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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.




Carbonaceous chondrites (CCs) present a unique opportunity for learning about the earliest organic chemistry that took place in our Solar System. The complex and diverse suite of meteoritic organic material is the result of multiple settings and physicochemical processes, including aqueous and thermal alteration. Though meteorites often inform origin-of-life discussions because they could have seeded early Earth with significant amounts of water and pre-biotic, organic material, their record of abiotic, aqueous, and organic geochemistry is of interest as well. CC materials previously resided on asteroidal parent bodies, relic planetesimals of Solar System formation which never accreted enough material to develop …

Contributors
Monroe, Adam Alexander, Pizzarello, Sandra, Williams, Peter, et al.
Created Date
2014

Utilizing both 16S and 18S rRNA sequencing alongside energetic calculations from geochemical measurements offers a bridged perspective of prokaryotic and eukaryotic community diversities and their relationships to geochemical diversity. Yellowstone National Park hot spring outflows from varied geochemical compositions, ranging in pH from < 2 to > 9 and in temperature from < 30°C to > 90°C, were sampled across the photosynthetic fringe, a transition in these outflows from exclusively chemosynthetic microbial communities to those that include photosynthesis. Illumina sequencing was performed to document the diversity of both prokaryotes and eukaryotes above, at, and below the photosynthetic fringe of twelve …

Contributors
Romero, Joseph Thomas, Shock, Everett L, Cadillo-Quiroz, Hinsby, et al.
Created Date
2018

Finding habitable worlds is a key driver of solar system exploration. Many solar system missions seek environments providing liquid water, energy, and nutrients, the three ingredients necessary to sustain life. Such environments include hydrothermal systems, spatially-confined systems where hot aqueous fluid circulates through rock by convection. I sought to characterize hydrothermal microbial communities, collected in hot spring sediments and mats at Yellowstone National Park, USA, by measuring their bulk elemental composition. To do so, one must minimize the contribution of non-biological material to the samples analyzed. I demonstrate that this can be achieved using a separation method that takes advantage …

Contributors
Neveu, Marc, Desch, Steven J, Anbar, Ariel D, et al.
Created Date
2015

Organic reactions in natural hydrothermal settings have relevance toward the deep carbon cycle, petroleum formation, the ecology of deep microbial communities, and potentially the origin of life. Many reaction pathways involving organic compounds under geochemically relevant hydrothermal conditions have now been characterized, but their mechanisms, in particular those involving mineral surface catalysis, are largely unknown. The overall goal of this work is to describe these mechanisms so that predictive models of reactivity can be developed and so that applications of these reactions beyond geochemistry can be explored. The focus of this dissertation is the mechanisms of hydrothermal dehydration and catalytic …

Contributors
Bockisch, Christiana, Gould, Ian R, Hartnett, Hilairy E, et al.
Created Date
2018

The hydrothermal chemistry of organic compounds influences many critical geological processes, including the formation of oil and gas reservoirs, the degradation and transport of organic matter in sedimentary basins, metabolic cycles in the deep subsurface biosphere, and possibly prebiotic organic synthesis related to the origin of life. In most previous studies of hydrothermal organic reactions the emphasis has been mainly on determining reaction product distributions, studies that provide detailed mechanistic information or direct evidence for specific reaction intermediates are rare. To develop a better understanding, I performed hydrothermal experiments with model ketone compound dibenzylketone (DBK), which serves as a quite …

Contributors
Yang, Ziming, Shock, Everett L, Gould, Ian R, et al.
Created Date
2014

In many natural systems aqueous geochemical conditions dictate the reaction pathways of organic compounds. Geologic settings that span wide ranges in temperature, pressure, and composition vastly alter relative reaction rates and resulting organic abundances. The dependence of organic reactions on these variables contributes to planetary-scale nutrient cycling, and suggests that relative abundances of organic compounds can reveal information about inaccessible geologic environments, whether from the terrestrial subsurface, remote planetary settings, or even the distant past (if organic abundances are well preserved). Despite their relevance to planetary modeling and exploration, organic reactions remain poorly characterized under geochemically relevant conditions, especially in …

Contributors
Robinson, Kirtland John, Shock, Everett L, Herckes, Pierre, et al.
Created Date
2017

Hydrothermal environments are important locales for carbon cycling on Earth and elsewhere in the Universe. Below its maximum temperature (~73 °C), microbial photosynthesis drives primary productivity in terrestrial hydrothermal ecosystems, which is thought to be performed by bacterial phototrophs in alkaline systems and eukaryotic algae in acidic systems, yet has received little attention at pH values intermediate to these extremes. Sequencing of 16S and 18S rRNA genes was performed at 12 hot springs with pH values 2.9-5.6 and revealed that cyanobacteria affiliated with the genus Chlorogloeopsis and algae of the order Cyanidiales coexisted at 10 of the sites. Cyanobacteria were …

Contributors
Fecteau, Kristopher, Shock, Everett L, Gould, Ian R, et al.
Created Date
2016

This dissertation examines two topics of emerging interest in the field of organic geochemistry. The topic of the first portion of the dissertation is cold organic geochemistry on Saturn's moon Titan. Titan has an atmosphere and surface that are rich in organic compounds. Liquid hydrocarbons exist on the surface, most famously as lakes. Photochemical reactions produce solid organics in Titan's atmosphere, and these materials settle onto the surface. At the surface, liquids can interact with solids, and geochemical processes can occur. To better understand these processes, I developed a thermodynamic model that can be used to calculate the solubilities of …

Contributors
Glein, Christopher R., Shock, Everett L, Hartnett, Hilairy E, et al.
Created Date
2012