Mandi Beck

Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Earth and Environmental Science


Earth and Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

Christopher Scotese


Coals are accumulated and consolidated remains of plant material, which means that in order to form coals, a certain amount of annual precipitation is required. This study uses paleo-precipitation data obtained from Fast Ocean Atmosphere Model (FOAM) and predicts where paleo-coal deposits might occur. All predicted coal localities were plotted on paleogeographic reconstructions (obtained from the PALEOMAP Project) for thirteen time intervals from the Early Carboniferous to present. Once these predicted coal deposits were plotted, observed coals from the Boucot et al., 2012 database were then plotted on the same reconstructed basemaps. The predicted coal deposits were then compared with the observed coals to determine if a statistical correlation between the predicted and observed coal deposits could be made. The results show poor visual correlation between the predicted and the observed coals for the Cenozoic and the Mesozoic and works for most of the Paleozoic. There are many factors that could cause this thesis prediction to fail the hypothesis. First, it can be observed that any time interval that has predicted coals in higher latitudes is more likely to pass the null hypothesis. It can also be seen that there is less predicted coal area for the older time intervals. With less prediction you have less opportunity to have hits. Finally, climate patterns may have been different during the older time intervals. We do not fully understand the climates during the older time intervals and prediction models use modern climate patterns to model past climates. With future exploration, this technique can possibly predict where other climate indicators formed to help better understand past climates and paleo-geology.


Earth Sciences | Physical Sciences and Mathematics


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington