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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


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

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

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

Dust devils have proven to be commonplace on Mars, although their occurrence is unevenly distributed across the surface. They were imaged or inferred by all six successful landed spacecraft: the Viking 1 and 2 Landers (VL-1 and VL-2), Mars Pathfinder Lander, the Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity, and the Phoenix Mars Lander. Comparisons of dust devil parameters were based on results from optical and meteorological (MET) detection campaigns. Spatial variations were determined based on comparisons of their frequency, morphology, and behavior. The Spirit data spanning three consecutive martian years is used as the basis of comparison because it is …

Contributors
Waller, Devin Ashley, Greeley, Ronald, Christensen, Philip, et al.
Created Date
2011

Amorphous phases are detected over large regions of the Martian surface from orbit and in more localized deposits by rovers on the surface. Amorphous silicates can be primary or secondary in origin, both having formed through very different processes, so the unambiguous identification of these phases is important for understanding the geologic history of Mars. Secondary amorphous silicates are poorly understood and underrepresented in spectral libraries because they lack the long-range structural order that makes their crystalline counterparts identifiable in most analytical techniques. Fortunately, even amorphous materials have some degree of short-range order so that distinctions can be made with …

Contributors
Smith, Rebecca Jean, Christensen, Philip, Shock, Everett, et al.
Created Date
2016

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft missions provide new data for investigating the youngest impact craters on Mercury and the Moon, along with lunar volcanic end-members: ancient silicic and young basaltic volcanism. The LRO Wide Angle Camera (WAC) and Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) in-flight absolute radiometric calibration used ground-based Robotic Lunar Observatory and Hubble Space Telescope data as standards. In-flight radiometric calibration is a small aspect of the entire calibration process but an important improvement upon the pre-flight measurements. Calibrated reflectance data are essential for comparing images from LRO to missions like …

Contributors
Braden, Sarah Elizabeth, Robinson, Mark S, Bell, James F, et al.
Created Date
2013

Volcanic devolatilization is one of the major processes in the global nitrogen cycle. Past studies have often estimated the magnitude of this flux using volcanic emission measurements, which are limited to currently active systems and sensitive to atmospheric contamination. A different methodological approach requires appropriate analytical parameters for nitrogen analysis in silicate glasses by secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS), which have not yet been established. To this end, we analyze various ion implanted basaltic and rhyolitic glasses by SIMS. We demonstrate that water content significantly affects the ion yields of 14N+ and 14N16O−, as well as the background intensity of …

Contributors
Regier, Margo Regier, Hervig, Richard L, Roggensack, Kurt, et al.
Created Date
2016

Much of Mars' surface is mantled by bright dust, which masks the spectral features used to interpret the mineralogy of the underlying bedrock. Despite the wealth of near-infrared (NIR) and thermal infrared data returned from orbiting spacecraft in recent decades, the detailed bedrock composition of approximately half of the martian surface remains relatively unknown due to dust cover. To address this issue, and to help gain a better understanding of the bedrock mineralogy in dusty regions, data from the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) Dust Cover Index (DCI) and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) Mars Color Imager (MARCI) were used to identify …

Contributors
Lai, Jason Chi-Shun, Bell, James, Christensen, Philip, et al.
Created Date
2014

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

Understanding the structural evolution of planetary surfaces provides key insights to their physical properties and processes. On the Moon, large-scale tectonism was thought to have ended over a billion years ago. However, new Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) high resolution images show the Moon’s surface in unprecedented detail and show many previously unidentified tectonic landforms, forcing a re-assessment of our views of lunar tectonism. I mapped lobate scarps, wrinkle ridges, and graben across Mare Frigoris – selected as a type area due to its excellent imaging conditions, abundance of tectonic landforms, and range of inferred structural …

Contributors
Williams, Nathan Robert, Bell, James, Robinson, Mark, et al.
Created Date
2016

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

I investigate the Black Canyon City landslide (BCC landslide), a prominent deep-seated landslide located northeast of Black Canyon City, Arizona. Although the landslide does not appear to pose a significant hazard to structures, its prominent features and high topographic relief make it an excellent site to study the geologic setting under which such features develop. This study has the potential to contribute toward understanding the landscape evolution in similar geologic and topographic settings, and for characterizing the underlying structural processes of this deep-seated feature. We use field and remotely-based surface geology and geomorphological mapping to characterize the landslide geometry and …

Contributors
Helmi, Hurien, Arrowsmith, J Ramón, DeVecchio, Duane, et al.
Created Date
2016

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

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

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 Juglandaceae (walnuts, hickories, pecans) has one of the best-documented fossil records in the Northern Hemisphere. The oldest modern genus, Cyclocarya, today restricted to China, first appears in the late Paleocene (57 ma) of North Dakota, USA. Unlike walnuts and pecans that produce edible fruits dispersed by mammals, Cyclocarya fruits are small nutlets surrounded by a prominent circular wing, and are thought to be wind- or water-dispersed. The current study provides the first evidence that fossil fruits were different from modern forms in the number and organization of their attachment to reproductive branches, and in their anatomical structure. Unlike the …

Contributors
Taylor, Witt, Pigg, Kathleen B, Wojciechowski, Martin F, et al.
Created Date
2010

Among volcanic gases, sulfur dioxide (SO2) is by far the most commonly measured. More than a monitoring proxy for volcanic degassing, SO2 has the potential to alter climate patterns. Persistently active explosive volcanoes are characterized by short explosive bursts, which often occur at periodic intervals numerous times per day, spanning years to decades. SO2 emissions at those volcanoes are poorly constrained, in large part because the current satellite monitoring techniques are unable to detect or quantify plumes of low concentration in the troposphere. Eruption plumes also often show high concentrations of ash and/or aerosols, which further inhibit the detection methods. …

Contributors
Smekens, Jean-Francois, Clarke, Amanda, Christensen, Philip, et al.
Created Date
2015

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

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

Future robotic and human missions to the Moon and Mars will need in situ capabilities to characterize the mineralogy of rocks and soils within a microtextural context. Such spatially-correlated information is considered crucial for correct petrogenetic interpretations and will be key observations for assessing the potential for past habitability on Mars. These data will also enable the selection of the highest value samples for further analysis and potential caching for return to Earth. The Multispectral Microscopic Imager (MMI), similar to a geologist's hand lens, advances the capabilities of current microimagers by providing multispectral, microscale reflectance images of geological samples, where …

Contributors
Núñez, Jorge Ivan, Farmer, Jack D., Christensen, Philip R., et al.
Created Date
2012