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Jason Hou

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
PO Box 999
Richland, WA 99352


Dr. Zhangshuan (Jason) Hou has expertise in Applied Statistics, Hydrogeology, Geophysics, and Atmospheric Sciences. His research focuses on exploratory data analyses, uncertainty quantification, and inversion approaches, solving problems related to carbon sequestration, oil/gas exploration, environmental remediation, climate change, and power system management. He has been integrating entropy concept (e.g., minimum relative entropy (MRE)), efficient sampling approaches (e.g., quasi Monte Carlo), and model calibration/selection/integration approaches to quantify input uncertainty, to explore high-dimension parameter space, to identify and rank significant factors, to develop and validate reduced-order-models (ROMs) and surrogates for efficient model prediction, to quantify output uncertainty and evaluate how uncertainty propagate through a system, and to calibrate parameters using various deterministic and stochastic inversion approaches (e.g., Markov Chain Monte Carlo-Bayesian, Bayesian Model Averaging). He has been exploring various techniques reducing natural, data, model and parameter uncertainties and participating in projects that study uncertainty issues in the land surface modeling, evaluate natural/fault/wellbore leakage risks in CO2 geological sequestration, characterize subsurface oil/gas reservoir and aquifers using geophysical (e.g., seismic, electromagnetic, ground penetrating radar, resistivity) techniques, through forward and inverse modeling.

Research Interests

  • Applied Statistics:

    Uncertainty quantification, Entropy approaches and efficient sampling; Stochastic inverse modeling, Bayesian updating;Reduced order models, Statistical tests; Time series analyses, Pattern recognition; Optimization, Data fusion; Geostatistics.
  • Hydrogeology:

    Geological carbon sequestration: CO2 migration, injectivity, and leakage risk analyses; Impacts of hydrogeological properties and subsurface heterogeneity on contaminant transport;Multi-phase multi-scale flow and transport modeling in porous media.
  • Applied Geophysics

    Oil/gas reservoir characterization using joint seismic and electromagnetic datasets; Vadose zone characterization using near-surface (Ground penetrating radar, resistivity) geophysical techniques.
  • Atmospheric Sciences:

    Community land models (CLM); Global climate change.

Education and Credentials

  • B.S., Geophysics/Atmospheric Sciences, Peking University, 1997
  • M.S., Atmospheric Sciences, Peking University, 2000
  • M.S., Environmental Engineering, Univ. of California, Berkeley, 2002
  • M.A., Statistics, Univ. of California, Berkeley, 2005
  • Ph.D., Hydrogeology/Hydrogeophysics, Univ. of California, Berkeley, 2006

Affiliations and Professional Service

  • Associate editor: Journal of Environmental and Engineering Geophysics
  • Proposal review boards: DOE, NSF, and US Army ERDC
  • Journal reviewer: Water Resources Research, Journal of Applied Geophysics, Journal of Environmental and Engineering Geophysics, and Environmental Earth Sciences
  • Session convener: American Geophysical Union (AGU)
  • Member: American Geophysical Union (AGU), Environmental and Engineering Geophysical Society (EEGS), Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG), American Statistician Association (ASA), IGERT SUNY

PNNL Publications


  • Makarov YV, R Diao, PV Etingov, Z Hou, Z Huang, D Meng, LE Miller, NA Samaan, Y Sun, MR Vallem, B Vyakaranam, S Wang, D Wu, and Y Zhang. 2015. Stochastic Operations and PlanningPNNL-23680, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA. 
  • Ray J, Z Hou, M Huang, K Sargsyan, and LP Swiler. 2015. "Bayesian Calibration of the Community Land Model using Surrogates." SIAM/ASA Journal on Uncertainty Quantification 3(1):199-233.  doi:10.1137/140957998


