What happened to the fossil on display at DFW Airport? Curious Texas digs up the answer

Dallas Morning News Originally Posted: Nov. 27, 2019 When DFW International Airport was being built in the 1970s, construction crews found the bones of a 70 million-year-old sea monster. Well, it wasn’t a monster exactly, but a 25-foot long plesiosaur, a large dinosaur with a body similar to a lizard’s but with flippers like those on a porpoise. It was one of many that roamed North Texas when water covered the land millions of years ago. The nearly 10,000-pound fossil was put on display between Gates 10 and 11 at the Braniff International terminal at DFW Airport in 1975, and it remained there even after Braniff Airways ceased operations in May 1982. The artifact later was moved again, and in the mid-2010s, the plesiosaur was [...]

By | 2019-11-27T09:28:56-08:00 November 30th, 2019|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Earth Sciences, Faculty News|Comments Off on What happened to the fossil on display at DFW Airport? Curious Texas digs up the answer

Wastewater leak in West Texas revealed

EurekaAlert Originally Posted: November 25, 2019 DALLAS (SMU) - Geophysicists at SMU say that evidence of leak occurring in a West Texas wastewater disposal well between 2007 and 2011 should raise concerns about the current potential for contaminated groundwater and damage to surrounding infrastructure. SMU geophysicist Zhong Lu and the rest of his team believe the leak happened at a wastewater disposal well in the Ken Regan field in northern Reeves County, which could have leaked toxic chemicals into the Rustler Aquifer. The same team of geophysicists at SMU has revealed that sinkholes are expanding and forming in West Texas at a startling rate. Wastewater is a byproduct of oil and gas production. Using a process called horizontal drilling, or "fracking," companies pump vast quantities [...]

By | 2019-11-26T13:48:52-08:00 November 26th, 2019|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Earth Sciences, Faculty News|Comments Off on Wastewater leak in West Texas revealed

‘The Story Collider’ at Wild Detectives shows the intersection between humanity and science

Dallas Morning News Originally Posted: Nov. 21, 2019 From a journalism teacher donating her kidney to a total stranger to a middle school teacher traveling to Africa to study human fossils, people shared their stories in front of a live audience about how science has affected their lives. The Story Collider science and storytelling event made its way to Dallas’ Wild Detectives on Nov. 6 for the second time this year. The event featured five storytellers from different backgrounds. Since launching in 2010, Story Collider events have been held around the nation and even abroad. The Dallas Morning News’ science writer, Anna Kuchment, and Dallas-based television producer Aparna Kumar were the hosts, sharing anecdotes between speakers. A wide range of speakers made the packed bar [...]

By | 2019-11-26T13:58:04-08:00 November 25th, 2019|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Earth Sciences, Graduate News|Comments Off on ‘The Story Collider’ at Wild Detectives shows the intersection between humanity and science

Historical data confirms recent increase in West Texas earthquakes

SMU Research Originally Posted: Nov. 4, 2019 A new analysis of historical seismic data conducted by The University of Texas at Austin, SMU and other academies has found that earthquake activity in West Texas around Pecos has increased dramatically since 2009. The study, published Nov. 4, 2019, in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, is important because it leverages old, unmined data to track seismic activity over nearly the past two decades – much further back than other studies— to show that activity has increased during the past decade in an area of the Permian Basin that is being heavily developed for oil and gas. Although researchers have generally thought that to be true, the statewide TexNet earthquake monitoring system has been gathering data [...]

By | 2019-11-05T09:21:00-08:00 November 4th, 2019|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Earth Sciences, Faculty News|Comments Off on Historical data confirms recent increase in West Texas earthquakes

SMU paleontology grad named one of the AAAS IF/THEN ambassadors

SMU News Originally Posted: September 10, 2019 The ambassadors are encouraged to share their stories of being women innovators, in hopes it inspires the next generation of women to get into science, technology, engineering and math [STEM] Myria Perez ’18 and Louis Jacobs DALLAS (SMU) – SMU (Southern Methodist University) graduate Myria Perez ’18 was one of 125 women innovators across the country who was selected to be an AAAS IF/THEN ambassador. Their mission? To share their stories and serve as high-profile role models for girls, in hopes it leads to a new generation of women getting into science, technology, engineering and math [STEM]. “We firmly believe that if we support a woman in STEM, then she can change the world,” Lyda Hill, the founder of Lyda Hill Philanthropies, said [...]

By | 2019-10-07T08:46:01-08:00 October 11th, 2019|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Earth Sciences, Undergraduate News|Comments Off on SMU paleontology grad named one of the AAAS IF/THEN ambassadors

Researchers unveil new volcanic eruption forecasting technique

SMU News Originally Posted: September 12, 2019 Volcanic eruptions and their ash clouds pose a significant hazard to population centers and air travel, especially those that show few to no signs of unrest beforehand. Geologists are now using a technique traditionally used in weather and climate forecasting to develop new eruption forecasting models. By testing if the models are able to capture the likelihood of past eruptions, the researchers are making strides in the science of volcanic forecasting. The study, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, examined the eruption history of the Okmok volcano in Alaska. In 2008, a large eruption produced an ash plume that extended approximately 1 mile into the sky over the Aleutian Islands – posing a significant hazard to aircraft engines along [...]

By | 2019-10-07T08:43:49-08:00 October 9th, 2019|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Earth Sciences|Comments Off on Researchers unveil new volcanic eruption forecasting technique

Heather DeShon, Dedman, study finds Fort Worth basin wastewater injection increases fault-slip potential

Journal of Petroleum Technology Originally Posted: August 7, 2019 The Barnett Shale might be a play of yesteryear for the US onshore industry, but the examination of a decade’s worth of recorded activity from the birthplace of the shale revolution yields new insight on the seismic impact of wastewater injection. Findings from researchers at the University of Texas (UT), Stanford University, and Southern Methodist University (SMU) reveal that wastewater injection in the Fort Worth Basin (FWB) of North Texas “significantly increases the likelihood for faults to slip” if not managed properly, according to a UT news release. To improve understanding of fault sensitivity, the team mapped 251 faults totaling more than 1,800 miles in combined length in the FWB. Those faults mostly extend from the [...]

By | 2019-08-07T14:31:04-08:00 August 9th, 2019|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Earth Sciences, Faculty News|Comments Off on Heather DeShon, Dedman, study finds Fort Worth basin wastewater injection increases fault-slip potential

New power generation technology using waste heat from geothermal plants tested at SMU

Think GeoEnergy Originally Posted: June 13, 2019 A research project by the Geothermal Lab in SMU has sparked optimism for the use of PwrCor technology to generate additional power from ultra-low-grade heat typically discarded by geothermal facilities. Source GlobeNewswire The Geothermal Laboratory at Southern Methodist University (SMU) has just completed a research project that aims to use ultra-low-grade heat (150 °F to 250 °F) normally discarded by geothermal facilities to generate additional electricity. A central component of this project was the proprietary bottoming cycle technology of PwrCor, Inc., an advanced technology company that focuses on renewable energy solutions for Waste-to-Heat Power, Geothermal, and Solar markets. Based on the data compiled from 31 out of 73 US-based geothermal sites, an approximate 427 MWe can be generated [...]

By | 2019-06-17T09:22:04-08:00 June 17th, 2019|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Earth Sciences, Faculty News|Comments Off on New power generation technology using waste heat from geothermal plants tested at SMU

Research shows Permian Basin sinkholes are growing

CBS7 Originally Posted: May 20, 2019 Research by geophysics has shown the Permian Basin may be booming economically, it’s also sinking physically. Wink is known for its massive sinkhole, but new research suggests that in the coming years that sight might not be so uncommon. It turns out wink isn’t the only spot prone to sinkholes. Researchers at Southern Methodist University have found points all over the Permian Basin where the ground is sinking at 5 to 53 centimeters every year. But why? CBS7 spoke to a Dr. Zhong Lu, a geophysics professor at SMU who has been studying sinkholes patterns in the Permian Basin. He explained the Permian Basin has a layer of salt below the ground surface and in many instances oil and [...]

By | 2019-05-22T06:38:38-08:00 May 29th, 2019|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Earth Sciences, Faculty News|Comments Off on Research shows Permian Basin sinkholes are growing
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