WorldCat Identities

Mississippi State University Department of Geosciences

Overview
Works: 52 works in 52 publications in 1 language and 51 library holdings
Genres: Academic theses 
Publication Timeline
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Most widely held works by Mississippi State University
Investigation of sense of place effects in an online learning environment( )

1 edition published in 2015 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

<p>In relation to the constructivist learning theory, understanding what a student may already know in order to use this knowledge as a scaffold for further education is imperative. The online classroom offers a unique and challenging environment for the evaluation of a students previous knowledge, especially in the field of geosciences where knowledge may be associated with geographic affiliation. An individuals geological and meteorological sense of place may play an important role in evaluating a students previous knowledge in this field of study. To test this hypothesis, students in an online masters program were given pre-knowledge surveys to evaluate their previous knowledge in Meteorology and Geology, as well as Geological and Meteorological sense of place surveys (Clary, R.M., and Wandersee, J.H., 2006; Clary, R.M., Wandersee, J.H., and Sumrall, J.L., 2013). Students were then categorized by geographic regions within the United States. Students were also given interest surveys at the end of their first year in the Masters program, and selected students were interviewed during their capstone field experience at the end of the second year of the program. Results suggest that there were subtle differences between regional groups of students throughout the study. More pronounced differences were noticed in the Meteorological pre-surveys than the Geological pre-surveys. Both sense of place surveys also indicated differences across regions, but the Meteorological sense of place survey showed greater regional differences when individual questions were analyzed. Interestingly, the participants who were interviewed at the end of the Masters program showed more geologically specific attachments as opposed to meteorologically specific attachments to areas that they considered to be home. The importance of moving and traveling throughout ones life also became evident during the analysis of the interviews. Overall, this study of an online Masters program concludes that g
Investigation of vegetation discontinuities and the enhancement of convection related to the April 27 2011 multiple EF4 and EF5 tornado scars by Barrett Frank Gutter( )

1 edition published in 2013 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

During the April 25 – 28, 2011 severe weather outbreak, 350 tornadoes were confirmed across 21 states, making the event the largest 3-day outbreak in U.S. History. Of the 350 tornadoes, 13 were of EF4 or EF5 strength. Due to complex terrain and vegetation in northeastern Alabama, northwestern Georgia, and eastern Tennessee, only four tornadoes were analyzed in this study. +Abrupt changes in vegetation and the related sensible and latent heat fluxes have been shown to enhance convective activity along and near the resulting land surface discontinuities. This study analyzed heightened convective activity (analyzed by looking at cloud-to-ground lightning data) along each tornado track on days of weak synoptic forcing. Post- tornado months showed no signs of enhanced convective activity along any of the tornado tracks analyzed in this study, which could be attributed to several factors including study period, duration of intensity, tornado track length and width, and land cover
An investigation of geochemical evidence for three paleo-environments by John Paul Jones( )

1 edition published in 2014 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

Three paleo-environments were studied. The first project concerned the Manson Impact and the effect of the Black Hills on the resulting fall-out from this asteroid strike. Samples of the Crow Creek Member were taken east of the Black Hills in Nebraska and South Dakota and samples from the Red Bird Member were taken from the west, in Wyoming. These samples were examined for chemical weathering, soot, shocked quartz, and fossils. The Crow Creek samples had shocked quartz (indicative of an impact), severe chemical weathering, soot, and evidence of tsunamis. There were few calcareous fossils. The Red Bird showed no signs of chemical weathering, a distinct absence of soot and shocked quartz and an abundance of fossils. These results indicate that the Black Hills were large enough to pose an atmospheric and oceanic barrier to the effects of the Manson Impact. The second project dealt with dinosaur eggs which were found in Montana. The eggs were examined and subjected to Computed Tomography Scans. The egg-shell, matrix, and volcanic ash were studied. The egg-shell was found to be from an undescribed oolithic species, and revealed that a transgressive event transpired after the eggs had fossilized. The matrix revealed that the eggs were laid in a flood-plain. The ash revealed a high amount of tungsten and yielded a high percentage of potassium for future dating. The eggs themselves revealed that intact embryos were within. This project has provided information on dinosaur nesting behavior. In the third project corals were examined to determine the usefulness of sampling different architectural structures for evaluating environmental proxies. Coral was collected at the Verde Reef. The different architectural structures were sampled using SIMS, and LA-ICP-MS to selectively sample the small architectural structures. Oxygen isotope ratios and elemental: calcium ratios were compared among the different structures. It was found that dissepiments intake isotopic oxygen and elements at different rates than other structures. This has an impact in sampling corals for environmental proxies, but, because of the very small amount of mass contained in the dissepiments that bulk analyses would not be significantly affected
An investigation into the impacts of land-use/land-cover on cloud-to-ground lightning activity by Nathan Oneal Owen( )

