Matching Items (27)

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Spatio-Temporal Mapping of Plate Boundary Faults in California Using Geodetic Imaging

Description

The Pacific–North American plate boundary in California is composed of a 400-km-wide network of faults and zones of distributed deformation. Earthquakes, even large ones, can occur along individual or combinations

The Pacific–North American plate boundary in California is composed of a 400-km-wide network of faults and zones of distributed deformation. Earthquakes, even large ones, can occur along individual or combinations of faults within the larger plate boundary system. While research often focuses on the primary and secondary faults, holistic study of the plate boundary is required to answer several fundamental questions. How do plate boundary motions partition across California faults? How do faults within the plate boundary interact during earthquakes? What fraction of strain accumulation is relieved aseismically and does this provide limits on fault rupture propagation? Geodetic imaging, broadly defined as measurement of crustal deformation and topography of the Earth’s surface, enables assessment of topographic characteristics and the spatio-temporal behavior of the Earth’s crust. We focus here on crustal deformation observed with continuous Global Positioning System (GPS) data and Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) from NASA’s airborne UAVSAR platform, and on high-resolution topography acquired from lidar and Structure from Motion (SfM) methods. Combined, these measurements are used to identify active structures, past ruptures, transient motions, and distribution of deformation. The observations inform estimates of the mechanical and geometric properties of faults. We discuss five areas in California as examples of different fault behavior, fault maturity and times within the earthquake cycle: the M6.0 2014 South Napa earthquake rupture, the San Jacinto fault, the creeping and locked Carrizo sections of the San Andreas fault, the Landers rupture in the Eastern California Shear Zone, and the convergence of the Eastern California Shear Zone and San Andreas fault in southern California. These examples indicate that distribution of crustal deformation can be measured using interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR), Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), and high-resolution topography and can improve our understanding of tectonic deformation and rupture characteristics within the broad plate boundary zone.

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Date Created
  • 2017-03-21

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Lateral Offset Quality Rating along Low Slip Rate Faults: Application to the Alhama de Murcia Fault (SE Iberian Peninsula)

Description

Seismic hazard assessment of strike-slip faults is based partly on the identification and mapping of landforms laterally offset due to fault activity. The characterization of these features affected by slow-moving

Seismic hazard assessment of strike-slip faults is based partly on the identification and mapping of landforms laterally offset due to fault activity. The characterization of these features affected by slow-moving faults is challenging relative to studies emphasizing rapidly slipping faults. We propose a methodology for scoring fault offsets based on subjective and objective qualities. We apply this methodology to the Alhama de Murcia fault (SE Iberian Peninsula) where we identify 138 offset features that we mapped on a high-resolution (0.5 × 0.5 m pixel size) Digital Elevation Model (DEM). The amount of offset, the uncertainty of the measurement, the subjective and objective qualities, and the parameters that affect objective quality are independent variables, suggesting that our methodological scoring approach is good. Based on the offset measurements and qualifications we calculate the Cumulative Offset Probability Density (COPD) for the entire fault and for each fault segment. The COPD for the segments differ from each other. Tentative interpretation of the COPDs implies that the slip rate varies from one segment to the other (we assume that channels with the same amount of offset were incised synchronously). We compare the COPD with climate proxy curves (aligning using the very limited age control) to test if entrenchment events are coincident with climatic changes. Channel incision along one of the traces in Lorca-Totana segment may be related to transitions from glacial to interglacial periods.

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Date Created
  • 2015-11-06

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The Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project: inferring the environmental context of human evolution from eastern African rift lake deposits

Description

The role that climate and environmental history may have played in influencing human evolution has been the focus of considerable interest and controversy among paleoanthropologists for decades. Prior attempts to

The role that climate and environmental history may have played in influencing human evolution has been the focus of considerable interest and controversy among paleoanthropologists for decades. Prior attempts to understand the environmental history side of this equation have centered around the study of outcrop sediments and fossils adjacent to where fossil hominins (ancestors or close relatives of modern humans) are found, or from the study of deep sea drill cores. However, outcrop sediments are often highly weathered and thus are unsuitable for some types of paleoclimatic records, and deep sea core records come from long distances away from the actual fossil and stone tool remains. The Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project (HSPDP) was developed to address these issues. The project has focused its efforts on the eastern African Rift Valley, where much of the evidence for early hominins has been recovered. We have collected about 2 km of sediment drill core from six basins in Kenya and Ethiopia, in lake deposits immediately adjacent to important fossil hominin and archaeological sites. Collectively these cores cover in time many of the key transitions and critical intervals in human evolutionary history over the last 4 Ma, such as the earliest stone tools, the origin of our own genus Homo, and the earliest anatomically modern Homo sapiens. Here we document the initial field, physical property, and core description results of the 2012–2014 HSPDP coring campaign.

