Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science - Geology



First Advisor

Dr. Wesley A. Brown

Second Advisor

Dr. Melinda Faulkner

Third Advisor

Dr. Chris Barker

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Joseph Musser


The Gulf Coast of Texas has been a known hydrocarbon basin for many years with various structural trapping mechanisms such as anticlines, faults and salt domes. While most large salt domes have been extensively studied in the Gulf Coastal Plain, many smaller normal faults have not been studied in detail. This research study employs an integrated geophysical approach to mapping the Big Barn fault in Montgomery County, Texas. This fault is located on the Gulf Coastal Plain and is approximately 20 miles north of Houston, Texas. Most normal faults in the Gulf Coastal Plain formed as a result of the Gulf of Mexico basin which started during the Jurassic Period as a result of the breakup of Pangea and the rifting of North and South America. The Big Barn fault formed during the Jurassic but there is evidence that the fault plane has been recently reactivated. Within the past 20 years, extensive deformation and fractures within the vicinity of the fault have formed on Interstate Highway 45 (IH 45) and caused damage to nearby businesses and residences. In this study gravity, electrical resistivity surveys and traditional mapping techniques were conducted to determine the cause of deformation and the extent of faulting. Two-dimensional inverted resistivity models were made to determine the structures and stratigraphy of the area.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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