1 edition published in 2014 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

Cloud-to-Ground (CG) lightning activity was analyzed across the lower Mississippi River valley. The goal was to determine whether certain land use/ land cover (LULC) types supported convective thunderstorms' generation of CG lightning more than other LULC types. Results indicate that forested regions receive more CG lightning than any other LULC type represented in the study area. However, results also indicate that CG lightning activity can be enhanced locally by very large and/or sprawling areas of urban LULC. When cities from previous research, including Atlanta, GA, and Birmingham, AL, are combined in the rankings with cities in this study, the urban size difference between Little Rock, Arkansas, and Birmingham, Alabama, appears to highlight the area of urban LULC needed to enhance convection. Future research should focus on more cities within this gap of urban LULC area in order to identify the minimum areal expanse needed to alter convective ability over cities
Verification of post-glacial Speleogenesis and the origins of Epigene Maze Caves in New York by Max P Cooper( )

1 edition published in 2014 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

Dissolutional features called karst exist on the surface, and in the subsurface as caves. In glaciated regions caves were thought to be post-glacial in origin. Work in the 1970s demonstrated that pre-glacial caves existed, but did not answer if a cave could form post-glacially. A model proposed by Mylroie and Carew (1987) states that a post-glacial cave would be controlled entirely by glacial features and the deranged drainage of glaciated terrains. Caves known as maze caves form at maximum rates, and could form to navigable size in the time since deglaciation. Maze caves form in the shallow subsurface, allowing them to be removed in subsequent glaciations. GIS water flow analysis, and calculation of formation times using cross-section data demonstrates that maze caves in the glaciated region of New York are post-glacial in origin fitting in the deranged drainage and forming in the time since deglaciation
Slope stability analysis of spoil dragline bench in lignite coal mine, Choctaw County, Mississippi by Maria Laila Jover( )

1 edition published in 2012 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

Spoil pile stability in an open pit coal mine is a common problem and the Red Hills Lignite Mine in Choctaw County is no exception. The mine has had spoil stability problems of their spoil dragline bench since the beginning of their activity in 2002. They have managed to stabilize the conditions by installing prefabricated vertical drains (PVD) to consolidate the layers below the spoil dragline bench, which tended to fail due to an increase in pore water pressure. In this study, the capability of analyzing and predicting future pore water pressure conditions is examined. With the use of the stability model Slope/w and local stress calculations, the predictability of the necessity of PVDs and their spatial distribution are analyzed. The outcomes prove to be circumstantial to local pore water pressure and geology changes, therefore, the spacing between drains could be adapted to the local conditions potentially saving costs
The importance of synoptic-scale processes in diagnosing tropical cyclone rapid intensification in the Atlantic basin by Alexandria Danielle Grimes( )

1 edition published in 2014 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

This research identifies large-scale synoptic controls that are relevant for rapid intensification (RI) in the Atlantic basin. Spatial statistical analysis techniques were performed on NASA MERRA data from 1979--2009. Rotated principal component analysis (RPCA) was performed, looking for common patterns in the datasets. The RPC's were grouped using hierarchical clustering techniques, allowing for finding events similar in synoptic structure. The clustered events, representing the total RI and non-RI composites, were averaged yielding composite maps for different scenarios. To verify the results, a permutation test was done to show which variables are good distinguishers of RI and non-RI cases. These variables were used as input in two prediction schemes: logistic regression and support vector machine classification. The prediction scheme was a slight improvement in forecasting RI when using the synoptic variables mid-level vorticity, vertical velocity, low-level potential temperature and specific humidity, as the most significant in predicting RI
Using teleconnection indices to predict tornado outbreak frequency in the US by Kent Harris Sparrow( )

1 edition published in 2014 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

