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Master of Science (MS)



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Phosphate deposits in the western United States have been the subject of considerable discussion in the last decade, and during the last few years much interest has been aroused in them. Phosphate was first discovered in this area in 1889, but it was not until 1906 that the United States Government took active interest in the study of these deposits. The investigation by the government of the occurrence of western phosphate was begun by Weeks and Ferrier (10), and later carried on by others. On December 9, 1908 the western phosphate reserve was created and many acres of land were withdrawn from all kinds of entry. In the summer of 1909 two parties were detailed by the United States Geological Survey to examine lands withdrawn from public entry. The larger party was in charge of Hoyt S. Gale and included R. W. Richards, C. L. Greger, W. H. Waggaman of the Bureau of Soils, and George H. Girty, paleontologist (4). The other party was under the direction of Eliot Blackwelder who examined lands east of Ogden, Utah (1). In 1910 Gale discovered and described phosphate rock near Melrose, Montana (3). The same year Blackwelder was sent to western Wyoming to ascertain the limits of the field to the east and northeast. In 1912 a reconnaissance examination of western phosphate lands was undertaken by A. R. Schultz (8) for the purpose of collecting data for the elimination of lands from the existing phosphate reserve when it was found that they contained no valuable deposits of phosphate. From 1909 to 1916 a party under the direction of G. R. Mansfield (5) studied the phosphate deposits of the western field, describing their occurrence and estimating their quantity. Again in 1914 Schultz (9) took the field to make a reconnaissance of the phosphate deposits in the Uinta Mountain area.



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