Matching Items (2)
- All Subjects: Machine Learning
- All Subjects: Fault scarps
- All Subjects: Volcanic Tableland
- Genre: Academic theses
Rock traits (grain size, shape, orientation) are fundamental indicators of geologic processes including geomorphology and active tectonics. Fault zone evolution, fault slip rates, and earthquake timing are informed by examinations of discontinuities in the displacements of the Earth surface at fault scarps. Fault scarps indicate the structure of fault zones fans, relay ramps, and double faults, as well as the surface process response to the deformation and can thus indicate the activity of the fault zone and its potential hazard. “Rocky” fault scarps are unusual because they share characteristics of bedrock and alluvial fault scarps. The Volcanic Tablelands in Bishop, CA offer a natural laboratory with an array of rocky fault scarps. Machine learning mask-Region Convolutional Neural Network segments an orthophoto to identify individual particles along a specific rocky fault scarp. The resulting rock traits for thousands of particles along the scarp are used to develop conceptual models for rocky scarp geomorphology and evolution. In addition to rocky scarp classification, these tools may be useful in many sedimentary and volcanological applications for particle mapping and characterization.
Automated Geoscience with Robotics and Machine Learning: A New Hammer of Rock Detection, Mapping, and Dynamics Analysis
Despite the rapid adoption of robotics and machine learning in industry, their application to scientific studies remains under-explored. Combining industry-driven advances with scientific exploration provides new perspectives and a greater understanding of the planet and its environmental processes. Focusing on rock detection, mapping, and dynamics analysis, I present technical approaches and scientific results of developing robotics and machine learning technologies for geomorphology and seismic hazard analysis. I demonstrate an interdisciplinary research direction to push the frontiers of both robotics and geosciences, with potential translational contributions to commercial applications for hazard monitoring and prospecting. To understand the effects of rocky fault scarp development on rock trait distributions, I present a data-processing pipeline that utilizes unpiloted aerial vehicles (UAVs) and deep learning to segment densely distributed rocks in several orders of magnitude. Quantification and correlation analysis of rock trait distributions demonstrate a statistical approach for geomorphology studies. Fragile geological features such as precariously balanced rocks (PBRs) provide upper-bound ground motion constraints for hazard analysis. I develop an offboard method and onboard method as complementary to each other for PBR searching and mapping. Using deep learning, the offboard method segments PBRs in point clouds reconstructed from UAV surveys. The onboard method equips a UAV with edge-computing devices and stereo cameras, enabling onboard machine learning for real-time PBR search, detection, and mapping during surveillance. The offboard method provides an efficient solution to find PBR candidates in existing point clouds, which is useful for field reconnaissance. The onboard method emphasizes mapping individual PBRs for their complete visible surface features, such as basal contacts with pedestals–critical geometry to analyze fragility. After PBRs are mapped, I investigate PBR dynamics by building a virtual shake robot (VSR) that simulates ground motions to test PBR overturning. The VSR demonstrates that ground motion directions and niches are important factors determining PBR fragility, which were rarely considered in previous studies. The VSR also enables PBR large-displacement studies by tracking a toppled-PBR trajectory, presenting novel methods of rockfall hazard zoning. I build a real mini shake robot providing a reverse method to validate simulation experiments in the VSR.