In this experiment, we examine the non-linear dynamics of a mechanical system consisting of an inverted pendulum with one free-turning rotational degree-of-freedom attached to a computer-controlled cart with one linear degree-of-freedom. Using a Quanser Linear Servo Base Unit with Inverted Pendulum and paired software package, we used first principles to develop the non-linear control system needed to move the pendulum from stable equilibrium to unstable equilibrium and maintain unstable equilibrium. This combines the self-erecting inverted pendulum experiment and the classic pendulum experiment. Through the paired software package, we were able to derive the dynamic equations to develop the transfer function and proportional-velocity feedback system that describe the linear motion of the cart, successfully creating the non-linear control system for both phases of the experiment.
This report examines the function, accuracy, and ease of use of an XBOX Kinect™ as a 3D surface scanner. The purpose of this experiment is to demonstrate the utility of a Kinect™ for XBOX 360 (Microsoft®) paired with Skanect (Occipital) and MeshLab software packages as a low cost solution to surface scanning and processing. My conclusion is that the Kinect™ is able to accurately model the recorded point cloud as a continuous 3D surface that matches the contour and scale of the test subject surface. Both Skanect and MeshLab effectively interpolated the smoothing of the 3D surfaces and provided higher resolution imaging than an unaltered image. The resultant resolution of the contoured surface is higher than the resolution of the 3D printers used in this experiment, demonstrating an effective digital duplication of a physical surface.
For this project, a digital grip gauge was designed for Lockheed Martin to measure the grip length of the aircraft skin of the F-35. The objective of the electrical group is to ensure that the gauge will be capable of recognizing when the measurement has stabilized. When stabilized, a light will turn on, which allows the operator to know the measurement is ready for reading. We developed three prototypes that each complete this objective. The first prototype uses two force sensitive resistors (FSR) powered by Arduino. The Arduino code is programmed to turn on a light when the forces on the sensors are equal for a certain range within different zones. The second prototype consists of a comparator circuit with two FSRs connected to a NAND gate. When both FSRs measure the same force, within a range, a light will turn on. The third prototype utilizes two small push buttons that complete a circuit. When both buttons are pressed, the circuit is completed and a light will turn on, indicating to the operator that the part is flush with the aircraft skin and the measurement is stabilized. While each of these prototypes satisfies the objective, the third prototype was ultimately selected due to size constraints of the gauge design.
Compressive line sensing is a process of acquiring data and reconstructing images. The objective of this study is to explore the impact of the two parameters that are used in the image reconstruction algorithm on the quality of the reconstructed image. These two parameters are the compression ratio and the line group. The compression ratio is the ratio of the number of measurements taken at each line vs. the resolution of each line. The line group is the number of lines that are grouped together and solved jointly when reconstructing the image. A higher compression ratio results in degraded image quality because less measurement data is used to reconstruct the image. The larger the line group, the better the quality of the image at a cost of longer computation time. The key is to find a balance between the compression ratio and line group choices so that the image is reconstructed with as little data as possible while still maintaining a high image quality. We will present images reconstructed with different compression ratio and line group based on the data obtained in air and in water.
The objective of our work is to design and build a depth gauge that efficiently and accurately measures the depth of a narrow hole, and give feedback via an electronic screen on the device. This design is being made for Lockheed Martin and will allow their employees to measure a large amount of rivet holes both quicker and more accurately than their current solution. Speeding up the measuring process while retaining accuracy will cut down on production time significantly. Our design was founded on the idea of a small hole gage, we modified the gage to be set up as a probe and anchor onto the back side of the hole. The probe has been coined as a “split-ball” due to its inner shaft splitting the outer shaft that contains a ball type end effecter. Our prototype has been through many iterations utilizing the on campus Fab Lab to 3D print most of our parts. Our mechanical team has been in close work with our electrical team to ensure that the mechanics and electronics function together seamlessly.
The objective of our work is to design and build a depth gauge that efficiently and accurately measures the depth of a narrow hole, and give feedback via an electronic screen on the device. This design is being made for Lockheed and Martin and will allow their employees to measure a large amount of rivet holes both quicker and more accurately than their current solution. Speeding up the measuring process while retaining accuracy will cut down on production time significantly. Our design is small enough to be held in one hand and contains a wire probe that is plunged into the hole and latches onto the other side. The probe is “Tweezer-like” in design, with two wires that collapse and expand with the use of a button. Many parts of our design are made using a 3D printer for convenience and repeatability. Our design is able to communicate with electronics stored within the gauge that measures the depth and displays to an LCD screen.
Klein Tools is a major hand tools manufacturer in US focused on electrical and utility applications for professionals. One of Klein Tools products is called a fish rod that is used by professional electricians to pull wiring through walls, conduit, and plenums to route wire from one place to another. The current fish rod assembly process at Klein Tools involves manual dispensing of glue into the metal connectors before affixing them to fiberglass rods. The objective of this Klein Tools-sponsored project is to improve the throughput of assembly system and increase the accuracy and the consistency of the amount of glue dispensed to reduce product failures and adhesive waste.
The overall system in development consists of an automated metal connector orientation system, conveyor belt assembly, a glue dispensing system and a control system. Through the application of vibratory hopper feeders, pneumatic rotary tables and grippers, sensing cameras, break line sensors, and a conveyor belt, the system will orient the metal connectors glue side up, and present the connectors with adhesive to the operator for final assembly of the fish rods.
In this research project, the aim was to create a small, self-operated robot car to transport items. In addition, the robot-car can generate a distance when traveling through unknown places, and self-locate them in the next travels. The student authors hope that this robot car can be used to physically communicate and send medical supplies between severe patients and doctors in hospitals.
Author(s): Jimmy Greene Environmental Science Tory Bennett Environmental Science Tamie Morgan Interdisciplinary Michael Slattery Environmental Science
Advisor(s): Tory Bennett Environmental Science
Location: Session: 1; 1st Floor; Table Number: 5
South Africa is unique in that the majority of its wildlife is managed in privately owned game reserves. One major challenge for reserves is maintaining healthy stable populations, particularly with for large species, such as the big five (white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum), African elephant (Loxodonta africana), Cape buffalo (Syncerus caffer), African leopard (Panthera pardus), and lion (Panthera leo)). Nevertheless, there has been very little research on management of these charismatic species in such size restricted reserves. To address this need, we are studying the impacts of white rhinoceros on the structure, composition, and spatial distribution of vegetation in Amakhala Game Reserve. The reserve was created in 1999 from 7,500 ha of agricultural land. Since the formation of the reserve, succession of vegetation to a more natural state has been encouraged. However, the introduction of large herbivores, such as the rhino in 2006, may have altered or slowed down this succession. To explore this hypothesis, we conducted a GIS analysis study. Through the use of Landsat imagery, we classified the vegetation type and analyzed historical changes due to rhinos using the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). We hope that these findings will facilitate game reserve management and provide a better understanding of rhino carrying capacity based on the size of a game reserve.
Author(s): Nicholas Haber Environmental Science
Advisor(s): Mike Slattery Environmental Science Becky Johnson Environmental Science Tamie Morgan Environmental Science
Location: Session: 2; B0; Table Number: 13
The Mill Branch Mitigation Bank (project site) is located in northwest Denton County, Texas approximately 17 miles northwest of the City of Denton and stores stream credits that are used to offset the degradation of our rivers. Mitigation banks also helps the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers achieve the goal of “no overall net loss” of the nations wetland aquatic resource functions that will be lost or impaired by authorized activity. The Mill Branch Mitigation Bank restored 22,876 linear feet of channel and approximately 83 acres of riparian areas within the Mill Branch and Cannon watersheds in Denton County. Before being restored, the Mill Branch stream was used by grazing animals for drinking water. Decades of intensive grazing have caused the channel to degrade, erode and widen; in addition the pasture management and operations have displaced native vegetation. The goal of this project was to define the watershed that drains into the Mill Branch Mitigation Bank, including the historical conditions of the stream and also soils impact on drainage. I used LiDAR data and produced a triangulated irregular network (TIN) that represents the surface of the watershed and then aerial photo were overlaid on the TIN making the surface more realistic. Historical aerial photos were used to examine to the impact of the changes before and after the mitigation occurred. GIS soils data will be used to look at infiltration rates and the impact it has on the volume of water entering into the stream.
