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WKU geology faculty receives ACS-PRF grant to support research

WKU geology faculty receives ACS-PRF grant to support research

This grant will integrate novel approaches of apatite (U-Th)/He and 4He/3He thermochronometry to resolve the timing of incision of the Ethiopian Plateau in East Africa by the Blue Nile River system and reconstruct canyon carving. The Blue Nile River, a major tributary of the River Nile carries 95 percent of sediment load from the Ethiopian Plateau to the alluvial fans, the Nile delta and Nile deep sea fan in the Mediterranean Sea.

Dr. Gani’s study will investigate the timing of major reservoir rock formation through documenting the incision of the plateau, which has direct importance for hydrocarbon reservoir development. The timing of erosion is critical in understanding the probability of forming a reservoir basin as opposed to forming an organic-rich rock development. The formation of sediment being studied in northeastern Africa will help scientists unravel the development of the earth’s crust and climate evolution of the region.

This grant will support undergraduate students in the geology discipline to gain experiences -in top-of-the-line analytical techniques, hands-on and cutting-edge research experience in petroleum field involving sediment source-to-sink approach, enormous lab experience through visiting the renowned Noble Gas Geochemistry and Geochronology lab (NG3L) in Arizona State University, invaluable international field experience in Ethiopia through collaborating with Ethiopian scientists. This experience will promote students’ critical thinking necessary to evaluate scientific data and solve complex Earth Science problems by which students will gain a robust understanding on how earth-system works as a feedback loop.

This research will strengthen Dr. Gani and her students’ research collaboration among Western Kentucky University, Arizona State University, and Geological Survey of Ethiopia. Notably, this research will contribute towards WKU’s mission of international focus as part of its educational activities.

The ACS-PRF grant was effective July 2014.

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