Jin, A.H.*, Wang, Q.R.**, and Zhan, H.B., A novel four phase slug single-well push-pull test with regional flux: Forward modeling and parameter estimation, Journal of Hydrology, 630, 130705, 2024. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2024.130705.
  13. Jin, A.H.*, Wang, Q.R.**, Zhan, H.B., and Zhou, R.J., Comparative performance assessment of physical-based and data-driven machine learning models for simulating streamflow: A case study in three catchments across continental United States, ASCE Journal of Hydrologic Engineering, 29(2), 05024004, 2024. https://doi.org/10.1016/JHYEFF.HEENG-6118.
  14. Li, J.*, Li, M.G., Zhan, H.B., Chen, J.J., and Xia, X.H., Modelling for well hydraulics of constant-head injection using a partially penetrating well with consideration of well and aquifer clogging, Chinese Journal of Geotechnical Engineering, 46(1), 207-215, 2024. DOI: 10.11779/CJGE20221085. (in Chinese).
  15. Chen, Z.H.*, and Zhan, H.B., Universal relationship between mass flux and properties of layered heterogeneity on the contaminant flushing process, Water, 15, 3292, 2023. https://doi.org/10.3390/w15183292.
  16. Wu, Y., Zhang, L., Zhang, Z.X., Chen, W.L., Zhan, H.B., Ling, J.Y., Ma, B., and Yang, S.Q., Influence of solar activity and large-scale climate phenomena on extreme precipitation events in Yangtze River Economic Belt, Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment, in press, 2023. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00477-023-02573-3.
  17. Qi, C.T.*, Zhou, R.J., and Zhan, H.B., Analysis of heat transfer in an aquifer thermal energy storage system: On the role of two-dimensional thermal conduction, Renewable Energy, 217, 119156, 2023. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.renene.2023.119156.
  18. Cheng, Y.B.**, Zhan, H.B., Yang, W.B., Lu, Q., Feng, W., Lu, Q., Wang, Y.Q., Jiang, Q.O., Wang, B., Shi, M.C., Wang, T., Xin, Z.M., and Hao, R.F., Redistribution process of precipitation in ecological restoration activity of Pinus sylvestris var. mongolica in Mu Us Sandy Land, China, International Soil and Water Conservation Research, 11(3), 572-585, 2023. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.iswcr.2022.03.008.
  19. Dong, G.M.**, Wang, Y., Zhan, H.B., Tian, J., Li, J.N., and Dai, L.N., Numerical simulation of water budget interval for unsteady two-dimensional confined flow, Bulletin of Geological Science and Technology, 42(4), 75-82, 2023. Doi:10.19509/j.cnki.dzkq.tb20230028. (in Chinese).
  20. Qi, C.T.*, Zhan, H.B., and Hao, Y.H., Analysis of unsaturated-saturated flow induced by a vadose zone well injection, Bulletin of Geological Science and Technology, 42(4), 118-129, 2023. Doi:10.19509/j.cnki.dzkq.tb20220703. (in Chinese).
  21. Ma, K., Ma, C.**, Zhan, H.B., and Liu, Y., Mixing effect and skin effect on radial solute transport around an injection well, Bulletin of Geological Science and Technology, 42(4), 130-137, 2023. Doi:10.19509/j.cnki.dzkq.tb20220616. (in Chinese).
  22. Shi, W.G.*, Zhan, H.B., and Wang, Q.R., A two-dimensional closed-form analytical solution for heat transport with nonvertical flow in riparian zones, Water Resources Research, 59(8), e2022WR034059, 2023. https://doi.org/10.1029/2022WR034059.
  23. Li, J.*, Li, M.G., Zhan, H.B., Chen, J.J., and Xia, X.H., Modelling for well hydraulics of constant-head injection using a partially penetrating well with consideration of well and aquifer clogging, Chinese Journal of Geotechnical Engineering, in press, 2023. (in Chinese).
  24. Yan, Y.J., Xin, Z.M., Bai, X.Y., Zhan, H.B., Xi, J.J., Xie, J., and Cheng, Y.B.**, Analysis of growing season normalized difference vegetation index variation and its influencing factors on the Mongolian Plateau based on Google Earth Engine, Plants, 12(13), 2550, 2023. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12132550.
  25. Ke, Q.R., Li, C.D., Yao, W.M.*, Fan, Y.B., Zhan, H.B., Li, B.C., and Zhang, X., Comparative characterization of sandstone microstructure affected by cyclic wetting-drying process, International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences, 170, 105486, 2023. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrmms.2023.105486.
  26. Zhuang, C., Zhan, H.B., Xu, X.D., Wang, J.G., Zhou, Z.F., and Dou, Z., Effects of aquitard windows on groundwater fluctuations within a coastal leaky aquifer system: An analytical and experimental study, Advances in Water Resources, 177, 104473, 2023. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.advwatres.2023.104473.
  27. Zhang, L.*, Liu, Y.F., Jin, M.G., Liang, X., Krause, S., Schneidewind, U., Li, Y.M., and Zhan, H.B., Influence of seasonal water-level fluctuations on depth-dependent microbial nitrogen transformation and greenhouse gas fluxes in the riparian zone, Journal of Hydrology, 622, Part B, 129676, 2023. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2023.129676.
