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Inside this issue:

Earth and Ocean Sciences Inside this issue:

Greetings from the Chair


University of South Carolina Frank T. Caruccio Memoriam


Geology Club Field Trip


Field Geology


New Project Funding


Faculty and Students 6-7

2009 Alumni Reception and Alumni Living


Gulf of Mexico Gas Hydrates Research Consortium


Fall 2009 Newsletter

Greetings from the Chair Dear Friends of USC Earth and Ocean Sciences (formerly known as Geological Sciences), Since the last time I wrote to you in March 2009, we have had many new developments which I would like to share with you. Firstly, we have a new name for our department – Earth and Ocean Sciences. This new name reflects better the expertise in our department – the broad spectrum of our research interests ranging from deep water oceanography, coastal processes, hydrology and environmental sciences, deep earth seismology and traditional geology. Secondly, we had two retirements in the summer 2009 Pradeep Talwani and Doug Williams who had 60 years of service between them. We wish them the very best in retired life! This academic year has been off to a roaring start! We have received over one million dollars in external funding. The enrollment of undergraduate majors has increased from the 20’s in the fall of 2008 to 57 enrolled students for fall 2009; similarly our graduate student numbers have increased this fall. I am sad to share with you the passing of retired Prof. Frank Caruccio, who passed away August 2009 (page 2). Frank was a valuable member of the faculty for three decades and he will be missed. Our undergraduate Geology Club has been very active. In addition to their annual Geology Club Calendar (for 2010) which is under production, the Geology Club organized a field trip to the mountains of Tennessee during the fall break. Led by their Geology Club President Alex Brown, they spent part of a day crawling in caves and having a good time (page 3). Please contact Alex Brown ( if you wish to order a calendar or more (for your family and friends). On page 4, Profs. Gene Yogodzinski and Dave Barbeau report on one of the highlights of our undergraduate degree – the summer Geology camp. The Geology Camp is taken by every undergraduate prior to graduation. I am happy to report on the recent funding of a $4.9 million grant to Dr. John Schafer (ESRI) and Profs. Camelia Knapp and Jim Knapp from the Department of Energy (page 5) on carbon dioxide sequestration. In pages 6 and 7 you will find an extensive listing of our faculty and student accomplishments in the past few months. Our alumni reception is highlighted on page 7 along with the trails and travails of a young alumni, Marc Russell (M.S. 2006) working in the energy sector in Houston, Texas. In the spirit of the Holiday season I hope you can make a gift to our department. The list of various funds is at the bottom on page 8 of this newsletter. The Geology discretionary fund pays for the Geology Field Camp (page 4) which needs funding to help keep student costs reasonable. In addition, the Geology discretionary fund pays for graduate student orientation, expenses for bringing seminar speakers

from out-of-town to our department and for other student related activities. Also on page 8, a national meeting on Gas Hydrates Research organized by Profs. Camelia Knapp and Jim Knapp in Columbia, S.C. We would like for you to keep in touch with us! Please drop us a line when you have news to report to so that we may add it to the next edition of the newsletter. We would also like for you to visit http:// to update your contact information. Lastly, our dedicated departmental chair’s assistant Joyce Goodwin also retired this summer. We all really miss Joyce, but take this opportunity to welcome Margee Zeigler, who has jumped into the deep end and has helped us out immensely. In fact, it has been Margee who has put this newsletter together, gathering articles, placing images and proof reading the pages. Thanks Margee! I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our dedicated and hardworking office staff: Diana Diaz, Toni Bracey, Jae Choe and Shelley Schlenk. Many thanks to Gene Yogodzinski, Associate Chair; Camelia Knapp, Chair of Undergraduate Studies and Ray Torres, Director of Graduate Studies. Holiday wishes from all of us to you and your families,

Venkat Lakshmi, Ph.D., P.E., Professor and Chair

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Earth and Ocean Sciences

Frank T. Caruccio


1935 – 2009

Frank T. Caruccio, recognized as a pioneer for his research related to pyrite oxidation and acid mine drainage, passed way on July 29, 2009. He was a graduate of the City College of NY (B.S. ‘58) and Pennsylvania State University (M.S. ’63, Ph.D. ’67). His Ph.D. work and subsequent lifetime research lead to his recognition by the American Society for Surface Mining and Reclamation for his “significant contributions that advanced the world’s understanding of acid mine drainage.” Dr. Caruccio was a Professor of Geology at the University of South Carolina from 1971 until he retired 1999, during which time his graduate courses in environmental hydrogeology served as the foundation for a number of the state’s highly regarded hydrologists. He also shared his extensive knowledge of hydrology, geochemistry and mining impacts through seminars, short courses and workshops at professional meetings and other Universities, for many of which he received outstanding teaching awards. While his teaching and good humor were notable, his research and desire to predict, prevent, and remediate acid mine drainage drove him to explore many facets of the issues related to anthropogenic activities and the impact on water quality. His early foundational work established the relationship between framboidal pyrite and increased acid production which in turn was key to his development of empirical geochemical models relating paleoevironment of sedimentary deposition to groundwater geochemistry to pyrite grain size distributions which allowed for the prediction of drainage quality from disturbed rock/water interactions. His research, funded by the US EPA, US Bureau of Mines, NSF, State Agencies (PA, WV, and SC) and numerous mining, energy, and engineering companies, expanded the study of acid mine drainage from laboratory rela-

