Fortune Magazine Originally Posted: May 25, 2018 Excerpt from an article titled Lone Star Rising in the May 2018 issue of Fortune Magazine: Zhong Lu, a geophysics professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, is part of a scientific team that has used satellite imagery to study what it regards as alarming land subsidence throughout the Permian. Over time, he believes, water from decaying oil-and-gas-related wells has leaked, dissolving subterranean salt layers and causing the ground to shift and ultimately, in places, to cave in. He warns that the industry needs to better shore up its aging wells against leaks. “We’re not trying to point fingers,” he tells me. “Everybody is enjoying the prosperity of oil and gas. But there’s technology we can use to [...]
The Tyee Originally Posted: March 1, 2018 Recent studies on hydraulic fracturing suggest the technology is causing more earthquakes than expected and that it doesn’t take the injection of much fluid to trigger a tremor. In addition, researchers warn that the industry’s increasing reliance on “supersized” fracking using massive volumes of fluid and sand in longer wells could increase seismic hazards across North America. A recent analysis of 300 hydraulically fractured wells near Fox Creek, Alberta, found that a modest injection of 10,000 cubic metres (2.6 million gallons) can cause an earthquake in geological formations containing faults. The larger the volume of fluids injected underground, the greater the number of earthquakes, the study found. “The rate of earthquake scales with the rising volume of injected [...]
SMU Forum Originally Posted: December 7, 2017 Fossil leaves from Africa have resolved a prehistoric climate puzzle — and also confirm the link between carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and global warming. Research until now has produced a variety of results and conflicting data that have cast doubt on the link between high carbon dioxide levels and climate change for a time interval about 22 million years ago. But a new study has found the link does indeed exist for that prehistoric time period, say SMU researchers. The finding will help scientists understand how recent and future increases in the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide may impact the future of our planet, they add. The discovery comes from new biochemical analyses of fossil leaves from [...]
The Fossil Record Current geology undergraduate, Myria Perez (page 4+), and form Post Doc, Dr. Ellen Currano (page 1+) are featured in The Department of Paleobiology Newsletter.
Dallas Morning News Originally Posted: September 8, 2017 At 9:30 p.m. Central time last Saturday, detectors around the world picked up signs of a massive explosion in the vicinity of North Korea's nuclear test site. The country claimed, for the second time in less than two years, that it had successfully detonated a hydrogen bomb, a weapon far more powerful than the bombs dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II. The last time North Korea said it had a hydrogen bomb, in January 2016, experts quickly dismissed its claim. This time, some say it's a possibility. "The magnitude of this event is bigger than any U.S. or Russian test since the early '70s," said Brian Stump, a seismologist at Southern Methodist University, which operates [...]
Check out this photo of SMU Department of Earth Sciences professor Louis Jacobs as he welcomes incoming students to the Perot Museum. He began the tour by showing students a dinosaur he dug up in Africa. #DiscoverDallas (Photo credit: Kenny Ryan)
Eighteen distinguished faculty members with a combined total of nearly 585 years of SMU service retired with emeritus status in the 2016-17 academic year.
SMU News Originally Posted: June 8, 2017 Eighteen distinguished faculty members with a combined total of nearly 585 years of SMU service retired with emeritus status in the 2016-17 academic year. The professors, and their dates of service: • Thomas E. Barry, Professor Emeritus of Marketing, Cox School of Business, 1970-2017 • Janis Bergman-Carton, Professor Emerita of Art History, Meadows School of the Arts, 1991-2017 • Edward Biehl, Professor Emeritus of Chemistry, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, 1962-2017 • Gordon Birrell, Professor Emeritus of World Languages and Literatures, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, 1974-2017 • Dolores M. Etter, Professor Emerita of Electrical Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering, 2008-2016 • Richard F. Gunst, Professor Emeritus of Statistical Science, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, 1971-2017 • C. Michael Hawn, University Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Church Music, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, 1992-2017 • Debora Hunter, Professor Emerita of Art, Meadows School of the Arts, [...]
Myria Perez earns research internship at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History
Congratulations to geology major and Gaffney Family Scholar, Myria Perez. She recently began a ten week research internship at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. under the tutelage of Dr. Anna K. Behrensmeyer, Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology. Myria will be studying the taphonomy (the branch of paleontology that deals with the processes of fossilization) of marine reptiles from the Jurassic Lyme Regis along the south coast of England near Dorchester. This is the location of Mary Anning’s great discoveries of ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs. Mary Anning is also known as the “Mother of Paleontology.” During her internship, Myria will accompany Dr. Behrensmeyer to England where she will visit collections housing Mary Anning’s original specimens, including the University of Cambridge Museum, where she will be hosted by SMU alumnus Dr. Jason Head, and at [...]
SMU News Originally Posted: May 18, 2017 This is an excerpt of an SMU press release. Read the original by clicking here. Congratulations to Zhong Lu, Shuler-Foscue Endowed Chair and director of graduate studies in the Huffington Department of Earth Sciences, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. Lu is one of four outstanding SMU professors honored for their scholarship and research with the 2017 Ford Research Fellowships. The awards were presented during the Board of Trustees meeting Thursday, May 4. Zhong Lu's geophysics research focuses on the use of satellite-borne radar to detect subtle changes in the earth’s surface preceding volcanic eruptions. He also researches volcano deformation, earthquake deformation mapping, fault geometry and modeling, and ground-water basin analysis. His work with InSAR (Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar) includes underground nuclear explosion monitoring, landslide [...]
SMU News Originally Posted: May 18, 2017 Monique Scales was in SMU's Fondren Library on the afternoon of Jan. 7, 2015, when a magnitude 3.6 earthquake rumbled across Dallas and Irving. She decided then and there that she didn't know as much about earthquakes as she thought she did. Monique Scales “There were so many things that were weird about it,” Scales recalled. “Nothing was shaking – I heard it.” A little more than two years later, Scales is graduating from SMU with a master's degree in geophysics – and on the road to a career studying earthly rumblings. She’s headed next to the University of Utah to pursue a Ph.D. “I definitely want to continue research,” Scales said. “I would love to work for [...]