  28. Shi, W.G.*, Wang, Q.R.**, Zhan, H.B., Zhou, R.J., and Yan, H.T., A general model of radial dispersion with wellbore mixing and skin effect, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 27(9), 1891-1908, 2023. http://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2022-372.
  29. Shan, H.M.**, Mo, H.N., Liu, Y.Q., Zeng, C.Y., Peng, S.X., and Zhan, H.B., As(III) removal by a recyclable granular adsorbent through dopping Fe-Mn binary oxides into graphene oxide chitosan, International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, 237, 124184, 2023. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2023.124184.
  30. Lin, Y.F., Huang, J.Q., Carr, E.J., Hsieh, T.C., Zhan, H.B., and Yu, H.L., A temporally relaxed theory of physically or chemically non-equilibrium solute transport in heterogeneous porous media, Journal of Hydrology, 620, 129432, 2023. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2023.129432.
  31. Sedghi, M.M., and Zhan, H.B., Groundwater mounding due to recharge from ephemeral streams, Advances in Water Resources, 174, 104421, 2023. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.advwatres.2023.104421.
  32. Feng, Q.G.*, and Zhan, H.B., Two-region flow caused by pumping at a partial penetration well in a leaky confined aquifer, International Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics, 1-19, 2023. https://doi.org/10.1002/nag.3489.
  33. Xin, Z., Feng, W., Zhan, H.B., Bai, X.Y., Yang, W.B., Cheng, Y.B., and Wu, X.Q., Atmospheric vapor impact on desert vegetation and desert ecohydrological system, Plants, 12, 223, 2023. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12020223.
  34. Liu, Y.Q., Shan, H.M.**, Pang, Y.Y., Zhan, H.B., and Zeng, C.Y., Iron modified chitosan/coconut shell activated carbon composite beads for Cr(VI) removal from aqueous solution, International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, 224, 156-169, 2023. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2022.10.112.
  35. Yao, W.M.*, Li, C.D., Ke, Q.R., Fan, Y.B., Li, B.C., Zhan, H.B., and Criss, R. E., Multi-scale deterioration of physical and mechanical properties of argillaceous siltstone under cyclic wetting-drying of Yangtze River water, Engineering Geology, 312, 106925, 2023. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enggeo.2022.106925.
  36. Ma, C.**, Zhan, H.B., and Shi, W.G., On the vertical flux in a two-layer aquifer system with the absence of aquitard, ASCE Journal of Hydrologic Engineering, 28(4), 04023008, 2023. DOI: 10.1061/JHYEFF.HEENG-5832.
  37. Li, X., Wen, Z.**, Zhan, H.B., Zhu, Q., and Jakada, H., On the bimodal radial solute transport in dual-permeability porous media, Water Resources Research, 58, e2022WR032580, 2022. https://doi.org/10.1029/2022WR032580.
  38. Shan, H.M.**, Liu, Y.Q., Zeng, C.Y., Peng, S.X., and Zhan, H.B., On As (III) adsorption characteristics of innovative magnetite graphene oxide chitosan microsphere, Materials, 15(20), 7156, 2022. https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15207156
  39. Liu, Y.Q., Shan, H.M.**, Zeng, C.Y., Zhan, H.B., and Pang, Y.Y., Removal of Cr(VI) from wastewater using graphene oxide chitosan microspheres modified with α-FeO(OH), Materials, 15, 4909, 2022. https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15144909
  40. Li, J.*, Li, M.G., Zhan, H.B., Chen, J.J., and Xia, X.H., Non-Darcian flow toward an injection well fully penetrating a leaky confined aquifer with clogging-induced permeability reduction, International Journal of Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics, 46, 3217-3235, 2022. DOI: 10.1002/nag.3448.
  41. Yao, W.M.*, Li, C.D., Guo, Y.C., Criss, R.E., Zuo, Q.J., Zhan, H.B., Short-term deformation characteristics, displacement prediction, and kinematic mechanism of Baijiabao landslide based on updated monitoring data, Bulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment, 81, 393, 2022. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10064-022-02912-8
  42. Zhang, L.*, Zhang, J.Q., Traore, S., Ge, J.K., Zhao, X., Zhan, H.B., and Singh, V.P., Continental-scale spatiotemporal calibration of the Blanery-Criddle equation for different climate zones in China, Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies, 44, 101233, 2022. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejrh.2022.101233
  43. Feng, S., Cheng, D.W.**, Zhan, H.B., Yang, S.K., Zhao, X.H., Jin, H.Y., and Zhang, L., Evolution characteristics of remediation process of secondary contaminant sources of low-permeability lens driven by circulating well, Journal of Hydrology, 613, 128408, 2022. https://doi.org/10.1016/j/jhydrol.2022.128408
  44. Zhang, H.T.*, Xu, G.Q., Zhan, H.B., Li, X., and He, J.H., Simulation of multi-period paleotectonic stress fields and distribution prediction of natural Ordovician fractures in the Huainan coalfield, Northern China, Journal of Hydrology, 128291, 612, Part C, 2022. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2022.128291
