Matching Items (5)

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1981 Geomorphology of the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon

Description

Sediment supplied to the Colorado River within the Grand Canyon has been sorted into distinct deposits of three grain size ranges. The major rapids are formed by boulder deposits from

Sediment supplied to the Colorado River within the Grand Canyon has been sorted into distinct deposits of three grain size ranges. The major rapids are formed by boulder deposits from side-canyon tributaries. As a result of a fourfold reduction in peak discharge when Glen Canyon Dam was closed in 1963, new fan debris may increase the gradient through some of the rapids by a factor of 1.8. Cobbles and gravel, transported only during flood stages, are preferentially deposited in the wider sections of the river as bars and riffles and are, for the most part, inactive during post-dam discharges. Fine-grain (largely sandy) terraces occur throughout the canyon, especially along the banks of the large reverse eddies above and below the rapids. The lower terraces are being reworked into beach-like shores by diurnally-varying, post-dam discharges. A slight net lateral erosion of the terraces has resulted. Prior to construction of the dam, sandy bed deposits underwent scour averaging about 1 m during spring floods, balanced by deposition from tributary sources during the summer. Downstream from rapids, decreased turbulence due to lower discharges has resulted in deposition averaging 2.2 m on the bed within the upper portions of the canyon. Differences in rock types along the river determine overall channel morphology. Rocks of low resistance result in a wide valley, a meandering channel, and abundant cobble bars and sand terraces. Narrow channels with rapids and deep pools are most frequent within the sections of the canyon where Precambrian crystalline rocks dominate.

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Date Created
  • 1981-05

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Disturbance signatures and sediment characteristics in aeolian dune landscapes

Description

Human-environment interactions in aeolian (windblown) systems has focused research on<br/>human’s role in causing and aiding recovery from natural and anthropogenic disturbance. There<br/>is room for improvement in understanding the best methods

Human-environment interactions in aeolian (windblown) systems has focused research on<br/>human’s role in causing and aiding recovery from natural and anthropogenic disturbance. There<br/>is room for improvement in understanding the best methods and considerations for manual<br/>coastal foredune restoration. Furthermore, the extent to which humans play a role in changing the<br/>shape and surface textures of quartz sand grains is poorly understood. The goal of this thesis is<br/>two-fold: 1) quantify the geomorphic effectiveness of a multi-year manually rebuilt foredune and<br/>2) compare the shapes and microtextures on disturbed and undisturbed quartz sand grains. For<br/>the rebuilt foredune, uncrewed aerial systems (UAS) were used to survey the site, collecting<br/>photos to create digital surface models (DSMs). These DSMs were compared at discrete<br/>moments in time to create a sediment budget. Water levels and cross-shore modeling is also<br/>considered to predict the decadal evolution of the site. In the two years since rebuilding, the<br/>foredune has been stable, but not geomorphically resilient. Modeling shows landward foredune<br/>retreat and beach widening. For the quartz grains, t-testing of shape characteristics showed that<br/>there may be differences in the mean circularity between grains from off-highway vehicle and<br/>non-riding areas. Quartz grains from a variety of coastal and inland dunes were imaged using a<br/>scanning electron microscopy to search for evidence of anthropogenically-induced<br/>microtextures. On grains from Oceano Dunes in California, encouraging textures like parallel<br/>striations, grain fracturing, and linear conchoidal fractures provide exploratory evidence of<br/>anthropogenic microtextures. More focused research is recommended to confirm this exploratory<br/>work.

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Date Created
  • 2021-05

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Wind-driven modification of small bedforms in Gusev Crater, Mars

Description

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

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 devil tracks appear in many images of the bedforms.

Within the Columbia Hills, three bedform fields approximately 180m2 and composed of fine dark basaltic sand were studied, using five HiRISE images taken from 2006 to 2014. Both bedform crests and the dust devil tracks superimposed on them were evaluated for change to azimuth and length, and for correlation between the features. The linear to slightly sinuous transverse crests ranging from less than 1m to 113m in length and two to three meters in wavelength, are primary bedforms. During the study they shifted as much as 33 degrees in azimuth, and individual crests moved on the surface as much as 0.75m. The greatest changes corresponded to a global dust storm in 2007. Average crest movement was documented at the rate of 0.25m per year. Rather than moving progressively, the crests eventually returned to near their original orientation after the storm. The dust devil tracks, reflecting a more complex wind regime, including vortex development during diurnal heating, maintained predominantly NW-SE orientations but also reflected the effects of the storm.

The observed modifications were neither progressive, nor strictly seasonal. The apparent stability of the bedform geometry over four seasons supports the predictions of the Mars Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (MRAMS): low speed (1-7.5 ms-1), daily alternating winds of relatively equal force. Crest profiles were found to be nearly symmetrical, without slipfaces to indicate a preferential wind direction; this finding also is supported by the MRAMS model.

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Date Created
  • 2016

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Stabilization and imaging of cohesionless soil specimens

Description

This dissertation describes development of a procedure for obtaining high quality, optical grade sand coupons from frozen sand specimens of Ottawa 20/30 sand for image processing and analysis to quantify

This dissertation describes development of a procedure for obtaining high quality, optical grade sand coupons from frozen sand specimens of Ottawa 20/30 sand for image processing and analysis to quantify soil structure along with a methodology for quantifying the microstructure from the images. A technique for thawing and stabilizing frozen core samples was developed using optical grade Buehler® Epo-Tek® epoxy resin, a modified triaxial cell, a vacuum/reservoir chamber, a desiccator, and a moisture gauge. The uniform epoxy resin impregnation required proper drying of the soil specimen, application of appropriate confining pressure and vacuum levels, and epoxy mixing, de-airing and curing. The resulting stabilized sand specimen was sectioned into 10 mm thick coupons that were planed, ground, and polished with progressively finer diamond abrasive grit levels using the modified Allied HTP Inc. polishing method so that the soil structure could be accurately quantified using images obtained with the use of an optical microscopy technique. Illumination via Bright Field Microscopy was used to capture the images for subsequent image processing and sand microstructure analysis. The quality of resulting images and the validity of the subsequent image morphology analysis hinged largely on employment of a polishing and grinding technique that resulted in a flat, scratch free, reflective coupon surface characterized by minimal microstructure relief and good contrast between the sand particles and the surrounding epoxy resin. Subsequent image processing involved conversion of the color images first to gray scale images and then to binary images with the use of contrast and image adjustments, removal of noise and image artifacts, image filtering, and image segmentation. Mathematical morphology algorithms were used on the resulting binary images to further enhance image quality. The binary images were then used to calculate soil structure parameters that included particle roundness and sphericity, particle orientation variability represented by rose diagrams, statistics on the local void ratio variability as a function of the sample size, and the local void ratio distribution histograms using Oda's method and Voronoi tessellation method, including the skewness, kurtosis, and entropy of a gamma cumulative probability distribution fit to the local void ratio distribution.

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Date Created
  • 2011