This research was designed to address the drainage basin infrastructure in Arlington Heights, Fort Worth, Texas. The Central Arlington Heights watershed is a residential subdivision of roughly 454 acres, dating back to the late 1800’s. Over this extended period, this area has experienced a high rate of urbanization with both commercial and residential development with an ever increasing percentage of the area covered in impervious layers. Subsequently, the original storm water drainage system is outdated and inadequate and several residential properties have experienced significant reoccurring damage from floods.
The previous process of modeling and quantifying the input of impervious cover for storm water drainage design is outdated. A GIS analysis of the impervious cover layer in present conditions is critical in determining the percentage of cover per land parcel and comparing it to the zoning and model parameters set by the city. Using image segmentation, a remote sensing analysis was used to analyze color infrared aerial photography at a resolution of 0.5. Once segmented, a supervised classification was performed to map impervious cover. The percentage of impervious cover per land parcel and land owner was calculated and compared to present storm water design standards and City zoning requirements.
Author(s): Devon Kassler Environmental Science
Advisor(s): Tamie Morgan Environmental Science Robert Denkhaus Environmental Science
Location: Session: 1; 2nd Floor; Table Number: 2
The Fort Worth Nature Center is a nature reserve located northwest of Fort Worth, Texas. The 3621-acre reserve serves as a huge habitat for an abundant number of terrestrial and aquatic animal species. The nature center uses environmental management practices to keep the refuge as healthy and native as possible. To get a better understanding, game cameras are strategically placed by employees to take “inventor” of what creatures are on the refuge with minimal human interruption.
GIS analysis were conducted to determine species diversity and population based on locations and times. A map was created to show where the game cameras were set up in relation to each other and the boundaries on the property. The game cameras not only provide the photos but the time and date as well. The data from the game cameras were then analyzed individually and sorted to create a population density map. The results were then presented to the management which allowed them to make any adjustment they saw would benefit the refuge. In addition, the results were taken and shared in the form of an ESRI story map on the Fort Worth Nature Center’s website for public educational purposes.
In 2016, the Fort Worth Independent School District (FWISD) conducted voluntary lead testing of drinking/drinkable water at 127 schools and administrative locations across the district. The goal of this testing was to assess whether students were being exposed to high lead levels in drinking water while at school. There is no level of lead that is considered harmless or acceptable. Because children are still in the developmental phase of growth, they are particularly vulnerable to the negative health effects associated with exposure to lead contamination. Based on current understanding and best guess estimates, the United States Environmental Protection Agency has set a lead action level in drinking water of 15 parts per billion. Results from the FWISD study showed that 60 of 127 locations had lead levels that exceeded the action at one or more sample points. As a corrective measure, steps were taken to remove and replace over 500 non-compliant drinking fountains and other plumbing components. This infrastructure was older and was suspected to be the primary cause of the lead contamination due to the leaching of lead from lead-containing components. However, the issue of lead contamination and its potential link to old infrastructure transcends the school system and necessitates a comprehensive assessment on a citywide level. Given that schools are developed around communities of similar age, the FWISD lead data may be useful as a proxy for assessing wider citywide potential lead-in-water and infrastructure replacement issues. In this project, lead data from the FWISD study was combined with infrastructure-related data, spatial analysis, and spatial statistics techniques to identify potential high-priority areas for the city’s lead pipe replacement project. Infrastructure-related factors included in the analysis are parcel age, pipe material, and pipe age. Greater priority will be given to vulnerable populations, including children, low-income communities, and minorities. The results are likely to indicate which areas of the city are at the highest risk of lead contamination of drinking water and which areas should receive high priority for lead service line replacements and plumbing renovations.
A GIS analysis was done on All Saints Episcopal School, in Fort Worth, Texas. The objective of the analysis was to gather and study data that pertained to All Saint’s campus. The data utilized included: soil types, geology, elevation contours, vegetation, hydrology, and air photos to show construction development over time. ArcGIS and ArcScene were the two software programs used to map and visualize the data.
