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Dr. Robert Stewart, director of the Allied Geophysical Lab at UH, has drilled two 430 foot wells at the UHCC. The wells are lined with PVC, cemented, and are used for undergraduate and graduate research and education in EAS. Well logging and seismic exploration courses have been using the wells and site. The geophysics group has also been undertaking non-invasive seismic and ground-penetrating radar surveys at the Coastal Center. Several industrial objects (steel drums, plastic containers) have been buried near the wells to be used as targets for environmental remediation surveys.
Real-time GPS array at the UHCC.
Dr. Bob Wang has installed four permanent real-time GPS stations at the UHCC. These GPS stations are part of a more comprehensive network installed throughout the Houston metropolitan area. The GPS stations will improve our understanding of land subsidence in the region. A greater understanding of subsidence in the Houston area could mitigate damage caused by slow moving natural hazards, such as the breaking of underground water and oil lines or structural damage to the foundation of buildings and bridges, and thereby lead to considerable economic savings. A weather station and a pair of wells are located adjacent to the GPS stations because variation in weather and groundwater may help explain subsidence. Dr. Wang’s equipment at the UHCC is used not only for research, but also for education of graduate and undergraduate students.
Data from the GPS network, called “HoustonNet”, is available at http://www.unavco.org/data/gps-gnss/data-access-methods/dai2/app/dai2.html# (copy and paste this link into your browser). Click on the box labeled “Take me to the DAI”. Subsidence data from the four UHCC stations can be obtained by entering “UHC0, UHC1, UHC2” or UCH3” within the bar labeled “4-char ID(s)”. Or the entire network can be viewed (and data can be downloaded) by entering “Houston” within the bar labeled “Network/Campaign.”