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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
2011 2018


Numerous studies have examined the interplay of climate, tectonics, biota and erosion and found that these variables are intertwined in a complicated system of feedbacks and as a result, some of these factors are often oversimplified or simply neglected. To understand the interplay of these factors one must understand the processes that transport or inhibit transport of soil. This study uses the short-lived, fallout-derived, radionuclides 137Cs and 210Pb to identify soil transport processes and to quantify soil transport using the profile distribution model for 137Cs. Using five field sites in the San Gabriel Mountains of California, I address four questions: …

Contributors
Walsh, Joe, Heimsath, Arjun M., Whipple, Kelin X., et al.
Created Date
2011

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

A fundamental gap in geomorphic scholarship regards fluvial terraces in small desert drainages and those terraces associated with integrating drainages. This dissertation analyzes four field-based case studies within the Sonoran Desert, south-central Arizona, with the overriding purpose of developing a theory to explain the formative processes and spatial distribution of fluvial terraces in the region. Strath terraces are a common form (Chapters 2, 3, 4) and are created at the expense of bounding pediments that occur on the margins of constraining mountainous drainage boundaries (Chapters 1, 2, 3). Base-level fluctuations of the major drainages cause the formation of new straths …

Contributors
Larson, Phillip Herman, Dorn, Ron I, Schmeeckle, Mark, et al.
Created Date
2013

The Byrd Glacier region of Antarctica is important for understanding the tectonic development and landscape evolution of the Transantarctic Mountains (TAM). This outlet glacier crossing the TAM marks a major discontinuity in the Neoproterozoic-early Paleozoic Ross orogen. The region has not been geologically mapped in detail, but previous studies have inferred a fault to exist beneath and parallel to the direction of flow of Byrd Glacier. Thermochronologic analysis has never been undertaken across Byrd Glacier, and little is known of the exhumation history of the region. The objectives of this study are to assess possible differential movement across the inferred …

Contributors
Foley, Daniel Joseph, Stump, Edmund, Whipple, Kelin X, et al.
Created Date
2011

The San Andreas Fault (SAF) is the primary structure within a system of faults accommodating motion between the North American and Pacific plates. Physical models of faulting and characterizations of seismic hazard are informed by investigations of paleoseismology, slip distribution, and slip rate. The impact of earthquakes on people is due in large part to social vulnerability. This dissertation contributes an analysis about the relationships between earthquake hazard and social vulnerability in Los Angeles, CA and investigations of paleoseismology and fault scarp array complexity on the central SAF. Analysis of fault scarp array geometry and morphology using 0.5 m digital …

Contributors
Toke, Nathan A., Arrowsmith, J R, Boone, Christopher G, et al.
Created Date
2011

The morphology of mountainous areas is strongly influenced by stream bed incision rates, but most studies of landscape evolution consider erosion at basin scales or larger. The research here attempts to understand the smaller-scale mechanics of erosion on exposed bedrock channels in the conceptual framework of an established saltation-abrasion model by Sklar and Dietrich [2004]. The recirculating flume used in this experiment allows independent control of bed slope, water discharge rate, sediment flux, and sediment grain size – all factors often bundled together in simple models of river incision and typically cross-correlated in natural settings. This study investigates the mechanics …

Contributors
Adams, Mark Andrew, Whipple, Kelin, Heimsath, Arjun, et al.
Created Date
2016

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

Meter-resolution topography gathered by LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) has become an indispensable tool for better understanding of many surface processes including those sculpting landscapes that record information about earthquake hazards for example. For this reason, and because of the spectacular representation of the phenomena that these data provide, it is appropriate to integrate these data into Earth science educational materials. I seek to answer the following research question: "will using the LiDAR topography data instead of, or alongside, traditional visualizations and teaching methods enhance a student's ability to understand geologic concepts such as plate tectonics, the earthquake cycle, strike-slip …

Contributors
Robinson, Sarah E., Arrowsmith, Ramon, Reynolds, Stephen J, et al.
Created Date
2011

Olympus Mons is the largest volcano on Mars. Previous studies have focused on large scale features on Olympus Mons, such as the basal escarpment, summit caldera complex and aureole deposits. My objective was to identify and characterize previously unrecognized and unmapped small scale features to understand the volcanotectonic evolution of this enormous volcano. For this study I investigated flank vents and arcuate graben. Flank vents are a common feature on composite volcanoes on Earth. They provide information on the volatile content of magmas, the propagation of magma in the subsurface and the tectonic stresses acting on the volcano. Graben are …

Contributors
Peters, Sean I., Christensen, Philip R, Clarke, Amanda B, et al.
Created Date
2015

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 Himalayan orogenic system is one of the youngest and most spectacular examples of a continent-continent collision on earth. Although the collision zone has been the subject of extensive research, fundamental questions remain concerning the architecture and evolution of the orogen. Of particular interest are the structures surrounding the 5 km high Tibetan Plateau, as these features record both the collisional and post-collisional evolution of the orogen. In this study we examine structures along the southwestern margin of the Tibetan Plateau, including the Karakoram (KFS) and Longmu Co (LCF) faults, and the Ladakh, Pangong and Karakoram Ranges. New low-temperature thermochronology …

