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Geology and Geography.

Chair: Stan Galicki, Millsaps College

Vice-chair: Barbara Yassin, MDEQ--Office of Geology

THURSDAY MORNING

Classroom C

8:30 THE MISSISSIPPI FLOOD MAP MODERNIZATION INITIATIVE: THE PROGRAM BACKGROUND AND OVERVIEW

Jack Moody* and Stephen D. Champlin, Mississippi Office of Geology, Jackson, MS 39289

From 1990 to 1999, the United States had 460 major disasters declared, costing $25.4 billion; that is nearly twice the previous decade's number of declarations costing only $3.9 billion and is higher than any previous decade. In the 90's flooding was a significant contributor; it was the most frequently declared disaster type and cost the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) $7.3 billion. With the rising number of events and the increasing cost, FEMA has been ordered to modernize its flood maps. Congress has funded this effort and FEMA has turned to the states to manage their own map development. Here in Mississippi the management is a joint effort between the Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), and our engineering contractor team, Mississippi Geographic Information (MGI). The new maps will be digital flood insurance rate maps (DFIRMs). They will be in a geographic information system (GIS) format available on the web. By using aerial imagery for the base map, the location of individual structures with respect to the flood plain boundary can be easily determined. This will make the new maps more informative than the previous paper format. The ultimate vision is to have "no adverse impact" in predictably flood prone areas. This probably can't happen in existing developed areas but it can occur in those areas that will be developed in the future.

8:45 THE MISSISSIPPI FLOOD MAP MODERNIZATION INITIATIVE: THE TECHNICAL, GIS AND ENGINEERING ASPECTS OF THE PROGRAM

Stephen D. Champlin* and Jack Moody, Mississippi Office of Geology, Jackson, MS 39289

On January 28th, 2003, the State of Mississippi joined the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in a partnership which has as its goal the modernization of all the existing flood maps for the currently mapped communities in the state and to create new county wide digital flood insurance rate maps (DFIRMs) for the entire state. Following FEMA's developed guidelines, standards and flood mapping procedures, and using an integrated software program adopted by FEMA called Watershed Information SystEm (WISE), the state and its contractor began the mapping program in early 2004. As of November 1, 2004, mapping was under way in ten Mississippi counties. The DFIRM process consists of seven steps. The WISE software is used in most of these steps. Existing flood studies, flood data, GIS data, topography, aerial photography, survey data and community information is input into WISE. The needed reports and maps, such as an up to date base map, can then be generated. WISE allows extensive automation and development of hydrologic and hydraulic models and analyses, with as much engineering review or modification as deemed necessary. The resulting digital flood maps and FIS Reports created from this process will be an improvement over the old "paper" flood maps and will be easier to use, allow wider access and speedier updating of flood maps in the future.

9:00 OSCAR M. LIEBER IN MISSISSIPPI AND BEYOND

Michael B.E. Bograd, Mississippi Office of Geology, Jackson, MS 39289

Oscar Montgomery Lieber (1830-1862) had a short but notable career in geology in the southern United States. He began his professional career at the Mississippi Geological Survey from mid-1851 to January 1852, under State Geologist John Millington and as assistant professor of geology at the University of Mississippi. He later worked for the Geological Survey of Alabama 1854-1855 under Michael Tuomey, and served as the State Geologist of South Carolina from 1856 to 1860. In South Carolina he reported primarily on the ore deposits in the Piedmont. Mississippi geologists may best remember Lieber as the author of an 1854 article in Mining Magazine that included the first sketch map of the geology of Mississippi. Lieber published this article to claim credit for identifying Millstone Grit and Carboniferous limestone in northeastern Mississippi, which indicated the likelihood of coal being present. Lieber's main claim to fame may be his book The Assayer's Guide, first published in 1852 after mineral discoveries in California brought wide attention to mining. This was shortly after his employment at the Mississippi Geological Survey. Apparently The Assayer's Guide filled a need, as it was reprinted in Philadelphia in 1877, 1891, and 1907. Lieber's early connection to Mississippi was preserved, as even in the 1907 (revised and enlarged) edition of The Assayer's Guide, he is identified on the title page as "Late Geologist to the State of Mississippi."

