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ASU Electronic Theses and Dissertations


This collection includes most of the ASU Theses and Dissertations from 2011 to present. ASU Theses and Dissertations are available in downloadable PDF format; however, a small percentage of items are under embargo. Information about the dissertations/theses includes degree information, committee members, an abstract, supporting data or media.

In addition to the electronic theses found in the ASU Digital Repository, ASU Theses and Dissertations can be found in the ASU Library Catalog.

Dissertations and Theses granted by Arizona State University are archived and made available through a joint effort of the ASU Graduate College and the ASU Libraries. For more information or questions about this collection contact or visit the Digital Repository ETD Library Guide or contact the ASU Graduate College at gradformat@asu.edu.


Contributor
Date Range
2010 2020


Stable isotopes were measured in the groundwaters of the Salt River Valley basin in central Arizona to explore the utility of stable isotopes for sourcing recharge waters and engineering better well designs. Delta values for the sampled groundwaters range from -7.6‰ to -10‰ in 18O and -60‰ to -91‰ in D and display displacements off the global meteoric water line indicative of surficial evaporation during river transport into the area. Groundwater in the basin is all derived from top-down river recharge; there is no evidence of ancient playa waters even in the playa deposits. The Salt and Verde Rivers are …

Contributors
Bond, Angela Nicole, Knauth, Paul, Hartnett, Hilairy, et al.
Created Date
2010

In oxygenic photosynthesis, Photosystem I (PSI) and Photosystem II (PSII) are two transmembrane protein complexes that catalyze the main step of energy conversion; the light induced charge separation that drives an electron transfer reaction across the thylakoid membrane. Current knowledge of the structure of PSI and PSII is based on three structures: PSI and PSII from the thermophilic cyanobacterium Thermosynechococcus elonagatus and the PSI/light harvesting complex I (PSI-LHCI) of the plant, Pisum sativum. To improve the knowledge of these important membrane protein complexes from a wider spectrum of photosynthetic organisms, photosynthetic apparatus of the thermo-acidophilic red alga, Galdieria sulphuraria and …

Contributors
Thangaraj, Balakumar, Fromme, Petra, Shock, Everett, et al.
Created Date
2010

A new challenge on the horizon is to utilize the large amounts of protein found in the atmosphere to identify different organisms from which the protein originated. Included here is work investigating the presence of identifiable patterns of different proteins collected from the air and biological samples for the purposes of remote identification. Protein patterns were generated using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Patterns created could identify high-traffic and low-traffic indoor spaces. Samples were collected from the air using air pumps to draw air through a filter paper trapping particulates, including large amounts of shed protein matter. In complimentary research …

Contributors
Staton, Sarah J. R., Hayes, Mark A, Hayes, Mark A, et al.
Created Date
2011

Applications of non-traditional stable isotope variations are moving beyond geosciences to biomedicine, made possible by advances in multiple collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (MC-ICP-MS) technology. Mass-dependent isotope variation can provide information about the sources of elements and the chemical reactions that they undergo. Iron and calcium isotope systematics in biomedicine are relatively unexplored but have great potential scientific interest due to their essential nature in metabolism. Iron, a crucial element in biology, fractionates during biochemically relevant reactions. To test the extent of this fractionation in an important reaction process, equilibrium iron isotope fractionation during organic ligand exchange was determined. …

Contributors
Morgan, Jennifer Lynn Louden, Anbar, Ariel D., Wasylenki, Laura E., et al.
Created Date
2011

Chemical and mineralogical data from Mars shows that the surface has been chemically weathered on local to regional scales. Chemical trends and the types of chemical weathering products present on the surface and their abundances can elucidate information about past aqueous processes. Thermal-infrared (TIR) data and their respective models are essential for interpreting Martian mineralogy and geologic history. However, previous studies have shown that chemical weathering and the precipitation of fine-grained secondary silicates can adversely affect the accuracy of TIR spectral models. Furthermore, spectral libraries used to identify minerals on the Martian surface lack some important weathering products, including poorly-crystalline …

Contributors
Rampe, Elizabeth Barger, Sharp, Thomas G, Christensen, Phillip, et al.
Created Date
2011

Early spacecraft missions to Mars, including the Marnier and Viking orbiters and landers revealed a morphologically and compositionally diverse landscape that reshaped widely held views of Mars. More recent spacecraft including Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Odyssey, Mars Express, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and the Mars Exploration Rovers have further refined, enhanced, and diversified our understanding of Mars. In this dissertation, I take a multiple-path approach to planetary and Mars science including data analysis and instrument development. First, I present several tools necessary to effectively use new, complex datasets by highlighting unique and innovative data processing techniques that allow for the regional …

Contributors
Edwards, Christopher Scott, Christensen, Philip R, Bell, James, et al.
Created Date
2012

