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Section III: earth & atmospheric sciences.

7:30 COPROLITES OF DEINOSUCHUS: LATE CRETACEOUS ESTUARINE CROCODYLIAN FECES FROM WEST GEORGIA, Samantha D. Harrell * and D. R. Schwimmer, Columbus State University, Columbus, GA 31907. The giant eusuchian crocodylian Deinosuchus rugosus is abundantly represented by bones and teeth in the Late Cretaceous deposits of the estuarine Blufftown Formation, western Georgia. Approximately 20 concretionary masses assumed to be fossil crocodylian feces are found in association. Six, large spindle-shaped coprolitic masses, tentatively attributed to Deinosuchus, range from 8.0 to 13.0 cm in length. They are cylindrical in cross section, laterally fusiform with tapering ends. Transversely and laterally cut or broken specimens of this morphology show poorly organized, internally concentric, structure with subtly septate fracturing. Minute bone fragments and small fish teeth are present on or near on the outer surfaces in most specimens, whereas the internal composition does not contain significant preserved bone. One specimen contains a well-preserved shark tooth (Squalicorax kaupi) in the cortex. It is assumed that the intense dissolution of crocodylian digestive juices demineralized larger prey bones in the bulk of these coprolites, whereas vertebrate teeth on or near the outer surfaces accumulated after the feces were excreted and represent coprophagous feeding by bony fish and sharks. Smaller, relatively elongate and irregular coprolitic masses are of more typical crocodylian fecal morphology and may come from Borealosuchus sp., also represented by bones, teeth, and osteoderms in the fossil assemblage.

7:45 A PRELIMINARY DESCRIPTION OF THE PLEISTOCENE RODENTS FROM CLARK QUARRY, BRUNSWICK, GEORGIA **, Ray J. Cornay * and A. J. Mead, Georgia College and State University, Milledgeville, GA 31061. Since 2001, excavations at Clark Quarry, Brunswick, Georgia, have yielded abundant Pleistocene-aged mammalian fossils. The vast majority of the macro-fossils belong to the Columbian Mammoth (Mammuthus columbi) and Giant Bison (Bison latifrons). A number of the micro-fossils are teeth belonging to rodents that inhabited Georgia between 12,000 and 21,000 years ago. The rodents identified thus far include: Woodchuck (Marmota monax); Round-tailed Muskrat (Neofiber alleni); Southern Bog Lemming (Synaptomys cooperi); Marsh Rice Rat (Oryzomys palustris); Eastern Harvest Mouse (Reithrodontomys humulis); Hispid Cotton Rat (Sigmodon hispidus); and Capybara (Hydrochaeris holmesi). The Round-tailed Muskrat, Marsh Rice Rat, Eastern Harvest Mouse, and Hispid Cotton Rat are common inhabitants of southern Georgia today and typically are found in marshy habitats. The presence of the South American capybara also indicates densely vegetated swamps. The Woodchuck and Southern Bog Lemming represent species presently found in more northern portions of Georgia. Both species are more typical of open meadow/forest edge habitats. As a group, the rodents taxa identified thus far indicate an ecosystem somewhat different from closed forest habit that currently exists in the region.

8:00 TEXTURAL RELATIONSHIPS AMONG TI- AND ZR-BEARING ACCESSORY PHASES IN A BANDED AMPHIBOLITE: CARROLL COUNTY. GA. Lindsey Elise Hunt * and C. Berg, University of West Georgia. Carrollton, GA 30118. Understanding the growth history of Ti- and Zr-bearing minerals such as titanite, zircon, and rutile permits correlation of metamorphic conditions with time, so long as the minerals are determined to be in equilibrium. These systematics were examined in a sample of banded amphibolite gneiss, part of the Ropes Creek Metabasalt, collected near Carrollton, GA. The gneiss consists of alternating amphibole + plagioclase and epidote + quartz layers. Petrographic and SEM-EDS analysis resulted in the following observations: (1) Titanite is present in both layer types: titanites in amphibole layers contain inclusions of amphibole, and titanites in epidote layers contain inclusions of epidote. (2) Zircon appears both as inclusions in titanite and within the matrix of each layer. These textures indicate that these minerals were in equilibrium with the rock during metamorphism. (3) Rutile is abundant only as inclusions within titanite. This indicates that rutile is not part of the equilibrium assemblage: however, it may provide information on conditions during early stages of metamorphism. These textural and spatial relationships of Ti- and Zr-bearing phases are vital to appropriately applying accessory phase thermobarometers (e.g., TitaniQ, Zr-in-titanite) and geochronometers, which will aid in the reconstruction of PTt paths for this region of the Southern Appalachians.

