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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.


Subject
Date Range
2010 2019


East African extensional basins have played a crucial role in revealing the evolution and characteristics of the early stages of continental rifting and for providing the geological context of hominin evolution and innovation. The numerous volcanic eruptions, rapid sedimentation and burial, and subsequent exposure through faulting and erosion, provide excellent conditions for the preservation of tectonic history, paleoenvironment data, and vertebrate fossils. The reconstruction of depositional environments and provision of geochronologic frameworks for hominin sites have been largely provided by geologic investigations in conjunction with paleontological studies, like the Ledi-Geraru Research Project (LGRP). High-resolution paleoclimate records that can be directly …

Contributors
Garello, Dominique Ines, Arrowsmith, Ramon, Campisano, Chris J, et al.
Created Date
2019

Ethnogeology is the scientific study of human relationships with the Earth as a system, typically conducted within the context of a specific culture. Indigenous or historically resident people may perceive local places differently from outside observers trained in the Western tradition. Ethnogeologic knowledge includes traditional indigenous knowledge (alternatively referred to as traditional ecological knowledge or TEK), which exceeds the boundaries of non-Indigenous ideas of physical characteristics of the world, tends to be more holistic, and is culturally framed. In this ethnogeological study, I have implemented several methods of participatory rapid assessment (PRA) from the discipline of field ethnography to collect …

Contributors
Garcia, Angel Antonio, Semken, Steven, Brandt, Elizabeth, et al.
Created Date
2018

Previous workers hypothesized that lunar Localized Pyroclastic Deposits (LPDs) represent products of vulcanian-style eruptions, since some have low proportions of juvenile material. The objective of the first study is to determine how juvenile composition, calculated using deposit and vent volumes, varies among LPDs. I used Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera Narrow Angle Camera (LROC NAC) digital terrain models (DTMs) to generate models of pre-eruption surfaces for 23 LPDs and subtracted them from the NAC DTMs to calculate deposit and vent volumes. Results show that LPDs have a wide range of juvenile compositions and thinning profiles, and that there is a positive …

Contributors
Keske, Amber, Christensen, Philip R, Robinson, Mark S, et al.
Created Date
2018

The movement between tectonic plates is accommodated through brittle (elastic) displacement on the plate boundary faults and ductile permanent deformation on the fault borderland. The elastic displacement along the fault can occur in the form of either large seismic events or aseismic slip, known as fault creep. Fault creep mainly occurs at the deep ductile portion of the crust, where the temperature is high. Nonetheless, aseismic creep can also occur on the shallow brittle portion of the fault segments that are characterized by frictionally weak material, elevated pore fluid pressure, or geometrical complexity. Creeping segments are assumed to safely release …

Contributors
Khoshmanesh, Mostafa, Shirzaei, Manoochehr, Arrowsmith, Ramon, et al.
Created Date
2018

The dynamic Earth involves feedbacks between the solid crust and both natural and anthropogenic fluid flows. Fluid-rock interactions drive many Earth phenomena, including volcanic unrest, seismic activities, and hydrological responses. Mitigating the hazards associated with these activities requires fundamental understanding of the underlying physical processes. Therefore, geophysical monitoring in combination with modeling provides valuable tools, suitable for hazard mitigation and risk management efforts. Magmatic activities and induced seismicity linked to fluid injection are two natural and anthropogenic processes discussed in this dissertation. Successful forecasting of the timing, style, and intensity of a volcanic eruption is made possible by improved understanding …

Contributors
Zhai, Guang, Shirzaei, Manoochehr, Garnero, Edward, et al.
Created Date
2018

The study of fault zones is a critical component to understanding earthquake mechanics and seismic hazard evaluations. Models or simulations of potential earthquakes, based on fault zone properties, are a first step in mitigating the hazard. Theoretical models of earthquake ruptures along a bi-material interface result in asymmetrical damage and preferred rupture propagation direction. Results include greater damage intensity within stiffer material and preferred slip in the direction of the more compliant side of the fault. Data from a dense seismic array along the Clark strand of the SJFZ at Sage Brush Flat (SGB) near Anza, CA, allows for analysis …

Contributors
Wade, Adam Micahel, Arrowsmith, Ramon, Reynolds, Stephen, et al.
Created Date
2018

Remote sensing in visible to near-infrared wavelengths is an important tool for identifying and understanding compositional differences on planetary surfaces. Electronic transitions produce broad absorption bands that are often due to the presence of iron cations in crystalline mineral structures or amorphous phases. Mars’ iron-rich and variably oxidized surface provides an ideal environment for detecting spectral variations that can be related to differences in surface dust cover or the composition of the underlying bedrock. Several imaging cameras sent to Mars include the capability to selectively filter incoming light to discriminate between surface materials. At the coarse spatial resolution provided by …

