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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.


Resource Type
  • Masters Thesis
  • 1 Text
Subject
Date Range
2011 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

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

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

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

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

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

Many shallow craters near the Spirit Mars Exploration Rover landing site contain asymmetric deposits of windblown sediments which could indicate the predominant local wind direction at the time of deposition or redistribution. Wind tunnel simulations and field studies of terrestrial craters were used to determine trends in deposition as a function of crater morphometry and wind direction. Terrestrial analog field work at the Amboy lava field, Mojave Desert, California, included real-time wind measurements and assessments of active sediment deposition in four small (<100 m) craters. Preliminary results indicate that reverse flow or stagnant wind and deposition on the upwind side …

Contributors
Kienenberger, Rebekah L., Greeley, Ronald, Christensen, Philip, 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

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

The temperature of a planet's surface depends on numerous physical factors, including thermal inertia, albedo and the degree of insolation. Mars is a good target for thermal measurements because the low atmospheric pressure combined with the extreme dryness results in a surface dominated by large differences in thermal inertia, minimizing the effect of other physical properties. Since heat is propagated into the surface during the day and re-radiated at night, surface temperatures are affected by sub-surface properties down to several thermal skin depths. Because of this, orbital surface temperature measurements combined with a computational thermal model can be used to …

Contributors
Heath, Simon Nicholas, Christensen, Philip, Bel, James, et al.
Created Date
2013

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

Education through field exploration is fundamental in geoscience. But not all students enjoy equal access to field-based learning because of time, cost, distance, ability, and safety constraints. At the same time, technological advances afford ever more immersive, rich, and student-centered virtual field experiences. Virtual field trips may be the only practical options for most students to explore pedagogically rich but inaccessible places. A mixed-methods research project was conducted on an introductory and an advanced geology class to explore the implications of learning outcomes of in-person and virtual field-based instruction at Grand Canyon National Park. The study incorporated the Great Unconformity …

Contributors
Ruberto, Thomas, Semken, Steve, Anbar, Ariel, 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

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

The goal of this study is to gain a better understanding of earthquake distribution and regional tectonic structure across Arizona. To achieve this objective, I utilized seismic data from EarthScope's USArray Transportable Array (TA), which was deployed in Arizona from April 2006 to March 2009. With station spacing of approximately 70 km and ~3 years of continuous three-component broadband seismic data, the TA provided an unprecedented opportunity to develop the first seismicity catalog for Arizona without spatial sampling bias. In this study I developed a new data analysis workflow to detect smaller scale seismicity across a regional study area, which …

Contributors
Lockridge, Jeffrey, Fouch, Matthew J, Arrowsmith, Ramon, et al.
Created Date
2011

The historic Cacachilas mining district is located in Baja California Sur, approximately 20 kilometers east of La Paz, and has a series of gold- and silver-hosted veins, faults, and shear zones within Cretaceous granodioritic plutons. The remote geographic location and past political events within Mexico left the district essentially unexplored after the late 1800s, when the Mexican Revolution began. More recent discovery of gold deposits along the Baja peninsula instigated a renewed interest in mineralization in the Sierra Cacachilas. The area lacks detailed previous geologic data, so this study focused on characterizing the controls of mineralization and the locations of …

Contributors
Severson, Allison, Reynolds, Stephen J, Semken, Steven, et al.
Created Date
2015

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

The Kinsley Mountain gold deposit of northeastern Nevada, located ~70 km south of Wendover, Nevada, contains seven sediment-hosted, disseminated-gold deposits, in Cambrian limestones and shales. Mining ceased in 1999, with 138,000 ounces of gold mined at an average grade between 1.5-2.0 g/t. Resource estimates vary between 15,000 and 150,000 ounces of gold remaining in several mineralized pods. Although exploration programs have been completed within the study area, the structural history and timing of precious-metal mineralization are still poorly understood. This study aims to better understand the relation between stratigraphy, structural setting, and style of gold mineralization. In order to accomplish …

Contributors
Macfarlane, Bryan John, Reynolds, Stephen, Hervig, Richard, et al.
Created Date
2012

In this thesis, I investigate possible formation processes in the northern Claritas Fossae and the large Thaumasia graben on Mars. In particular, I assess three proposed formation hypotheses for the region: a mega-landslide across the Thaumasia plateau, originating in Tharsis and moving to the south-west; a rift system pulling apart Claritas Fossae and opening the large Thaumasia graben generally propagating in a north-south direction: and extension caused by uplifting from underlying dike swarms. Using digital terrain models (DTMs) from the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) aboard Mars Express and visual images from the Context Camera (CTX) aboard the Mars Reconnaissance …

Contributors
Studer-Ellis, Genevieve Lynn, Williams, David A., Christensen, Philip R., et al.
Created Date
2019

ABSTRACT The accretion of juvenile island-arc lithosphere by convergent tectonism during the Paleoproterozoic, in conjunction with felsic volcanism, resulted in the assembly, ductile to partial brittle deformation, uplift, and northwest-directed thrusting of rocks in the McDowell Mountains region and adjacent areas in the Mazatzal Orogenic belt. Utilizing lithologic characteristics and petrographic analysis of the Proterozoic bedrock, a correlation to the Alder series was established, revising the stratigraphic sequences described by earlier works. The central fold belt, composed of an open, asymmetric syncline and an overturned, isoclinal anticline, is cut by an axial-plane parallel reactivated thrust zone that is intruded by …

Contributors
Vance, Brad L., Reynolds, Stephen J., Semken, Steven, et al.
Created Date
2012

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

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

The Santa Gertrudis Mining District of Sonora, Mexico contains more than a dozen purported Carlin-like, sedimentary-hosted, disseminated-gold deposits. A series of near-surface, mostly oxidized gold deposits were open-pit mined from the calcareous and clastic units of the Cretaceous Bisbee Group. Gold occurs as finely disseminated, sub-micron coatings on sulfides, associated with argillization and silicification of calcareous, carbonaceous, and siliciclastic sedimentary rocks in structural settings. Gold occurs with elevated levels of As, Hg, Sb, Pb, and Zn. Downhole drill data within distal disseminated gold zones reveal a 5:1 ratio of Ag:Au and strong correlations of Au to Pb and Zn. This …

Contributors
Geier, John Jeffrey, Reynolds, Stephen J, Burt, Donald, et al.
Created Date
2011

Tempe Terra, Mars, has a complex history marked by volcanism and tectonism. Investigation results presented here build on previous work to better determine the volcanic history of the Tempe volcanic province by identifying and mapping previously undetected vents, characterizing all vents, identifying spatial and temporal trends in eruptive styles, comparing vent density to similar provinces such as the Snake River Plains of Idaho and Syria Planum and determining absolute age relationships among the volcanic features. Crater size-frequency distribution model ages of 120 Ma to 2.4 Ga indicate the province has been active for over half of the planet's history. During …

Contributors
Manfredi, Leon, Clarke, Amanda B, Williams, David A, et al.
Created Date
2012

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