Mapping and Prediciting Potential Frac Sand Mine Locations

Academic Year 
2014-2015
College/Department 
College of Liberal Arts & Sciences - Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences
Project Partner 

Researchers from the GEEMaP program, College of Engineering, and Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences collaborated to predict and map where frac sand mines may be most likely to occur in Winneshiek County if the industry enters the area. Several criteria were developed and used to assess mine location likelihoods at sites across the county, including the suitability of St. Peter sandstone for mining, access to transportation networks, and land use regulations. These criteria were researched through several different methods, including GIS, field work, and statistical modeling. This highly interdisciplinary project brought together students and faculty from diverse fields and resulted in products that will contribute to Winneshiek County’s ability to make decisions about engaging with the frac sand mining industry in the future.