tionships to field studies and geologic basins. His extensive use and development of kinetic leaching tests was fundamental to his understanding and publications on the relationships between carbonate dissolution and sulfide oxidation and the impacts for water quality prediction. His patented process for the determination of the Acid Production Potential from specific basins was used in conjunction with paleoenvironment studies to predict, in advance of mining, projected water quality impacts. He worked extensively with the states of Pennsylvania and West Virginia in the 1970s and 1980s to improve mine water quality and co-chaired the WV Acid Mine Drainage Technical Advisory Committee (AMDTAC) which presented its findings at the WV AMD Task Force meetings. While the initial focus of his work was on prediction, this expanded and included the reclamation of mines impacted by acidic conditions. From work in the 1980s at coal mines in WV to ongoing studies in Georgia at kyanite deposits, he understood the necessity of an integrated approach to mitigation efforts. Ground water remediation efforts in WV lead to the finding of “pseudo-karst” hydrologic conditions in reclaimed mine spoils while application of principles related to differential densities, oxidation rates and weathering provided for successful reclamation of acidic tailings in Georgia. Dr. Caruccio’s efforts were recognized by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Science and he served on committees evaluating ground water relationships to mining. He was a member of South Carolina Mining Council (1973-2000; chair 1973-75) and was influential in drafting the State’s Mining Act. He also served on the Federal Interagency Committee on the Health and Environmental Effects of Energy Technologies, MITRE Corporation; and on the Committee to Assess Impacts of Coal Conversion in Third World Countries; Beijer Institute, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, 1983-1985 which included tours of Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Colombia. He was also a member of the International Assoc. of Geochemistry and Cosmochemistry, National Groundwater Association, American Society for [Surface] Mining and Reclamation, Society for Environmental Geochemistry and Health, AAAS, among others. Dr. Caruccio published widely but was primarily focused on ensuring that the information was disseminated to the industries that would most benefit. His work with state agencies, mining and energy companies, air-

ports, subways, and highway construction engineers was focused on mitigating the impacts of pyrite oxidation in the environment. Therefore, while he published numerous journal articles, book chapters and reports on geochemical factors affecting mine drainage quality, pyrite oxidation, and reclamation, he also presented his findings at numerous national and international meetings.

Frank will be remembered fondly and missed by the University of South Carolina community

University of South Carolina

Geology Club Field Trip By Amanda Savrda, Graduate Student Representative

Page 3 During our cave crawl expedition, one of the passageways opened up into a large chamber called “Shake, Rattle, and Roll.” The room had a domed ceiling and sloping walls that ran up to a ledge just below the ceiling. Brady had us all line up and race two at a time up the slick cave walls to see who could be the first to hold their hand in a dark hole at the top of the wall for at least 3 seconds. It looked easy enough, but after several trips and belly flops, only one of us, Alex, was able to make it up the slope, use the ceiling as leverage, and keep a hand in the hole in the wall for just one second. The cracks, crevices, and tunnels that made up the crawls had names like “Misery” and “Birth Canal.” Some crawls involved belly sliding and 90 degree face-down, belly-down turns, while others required us to brace ourselves against the cave’s walls and walk sideways down narrow crevasses with steep and slippery floors. When we finally emerged from the coolness of the caves back into the infamous humidity of the southeastern United States, we were sufficiently caked with mud and exhausted from our rock nerd worthy, head-lamp lit, Fall Break caving adventure.

Geology Club 2009

This October, USC Geology Club spent a few days in the mountains of eastern Tennessee for their annual Fall Trip. This year’s Geo Club officers, Alex Brown (President), Lauren Zeigler (Vice President), Amanda Fabian (Secretary), and Stacee Phillips (Treasurer) organized an awesome trip that included an evening of camping and a muddy afternoon of crawling, slipping, wiggling, and squirming through crawls in Lost Sea Cave near Sweetwater, TN. The trip had it’s fair share of wrong turns, vehicular mishaps, and autumn rain showers, but an escape from the concrete jungle of Columbia into the changing leaves of the Great Smoky Mountains was a perfect mid-term getaway for the 15 students who made the journey. After a long day of driving, the group set up camp at Thunder Rock Campground on the banks of the Ocoee River in eastern Tennessee. For those of you who have not been there, the Ocoee is a beautiful and feisty whitewater river that runs through parts of Cherokee National Forest. Portions of the Ocoee were used during the 1996 Olympics for canoe and kayak slalom competitions, and large tracts of the river are used for recreational whitewater rafting tours during the warmer months of the year. We set up our tents within view of the whitecaps, and Ryan Luttrell, a junior in Geology, grilled some delicious brats and hotdogs for the group. That evening, everyone enjoyed the firelight and starlight before being lulled to sleep by the churning rapids and the sound of rain on the tents and in the trees. The next morning, we made our way to Lost Sea Cave, which is part of the greater Craighead Caverns cave system. Decked out in old clothes, we scrambled up a steep pathway through the woods behind our cave guide, Brady. At the top of the pathway, we switched on our headlamps and flashlights, and stepped through a hole in the mountainside to descend slowly and carefully into the cool and damp bowels of the caverns. Brady gave us a Former USC geology undergrad, Justin Davis, tour of the main caverns, belly-crawls through one of Lost Sea Cave’s many narrow ending with a boat ride on what is believed to be the largest underground lake in North America. At over 800 feet long and 220 feet wide, the four-and-a-half acre underground lake was quite impressive. After our walking path tour of the caverns, our cave crawling adventure began. One by one, we squeezed and contorted ourselves on our stomachs through the first passageway, a narrow and slimy “test crawl.” The taller guys, like six-and-a-half feet tall Alex Brown, were some of the most nervous because of the narrowness of the cracks and crevices, while all of the girls had a much easier time sliding along the passageways. Throughout our crawls, we were surrounded by a variety of cave and mineral formations. Beyond the quintessential stalactite and stalagmite formations, Lost Sea Cave is known for its relative abundance of a rare speleothem (cave formation) called anthodite, sometimes called “cave flowers,” which comprise acicular (needle-like) crystals of aragonite.

