April 06, 2007

Sexton to discuss his research at society meeting

by Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE, Ill. — A geology professor will present two research projects this month at a meeting of the Geological Society of America.

John L. Sexton, professor of geology, will present his work at the joint meeting of the North-Central and South-Central Sections of the society, set for April 11-13 at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kan. About 450 geoscientists will attend the meeting, hosted by the Kansas Geological Survey and the University of Kansas departments of geology and geography.

Sexton worked on a project titled "Geophysical Surveying on the Southern Terrace of Cahokia's Monks Mound," which used several methods to look beneath the ground for evidence of past human occupation. Researchers used several instruments, including electrical resistivity, electromagnetic conductivity and magnetics. The various instruments used revealed and correlated many anomalies. The results also showed the complimentary nature of the data and its usefulness in identifying potential excavation sites in archaeologically significant sites such as the Cahokia Mounds, which was the largest and most complex native society in North America.

Sexton also worked on a project titled "Seismic Reflection Investigation of the Inman East Fault in the Wabash Valley Fault Zone." That project examined the nature of the faulting in that area, especially in regard to the Springfield No. 5 coal seam in the area.