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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 of impacting humans and human environments. As such, there is

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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2020-05

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 traditional, competitive sports. Ultimate is now receiving national and international

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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2019-05

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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 faults is challenging relative to studies emphasizing rapidly slipping faults.

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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2015-11-06

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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 of faults within the larger plate boundary system. While research

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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2017-03-21

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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 geomorphic features, made in the field or on a remotely

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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2014-12-01

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Eye-tracking investigations exploring how students learn geology from photographs and The structural setting of hydrothermal gold deposits in the San Antonio area, B.C.S., MX

Description

Geoscience educators commonly teach geology by projecting a photograph in front of the class. Geologic photographs often contain animals, people, and inanimate objects that help convey the scale of features in the photograph. Although scale items seem innocuous to instructors

Geoscience educators commonly teach geology by projecting a photograph in front of the class. Geologic photographs often contain animals, people, and inanimate objects that help convey the scale of features in the photograph. Although scale items seem innocuous to instructors and other experts, the presence of such items is distracting and has a profound effect on student learning behavior. To evaluate how students visually interact with distracting scale items in photographs and to determine if cueing or signaling is an effective means to direct students to pertinent information, students were eye tracked while looking at geologically-rich photographs. Eye-tracking data revealed that learners primarily looked at the center of an image, focused on faces of both humans and animals if they were present, and repeatedly returned to looking at the scale item (distractor) for the duration an image was displayed. The presence of a distractor caused learners to look at less of an image than when a distractor was not present. Learners who received signaling tended to look at the distractor less, look at the geology more, and surveyed more of the photograph than learners who did not receive signaling. The San Antonio area in the southern part of the Baja California Peninsula is host to hydrothermal gold deposits. A field study, including drill-core analysis and detailed geologic mapping, was conducted to determine the types of mineralization present, the types of structures present, and the relationship between the two. This investigation revealed that two phases of mineralization have occurred in the area; the first is hydrothermal deposition of gold associated with sulfide deposits and the second is oxidation of sulfides to hematite, goethite, and jarosite. Mineralization varies as a function of depth, whereas sulfides occurring at depth, while minerals indicative of oxidation are limited to shallow depths. A structural analysis revealed that the oldest structures in the study area include low-grade to medium-grade metamorphic foliation and ductile mylonitic shear zones overprinted by brittle-ductile mylonitic fabrics, which were later overprinted by brittle deformation. Both primary and secondary mineralization in the area is restricted to the later brittle features. Alteration-bearing structures have an average NNW strike consistent with northeast-southwest-directed extension, whereas unaltered structures have an average NNE strike consistent with more recent northwest-southeast-directed extension.

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2011

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Late Quaternary normal faulting and hanging wall basin evolution of the southwestern rift margin from gravity and geology, B.C.S., MX and exploring the influence of text-figure format on introductory geology learning

Description

An array of north-striking, left-stepping, active normal faults is situated along the southwestern margin of the Gulf of California. This normal fault system is the marginal fault system of the oblique-divergent plate boundary within the Gulf of California. To better

An array of north-striking, left-stepping, active normal faults is situated along the southwestern margin of the Gulf of California. This normal fault system is the marginal fault system of the oblique-divergent plate boundary within the Gulf of California. To better understand the role of upper-crustal processes during development of an obliquely rifted plate margin, gravity surveys were conducted across the normal-fault-bounded basins within the gulf-margin array and, along with optically stimulated luminescence dating of offset surfaces, fault-slip rates were estimated and fault patterns across basins were assessed, providing insight into sedimentary basin evolution. Additionally, detailed geologic and geomorphic maps were constructed along two faults within the system, leading to a more complete understanding of the role of individual normal faults within a larger array. These faults slip at a low rate (0.1-1 mm/yr) and have relatively shallow hanging wall basins (~500-3000 m). Overall, the gulf-margin faults accommodate protracted, distributed deformation at a low rate and provide a minor contribution to overall rifting. Integrating figures with text can lead to greater science learning than when either medium is presented alone. Textbooks, composed of text and graphics, are a primary source of content in most geology classes. It is essential to understand how students approach learning from text and figures in textbook-style learning materials and how the arrangement of the text and figures influences their learning approach. Introductory geology students were eye tracked while learning from textbook-style materials composed of text and graphics. Eye fixation data showed that students spent less time examining the figure than the text, but the students who more frequently examined the figure tended to improve more from the pretest to the posttest. In general, students tended to examine the figure at natural breaks in the reading. Textbook-style materials should, therefore, be formatted to include a number of natural breaks so that learners can pause to inspect the figure without the risk of losing their place in the reading and to provide a chance to process the material in small chunks. Multimedia instructional materials should be designed to support the cognitive processes of the learner.

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2011

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Duration characteristics of the mean horizontal component of shallow crustal earthquake records in active tectonic regions

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The focus of this study is statistical characterization of the significant duration of strong ground motion time histories. The significant duration is defined as the time needed to build up between five and seventy five (SD575) and ninety five

The focus of this study is statistical characterization of the significant duration of strong ground motion time histories. The significant duration is defined as the time needed to build up between five and seventy five (SD575) and ninety five percent (SD595) of the energy of a strong motion record. Energy is measured as the integral of the square of the acceleration time history and can be used to capture the potential destructiveness of an earthquake. Correlations of the geometric means of the two significant duration measures (SD575 and SD595) with source, path, and near surface site parameters have been investigated using the geometric mean of 2,690 pairs of recorded horizontal strong ground motion data from 129 earthquakes in active plate margins. These time histories correspond to moment magnitudes between 4.8 and 7.9, site to source distances up to 200 km, and near surface shear wave velocity ranging from 120 to 2250 m/s. Empirical relationships have been developed based upon the simple functional forms, and observed correlations. The coefficients of the independent variables in these empirical relationships have been determined through nonlinear regression analysis using a random effects model. It is found that significant duration measures correlate well with magnitude, site to source distance, and near surface shear wave velocity. The influence of the depth to top of rupture, depth to the shear wave velocity of 1000 m/s and the style of faulting were not found to be statistically significant. Comparison of the empirical relationship developed in this study with existing empirical relationships for the significant duration shows good agreement at intermediate magnitudes (M 6.5). However, at larger and smaller magnitude, the differences between the correlations developed in this study and those from previous studies are significant.

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2011

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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 sculpted by geomorphic processes. Crustal deformation manifests as earthquakes at

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.

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2014

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

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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

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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2020-12