Geology major and “tall dude,” Walt Anderson, looks quite happy to be exiting the “Birth Canal”

Lost Sea Cave is known for its relative abundance of a rare speleothem (cave formation) called anthodite, sometimes called “cave flowers” Photo courtesy of Lost Sea website

Geology major and grill master, Ryan Luttrell, peaks out from a passageway proudly displaying his cave mud war paint

Geology Club President and geophysics major, Alex Brown, and 15-seater van driver and graduate student, Amanda Savrda display their rendition of cave dwelling velociraptors

For more information about the Geology Club, visit:

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Earth and Ocean Sciences

USC’s Field Geology Course Enters a New Era By Gene Yogodzinski and Dave Barbeau

The summer of 2009 saw another group of USC geology and geophysics students participate in geology field camp, in Colorado, Utah and New Mexico. Geology field camp, which is what we informally call our GEOL500 course in Field Geology, has been the capstone experience for our undergraduate students for the past 10 years and has been a degree requirement for more than 35 years. The field camp class of 2009 was the sixth group to take the course in the western US. The change to this location marks a new era in the recent history for the undergraduate course in field geology in our department. Many of our alumni will remember taking their class in field geology from Don Secor and Art Snoke, whose research in the South Carolina Piedmont provided a natural opportunity to immerse students in the practice of field geology and to engage them in field-based geological research. The class was typically offered in spring semesters for the whole day on Tuesday and Thursday, when students would be set loose to tromp through the meadows, woods and creeks (and back yards) of the South Carolina Piedmont, in search of the elusive bedrock The Georgia-South Carolina geology field camp class of 2009. Students from the University of South Carolina, the exposure. Many former students will have clear memories of University of Georgia and Georgia Southern University are pictured here on an outcrop of the Pennsylvanian Fountain Formation near Canõn City, Colorado. this class, and perhaps some interesting and amusing stories from their experiences. Perhaps the most famous story from Two separate, weeklong field trips give students a dusty taste of the this class was the 1982 discovery by a student of well-preserved trilobite fossils in the Paleozoic strata near Batesburg. This find quickly proved to be more traditional western field camp experience, which involves camping in an important scientific discovery, which lead eventually to a paper in Science remote and scenic locations, away from the comforts of Canõn City. The first proving for the first time, the existence of an exotic terrane in the of these trips is to eastern Utah, where students examine Paleozoic and Mesozoic sedimentary successions of the Canyonlands and Book Cliffs. In Appalachians. After Art moved on and Don retired, the future of our course in field these activities, students learn and implement the principles of sequence geology became unclear. For a few years, the graduation requirement stratigraphy to interpret changes in sediment supply and accommodation in remained in place, but the course was not offered, so our students completed foreland basin strata. The second trip gives students a first-hand look at volcanic features at their capstone experience by taking a variety of field courses offered by other universities. Finally in 2004 we began to offer our field geology course in the Spanish Peaks and Valles Caldera areas in southern Colorado and conjunction with the Department of Geology at the University of Georgia, at northern New Mexico. This trip also has an environmental emphasis, which focuses on the roll of hydrothermal systems on volcanic rock alteration and their long-standing field site near Canõn City, Colorado. Cañon City is located southwest of Colorado Springs in close proximity the impact of these processes on the quality of surface waters. Students to the Rio Grande rift, and the Front Range and Sangre de Cristo Mountains, working on this project make stream water chemistry measurements in the where field camp students spend four weeks of the six week course, field, and relate their results to sampling sites, which are located in mapping classic Rocky Mountain stratigraphy which is well exposed and hydrothermally affected areas that have been both, mined and are in their accessible. The region’s compelling geologic history and appropriate level of natural state. Students relate their stream water chemistry data to the local geologic complexity makes it ideally suited to introductory field geology bedrock mineralogy and they use their data and the results of previous field students. As a result, geology programs from several other schools, camp groups to evaluate the impact of the EPA’s water quality remediation including the University of Kansas, the University of Oklahoma, and program in the Summitville area of southern Colorado. By combining the traditional benefits of geologic fieldwork with digital Oklahoma State University have held their field camps in the Cañon City area approaches to mapping and with projects related to diverse topics, our for many years. Our field camp, like many, still stresses the traditional benefits of field course in field geology provides a modern, well-rounded and exciting mapping as the best way to teach students to visualize the subsurface in geologic experience that benefits all of our students, irrespective of individual three dimensions. Students who take the class learn to navigate their field interests or career aspirations. Our combined field camp with the University of Georgia began as an area on foot, identify the geologic units and record data in a notebook. Students later compile and interpret their field observations in the form of experiment, but has evolved into a beneficial collaboration that combines students and instructors in numbers that allow both schools to offer a field maps and cross sections. Students are now issued a laptop computer and hand-held GPS camp in the spectacular geologic setting of central and southern Colorado receiver at the start of their second week in Canõn City, and are given a 2- and nearby areas. The academic benefits of field camp are clear, but the day tutorial on the use of ArcView software for geologic mapping. All financial challenges of the experience are significant. The real cost per information subsequently recorded in the field notebooks is also compiled in student for field camp exceeds by a significant margin, the normal in-state digital form and all mapping projects beginning in the second week of camp tuition rate for a 6-credit course. The balance is made up by a field camp surcharge to students, plus supplemental Summer School funding from the are produced by the students digitally. While in Canõn City, students and faculty spend their evenings in the College of Arts & Sciences. So far this formula has worked, but the financial comfortable accommodations of the Holy Cross Abbey, a former Catholic burdens, especially on the students, are significant. monastery and boarding school, which in recent years has been transformed into a commercial winery and low-cost events center for central Colorado. Interested in donating to the Geology Field Camp to help reduce the cost of field camp tuition for USC geology and geophysics students? See page seven of this newsletter. Money contributed to the Hot showers and warm meals at the end of each field day, combined with Geology Discretionary fund will go assist students with lower cost of field camp tuition. We access to email and to the modest amenities of small-town Colorado nightlife, welcome personal or corporate matching donations from department alumni, friends and industry partners, which can be mailed to: Earth and Ocean Sciences, 701 Sumter Street, EWS 617, Columbia, provide an experience that our students seem to enjoy. SC 29208