The goal of this study is to improve seasonal tornado outbreak forecasting by creating a statistical model that forecasts tornado outbreak frequency in the US using teleconnection indices as predictors. For this study, a tornado outbreak is defined as more than 6 tornado reports associated with a single synoptic system and an event N15 rating index of 0.5 or higher. The tornado outbreak season is confined to all months after February for a given calendar year. Monthly teleconnection indices are derived from a rotated principal component analysis (RPCA) of the geopotential height fields. Various regression techniques were trained with a sample of monthly teleconnection indices, tested on new data, and optimized to achieve the highest predictive skill. The outcome of this study could potentially allow forecasters the ability to predict tornado outbreak potential on a climatological scale with months of lead-time, allowing for better preparation strategies for tornado outbreak seasons
Investigation of the variability of extreme tornado climatology by Tory Farney( )

1 edition published in 2013 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

Previous tornado climatology research has relied primarily upon means of tornadoes or tornado days. Understanding the variability of tornado days however, will result in a more comprehensive understanding of the climatological distribution of tornadoes. In a changing environment, the extremities of a distribution should change faster than the mean of that distribution. Two methods of analyzing tornado days for predefined areas across the continental United States using the Storm Prediction Center's publication Storm Data from 1950 to 2011 are conducted in this study. Statistical analysis of averages, return periods, and percentiles reveals the variability in the record while consecutive tornado days present an alternative way to assess the seasonal repeatability and to assess risk for historic, multi-day tornado outbreaks. The results of this research will help to better define the traditional “tornado alley” as well as highlight other high- risk locations, especially those with higher interannual variability
Analysis of Northern California's potential geotourist sites for effective informal geoscience education that address the Earth Science Literacy Initiative's big ideas( )

1 edition published in 2015 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

<p>Geotourism is becoming more popular and can play a critical role in creating literacy in communities. Moreover, the Big Ideas of the Earth Science Literacy Initiative can be used within signage to address literacy. Because all citizens should have a basic knowledge of Earth Science in order to make informed decisions that relate to Earth Science, geotourism can be used as a way to increase Earth Science knowledge, along with other positive outcomes related to communities' increased well-being. A careful investigation of N=59 geosites reveals that signage can be used to increase this knowledge but that there is a deficit in the number and quality of the signage present at some of these sites. A gap has been uncovered regarding the efforts to teach Earth Science</p>
Factors influencing gypsum crystal morphology within a flue gas desulfurization vessel by Kinsey M Byrd( )

1 edition published in 2013 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

Flue gas desulfurization (FGD) is utilized by the coal-powered generating industry to safely eliminate sulfur dioxide. A FGD vessel (scrubber) synthetically creates gypsum crystals by combining limestone (CaCO₃), SO₂ flue gas, water and oxygen resulting in crystalline gypsum (CaSO₄ ∙ 2H₂O), which can be sold for an economic return. Flat disk-like crystals, opposed to rod-like crystals, are hard to dewater, lowering economic return. The objectives were to investigate the cause of varying morphologies, understand the environment of precipitation, as well as identify correlations between operating conditions and resulting unfavorable gypsum crystal growth. Results show evidence supporting airborne impurities due to the onsite coal pile, the abundance and size of CaCO₃ and high Ca:SO₄ ratios within the scrubber as possible factors controlling gypsum crystal morphology. In conclusion, regularly purging the system and incorporating a filter on the air intake valve will provide an economic byproduct avoiding costly landfill deposits
Hydrogeological assessment for a suitable location of a reservoir lake in George County, Mississippi / by Corey Tanner Ladner by Corey T Ladner( )

1 edition published in 2013 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

The construction of a reservoir lake was proposed in 2010 for George County, Mississippi, USA. The proposed reservoir would be designed to serve primarily for industrial water storage. As the preliminary portion of the reservoir project, a baseline watershed assessment was performed for the purpose of identifying a reservoir site with potential to fill a lake volume capable of providing a sufficient water supply to prevent the Pascagoula River near Graham Ferry, Mississippi from dropping below a measured 7Q10 base flow when 100 million gallons of water per day are withdrawn from the river for industrial use. The initial focus of the assessment was on three watersheds Big Creek, Big and Little Cedar Creek, and Escatawpa River. Evaluations of surface water quantity and quality measurements along with reservoir daily water storage models suggested two reservoirs were suitable for continuation of the reservoir project
Detecting heat waves : comparison of various heat wave definitions with excess mortality by Lance Elliott Watkins( )

1 edition published in 2014 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

Four different heat wave definitions (as outlined by Hajat et al, 2006; D'lppoliti et al, 2010; Anderson and Bell, 2011; Nairn and Fawcett, 2013) were used to characterize heat wave mortality across the United States. The goal was to identify if certain definitions perform better or worse than others. Overall every definition performed poorly, resulting in high False-Alarm Ratios and low Heidke Skill Scores. However, the Nairn and Fawcett (2013) and Anderson and Bell (2011) definitions performed consistently better than the other definitions. Despite several limitations, the results of this study indicate that the heat wave definitions need refinement. Additionally, the Nairn and Fawcett (2013) definition could be one of the best definitions for assessing heat waves and heat-related mortality
Exploration of the relationship between microbial dendritic shrub structures and formation of aragonitic botryoidal cement( )

1 edition published in 2015 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

<p>The objective of this project was to test the hypothesis that micritic, microbial, dendritic shrub structures transition into aragonite botryoids by serving as an organic substrate that promotes the initiation of aragonite crystal precipitation. Samples for this study were taken from three sources: 1) a stalactite found in the Lighthouse Reef Blue Hole, Belize; 2) aragonite botryoids in the reef framework of the Permian Capitan Formation and 3) the Lower Permian Laborcita Formation found in the Sacramento Mountains, south-central New Mexico. Samples studied in thin section and with scanning electron microscopy (SEM) showed dendritic micrite within botryoids and spheroidal shapes associated with aragonite. Precipitation experiments were conducted to grow calcite crystals with organic molecules in solution. The textures formed were very similar to those found at the three sample sites. Despite the similarity, all evidence of an organic substrate promoting precipitation remains circumstantial and therefore inconclusive. </p>
Surface-water and groundwater interactions of a stream reach and proposed reservoir within the Pascagoula River Basin: George County, Mississippi( )

1 edition published in 2015 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

<p>This research had two main objectives: quantify surface-water and groundwater interactions along a stream reach, and determine the hydraulic conductivity at the site where two reservoirs are proposed. The objectives of this research aim to help maintain stream ecology and increase surface water storage for recreational and industrial purposes. The stream reach, located in the Pascagoula River Basin of southeast Mississippi, begins at Lake Okatibbee and terminates at Pascagoula into the Gulf of Mexico. Four USGS continuous gauging stations provided more than forty years of stream discharge data for a hydrograph base-flow-recession analysis, which determined the baseflow component within the stream. The analysis showed that baseflow decreases along the stream reach and increases again before reaching the Gulf of Mexico. Thirteen borehole samples were collected at the sites of the proposed reservoirs in George County, Mississippi to determine the hydraulic conductivity of the sediments, which showed high a hydraulic conductivity.</p>
Assessment of reservoir quality and potential impact of sequestered carbon dioxide in diverse lithological reservoir units, south central, Mississippi, USA by Assonman D Degny( )

1 edition published in 2013 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

This study was designed to understand the possible impact of carbon dioxide on different reservoir rocks in south-central Mississippi. Eight samples, including six from the Heidelberg field (Mississippi), were exposed to carbon dioxide under simulated subsurface conditions of elevated temperature and pressure and then analyzed using thin section petrography, scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, and focused ion beam-SEM. Three of the eight samples showed dissolution in calcite and corrosion in smectite. SEM and EDS analysis of treated sample 5 (Se-5/shaly-sandtsone) and sample 8 (S-8/dolomitic-limestone) revealed newly precipitated lath- and fibrous-like crystals composed of sulfur (S), oxygen (O), and calcium (Ca), thus interpreted as gypsum. Three-dimensional analysis using FIB of dolomitic limestone samples (Smackover Formation) revealed that gypsum crystals fill fracture porosity. This study significantly contributes to the understanding of carbon dioxide impact on reservoir rock and promotes better management of natural gas resources
Stratigraphy, environments of deposition, and mineralogical characterization of heavy minerals from selected cretaceous formations of the eastern Mississippi Embayment( )

1 edition published in 2015 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

<p>This thesis examines the mineral suite of undeveloped heavy-mineral deposits in the Cretaceous of the Northern Mississippi Embayment and compares them to the developed deposits of the Atlantic Coastal Plain. The hypothesis presented here is that Cretaceous heavy-mineral deposits of the eastern Mississippi Embayment had the same provenance, the Appalachian Piedmont, as did the younger sediments of the U.S. Atlantic Coast. Kyanite/sillimanite and staurolite were recognized in all samples, and represent strong evidence for an Appalachian Provenance. Alternatively, the overall lack of epidote in the HM suite points away from a Mississippi River related provenance. The dominant heavy minerals found in the Mississippi Embayment samples are ilmenite, leucoxene, zircon, rutile, kyanite/sillimanite, staurolite, and monazite. This suite of heavy minerals compares favorably to those represented along the Atlantic Coastal Plane, and supports an Appalachian Provenance. Southwest trending Paleozoic paleovalleys were likely sedimentation pathways from the Appalachian region.</p>
Investigations of macro and micro scale void spaces : preservation, modeling and biofilm interactions by Athena Marie Owen Nagel( )

