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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


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

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

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 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

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

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

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

Chemical and mineralogical data from Mars shows that the surface has been chemically weathered on local to regional scales. Chemical trends and the types of chemical weathering products present on the surface and their abundances can elucidate information about past aqueous processes. Thermal-infrared (TIR) data and their respective models are essential for interpreting Martian mineralogy and geologic history. However, previous studies have shown that chemical weathering and the precipitation of fine-grained secondary silicates can adversely affect the accuracy of TIR spectral models. Furthermore, spectral libraries used to identify minerals on the Martian surface lack some important weathering products, including poorly-crystalline …

Contributors
Rampe, Elizabeth Barger, Sharp, Thomas G, Christensen, Phillip, et al.
Created Date
2011

The San Andreas Fault (SAF) is the primary structure within a system of faults accommodating motion between the North American and Pacific plates. Physical models of faulting and characterizations of seismic hazard are informed by investigations of paleoseismology, slip distribution, and slip rate. The impact of earthquakes on people is due in large part to social vulnerability. This dissertation contributes an analysis about the relationships between earthquake hazard and social vulnerability in Los Angeles, CA and investigations of paleoseismology and fault scarp array complexity on the central SAF. Analysis of fault scarp array geometry and morphology using 0.5 m digital …

Contributors
Toke, Nathan A., Arrowsmith, J R, Boone, Christopher G, 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

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

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

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

Geologic field trips are among the most beneficial learning experiences for students as they engage the topic of geology, but they are also difficult environments to maximize learning. This action research study explored one facet of the problems associated with teaching geology in the field by attempting to improve the transition of undergraduate students from a traditional laboratory setting to an authentic field environment. Utilizing an artificial outcrop, called the GeoScene, during an introductory college-level non-majors geology course, the transition was studied. The GeoScene was utilized in this study as an intermediary between laboratory and authentic field based experiences, allowing …

Contributors
Wilson, Meredith, Jimenez-Castellanos, Oscar, Gonzalez, Gustavo, et al.
Created Date
2012

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 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

Molybdenum and uranium isotope variations are potentially powerful tools for reconstructing the paleoredox history of seawater. Reliable application and interpretation of these proxies requires not only detailed knowledge about the fractionation factors that control the distribution of molybdenum and uranium isotopes in the marine system, but also a thorough understanding of the diagenetic processes that may affect molybdenum and uranium isotopes entering the rock record. Using samples from the Black Sea water column, the first water column profile of 238U/235U variations from a modern euxinic basin has been measured. This profile allows the direct determination of the 238U/235U fractionation factor …

Contributors
Romaniello, Stephen, Anbar, Ariel, Hartnett, Hilairy, et al.
Created Date
2012

Early spacecraft missions to Mars, including the Marnier and Viking orbiters and landers revealed a morphologically and compositionally diverse landscape that reshaped widely held views of Mars. More recent spacecraft including Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Odyssey, Mars Express, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and the Mars Exploration Rovers have further refined, enhanced, and diversified our understanding of Mars. In this dissertation, I take a multiple-path approach to planetary and Mars science including data analysis and instrument development. First, I present several tools necessary to effectively use new, complex datasets by highlighting unique and innovative data processing techniques that allow for the regional …

Contributors
Edwards, Christopher Scott, Christensen, Philip R, Bell, James, et al.
Created Date
2012