8:15 HIGH RESOLUTION, GROUND BASED MAGNETIC DATA AT DAGGER MOUNTAIN, BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK, TX, Christopher Parham * and C. Poppeliers, Augusta State University, Augusta, GA 30904. We present results of an extensive, ground-based, high-resolution magnetic survey of a portion of Dagger Mountain, located in Big Bend National Park, TX. Dagger Mountain is a large map-scale anticline south of the Dog Canyon area. Previous work suggests that the topographic expression of this Dagger Mountain is due to purely structure deformation of the Cretaceous-aged rocks. However, an alternate hypothesis is that Dagger Mountain is cored by a map-scale intrusion of Tertiary-aged rocks similar to those seen in outcrops in the immediate vicinity of Dagger Mountain. Based on two lines of evidence, we favor the former hypothesis. First, structural data obtained during a field mapping campaign yields structural data that is consistent with Dagger Mountain being a map-scale anticline that is oriented favorably with regional Laramide-type deformation. Second, high resolution magnetic data do not support the hypothesis that Dagger Mountain is cored by Tertiary-aged intrusive igneous rocks.

8:30 CONSTRUCTING A CORRELATION ANALYSIS BETWEEN THE RADIAL GROWTH OF LOBLOLLY PINE PINUS TAEDA (L.) WITH PRECIPITATION RATES AND TEMPERATURE AVERAGES IN THE UNIVERSITY OF WEST GEORGIA AREA **, S. Michael Edwards *, K. M. Williams * and G. G. DeWeese, University of West Georgia, Carrollton, GA 30118. Dendrochronology is a valuable integrated science for analyzing the impact of climatic variables, including temperature and precipitation, on tree growth in an area. From the analysis of specific trees, this study assesses the correlation between the radial growth of Pinus Taeda (L.) and precipitation rates and temperature averages in the West Georgia area. By using increment cores taken on campus, this study evaluates the link between radial growth variability as the result of these two variables. Hypotheses stated that the trees would experience significant growth in the early spring due to the moist warm climate that this area enjoys. Initial results indicate that trees showed increased radial growth if there was a dry previous December and a dry current January as opposed to just a warm moist summer.

8:45 PATHOGENS TODAY, PANDEMICS TOMORROW: A MODERN STUDY OF DISEASE DIFFUSION **, Clint Thompson * and M. G. Noll, Valdosta State University, Valdosta, GA 31698. This work concentrates on the general process of disease diffusion, beginning with an examination of historical examples, and then introducing the concept of the basic reproduction number ([R.sub.0]) The study investigates the various natural and anthropological control factors typically affecting disease outbreaks, and focuses on the current H1N1 influenza pandemic. Visualization of the H1N1 diffusion patterns will be a vital tool for medical geographers and epidemiologists, as it helps to highlight and analyze some of its components and control factors: 1) Fauna, 2) Climate, 3) Human genetic variation, 4) Genetic variation in diseases, 5) Quality and availability of healthcare resources, 6) Geographic point of origin, and 7) Sanitation. Keeping these factors in mind, this thorough geographic study of the current H1N1 outbreak will help understand its cause(s), the routes of its diffusion, and potential effects on society. Results presented in this study will also help with the implementation of protocols to better contain future pandemics.

9:00 GROUNDWATER CHEMISTRY WITHIN ALLUVIUM BENEATH A GEORGIA PIEDMONT FLOODPLAIN **, Parna Bhattji * and J. Mayer, University of West Georgia, Carrollton, GA 30118. Hydrochemical monitoring of groundwater beneath a portion of the Little Tallapoosa River floodplain in the Georgia Piedmont, Carroll County, Georgia, reveals complex spatial distribution of groundwater composition and relatively little temporal variation. We sampled groundwater from 15 piezometers installed in organic-rich, predominantly fine-grained floodplain alluvium at depths between 9 and 16 feet. Samples were collected five times over an eight-month period under conditions including drought and flood. Most waters are of a mixed-cation bicarbonate type; sodium chloride waters are also present. Approximate TDS ranges from 30 to 270 mg/L; pH ranges from 4.5 to 6.1. Concentrations of redox sensitive species ([O.sub.2], [NO.sub.3], [Fe.sup.2+], [Mn.sup.2+]) vary considerably within the dataset. Preliminary colorimetric analysis suggests As concentrations in some wells greater than 30 [micro]g/L. Results show that hydrochemistry of this floodplain environment is heterogeneous over very small areas. At least some of the heterogeneity is explained by variable redox chemistry; other important processes may include mineral dissolution and ion exchange.

9:15 ARSENIC LEVELS IN GROUNDWATER IN WEST GEORGIA **, K. Hope Ayash * and C. L. Hollabaugh, University of West Georgia, Carrollton, GA 30118. Bacteria and arsenic can occur in domestic drinking water supplies. Arsenic sampling is minimal in Georgia, but this should be looked at after studies have been done in areas with the same bedrock that show high levels of arsenic. Arsenic is the 53rd most abundant element in the earth's crust at 1.8 ppm. Inorganic arsenic can occur naturally in groundwater at high levels. The Environmental Protection Agency standard is 10 ppb allowed in drinking water. Arsenic can cause non-cancerous problems with the digestive tract, the integumentary system, the circulatory system, and the nervous system. It has also been linked to cancers of the urinary system, and can lead to death. In fact millions of people worldwide are in danger of arsenic poisoning. Georgia's Piedmont shares a similar sulfide rich bedrock zone with much of the Appalachian Range. Over 50 domestic wells in Georgia were sampled and tested for arsenic levels using a non-compliant EPA method. Using a portable test strip they were screened for arsenic. The color test strip has 0 ppb, 10 ppb, 30 ppb, 50 ppb, 100 ppb, 300 ppb, and 500 ppb reading levels. All samples over 10 ppb will be resampled and retested and will be sent to an outside lab for testing by an EPA approved method. This research will be continued to determine the severity of arsenic leaching into domestic well water in Georgia and to determine the need to have this water monitored.

9.30 GEOLOGIC AND GEOMORPHIC CONTROLS ON DAMAGE IN PUERTO RICO FROM HURRICANE GEORGES (1998), R. F. Petruccelli *, Department of Geosciences, University of West Georgia, Carrollton, GA 30118. Hurricane Georges made landfall on the eastern coast of Puerto Rico on September 21, 1998, causing a storm surge of up to 3-meters and waves of 6 meters. Damage was about $1.9 billion, This study analyzes the pre storm geomorphic setting to ascertain which parameters control damage. Previous studies of geomorphic controls on storm damage in Florida and South Carolina indicate that along those coasts, site elevation provided the best protection against property damage, followed by dune height (in front of the site) and beach width. Puerto Rico's geologic setting differs from the Florida and South Carolina study areas, which are barrier islands, and the Mississippi study area, which is a mainland coast behind small Gulf barriers. Puerto Rico's coastline consists of mainly rocky cliffs, headlands, mangrove coasts, sand and gravel beaches, and in between many different artificial and hard stabilization structures. Geomorphic parameters assessed in this study include storm surge inundation line, geologic rock types, coastal morphology, FEMA Q3 flood zones, slope and digital elevation models. A regression analysis was used to determine which pre-storm coastal attributes influenced the observed post-storm storm-surge penetration and damage. Having a quantitative understanding of coastal hazard risk is critical for producing accurate risk maps, as well as, for prioritizing spending on mitigation.

9.45 COASTAL HAZARDS ASSESSMENT AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR A SEVERELY ERODING TROPICAL SHORELINE: PALO SECO, PUERTO RICO, Andrew J, Maloof * and R. F. Petruccelli*, Department of Geosciences, University of West Georgia, Carrollton, GA 30118. Palo Seco is a small community, but it plays an important role in Puerto Rico's culture, recreation, and infrastructure. Palo Seco is located just west of San Juan, and is home to a major thermoelectric power plant. Also, just offshore is Isla de Cabras, an important historical and recreational site, connected to the mainland by a causeway that can be accessed only via a local road that is also the main street through Palo Seco. The community faces west and is exposed to swell from North Atlantic winter storms. Severe long-term erosion and impacts from individual storm events have left most of the waterfront of Palo Seco as a trashy rock revetment. Palo Seco is a very small community, and if not for extenuating circumstances, it would probably not make economic sense to try to stabilize the shoreline. While pure economics may drive many coastal management plans, the cultural and historical considerations, as well as the presence of major utilities, cast a different light on the benefits of stabilizing Palo Seco's shorefront. An assessment of the coastal hazards was done in May, 2009, and recommendations were made for the community. These include: do nothing, continue to armor the community with large rocks, replenish the beach with sand from a local source, upgrade the seawall, or have a major seawall/boardwalk/municipal plan.

