The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently awarded Dr. Ashraf Uddin (PI) and Dr. Willis Hames (Co-PI) of the Department of Geology and Geography $290, 278. Results from recently completed NSF-funded projects with cutting-edge techniques on sediments eroded from a young mountain belt like the Himalayas helped develop a model for mineral cooling age, sediment transport paths, sedimentation, basin subsidence, depocenter shifting, etc. This new NSF-funded project will apply those models of sediment erosion and deposition based on a young system (i.e., Himalayas) to an ancient dispersal repository in the southern Appalachians. This geological investigation, in collaboration with Alabama Geological Survey and El Paso Exploration & Production Co., will produce critical new data on sediment composition and age of Pottsville sediments, exposed and drilled in Cahaba and Black Warrior basins of Alabama and Mississippi in order to document the origin and history of the Appalachian and Ouachita mountain belts. Many of the fossil-fuel resources in this region (coal, natural gas, coalbed methane) are found in the geologic units targeted in this study, potentially engendering considerable public interest in exciting science. Results from this project may contribute significantly to the development of a global model of erosion from mountain belts and deposition in adjacent sedimentary basins.