  • Bonneville A, BN Nguyen, ML Stewart, Z Hou, CJ Murray, and TJ Gilmore. 2014. "Geomechanical Evaluation of Thermal Impact of Injected CO2 Temperature on a Geological Reservoir: Application to the FutureGen 2.0 Site." Energy Procedia 63:3298-3304.  doi:10.1016/j.egypro.2014.11.358
  • Etingov PV, YV Makarov, D Wu, Z Hou, Y Sun, S Maslennikov, X Luo, T Zheng, S George, T Knowland, E Litvinov, S Weaver, and E Sanchez. 2014. "Uncertainty-based Estimation of the Secure Range for ISO New England Dynamic Interchange Adjustment ." In 2014 IEEE PES Transmission & Distribution Conference & Exposition, April 14-17, 2014, Chicago, Illinois, pp. 1-5.  IEEE, Piscataway, NJ.  doi:10.1109/TDC.2014.6863202
  • Fang Z, Z Hou, G Lin, DW Engel, Y Fang, and PW Eslinger. 2014. "Exploring the effects of data quality, data worth, and redundancy of CO2 gas pressure and saturation data on reservoir characterization through PEST Inversion." Environmental Earth Sciences 71(7):3025-3037.  doi:10.1007/s12665-013-2680-9
  • Hou Z, DH Bacon, DW Engel, G Lin, Y Fang, H Ren, and Z Fang. 2014. "Uncertainty analyses of CO2 plume expansion subsequent to wellbore CO2 leakage into aquifers." International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control 27:69-80.  doi:10.1016/j.ijggc.2014.05.004
  • Hou Z, PV Etingov, YV Makarov, and NA Samaan. 2014. "Uncertainty Reduction in Power Generation Forecast Using Coupled Wavelet-ARIMA ." In IEEE PES General Meeting, Conference & Exposition, July 27-31, 2014, National Harbor, MD.  IEEE, Piscataway, NJ. 
  • Lu J, LYR Leung, Q Yang, G Chen, WD Collins, F Li, Z Hou, and X Feng. 2014. "The Robust Dynamical Contribution to Precipitation Extremes in Idealized Warming Simulations across Model Resolutions." Geophysical Research Letters 41(8):2971-2978.  doi:10.1002/2014GL059532
  • Makarov YV, B Vyakaranam, D Wu, Z Hou, ST Elbert, and Z Huang. 2014. "On the Configuration of the US Western Interconnection Voltage Stability Boundary." In IEEE PES Transmission and Distribution Conference and Exposition, April 14-17, 2014, Chicago, Illinois, pp. 1-5.  IEEE, Piscataway, NJ.  doi:10.1109/TDC.2014.6863289
  • Makarov YV, B Vyakaranam, Z Hou, D Wu, D Meng, S Wang, ST Elbert, LE Miller, and Z Huang. 2014. Non-iterative Voltage StabilityPNNL-23736, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA. 