  45. Liu, Y.Q., Shan, H.M.**, Zeng, C.Y., Zhan, H.B., and Pang, Y.Y., Removal of Cr (VI) from wastewater using graphene oxide chitosan microspheres modified with α-FeO(OH), Materials, 15(4), 4909, 2022. https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15144909
  46. Xian, Y.*, Jin, M.G., Zhan, H.B., and Liang, X., Permeable biofilms can support persistent hyporheic anoxic microzones, Geophysical Research Letter, 49, e2021GL096948, 2022. https://doi.org/10.1029/2021GL096948
  47. Fang, Y.H., Zheng, T.Y., Guo, B., Zhan, H.B., Wang, H., Zheng, X.L., and Walther, M., Transformation in the stability of tide-induced upper saline plume driven by transient external forcing, Water Resources Research, 58, e2021WR031331, 2022. https://doi.org/10.1029/2021WR031331
  48. Chen, Z.*, Tian, Z.Y., Zhan, H.B., Huang, J.T., Huang, Y., Wei, Y.B., and Ma, X., The effect of roughness on the nonlinear flow in a single rough fracture with sudden apertures change, Lithosphere, Article ID 5775275, 2022. https://doi.org/10.2113/2022/5775275
  49. Li, Z.X.*, Wan, J.W., Xiong, T., Zhan, H.B., He, L.Q., and Huang, K., Experimental study of non-Darcy flow characteristics in permeable stones, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 26, 3359-3375, 2022. https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-26-3359-2022
  50. Sedghi, M.M., and Zhan, H.B., On the discharge variation of a qanat in an alluvial fan aquifer, Journal of Hydrology, 610, 127922, 2022. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2022.127922
  51. Cheng, D.W.**, Zhan, H.B., Li, J., and Deng, J.Y., Evolutional characteristics of the hydraulic connectivity in a stream-groundwater system with stratified sediments, Advances in Water Science, 33(1), 135-144, 2022. Doi:10.14042/j.cnki.32.1309.2022.01.013 (in Chinese)
  52. Chen, Z.*, Ma, X., Zhan, H.B., Dou, Z., Wang, J.G., Zhou, Z.F., and Peng, C.L., Experimental investigation of solute transport across transition interface of porous media under reversible flow directions, Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 238, 113566, 2022. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoenv.2022.113566
  53. Chen, Z.*, Huang, J.T., Zhan, H.B., Wang, J.G., Dou, Z., Zhang, C.J., Chen, C.S., and Fu, Y.S., Optimization schemes for deep foundation pit dewatering under complicated hydrogeological conditions using MPDFLOW-USG, Engineering Geology, 303, 106653, 2022. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enggeo.2022.106653
  54. Chen, K.W.*, Chen, X.Y., Song, X.H., Briggs, M.A., Jiang, P.S., Shuai, P., Hammond, G., Zhan, H.B., and Zachara, J.M., Using ensemble data assimilation to estimate transient hydrologic exchange flow under highly dynamic flow conditions, Water Resources Research, 58, e2021WR030735, 2022. https://doi.org/10.1029/2021WR030735
  55. Zhao, M.*, Tang, H.M., Zhan, H.B., and Zhang, J.R., A numerical method for solving the three-dimensional probability distribution of rockmass fracture orientations, Earth Science, 47(4), 1-13, 2022. https://doi.org/10.3799/dqkx.2019.000 (in Chinese)
  56. Lian, B.Q.*, Wang, X.G., Zhan, H.B., Wang, J.D., Peng, J.B., Gu, T.F., and Zhu, R.S., Creep mechanical and microstructural insights into the failure mechanism of loess landslides induced by dry-wet cycles in the Heifangtai platform, China, Engineering Geology, 300, 106589, 2022. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enggeo.2022.106589
  57. Ma, C.**, Shi, W.G., and Zhan, H.B., On the vertical circulation wells in a leaky-confined aquifer, Journal of Hydrology, 608, 127676, 2022. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2022.127676
  58. Zhou, R.J.*, Zhan, H.B., and Wang, Y.N., On the role of rock matrix to heat transfer in a fracture-rock matrix system, Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, 245, 103950, 2022. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jconhyd.2021.103950
  59. Wang, Z.M., Li, Z.F., Zhan, H.B., and Yang, S.F., Effect of long-term saline mulched drip irrigation on soil-groundwater environment in arid Northwest China, Science of the Total Environment, 820, 153222, 2022. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.153222
  60. Qi, C.*, and Zhan, H.B., Soil property and subsurface heterogeneity control on groundwater recharge of vadose zone injection wells, ASCE Journal of Hydrologic Engineering, 27(3), 04021052, 2022. https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)HE.1943-5584.0002158
  61. Yao, W.M.*, Li, C.D., Yan, C.B., and Zhan, H.B., Slope reliability analysis through Bayesian sequential updating integrating limited data from multiple estimation methods, Landslides, 19, 1101-1117, 2022. DOI 10.1007/s10346-021-01812-4


