Juske Horita
Professor, Department of Geosciences

My research interest is broadly-defined, interdisciplinary geochemistry of atmospheric, surficial, and subsurface processes of the Earth during geologic time, utilizing both advanced chemical and isotopic techniques.

Specific research fields include stable isotope geochemistry, isotope hydrology, origins of hydrocarbons-organic compounds in the deep Earth and space, petroleum geochemistry, paleoclimatology/ paleoceanography, biogeochemistry. We're promoting 'Environmental & Hydrologic Geochemistry' program at Texas Tech University

My goal at TTU is to establish an interdisciplinary research and educational center of stable isotope studies within the Department of Geosciences, utilizing innovative approaches and techniques. This Center provides researchers and students from across Texas Tech access to state-of-the-art technologies.


2010-Present: Professor and Strategic Hire, Department of Geosciences, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas.

2011-Present: Joint Faculty, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas.

1996-2010: R&D staff-Senior R&D Scientist, Chemical Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

1994-1996: Research Assistant Professor, Department of Geological Sciences, University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

1990-1994: Post-doctoral fellow, Chemical and Analytical Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

1987-1990: Post-doctoral fellow, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University


A wide range of research projects are being conducted in organic/petroleum geochemistry, carbon compounds and cycle in the deep Earth and space, environmental and hydrological isotope geochemistry. utilizing state-of-the-art stable isotope techniques (isotope ratio mass-spec, nuclear magnetic resonance).

(1) Organic and Petroleum Geochemistry: To understand origins, formation, transport and degradation of petroelum hydrocarbons (gas-oil) in the subsurface.

From L to R clockwise: Petroleum formation, carbon isotope distribution, isotopic signatures of natural gases, stray gas, oil-gas fields in W Texas, natural gas data from groundwater in W. Texas

(2) Environmental Studies and Surface-Subsurface hydrology: To study water cycles (soil, playas, and groundwater in the Southern High Plains and arid enviroenments), utilizing stable isotope techniques involving collaborations (TTU-Water Resources Center), USGS Water Science Center.

From L to R clockwise: Jim Bertram Lake System (Lubbock), change in Saturated Thickness 1990 – 2004 (credit, TTU Center for Geospatial Technology), groundwater wells, playas on the Southern High Plains (credit, USGS Circular 1333), Sampling of groundwater (K. Falk)

(3) Carbon Cycles in the deep Earth and Space: To investigate the origins, distributions, and dymanics of carbon compounds (diamond, organic carbon) in the deep Earth and space.

From L to R clockwise: organic molecules in the universe, Miller-Urey reaction, carbon isotopes of deep Earth, Lost-City, Miller’s primordial soup, deep carbon cycle, putative Archean fossil, mantle carbon w/diamond


S.-T. Kim, T. B. Coplen, and J. Horita Normalization of Stable Isotope Data for Carbonate Minerals: Implementation of IUPAC Guidelines. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 158, 276-289

M. Brundrett, J. Horita, T. Anderson, J. Pardue, D. Reible, and W.A. Jackson (2015) The Use of Chlorate, Nitrate, and Perchlorate to Promote Crude Oil Mineralization in Salt Marsh Sediments. Environmental Science and Pollution Research DOI 10.1007/s11356-015-4435-5

J. Horita and V.B. Polyakov (2015) Carbon-bearing iron phases and the carbon isotope composition of the deep Earth. Proceedings of the National Academy of the United. States. 112, 31-36.

M. Kang, E. Perfect, C.L. Cheng, H.Z. Bilheux, J. Lee, J. Horita, and J.M. Warren (2014) Multiple pixel-scale water retention curves quantified by neutron radiography. Advances in Water Resources 65, 1-8.

