Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences
Journalist James Osborne with the Dallas Morning News covered the research of SMU seismologist Heather R. DeShon, who is leading the effort to trace the source of a recent sequence of small earthquakes in North Texas and any relationship they may have to the injection of waste water by energy companies using shale gas production to recover gas.
Journalist Jim Malewitz with The Texas Tribune tapped the expertise of SMU geophysicist Brian Stump, whose research has looked at the operation of saltwater injection disposal wells and small earthquakes that have occurred in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Stump is Albritton Professor of Earth Sciences in SMU’s Dedman College. His research includes seismic wave propagation, seismic source theory, shallow geophysical site characterization, and characterization of explosions as sources of seismic waves.
Seismologists from SMU will deploy a variety of seismic monitors in and around Azle, Texas, to study the recent burst of small earthquakes that have been occurring in the area northwest of Fort Worth.
The first group of instruments, four digital monitors provided by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), will be deployed as early as this week to monitor the burst of seismicity that has been occurring in the area since early November. The USGS NetQuakes instruments are designed to be installed in private homes, businesses, public buildings and schools with an existing broadband connection to the internet, and data from those monitors will be available online.
[caption id="attachment_6738" align="alignleft" width="220"] A female Niassodon mfumukasi protecting its calf in its natural environment by the end of the Permian (~256Ma). Illustrated by Fernando Correia.[/caption]A new species and genus of fossil vertebrate has been identified from the remote province of Niassa in Mozambique, according to an international team of paleontologists.
The species is a distant relative of living mammals and is approximately 256 million years old, the researchers reported Dec. 4 in the scientific journal PLoS ONE. Continue reading
SMU dean, earth science professor James Quick elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
Vulcanologist James E. Quick, SMU’s associate vice president for research and dean of Graduate Studies, has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science. Quick is the fourth professor at Southern Methodist University recognized with the prestigious honor. Continue reading
“It is a rare event that geology is a catalyst of public cooperation and celebration,” says SMU geologist and volcano expert James E. Quick. The new Sesia-Val Grande Geopark is an example of just that, says Quick, whose international team in 2009 discovered a fossil supervolcano that now sits at the heart of the new geopark. The discovery sparked worldwide scientific interest and a regional geotourism industry. Continue reading
In an energy and environment report on Texas, NPR covered the SMU Geothermal Laboratory‘s research to locate and quantify the huge geothermal resources available for production from existing oil wells within Texas. The NPR report relied on the expertise of SMU geothermal expert Maria Richards, director of the SMU Geothermal Laboratory. Continue reading
Science journalist Jane J. Lee with National Geographic reported on the research of SMU Research Associate Michael J. Polcyn, who co-authored a new study that found the ancient sea monsters known as mosasaurs were not as slow as paleontologists once thought, thanks to their shark-like tails.
The research of an international paleontological team working in Angola and co-led by SMU paleontologist Louis L. Jacobs has been covered by Bloomberg news service.
Fossils in the rock outcrops of the coast of Angola in Africa are a “museum in the ground,” says SMU vertebrate paleontologist Jacobs. Reporters Colin McClelland and Manuel Soque with Bloomberg interviewed Jacobs for Ancient Angola Crocodile Ate Fish as Oil Fields Formed.