Contributors
Wellington, Danika, Bell III, James F, Christensen, Philip R, et al.
Created Date
2018

An exhaustive parameter study involving 133 dynamic crystallization experiments was conducted, to investigate the validity of the planetary embryo bow shock model by testing whether the cooling rates predicted by this model are consistent with the most dominant chondrule texture, porphyritic. Results show that using coarse-grained precursors and heating durations ≤ 5 minutes at peak temperature, porphyritic textures can be reproduced at cooling rates ≤ 600 K/hr, rates consistent with planetary embryo bow shocks. Porphyritic textures were found to be commonly associated with skeletal growth, which compares favorably to features in natural chondrules from Queen Alexandra Range 97008 analyzed, which …

Contributors
Perez, Alexandra Marie, Desch, Steven J, Till, Christy B, et al.
Created Date
2018

There is a growing body of evidence that the evolving redox structure of the oceans has been an important influence on the evolutionary trajectory of animals. However, current understanding of connections between marine redox conditions and marine extinctions and recoveries is hampered by limited detailed knowledge of the timing, duration, and extent of marine redox changes. The recent development of U isotopes (δ238U) in carbonates as a global ocean redox proxy has provided new insight into this problem. Reliable application and interpretation of the δ238U paleoproxy in geological records requires a thorough understanding of the reliability of δ238U recorded by …

Contributors
Zhang, Feifei, Anbar, Ariel, Gordon, Gwyneth, et al.
Created Date
2018

Education through field exploration is fundamental in geoscience. But not all students enjoy equal access to field-based learning because of time, cost, distance, ability, and safety constraints. At the same time, technological advances afford ever more immersive, rich, and student-centered virtual field experiences. Virtual field trips may be the only practical options for most students to explore pedagogically rich but inaccessible places. A mixed-methods research project was conducted on an introductory and an advanced geology class to explore the implications of learning outcomes of in-person and virtual field-based instruction at Grand Canyon National Park. The study incorporated the Great Unconformity …

Contributors
Ruberto, Thomas, Semken, Steve, Anbar, Ariel, et al.
Created Date
2018

Interpreting the petrogenesis of materials exposed on the surface of planets and asteroids is fundamental to understanding the origins and evolution of the inner Solar System. Temperature, pressure, fO2, and bulk composition directly influence the petrogenetic history of planetary surfaces and constraining these variables with remote sensing techniques is challenging. The integration of remote sensing data with analytical investigations of natural samples, lab-based spectroscopy, and thermodynamic modelling improves our ability to interpret the petrogenesis of planetary materials. A suite of naturally heated carbonaceous chondrite material was studied with lab-based spectroscopic techniques, including visible near-infrared and Fourier transform infrared reflectance spectroscopy. …

Contributors
Haberle, Christopher William, Christensen, Philip R., Garvie, Laurence A. J., et al.
Created Date
2018

Explosive mafic (basaltic) volcanism is not easily explained by current eruption models, which predict low energy eruptions from low viscosity magma due to decoupling of volatiles (gases). Sunset Crater volcano provides an example of an alkali basalt magma that produced a highly explosive sub-Plinian eruption. I investigate the possible role of magmatic volatiles in the Sunset Crater eruption through study of natural samples of trapped volatiles (melt inclusions) and experiments on mixed-volatile (H2O-CO2) solubility in alkali-rich mafic magmas. I conducted volatile-saturated experiments in six mafic magma compositions at pressures between 400 MPa and 600 MPa to investigate the influence of …

Contributors
Allison, Chelsea M, Clarke, Amanda B, Hervig, Richard L, et al.
Created Date
2018

Impact cratering and volcanism are two fundamental processes that alter the surfaces of the terrestrial planets. Though well studied through laboratory experiments and terrestrial analogs, many questions remain regarding how these processes operate across the Solar System. Little is known about the formation of large impact basins (>300 km in diameter) and the degree to which they modify planetary surfaces. On the Moon, large impact basins dominate the terrain and are relatively well preserved. Because the lunar geologic timescale is largely derived from basin stratigraphic relations, it is crucial that we are able to identify and characterize materials emplaced as …

Contributors
Meyer, Heather, Robinson, Mark S, Bell, Jim, et al.
Created Date
2018