J. Horita. (2014) Oxygen and carbon isotope fractionation in the system dolomite-water-CO2 to elevated temperatures Geochim Cosmochim Acta. 129, 111-124

J. M. Warren, H.Z. Bilheux, M. Kang, S. Voisin, C.L. Cheng, E. Perfect, and J. Horita (2013) Neutron Imaging Reveals Internal Plant Hydraulic Dynamics, Plant and Soil, doi: 10.1007/s11104-012-1579-7

M. Kang, E. Perfect, C.L. Cheng, H.Z. Bilheux, M. Gragg, D.M. Wright, J.M. Lamanna, J. Horita, and J.M. Warren (2013) Diffusivity and sorptivity of Berea sandstone determined using neutron radiography. Vadose Zone Journal. .doi: 10.2136/vzj2012.0135

B. C. Chakoumakos, J. Horita, V. O. Garlea (2013) H/D Isotope Effects in Brucite at Low-Temperatures. American Mineralogist. 98, 1-6.

C.L. Cheng, M. Kang, E. Perfect, J. Horita, H.Z. Bilheux, S. Voisin, J.M. Warren, and D.S. Hussey. (2012) Average Soil Water Retention Curves Measured by Neutron Radiography. Soil Science Society of America Journal 76, 1184-1191.

Lu, J., Kharaka, Y.K., James Thordsen, J.J., Horita, J., Karamalidis, A., Griffith, C., Alexandra Hakala, J.A.,Ambats, G., Cole, D.R., Phelps, T.J., Manning, M.A., Cook, P.J., Hovorka, S. (2012) Geochemical interactions in the Lower Tuscaloosa reservoir at the Cranfield CO2 sequestration site, Mississippi, USA. Chemical Geology

Kreuzer, H.W., Horita, J., Moran, J.J, Tomkins, B.A., and Carman, (2011) A. Stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios of sodium and potassium cyanide as a forensic signature. Journal of Forensic Sciences doi: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2011.01946.x

Fayek, M., Horita, J., and E.M. Ripley (2011) The oxygen isotopic composition of uranium deposits: A global perspective. Ore Geology Reviews.41, 1-21.

Horita, J., dos Santos, A.M., Tulk, C.A., Chakoumakos, B.C., and Polyakov, V.B. (2010) High-pressure neutron diffraction study on H-D isotope effects in brucite. Physics and Chemistry of Minerals 37, 741-749.

Chialvo, A.A. and Horita, J. (2010) Polarization behavior of water in extreme aqueous environments: A molecular dynamics study based on the Gaussian charge polarizable model. J. Chem Phys. 133, 074504.

Horita J. (2009) Isotopic evolution of saline lakes in the low-latitude and polar regions. Aquatic Geochemistry 15, 43-69.

Chialvo, A.A. and Horita, J. (2009) Liquid-vapor equilibrium isotope fractionation of water: How well can classical water models predict it? J. Chem. Phys. 130, 094509

Horita, J., Rozanski, K., and Cohen, S. (2008) Isotope effects in the evaporation of water: A status report of the Craig – Gordon model. Isotopes in Environ. Health Studies. 44, 23-49.

Horita, J. (2007) Abiogenic production of hydrocarbons in nature. Proceedings of 1st International Symposium on Aqua Science, Water Resource and Innovation Development of Countryside, November 26-30, 2007, Kochi, Japan, 53-58.

Bénézeth, P., Palmer, D.A., Anovitz, L.M. and Horita J. (2007) Experimental determination of dawsonite stability and reactivity: Implications for geologic CO2 sequestration. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta. 71, 4438-4455.

Polyakov, V.B., Clayton, R.N., Horita, J., Mineev, S.D. (2007) Equilibrium iron isotope fractionation factors of minerals: Reevaluation from the data of nuclear inelastic resonant X-ray scattering and Mössbauer spectroscopy. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 71, 3833-3846.

Horita, J. and Clayton, R.N. (2007) Comment on the studies of oxygen isotope fractionation between calcium carbonates and water at low temperatures by Zhou and Zheng (2003; 2005) Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 71, 3131-3135.

Fu, Q., Sherwood Lollar, B., Horita, J., Lacrampe-Couloume, G., and Seyfried, W.E., Jr. (2007) Abiotic formation of hydrocarbons under hydrothermal conditions: Constraints from chemical and isotope data. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta. 71, 1982-1998.

Polyakov, V.B., Horita, J., Cole, D.R., and Chialvo, A.A. (2007) Novel corresponding - states principle approach for the equation of state of isotopologues: H218O as an example. J. Phys. Chem. 111, 393-401.

