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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.


Date Range
2011 2018


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

Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) careers have been touted as critical to the success of our nation and also provide important opportunities for access and equity of underrepresented minorities (URM's). Community colleges serve a diverse population and a large number of undergraduates currently enrolled in college, they are well situated to help address the increasing STEM workforce demands. Geoscience is a discipline that draws great interest, but has very low representation of URM's as majors. What factors influence a student's decision to major in the geosciences and are community college students different from research universities in what factors influence …

Contributors
Kraft, Katrien Van Der Hoeven, Husman, Jenefer, Semken, Steven, et al.
Created Date
2014

Earth's topographic surface forms an interface across which the geodynamic and geomorphic engines interact. This interaction is best observed along crustal margins where topography is created by active faulting and sculpted by geomorphic processes. Crustal deformation manifests as earthquakes at centennial to millennial timescales. Given that nearly half of Earth's human population lives along active fault zones, a quantitative understanding of the mechanics of earthquakes and faulting is necessary to build accurate earthquake forecasts. My research relies on the quantitative documentation of the geomorphic expression of large earthquakes and the physical processes that control their spatiotemporal distributions. The first part …

Contributors
Haddad, David, Arrowsmith, Ramon, Reynolds, Stephen, et al.
Created Date
2014

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

Geoscience educators commonly teach geology by projecting a photograph in front of the class. Geologic photographs often contain animals, people, and inanimate objects that help convey the scale of features in the photograph. Although scale items seem innocuous to instructors and other experts, the presence of such items is distracting and has a profound effect on student learning behavior. To evaluate how students visually interact with distracting scale items in photographs and to determine if cueing or signaling is an effective means to direct students to pertinent information, students were eye tracked while looking at geologically-rich photographs. Eye-tracking data revealed …

Contributors
Coyan, Joshua Aaron, Reynolds, Stephen, Arrowsmith, Ramon, et al.
Created Date
2011

New quadrangle-scale geologic mapping of the western part of the Date Creek Mountains (DCM) in west-central Arizona has revealed new insights into the geologic units, structures, and geologic history. Three U-Pb dates also provide surprising new information about the age and spatial relationships of the DCM as well as implications for the tectonics of the area. Paleoproterozoic metamorphic rocks in the central part of the DCM are presumably correlative with the Yavapai schist exposed in other parts of the Arizona Transition Zone. A granite formerly assigned to the Paleoproterozoic was subdivided into megacrystic and fine-grained units and hosts a set …

Contributors
Eddy, David, Reynolds, Stephen J, Arrowsmith, J R, et al.
Created Date
2012

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

The search for life on Mars is a major NASA priority. A Mars Sample Return (MSR) mission, Mars 2020, will be NASA's next step towards this goal, carrying an instrument suite that can identify samples containing potential biosignatures. Those samples will be later returned to Earth for detailed analysis. This dissertation is intended to inform strategies for fossil biosignature detection in Mars analog samples targeted for their high biosignature preservation potential (BPP) using in situ rover-based instruments. In chapter 2, I assessed the diagenesis and BPP of one relevant analog habitable Martian environment: a playa evaporite sequence within the Verde …

Contributors
Shkolyar, Svetlana, Farmer, Jack, Semken, Steven, et al.
Created Date
2016

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

An array of north-striking, left-stepping, active normal faults is situated along the southwestern margin of the Gulf of California. This normal fault system is the marginal fault system of the oblique-divergent plate boundary within the Gulf of California. To better understand the role of upper-crustal processes during development of an obliquely rifted plate margin, gravity surveys were conducted across the normal-fault-bounded basins within the gulf-margin array and, along with optically stimulated luminescence dating of offset surfaces, fault-slip rates were estimated and fault patterns across basins were assessed, providing insight into sedimentary basin evolution. Additionally, detailed geologic and geomorphic maps were …

Contributors
Busch, Melanie Marie, Arrowsmith, Ramon, Reynolds, Stephen, et al.
Created Date
2011