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  • 2016-02-19

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Dating and Characterizing the Piedmont Fault in the North Virgin Mountains of Arizona

Description

Faults found in the arid to semi-arid Basin and Range Physiographic province of the southwestern US are given broad age definitions in terms of which features appear to be the

Faults found in the arid to semi-arid Basin and Range Physiographic province of the southwestern US are given broad age definitions in terms of which features appear to be the oldest. Particularly in the northwestern corner of Arizona, detailed geomorphic studies on the tectonic history and timing of faulting are not widespread. At the base of the Virgin Mountains in northwestern Arizona is a fault scarp along the Piedmont Fault line. This normal fault crosses a series of alluvial fans that are filled with sediments of ambiguous ages. Previous studies that were done in this region find a broad, Miocene age for the exhumation and uplift of these surfaces, with some indications of Laramide faulting history. However, specific fault characteristics and a time constraint of the tectonic history of the Piedmont Fault scarp has yet to be established. Here, we aim to determine the age, fault-slip rate, seismic history, and potential hazard of the fault scarp near Scenic and Littlefield, Arizona through structure from motion (SfM) modeling, which is a form of photogrammetry using a drone. In addition, we distinguish the climatic and tectonic influences on the geomorphology observed along the scarp through analysis along the fault line. With data collected from a ~500 m section of the fault, we present results from a digital elevation model (DEM) and orthophotos derived through the SfM modelling. Based on field observations and morphologic dating, we determine that the Piedmont Fault experiences an approximately continuous fault-slip and an earthquake recurrence interval in the range of 7,000 years. The approximate age of the scarp is 16.0 ka ± 5 kyr. Therefore, we conclude that the earthquake hazard posed to nearby cities is minimal but not nonexistent. Future work includes further analysis of fault profiles due to uncertainty in the present one and Terrestrial Cosmogenic Nuclide (TCN) dating of samples taken from the tops of boulders in a residual debris flow sitting on faulted and unfaulted alluvia. Determining the ages for these boulder surfaces can hopefully further inform our knowledge of the tectonic activity present in the North Virgin Mountains.

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Date Created
  • 2020-12

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Tecolote Cinder Cone Ballistics: Volcanic Bomb Formation and Dynamics

Description

Cinder cones are common volcanic structures that occur in fields, and on the flanks of shield volcanoes, stratovolcanoes, and calderas. Because they are common structures, they have a significant possibility

Cinder cones are common volcanic structures that occur in fields, and on the flanks of shield volcanoes, stratovolcanoes, and calderas. Because they are common structures, they have a significant possibility of impacting humans and human environments. As such, there is a need to analyze cinder cones to get a better understanding of their eruptions and associated hazards. I will approach this analysis by focusing on volcanic bombs and ballistics, which are large clots of lava that are launched from the volcanic vent, follow ballistic trajectories, and can travel meters to a few kilometers from their source (e.g. Fagents and Wilson 1993; Waitt et al. 1995).
Tecolote Volcano in the Pinacate Volcanic Field in Mexico contains multiple vents within a horseshoe-shaped crater that have all produced various ejecta (Zawacki et al. 2019). The objectives of this research are to map ballistic distribution to understand the relationship between the source vent or vents and the bombs and ballistics that litter the region around Tecolote, and interpret the eruption conditions that ejected those bombs by using their distributions, morphologies, and fine-scale textures.
The findings of this work are that these bombs are apparently from the last stages of the eruption, succeeding the final lava flows. The interiors and exteriors of the bombs display different cooling rates which can are indicated by the fabric found within. Using this, certain characteristics of the bombs during eruption were extrapolated. The ‘cow pie’ bombs were determined to be the least viscous or contained a higher gas content at the time of eruption. Whereas the ribbon/rope bombs were determined to be the most viscous or contained a lesser gas content. Looking at the Southern Bomb Field site, it is dominated by large bombs that were during flight were molded into aerodynamic shapes. The Eastern Rim site is dominated by smaller bombs that appeared to be more liquid during the eruption. This difference in the two sites is a probable indication of at least two different eruptive events of different degrees of explosivity. Overall, aerodynamic bombs are more common and extend to greater distances from the presumed vent (up to 800 m), while very fluidal bombs are uncommon beyond 500 meters. Fluidal bombs (‘cow pie’, ‘ribbon’, ‘rope/spindle’) show a clear trend in decreasing size with distance from vent, whereas the size-distance trend is less dramatic for the aerodynamic bombs.