Chialvo, A.A. and Horita, J. (2006) Liquid-vapor isotopic fractionation factors of diatomic fluids: A direct comparison between simulation and experiment. J. Chem. Phys. 125, 034510.

Polyakov, V.B., Horita, J., and Cole, D.R. (2006) Pressure effects on the reduced partition function ratio for hydrogen isotopes in water. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta. 70, 1904-1913.

Sturchio, N.C., Böhlke, J.K., Gu, B., Horita, J., Brown, G. M., Beloso, A.D., Jr., Patterson, L.J., Hatzinger, P.B., Jackson, W.A., and Batista, J. (2006) Stable isotopic compositions of chlorine and oxygen in anthropogenic and natural perchlorates. In: Perchlorate: Environmental Occurrence, Interactions and Treatment (eds., B. Gu and J. D. Coates), Springer Verlag, p93 – 109.

Chialvo, A.A. and Horita, J. (2005) Vapor-liquid equilibria and thermophysical behavior of the SPC-HW model for heavy water. Molecular Simulation 31, 1035-1042.

Böhlke, J.K., Sturchio, N.C., Gu, B., Horita, J., Brown, G. M., Jackson, W.A., Batista, J., and Hatzinger, P.B. (2005) Perchlorate isotope forensics. Anal Chem. 77, 7838-7842.

Horita, J. (2005) Stable isotope thermometry: There is more to it than temperature. Geochem. J. 39, 481-496.

Polyakov, V.B., Horita, J., and Cole, D.R. (2005) Isotopic self-exchange reactions of water: Evaluation of the rule of the geometric mean in liquid-vapor isotope partitioning. J Phys. Chem.A 109, 8642-8645.

Horita, J. (2005) Saline Waters. In: Isotopes in the Water Cycle: Past, Present and Future of a Developing Science (ed. P.K. Aggarwal, J.R. Gat, and K.F. Froehlich) Springer, p271-287.

Horita, J. (2005) Some perspectives on isotope signatures for early life. Chemical Geology 218, 171-186.

Horita, J. and Matthews, A. (2005) Introduction to “In Search of Isotope Biosignatures” Chemical Geology 218, 1-2.

Lowenstein, T.K., Timofeeff, M.N., Kovalevych, V.M., and Horita, J. (2005) The major-ion composition of Permian seawater. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta, 69, 1701-1719.

Horita, J. and Kendall, C. (2004) Stable isotope analyses of water and aqueous solutions by conventional dual-inlet mass spectrometry. In Handbook of Stable Isotope Analytical Techniques, Volume-I (ed. P.A. de Groot) Elsevier, pp1-37.

Cole, D.R., Horita, J., Polyakov, V.B., Valley, J.W., Spicuzza, M.J. and Coffey, D.W. (2004) An experimental and theoretical determination of oxygen isotope fractionation in the system magnetite - H2O from 300 to 800°C. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 68, 3569-3585.

Anovitz, L.M., Labotka, T.C., Blencoe, J.G., and Horita, J. (2004) Experimental determination of the activity-composition relations and phase equilibria of H2O-CO2–NaCl fluids at 500°C, 500 bars Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 68, 3557-3567.

Horita, J. and Cole, D.R. (2004) Stable isotope partitioning in aqueous and hydrothermal systems to elevated temperatures. In Aqueous Systems at elevated Temperatures and Pressures: Physical Chemistry in Water, Steam and Hydrothermal Solutions. (eds) D.A. Palmer, R. Fernández-Prini and A.H. Harvey, Academic Press, p277-319.

Brennan, S.T., Lowenstein, T.K., and Horita, J. (2004) Seawater chemistry and the advent of biocalcification. Geology 32, 473-476.

Formolo, M.J., Lyons, T.W., Zhang, C., Kelley, C., Sassen, R., Horita, J., and Cole, D.R. (2004) Quantifying carbon sources in the formation of authigenic carbonates at gas hydrates sites in the Gulf of Mexico. Chem. Geol. 205, 253-264.