PhD (1996) Hydrology/Hydrogeology, University of Nevada, Reno
MS (1993) Physics, University of Nevada, Reno
BS (1989) Physics, University of Science & Technology of China


2023 Elected Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science;
2020 Editors' Citation for Excellence in Refereeing, Water Resources Research, American Geophysical Union;
2016 Dean’s Distinguished Achievement Award in Faculty Research; College of Geosciences, Texas A&M University;
2013 Best Paper Award, Journal of Hydrologic Engineering, The American Society of Civil Engineers (the single paper won this award in 2013);
2011 Best Paper Award, Journal of Hydraulic Engineering (in Chinese), Chinese Hydraulic Engineering Society (one of the three papers won this award in 2011);
2009 Dean’s Distinguished Achievement Award in Faculty Teaching; College of Geosciences, Texas A&M University
2006 Fellow of Geological Society of America;
2002 Fred Burggraf Award, Transportation Research Board (TRB), The National Academics;
2001-2002 Big 12 Faculty Fellowship, Texas A&M University;
1999-2000 Montague Scholar, Center for Teaching Excellence, Texas A&M University


Undergraduate Courses:

GEOL 410 (3 credits): Hydrogeology (Fall 2023, Fall 2024, Fall 2025)
GEOL 412 (3 credits): Environmental Hydrogeology (Spring 2024, Spring 2025)

Graduate Courses:

GEOL 614 (3 credits): Advanced Hydrogeology (Fall 2023, Fall 2024, Fall 2025)
GEOL 625 (3 credits): Applied Ground Water Modeling (Fall 2023, Fall 2024, Fall 2025)
GEOL 621 (3 credits): Contaminant Hydrogeology (Spring 2024, Spring 2025)

Additional Information

Postal Address:

Texas A&M University
Room 259, Halbouty Building
Department of Geology and Geophysics,
Mail Stop 3115,
College Station, Texas 77843-3115

Fax: 979-845-6162 

Professional Geoscientist, State of Texas, license #2715.

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