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Date Created
  • 2020-05

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Three-Dimensional Investigation of a 5 m Deflected Swale along the San Andreas Fault in the Carrizo Plain

Description

Topographic maps produced from Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data are useful for paleoseismic and neotectonic research because they pro- vide submeter representation of faulting-related surface features. Offset measurements of

Topographic maps produced from Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data are useful for paleoseismic and neotectonic research because they pro- vide submeter representation of faulting-related surface features. Offset measurements of geomorphic features, made in the field or on a remotely sensed imagery, commonly assume a straight or smooth (i.e., undeflected) pre-earthquake geometry. Here, we present results from investigation of an ∼20 cm deep and >5 m wide swale with a sharp bend along the San Andreas fault (SAF) at the Bidart fan site in the Carrizo Plain, California. From analysis of LiDAR topography images and field measure- ments, the swale was initially interpreted as a channel tectonically offset ∼4:7 m. Our observations from exposures in four backhoe excavations and 25 hand-dug trenchettes show that even though a sharp bend in the swale coincides with the trace of the A.D. 1857 fault rupture, the swale formed after the 1857 earthquake and was not tectonically offset. Subtle fractures observed within a surficial gravel unit overlying the 1857 rupture trace are similar to fractures previously documented at the Phelan fan and LY4 paleoseismic sites 3 and 35 km northwest of Bidart fan, respectively. Collectively, the fractures suggest that a post-1857 moderate-magnitude earthquake caused ground cracking in the Carrizo and Cholame stretches of the SAF. Our obser- vations emphasize the importance of excavation at key locations to validate remote and ground-based measurements, and we advocate more geomorphic characterization for each site if excavation is not possible.

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Date Created
  • 2014-12-01

An Exploration of Ultimate Culture

Description

The sport of Ultimate, formerly known as Ultimate Frisbee™, spread around the world in the mid-seventies and was considered an alternative sport that embraced a more casual atmosphere than other

The sport of Ultimate, formerly known as Ultimate Frisbee™, spread around the world in the mid-seventies and was considered an alternative sport that embraced a more casual atmosphere than other traditional, competitive sports. Ultimate is now receiving national and international attention as a competitive sport, with broadcasts of games on networks such as ESPN. As it transitions into a mainstream sport while attempting to maintain its alternative roots, it is possible that there are contrasting opinions between those who want to bring it further into the mainstream and those who want to maintain as much as possible of the original, alternative culture. In this work, we surveyed members of the Ultimate community for their perspectives on the unique culture of Ultimate.
Because the Ultimate community considers itself to be progressive, despite its largely Caucasian makeup, one topic of exploration was the political landscape of the Ultimate community. A second unique aspect of ultimate is the system for enforcing rules used by the players on the field, known as the spirit of the game. This system replaces referees and creates an ethical dynamic both during play and within the community that is not found in other sports. The last major topic of study here is the self-perception of the players as athletes. Because Ultimate continues to maintain a reputation as an alternative sport, athletes may perceive themselves differently than in more established sports.
When asked if Ultimate players perceived the Ultimate community as accepting of athletes who are people of color (POC) or members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender community (LGBT), the community reported being accepting of all minorities. However, acceptance of POC athletes was rated significantly lower than the acceptance of LGBT athletes. When asked about comradery, the respondents rated comradery higher within the Ultimate community than in other sports. When asked how impartial players were in Ultimate compared to other sports, players with more experience tended to report perceiving themselves as more impartial. All demographics reported being more impartial in Ultimate than in other athletics. When asked about the seriousness of Ultimate, those who had not played another sport considered Ultimate to be more serious than those who had played another sport. In addition, players with more years of Ultimate experience also considered it to be more serious than those with fewer years of experience. Overall, additional studies on Ultimate culture are needed in order to obtain more viewpoints, as there is a lack of research in this field for comparison.

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Date Created
  • 2019-05

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Tectonic and climatic influence on the evolution of the Bhutan Himalaya

Description

The Himalaya are the archetypal example of a continental collision belt, formed by the ongoing convergence between India and Eurasia. Boasting some of the highest and most rugged topography on

The Himalaya are the archetypal example of a continental collision belt, formed by the ongoing convergence between India and Eurasia. Boasting some of the highest and most rugged topography on Earth, there is currently no consensus on how climatic and tectonic processes have combined to shape its topographic evolution. The Kingdom of Bhutan in the eastern Himalaya provides a unique opportunity to study the interconnections among Himalayan climate, topography, erosion, and tectonics. The eastern Himalaya are remarkably different from the rest of the orogen, most strikingly due to the presence of the Shillong Plateau to the south of the Himalayan rangefront. The tectonic structures associated with the Shillong Plateau have accommodated convergence between India and Eurasia and created a natural experiment to test the possible response of the Himalaya to a reduction in local shortening. In addition, the position and orientation of the plateau topography has intercepted moisture once bound for the Himalaya and created a natural experiment to test the possible response of the range to a reduction in rainfall. I focused this study around the gently rolling landscapes found in the middle of the otherwise extremely rugged Bhutan Himalaya, with the understanding that these landscapes likely record a recent change in the evolution of the range. I have used geochronometric, thermochronometric, and cosmogenic nuclide techniques, combined with thermal-kinematic and landscape evolution models to draw three primary conclusions. 1) The cooling histories of bedrock samples from the hinterland of the Bhutan Himalaya show a protracted decrease in erosion rate from the Middle Miocene toward the Pliocene. I have attributed this change to a reduction in shortening rates across the Himalayan mountain belt, due to increased accommodation of shortening across the Shillong Plateau. 2) The low-relief landscapes of Bhutan were likely created by backtilting and surface uplift produced by an active, blind, hinterland duplex. These landscapes were formed during surface uplift, which initiated ca. 1.5 Ma and has totaled 800 m. 3) Millennial-scale erosion rates are coupled with modern rainfall rates. Non-linear relationships between topographic metrics and erosion rates, suggest a fundamental difference in the mode of river incision within the drier interior of Bhutan and the wetter foothills.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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Transitions in eruption style at silicic volcanoes: from stable domes to pyroclastic flows and explosive plumes

Description

Silicic volcanoes produce many styles of activity over a range of timescales. Eruptions vary from slow effusion of viscous lava over many years to violent explosions lasting several hours. Hazards

Silicic volcanoes produce many styles of activity over a range of timescales. Eruptions vary from slow effusion of viscous lava over many years to violent explosions lasting several hours. Hazards from these eruptions can be far-reaching and persistent, and are compounded by the dense populations often surrounding active volcanoes. I apply and develop satellite and ground-based remote sensing techniques to document eruptions at Merapi and Sinabung Volcanoes in Indonesia. I use numerical models of volcanic activity in combination with my observational data to describe the processes driving different eruption styles, including lava dome growth and collapse, lava flow emplacement, and transitions between effusive and explosive activity.

Both effusive and explosive eruptions have occurred recently at Merapi volcano. I use satellite thermal images to identify variations during the 2006 effusive eruption and a numerical model of magma ascent to explain the mechanisms that controlled those variations. I show that a nearby tectonic earthquake may have triggered the peak phase of the eruption by increasing the overpressure and bubble content of the magma and that the frequency of pyroclastic flows is correlated with eruption rate. In 2010, Merapi erupted explosively but also shifted between rapid dome-building and explosive phases. I explain these variations by the heterogeneous addition of CO2 to the melt from bedrock under conditions favorable to transitions between effusive and explosive styles.

At Sinabung, I use photogrammetry and satellite images to describe the emplacement of a viscous lava flow. I calculate the flow volume (0.1 km3) and average effusion rate (4.4 m3 s-1) and identify active regions of collapse and advance. Advance rate was controlled by the effusion rate and the flow’s yield strength. Pyroclastic flow activity was initially correlated to the decreasing flow advance rate, but was later affected by the underlying topography as the flow inflated and collapsed near the vent, leading to renewed pyroclastic flow activity.

