Matching Items (5)

Analysis of Variables in Relation to Dissolved Organic Carbon in Yellowstone National Park

Description

Yellowstone National Park has a vibrant variety of flora, fauna, and hydrothermal systems all collected together in one large and complex system. Studies have been conducted for at least several

Yellowstone National Park has a vibrant variety of flora, fauna, and hydrothermal systems all collected together in one large and complex system. Studies have been conducted for at least several decades in order to make sense of this system in ways that may be relevant to other similar geologies around the world. The latest update in this ever-ongoing study involves the collection and analysis of water samples from 2016. These samples have been analyzed for conductivity, pH, temperature, dissolved organic carbon, dissolved inorganic carbon, carbon isotopes, dissolved oxygen, ferrous iron, sulfide, silica, and more. While not many trends were found in this data in regards to dissolved organic carbon values, this is a substantial addition to a growing body of information that could yield more impressive information in times to come. In addition, factors that have yet to analyzed for this 2016 data, such as concentrations of metals and metalloids, may provide some insights when put through a chloride vs sulfate framework to separate out different reaction regions.

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  • 2016-12

Digging into National Park Funding: An Analysis of Selected Projects in Yellowstone and Isle Royale

Description

With 2016 marking the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service (NPS), important discussions regarding the future of America's beloved parks and respective government funding must take place. Imagine all

With 2016 marking the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service (NPS), important discussions regarding the future of America's beloved parks and respective government funding must take place. Imagine all the money, including tax revenue, flowing through America's national parks system, and where is that money destined for in the future? National park funding will factor greatly into determining the future of America's NPS and individual parks. Therefore, it is imperative to investigate where and how government funding, for the present and future, is distributed throughout the parks protected under the NPS. Through personal experiences as a child, national parks consistently provide a unique exposure to and an education of the natural world, which are rare finds when growing up in suburban or metropolitan regions. Narrowing down, this analysis will focus on government disbursements to Yellowstone National Park (Yellowstone) and Isle Royale National Park (Isle Royale) with specifics on two budgeted projects crucial to park survival. Yellowstone and Isle Royale each request funding for a project crucial to the park's ecosystem and a project intended to improve guest services for visitors. Closing comments will provide recommendations for Yellowstone, Isle Royale and the NPS, including effects of President Trump's 2018 Government Proposed Budget, in an attempt to offer forward thinking about national parks. The projects and respective funding as detailed in this analysis have a forward-thinking focus as other projects included in the NPS requested funding budgets consider as well. Current actions and efforts are crucial to the long-term life and of this country's national parks for future generations to come.

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  • 2016-12

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Geochemical Modeling of the Yellowstone Mixing Zone

Description

In this study, the influence of fluid mixing on temperature and geochemistry of hot spring fluids is investigated. Yellowstone National Park (YNP) is home to a diverse range of hot

In this study, the influence of fluid mixing on temperature and geochemistry of hot spring fluids is investigated. Yellowstone National Park (YNP) is home to a diverse range of hot springs with varying temperature and chemistry. The mixing zone of interest in this paper, located in Geyser Creek, YNP, has been a point of interest since at least the 1960’s (Raymahashay, 1968). Two springs, one basic (~pH 7) and one acidic (~pH 3) mix together down an outflow channel. There are visual bands of different photosynthetic pigments which suggests the creation of temperature and chemical gradients due to the fluids mixing. In this study, to determine if fluid mixing is driving these changes of temperature and chemistry in the system, a model that factors in evaporation and cooling was developed and compared to measured temperature and chemical data collected downstream. Comparison of the modeled temperature and chemistry to the measured values at the downstream mixture shows that many of the ions, such as Cl⁻, F⁻, and Li⁺, behave conservatively with respect to mixing. This indicates that the influence of mixing accounts for a large proportion of variation in the chemical composition of the system. However, there are some chemical constituents like CH₄, H₂, and NO₃⁻, that were not conserved, and the concentrations were either depleted or increased in the downstream mixture. Some of these constituents are known to be used by microorganisms. The development of this mixing model can be used as a tool for predicting biological activity as well as building the framework for future geochemical and computational models that can be used to understand the energy availability and the microbial communities that are present.