All Saints requested an analysis for future use in the development of their campus. Their two main developmental focuses are river restoration, prairie restoration, and site planning. River restoration requires hydrology data such as the watershed as well as topography and soils to show the flow of water across the campus. For site planning, geology and soil data are important for geotechnical engineering and helps insure structure soundness of building foundations. Prairie restoration requires soil and vegetation data in order to plan native vegetation gardens.
The TCU Wind Initiative is involved in research that aims to develop technologies to minimize bat activity at wind turbines in an effort to lower mortality rates. There are six species of bat currently found in the north-central Texas, of which eastern red bats (Lasiurus borealis) comprise the highest proportion of wind turbine-related deaths. To test the effectiveness of potential technologies in a series of behavioral studies, TCU researchers capture wild bats using a mist netting technique in areas where bats are thought to be flying. However, as eastern red bats are nomadic and migratory, the Fort Worth region commonly experiences fluctuations in the number of bats present across the capture season. This study, therefore, aims to identify areas around Fort Worth that have a high probability of eastern red bat presence (i.e., activity hotspots) in an effort to maximize mist netting success rate.
To identify such hotspots, we first determined the habitat preferences and flight patterns of bats from existing literature. We found that different species of tree bat tended to fly at specific heights and distances from tree lines and woodland edges. These differences minimized competition between the species and reduced the risk of predation (i.e., smaller species flew closer to trees). Bats also required access to water. Therefore, by analyzing tree heights, distance between trees, and distance to water sources we were able to identify areas representing suitable habitat for the eastern red bat. We found tree heights by subtracting the bare earth surface model from the first return surface model. We also conducted a sensitivity test to determine how distance from trees influenced habitat connectivity and therefore the extent of habitat suitability. Based on the literature, we selected three distances to test; 10, 30, and 50 m. Finally, water bodies were determined to be areas of no return of LiDAR data. We then used the results of this analysis to inform TCU researchers of areas with a high probability of eastern red bat presence that they should mist net at.
GIS Project- GEOL/ENSC Spatial Analysis 080
March 23, 2017
A GIS Analysis of food deserts in Indianapolis, Indiana
Urban areas all over the country are being classified as food deserts; these are areas in which people either have no access or restricted access to affordable fresh food. In order to live a healthy and fulfilling life humans need to consume fresh food. Many initiatives are underway to aid these desert areas and bring them the fresh food they need. A GIS analysis of Indianapolis was done to identify possible areas that would classify as food deserts. This will allow relief efforts to be better implemented and positively affect more people. GIS analysis of census data that includes income, race, housing, and population density will be used to create maps of possible food deserts. Fast food, gas stations, and grocery stores will be identified and analyzed for accessibility relating to walking distance and public transportation.
The Barby Formation makes up part of the Konkiep Terrane, which is a major Mesoproterozoic arc complex along the Kalahari craton margin in southwest Namibia. Previous mapping indicates that the Barby Formation contains a laterally and vertically complex series of basaltic to rhyolitic lavas, rhyolitic ignimbrites, and associated hypabyssal intrusions. Our new work shows that significant basaltic to andesitic pyroclastic successions are also present within the unit and record a wide variation in eruption styles.
Detailed mapping reveals the presence of Hawaiian, Strombolian and phreatomagmatic pyroclastic deposits forming successions up to X m thick emplaced close to source vents and intercalated with fine-grained lacustrine strata in an area ~20 km2. The most abundant deposits consist of basaltic to andesitic spatter accumulations formed from vigorous lava fountains during Hawaiian-style eruptions. These sequences show random vertical transitions on the scale of a few meters from moderately agglutinated to densely welded spatter, which reflect variations in pyroclast accumulation rates. Individual spatter pieces are up to x cm long. The densely welded spatter forms lava-like units, but we see no evidence of clastogenic lava flows. Sequences of basaltic lapillistone with dispersed ribbon and fusiform bombs up to 50 cm across record Strombolian eruptions during episodes of lower magma flux without involvement of external water. The spatter accumulations typically grade upward into phreatomagmatic deposits containing minor amounts of spatter and cauliflower bombs mixed with poorly vesicular lapilli tuff, in which particle shapes are controlled mostly by fracture surfaces rather than broken bubble walls; up to 30% lacustrine sediment is intermixed with juvenile lapilli and ash in these deposits. We infer that changes in eruptive style in this part of the arc sequence were controlled at least partly by variations in magma ascent rates at shallow depths, as documented in numerous other volcanic provinces. Transitions from Hawaiian to phreatomagmatic eruptions may at least partly reflect a decrease in magma flux in the presence of external water, lowering the magma-to-water mass ratio so that hydrovolcanic explosions became possible.
The Eagle For Shale is a cretaceous geological formation that contains vast amounts of hydrocarbons. It is located in South Texas and is home to the largest oil and gas development in the world based on capital invested. The Eagle Ford play is shallower compared to other formations, and due to its high carbonate content and lack of clay content, the shale is more brittle allowing higher production rates through the process of hydraulic fracturing.
A GIS analysis of the Eagle Ford formation has been prepared in Lavaca County, Texas focusing on the producing trend that ceased development when crude oil prices dropped. This analysis will pay close attention to the San Marcos Arch and its impact on the Eagle Ford thickness adjacent to it and over it. This analysis discusses the arch itself, when in geologic time it occurred and what impact that event may not have had on the formation of the Eagle Ford.
Unconventional resources have become increasingly important in the production of petroleum. Shales, which are one of the unconventional resources being explored, are generally very difficult to work with due to their apparent homogeneous, fine-grained nature. Detailed studies often require the use of specialized tools to analyze and understand the rock. X-ray fluorescence, X-ray powder diffraction, carbon analyzers, and mechanical strength testers are commonly used tools to analyze shale cores. Results from these tools provide a wealth of data that allow detailed understanding of these resource rocks.
The Barnett Shale is one such resource and serves as the primary source rock for oil and gas reservoirs in the Bend arch/Fort Worth Basin area. Recently, the Barnett Shale itself has been an exploration target and now is a significant gas-producing formation in Texas. Research has shown that the Barnett Shale is organic rich and thermally mature for hydrocarbon generation. The estimated maximum gas storage capacity of the Barnett Shale is 540 mcf/acre-foot.
The Barnett Shale is an excellent formation to study as there is an abundance of data and cores. A single core will be analyzed using the above-mentioned devices. This study will lead to a better understanding of how unconfined compressive strength (UCS), composition, TOC, and core dimensions correlate and affect one another. By completing various analyses, several questions can be addressed including: 1) How does the sample volume affect micro-rebound hammer readings? 2) Which minerals control UCS? 3) Are X-ray fluorescence data sufficient to characterize the mineralogy or are X-ray powder diffraction data advantageous? 4) How do mechanical stratigraphy and XRD data correlate and are correlations comparable to mechanical stratigraphy and XRF data? 5) Which trace elements represent the best proxy for total organic carbon (TOC) content? Answering these questions will add new data to a growing database on the Barnett Shale and help us better understand this unconventional resource play.
In 1983 the American Association of Petroleum Geologist published a geologic guidebook called “Stratigraphic and Structural Overview of the Upper Cretaceous Rocks exposed in the Dallas Vicinity” written by Robert T Clarke and David E. Eby. This field publication outlined a guided field trip of stops of interest in Dallas County and the surrounding counties. The user can follow the guidebook with an outlined travel route to a series of designated stops of known outcrops. The Upper Cretaceous rocks exposed in the Dallas vicinity area were designated by Adkins in 1932 from oldest to youngest; the Grayson Formation (Washita Group) and the Woodbine, Eagle Ford, Austin, and Taylor Groups. The trip begins on the Black Prairie in Dallas and proceeds westward across the Eastern Cross Timbers to Arlington. The field trip area follows roughly along the structural boundary between the Fort Worth basin in the northwest and the Ouachita fold belt in the southeast. This field guide includes hand drawn maps, hand drawn stratigraphic sections and black and white reprinted photographs of the outcrops described. Each stop has a detailed description to allow the user to find the outcrop and details about fossil assemblages and particular characteristic of the formation at the location. The information in the guidebook is very useful but the media used at the time is now considered outdated.
To update this detailed field guide with more modern technology and locational accuracy, a GIS project was conducted to assimilate all the necessary geospatial data layers, traveling routes, GPS location of each designated stop and new color photography of the outcrops visited. All of this geospatial data was collected and formatted to allow a user of the field guide to traverse the entire field trip by accessing an integrated geospatial map. The ultimate goal of this project is to publish this material as a web based story map to allow easy web access to anyone interested in outcrops and provided information. This story map would make this information available to users on mobile products and allow users to contribute remarks and additional important outcrop locations to the product.
Adkins, W.S., 1932, The Mesozoic systems of Texas, in The Geology of Texas:
Univ. Texas Bull., no. 3232, p. 239-518.
Northwestern South America is highly deformed due to the transpressive boundary with complex interactions among the Caribbean plate, the South American plate, the Nazca plate and the Panama arc. Previous studies suggest that the Cenozoic uplifting of the Mérida Andes and Eastern Cordillera of Colombia affected sediment dispersal patterns in the region, shifting from a Paleocene foreland basin configuration with an axial major fluvial system, to the modern configuration of isolated basins with distinctive sediment dispersal patterns. Well-exposed Cretaceous to Pliocene strata in the Táchira saddle between the Easter Cordillera and Merida Andes provide a unique opportunity to test proposed sediment dispersal patterns in the region. U-Pb detrital zircon geochronology and supplementary XRD heavy mineral identification were used together to document provenance of Cretaceous to Pliocene clastic rocks collected from the area of La Alquitrana. Results from the U-Pb detrital zircon geochronology show that there are six age groups recorded in this samples. Two groups related with Precambrian Guyana shield Terranes and Putumayo basement in the Eastern Cordillera, and four groups related to different magmatic episodes during the Andean Orogenic process. Three major paleogeography changes were also recorded in these detrital signatures, including a transition between the Cretaceous passive margin and the Paleocene foreland basin, the initial uplifting of the Eastern Cordillera with the isolation the Llanos Basin and Táchira Saddle from the Central Cordillera and the Magdalena Valley in the Early Oligocene, and the uplifting of the Mérida Andes by the Early Miocene. The outcomes of this study emphasize the importance of the Mérida Andes and Eastern Cordillera Uplift in controlling the evolution of the sediment dispersal patterns in northern South America and represent a contribution in the understanding of the paleogeographic evolution in the region.
Fluvio-lacustrine systems are prone to experiencing significant flood events separated by longer low energy periods. During low flow, sediment is stored upstream of the lake as mid-channel and side-attached bars. During high-discharge events, water level rises above the topographically low delta front levees, the turbulent jet of the river is positioned upstream of the levee terminus where levees are less confining, and the previously stored sediment is flushed from the channel into the lake basin laterally as sheets. This process forms a laterally extensive, well sorted wedge shaped deposit of fine grained sand called a blowout wing (after Tomanka, 2013). These wings are documented in the ancient within the Kayenta Formation, UT, where the sand wings demonstrated a significant increase in connectivity between statistically clustered fluvio-lacustrine channel belts. In this research, we document two examples of blowout wings forming in the modern. The first example is a lake sourced by a mud dominated river (Denton Creek, Lake Grapevine, TX), and the second is a lake sourced by a sandy, bedload dominated river (Red River, Lake Texoma, TX). Wings are composed of fine to medium grained, well sorted, and clean sand. The deposits are thin and laterally continuous, with measured thicknesses of 5-10 cm that thin away from channel axis. Wings have an aerial extent up several hundred meters, scaling to 4-6 times the channel width. The Red River at Lake Texoma has a channel width of 125m and deposits wings with an aerial extent of 250-350m long along the levee of the delta channel and 300-500m laterally. As the Red River has prograded into the basin, 5-6 individual blowout wings form a wing complex 1500m long and 500-600m laterally from the channel. Denton Creek at Lake Grapevine has a channel width of 25m and deposits wings on the order of 50-125m along the levee of the delta channel and 60-150m laterally. Three wings at Lake Grapevine form a wing complex 300m long and 100-150m laterally. The amalgamation and statistical clustering of fluvio-deltaic channel belts is increased by the presence of blowout wings, resulting in higher total reservoir size and connectivity. Blowout wings should be, and are, found in modern systems and subsequently the rock record recording fluvio-lacustrine environments of deposition.