Contributors
Bohon, Wendy, Arrowsmith, Ramon, Hodges, Kip V, et al.
Created Date
2014

Shallow earthquakes in the upper part of the overriding plate of subduction zones can be devastating due to their proximity to population centers despite the smaller rupture extents than commonly occur on subduction megathrusts that produce the largest earthquakes. Damaging effects can be greater in volcanic arcs like Java because ground shaking is amplified by surficial deposits of uncompacted volcaniclastic sediments. Identifying the upper-plate structures and their potential hazards is key for minimizing the dangers they pose. In particular, the knowledge of the regional stress field and deformation pattern in this region will help us to better understand how subduction …

Contributors
Marliyani, Gayatri Indah, Arrowsmith, J Ramon, Clarke, Amanda B, et al.
Created Date
2016

The tectonic significance of the physiographic transition from the low-relief Tibetan plateau to the high peaks, rugged topography and deep gorges of the Himalaya is the source of much controversy. Some workers have suggested the transition may be structurally controlled (e.g. Hodges et al., 2001), and indeed, the sharp change in geomorphic character across the transition strongly suggests differential uplift between the Himalayan realm and the southernmost Tibetan Plateau. Most Himalayan researchers credit the South Tibetan fault system (STFS), a family of predominantly east-west trending, low-angle normal faults with a known trace of over 2,000 km along the Himalayan crest …

Contributors
Mcdermott, Jeni Amber, Hodges, Kip V, Whipple, Kelin X, et al.
Created Date
2012

Sedimentary basins are defined by extensional tectonics. Rugged mountain ranges stand in stark relief adjacent to muted structural basins filled with sediment. In simplest terms, this topography is the result of ranges uplifted along normal faults, and this uplift drives erosion within upland drainages, shedding sediment into subsiding basins. In southeastern Arizona's Basin and Range province extensional tectonics waned at approximately 3-5 Myr, and the region's structural basins began transitioning from internal to external drainage, forming the modern Gila River fluvial network. In the Atacama Desert of northern Chile, some basins of the Central Depression remain internally drained while others …

Contributors
Jungers, Matthew Cross, Heimsath, Arjun M, Whipple, Kelin, et al.
Created Date
2014

Quantifying the temporal and spatial evolution of active continental rifts contributes to our understanding of fault system evolution and seismic hazards. Rift systems also preserve robust paleoenvironmental records and are often characterized by strong climatic gradients that can be used to examine feedbacks between climate and tectonics. In this thesis, I quantify the spatial and temporal history of rift flank uplift by analyzing bedrock river channel profiles along footwall escarpments in the Malawi segment of the East Africa Rift. This work addresses questions that are widely applicable to continental rift settings: (1) Is rift-flank uplift sufficiently described by theoretical elliptical …

Contributors
Robinson, Scott Michael, Heimsath, Arjun M, Whipple, Kelin X, et al.
Created Date
2014

Understanding topography developed above an active blind thrust fault is critical to quantifying the along-strike variability of the timing, magnitude, and rate of fault slip at depth. Hillslope and fluvial processes respond to growing topography such that the existing landscape is an indicator of constructional and destruction processes. Light detection and ranging (lidar) data provide a necessary tool for fine-scale quantitative understanding of the topography to understand the tectonic evolution of blind thrust faulting. In this thesis, lidar topographic data collected in 2014 are applied to a well-studied laterally propagating anticline developed above a blind thrust fault in order to …

Contributors
Kleber, Emily, Arrowsmith, Ramón, DeVecchio, Duane E, et al.
Created Date
2015

The Himalaya are the archetypal example of a continental collision belt, formed by the ongoing convergence between India and Eurasia. Boasting some of the highest and most rugged topography on Earth, there is currently no consensus on how climatic and tectonic processes have combined to shape its topographic evolution. The Kingdom of Bhutan in the eastern Himalaya provides a unique opportunity to study the interconnections among Himalayan climate, topography, erosion, and tectonics. The eastern Himalaya are remarkably different from the rest of the orogen, most strikingly due to the presence of the Shillong Plateau to the south of the Himalayan …

Contributors
Adams, Byron Allen, Whipple, Kelin X, Hodges, Kip V, et al.
Created Date
2014

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

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

ABSTRACT The Spirit landing site in Gusev Crater has been imaged by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera more than thirty times since 2006. The breadth of this image set allowed a study of changes to surface features, covering four Mars years. Small fields of bedforms comprised of dark material, and dark dust devil tracks are among the features revealed in the images. The bedforms are constrained within craters on the plains, and unconstrained in depressions less than 200m wide within the topography of the Columbia Hills, a ~120m-high structure in center of Gusev. Dust …

Contributors
Pendleton-Hoffer, Mary C., Christensen, Philip, Whipple, Kelin, et al.
Created Date
2016