10:00 Section business meeting

10:30 HISTORICAL STORM SURGE TABLES: ONE-STOP SHOPPING FOR ALL YOUR STORM SURGE DATA NEEDS, Jacques R. Johnson *, A. J. Maloof * and R. F. Petruccelli *, University of West Georgia, Carrollton, GA 30118. Researchers of hurricane impacts often encounter roadblocks when trying to evaluate storm surge history. Several federal agencies (FEMA, NOAA, Army Corps of Engineers) have unpublished reports for some storms but not for all. Older hurricanes may have public or private reports. Access to reports is difficult and even for archived storms the data is often sketchy at best. This project has assembled into one place all available data on historical storm surge, published or unpublished. Each storm surge measurement data point has been evaluated for quality, methodology, and usefulness for scientific inquiry. Storm physical characteristics (size, strength, forward speed) are also tabulated along with the storm surge data. It is hoped that the database will provide the basis for statistical evaluation of the various factors impacting coastal storm surge. In addition, it will be a critical resource for numerical modelers who are in need of such data for model calibration and verification of predictive coastal flooding models. So far, data from southeastern U.S.A. hurricane back to 1968 have been tabulated. Plans are to increase the areal and temporal extent of the project.

10:45 EFFECT OF AN IN-SITU TREATMENT BMP ON ECOSYSTEM SERVICES IN AN IMPAIRED, URBAN STREAM, Megan Wheeler* (1) and T.A. Keller (2), (1) Central High School, Phenix City, AL 36870 and (2) Columbus State University, Columbus, GA 31907. Urbanization of watersheds can compromise valuable ecosystem services in streams. A best management practice (BMP) water treatment facility was installed to control peak flows, reduce sediment transport, and kill coliform bacteria in Weracoba Creek in Columbus, GA. Using an upstream-downstream before-after study design, we hypothesized the BMP would improve nitrate, nitrite, and orthophosphate removal but slow the rate of leaf mass over time. We analyzed nutrient concentrations bi-monthly from three, sub-surface grab samples taken at 4 sites (02/07-01/08), 1 upstream and 3 downstream. We quantified leaf litter loss rates using tulip tree leaves (Liriodendron tulipifera) in 1mm nylon mesh bags at the four water sampling sites over 10 weeks (sampled bi-monthly, three replicates per site). Nitrate and nitrite concentrations remained consistent pre-and post-construction, but orthophosphate increased during BMP installation. Nutrient up take lengths remained similar before - and after - operation of the BMP. Leaf mass declined through time, but remained similar across sites. Results indicate that the BMP had no detectable positive effect on the two ecosystem services studied. Despite its impaired status, Weracoba Creek continues to degrade leaf litter and remove nutrients.

11:00 HOLOCENE PALEOCHANNEL AND MEANDER SCAR DEPOSITS ON UPATOI CREEK, WEST-CENTRAL GEORGIA, William J. Frazier and R. W. Brown, Columbus State University, Columbus, GA 31907. Upatoi Creek is a tributary of the Chattahoochee River in west central Georgia south of the Fall Line. The Upatoi has incised into its former flood plain, forming the T1 terrace about 3 to 4 m above stream level. We describe sediments exposed by cut-bank erosion and in a meander scar 150 m to the west. The exposure is composed of a 2.5 to 4 m, layered sequence of detrital sediments whose grain-size grades from coarse gravel at the base to silty very-fine sand near the top, the modern soil. This fining-upward sequence formed by point-bar migration. At the south end of the cut bank exposure, the sequence is capped by a silty, fine grained sand with thin laminations and small burrows. Above this is a channel-form unit in which we described and sampled two meters of silty clay containing palynomorphs. We interpret this to be a relict oxbow lake which filled with silty clay. The meander scar on the T1 terrace is the result of the same infilled oxbow lake exposed in the cut bank. In a 2 m core, we sampled silty, structureless, clay with palynomorphs recording a drier, diverse early Holocene forest with Quercus and Pinus. Increases in Nyssa indicate wetter conditions by the mid-Holocene. Forests continue to be dominated by tupelo until historic times, when their decline indicates a lowering of the water table due to incision of Upatoi Creek. Charcoal and organic matter yielded radiocarbon dates of 9,940 [+ or -] 220 yr and 10,310 [+ or -] 220 yr. Our analyses of the sedimentology and palynology of Upatoi paleochannel deposits reflect the same climate conditions in the lower Chattahoochee River drainage reported by other researchers for rivers in eastern Georgia.