Chialvo, A.A. and Horita, J. (2003) Isotopic effect on phase equilibria of atomic fluids and their mixtures: A direct comparison between molecular simulation and experiment. Journal of Chemical Physics 119, 4458-4467.

Romanek, C.S., Zhang, C.L., Li, Y., Horita, J., Vali, H., Cole, D.R., and Phelps, T.J. (2003) Carbon and hydrogen isotope fractionations associated with iron-reducing bacteria. Chemical Geology 195, 5-16.

Horita, J. and Vass, A.A. (2003) Stable-isotope fingerprints of biological agents as forensic tools. Journal of Forensic Sciences 48, 122-126.

Horita, J., Zimmermann, H., and Holland, H.D. (2002) Chemical evolution of seawater during the Phanerozoic: Implications from the record of marine evaporites. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 66, 3733-3756.

Horita, J., Cole, D.R., Polyakov, V.B., and Driesner, T. (2002) Experimental and theoretical study of pressure effects on hydrogen isotope fractionation in the system brucite-water at elevated temperatures. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 66, 3769-3788.

Zhang, C.L., Ye, Q., Reysenbach, A.-L., Gotz, D., Peacock, A., White, D.C., Horita, J., Cole, D.R., Fong, J., Pratt, L., Fang, J., and Huang, Y. (2002) Carbon isotopic fractionations associated with thermophilic bacteria Thermotoga maritima and Persephonella marina. Environmental Microbiology 4, 58-64.

Zhang, C.L., Li, Y., Wall, J.D., Larsen, L., Sassen, R., Huang, Y., Wang, Y., Peacock, A., White, D.C, Horita, J., and Cole, D.R. (2002) Lipid and carbon isotopic evidence of methane-oxidizing and sulfate-reducing bacteria in association with gas hydrates from the Gulf of Mexico. Geology 30, 239-242.

Chacko, T., Cole, D.R., and Horita, J. (2001) Equilibrium oxygen, hydrogen and carbon isotope fractionation factors applicable to geological systems. In Stable Isotope Geochemistry (eds. J.W. Valley and D.R. Cole), Review in Mineralogy 43, Mineral. Soc. Am. pp1-81.

Timofeeff, M.N., Lowenstein, T.K., Brennan, S.T., Demicco, R.V., Zimmermann, H., Horita, J., and von Bostel, L.E. (2001) Evaluating seawater chemistry from fluid inclusions in halite: Examples from modern marine and nonmarine environments. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 65, 2293-2300.

Zhang, C.L., Horita, J., Cole, D.R., Zhou, J., Lovley, D.R., and Phelps, T.J. (2001) Temperature-dependent oxygen and carbon isotope fractionations of biogenic siderite. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 65, 2257-2271.

Horita, J. (2001) Carbon isotope exchange in the system CO2-CH4 at elevated temperatures. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 65, 1907-1919.

Gruszkiewicz, M.S., Horita, J., Simonson, J.M., Mesmer, R.E., and Hulen, J.B. (2001) Water adsorption at high temperature on core samples from The Geysers geothermal field, California. Geothermics 30, 269-302.

Horita, J., Driesner, T., and Cole, D.R. (1999) Pressure effect on hydrogen isotope fractionation between brucite and water at elevated temperatures. Science 286, 1545-1547.

Horita, J. and Berndt, M.E. (1999) Abiogenic methane formation and isotopic fractionation under hydrothermal conditions. Science 285, 1055-1057.

Chacko, T., Riciputi, L.R., Cole, D.R., and Horita, J. (1999) A new method for determining equilibrium hydrogen isotope fractionation factors using the ion microprobe: Application to the epidote-water system. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 63, 1-10.

Horita, J. and Holland, H. D. (1998) Brine inclusions in halite and the origin of the Middle Devonian Prairie evaporites, western Canada - Reply. J. Sediment. Research 68, 230-231.

Anovitz, L.M., Blencoe, J.G., Joyce, D.B., and Horita, J. (1998) Precise measurement of the activity/composition relations of H2O-N2 and H2O-CO2 fluids at 500°C, 500 bars Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 62, 815-829.

