Poster Presentations (School of Earth Sciences)

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These are posters that students and/or faculty have presented at poster sessions on campus or at professional society meetings. Posters from AGU meetings, GSA meetings, OSU Denman Undergraduate Research Forum and the Shell Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) Internships are some of the posters included in the collection.

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Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 20 of 49
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    The After Fracking Problem in Arkansas: Cause of an Exaggerated Presence of Earthquake
    (The Ohio State University, 2015) Nsona, John; Wilson, Terry
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    Analysis of Cinder Cones and Volcanic Ridge in the Adare Basin, Antarctica
    (The Ohio State University, 2014) Vargo, Brian; Wilson, Terry
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    Examining organic carbon in Utica shale - reading density data isn't so black and white
    (The Ohio State University, 2014) Sethna, Lienne; Cook, Ann
    Many studies have focused on the micro- and nanometer scale distribution of organic matter is shales. In this research, we are attempting to examine organic matter distribution at a larger ~ 0.1-1 millimeter scale, which would be easier to link to bulk reservoir properties. We investigate samples from Pt. Pleasant Shale (also known as the Utica Shale) from Eastern Ohio, United States, using X-ray computed-tomography (XCT) and Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM). Comparing both sets of data, we hope to find a stronger correlation between the XCT values and the distribution of organic matter and minerals in the shale. We scanned Utica samples (2.5 cm diameter and a few cm in length) on an industrial micro-CT, which results in voxel sixes of ~20 microns. Hounsfield values for targeted “organics” were ~5000 compared to the background shale value ~8000. Areas containing possible organic carbon were identified, and these sections were subsampled and investigated with SEM to determine geochemistry, with special focus on identification of organic matter. Preliminary results show that organic matter distribution is not resolvable at the ~0.1-1 millimeter scale. However, research in this area has just begun this summer, there is still much more CT data to sift through in order to gain more conclusive results.
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    Dissolved Organic Matter Contains Previously Unidentified Protein-like Fluorophores in Old Woman Creek
    (The Ohio State University, 2012) Perez, Victor, Jr.; Chin, Yu-Ping
    Dissolved organic matter (DOM) constitutes a significant carbon pool in the global carbon cycle and is influential in many other processes e.g., altering the fate of contaminants, acting as redox and pH buffers, etc. The ubiquitous dispersal of DOM in the aqueous environment originates from sources ranging from autochthonous (microbial) to allochthonous (terrestrial) precursors. The source of the DOM dictates its composition, which in turn impacts its reactivity in the environment. The isolation of DOM from natural waters is a common practice to preserve and concentrate DOM, yet the extraction method may significantly alter its composition. This study explores the characteristics of DOM collected from Old Woman Creek (OWC) National Estuarine Research Reserve, located in Huron, Ohio, isolated using PPL solid phase extraction (SPE). Previous DOM extraction methods such as C-18 or XAD-8 are limited to hydrophobic compounds, while the novel PPL SPE cartridges capture more polar and non-polar components. PPL and previously collected XAD-8 isolated OWC DOM was characterized using fluorescence spectroscopy. Fluorescence analysis revealed protein-like components not present in previously collected XAD-8 isolated OWC DOM, demonstrating the significance of extraction method on the composition and potential reactivity of isolated DOM.
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    CO2 Sequestration Capabilities of Upper Cambrian-Lower Ordovician Formations in Southern Ohio
    (2012) Hull, Brad; Cole, David
    Carbon dioxide sequestration into porous rock intervals beneath the Earth’s surface is an emerging technique of reducing the amounts gaseous CO2 emitted by energy production through the burning of coal/peat. Target intervals of rock must have sufficient pore space, permeability, thickness, depth from the surface, and must be located beneath an impermeable geologic seal to serve as a reservoir for the sequestration of supercritical CO2. The Upper Cambrian-Early Ordovician Knox Supergroup including the Copper Ridge Dolomite, Rose Run Sandstone, and Beekmantown Dolomite formations found within the Aristech Well in Scioto County, Ohio may have all the necessary requirements to serve as a viable combination of CO2 reservoir and geologic seal. This research seeks to characterize samples drawn from these formations on the basis of petrography, porosity, pore size and distribution, permeability, bulk mineralogy, and brine chemistry to distinguish suitable sequestration horizons in conjunction with an overlying caprock. Light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, mercury porosimetry, and x-ray diffraction analyses established a porous and permeable reservoir interval including the upper Copper Ridge and entire Rose Run overlain by the impermeable Beekmantown Dolomite. The Rose Run Sandstone was the most favorable for CO2 storage, while vertical heterogeneity within the Copper Ridge Dolomite limited the reservoir thickness. Porosity measurements for the reservoir were between 3 and 8%, permeability was 16-50 mDarcies, while the caprock porosity was 1% and permeability of 7 mDarcies. Porosity and pore size distribution between and within samples is controlled by mineralogy, mineral nucleation, diagenesis, and heterogeneity. Volumetric estimations show that the Copper Ridge/Rose Run reservoir could hold up to 5.6 million metric tonnes of supercritical CO2 under the most favorable conditions.
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    The effect of repeat bleaching on stable C and N isotopes in the Caribbean coral Porites astreoides
    (The Ohio State University, 2012) Scheuermann, Jordan; Grottoli, Andrea
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    Characterization of mineralization in sediments around potential methane hydrate fractures
    (The Ohio State University, 2012) Buchwalter, Edwin; Cook, Ann
    Methane hydrates are a frozen mixture of natural gas and water which remain stable in sea floor sediment. In the future these could become a valuable source of energy however with current technology extraction is impractical. I believe that the hydrates change the sediment surrounding them both physically and chemically, potentially altering mineral makeup. This experiment used X-ray Computed Tomography (XCT) to measure density differences within the core, allowing me to interpret the mineralization of the sediment from hole KC 151 in the Gulf of Mexico. The initial results do show promise as the segment of core which is believed to have contain a methane hydrate fracture shows a significantly greater amount of pyrite (5.5% for 17H-4 versus .7% for 8C-1) than the sediments higher up in the core where there is little evidence for hydrates. An unexpected find was a change in the pyrite formation, with 8C-1 showing round pyrite nodules while 17H-4 shows pyrite forming in the bioturbation. Though promising, more research will be conducted on total organic carbon (TOC) and the physical evidence left behind by evaporating hydrates.
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    Microevolutionary Response in Lower Mississippian Camerate Crinoids to Predatory Pressures
    (The Ohio State University, 2012) Thompson, Jeffrey; Ausich, William
    Crinoids were relatively unaffected by the end-Devonian Hangenberg event, but the major clades of Devonian durophagous fishes suffered significant extinctions. These dominant Devonian fishes were biting or nipping predators. In response to the Hangenberg event, Lower Mississippian crinoids underwent an adaptive radiation, while fish clades with a shell-crushing durophagous strategy emerged. Durophagous predators were more effective predators on camerate crinoids and it is hypothesized that through the Lower Mississippian, camerate crinoids evolved more effective anti-predatory strategies in order to compensate for the more effective predatory strategy of the durophagous fishes. More convex plates and longer spines are commonly regarded to provide more effective anti-predatory strategies. Did convexity and spinosity increase among camerate crinoids during the Lower Mississippian? A new method was formulated to test for an increase in convexity of the calyx plates among species of 2 different genera, Agaricocrinus and Aorocrinus. Spine length was analyzed in the genus Dorycrinus and was a simple linear measurement. Data are analyzed using a runs test to determine if morphological change is statistically significant of represents a random walk. Change in plate convexity and spine length in different species is representative of microevolutionary change as new species evolve to changing ecological conditions.
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    Insights on Induced Seismicity in Ohio from the Youngstown M4.0 Earthquake
    (The Ohio State University, 2012) Mills, Jacqueline A.; von Frese, Ralph R. B.
    Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is the process in which a solution, consisting of sediments and chemicals, is injected below the crustal surface at high pressures to break up rock and enhance natural gas and oil production. This process produces waste water, which is then injected deep into the earth’s crust for disposal. The deep injection well in Youngstown, Ohio became operational in January 2011 and just three months later, the first induced earthquakes occurred. After the 10th earthquake in a matter of months, the well was voluntarily shut down. The shutdown was followed days later with a magnitude 4.0 earthquake. Researching the correlation between deep well injections and the earthquakes can help us better understand not only how but where the ground is fracturing. By bringing attention to these faults, we can avoid placing deep injection wells around them to limit induced seismicity. This can also help us learn how to better utilize the Ohio’s subsurface for deep well injection and storage. Research was completed through studying Ohio’s geological history, the stratigraphy of eastern Ohio, and articles collected from newspapers and the scientific literature on the geology of Youngstown and its utility for deep well injection and storage.
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    Gradient analysis for fault detection in the Rome Trough
    (The Ohio State University, 2012) Phillips, Zachary; Von Frese, Ralph
    Faulting in the formations that make up the Rome trough beneath Southeastern Ohio and Eastern Kentucky was caused by the mountain building processes uplifting the Appalachian Mountains. Though generally inactive at present, these faults reflect zones of weakness within the basement rocks activated by current crustal stresses. With the increase in subsurface engineering in Ohio and Kentucky, the detailed structure of rock units is becoming more important for aspects of oil and gas migration and recovery, CO2 sequestration, and waste injection. Knowing the position of faults allows engineers to better estimate pathways for subsurface fluid and gas migration. It is also important for scientists and engineers to understand the fault structures in order to pinpoint earthquake epicenters and plan for earthquake hazards. For example, injecting waste near a fault may cause the triggering of an earthquake due to the lubrication of a fault surface. The basement faults mapped within Ohio and the surrounding states are poorly understood (Hansen 2012). The purpose of this research is to develop a more detailed view of fault structures from available sedimentary isopach and structure data using the grid manipulation software known as Mirone. Mirone is an in-depth grid operation and analysis program with the capability of taking the gradients of gridded isopach and structural data. This isolates the areas of the largest offset in the dataset and after adjusting the color palette the faults show up as lines in the dataset. These data will be useful for anyone in need of a comprehensive view of the structures found in the Rome trough. Future work will include the 3-dimensional mapping of Rome trough faults to better demonstrate the detail and nature of the faulting and bedding planes involved.
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    Carbon in watershed bedrock and its importance in global carbon cycling
    (The Ohio State University, 2012) Clendenin, Chad; Carey, Anne; Welch, Sue
    Over geologic timescales, weathering of silicate rocks plays a significant role in the regulation of atmospheric carbon dioxide and thereby global climate. The Sierra de las Minas of Guatemala, my study area, has high physical erosion, frequently occurring from landslides. This erosion increases water throughflow and water contact with fresh mineral surfaces, which in turn may increase chemical weathering in the region. Carbonation, the mode of chemical weathering of particular interest to this study, involves dissolution of atmospheric carbon dioxide by rain water, forming soluble carbonates. My study aims to describe components of an important process in the carbon cycle, and to contribute to a better understanding of the functions and interactions of Earth systems. Shale samples which had undergone various degrees of weathering, collected from streambeds and outcrops of watersheds in the region, have been analyzed for total inorganic and organic carbon (TOC) to quantify and distinguish carbon derived from decomposition of living organisms and the carbonation weathering process. Samples were also analyzed for major, minor and trace elements by X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometry to determine the elemental composition of the rocks, indicating the lithology of the weatherable rocks in the region. TOC levels range 1.8-5% and 1-4% for TIC.
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    Evaluating Anthropogenic Impact on Water Quality of Ohio Rivers Over Time
    (The Ohio State University, 2012) Dailey, Kelsey; Lyons, W. Berry
    Many natural and anthropogenic factors affect the geochemistry of surface waters like rivers and streams in rural and urban areas. Much impact on fresh water in the United States comes from non-point sources, with population and land use playing an important role. Major components of input into surface waters are chloride and sodium, derived mostly from urban contributions such as road salt, and nitrate, largely from agricultural sources like fertilizers, as well as the burning of fossil fuels. Fresh water quality historical data exists for many Ohio rivers, however much of it has never been further utilized to observe ion concentration trends over past decades. I have tabulated past data from state and federal sources such as USGS and data from Dr. Lyon’s research group from the 2000’s to identify long-term trends in ion concentrations in rivers at multiple locations throughout the greater Columbus area. In June, I sampled the same sites examined in the past and analyzed the filtered samples for major ions and nutrients. By comparing the summer 2012 samples to those from same sites in the past, the magnitude of the effects of urban and rural contributions on surface runoff and fresh water quality will be determined.
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    Ecosystem Dynamics in an Extreme Environment: Lake Fryxell, Taylor Valley, Antarctica.
    (The Ohio State University, 2012) Rytel, Alex; Herbei, Radu; Lyons, W. Berry
    The McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica constitute a large and significantly ice free area of Antarctica at 78 degrees south latitude. Over the past 19 years data have been gathered on the lakes located in Taylor Valley, Antarctica as part of the McMurdo Valley Long-Term Ecological Research program (MCM-LTER). This study is part of a larger study that seeks to understand the impact of climate on the biological processes in all the ecosystems within Taylor Valley, including the lakes. These lakes are stratified, closed-basin systems and are permanently covered with ice. The work presented here focuses on one of the three main lakes in Taylor Valley, Lake Fryxell, which is fed by 13 streams. We use a statistical approach to link the physical, chemical, and biological processes within the lake and the streams that feed it. In our statistical approach we use light, phosphorus, nitrogen, and other lake parameters as explanatory variables for biological production and biomass profiles, and attempt to link the physiochemical properties of the lake to biological changes within the lake.
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    Go East Young Man: Trends in the Ohio Utica Shale
    (The Ohio State University, 2012) Harrington, Jake; Cole, David
    The recent shale gas boom has brought much attention to Ohio because of its location above the Utica Shale, an Ordovician age rock formation that acts as both a source rock and reservoir rock for large amounts of hydrocarbons. Gas exploration is recent so minimal information is currently available to the scientific community. The goal of this research project is to measure the mineralogy and total organic carbon (TOC) of Utica Shale samples and to determine the relationships among these data with depth and east-west location. The mineralogical analysis focuses on the amount of clay minerals with respect to non-clay minerals. During hydraulic fracturing, rock must break cleanly to release hydrocarbons. Clays do not fracture in such an orderly way, complicating extraction. X-ray diffraction of randomly-oriented powder samples is employed to determine the qualitative and quantitative mineralogies. TOC is measured using an elemental analyzer after treating each sample with acid to dissolve inorganic carbon. Results are expected to show a correlation between TOC and clay content and an east to west pattern. This information could help locate drilling sites and lead to newly discovered shale gas plays.
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    An Inquiry Into the Evolution and Sediments of Caves Along the Scioto River
    (The Ohio State University, 2012) Parker, Eric; Bair, E. Scott
    Cave passages and the sediments contained in them often preserve large scale climate changes. The major rivers and tributaries in the Columbus area served as outlets for glacial melt waters. The down cutting of these rivers led to the formation of a phreatic to vadose transition in numerous local caves. There were two components to the research: Collection of sediment samples and searches of the surrounding area for clues to explain the caves’ evolution. Samples were collected in two major ways. The first, involved extracting surface sediment from caves with a rock hammer. The second employed a manual corer to extract deeper layers of sediment whenever possible. After collection, images of the samples were recorded to scale using a light station and camera. Many aspects of the caves were discovered, including that the parallel sets of caves on the banks were likely bisected by the river / stream. The sediment from the caves is a fine, clay-based mixture with some larger grains intermixed. Unfortunately, this composition is incompatible with the planned sieve analyses. Further research will explore the changes in spring locations along the Scioto River over time and analyze pollen and carbon data from new sediment samples.
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    Proving it Works: Fluid Viscosity Verification in a Diamond Anvil Cell
    (The Ohio State University, 2012) Eymold, William; Panero, Wendy
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    High Impact Earthquake Risk in the Greater Cleveland, Ohio Area
    (The Ohio State University, 2009) Saddler, David; von Frese, Ralph R. B.
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    Discharge of the Congo River Estimated from Satellite Measurements
    (The Ohio State University, 2009) Schaller, Lisa; Durand, Michael; Alsdorf, Doug
    Although Central Africa’s Congo River is the world’s second largest river based on drainage area and discharge; little in-situ hydrologic data has been collected from this area. This lack of data limits our understanding of the water cycle throughout the region. The region receives significant rainfall on both sides of the equator at different times of the year, due to the annual south-north migration of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ, a low-pressure zone around the equator which leads to heavy precipitation). Many satellite missions have been launched that image the earth using visible band frequencies or radar technologies (e.g., LandSat and various SAR missions, respectively), but none are specifically designed to measure surface water variables such as river discharge and changes in lake storage. Our objective is to determine the discharge of the Congo River and several of its largest tributaries (Sangha, Ubangi, Aruwimi, Tshuapa, Kasai), using only remotely sensed data. We use remote sensing data from these various satellite missions for measurements of channel width, length and water surface elevation. Data sets showing open water in channels (the JERS-1 SAR data from the Global Rain Forest Mapping project, or GRFM) are combined with data sets showing water surface elevation (Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, or SRTM) to determine the slope of the water surface. By using measurements of width, estimates of depth can be approximated by noting that discharge in short reaches should remain constant and thus width variations can indicate depth variations. Manning’s n is estimated within reasonable bounds for rivers having cohesive sediments along their banks. These variables are combined utilizing Manning’s Equation to estimate the discharge of the river. We calculate slope for 100's of kilometer long reaches by fitting polynomials to SRTM derived water surface heights and their respective flow distances. Our results show discharge variations of various tributaries and the Congo main stem for February 2000, the time of the SRTM overpasses.
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    Environmental Assessment of Industrial (Mine) Tailing Migration and Reclamation Tactics, Cobalt, Ontario
    (The Ohio State University, 2009) McCarthy, Ashley; McKenzie, Garry; Schwartz, Frank
    Starting in 1904 through the mid 1930’s, Cobalt’s mines and mills operated continuously. From then until 1989, operations were intermittent. Mining practices predating the 1930’s left significant pollution. Evident as; historic remnant mine workings, waste rock piles, and tailings ponds. Within the Cobalt mining camp, we must familiarize ourselves with the geomorphic setting to proper facilitate the rehabilitation of the tailings as well as the environment. Cobalt’s mining legacy has taught us how arsenic has poisoned the landscape, but what is there to learn from this, and how can we revitalize Ontario’s most historic City.
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    Potential Risk of High Magnitude Earthquakes in the Western Ohio Seismic Zone
    (The Ohio State University, 2009) Verdibello, Steven; von Frese, Ralph