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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 2020


A new analytical method is proposed for measuring the deuterium to hydrogen ratio (D/H) of non-stoichiometric water in hydrous minerals via pyrolysis facilitated gas-chromatography - isotope ratio mass spectrometry (GC-IRMS). Previously published analytical methods have reported a poorly understood nonlinear dependence of D/H on sample size, for which any accurate correction is difficult. This sample size effect been variously attributed to kinetic isotope fractionation within the mass spectrometer and peripheral instruments, ion source linearity issues, and an unstable H_3^+-factor or incorrect H_3^+-factor calculations. The cause of the sample size effect is here identified by examinations of individual chromatograms as well …

Contributors
Sheehan, Michael Robert, Knauth, Leroy P, Anbar, Ariel, 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

The presence of a number of extinct radionuclides in the early Solar System (SS) is known from geochemical and isotopic studies of meteorites and their components. The half-lives of these isotopes are short relative to the age of the SS, such that they have now decayed to undetectable levels. They can be inferred to exist in the early SS from the presence of their daughter nuclides in meteoritic materials that formed while they were still extant. The extinct radionuclides are particularly useful as fine-scale chronometers for events in the early SS. They can also be used to help constrain the …

Contributors
Spivak-Birndorf, Lev Jacob, Wadhwa, Meenakshi, Hervig, Richard, et al.
Created Date
2012

The present understanding of the formation and evolution of the earliest bodies in the Solar System is based in large part on geochemical and isotopic evidences contained within meteorites. The differentiated meteorites (meteorites originating from bodies that have experienced partial to complete melting) are particularly useful for deciphering magmatic processes occurring in the early Solar System. A rare group of differentiated meteorites, the angrites, are uniquely suited for such work. The angrites have ancient crystallization ages, lack secondary processing, and have been minimally affected by shock metamorphism, thus allowing them to retain their initial geochemical and isotopic characteristics at the …

Contributors
Sanborn, Matthew Edward, Wadhwa, Meenakshi, Hervig, Richard, 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

Boron concentrations and isotopic composition of phlogopite mica, amphibole, and selected coexisting anhydrous phases in mantle-derived xenoliths from the Kaapvaal Craton were measured by secondary ion mass spectrometry in an effort to better understand the B isotope geochemistry of the subcontinental lithospheric mantle (SCLM) and its implications for the global geochemical cycle of B in the mantle. These samples display a wide, and previously unrecognized, range in their boron contents and isotopic compositions reflecting a complex history involving melt depletion and metasomatism by subduction- and plume-derived components, as well as late stage isotopic exchange related to kimberlite emplacements. Micas from …

Contributors
Guild, Meghan R., Hervig, Richard L, Bell, David R, et al.
Created Date
2014

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

Hydrogen isotope compositions of the martian atmosphere and crustal materials can provide unique insights into the hydrological and geological evolution of Mars. While the present-day deuterium-to-hydrogen ratio (D/H) of the Mars atmosphere is well constrained (~6 times that of terrestrial ocean water), that of its deep silicate interior (specifically, the mantle) is less so. In fact, the hydrogen isotope composition of the primordial martian mantle is of great interest since it has implications for the origin and abundance of water on that planet. Martian meteorites could provide key constraints in this regard, since they crystallized from melts originating from the …

Contributors
Tucker, Kera, Wadhwa, Meenakshi, Hervig, Richard, et al.
Created Date
2015

The collision between the Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates marked the onset of the rise of the Himalayan-Tibetan orogen, but also brought about profound changes to the Earth's oceans and climate. The exact sequence of events that occurred during this collision is poorly understood, leading to a wide range of estimates of its age. The Indus and Yarlung sutures are generally considered to represent the final collision between India and Eurasia, and together form a mostly continuous belt that can be traced over 2000 km along strike. In the western portions of the orogen the Karakoram Fault introduces a key …

Contributors
Borneman, Nathaniel, Hodges, Kip, Reynolds, Stephen, et al.
Created Date
2016