Thin sand sheets presumed to be terminal splay bodies have potential to serve as hydrocarbon reservoirs. The few studies of terminal splays managed from arid systems has provided insight, but ground study of the humid equivalent is lacking. Deposited in the distal zone of a distributary fluvial system (DFS), the splay bodies are formed as rivers terminate from loss of slope into unconfined dispersive flow and deposit bed load as splays and advect mud to more distal floodplains. The splay sheets and floodplain together provide potential for both reservoir and seal. We examined terminal splay deposits in a modern humid terminal splay system, Andean foreland of northern Argentina, and in ancient foreland deposits, Paleocene Raton Formation of the Colorado Raton Basin. I am going to compare the two locations in terms of grain-size, sedimentary structures, geometry, and scale and see how they relate. I hypothesize that the two are going to have similar grain sizes, and that the sedimentary structures and geometries will also be analogous but expect them to be scaled down in the Raton Basin.
The modern splay in Argentina is nearly 1.3 km wide and 1.9 km long and was deposited during a single large flood in 2012. Cross sections generated by hand augers show a maximum thickness of 0.8 m, an average of 0.5 m, and a consistently very fine-grained to lower medium-grained sand texture throughout. Total sand deposited in the flood event is ~ 1.2 million cubic meters (~2.0 million cubic meter maximum), and accumulates over earlier splay deposits separated by weakly developed soils that are locally removed by splay incision. Subsequent dissection of the splay permits examination of sedimentary structures, which are dominantly climbing ripples, planar laminations, and cross sets, but climbing antidunes are locally found near the splay apex. Ancient terminal splays of the Raton Formation are made of thinner sand sheets (~0.25 m) and tend to have thicker muddy floodplain deposits between. Grain-size distribution, sheet geometry, and sedimentary structures however are consistent between the modern and ancient examples. Both the Argentina and Raton examples reflect the distal end of a humid Distributive Fluvial System, however, the Raton system appears to have been of smaller scale. This is consistent with the comparatively smaller scale of the Raton vs. Andean tectonic system.
The Late Paleozoic Ouachita fold-and-thrust belt extends from the southern terminus of the Appalachian thrust belt in eastern Mississippi up through central Arkansas, southeastern Oklahoma, and Texas terminating in northeastern Mexico. A series of Carboniferous foreland basins were formed sequentially to the thrust front. The interaction between the Laurentian craton and the Appalachian-Ouachita orogenic belts controlled sedimentation in the southern midcontinent region throughout the Paleozoic. In contrast to the Appalachian orogenic belt to the east, the Ouachita orogenic belt and associated sediments remain poorly documented and less constrained.
In this study, seven Ordovician to Mississippian aged clastic units from the Ouachita Mountain in central Arkansas were sampled and tested using U-Pb detrital zircon geochronology. Three major age peaks are prominent, including the Grenville Province (~0.95-1.2 Ga), the Granite-Rhyolite Province (~1.3-1.5 Ga), and the Superior Province (>~2.5 Ga) in Ordovician to Silurian aged rocks. A change in this signature becomes clear at the beginning of the Carboniferous from Early Mississippian Stanley Group samples showing the additional Paleozoic age peak (~490-520 Ma) potentially derived from the Appalachian orogenic belt to the east, and/or from peri-Gondwanan terranes accreted to Laurentia just before the collision with Gondwana. This stratigraphic variation of detrital zircon age signature suggests that the transition from a passive to an active margin in the Ouachita trough started, at the latest, in early Mississippian times. Results of this study is the first systematic study of the U-Pb detrital zircon signature of the Ouachita orogenic belt and have important implications in sediment dispersal, provenance interpretations, and paleogeography reconstructions in North America, especially in the southern mid-continent and surrounding areas.
A GIS site assessment and building plan was performed on approximately 20 acres located near Edna, Texas. The property surrounds a 5 acre lake with three existing small houses facing the lake. The site assessment evaluated the potential for construction of additional single story 2 bedroom homes. Using aerial photography, digital elevation data, and a soil survey; a map of the project area and site conditions was created. Elevation and soil suitability were used to determine drainage and suitability of the soil for foundation support. Color aerial photography was essential in developing layout of boundaries, existing structures and lake location. A viewshed analysis from the front porch of each of the proposed new structures was performed to evaluate the quality of view angle to the lake.