9:15 NEWLY PUBLISHED "ECOREGIONS OF MISSISSIPPI" MAP REFLECTS THE ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCE OF BEDROCK GEOLOGY

David T. Dockery III, Mississippi Office of Geology, Jackson, MS 39289

The new "Ecoregions of Mississippi" map at "Level IV," published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, reflects the influence of bedrock geology on surface environments. At "Level III," only four ecoregions are recognized in Mississippi; these are the Southeastern Plains (65), Mississippi Alluvial Plain (73), Mississippi Valley Loess Plains (74), and Southern Coastal Plain (75). While these ecoregions are equivalent to geologic/physiographic provinces, many more such provinces appear at "Level IV." Within the "Level III" Southeastern Plains Ecoregion, the "Level IV" map of Mississippi contains ten regions, the following of which correspond to bedrock geologic units: (1) the Blackland Prairie (65a) on Cretaceous chalk of the Selma Group, (2) the Flatwoods/Blackland Prairie Margins (65b) on the Porters Creek Clay and upper Selma Group, (3) the Buhrstone/Lime Hills (65q) on the Tallahatta Formation, and (4) the Jackson Prairie (65r) on the Jackson Group. Other additions at "Level IV" include five ecoregions within the Mississippi Alluvial Plain, three ecoregions within the Mississippi Valley Loess Plains, and three ecoregions within the Southern Coastal Plain.

9:30 THE WILCOX STRATIGRAPHIC SECTION (PALEOCENE) EXPOSED IN THE HIGHWALL OF THE RED HILLS LIGNITE MINE, CHOCTAW COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI

David T. Dockery III* and David E. Thompson, Mississippi Office of Geology, Jackson, MS 39289

The 6,500-foot-long cut face along the northern highwall of the Red Hills Lignite Mine in Choctaw County, Mississippi, exposes lignite seams D through J at the time of the mine's deepest cut of its 30-year lifetime (60 years if extended). According to mine environmental specialist Benson Chow, the cut is 322 feet below the original 594-foot ground elevation (above msl) at its deepest point, a point where it quarried through core hole CH-3646-CC. As measured from this core hole, the tops (above msl) of lignite seams below the original surface level are as follows: J seam at -70 feet (+524 feet msl), I at -105 feet (+489 feet msl), H at -179 feet (+415 feet msl), G at -200 feet (+394 feet msl), F at -219 feet (+375 feet msl), E (distinguished by the greenish color of its underburden) at -256 feet (+338 feet msl), D at -295 feet (+299 feet msl), and C at -318 feet (+276 feet msl). The present upper highwall contains the channel sands of the lower Tuscahoma Formation, which are capped by the J seam, and which locally cut out the I and H2 seams but not the basal Tuscahoma H seam. The underlying shaly Grampian Hills Member of the Nanafalia Formation contains seams G-C.

9:45 PRECIOUS OPAL: MISSISSIPPI'S FIRST GEMSTONE

James E. Starnes, Mississippi Office of Geology, Jackson, MS 39289

Mississippi has been endowed with extremely rich fossil deposits dispersed throughout much of the exposed geological section. Many of Mississippi's unique geological treasures adorn local personal collections and professional collections in museums as far away as Japan. Though the interest by collectors and scientists is mainly in excellently preserved fossil specimens, many coarse-grained, aggregate-bearing deposits such as the Citronelle and Pre-loess gravels are regularly combed for semi-precious stones such as agate, carnelian, jasper, clear quartz, and fossil palm. Until recently, no precious stones have been reported from Mississippi. Historically, small-scale mining of gem-quality opal has been done in the basal Fleming Formation (Catahoula equivalent in Mississippi) of Vernon Parish, Louisiana, near the Texas border. The vibrantly colored opal cements coarse-grained sands into hard sandstones and quartzites which were fashioned into gemstones and once sold to Tiffany's of New York. Much of the Louisiana Opal on the market today can be credited to recent prospecting by Ben F. Stevens, whose mine is closed at present. Recent geological mapping of the Catahoula Formation in Claiborne County by the Mississippi Office of Geology led to the discovery of another precious opal deposit much like the Louisiana locality. The material was first tested, in October of 2004, for gem quality by Janie Hand of the Mississippi Gem and Mineral Society. The exquisitely crafted stones show brilliant flashes of fire, ranging in color from green to red.