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  • 2021-05

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Monitoring Changes in Dissolved Organic Matter in Enriched Artificial Hot Spring Fluids Using Spectroscopic Methods

Description

Dissolved organic matter (DOM) can have numerous effects on the water chemistry and the biological life within an aquatic system with its wide variety of chemical structures and properties. The

Dissolved organic matter (DOM) can have numerous effects on the water chemistry and the biological life within an aquatic system with its wide variety of chemical structures and properties. The composition of the dissolved carbon can be estimated by utilizing the fluorescent properties of some DOM such as aromatic amino acids and humic material. This experiment was used to observe how organic matter could influence hydrothermal systems, such as Sylvan Springs in Yellowstone National Park, USA. Using optical density at 600 nm (OD 600), excitation-emission matrix spectra (EEMS), and Illumina sequencing methods (16S rRNA gene sequencing), changes in dissolved organic matter (DOM) were observed based on long term incubation at 84ºC and microbial influence. Four media conditions were tested over a two-month duration to assess these changes: inoculated pine needle media, uninoculated pine needle media, inoculated yeast extract media, and uninoculated yeast extract media. The inoculated samples contained microbes from a fluid and sediment sample of Sylvan Spring collected July 23, 2018. Absorbance indicated that media containing pine needle broth poorly support life, whereas media containing yeast extract revealed a positive increase in growth. Excitation-Emission Matrix Spectra of the all media conditions indicated changes in DOM composition throughout the trial. There were limited differences between the inoculated and uninoculated samples suggesting that the DOM composition change in this study was dominated by the two-month incubation at 84ºC more than biotic processes. Sequencing performed on a sediment sample collected from Sylvan Spring indicated five main order of prokaryotic phyla: Aquificales, Desulfurococcales, Thermoproteales, Thermodesulfobacteriales, and Crenarchaeota. These organisms are not regarded as heterotrophic microbes, so the lack of significant biotic changes in DOM could be a result of these microorganisms not being able to utilize these enrichments as their main metabolic energy supply.

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  • 2019-05

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Timescales and Characteristics of Magma Generation in Earth and Exoplanets

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Volcanic eruptions are serious geological hazards; the aftermath of the explosive eruptions produced at high-silica volcanic systems often results in long-term threats to climate, travel, farming, and human life. To

Volcanic eruptions are serious geological hazards; the aftermath of the explosive eruptions produced at high-silica volcanic systems often results in long-term threats to climate, travel, farming, and human life. To construct models for eruption forecasting, the timescales of events leading up to eruption must be accurately quantified. In the field of igneous petrology, the timing of these events (e.g. periods of magma formation, duration of recharge events) and their influence on eruptive timescales are still poorly constrained.

In this dissertation, I discuss how the new tools and methods I have developed are helping to improve our understanding of these magmatic events. I have developed a method to calculate more accurate timescales for these events from the diffusive relaxation of chemical zoning in individual mineral crystals (i.e., diffusion chronometry), and I use this technique to compare the times recorded by different minerals from the same Yellowstone lava flow, the Scaup Lake rhyolite.

I have also derived a new geothermometer to calculate magma temperature from the compositions of the mineral clinopyroxene and the surrounding liquid. This empirically-derived geothermometer is calibrated for the high FeOtot (Mg# = 56) and low Al2O3 (0.53–0.73 wt%) clinopyroxene found in the Scaup Lake rhyolite and other high-silica igneous systems. A determination of accurate mineral temperatures is crucial to calculate magmatic heat budgets and to use methods such as diffusion chronometry. Together, these tools allow me to paint a more accurate picture of the conditions and tempo of events inside a magma body in the millennia to months leading up to eruption.

Additionally, I conducted petrological experiments to determine the composition of hypothetical exoplanet partial mantle melts, which could become these planets’ new crust, and therefore new surface. Understanding the composition of an exoplanet’s crust is the first step to understanding chemical weathering, surface-atmosphere chemical interactions, the volcanic contribution to any atmosphere present, and biological processes, as life depends on these surfaces for nutrients. The data I have produced can be used to predict differences in crust compositions of exoplanets with similar bulk compositions to those explored herein, as well as to calibrate future exoplanet petrologic models.

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  • 2020