  • Hou Z, M Huang, DH Bacon, and LYR Leung. 2013. "Parameter Dimensionality Reduction in Complex Earth System Models through Exploratory Data Analyses and Calibration." In MODFLOW and More 2013: Translating Science into Practice, June 2-5, 2013, Golden, Colorado, ed. R Maxwell, et al, pp. 159-163.  Integrated Ground Water Modeling Center (IGWMC), Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO. 
  • Hou Z, NC Terry, and SS Hubbard. 2013. Entropy-Bayesian Inversion of Time-Lapse Tomographic GPR data for Monitoring Dielectric Permittivity and Soil Moisture VariationsPNNL-22242, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA. 
  • Bao J, Z Hou, Y Fang, H Ren, and G Lin. 2013. "Uncertainty quantification for evaluating impacts of caprock and reservoir properties on pressure buildup and ground surface displacement during geological CO2 sequestration." Greenhouse Gases: science and technology 3(5):338-358. 
  • Bao J, Z Hou, Y Fang, H Ren, and G Lin. 2013. "Uncertainty quantification for evaluating impacts of caprock and reservoir properties on pressure buildup and ground surface displacement during geological CO2 sequestration." Greenhouse Gases: science and technology 3(5):338-358.  doi:10.1002/ghg.1362
  • Etingov PV, YV Makarov, D Wu, Z Hou, Y Sun, S Maslennikov, X Luo, T Zheng, S George, T Knowland, E Litvinov, S Weaver, and E Sanchez. 2013. Analysis of ISO NE Balancing Requirements: Uncertainty-based Secure Ranges for ISO New England Dynamic Inerchange AdjustmentsPNNL-22222, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA. 
  • Hou Z, YV Makarov, NA Samaan, and PV Etingov. 2013. "Standardized Software for Wind Load Forecast Error Analyses and Predictions Based on Wavelet-ARIMA Models - Applications at Multiple Geographically Distributed Wind Farms." In Proceedings of the 46th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), January 7-10, 2013, Wailea, Hawaii, ed. RH Sprague, Jr., pp. 5005-5011.  IEEE Computer Society, Los Alamitos, CA. 
  • Hou Z, DW Engel, G Lin, Y Fang, and Z Fang. 2013. "An Uncertainty Quantification Framework for Studying the Effect of Spatial Heterogeneity in Reservoir Permeability on CO2 Sequestration." Mathematical Geosciences 45(7):799-817.  doi:10.1007/s11004-013-9459-0
  • Huang M, Z Hou, LYR Leung, Y Ke, Y Liu, Z Fang, and Y Sun. 2013. "Uncertainty Analysis of Runoff Simulations and Parameter Identifiability in the Community Land Model - Evidence from MOPEX Basins." Journal of Hydrometeorology 14:1754-1772.  doi:10.1175/JHM-D-12-0138.1
  • Mukhopadhyay S, Z Hou, LJ Gosink, DH Bacon, CA Doughty, JJ Li, L Wei, S Gasda, G Bacci, R Govindan, JQ Shi, H Yamamoto, R Ramanathan, JP Nicot, S Hosseini, J Birkholzer, and A Bonneville. 2013. "Model Comparison and Uncertainty Quantification for Geologic Carbon Storage: The Sim-SEQ Initiative." Energy Procedia 37:3867-3874.  doi:10.1016/j.egypro.2013.06.284
  • Scheibe TD, Z Hou, BJ Palmer, and AM Tartakovsky. 2013. "Pore-Scale Simulation of Intragranular Diffusion: Effects of Incomplete Mixing on Macroscopic Manifestations." Water Resources Research 49(7):4277-4294.  doi:10.1002/wrcr.20333
  • Sun Y, Z Hou, M Huang, F Tian, and LYR Leung. 2013. "Inverse Modeling of Hydrologic Parameters Using Surface Flux and Runoff Observations in the Community Land Model." Hydrology and Earth System Sciences 17:4995-5011.  doi:10.5194/hess-17-4995-2013
  • White SK, LJ Gosink, C Sivaramakrishnan, GD Black, S Purohit, DH Bacon, Z Hou, G Lin, I Gorton, and A Bonneville. 2013. "Implementations of a Flexible Framework for Managing Geologic Sequestration Modeling Projects." Energy Procedia 37:3971-3979.  doi:10.1016/j.egypro.2013.06.296
  • Zhao C, X Liu, Y Qian, JH Yoon, Z Hou, G Lin, SA McFarlane, H Wang, B Yang, PL Ma, H Yan, and J Bao. 2013. "A Sensitivity Study of Radiative Fluxes at the Top of Atmosphere to Cloud-Microphysics and Aerosol Parameters in the Community Atmosphere Model CAM5." Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 13:10969-10987.  doi:10.5194/acp-13-10969-2013


