Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




James P. Evans


This report is a two-part presentation of research within in the fields of rock mechanics and natural resource economics. The first chapter addresses the use of iron oxide oxidation state and thus mineral transitions as a method for determining the frictional temperature rise achieved during an earthquake. Experimental literature on the hematite to magnetite transition is reviewed. Magnetite from transformed or reacted hematite forms between 300-1240 °C. Design and experimental results for a rotary shear apparatus in which hematite is deformed are reported. The measured coefficient of friction for synthetic hematite gouge is 0.38 ±0.03. The second chapter is an investigation of oil and gas production outcomes between federal and private land using a randomized treatment of land ownership. The data comprises oil and gas well drilling and production records located in the railroad land checkerboard, southwestern Wyoming. Spatial and graphical analysis of production and drilling records reveal that federal mineral leases are developed systemically later than private land.