Earth & Climate

New large genome-scale study finds that Native American ancestors arrived in single migration wave

Siberia, Meltzer, Paleoamericans, Clovis, first americans, migrationA new large genome-scale study reveals that the ancestors of all present-day Native Americans arrived in the Americas as part of a single migration wave, no earlier than 23 thousand years ago.

The finding addresses the ongoing debate over when and how many times the ancestors of present-day Native Americans entered the New World from Siberia. There is archaeological evidence of modern humans in the Americas by about 15 thousand years ago. Continue reading

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SMU conference promotes technology, economics of geothermal production in oil and gas fields

Southern Methodist University’s renowned SMU Geothermal Laboratory will host its seventh international energy conference and workshop on the SMU campus May 19-20. The conference is designed to promote transition of oil and gas fields to electricity-producing geothermal systems by harnessing waste heat and fluids from both active and abandoned fields. Continue reading

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SMU seismology team to cooperate with state, federal scientists in study of May 7 Venus, Texas earthquake

Injctn sign 400x300SMU’s seismology team was not surprised by the magnitude 4.0 earthquake that occurred near Venus, Texas, recently, having been aware of multiple smaller earthquakes identified nearby in recent months.

The team has recommended to state lawmakers a permanent regional network of monitors, supplemented by portable instruments, to deploy in a time-sensitive manner. Continue reading

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James Brooks awarded high honor from American Association of Petroleum Geologists

James E. Brooks honored by AAPGJames E. Brooks, provost emeritus and professor emeritus in the Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences, has been recognized with one of the highest honors of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, AAPG.

Brooks has received the 2015 AAPG Presidential Award for Exemplary Service “for a lifetime of inspired and dedicated service to his profession and community, and for the education of hundreds of students for whom he has served as an outstanding teacher, wise mentor and genuine friend.” Continue reading

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WFAA 8 ABC: Geologists release details of Azle earthquakes study

WFAA 8 ABC news reporter Byron Harris reported on the SMU-led team of seismologists whose recent study found that large volumes of wastewater injection combined with saltwater (brine) extraction from natural gas wells is the most likely cause of earthquakes near Azle, Texas, from late 2013 through spring 2014.

The study published in Nature Communications.

WFAA aired the segment April, 21, 2015. Continue reading

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Dallas Morning News: Azle earthquakes likely caused by oil and gas operations, study says

Azle, earthquakes, fracking, injection, faults, SMU, Modelled pressureScience journalist Anna Kuchment with The Dallas Morning News covered the research of an SMU-led team of seismologists whose recent study found that large volumes of wastewater injection combined with saltwater (brine) extraction from natural gas wells is the most likely cause of earthquakes near Azle, Texas, from late 2013 through spring 2014. Continue reading

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Most likely cause of 2013-14 earthquakes: Combination of gas field fluid injection, removal

Azle, earthquakes, fracking, injection, faults, SMU, Modelled pressureAn SMU-led seismology team finds that high volumes of wastewater injection combined with saltwater (brine) extraction from natural gas wells is the most likely cause of earthquakes occurring near Azle, Texas, from late 2013 through spring 2014.

The seismology team identified two intersecting faults, and developed a sophisticated 3D model to assess the changing fluid pressure within the rock formation. Continue reading

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Smithsonian: Take a Deep Dive Into The Reasons Land Animals Moved to the Seas

karen carr, Louis Jacobs, Smithsonian, tetrapods, SMUSmithsonian magazine online tapped the expertise of SMU paleontologist Louis L. Jacobs, a professor in the Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences of SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

Science journalist Alicia Ault interviewed Jacobs on the subject of why land animals moved to the seas over the past 250 million years. Continue reading

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Physicists tune Large Hadron Collider to find “sweet spot” in high-energy proton smasher

ATLAS, Large Hadron Collider, Run 2, SMU, HiggsStart up of the world’s largest science experiment is underway — with protons traveling in opposite directions at almost the speed of light in the deep underground tunnel called the Large Hadron Collider straddling France and Switzerland.

As protons collide, physicists will peer into the resulting particle showers for new discoveries about the universe, said Ryszard Stroynowski, Southern Methodist University, a collaborator on the LHC. Continue reading

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