University of South Carolina

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$4.9 million grant to address storage of carbon dioxide Courtesy of USC Media Relations

A $4.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to the University of South Carolina will determine the feasibility of storing carbon dioxide underground in an effort to curb global climate change. The funding, which will go to researchers from the university’s Earth Sciences and Resources Institute (ESRI) and department of earth and ocean sciences, is one of only 11 national awards from DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory. The grants are valued at $75.5 million and are aimed at understanding whether CO2 – a greenhouse gas believed to be a culprit in climate change – can be safely stored in geologic formations, including abandoned oil and gas reservoirs, coal beds and underground reservoirs of salt water, also called deep saline aquifers. Carolina’s three-year grant will focus on the South Georgia Rift (SGR) basin, where deep saline aquifers exist in Colleton, Beaufort and Jasper counties, said Dr. John Shafer, ESRI-SC director and the grant’s principal investigator. “Carbon dioxide is a major greenhouse gas,” he said. “If we can find a viable way to capture carbon dioxide and store it safely underground for centuries, then we can perhaps reduce the amount of CO2 in our atmosphere”. Additional monies from the S.C. Geological Survey, the university and the University of Illinois put the total funding for the project at about $6 million, he said.

From left, Stephen Kresovich, Camelia Knapp, John Shafer and James Knapp at the announcement.

Moreover, the research has potential for significant commercial applications. Once scientists prove the viability of carbon capture and storage, industries will be developed around this new field of environmental protection, said Shafer. “We believe that the results from this research program could have a significant economic impact on our state and region within the next few years,” he said. Other Carolina researchers involved in the study are Michael Waddell of ESRI and Dr. James Knapp and Dr. Camelia Knapp from the department of earth and ocean sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences. Additional members of the research team are from the S.C. Geological Survey, University of Illinois, Weatherford Laboratories of Houston and Bay Geophysical Inc. of Traverse City, Michigan.

CO2 Sources

The DOE’s grants also include projects in Michigan, Illinois, Colorado, Texas, California, Alabama, Kansas, Utah and Wyoming. Researchers will evaluate each site for its potential to store CO2, provide geological data that will be added to a public database and participate in technical working groups to determine the selection of storage sites. Carolina’s researchers will focus on three rural areas of the Lowcountry, just above the SGR, including one with a wildcat well drilled years ago in a search for oil and gas. Studies of that well and other data have given researchers a glimpse of the geologic formations in the area, Shafer said. “Based on what we’ve seen, we believe that this could be a viable area for the storage of CO2,” Shafer said. “We already have a good idea of what we will find.” The university is not involved in the technology involved in carbon capture. “This is a process called carbon capture and storage, or CCS,” he said. “Other researchers are involved in this work. We are focusing strictly on the geologic properties below the earth where we can store CO2. ”The research program is a good fit with the university’s commitment to sustainability, said Dr. Stephen Kresovich, the university’s vice president for research and graduate education. “Sustainability is a way of life at the University of South Carolina, and our efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions unite faculty, students and staff,” he said. “This research award makes a strong statement about our green philosophy,” he said. “Being part of this major national research program of the U.S. Department of Energy is proof that our faculty are competing successfully for grants that will impact global climate change. They will be key players in advancing the scientific knowledge needed to reduce the environmental damage of carbon emissions.”

Related Links:

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Watch video coverage on the $4.9M grant at:

