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Research Programs and Research Facilities
The School is housed in Leonard Hall, a four-floor 70,000 square-foot building on the UND Campus. Our physical facilities, including lecture and laboratory space, and the F. D. Holland, Jr. Geology Library, are superior to those in most geoscience departments at universities similar in size and mission to UND.
F. D. Holland, Jr. Geology Library
We have a full-time staff librarian in the F. D. Holland, Jr. Geology Library which is the largest geoscience library in the upper Midwest with more than 50,000 volumes, 500 journal titles, 100,000 maps, 18,000 microfiche records, 8,000 air photos, and several hundred geological databases on CD. The library is also a depository for U.S. Government documents and specializes in U.S. Geological Survey publications.
Laboratories and Research Programs and Equipment
- Petroleum Research, Education, and Entrepreneurship Center of Excellence (PREEC). The College of Engineering and Mines is launching both undergraduate and graduate Petroleum Engineering degree programs and establishing a Petroleum Research Center to address several geological engineering characteristics of the Williston Basin, including:
- The role of in-situ stress fields and fracturing in the Bakken Formation
- Enhanced oil recovery
- CO2 sequestration
- Enhanced geothermal systems using oil field water to generate electrical power
- Antarctic Research Program. We are interested in how land surfaces change over time. This is controlled by many factors including climate, local rock/soil types, and topography amongst many more, all of which vary greatly depending on where you are in the world. Our research takes us to the coldest, windiest, and driest place on Earth to see how remote glacial valleys (and coldest deserts) erode and change unlike anywhere else. Details in the program description.
- The Petroleum Engineering Laboratory is a 576 sq ft facility housed in the basement of Leonard Hall. The laboratory features a high pressure/high temperature acoustic core flooding system for research on enhanced oil recovery and CO2 sequestration and Schlumberger's ECLIPSE and PETREL software for reservoir simulation operations. The hardware and software in the Petroleum Engineering Lab are funded by a UND faculty start-up and ND EPSCoR, and two on-going research projects are funded by DOE through the UND EERC.
- The Mining Engineering Laboratory is another 576 sq ft facility housed in the basement of Leonard Hall. The Laboratory contains a variety of equipment for testing rock properties and computers and software for analyses.
- The Environmental Analytical Research Laboratory (formerly the Water Quality Laboratory) EARL is housed on the third floor of Leonard Hall and is jointly administered by the School of Geology and Geological Engineering, Chemical Engineering Department, and Chemistry. The laboratory is staffed by a full-time technician and includes an inductively coupled argon plasma-atomic emission spectrometer (ICP), a gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer (GCMS), an ion chromatograph (IC) a total organic carbon analyzer (TOC), ion selective electrodes (ISE) and ancillary equipment to support teaching, scientific research and engineering design projects in aqueous chemistry and water resources investigations.
- The Wilson M. Laird Core and Sample Library (North Dakota Geological Survey) is a climate controlled facility, located directly across the street from Leonard Hall. The facility consists of 2,000 square feet of office and laboratory space and 18,000 square feet of core storage. It currently houses approximately 129 kilometers of cores and approximately 40,000 boxes of drill cuttings. The cores represent about 80% of the cores cut in the North Dakota portion of the oil- and coal-rich Williston Basin, and about 95% of the samples collected. The facility also houses an extensive collection of water-well samples and cores.
- Geophysics facilities include: two Geometric proton-precession magnetometers, a LaCoste and Romberg gravity meter, Trimble 5700 and Leica System 300 real-time-kinematic GPS with sub-centimeter resolution, two high-resolution laser range finders, three solar-powered weather stations, a divided-bar thermal conductivity apparatus, and a high-precision temperature logging system.
- Geothermal Research
- Hydrogeology Program. The hydrogeology program provides the course work and individual research necessary for the graduate to work as a groundwater professional in consulting, research, teaching, or governmental regulation. Course work and research in the program balances theory with practical field and laboratory skills. Auger rig and extensive field equipment. Details in the program description.
- Other Department facilities include: an X-Ray Diffraction Laboratory with a computer-controlled Phillips XRD using automatic peak matching software library; a Paleontology Laboratory which includes an extensive collection of invertebrate and vertebrate specimens; and a Stable Isotope Geochemistry Laboratory for isotopic analysis of waters, rocks and fossils in paleoclimate and environmental investigations.