Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science - Environmental Sciences


Environmental Science

First Advisor

Dr. Kenneth Farrish

Second Advisor

Dr. Kevin Stafford

Third Advisor

Dr. I-Kuai Hung

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Julie Bloxson


Soils serve as the underlying substrate on which foundations for most structures are built. The properties of a soil type are therefore an important consideration in building engineered structures. Gypsic soils are problematic for construction of such structures. One of the main problems with gypsic soils is dissolution. Gypsum (CaSO4·2H2O) in soils dissolves easily creating voids which can be detrimental to the integrity of engineering structures. To mitigate this, it is important to determine the amount of gypsum present in soils, before construction is initiated.

In this study, three methods were employed in the determination of gypsum content in soils along a proposed road route in the Gypsum Plain, Culberson County, Texas: the wet chemical method, the X-ray fluorescence method and the thermogravimetric method. Results showed no significant difference in gypsum concentrations using the varying methods on samples obtained at the same point in a location but showed a significant difference in the concentration of samples obtained at different depths in a location. Gypsum contents along the approximately ninety-kilometer road route was predominantly relatively low, with about 65% of sample locations having gypsum content of less than 10%. About 11% of sampling locations, together totaling about three miles of the route, had high gypsum contents of over 70%.

Creative Commons License

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

Included in

Soil Science Commons



Tell us how this article helped you.


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.