Geology Department Receives $163,000 Research Grant

Nov. 10, 1995

WACO, Texas - The Baylor University Department of Geology has been awarded a $163,000 grant by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to build a water reservoir survey system.

The purpose of the system is to determine the rate of sediment accumulation in Texas Lakes and reservoirs, enabling better estimates of future water supplies and determining where corrective actions are needed for any rapidly depleting water supplies in Texas due to high sedimentation rates, according to Dr. John Dunbar, assistant professor of geology, the principal researcher in the project, along with Dr. Peter Allen, professor of geology.

"Right now we do not have a good handle on how fast the lakes are filling up with sediment around the state," Dunbar said.

Once the system is designed, it will be tested on Lakes Waco, Belton and Aquilla. Texas has approximately 190 major reservoirs which contain the bulk of the state's water supply.

Current sediment survey systems are made for larger water masses, but the proposed system will be designed specifically for lakes. Another unique feature of the system is that it will be able to read both water depth and sediment accumulation at the same time and at the same location in the reservoir. Specialty Services of Plano, Texas, will build the system.

The research of the new system will be shared by Baylor, the City of Waco, the Brazos River Authority and Blacklands Research Center in Temple.

For more information, contact Dunbar at 755-2361.

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