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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 2019


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

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

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

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

The tectonic significance of the physiographic transition from the low-relief Tibetan plateau to the high peaks, rugged topography and deep gorges of the Himalaya is the source of much controversy. Some workers have suggested the transition may be structurally controlled (e.g. Hodges et al., 2001), and indeed, the sharp change in geomorphic character across the transition strongly suggests differential uplift between the Himalayan realm and the southernmost Tibetan Plateau. Most Himalayan researchers credit the South Tibetan fault system (STFS), a family of predominantly east-west trending, low-angle normal faults with a known trace of over 2,000 km along the Himalayan crest …

Contributors
Mcdermott, Jeni Amber, Hodges, Kip V, Whipple, Kelin X, et al.
Created Date
2012

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

The Himalaya are the archetypal example of a continental collision belt, formed by the ongoing convergence between India and Eurasia. Boasting some of the highest and most rugged topography on Earth, there is currently no consensus on how climatic and tectonic processes have combined to shape its topographic evolution. The Kingdom of Bhutan in the eastern Himalaya provides a unique opportunity to study the interconnections among Himalayan climate, topography, erosion, and tectonics. The eastern Himalaya are remarkably different from the rest of the orogen, most strikingly due to the presence of the Shillong Plateau to the south of the Himalayan …

Contributors
Adams, Byron Allen, Whipple, Kelin X, Hodges, Kip V, et al.
Created Date
2014

The Himalayan orogenic system is one of the youngest and most spectacular examples of a continent-continent collision on earth. Although the collision zone has been the subject of extensive research, fundamental questions remain concerning the architecture and evolution of the orogen. Of particular interest are the structures surrounding the 5 km high Tibetan Plateau, as these features record both the collisional and post-collisional evolution of the orogen. In this study we examine structures along the southwestern margin of the Tibetan Plateau, including the Karakoram (KFS) and Longmu Co (LCF) faults, and the Ladakh, Pangong and Karakoram Ranges. New low-temperature thermochronology …

Contributors
Bohon, Wendy, Arrowsmith, Ramon, Hodges, Kip V, et al.
Created Date
2014

Sedimentary basins are defined by extensional tectonics. Rugged mountain ranges stand in stark relief adjacent to muted structural basins filled with sediment. In simplest terms, this topography is the result of ranges uplifted along normal faults, and this uplift drives erosion within upland drainages, shedding sediment into subsiding basins. In southeastern Arizona's Basin and Range province extensional tectonics waned at approximately 3-5 Myr, and the region's structural basins began transitioning from internal to external drainage, forming the modern Gila River fluvial network. In the Atacama Desert of northern Chile, some basins of the Central Depression remain internally drained while others …

Contributors
Jungers, Matthew Cross, Heimsath, Arjun M, Whipple, Kelin, et al.
Created Date
2014

For this dissertation, three separate papers explore the study areas of the western Grand Canyon, the Grand Staircase (as related to Grand Canyon) and Desolation Canyon on the Green River in Utah. In western Grand Canyon, I use comparative geomorphology between the Grand Canyon and the Grand Wash Cliffs (GWC). We propose the onset of erosion of the GWC is caused by slip on the Grand Wash Fault that formed between 18 and 12 million years ago. Hillslope angle and channel steepness are higher in Grand Canyon than along the Grand Wash Cliffs despite similar rock types, climate and base …

Contributors
Darling, Andy Darling, Whipple, Kelin, Semken, Steven, et al.
Created Date
2016