Amazonia, inhabited and investigated for millennia, continues to astonish scientists with its cultural and natural diversity. Although Amazonia is rapidly changing, its vast and varied landscape still contains a complex natural pharmacopeia. The Amazonian tribes have accrued valuable environmental and geological knowledge that can be studied. This dissertation demonstrates that Indigenous Knowledge considered alongside Western Science can enhance our understanding of the relationship of people to geological materials and hydrological resources, and reveal mineral medicines with practical applications. I used methods from anthropology and geology to explore the geological knowledge of the Uitoto, a tribe of the Colombian Amazon. The …

Contributors
Londono, Sandra, Williams, Lynda B, Semken, Steven, et al.
Created Date
2016

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

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

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

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

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

A mineral’s helium content reflects a balance between two competing processes: accumulation by radioactive decay and temperature-dependent diffusive loss. (U-Th)/He dating of zircon and other uranium and thorium-bearing minerals provides insight into the temperature histories of rocks at or near Earth’s surface that informs geoscientists’ understanding of tectonic and climate-driven exhumation, magmatic activity, and other thermal events. The crystal structure and chemistry of minerals affect helium diffusion kinetics, recorded closure temperatures, and interpretations of (U-Th)/He datasets. I used empirical and experimental methods to investigate helium systematics in two minerals chronometers: zircon and xenotime. The same radioactivity that makes zircon a …

Contributors
Anderson, Alyssa Jordan, Hodges, Kip, van Soest, Matthijs, et al.
Created Date
2019

Establishing the timing of impact crater formation is essential to exploring the relationship between bolide impact and biological evolution, and constraining the tempo of planetary surface evolution. Unfortunately, precise and accurate impact geochronology can be challenging. Many of the rock products of impact (impactites) contain relict, pre-impact phases that may have had their isotopic systematics completely reset during the impact event, only partially reset, or not reset at all. Of the many isotopic chronometers that have been used to date impactites, the U/Pb zircon chronometer (ZrnPb) seems least susceptible to post-impact disturbances, and ZrnPb dates are typically much more precise …

Contributors
Brunner, Anna Elizabeth, Hodges, Kip V, Barboni, Melanie, et al.
Created Date
2019

Primitive arc magmas provide a critical glimpse into the geochemical evolution of subduction zone magmas, as they represent the most unadulterated mantle-derived magmas observed in nature in these tectonic environments and are the precursors of the more abundant andesites and dacites typical in arcs. To date, the study of primitive arc magmas has largely focused on their origins at depth, while significantly less is known about pre-eruptive crustal storage and ascent history. This study examines the crustal storage and ascent history of the Mt. Shasta primitive magnesian andesite (PMA), the demonstrated dominant parent magma for the abundant mixed andesites erupted …

Contributors
Phillips, Mitchell, Till, Christy B, Hervig, Richard, et al.
Created Date
2019

During the early Solar System many physiochemical processes were taking place that would shape the formation and evolution of rocky bodies. Growth of these rocky objects was rapid, with some growing to sizes of 10s – 1000s km (“planetesimals”) in the first few million years. Because these objects formed early, they contained sufficient 26Al (an isotope of Al with a short half-life of ~705,000 yrs) to heat the interiors to melting temperatures, resulting in the formation of the first igneous rocks in nascent Solar System. Depending on the size and time of accretion, some bodies experienced high degrees of melting …

Contributors
Dunlap, Daniel Robert, Wadhwa, Meenakshi, Desch, Steve, et al.
Created Date
2020

This study explores how bulk composition and oxygen fugacity (fO2) affect the partitioning of sulfur between the molten mantle and core of an early planetesimal. The model can be used to determine the range of potential sulfur concentrations in the asteroid (16) Psyche, which is the target of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration/Arizona State University Psyche Mission. This mission will be our visit to an M-type asteroid, thought to be dominantly metallic. The model looks at how oxygen fugacity (fO2), bulk composition, temperature, and pressure affect sulfur partitioning in planetesimals using experimentally derived equations from previous studies. In this …

Contributors
Bercovici, Hannah La'ia, Elkins-Tanton, Linda, Garvie, Laurence, et al.
Created Date
2020