Molybdenum and uranium isotope variations are potentially powerful tools for reconstructing the paleoredox history of seawater. Reliable application and interpretation of these proxies requires not only detailed knowledge about the fractionation factors that control the distribution of molybdenum and uranium isotopes in the marine system, but also a thorough understanding of the diagenetic processes that may affect molybdenum and uranium isotopes entering the rock record. Using samples from the Black Sea water column, the first water column profile of 238U/235U variations from a modern euxinic basin has been measured. This profile allows the direct determination of the 238U/235U fractionation factor …

Contributors
Romaniello, Stephen, Anbar, Ariel, Hartnett, Hilairy, et al.
Created Date
2012

Ponderosa pine forests are a dominant land cover type in semiarid montane areas. Water supplies in major rivers of the southwestern United States depend on ponderosa pine forests since these ecosystems: (1) receive a significant amount of rainfall and snowfall, (2) intercept precipitation and transpire water, and (3) indirectly influence runoff by impacting the infiltration rate. However, the hydrologic patterns in these ecosystems with strong seasonality are poorly understood. In this study, we used a distributed hydrologic model evaluated against field observations to improve our understandings on spatial controls of hydrologic patterns, appropriate model resolution to simulate ponderosa pine ecosystems …

Contributors
Mahmood, Taufique H., Vivoni, Enrique R., Whipple, Kelin X., et al.
Created Date
2012

Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are critical components of arid and semiarid environments and provide the primary sources of bioavailable macronutrients and increase micronutrient availability to their surrounding ecosystems. BSCs are composed of a variety of microorganisms that perform a wide range of physiological processes requiring a multitude of bioessential micronutrients, such as iron, copper, and molybdenum. This work investigated the effects of BSC activity on soil solution concentrations of bioessential elements and examined the microbial production of organic chelators, called siderophores. I found that aluminum, vanadium, copper, zinc, and molybdenum were solubilized in the action of crusts, while nickel, zinc, …

Contributors
Noonan, Kathryn Alexander, Hartnett, Hilairy, Anbar, Ariel, et al.
Created Date
2012

Microbially induced calcium carbonate precipitation (MICP) is attracting increasing attention as a sustainable means of soil improvement. While there are several possible MICP mechanisms, microbial denitrification has the potential to become one of the preferred methods for MICP because complete denitrification does not produce toxic byproducts, readily occurs under anoxic conditions, and potentially has a greater carbonate yield per mole of organic electron donor than other MICP processes. Denitrification may be preferable to ureolytic hydrolysis, the MICP process explored most extensively to date, as the byproduct of denitrification is benign nitrogen gas, while the chemical pathways involved in hydrolytic ureolysis …

Contributors
Hamdan, Nasser, Kavazanjian, Edward, Rittmann, Bruce E, et al.
Created Date
2013

The taxonomic and metabolic profile of the microbial community inhabiting a natural system is largely determined by the physical and geochemical properties of the system. However, the influences of parameters beyond temperature, pH and salinity have been poorly analyzed with few studies incorporating the comprehensive suite of physical and geochemical measurements required to fully investigate the complex interactions known to exist between biology and the environment. Further, the techniques used to classify the taxonomic and functional composition of a microbial community are fragmented and unwieldy, resulting in unnecessarily complex and often non-consilient results. This dissertation integrates environmental metagenomes with extensive …

Contributors
Alsop, Eric Bennie, Raymond, Jason, Anbar, Ariel, et al.
Created Date
2014

This dissertation is presented in two sections. First, I explore two methods of using stable isotope analysis to trace environmental and biogeochemical processes. Second, I present two related studies investigating student understanding of the biogeochemical concepts that underlie part one. Fe and Hg are each biogeochemically important elements in their own way. Fe is a critical nutrient for phytoplankton, while Hg is detrimental to nearly all forms of life. Fe is often a limiting factor in marine phytoplankton growth. The largest source, by mass, of Fe to the open ocean is windblown mineral dust, but other more soluble sources are …

Contributors
Mead, Chris, Anbar, Ariel, Semken, Steven, et al.
Created Date
2014

The discovery and development of novel antibacterial agents is essential to address the rising health concern over antibiotic resistant bacteria. This research investigated the antibacterial activity of a natural clay deposit near Crater Lake, Oregon, that is effective at killing antibiotic resistant human pathogens. The primary rock types in the deposit are andesitic pyroclastic materials, which have been hydrothermally altered into argillic clay zones. High-sulfidation (acidic) alteration produced clay zones with elevated pyrite (18%), illite-smectite (I-S) (70% illite), elemental sulfur, kaolinite and carbonates. Low-sulfidation alteration at neutral pH generated clay zones with lower pyrite concentrations pyrite (4-6%), the mixed-layered I-S …

Contributors
Morrison, Keith David, Williams, Lynda B, Williams, Stanley N, et al.
Created Date
2015

