Geochemistry Geophysics

Document Sample
Geochemistry Geophysics Powered By Docstoc
 & Geophysics
Boise State has developed world-class expertise in studies of the Earth’s shallow subsurface
and in chemical analysis and characterization of geologic materials from around the world.
This research has applications for everything from cleaning up oil spills and identifying the
sources of surface water pollution, to understanding the consequences of climate change.

                                                 • EarthquakE hazard studies that are yielding new
Geochemistry involves the investigation of
the chemical composition of Earth materials by     information about the location and uplift history of
using precise instrumentation and advanced         fault zones in the Pacific Northwest
methodologies to analyze samples.
                                                 • GlaciEr StudiES in Alaska
Geophysics uses physical principles to             to understand how water
study properties of the Earth, including the       moves through glaciers,
investigation of the shallow subsurface using
non-invasive techniques such as seismic            information that is
imaging and electromagnetics.                      shedding new light on
                                                   processes involved in
                                                   global warming
at-a-glance                                      • GEochronoloGy
interdisciplinary research programs
                                                   rESEarch to understand
bring together faculty experts in civil
engineering, geophysics, hydrogeology,             the geologic time scale
aqueous and isotope geochemistry, glaciology,      on a much more precise
seismology, geography and other fields             level than has been possible in the past,
cGiss, the Center for Geophysical                  providing scientists with new information
Investigation of the Shallow Subsurface            to understand the effects of climate change
at Boise State, is the nation’s largest
geophysics research group focused                • arSEnic StudiES to identify the reasons for
exclusively on the Earth’s shallow subsurface      elevated levels of arsenic in groundwater in
                                                   Asia and in Idaho and that could be used
ph.d. proGrams in geosciences and
in geophysics, as well as master’s and             by officials to develop practices to mini-
undergraduate programs, incorporate research       mize risks
opportunities as a key part of curricula
                                                 • hydroGEophySical StudiES to develop new
Field laboratories including the Boise             methods to image the composition and
Hydrogeophysical Research Site along the
                                                   structure of the subsurface through non-
Boise River support a range of studies                                                             “Boise State researchers are using
                                                   invasive means
national science Foundation,
                                                                                                   new advances in geochronology to
Environmental Protection Agency, U.S.
                                                 • GEophySical research to study whether           precisely date geologic samples to
Department of Energy, NASA, U.S                    certain types of rock formations could be       a resolution of less than 100,000
Department of Agriculture, Minerals                used as a possible site for carbon dioxide      years. This greatly enhances our
Management Service, and other agencies             sequestration
provide research support                                                                           efforts to understand changes in the
                                                 • Snowpack StudiES that utilize ground-           Earth’s climate during the Carbonif-
private industry support includes
                                                   based high-resolution radar to determine        erous period over 300 million years
GX Technology Corp., Conoco Phillips,
Alaska Clean Seas, Statoil ASA (Norway),           how the amount of water stored in the           ago, the last time the Earth went
BP Exploration, Shell Technology Norway,           snowpack varies across a mountain slope         from an icehouse to a greenhouse.
ExxonMobil, and Schlumberger
                                                                                                   The data are of relevance in studying
collaborations with MIT, Harvard,                capaBilities                                      changes in Earth’s climate today.”
UC-Berkeley, Swiss Federal Institute for         Field laboratories and on-campus facilities             — Dr. Mark Schmitz, Director, Isotope
Snow and Avalanche Research, Idaho
                                                 with advanced instrumentation support a             Geology Laboratory (pictured above, right,
National Laboratory, SINTEF (Norway),
                                                 broad range of research endeavors                              with Ph.D. student Gene Kurz)
and other institutions worldwide
Boise state profiles/ geochemistry & geophysics                                                      research
MATT KOHN, PH.D.                                of magnitude faster and equally as accurate          Here is a sampling of grants related to
Among Dr. Kohn’s current projects is a          when compared to conventional methods                geochemistry and geophysics research
                                                                                                     at Boise State:
study of mountain-building                                    such as digging snowpits. He
                                                                                                     Investigation of Spatial and Temporal Variations
processes in the Himalayas                                    also uses this radar system as         in Snowpack Properties Using Ground-Based
of northwest India and an                                     a validation tool for airborne         High Resolution Microwave Radar
analysis of the fossilized                                    and satellite measurements             $114,234