10:00 INVESTIGATION OF THE INFLUENCE OF THE WHITE RIVER FAULT ZONE ON FLUVIAL SYSTEMS IN NORTHWEST MISSISSIPPI

Allison Innman* and Terry Panhorst, University of Mississippi, University, MS 38677

The White River Fault Zone (WRFZ), which has been proposed to extend from northeast Arkansas into northwest Mississippi, has several fluvial anomalies attributed to it, such as terrace positions, parallel drainage patterns, Mississippi River sinuosity variations, and abnormal projected channel and valley profiles. The location of the WRFZ, however, is problematic in northwest Mississippi. Stream gradients were used to investigate the potential influence of the WRFZ in northwest Mississippi on fluvial systems and hence better delineate its location. Longitudinal profiles were created for four streams (Coldwater River, Tallahatchie River, Long Creek and Yocona River) using both 7.5- and 15-minute quadrangles. Changes in gradient (either steepening or flattening) that corresponded with the position of the projected WRFZ boundaries were noted along all four streams. Field investigations of Long Creek in Panola County showed that the anomalous gradient there was the result of cropping out of a resistant layer. No definitive changes in gradient can be attributed solely to the WRFZ. This channel profile method is sensitive enough to delineate changes in stream gradient due to lithology, but changes in gradient due to seismic activity along the WRFZ, if present, are too subtle to be detected using the current methodology.

10:15 Break

10:30 IMPLICATIONS OF A QUATERNARY SOIL CHRONOSEQUENCE TO LANDSCAPE DEVELOPMENT IN SOUTHEASTERN MISSISSIPPI

Amy L. Seiter* and David F. Ufnar, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS 39406

The landscape in southeastern Mississippi is characterized by a chronosequence of soil development in progressively older surfaces occupying distinct topographic positions. The morphological properties of the soils and Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) dating techniques are being used to resolve the geomorphic history. The landscape is characterized by three geomorphic domains: uplands (elevations of 200-350'), stream-cut terraces (160-200'), and recent alluvium (< 160'). The parent material consists of the silty-clay Miocene Hattiesburg Formation overlain by the fluvial sands and gravels of the Plio-Pleistocene Citronelle Formation (typically seen in the upland areas). The valleys are filled with alluvial sands, gravels, and lesser amounts of silts and clays reworked from the Hattiesburg and Citronelle Formations. A prominent terrace is cut into the alluvium, and has been mapped as a Quaternary deposit. OSL dating techniques have constrained the terrace soils to ages between 18,000 and 25,000 years before present. Qualitatively, soils developing in the uplands are the oldest in the chronosequence: lower horizons are reddened and have prominent illuviated clay cutans, with a leached E horizon. Soils developing in the terraces have minor clay cutans and are not as hardened or reddened as the upland soils. The recent floodplain soils lack horizonation, illuvial accumulations, and soil structure. A better understanding of the regional soil development in this coastal plain may help elucidate some of the recent geological and climatic history. Furthermore, this study is improving our understanding of the regional distribution and relationships between the Hattiesburg and Citronelle Formations and the Quaternary alluvium.

10:45 COMPARISON OF HISTORIC EARTHQUAKE FELT AREA-MAGNITUDE RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE CURRENT WEB-BASED FELT AREA DATA COLLECTION SYSTEM

Terry Panhorst, University of Mississippi, University, MS 38677

Felt areas of earthquakes are determined by collecting responses of individuals after the seismic event. For earthquakes prior to seismic instrumentation, reports of felt area along with the intensity of shaking is often used to help estimate the seismic magnitude. Sources of public perceptions used to make these area determinations included newspaper reports and mail surveys. Numeric models relating felt areas to seismic magnitude in the central United States have been derived since the mid-1970s. In 1999, the U.S. Geological Survey began collecting general population felt reports via the Internet, using their system Did You Feel It? Since April 2000 some 34 earthquakes with magnitudes of at least 2.9 have occurred in the central United States. At least 20 felt reports were filed using this system for each of these events; in four cases several thousand felt reports were made. With such a large group of respondents, potentially more accurate felt areas can now be determined as compared to earlier methods. Estimation of the felt area for each of the 34 seismic events was made using map prints of the Did You Feel It? data. Comparison of this compilation with the original (1970s) felt area studies indicates no statistically-significant difference between these two data sets. The empirically-derived numeric models for felt area and magnitude relationships are supported by this enhanced recent data set.

11:00 GIS AND REMOTELY SENSED PRECIPITATION DATA FOR WATERSHED MODELS

Louis Wasson* and Jeff Ballweber, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762

The Upper Pearl Watershed located in central Mississippi covers over 2000 square miles in 15 counties. The environment of the Upper Pearl Watershed is rapidly changing due to residential and commercial development in the Jackson metropolitan area, the state capital, and further upstream near Philadelphia, MS. These changes may present water quality challenges to both the Pearl River and the Gulf of Mexico coastal waters. Heavy precipitation events in Upper Pearl can significantly impact coastal fisheries and essentially close near shore oyster reefs for several days until the transported pollutants from the Pearl River dilute to safe levels. Modeling the relationship between meteorology and climatology and water quality could provide valuable management insights to upstream managers on downstream, coastal impacts. Developing such a model faces some daunting challenges. Surface weather stations are the typical source for meteorological data but the distribution of thesestations results in large spatial gaps in data coverage. It can rain in one part of the watershed but never be recorded and placing a weather station every few kilometers would be unrealistic. This paper examines the validity of using remotely sensed meteorological observations using NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM) satellite, NOAA's Multi-Precipitation Estimate (MPE) and GOES satellite Hydro Estimator (HE). Arc Hydro, ESRI's new water resources data model, will systematically bring in the different data formats for use in the Army Corps of Engineers HEC simulation models.