11:30 MULTI-SENSOR SHALLOW GEOPHYSICAL STUDY OF TWO URBAN LOTS IN VALDOSTA. GEORGIA. Donald M. Thieme (1), C. Poppeliers (2), D. Elliott (3), M. Smith (1) and C. Denizman (1) (1) Valdosta State University, Valdosta, GA 31698, (2) Augusta Stale University, Augusta, GA 30904 and (3) Lamar Institute. Savannah. GA 31402. We report on the use of geophysical instruments to detect anomalies immediately beneath the surface of two urban lots in Valdosta, Georgia. Measurements were made at intervals of either 1 m or 0.5 m on five rectangular areas using a Geometries G-858 cesium magnetometer, a Geonics EM-38 conductivity meter, and a MALA ground penetrating radar system between December 14th, 2009 and January 13th, 2010. Based upon the results using the EM-38 on a 1 m x 1 m grid in three of the five areas studied, a total of 19 anomalies have been identified. Several of these anomalies are being investigated by a Valdosta State University archaeological field school. Magnetometer and ground penetrating radar data also show anomalies in many of the same areas, but there are a number of differences in the results from the different sensors which merit further investigation.


DIGITAL GEOLOGIC MAP OF THE FORTSON AND MIDLAND, GEORGIA, 7.5 MINUTE QUADRANGLES. Anna M. Menser *, T. B. Hanley and C. I. Barineau, Columbus State University, Columbus, GA 31907. Columbus, Georgia, lies within a region where coastal plain rocks of the Cretaceous Tuscaloosa Group unconformably lie atop Piedmont metamorphic rocks of the Gondwanan Uchee terrane. Over three decades of geologic research in the region has been recorded using traditional methods of pen and paper mapping. However, the results of this mapping have been largely unavailable to anyone except for local researchers. In an attempt to make this data more accessible to both geologists and the general public, these paper maps have been converted into digital format. Using AutoCAD software, hand-recorded data from the Fortson and Midland, Georgia, 7.5 minute quadrangles, have been georeferenced. This data was then used to construct a digital geologic map and corresponding cross-section. An electronic database records structural, stratigraphic, and lithologic information about this little-known region. The results of this mapping yield new insights into the geologic history of the southernmost Appalachian mountains.

GROUNDWATER QUALITY IN WEST GEORGIA WITH A FOCUS ON LEAD AND COPPER **, Tina M. Skinner *, K. H. Ayash * and C. L. Hollabaugh, University of West Georgia, Carrollton, GA 30108. Well water is estimated to supply drinking water for nearly 500,000 households in Georgia. This research is on lead and copper in domestic drinking water supplies. The majority of lead and copper that enters the drinking water for human consumption is human imposed. Elevated lead levels in children can lead to learning disabilities and behavioral problems. Copper is an element that is vital to the human body, however in excess it can lead to digestive troubles and death. The EPA maximum standard for lead is 15ppb and 1.3ppm for a maximum copper standard. The Hach Scanning Analyzer was utilized to test ground water from residential wells for this study. This method is EPA approved for lead. Residential wells are not regulated by any authority and homeowner's are not aware of the need for monitoring water quality from these wells. Out of the 50 samples that have been tested for lead, ten percent of them have lead levels that exceed EPA standards. Out of the same 50 samples the copper results show only two exceeded the EPA standard. Plans for this research in the future consist of plotting the well locations in a GIS program and then comparing the results to the rock unit's particular geochemistry, as well as, how these results relate to the age of the home and the well. The results will be sent to the homeowners so that they can be proactive with this problem, and live healthier lives.

ANTHROPOGENIC ALTERATION OF STREAMFLOW THROUGH INTRO-DUCTION OF TREATED WASTEWATER EFFLUENT **, Michael R. Johnson *, Valdosta State University, Valdosta, GA 31601. Treated wastewater effluent is discharged into the Withlacoochee River from a wastewater treatment facility located in Lowndes County, Georgia. This study investigates changes in streamflow arising from this discharge. Data collected and analyzed for the completion of this study include daily precipitation recorded within the Withlacoochee River basin and at the wastewater treatment facility, daily volume of effluent discharged by the facility into the river, and daily streamflow measured at a USGS monitoring station downstream of the facility. Additionally, sinkholes in the streambed upstream of the facility establish a hydraulic connection between the river and the Floridan Aquifer; the effect of these sinkholes to baseflow during periods of limited precipitation and low flow are considered.

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Donald Thieme, Presiding
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Author:Thieme, Donald
Publication:Georgia Journal of Science
Geographic Code:1U5GA
Date:Mar 22, 2010
Previous Article:Section II: Chemistry.
Next Article:Section IV: Physics, mathematics, computer science, engineering and technology.

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