Zhang, C., Liu, S., Phelps, T.J., Cole, D.R., Horita, J., Fortier, S.M., Elless, M., and Valley, J.W. (1997) physicochemical, mineralogical, and isotopic characterization of magnetite-rich iron oxides formed by thermophilic iron-reducing bacteria. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 61, 4621-4632.

Horita, J., Weinberg, A., Das, N., and Holland, H.D. (1996) Brine inclusions in halite and the origin of the Middle Devonian Prairie evaporites, western Canada. J. Sediment. Research 66, 956-964.

Holland, H.D., Horita, J., and Seyfried, W.E., Jr. (1996) On the secular variations in the composition of Phanerozoic marine potash evaporites. Geology 24, 993-996.

Horita, J., Cole, D.R., and Wesolowski, D.J. (1995) The activity-composition relationship of oxygen and hydrogen isotopes in aqueous salt solutions. III: Vapor-liquid water equilibration of NaCl solutions to 350°C. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 59, 1139-1151.

Japas, M.L., Fernandez-Prini, R., Horita, J., and Wesolowski, D.J. (1995) Fractioning of isotopic species between coexisting liquid and vapor water: Complete temperature range including the asymptotic critical behavior. J. Phys. Chem. 99, 5171-5175.

Land, L.S., Eustice, R.A., Mack, L.E., and Horita,J. (1995) Reactivity of evaporites during burial: An example from the Jurassic of Alabama. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 59, 3765-3778.

Fortier, S.M., Cole, D.R., Wesolowski, D.J., Riciputi, L.R., Paterson, B.A., Valley, J.W., and Horita, J. (1995) Determination of the magnetite-water equilibrium oxygen isotope fractionation factor at 350°C: A comparison of ion microprobe and laser fluorination technique. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 59, 3871-3875.

Horita, J. and Wesolowski, D.J. (1994) Liquid-vapor fractionation of oxygen and hydrogen isotopes of water from the freezing to the critical temperature. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 58, 3425-3437.

Horita, J., Wesolowski, D.J., and Cole, D.R. (1993) The activity-composition relationship of oxygen and hydrogen isotopes in aqueous salt solutions. I: Vapor-liquid water equilibration of single salt solutions from 50 to 100°C. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 57, 2797-2817.

Horita, J., Cole, D.R., and Wesolowski, D.J. (1993) The activity-composition relationship of oxygen and hydrogen isotopes in aqueous salt solutions. II: Vapor-liquid water equilibration of mixed salt solutions from 50 to 100°C and geochemical implications. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 57, 4703-4711.

Horita, J., Friedman, T.J., Lazar, B., and Holland, H.D. (1991) The composition of Permian seawater. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 55, 417-432.

Das, N., Horita, J., and Holland, H.D. (1990) Chemistry of fluid inclusions in halite from the Salina Group of the Michigan Basin: Implications for Late Silurian seawater and the origin of sedimentary brines. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 54, 319-327.

Horita, J. (1990) Stable isotope paleoclimatology of brine inclusions in halite: Modeling and application to Searles Lake, California. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 54, 2059-2073.

Horita, J. and Gat, J.R. (1989) Deuterium in the Dead Sea: Remeasurement and implications for the isotope activity correction in brines. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 53, 131-133.

Horita, J. (1989) Analytical aspects of stable isotopes in brines. Chem. Geol. (Isot. Geosci. Section) 79, 107-112.

Horita, J., Ueda, A., Mizukami, K., and Takatori, I. (1989) Automatic dD and d18O analyses of multi-water samples using H2- and CO2-water equilibration methods with a common equilibration set-up. Int. J. Radiat. Appl. Instrum., Part A, Appl. Radiat. Isot. 40, 801-805.

Horita, J. (1989) Stable isotope fractionation factors of water in hydrated saline mineral-brine systems. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 95, 173-179.

Horita, J. and Gat, J.R. (1988) Procedure for the hydrogen isotope analysis of water from concentrated brines. Chem. Geol. (Isot. Geosci. Section) 72, 85-88.

Horita, J. (1988) Hydrogen isotope analysis of natural waters using an H2-water equilibration method: A special implication to brines. Chem. Geol. (Isot. Geosci. Section) 72, 89-94.