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News Release March 23, 2004
GSA Release No. 04-11
Contact: Christa Stratton


Joint Meeting of the Northeastern and Southeastern Sections

Geological Society of America
March 25-27, 2004 • Hilton McLean Tysons Corner • Washington, DC

 Thursday, March 25

Geology and the Civil War, 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., Ballroom C
Talks range from a broad overview of geology's influence on Civil War campaigns to specifics at the battles of Manassas, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Vicksburg, and Chattanooga. Of particular interest is John Jens' "Two Battles, One Battle Ground: Did Manassas Make Bull Run?" Two battles over the same ground allowed scientists to compare employment of two military forces and determine how underlying geology influenced both and favored one or the other, depending on who used it and how.
View abstracts:
Geological Carbon Sequestration, Coalbed Gas Resources, and Future Potential, 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., Sully B
This session updates recent work characterizing the coalbed gas resource potential of eastern North American coal basins. Topics include geology of coalbed gas reservoirs, resource evaluation, exploration, production, and CO2 sequestration. David Spears of the Virginia Dept. of Mines, Minerals, and Energy, discusses the state's development of coalbed methane, and Robert Milici of the US Geological Survey, reports on the significant coalbed methane potential of eastern Pennsylvania.
View abstracts:
Structural Geology, 1:00-3:00 p.m., Gunston B
Charles Merguerian of Hofstra University looks at brittle faults under New York City and their seismic risk. C.P. Snee of GeoEnvironmental of New York discusses two major faults - the Cameron Thrust Fault and Manhattanville-125th Street Fault - and how information about them is gathered and incorporated into the design of the proposed Second Avenue subway project.
View abstracts:

Poster Session Highlights
Thursday, Ballrooms A and B (times indicate author availability):

  • Contamination caused by acid mine drainage and other point sources in the Prince William Forest National Park in northern Virginia, 9:00-11:00 a.m., Booth 29 Douglas Mose of George Mason University reports on progress made in cleaning up land and surface water contamination in one of the nation's newest parks, located south of Washington, DC. Mitigation efforts have concentrated on contaminants from a long-abandoned pyrite mine in the central part of the park, by a federal military training area long the western margin, and by residential communities constructed along the northern margin.
    View abstract:
  • An examination of the water quality of the nation's ten most endangered rivers in 2003, 2:00-4:00 p.m., Booth 14 With American Rivers' annual list as a starting point, Rhanda Harris of the State University of West Georgia looks at new rankings based on stream water quality. Endangered rivers that still figure high on the list include the Big Sunflower River (Mississippi) and Klamath River (Oregon).
    View abstract:
  • Recent effects of sea-level rise on coastal wetlands in Southwest Florida, 2:00-4:00 p.m., Booth 35 The rate of sea-level rise has increased abruptly since the industrial revolution. S.M. Cone of Florida Gulf Coast University shows that along the southwest Florida coast, the rate has increased an order to magnitude from around 6 cm/100 years to present rates as high as 30 cm/100 years. The research examines different hypotheses for use in recognizing early signs of system change.
    View abstract:
  • Working towards an assessment methodology for CO2 storage capacity in the US, 2:00-4:00 p.m., Booth 16 Sean Brennan of the US Geological Survey discusses several options for geologic storage of CO2 emitted by natural gas processing and coal gasification. Reducing the substantial CO2 input into Earth's atmosphere presents a major challenge.
    View abstract:

 Friday, March 26

Science and Public Policy Keynote Forum, 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., Amphitheater
Senior officials from Federal and State agencies, non-government organizations, Congressional staff members, and the news media will discuss the role science plays in shaping public policy issues and how public policy is shaping science.
Geomorphic Process Rates on the Passive Margin, 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., Sully A
Paul Bierman of the University of Vermont shares results of his work along the banks of the Potomac. He postulates that Great Falls was established in its present location 30,000 years ago and that the drop over Great Falls continues to grow over time. Bierman is scheduled to speak at 10:00 a.m.
View Bierman abstract:
Dinosaurs of Eastern North America I and II, 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. and 1:00-5:00 p.m., Lord Thomas Fairfax Room
While many of the earliest dinosaur discoveries came from the Western interior of North America, dinosaur discoveries are now known from Nova Scotia to South Carolina on the Atlantic coast, and from Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi on the Gulf coast. Over the past 25 years, known East coast localities have increased 1.8-fold. David Weishampel of Johns Hopkins University kicks off a full day of talks with an overview of the history and significance of east coast dinosaurs. Subsequent talks address new finds in a variety of areas, including the District of Columbia.
View abstracts: and
Process-based Modeling of Coastal Responses with Emphasis on Coastal Storms, 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., Martinique's
Three talks address impacts of Hurricane Isabel. Asbury (Abby) Sallenger of the US Geological Survey presents results of a cooperative NASA/USGS effort to document and evaluate impacts on the North Carolina coast. Airborne lidar was used to survey beaches and dunes before and after the storm, revealing changes associated with dune erosion, overwash, and breach formation. The data will be valuable for testing models of storm impacts on coasts. In addition, George Oertel of Old Dominion University evaluates Hurricane Isabelle's impacts on Fisherman Island, VA, and Donna Milligan of the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences looks at the impact on Cheasapeake Bay dune systems.
View abstracts:
Ground Water in Crystalline Rocks of the Eastern U.S.: How Much is There?, 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., Gunston B
Rapid population growth in the eastern U.S. is causing increased groundwater withdrawals, but assessing the amount available for public use is a challenge for hydrologists and land-use managers. Scientists discuss projects underway in a variety of areas. Of particular interest is a look by Otto Zapecza, US Geological Survey, at "Effects of Geology and Urban Sprawl on the Water Resources of the New York-New Jersey Highlands Region."
View abstracts:
Geologic Hazard Issues (Posters), Friday, Ballrooms A and B, 1:00-5:00 p.m., Authors available 2:00-4:00 p.m.
Topics include detection of faults in the Shenandoah Valley, subsidence and sinkholes in North Carolina, and study of submarine faults in Turkey and Venezuela.
View abstracts:

 Saturday, March 27

Assessing Natural Climate Variability Through Time, 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., Amphitheater
This session focuses on evidence of Earth's changing climate and its associated impacts on biogenic and abiogenic systems. Lonnie Gene Thompson of The Ohio State University provides an overview of Earth's "glacial archives" and what they tell us about abrupt climate and environmental change over the past 10,000 years. Casey Saenger of the US Geological Survey discusses climate variability in the Eastern US during the same time period as revealed by sediments in Chesapeake Bay.
View abstracts:
Geological Hazard Issues in the Eastern United States, 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., Martinique's
Coastal erosion, sea level rise, landslides, earthquakes, tropical storms, and flooding are some of the topics addressed in this session. The focus is on new research and applications aimed at lessening hazard impacts.
View abstracts:


Eligibility for complimentary media registration is as follows:

  • Working press representing bona fide news media with a press card, letter, or business card from the publication.
  • Freelance science writers, presenting a current membership card from NASW, ISWA, regional affiliates of NASW, or evidence of work pertaining to science published in 2003 or 2004.
  • Public Information Officers of scientific societies, educational institutions, and government agencies.

Complimentary meeting registration covers attendance at all technical sessions and access to the exhibit hall. Media must pay regular fees for paid luncheons, field trips, etc.

Media representatives may register at the main meeting registration desk located in the Hilton Pre-Function Foyer on the Lobby level. Registration will be open Wednesday, March 24, from 4:00-8:00 p.m., Thursday and Friday, March 25-26, from 7:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m., and Saturday, March 27, from 7:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. All media registrants will receive a name badge and the program/abstract book upon arrival.

Media registrants may arrange on-site interviews after attending the session in which the talk is given or by leaving a note at the GSA Registration Desk requesting an interview before or after the talk. Interested media unable to attend may telephone the Registration Desk at 703-761-5102 and leave a message requesting a callback from the speaker.

A media and public affairs room (unstaffed), located in the Estate Board Room on the lower level, is available for use by members of the press from 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 24, until noon on Saturday, March 27.

For additional information before March 25, contact Ann Cairns, GSA Director of Communications, at 303-357-1056. During the meeting, March 25-27, contact the GSA Registration Desk at 703-761-5102.


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