This work describes previously poorly understood mechanisms of silicic lava emplacement, including multiple causes of pyroclastic flows, and improves the understanding, monitoring capability, and hazard assessment of silicic volcanic eruptions.

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Date Created
  • 2016

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Field and Flume Investigations of Bedload Transport and Bedforms in Sand-Bedded Rivers

Description

Worldwide, rivers and streams make up dense, interconnected conveyor belts of sediment– removing carved away earth and transporting it downstream. The propensity of alluvial river beds to self-organize into complex

Worldwide, rivers and streams make up dense, interconnected conveyor belts of sediment– removing carved away earth and transporting it downstream. The propensity of alluvial river beds to self-organize into complex trains of bedforms (i.e. ripples and dunes) suggests that the associated fluid and sediment dynamics over individual bedforms are an integral component of bedload transport (sediment rolled or bounced along the river bed) over larger scales. Generally speaking, asymmetric bedforms (such as alluvial ripples and dunes) migrate downstream via erosion on the stoss side of the bedform and deposition on the lee side of the bedform. Thus, the migration of bedforms is intrinsically linked to the downstream flux of bedload sediment. Accurate quantification of bedload transport is important for the management of waters, civil engineering, and river restoration efforts. Although important, accurate qualification of bedload transport is a difficult task that continues t elude researchers. This dissertation focuses on improving our understanding and quantification of bedload transport on the two spatial scales: the bedform scale and the reach (~100m) scale.

Despite a breadth of work investigating the spatiotemporal details of fluid dynamics over bedforms and bedload transport dynamics over flat beds, there remains a relative dearth of investigations into the spatiotemporal details of bedload transport over bedforms and on a sub-bedform scale. To address this, we conducted two sets of flume experiments focused on the two fundamental regions of flow associated with bedforms: flow separation/reattachment on the lee side of the bedform (Chapter 1; backward facing-step) and flow reacceleration up the stoss side of the next bedform (Chapter 2; two-dimensional bedform). Using Laser and Acoustic Doppler Velocimetry to record fluid turbulent events and manual particle tracking of high-speed imagery to record bedload transport dynamics, we identified the existence and importance of “permeable splat events” in the region proximal to flow reattachment.

These coupled turbulent and sediment transport events are integral to the spatiotemporal pattern of bedload transport over bedforms. Splat events are localized, high magnitude, intermittent flow features in which fluid impinges on the bed, infiltrates the top portion of bed, and then exfiltrates in all directions surrounding the point of impingement. This initiates bedload transport in a radial pattern. These turbulent structures are primarily associated with quadrant 1 and 4 turbulent structures (i.e. instantaneous fluid fluctuations in the streamwise direction that bring fluid down into the bed in the case of quadrant 1 events, or up away from the bed in the case of quadrant 4 events) and generate a distinct pattern of bedload transport compared to transport dynamics distal to flow reattachment. Distal to flow reattachment, bedload transport is characterized by relatively unidirectional transport. The dynamics of splat events, specifically their potential for inducing significant magnitudes of cross-stream transport, has important implications for the evolution of bedforms from simple, two dimensional features to complex, three-dimensional features.

New advancements in sonar technology have enabled more detailed quantification of bedload transport on the reach scale, a process paramount to the effective management of rivers with sand or gravel-dominated bed material. However, a practical and scalable field methodology for reliably estimating bedload remains elusive. A popular approach involves calculating transport from the geometry and celerity of migrating bedforms, extracted from time-series of bed elevation profiles (BEPs) acquired using echosounders. Using two sets of repeat multibeam sonar surveys from the Diamond Creek USGS gage station in Grand Canyon National Park with large spatio-temporal resolution and coverage, we compute bedload using three field techniques for acquiring BEPs: repeat multi-, single-, and multiple single-beam sonar. Significant differences in flux arise between repeat multibeam and single beam sonar. Mulitbeam and multiple single beam sonar systems can potentially yield comparable results, but the latter relies on knowledge of bedform geometries and flow that collectively inform optimal beam spacing and sampling rate. These results serve to guide design of optimal sampling, and for comparing transport estimates from different sonar configurations.

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Date Created
  • 2018