Natural variations in 238U/235U of marine carbonates might provide a useful way of constraining redox conditions of ancient environments. In order to evaluate the reliability of this proxy, we conducted aragonite and calcite coprecipitation experiments at pH ~7.5 and ~ 8.5 to study possible U isotope fractionation during incorporation into these minerals. Small but significant U isotope fractionation was observed in aragonite experiments at pH ~ 8.5, with heavier U in the solid phase. 238U/235U of dissolved U in these experiments can be fit by Rayleigh fractionation curves with fractionation factors of 1.00007+0.00002/-0.00003, 1.00005 ± 0.00001, and 1.00003 ± 0.00001. …

Contributors
Chen, Xinming, Anbar, Ariel, Herckes, Pierre, et al.
Created Date
2015

In enzyme induced carbonate precipitation (EICP), calcium carbonate (CaCO3) precipitation is catalyzed by plant-derived urease enzyme. In EICP, urea hydrolyzes into ammonia and inorganic carbon, altering geochemical conditions in a manner that promotes carbonate mineral precipitation. The calcium source in this process comes from calcium chloride (CaCl2) in aqueous solution. Research work conducted for this dissertation has demonstrated that EICP can be employed for a variety of geotechnical purposes, including mass soil stabilization, columnar soil stabilization, and stabilization of erodible surficial soils. The research presented herein also shows that the optimal ratio of urea to CaCl2 at ionic strengths of …

Contributors
Hamdan, Nasser, Kavazanjian Jr., Edward, Rittmann, Bruce, et al.
Created Date
2015

Chemical and physical interactions of flowing ice and rock have inexorably shaped planetary surfaces. Weathering in glacial environments is a significant link in biogeochemical cycles – carbon and strontium – on Earth, and may have once played an important role in altering Mars’ surface. Despite growing recognition of the importance of low-temperature chemical weathering, these processes are still not well understood. Debris-coated glaciers are also present on Mars, emphasizing the need to study ice-related processes in the evolution of planetary surfaces. During Earth’s history, subglacial environments are thought to have sheltered communities of microorganisms from extreme climate variations. On Amazonian …

Contributors
Rutledge, Alicia Marie, Christensen, Philip R, Shock, Everett, et al.
Created Date
2015

N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a probable human carcinogen, has been found in clouds and fogs at concentration up to 500 ng/L and in drinking water as disinfection by-product. NDMA exposure to the general public is not well understood because of knowledge gaps in terms of occurrence, formation and fate both in air and water. The goal of this dissertation was to contribute to closing these knowledge gaps on potential human NDMA exposure through contributions to atmospheric measurements and fate as well as aqueous formation processes. Novel, sensitive methods of measuring NDMA in air were developed based on Solid Phase Extraction (SPE) and …

Contributors
Zhang, Jinwei, Herckes, Pierre, Westerhoff, Paul, et al.
Created Date
2016

One goal of geobiochemistry is to follow geochemical energy supplies from the external environment to the inside of microbial cells. This can be accomplished by combining thermodynamic calculations of energy supplies from geochemical processes and energy demands for biochemical processes. Progress towards this goal is summarized here. A critique of all thermodynamic data for biochemical compounds involved in the citric acid cycle (CAC) and the formulation of metabolite properties allows predictions of the energy involved in each step of the cycle as well as the full forward and reverse cycles over wide ranges of temperature and pressure. These results allow …

Contributors
Canovas, Peter Anthony, Shock, Everett, Hartnett, Hilairy, et al.
Created Date
2016

Amorphous phases are detected over large regions of the Martian surface from orbit and in more localized deposits by rovers on the surface. Amorphous silicates can be primary or secondary in origin, both having formed through very different processes, so the unambiguous identification of these phases is important for understanding the geologic history of Mars. Secondary amorphous silicates are poorly understood and underrepresented in spectral libraries because they lack the long-range structural order that makes their crystalline counterparts identifiable in most analytical techniques. Fortunately, even amorphous materials have some degree of short-range order so that distinctions can be made with …

Contributors
Smith, Rebecca Jean, Christensen, Philip, Shock, Everett, et al.
Created Date
2016

Dust storms known as 'haboobs' occur in the City of Tempe, AZ during the North American monsoon season. A haboob classification method based on meteorological and air quality measurements is described. There were from 3 to 20 haboob events per year over the period from 2005 to 2014. The calculated annual TSP (total suspended particulate) dry deposition during haboobs is estimated to contribute 74% of the total particulate mass deposited in Tempe, AZ. Dry deposition is compared with the aqueous chemistry of Tempe Town Lake. Water management and other factors may have a stronger impact on Tempe Town Lake chemistry …

Contributors
Eagar, Jershon Dale, Herckes, Pierre, Hayes, Mark, et al.
Created Date
2016