GEO Graduate Student Conference Papers

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    Quantifying paleo-environments in the Eagle Formation using trace element concentrations
    (Wichita State University, 2023-04-14) Schwartz, Julia; Parcell, William C.
    In the past decade, our understanding of paleoenvironmental and climate record in sedimentary strata has been enhanced with the portable X-ray Fluorescence (XRF). Identification and correlation of trace elements concentrations (i.e. trace element chemostratigraphy) provides a valuable indicator of changing environments and climate over time and the response of sedimentary systems. The XRF is a non-destructive tool that is used to determine the elemental compositions of rock, sediment, and fluid materials. The use of a gamma ray scintillometer (GR) helps with detection of trace elements that may have attached themselves to the surface of fine-grained sediments. To date, most chemostratigraphic trace element studies have focused on fine-grained shale and carbonate units in shallow-marine environments. This study expands upon our knowledge of elemental abundances in course-grained clastic units found in terrestrial and deltaic settings. Doing so increases the application of trace element correlations to broader sedimentary environments. The unit selected for this study is the Cretaceous Eagle Formation exposed in a Cretaceous age anticline in the Elk Basin Oil Field. The oilfield is situated in northwestern Wyoming and southern Montana. The Eagle Formation is a light gray to tan coarse-grained sandstone with iron concretions, Diplocraterion, and Ophiomorpha structures. The chemostratigraphic profile created from collected XRF and GR data will be compared to previous published paleontologic and lithologic analyses of the Eagle Formation. Samples for this study were collected in November 2022 and analyzed during the 2022-23 year. Further field work in summer of 2023 will add to initial findings. Results from this study will be compared to the limited number of published chemostratigraphic studies from deltaic and terrestrial environments.
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    S.E.L.E.N.E: System Engineered for Lunar Environment, Navigation, and Exploration
    (Wichita State University, 2021-04-02) Morales, Kevin; Wang, Long; Christensen, Fennie; Kim, Arnold; Alfaro, Jennifer; Smith, Brandon; Ergil, Selin; Rincon, Clarissa; Shoonover, Maggie; Patterson, Jeremy A.; Parcell, William C.
    Augmented Reality (AR) display technologies utilize computer-generated virtualized content to enhance the observer's perception of the physical environment. This NASA SUITS (Spacesuit User Interface Technologies for Students) challenge proposal considers the limitations of augmented reality and addresses possible solutions for future missions to the Moon, and beyond. The system to address these challenges is SELENE (System Engineered for Lunar Environment, Navigation, and Exploration). The SELENE system, built by a Wichita State University team, enables crew members to be more efficient and effective while reducing cognitive load on the end-user, ultimately increasing crew autonomy. This enhanced autonomy is a result of SELENE's Navigation, Scientific, and EVA informatic systems. For navigation, SELENE provides a 360-degree display ring coupled with AR landmark cues and a surface grid. For the science system, SELENE will enable astronaut to perform complex tasks such as scientific sampling by displaying informative cards within the user's visual display. SELENE's Extravehicular Activity (EVA) system capabilities range from constant consumable monitoring to a standalone mission tracker interface allowing astronauts to be more autonomous. SELENE also offers nonintrusive real-time data synchronization via the Head Mounted Display (HMD) shared between astronauts. This proposal includes the design description, concept operations, testing, project schedule, and project expectation with supported research.
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    Fracture orientations in Kansas and relations to mountain building
    (Wichita State University, 2017-04-28) Merchant, Heather M.; Staats, Noel A.; Gray, Keith D.
    In efforts to discern the space-time relationships between fracture formation [low-strain brittle deformation in the Earth's upper crust] and other geologic structures [folds and faults] in the mid-Continent region, field studies were carried out in upper Paleozoic to late Mesozoic deep-marine sedimentary rocks exposed across portions of western, south-central, and northeastern Kansas. Fracture orientations were measured, plotted stereographically, and analyzed for 30 different locations. Two subvertical, systematic fracture sets emerged from our data: NE and NW striking joints or extensional fractures. Fracture orientations are oblique to major subsurface deformation belts such as the Central Kansas uplift, Nemaha uplift, Humboldt Fault system, as well as the Augusta North anticline. If tectonic in origin, then fracture sets across much of Kansas may relate to formation of the Rocky Mountains [Laramide orogeny].
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    Trace metal analysis of Little Arkansas River as urbanization increases nearing Wichita, KS
    (Wichita State University. Graduate School, 2014-04-25) Sinclair, Jacob T.; Parcell, William C.
    The Little Arkansas River originates in areas of high agriculture use and flows to areas of increasing population and urbanization. As the urbanization increases especially between Valley Center KS and Wichita KS the health of the river is degraded and 303d listed endangering aquatic life and limiting resource use. Using EPA collected data for statistical analysis to determine parameters of interest heavy metal concentrations will be determined and linked to a visual site analysis. From the results, amount of degradation can be determined and related to past samples indicating danger to aquatic life and resource limitations for anthropogenic use. Research is continuing to determine spatial concentrations of trace metals and sediment with differing stream discharge related to urbanization.
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    Depositional Patterns and Stratigraphic Relationships in a Sag Basin: Middle Jurassic Gypsum Spring, Piper and Sundance Formations, NW Wyoming
    (Wichita State University. Graduate School, 2011-05-04) Gilbert, Clark; Parcell, William C.
    The Middle Jurassic Gypsum Spring, Piper and Sundance Formations of Wyoming are marine and evaporite deposits formed in a shallow epeiric sea east of an overthrust belt that existed near the western margin of North America. Lithofacies distribution was influenced by sag basin tectonics related to this continental collision. Resolving the stratigraphic relationships within these units provides insight into the interaction between global sea level change, regional tectonics, and local depositional facies distribution. Through the integration of lithostratigraphy, allostratigraphy and sequence stratigraphy, we seek to determine the origin and distribution of lithofacies and unconformities to better understand the timing of deposition as it relates to sea level change and tectonism.
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