Carboxylic acids are an abundant and reactive species present throughout our solar system. The reactions of carboxylic acids can shape the organic abundances within oil field brines, carbonaceous chondrites, and different ranks of coal. I have performed hydrothermal experiments with model aromatic carboxylic acids in the presences of different oxide minerals to investigate the reactions available to carboxylic acids in the presence of mineral surfaces. By performing experiments containing one organic compound and one mineral surface, I can begin to unravel the different reactions that can occur in the presence of different minerals. I performed experiments with phenylacetic acid (PAA), …

Contributors
Johnson, Kristin Nicole, Shock, Everett, Hartnett, Hilairy, et al.
Created Date
2017

Water is a critical resource for future human missions, and is necessary for understanding the evolution of the Solar System. The Moon and Mars have water in various forms and are therefore high-priority targets in the search for accessible extraterrestrial water. Complementary remote sensing analyses coupled with laboratory and field studies are necessary to provide a scientific context for future lunar and Mars exploration. In this thesis, I use multiple techniques to investigate the presence of water-ice at the lunar poles and the properties of martian chloride minerals, whose evolution is intricately linked with liquid water. Permanently shadowed regions (PSRs) …

Contributors
Mitchell, Julie Leeanne, Christensen, Philip R, Bell III, James F, et al.
Created Date
2017

Impact cratering has played a key role in the evolution of the solid surfaces of Solar System bodies. While much of Earth’s impact record has been erased, its Moon preserves an extensive history of bombardment. Quantifying the timing of lunar impact events is crucial to understanding how impacts have shaped the evolution of early Earth, and provides the basis for estimating the ages of other cratered surfaces in the Solar System. Many lunar impact melt rocks are complex mixtures of glassy and crystalline “melt” materials and inherited clasts of pre-impact minerals and rocks. If analyzed in bulk, these samples can …

Contributors
Mercer, Cameron Mark, Hodges, Kip V, Robinson, Mark S, et al.
Created Date
2017

The collision of India and Eurasia constructed the Himalayan Mountains. Questions remain regarding how subsequent exhumation by climatic and tectonic processes shaped the landscape throughout the Late Cenozoic to create the complex architecture observed today. The Mount Everest region underwent tectonic denudation by extension and bestrides one of the world’s most significant rain shadows. Also, glacial and fluvial processes eroded the Everest massif over shorter timescales. In this work, I review new bedrock and detrital thermochronological and geochronological data and both one- and two-dimensional thermal-mechanical modeling that provides insights on the age range and rates of tectonic and erosional processes …

Contributors
Schultz, Mary Hannah, Hodges, Kip V, Whipple, Kelin X, et al.
Created Date
2017

Banded iron formations (BIFs) are among the earliest possible indicators for oxidation of the Archean biosphere. However, the origin of BIFs remains debated. Proposed formation mechanisms include oxidation of Fe(II) by O2 (Cloud, 1973), photoferrotrophy (Konhauser et al., 2002), and abiotic UV photooxidation (Braterman et al., 1983; Konhauser et al., 2007). Resolving this debate could help determine whether BIFs are really indicators of O2, biological activity, or neither. To examine the viability of abiotic UV photooxidation of Fe, laboratory experiments were conducted in which Fe-bearing solutions were irradiated with different regions of the ultraviolet (UV) spectrum and Fe oxidation and …

Contributors
Castleberry, Parker, Anbar, Ariel D, Herckes, Pierre, et al.
Created Date
2017

There is a need to understand spatio-temporal variation of slip in active fault zones, both for the advancement of physics-based earthquake simulation and for improved probabilistic seismic hazard assessments. One challenge in the study of seismic hazards is producing a viable earthquake rupture forecast—a model that specifies the expected frequency and magnitude of events for a fault system. Time-independent earthquake forecasts can produce a mismatch among observed earthquake recurrence intervals, slip-per-event estimates, and implied slip rates. In this thesis, I developed an approach to refine several key geologic inputs to rupture forecasts by focusing on the San Andreas Fault in …

Contributors
Salisbury, James Barrett, Arrowsmith, Ramon, Shirzaei, Manoochehr, et al.
Created Date
2016

For this dissertation, three separate papers explore the study areas of the western Grand Canyon, the Grand Staircase (as related to Grand Canyon) and Desolation Canyon on the Green River in Utah. In western Grand Canyon, I use comparative geomorphology between the Grand Canyon and the Grand Wash Cliffs (GWC). We propose the onset of erosion of the GWC is caused by slip on the Grand Wash Fault that formed between 18 and 12 million years ago. Hillslope angle and channel steepness are higher in Grand Canyon than along the Grand Wash Cliffs despite similar rock types, climate and base …

Contributors
Darling, Andy Darling, Whipple, Kelin, Semken, Steven, et al.
Created Date
2016