CU Geology Program Awarded Petroleum Research Grant

For Immediate Release: 
Jan 22 2007

CONTACT: Dr. Joseph L. Allen, Chair, Division of Natural Sciences, Associate Professor of Geology
1-304-384-5238, FAX 384-6017,

CU Geology Program Awarded Petroleum Research Grant

Athens, W.Va. - The Concord University environmental geosciences program has been awarded a grant from the Petroleum Research Fund of the American Chemical Society. The $50,000 grant will fund 10 undergraduate research projects. During the next three summers, students will have the opportunity to complete field research and geologic mapping in the rugged back country of Glenwood Canyon, Colorado. They will also complete laboratory work for college credit during the school year at Concord University in Athens, W.Va.

The project will be lead by Dr. Joseph L. Allen, associate professor of geology and chair of the Division of Natural Sciences, who authored the proposal and will coordinate a team of student and faculty researchers from Concord University, Montana State University, and the University of Minnesota-Morris. The team is also funded by a grant from the U.S. Geological Survey.

Dr. Allen said, “The goal of the research is to understand how geologic faults behave at depths of 8-10 miles beneath the surface of the Earth. Geologic faults are cracks in the Earth where the bedrock has been broken and displaced. Petroleum often accumulates near buried faults, so understanding the physics of how they work is important to oil and natural gas exploration. Uplift of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado allows us to look at faults in bedrock that were deeply buried a billion and a half years ago.”