THURSDAY AFTERNOON

Classroom C

1:30 SURVEYING THE GIS COMMUNITY TO FACILITATE COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION

Barbara Yassin, Mississippi Office of Geology, Jackson, MS 39289

People working with Geographic Information System (GIS) data are always in search of GIS contacts and to learn what data they have. GIS specialists know their field is growing with new people and no one wants to spend two months developing data that has already been created. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recognizes this with creating the new county Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps (DFIRM), so they gave the new Geospatial Resources Division in the Office of Geology a grant to collect GIS contacts and data information around the state. We included in the survey a few extra questions to benefit Geology's efforts in coordination. A contacts database was populated and a phone survey was developed and reviewed. Then municipalities, counties, and planning districts were contacted and their GIS staff were surveyed about the data layers they managed. They were also asked about planned future activities. A database was made of the responses and used to make maps in a GIS. These maps are an easy-to-read form to show who is doing what around the state. They can be posted on the coordination website along with contact information. With this information available, the DFIRM process will be more efficient, and entities can contact one another to share data, collaborate on work projects, and coordinate imagery collections to save money.

1:45 EVALUATION OF AN ENGINEERED STORM-WATER REMEDIATION SYSTEM, MISSISSIPPI MUSEUM OF NATURAL SCIENCE, JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI

Stan Galicki* and Crystal Wilson, Millsaps College, Jackson, MS 39210

The Mississippi Museum of Natural Science features an engineered, multi-component, stormwater remediation system designed to minimize or eliminate suspended matter and hydrocarbons in runoff from its public parking lot. The system is composed of baffled drainage channels, a Vortechnic hydrodynamic separator, and a series of settlement ponds. Automatic and manual sampling techniques were used to sample influent into, and effluent from, the Vortechnic Unit. Water samples were analyzed gravimetrically for hexane extractable material. Automatic sampling of runoff from storm events over a five month period failed to indicate the presence of detectable hydrocarbons (> 2.0 ppm) in either the influent or effluent flow. When no hydrocarbons were detected following additional tests using the automated sampler and 100 ml of contaminant (50/50 mix of used motor oil and diesel fuel) introduced to the pavement prior to storm events, the timing of the sampling by the automated sampler was suspect. Final tests were done using manually controlled sampling and controlled contamination (250 ml) during storm events. The majority of the hydrocarbons were contained by the Vortechnic Unit with effluent contamination generally limited to light oil sheen; one sample containing 2.6 ppm hydrocarbons was collected. The limited release of oil through the system during slug tests suggests that under normal conditions the system may efficiently remove hydrocarbons from the parking lot runoff.

2:00 CLAY MICROFABRIC SIGNATURES DRIVING ORGANIC MATTER PRESERVATION IN MARINE SEDIMENT

Kenneth J. Curry*, Richard H. Bennett, Ann Curry, Maritza Abril, and Patricia M. Biesiot, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS 39406

Specific clay particle arrangements in marine muds (i.e., face-to-face domains, micropores in aggregates, etc.) may trap organic matter and isolate (sequester) it from the larger scale biogeochemical system preventing the physical entry of microorganisms or their enzymes into the pores and spaces of the aggregates, and thereby enhancing organic matter preservation. Our focus is on polysaccharide preservation driven by microfabric signatures formed as clay passes through the guts of deposit-feeding polychaete worms. The signatures formed at the surface of fecal pellets due to the shear forces on the fecal material during gut passage are expected to enhance organic carbon preservation. The close-stepped face-to-face domains (parallel spacing of clay platelets) may trap organic matter and prevent its subsequent degradation by microorganisms and their enzymes by the physical limitations of the pore sizes. We have successfully visualized, with a transmission electron microscope, polysaccharides from polychaete fecal pellets at the nanometer level of organization using a periodic acid-thiocarbohydrazide-silver proteinate technique. Continuing with a successful visualization technique, we are now proceeding with a series of experiments involving enzymatic digestion of sectioned material from laboratory-controlled clay sources with and without organic material and from polychaete fecal pellets to assess polysaccharide preservation in various microfabric signatures.

2:15 INFLUENCE OF COASTAL PROCESSES ON HIGH FECAL COLIFORM COUNTS IN THE MISSISSIPPI SOUND

David F. Ufnar (1*), Jennifer Ufnar (1), Dawn Rebarchik (2), and R.D. Ellender (1), (1) University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS 39406 and (2) University of Southern Mississippi, Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, Ocean Springs, MS 39564

Microbial source tracking efforts have historically focused on input of fecal bacteria from sources such as storm drains, sewers, and runoff from rain events. Fecal coliform levels in the Mississippi Sound estuary have been analyzed and compared to physical factors in an attempt to characterize possible non-point sources of pollution in the estuary. Results from this study show that a main factor in elevated levels of fecal coliform is a change in wind direction. Many times related to storm events, these changes in wind direction cause drastic spikes in fecal coliform counts, pointing to the sediment as a possible source of fecal coliform bacteria observed in the water column.

2:30 Divisional Business Meeting

4:00 Divisional Poster Session

EVALUATING THE PERFORMANCE OF A RECENTLY NOURISHED ESTUARINE BEACH: THE MISSISSIPPI SOUND, HANCOCK COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI

Joseph Harwood (1*), Keil Schmid (2), and David F. Ufnar (1), (1) University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS 39406 and (2) Hart Crowser Environmental, Cherry Hill, NJ 08002

We are studying the performance of a freshly nourished (completed June, 2004), 1.6 km long, artificial estuarine beach in Hancock County, Mississippi. The beach profiles were stable during the first three months; however with the passage of hurricane Ivan (9/15/04) and tropical storm Matthew (10/10/04), significant changes in the beach/nearshore profiles have occurred. Multiple longshore bars have developed in the nearshore zone during the post-storm adjustment period. The morphological changes that occur in these nearshore bars will be closely monitored to help denote erosional hotspots in the coming months. Erosional "hotspots" on the Mississippi Sound coast are areas where the shoreline is retreating at rates of 2-4 m/yr. The morphodynamics of nearshore bars in Mississippi Sound may indicate zones that are highly susceptible to erosion. Temporal and spatial data are being used to analyze the relationships between the nearshore bar morphologies, wave and tidal current processes, shoreline retreat, and the distribution of sediment in the nearshore zone of the Hancock County beach. Shoreline GPS surveys and shore-perpendicular profiles coupled with historical data and aerial photographs are being used to map changes in the shoreline position, beach-nearshore profile, and the position/orientation of the nearshore bars. Mississippi Sound is a low wave-energy, microtidal, estuarine coastal system dominated by mud-sized sediment. Sedimentation along the Mississippi Sound coast mainly occurs during storms, and the most energetic wave conditions occur with the passage of tropical storms or winter cold fronts (20 to 30 per year).

GIS GEODATABASE DATA MODEL DEVELOPMENT FOR ROAD MANAGEMENT: THE ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS TENNESSEE-TOMBIGBEE WATERWAY (MOBILE DISTRICT)

Rita Jackson, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762

The Army Corps of Engineers Tennessee Tombigbee Waterway located in the Mobile District, is responsible for 234 miles of the Tombigbee River. On both sides of the river, roads are used to manage the river and the activities associated with the river. The Corps has approximately 53 miles of paved roads and 130 miles of unpaved roads. These roads have various functions. Roads are used as access roads into the waterways ten locks and dams, as well as access into roads into campground and day camp use facilities. Managing the maintenance of these roads can prove to be difficult without an appropriate system set in place to record and update road maintenance projects. Accordingly, the Corps is developing a geographic information system (GIS) geodatabase to assist in these activities. A GIS geodatabase stores spatial as well as attribute data. The key component in the geodatabase is its ability to efficiently relate spatial data and attribute data in a management system. The geodatabase will also be used as an inventory and maintenance tool to help the Corps more efficiently plan and prioritize their long term maintenance needs and manage day-to-day roads management. A data model of the Corps GIS geodatabase was built using Microsoft Visio 2002, a diagramming program used to illustrate simple or complex information. A data model clearly shows how the geodatabase is constructed and how each component in the geodatabase is related. A diagram of the geodatabase of the Corps roads network would enable Corps personnel to quickly distinguish how each component of the road network interrelates, making it a valuable decision making tool.
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Title Annotation:conferences and meetings
Publication:Journal of the Mississippi Academy of Sciences
Geographic Code:1U6MS
Date:Jan 1, 2005
Words:3958
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