Earth and Ocean Sciences

Page 6 Publications (Department faculty in bold) A. D. Addison, B. M. Battista, and C. C. Knapp. Improved Hydrogeophysical Parameter Estimation from Empirical Mode Decomposition Processed Ground Penetrating Radar Data, Journal of Environmental and Engineering Geophysics (in press). A. D. Addison, M. G. Waddell, Camelia C. Knapp, D. Brantley, and J. M. Shafer, 2009, Developing a robust geologic conceptual model using pseudo 3-D P-wave seismic reflection data, Environmental Geosciences, 16 (1), 41–56. A. E. Cameron, Camelia C. Knapp, Michael G. Waddell, Adrian D. Addison, and John M. Shafer, Structural and Stratigraphic Control on the Migration of a Contaminant Plume at the P Reactor Area, Savannah River Site, South Carolina, Environmental Geosciences (in press). B. M. Battista, A. D. Addison, and C. C. Knapp, Empirical Mode Decomposition Operator for Dewowing GPR Data, Journal of Environmental and Engineering Geophysics (in press). Barbeau, D.L., Davis, J.D., Murray, K.E., Valencia, V., Gehrels, G.E., Zahid, K.M., and Gombosi, D.J., in press, Detritalzircon geochronology of metasedimentary rocks of northwestern Graham Land, Antarctic Science. Barbeau, D.L., Gombosi, D.J., Zahid, K.M., Bizimis, M., Swanson-Hysell, N., Valencia, V., and Gehrels, G., in press, U/ Pb zircon constraints on the age and provenance of the Rocas Verdes basin-fill, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems. Barbeau, D.L., Olivero, E.B., Swanson-Hysell, N., Zahid, K.M., Murray, K.E., and Gehrels, G., 2009, Detrital- zircon geochronology of the eastern Magallanes foreland basin: Implications for Eocene kinematics of the northern Scotia Arc and Drake Passage, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 284, p. 489503 Bolten, J. and V. Lakshmi, An evaluation of soil moisture retrievals using aircraft and satellite passive microwave observations during SMEX02, Journal of the Remote Sensing Society of Japan, Vol. 29, No. 1, pp 293-300, 2009 Dana M. Enciu-Mucuta, Camelia C. Knapp, and James H. Knapp, 2009, Revised Crustal Architecture of the Southeastern Carpathian Foreland from Active and Passive Seismic Data, Tectonics, vol. 28, TC4013, doi:10.1029/ 2008TC002381. Dyhrman, S.T., C. R. Benitez-Nelson, E.O. Orchard, S.T. Haley, and P.J. Pellechia (2009). A microbial source of phosphonates in oligotrophic marine systems, Nature Geoscience, DOI: 10.1038/NGEO639. Elmore, A., Thunell, R., and others, 2009. Quantifying the seasonal variations in fluvial and eolian sources of terrigenous material to Cariaco Basin, Venezuela, Jour. South American Earth Sciences 27, 197-210. Gombosi, D.J., Barbeau, D.L., and Garver, J., in press, New thermochronometric constraints on the rapid Paleogene uplift of the Cordillera Darwin complex and related thrust sheets in the Fuegian Andes, Terra Nova. Goni, M., Aceves, H., Benitez-Nelson, C., Tappa, E., Thunell, R., Black, D., Muller-Karger, F. and Astor, Y., 2009. Oceanographic and climatologic controls on the compositions and fluxes of biogenic materials in the water column and sediments of the Cariaco Basin over the late Holocene, Deep-Sea Research 56, 614-640. Hannides, C.C.S., M. R. Landry, C. R. Benitez-Nelson, R. M. Styles, J. P. Montoya, D. M. Karl (2009) Export stoichiometry and migrant-mediated flux of phosphorus in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre, Deep-Sea Research I, 56, 73-88. Hong S., V. Lakshmi, E Small, F. Chen, M. Tewari and K Manning, Effect of soil moisture and vegetation on simulated soil moisture from a coupled land atmosphere model, Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 114, D18118, doi:10.1029/2008JD011249, 2009. Hong, S., V. Lakshmi, E. Small and F. Chen, The Influence of the Land Surface on Hydrometeorology and Ecology: New Advances from Modeling and Satellite Remote Sensing, In Press, Hydrology Research, 2009. Lorenzoni, L, R. C. Thunell, C.R. Benitez-Nelson, D. Hollander, N. Martinez, E. Tappa, R. Varela, Y. Astor, and F. E. Muller-Karger (2009) The importance of subsurface nepheloid layers in transport and delivery of sediments to the Eastern Cariaco Basin, Venezuela, Deep-Sea Research I, accepted. Mahowald, N. M., S. Engelstaedter, C. Luo, Andrea Sealy, P. Artaxo, C.R. Benitez-Nelson, S. Bonnet, Y. Chen, Patrick Y. Chuang, D.D. Cohen, F. Dulac, B. Herut, A. M. Johansen, N. Kubilay, R. Losno, W. Maenhaut, A. Paytan, J.M. Prospero, L.M. Shank, and R.L. Siefert (2009) Atmospheric iron deposition: Global distribution, variability, and human perturbations, Annual Reviews of Marine Sciences, 1, 245–78. 10.1146/ annurev.marine.010908.163727. Mahowald, N.M., T. D. Jickells, A.R. Baker, P. Artaxo, C.R. Benitez-Nelson, G. Bergametti, T. C. Bond, Y. Chen, D. D. Cohen, B. Herut, N. Kubilay, R. Losno, C. Luo, W. Maenhaut,

K.A. McGee, G. S. Okin, R. L. Siefert, S. Tsukuda (2009) Global distribution of atmospheric phosphorus sources, concentrations and deposition rates, and anthropogenic impacts, Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 22, GB4026, doi:101029/2008GB003240. Maiti, K., C.R. Benitez-Nelson, M.W. Lomas., J.W. Krause (2009) New and Export Production in the Subtropical Open Ocean before Seasonal Stratification. III. Comparison of Export Production by 234Th and Sediment Traps, Deep-Sea Research I, 56, 875-891. Maiti, K., J.L. Carroll and C.R. Benitez-Nelson (2009) Sedimentation and Particle Dynamics in the Marginal Ice Zone of the Barents Sea, Journal of Marine Systems, accepted. Martin, E.E., Blair, S.W., Kamenov, G.D., Scher, H.D., Bourbon, E., Basak, C., Newkirk, D. (in press) Extraction of Nd isotopes from bulk deep sea sediments for paleoceanographic studies on Cenozoic time scales. McCarney-Castle, K., VOULGARIS, G., Kettner, A., Analysis of fluvial suspended sediment load contribution through Anthropocene history to the South Atlantic Bight coastal zone, U.S.A., Journal of Geology. (accepted) McConnell, M., Thunell, R., Lorenzoni, L., Astor, Y., Wright, J. and Fairbanks, R., 2009. Seasonal variability in the salinity and oxygen isotopic composition of seawater from the Cariaco Basin, Venezuela: Implications for paleosalinity reconstructions, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 10, doi:10.1029/2008GC002035. Mladenova, I. and V. Lakshmi, Terrain slope and aspect influences on QuickSCAT backscatter, Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 47(8), pp2722-2732, 2009 Mladenova, Lakshmi, Walker, Long, deJeu, An assessment of Quikscat KU band data for soil moisture sensitivity, In Press, Geoscience and Remote Sensing Letters, 2009. Muller-Karger, F. E., R. Varela, R. C. Thunell, M. I. Scranton, G. T. Taylor, Y. Astor, C. R. Benitez-Nelson, L. Lorenzoni, E. Tappa, M. A. Goñi, and C. Hu (2009) The CARIACO Oceanographic Time Series. In: Carbon and Nutrient Fluxes in Continental Margins: A Global Synthesis, Editors: K.-K. Liu, L. Atkinson, R. Quinones, and L. Talaue-McManus, SpringerVerlag, New York, pages 454-463, in press. Park, H., Barbeau, D.L., Rickenbaker, A., and BachmannKrug, D., in press, Detrital-zircon geochronology of the central Appalachian foreland basin: implications for terrane accretion and orogenic recycling, Journal of Geology. Ranhofer, M. L., E. Lawrenz, J.L. Pinckney, C.R. BenitezNelson and T. L. Richardson (2009) Utilization of dissolved organic phosphorus by summer phytoplankton communities in Winyah Bay , South Carolina , U.S.A. , Estuaries, 32:943–957 DOI 10.1007/s12237-009-9180-x. Romero, O., Thunell, R., Astor, Y. and Varela, R., 2009. Seasonal and interannual dynamics in diatom production in the Cariaco Basin, Venezuela, Deep-Sea Research 56, 571-581. Saikku, R., Stott, L. and Thunell, R., 2009. A bipolar signal recorded in the western tropical Pacific: Northern and Southern Hemisphere climate records from the Pacific Warm Pool during the last ice age, Quaternary Science Reviews 28, 2374-2385. Scher, H.D. and Delaney, M.L. (in press) Breaking the glass ceiling for high resolution Nd isotope records in paleoceanography. Chemical Geology. Sekula-Wood, E, A. Schnetzer, C.R. Benitez-Nelson, C. Anderson , W. Berelson , M. Brzezinski , J. Burns , D. Caron , I. Cetinic , J. Ferry, E. Fitzpatrick, B. Jones, P. Miller, S. Morton , R. Schaffner, D. Siegel , and R. Thunell (2009) Rapid downward transport of the neurotoxin domoic acid in coastal waters, Nature Geoscience, 22 March 2009 | DOI: 10.1038/NGEO472. Taylor, G.T., R. C. Thunell, R. Varela, C. R. Benitez-Nelson, M. I. Scranton (2009) Hydrolytic ectoenzyme activity associated with suspended and sinking organic particles within the anoxic Cariaco Basin. Deep-Sea Research I, 56, 1266-1283. Taylor, G.T., R. C. Thunell, R. Varela, C. R. Benitez-Nelson, M. I. Scranton , 2009. Hydrolytic ectoenzyme activity associated with suspended and sinking organic particles within the anoxic Cariaco Basin. Deep-Sea Research 56, 1266-1283.

Meetings/Presentations (Department faculty names are uppercased) D. BARBEAU. Invited Guest Lecturer, “Testing the gateway hypothesis for Antarctic glaciations,” University of South Carolina STEM 101 seminar, Columbia, SC, October 2009; Invited Keynote Speaker, “Using detrital geochronology to assess the opening of marine gateways,” Geochemical Approaches to Sediment Provenance session at Geological Society of America National meeting, Portland, OR, October 2009; Delivered talk, “Turning Seed Funds into Major Research Initiatives: A Plate Tectonic Perspective on Antarctic Glaciation,” USC College of Arts & Sciences Alumni Council, Columbia, SC, October 2009; Delivered motivational talk to all incoming first-year USC CAS students at CAS Opening Convocation, Columbia, SC, August 2009; D.L. Barbeau, D.J. Gombosi, W. Guenthner, N. Swanson-Hysell, K.M. Zahid, K.E. Murray,

R.D.E. MacPhee, H. S. SCHER, R.C. THUNELL, A. Pusz, J. Davis, and P. Reiners, “Sediment provenance and thermochronology of the margins of Drake Passage,” Antarctic Climate Evolution Symposium, Granada, Spain, September 2009; Invited Keynote Speaker, “Sand grains and rising mountains: testing the gateway hypothesis for Antarctic glaciations,” Central New York Earth Science Symposium, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, April 2009. Travel: Field work in Sierra Nevada, Spain, 2009; Field trip across the southern Appalachians for GEOL 201, 2009. C. BENITEZ-NELSON. Invited Speaker, joint with Ken Buesseler, “What goes up must come down... but when or where?” 2009 AGU Chapman Conference on the Biological Pump in the Oceans. September 2009, Brockenhurst, Hampshire, England; Invited Speaker, “The role of mesoscale eddies on particle export,” Institut de Ciències del Mar, CSIC, Barcelona, Spain, July 2009. M. BIZIMIS. Invited Speaker, “Scales of Heterogeneity in the Hawaiian Plume,” Carnegie Institute of Washington, Geophysical Lab, Washington DC, March 9th, 2009; “Peridotite xenoliths from Kauai, Hawaii as analogs for melt extraction in the oceanic mantle,” Alpine Ophiolite Conference, 2009, Parma, Italy, October 2009; Invited Speaker, “Scales of Heerogeneity in the Hawaiian Plume,” University of Georgia, Department of Geological Sciences, Athens, GA, October 2009. A. Cameron. Invited Speaker, “A New Approach to Predict Hydrogeological Parameters Using Shear Waves from Multichannel Analysis of Surface Waves Method,” 15th European Meeting of Environmental and Engineering Geophysics, Near Surface Geoscience Division, Dublin, September 2009. I. Gupta. Presenter, “Reactive Transport Models of Structurally Controlled Hydrothermal Dolomite in Carbonate Reservoirs,” TOUGH Symposium 2009, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, September 2009. LAKSHMI, V., S. Hong, E. Small and F. Chen, “The Influence of the Land Surface on Hydrometeorology and Ecology: New Advances from Modeling and Satellite Remote Sensing, “ Water Environment Energy and Society, Delhi, India January 2009; “Use of high performance computing in Community Hydrologic Modeling Platform,” Memphis, Tennessee, March 2009; V.Lakshmi, I.Mladenova, “Examining soil moisture spatial variability using ASAR global monitoring soil moisture product over the NAFE 05 area,” International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, Cape Town, South Africa, July 2009; Lakshmi, V., S. Hong and E. Small, “Use of Weather Research and Forecasting Model and Satellite data for study of land atmosphere interactions, Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment,” Melbourne, Australia, August 2009; Invited Speaker, “Disaggregation of passive soil moisture estimates using active radar data,” American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, December 2009. H. Park, D. BARBEAU, A. Rickenbaker, D. Bachmann-Krug, and G. Gehrels, “Detrital-zircon geochronology of Appalachian foreland basin strata in the central and southern Appalachians: The changes of sedimentary sources from the Taconic through the Alleghanian,” 2009 Geological Society of America, southeastern section, Tampa, FL, March 2009. H. SCHER, A.E. Pusz, S.M. Bohaty, R.C. THUNELL, and M.L. Delaney, “Transient changes in Southern Ocean Nd isotope composition in response to Antarctic glaciations” Presented at the 2009 Goldschmidt Conference in Davos, Switzerland, June 2009; Invited to the editorial meeting to produce the first volume of shipboard results from the JOIDES Resolution since it was refurbished for the inception of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program.

Grants Geological and Geophysical Baseline Characterization of Gas Hydrates at MC118, Gulf of Mexico, Camelia Knapp (PI), Jim Knapp (co-PI), Department of Energy, $284,899, August 1, 2009 - July 1, 2010. Geologic Characterization of the South Georgia Rift Basin for Source Proximal CO2 Storage, John Shafer (PI), Jim Knapp (co-PI), Camelia Knapp (co-PI), Michael Waddell (co-PI), Department of Energy, $4,950,639, Jan.1, 2010 – Dec. 31 2012.

University of South Carolina Honors and Awards (Department faculty names are uppercased) DAVID BARBEAU Mortar Board Honor Society Excellence in Teaching Award for GEOL 201, Nov. 2009. MICHAEL BIZIMIS “Collaborative Research: Serpentinization and cycling of B, Nd and Sr in submarine hydrothermal systems: An experimental study on the effects of pH and temperature. NSF-OCE,” This award will investigate the mechanisms of elemental exchange between seawater and the earth's mantle during serpentinization. Antonio Cameron, CAMELIA KNAPP “A New Approach to Predict Hydrogeological Parameters Using Shear Waves from Multichannel Analysis of Surface Waves Method.” Best Paper at the Symposium on the Application of Geophysics to Environmental and Engineering Problems (SAGEEP), Forth Worth, Texas, March 2009. Ipsita Gupta Received a Chevron Corporate Scholarship of $2000 in recognition of internship work at Chevron. Melanie Aldred, Joseph Byrd, William Byrd, Curtis Duncan, Matthew Drapier, James Eliis, Stevie Henrick, Thomas Killoy, Tomas Lambert, Matthew Loveley, Frank Mitlin, Loagn O’Bryant, Brian Phillips, Gary Price, and Stanislav Shymanovsky Recipients of the Stephen Taber Undergraduate Geology Scholarship for the 2009-2010 academic year.

Page 7 Faculty & Student Activities (Department faculty names are uppercased) Ipsita Gupta, a Ph.D. student working with Alicia Wilson, has been offered a full-time position in the R&D Division of Chevron's Energy and Technology Company. HOWIE SCHER was invited to the editorial meeting to produce the first volume of shipboard results from the JOIDES Resolution since it was refurbished for the inception of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program. Amanda Savrda, a M.S. student working with Dave Barbeau, recently returned to her Alma Mater as the alumna speaker at Auburn University’s 6th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium. In her presentation, Amanda talked about the importance of research in undergraduate education and had the opportunity to speak about her current thesis research at South Carolina and her rock sampling adventures during the 20082009 Antarctic field season . Emily Sekula-Wood, a Ph.D. student working with Claudia Benitez-Nelson, passed her Comprehensive Exam on November 9, 2009. She presented her article on “Rapid downward transport of the neurotoxin domoic acid in coastal waters” (published in Nature Geosciences in April 2009); she will be attending the 5th Symposium of Harmful Algae in the U.S. in November, in Gulf Shores, WA. She will be presenting a poster on “A historical record of vertical domoic acid fluxes from Santa Barbara Basin (CA).”

Dissertations and Theses Completed Addison A., Improvements in Near-surface Geophysical Applications for Hydrogeological Parameter Estimation. Ph.D., August 2009. Advisor: C. Knapp Amos C., Seafloor slumping in the South Caspian Sea: Evidence for massive gas hydrate dissociation during the late Pleistocene. M.S., April 2009. Advisor: C. Knapp Bell, J. The 3D structure of a Salt Marsh Island. M.S., October 2009. Advisor: R. Torres Brantley D., Using a wellbore fluid displacement test, surface electrical resistivity, and a natural gradient tracer test to estimate hydrogeologic properties of a South Carolina limestone. M.S., July 2009. Advisor: J.Shafer (ESRI) Cadden, D., A study of the Indian Ocean response to ENSO and IOD using satellite observations. Ph.D., April 2009. Advisor: S. Bulusu Dura-Gomez I., Hydromechanics of Reservoir Induced Seismicity. Ph.D., May 2009. Advisor: P. Talwani Gierach M., Analysis of the upper ocean response to hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico using satellite observations and model simulations. Ph.D. March 2009. Advisor: S. Bulusu Gupta, I. , Paleohydrogeology of the Alberta Basin, Canada. Ph.D., December 2009. Advisor: A. Wilson. Mason J., From pillow mound to lava pond: Identifying modes of volcanic emplacement by terrain modeling the 9 North Overlapping Spreading Centers. M.S., March 2009. Advisor: S. White Mladenova I., Satellite and Aircraft Based Microwave Remote Sensing of Soil Moisture. Ph.D., August 2009. Advisor: V. Lakshmi Newton, A., Climate and Hydrographic Variability in the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool Over the Past 26,000 Years. Ph.D., October 2009. Advisor: Thunell

