October 03, 2007

Geology faculty to present research at conference

by Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Several faculty members from the Department of Geology in the College of Science at Southern Illinois University Carbondale will present their work this month during the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America.

The meeting is set for Oct. 27-31 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. The group expects about 6,300 geoscientists to attend the event.

One of the society's core missions is advancing geosciences in service to humans and its motto is "Science, Stewardship, Service." This year's event is themed along the United Nation's declaration that 2008 is the International Year of Planet Earth. The event also offers geoscientists an important opportunity to network with those in their particular fields of study.

A committee reviews all papers submitted for presentation.

SIUC research projects and the geoscientists and researchers presenting them include:

• "Radiolytic Oxidation of Pyrite by Gamma Radiation"

Liliana Lefticariu, assistant professor of geology, headed up this project, which demonstrated radiolysis as an effective mechanism for the production of oxidizing species in subsurface environments over geologic time. Lisa Pratt, Edward Ripley and Jay Laverne assisted Lefticariu, who also worked with the Department of Geological Sciences at Indiana University Bloomington and the Radiation Laboratory at the University of Notre Dame.

• "Hydrologic Signatures of Flood Magnification on German Rivers"

Nicholas Pinter, professor of geology, was the lead researcher on this project, which collected data from 84 stations located on 29 rivers in Germany to look for factors related to flooding and develop indices of flood magnification for further testing. Helge Bormann and Simon Elfert assisted Pinter at SIUC. The Institut fuer Biologie und Umweltwissenschaften also contributed to the research.

• "Historical Trends in Flow Dynamics and Flood Magnification, Tisza River, Hungary."

Rob A. Venczel, a teaching assistant in the Department of Geology, will present the project paper, assisted by Pinter. The project focused on three hydrologic measurement stations in Hungary and data collected there since 1833. The researchers tested whether increased flooding on the Tisza River is the result of conveyance loss caused by several different factors.

• "The Use of Archival Data, Geospatial Databases and Retro-modeling to Assess Man-Made Changes to the Mississippi River System"

Jonathan W. F. Remo, a research assistant in the Department of Geology, will present the project paper, assisted by Pinter and Andrew Flor, research assistant. The project attempted to assemble the huge amount of data available on the Mississippi River System and then use it to assess changes to the system using "retro-modeling," which involves analyzing the data to assess historical conditions.

• "Using Historic and Modern Data to Assess Mississippi River Levee Failures"

Flor will present the project paper, assisted by Remo and Pinter. The project examined geographic information systems to identify potential causes of historic levee failures.