teeth of prehistoric verte-                                   and believes space-based               Suitability of Layered Basalt Deposits
                                                                                                     as Targets of Industrial Carbon Dioxide
brate species. On research                                    “snow radar” may be key to             Sequestration
                                                                                                     battelle energy alliance
trips to the Himalayas, Dr.                                   accurately assessing snowpack          $54,901
Kohn (pictured at right)                                      depth and water content at             Collaborative Research: How Did the
                                                                                                     Grassland Biome Evolve in South America?
and his students collect                                      the watershed and mountain             national science Foundation
rock samples containing                                       range scale worldwide. He is
                                                                                                     Testing Mechanical Models of Himalayan
recrystallized minerals.                                      currently adapting the instru-         Orogenesis in Northwest India
                                                                                                     national science Foundation
When characterized chemi-                                     ment for use on a helicopter           $274,969
cally, these tiny minerals                                    and is performing preliminary          Tectonic Rates from Garnet Differential
indicate temperature, depth                                   tests in Valdez, Alaska.               national science Foundation
and other factors that                                                                               $96,996

help determine how the                                                     eMIlY HINZ, PH.D.         Characterization and Monitoring of Fractures
                                                                                                     Using Multi-Scattered Seismic Waves
mountain range evolved.                                                    sTUDeNT                   conocophillips
In another study, Dr. Kohn                                                 Hinz (pictured at left)   Evaluation of the Source and Release
compares the oxygen iso-                                                   is conducting field       Mechanism of Elevated Uranium
                                                                                                     Concentrations in the Shallow Treasure
tope composition along the length                                          experiments and lab       Valley Aquifer
                                                                                                     idaho department of environmental Quality
of fossilized teeth to understand                                          analyses to study how     $21,072
how the animal’s diet changed                                              water flows through       Water Storage and Routing Within Glaciers
                                                                                                     via Planar Voides, a New Model of Glacier
seasonally. The data provide infor-                                        the subsurface and        Hydrology
                                                                                                     national science Foundation
mation about climate conditions in                                         through the “hypor-       $297,827
past eons and could be used to help                                        heic” zone, where         Detection of Oil On and Under Ice – Phase
predict how Earth’s climate is likely                                      surface and ground-       III: Evaluation of Higher-Powered Airborne
                                                                                                     Radar Systems to Detect Oil Under Ice and
to change in the future.                                                   water mix. As part of     Field Testing Existing Technology to Map
                                                                                                     Oil Under Snow
                                                                           her research, Hinz is     u.s. department of interior, minerals
                                                                                                     management service
HANs-PeTer MArsHAll,                                                       using ground-pene-        $65,381
PH.D.                                                                      trating radar to detect   Hydrogeophysical Quantification of
                                                                                                     Hydraulic Conductivity from Electrical
A snow scientist and                                                       conductivity changes      Measurements of the Effective Properties
glaciologist, Dr. Marshall                                                 in water that has been    of Porous Media
                                                                                                     national science Foundation
(pictured at right) is study-                                              injected with a saline    $119,766

ing new ways to measure                                       tracer. If successful, the experi-     Surface Waves in Exploration Geophysics
                                                                                                     GX technology corporation
the equivalent amount                                         ments could be used to develop         $90,000

of liquid water stored in                                     new computer models and                Will Climate Change Affect Hyporheic
                                                                                                     Processes in Arctic Streams? An
the mountains as snow,                                        assessment tools to predict and        Assessment of Interactions Among
                                                                                                     Geomorphology, Hydrology and
and other properties in                                       monitor water flow in a variety        Biochemistry in Arctic Stream Networks
                                                                                                     national science Foundation
seasonal and permanent                                        of environments. The opportu-          $166,763
snowpacks. His research                                       nity to conduct experiments at         Seismic Reflection Imaging of Western
                                                                                                     Portions of the Seattle Fault
is improving our under-                                       field sites such as the univer-        u.s. Geological survey
standing of the spatial                                       sity’s Boise Hydrogeophysical          $71,654

distribution of snow, which                                   Research Site is among the rea-
is important for assess-                                      sons Hinz said she selected Boise
ing avalanche danger on                                       State for her doctoral studies.                            Research
mountain slopes, predict-                                     “The geophysics program here                               MatteRs
ing spring runoff patterns, forecasting water   is pretty amazing,” said Hinz. “There are lots
                                                                                                     As an emerging metropolitan
resources for irrigation, power genera-         of research opportunities for both graduate          research university of distinction,
                                                and undergraduate students.” Hinz works              Boise State University is committed
tion and fisheries, and understanding the
                                                                                                     to fostering an environment where
impacts of climate change. Dr. Marshall has     with Dr. John Bradford, an associate profes-         exceptional research and creative
                                                                                                     activity thrive.
developed portable, ground-based radar to       sor affiliated with the university’s Center for
measure the amount of water stored in the       Geophysical Investigation of the Shallow             Division of Research
seasonal snowpack. The radar provides more      Subsurface, on her studies.                
                                                                                                     (208) 426-5732
than 50 readings per second and is orders

Shared By: