Matching Items (3)

152633-Thumbnail Image.png

Late Cenozoic-recent tectonics of the southwestern margin of the Tibetan Plateau, Ladakh, northwest India

Description

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,

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 data collected from across the Ladakh, Pangong and Karakoram Ranges improved the spatial resolution of exhumation patterns adjacent to the edge of the plateau. These data show a southwest to northeast decrease in cooling ages, which is the trailing end of a wave of decreased exhumation related to changes in the overall amount of north-south shortening accommodated across the region. We also posit that north-south shortening is responsible for the orientation of the LCF in India. Previously, the southern end of the LCF was unmapped. We used ASTER remotely sensed images to create a comprehensive lithologic map of the region, which allowed us to map the LCF into India. This mapping shows that this fault has been rotated into parallelism with the Karakoram fault system as a result of N-S shortening and dextral shear on the KFS. Additionally, the orientation and sense of motion along these two systems implies that they are acting as a conjugate fault pair, allowing the eastward extrusion of the Tibet. Finally, we identify and quantify late Quaternary slip on the Tangtse strand of the KFS, which was previously believed to be inactive. Our study found that this fault strand accommodated ca. 6 mm/yr of slip over the last ca. 33-6 ka. Additionally, we speculate that slip is temporally partitioned between the two fault strands, implying that this part of the fault system is more complex than previously believed.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

150188-Thumbnail Image.png

Integrating LiDAR topography into the study of earthquakes and faulting

Description

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

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 faults, and geomorphology?" In order to answer this question, a ten-minute introductory video on LiDAR and its uses for the study of earthquakes entitled "LiDAR: Illuminating Earthquake Hazards" was produced. Additionally, LiDAR topography was integrated into the development of an undergraduate-level educational activity, the San Andreas fault (SAF) earthquake cycle activity, designed to teach introductory Earth science students about the earthquake cycle. Both the LiDAR video and the SAF activity were tested in undergraduate classrooms in order to determine their effectiveness. A pretest and posttest were administered to introductory geology lab students. The results of these tests show a notable increase in understanding LiDAR topography and its uses for studying earthquakes from pretest to posttest after watching the video on LiDAR, and a notable increase in understanding the earthquake cycle from pretest to posttest using the San Andreas Fault earthquake cycle exercise. These results suggest that the use of LiDAR topography within these educational tools is beneficial for students when learning about the earthquake cycle and earthquake hazards.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011

152556-Thumbnail Image.png

Effects of fault segmentation, mechanical interaction, and structural complexity on earthquake-generated deformation

Description

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

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 of my research uses high-resolution topographic lidar data to quantitatively document the geomorphic expression of historic and prehistoric large earthquakes. Lidar data allow for enhanced visualization and reconstruction of structures and stratigraphy exposed by paleoseismic trenches. Lidar surveys of fault scarps formed by the 1992 Landers earthquake document the centimeter-scale erosional landforms developed by repeated winter storm-driven erosion. The second part of my research employs a quasi-static numerical earthquake simulator to explore the effects of fault roughness, friction, and structural complexities on earthquake-generated deformation. My experiments show that fault roughness plays a critical role in determining fault-to-fault rupture jumping probabilities. These results corroborate the accepted 3-5 km rupture jumping distance for smooth faults. However, my simulations show that the rupture jumping threshold distance is highly variable for rough faults due to heterogeneous elastic strain energies. Furthermore, fault roughness controls spatiotemporal variations in slip rates such that rough faults exhibit lower slip rates relative to their smooth counterparts. The central implication of these results lies in guiding the interpretation of paleoseismically derived slip rates that are used to form earthquake forecasts. The final part of my research evaluates a set of Earth science-themed lesson plans that I designed for elementary-level learning-disabled students. My findings show that a combination of concept delivery techniques is most effective for learning-disabled students and should incorporate interactive slide presentations, tactile manipulatives, teacher-assisted concept sketches, and student-led teaching to help learning-disabled students grasp Earth science concepts.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014