2009 Alumni Reception By Venkat Lakshmi

The Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences Chair, Dr. Venkat Lakshmi, and Prof. Jim Knapp, hosted a reception for the alumni of the department in Houston, Texas at the Sheraton Brook Hollow hotel on October, 8 2009. The reception was attended by around 30 alumni and their spouses. Most of the alumni living in Houston work in the energy exploration industry. Of the 900 plus alumni of the department, around 140 live in the Houston area making it the largest concentration of alumni in any geographical location in the United States. The alumni had fond memories of the department, and some of them remembered the legendary “parties” hosted by fellow students in the 70’s and the 80’s. They exchanged stories with each other and caught up on each other’s careers and families. The alumni were well distributed with respect to their graduating class; we had Rob Lease from the class of 1964, the most recent graduate was Jason Bryant, PhD 2008, the rest graduated between 1964 and 2007. There were drawings for door prizes of USC caps, polo’s and tshirts which was received with great excitement! We hope to make this reception an annual affair.

L-R Jim Knapp, Jason Bryant (Ph.D. ‘08) and Tiffany Bryant

L-R Marc Russell (M.S. ‘06), Jessica Rivera and Jennifer Russell

L-R George Smith (M.S. ‘79), Gabriella De Cossio Smith and Ken Bramlett (M.S. ‘80)

The Life of a Young Alumni in Houston By Marc Russell (M.S. ‘06) , Geologist with Anadarko Petroleum Corporation

A large number of graduate geology students from USC have entered the oil industry in the past few years, including myself. The transition from South Carolina to Houston was not a difficult one. Housing prices are considered reasonable wherever you want to live. I chose the suburbs, but several enjoy being near downtown. Being such a big city, Houston has a lot to offer as far as museums, shows and restaurants go. If inner city life doesn’t suit you, something will. There are plenty of things to choose from, such as golf, fishing, hunting, shopping, as well as numerous organizations that fit your interest. The coast is always an option too. Galveston is about an hour away, depending on where you are coming from. And South Padre Island is another great opportunity to relax on the beach, surf fish, or camp. The only complaint you typically hear from Houstonians is the heat. Temperatures may be similar to South Carolina, but the humidity can make it almost unbearable at times. The weather in June through September does make some people want to stay indoors in the air conditioning, but the rest of the year is great for outdoor activities. Being a geologist working in the oil industry has proven to be an exciting and rewarding career path. Oil companies provide excellent training, in the field and in the office. I spent the first three months of my job traveling back and forth from home to a deepwater oil rig. Field trips looking at outcrops have and will continue throughout my career. In the office there is extensive hands-on training, whether you are assigned as a development geologist or exploration geologist. Most companies will let you experience both aspects of the business. I prefer the role of development geologist because I get to see the results of my work a lot sooner, but some prefer to have the opportunity to discover the next big play. I have also heard of other graduates working in research and technology. There are a lot of different opportunities for geologists working for oil companies. One of the best things about Houston is that you meet people from all over the world. It has been one of the easiest states to adjust to living in based mainly on this. Houston provides opportunities for all, whether you are married or single, an indoor or outdoor enthusiast, or enjoy a city or rural lifestyle.


The 21st Bi-Annual Meeting of the Gulf of Mexico Gas Hydrates Research Consortium by Camelia Knapp

On November 5-6, 2009, Camelia and Jim Knapp, the USC Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences (EOS), in conjunction with the University of Mississippi, hosted the 21st bi-annual meeting of the Gulf of Mexico Gas Hydrates Research Consortium (GOM-GHRC) at the Clarion Hotel Downtown in Columbia, S.C. The GOM-GHRC was organized in 1999 by the Center for Marine Resources and Environmental Technology and the National Institute for Undersea Science and Technology’s Seabed Technology Research Center of the University of Mississippi with the goal of establishing a long-term sea-floor observatory (SFO) to monitor and investigate the hydrocarbon system within the hydrate stability zone (HSZ) of the northern Gulf of Mexico. Also known as methane clathrates or clathrate hydrates of natural gas, gas hydrates are similar to ice, but are composed of rigid cages of water molecules that entrap molecules of hydrocarbon gas. Recent estimates suggest that the largest accumulations of natural gas on Earth are in the form of gas hydrates that occur mainly offshore in deep-water marine sediments, or in association with permafrost in polar zones. The main objective of the GOM-GHRC is to consolidate research effort and to equip the SFO with a variety of sensors that would enable the determination of a steady-state description of physical and chemical conditions of gas hydrate formation and dissociation in their local environment. An additional target is to monitor the temporal changes of these conditions such as hydrate formation and dissociation, fluid venting to the water column, associated microbial and/or chemosynthetic communities’ dynamics. Models developed from these studies should provide a better understanding of

gas hydrates and associated free gas as: 1) a geo-hazard for conventional deep oil and gas activities; 2) a future energy resource of considerable significance; and 3) a source of hydrocarbon gases, venting to the water column and eventually the atmosphere, with global climate implications. USC is leading a proposal for a large drilling program at the site through the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) to incorporate a subseafloor component to the SFO. The GOM-GHRC is primarily funded through the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) of the Department of Energy, the Minerals Management Service (MMS) of the Department of the Interior, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the Department of Commerce, and program directors from these agencies were present at the meeting. In addition, there were approximately 45 other participants from various institutions including The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Scripps Research Institute, University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, Florida State University, University of North Carolina, Baylor University, University of California, Santa Barbara, etc. There were two days of presentations and reports of research covering geological characterization, geophysics, geochemistry, and microbiology. Jim Knapp gave a presentation of recently acquired 3D seismic reflection data from the GOM in the College of Arts and Sciences 3D Visualization Room. Dr. Venkat Lakshmi, Chair of the EOS, hosted a reception honoring the participants. The meeting concluded with plans for future cruises and activities for the next year of funding.





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2009 fall newsletter  

Department Newsletter

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