  • Hou Z, M Huang, LYR Leung, G Lin, and DM Ricciuto. 2012. "Sensitivity of Surface Flux Simulations to Hydrologic Parameters Based on an Uncertainty Quantification Framework Applied to the Community Land Model ." Journal of Geophysical Research. D. (Atmospheres) 117:D15108.  doi:10.1029/2012JD017521
  • Hou Z, ML Rockhold, and CJ Murray. 2012. "Evaluating the impact of caprock and reservoir properties on potential risk of CO2 leakage after injection." Environmental Earth Sciences 66(8):2403-2415.  doi:10.1007/s12665-011-1465-2

Selected Publications


  • Hou Z, ML Rockhold, and CJ Murray, 2011, Evaluating the impact of caprock and reservoir properties on potential risk of CO2 leakage after injection. Environ Earth Sci. doi:10.1007/s12665-011-1465-2.


  • Hou Z, 2008, Hydraulic Conductivity Estimation Using Tomographic Ground Penetrating Radar Data within a Sampling-Based Bayesian Inversion Approach, SAGEEP, 21, 477, doi:10.4133/1.2963288.


  • Chen J, GM Hoversten, D Vasco, Y Rubin, and Z Hou, 2007, A Bayesian model for gas saturation estimation using marine seismic AVA and CSEM data, Geophysics, 72(6), P. WA85-WA95.
  • Rubin, Y., P. Benito, G. Miller, J. McLaughlin, Z. Hou, S. Hermanowicz, U. Mayer, and D. Sillin, 2007, Hilmar Supplemental Environmental Project Report, Volume II. Oakland, CA. Available from HydroGeoPhysics Inc..


  • Hou Z, Y Rubin, GM Hoversten, D Vasco, and J Chen, 2006, Reservoir Parameter Identification Using Minimum Relative Entropy-Based Bayesian Inversion of Seismic AVA and Marine CSEM Data, Geophysics, 71(6), P.O77-O88.
  • Rubin, Y., G. M. Hoversten, Z. Hou, and J. Chen, 2006, Risk reduction in gas reservoir exploration using joint seismic-EM inversion, GasTips, P.5-11.


  • Chen J, GM Hoversten, D Vasco, Y Rubin, and Z Hou, 2005, Joint inversion of seismic AVO and EM data for gas saturation estimation using a sampling-based stochastic model, SEG proceedings, 23, 236, doi:10.1190/1. 1851232.
  • Hou Z, and Y Rubin, 2005, On MRE Concepts and Prior Compatibility Issues in Vadose Zone Inverse and Forward Modeling, Water Resour. Res., 41, W12425, doi:10.1029/2005WR004082.
  • Hou Z, Y Rubin, GM Hoversten, D Vasco, and J Chen, 2005, MRE-based Bayesian inversion of seismic and EM data for identification of reservoir parameters, SEG proceedings, 24, 1437, doi:10.1190/1.2147959.
  • Hoversten GM, F Cassassuce, E Gasperikova, Y Rubin, Z Hou, and D Vasco, 2005, Direct Reservoir Parameter Estimation Using Joint Inversion of Marine Seismic AVA & CSEM Data, Geophysics, 71(3), P.C1-C13, May-June.


  • Li X, Z Wang, and Z Hou, 2001, Signal detection of global climate change and external forcing factors, Acta Meteor. Sinica, 2001, 15(4), 397-406.
  • Steiner M, JA Smith, R Uijlenhoet, and Z Hou, 2001, Rainfall variability and its effect on rainfall measurements, Proceedings of 30th International Conference on Radar Meteorology, Munich, Germany, American Meteorological Society, 562-564.


  • Hou Z, and X Li, 2000, Effects of External Forcing Factors on Global Climate Change for the Past Century, Acta Scientiarum Naturalium Universitatis Pekinensis, 36(5), 641-650.


  • Li X, and Z Hou, 1999, Rotated Complex Empirical Orthogonal Functions (RCEOF) Analyses: Theory and Examples, Acta Meteor. Sinica, 13, 212-225.


Additional Information