1 edition published in 2014 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

Dissolutional voids in the subsurface were examined from three different viewpoints. First, analysis of pseudokarst features on San Salvador Island, Bahamas, uncovered the involvement of organics in the cementation and porosity generation process. This organic material was analyzed using SEM, TEM, and in thin section. While the actual role of organics in the cementation process could not be determined using these tools, the abundance of the material was documented. Holocene samples appear to have more organics than Pleistocene samples. The abundance of this material should have an effect on isotope analyses and needs to be considered in future work on meteoric cements and the environments where they form. Second, work on Mallorca Island, Spain, demonstrated how the placement and abundance of exposed caves could predict subsurface cave distributions. This work measured caves along exposed coastlines and in protected areas known as calas. Results found that caves within the calas have larger volumes and aerial footprints than caves on the exposed cliffs. The cave distributions showed that calas had to form prior to cave formation. Several paleo-slump features were observed and are believed to be the result of collapsed Tortonian flank margin caves, which were later in-filled with Messinian sediments, using the caves as limited accommodation space, resulting in these sediment layers unaffected by the collapse further up section. Third, the current method of cave data manipulation to produce cave areal footprints and volume was found to be incorrect and in need of a calibration mechanism. This calibration was determined by reviewing how Compass cave mapping software generates volume estimates, using shapes of known volumes. Cave surveying techniques were also reviewed to determine if survey protocol affected volume outputs. Surveying in straight lines, down the center of a passage, avoiding splay shots, and taking left, right, up and down measurements (LRUDs) were found to generate the most accurate volumes estimates using Compass. These protocols were used to remap caves from paper maps to generate correction factors. Propriety software was used that could "shrink wrap" a 3D cave map rendering to produced values for cave volume and porosity and rock porosity
Bahamian Quaternary geology and the global carbon budget by Erik Bond Larson( )

1 edition published in 2014 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

Sea-level change during the Quaternary has had significant impacts on the geology of the Bahamas and the global carbon budget. During periods of low sea-level position conduit caves form in the Bahamas as a function of their respective water budgets. These conduit caves can then collapse and if this collapse reaches the surface a progradational collapse blue hole can be made. Upon subsequent sea-level rise these blue holes can become sediment in-filled. Tidal pumping through these sediment-filled blue holes can result in the formation of whitings. Whitings are formed when the tidally pushed water warms and degasses CO2, driving the precipitation of CaCO3. Whitings are also formed on the shallow banks by resuspension by fish. As sea-level fluctuates the amount of land in the Bahamas and other carbonate regions increases or decreases with sea-level fall or rise, respectively. As the amount of land increases in the Bahamas and other carbonate regions, there is a decrease of carbonate rock exposure at high latitudes due to glaciation. The loss of high latitude carbonates is made up for in the gain of low latitude carbonates in terms of rates of inorganic carbon drawdown associated with karst processes. Additionally, this inorganic carbon draw down from karst processes represents approximately 16% of the unknown carbon sink as reported by the IPCC. This study is significant in that it contributes to the understanding of sea-level fluctuations in relation to the geology of the Bahamas and the global carbon budget
Investigation of parent source material in Smith County, Mississippi by Kayla Jean Calhoun( )

1 edition published in 2013 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

Calcium bentonite deposits of the Glendon and Bucatunna formations of the Oligocene Vicksburg Group located in Smith County, Mississippi were examined to determine the depositional environment, diagenetic history and origin of the bentonite. Traditionally, calcium bentonite was considered to be the product of the weathering of volcanic ash deposits. The hypothesis tested is that the bentonite deposits are not a result of weathered volcanic ash, but are a result of weathered marl. Core samples were drilled from the Chisholm bentonite mine in Smith County and were studied using X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, and petrographic microscopy. Abundant bacteria along with nanometer-scale organic textures were found throughout and are consistently associated with bentonite, illite, and smectite. No evidence of volcanic ash was found. It appears that the calcium bentonite clays in the Glendon and Bucatunna formations of Smith County, Mississippi formed from weathering, including bacterial activity, of glauconite-bearing marl
 
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