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Geomorphic History Of The Grand Staircase Region Of The Colorado Plateau: Understanding Arroyo Cut-Fill Dynamics, Erosion Rates, And Wildfire, Kerry E. Riley Aug 2020

Geomorphic History Of The Grand Staircase Region Of The Colorado Plateau: Understanding Arroyo Cut-Fill Dynamics, Erosion Rates, And Wildfire, Kerry E. Riley

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Most streams in the southwestern United States do not flow all year, and given their delicate balance of sediment and water flow, they are sensitive to climate change. At the turn of the 20th century, many streams in the Southwest rapidly incised into their floodplains, forming arroyos with a channel entrenched into near-vertical channel banks mostly composed of sand and mud. This dissertation investigates past changes in watersheds draining the Grand Staircase region in southern Utah with the goal of understanding how changes in climate and sediment influence these types of streams. Results show sediment supply is highly variable across ...


Connections Between Hydrothermal System Geochemistry And Microbiology: Traversing Tectonic Boundaries In The South-Central Peruvian Andes, Heather Upin Aug 2020

Connections Between Hydrothermal System Geochemistry And Microbiology: Traversing Tectonic Boundaries In The South-Central Peruvian Andes, Heather Upin

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Geochemistry and microbiology are inherently tied in the natural world. The study of geomicrobiology has historically taken place in extreme systems, like hot springs of Yellowstone National Park and deep-sea hydrothermal vents, because the organisms that exist there have deep lineages on the tree of life and provide insight into early life on Earth. These microbes use chemical energy from nutrients available in their environment rather than relying on photosynthesis, energy obtained from the sun, to support their metabolism. The goal of this study is to improve our understanding of geological controls (for example the tectonic setting) on hot spring ...


Nanotextural And Nanochemical Constraints On The Role Of Heat In The Development Of Crystalline-Hosted, Silica-Rich Fault Mirrors In The Wasatch Fault Damage Zone, Utah, Usa, Leah M. Houser May 2020

Nanotextural And Nanochemical Constraints On The Role Of Heat In The Development Of Crystalline-Hosted, Silica-Rich Fault Mirrors In The Wasatch Fault Damage Zone, Utah, Usa, Leah M. Houser

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Earthquakes occur on faults, or rock that has experienced displacement at depth. Experimental work on a range of rock types reveals that >90% of earthquake energy on fault surfaces is given off as heat. Heat weakens rock and promotes earthquake rupture propagation. Thin (<0.5mm), high-gloss, “polished”, light-reflective exposed fault surfaces are called fault mirrors (FMs). Fault mirrors may record rapid thermal, textural, and chemical changes that occur during an earthquake event.

The Wasatch Mountains are a N-S trending mountain range in Northern Utah that are the backdrop for Salt Lake City, Provo, Ogden, and Brigham City. This mountain range is currently built by the active Wasatch fault, and includes the exposed Wasatch fault damage zone. Many segments of the Wasatch fault are overdue for a potentially catastrophic earthquake ...


Evolution Of The Book Cliffs Dryland Escarpment In Central Utah - Establishing Rates And Testing Models Of Escarpment Retreat, Nicholas R. Mccarroll Dec 2019

Evolution Of The Book Cliffs Dryland Escarpment In Central Utah - Establishing Rates And Testing Models Of Escarpment Retreat, Nicholas R. Mccarroll

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Since the earliest explorations of the Colorado Plateau, geologists have suspected that cliffs are retreating back laterally. Clarence Dutton envisioned “the beds thus dissolving edge wise until after the lapse of millions of centuries their terminal cliffs stand a hundred miles or more back from their original position” when he wrote about the landscape in 1882. While many geologic studies have determined how fast rivers cut down through the Plateau, only a few studies have calculated how quickly cliffs retreat laterally, and geologists have been arguing since the 1940’s what exactly drives cliffs to retreat in the first place ...


Structural Control Of Thermal Fluid Circulation And Geochemistry In A Flat-Slab Subduction Zone, Peru, Brandt E. Scott May 2019

Structural Control Of Thermal Fluid Circulation And Geochemistry In A Flat-Slab Subduction Zone, Peru, Brandt E. Scott

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Hot spring geochemistry from the Peruvian Andes provide insight on how faults, or fractures in the Earth's crust, are capable of influencing fluid circulation. Faults can either promote or inhibit fluid flow and the goal of this study is test the role of a major fault, such as the Cordillera Blanca detachment, as a channel for transporting deep fluids to the surface. Hot springs are abundant in the Cordillera Blanca and Huayhuash ranges in Peru, and several springs issue along the Cordillera Blanca detachment, making this region an ideal setting for our study. To test the role of the ...


Micro- To Macro-Scale Structural And Lithological Architecture Of Basal Nonconformities: Implications For Fluid Flow And Injection Induced Seismicity, Garth Hesseltine May 2019

Micro- To Macro-Scale Structural And Lithological Architecture Of Basal Nonconformities: Implications For Fluid Flow And Injection Induced Seismicity, Garth Hesseltine

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Rising incidents of earthquakes caused by human activity in the United States, known as induced earthquakes, is a growing concern. Induced earthquakes may occur when fluid and/or wastewater is injected several kilometers beneath the Earth’s surface into sedimentary rocks. Fluids and pressures can migrate from the sedimentary rocks, which are typically friendlier to fluid flow, into underlying less friendlier crystalline rocks along fluid pathways weakening and possibly reactivating preexisting faults. Understanding potential fluid pathways and/or barriers from the sedimentary rocks to crystalline rocks is crucial. I investigate the structure, composition, and heterogeneity of rocks near the contact ...


Analysis Of Small Faults In A Sandstone Reservoir Analog, San Rafael Desert: Implications For Fluid Flow At The Reservoir-Scale, Leslie Noël Clayton May 2019

Analysis Of Small Faults In A Sandstone Reservoir Analog, San Rafael Desert: Implications For Fluid Flow At The Reservoir-Scale, Leslie Noël Clayton

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

We examined small-displacement faults in the Jurassic Entrada Sandstone adjacent to the Iron Wash Fault, central Utah east of the San Rafael Swell, in order to describe the nature and timing of past fluid movement and deformation in the Entrada Sandstone. Using field studies, microscopy, and X-ray diffraction analysis, we identified mineralized fractures and cementation features in association with deformation bands and fractures at the interface of the Earthy and Slick Rock Members of the Entrada Sandstone.

Where the faults cross the Earthy-Slick Rock Member interface, deformation band faults in the Slick Rock Member become opening-mode fractures in the Earthy ...


Mountain-Block Recharge To The Cache Valley Principal Aquifer And Geochemical Controls On Groundwater Movement In Alpine Karst, Skyler J. Sorsby May 2019

Mountain-Block Recharge To The Cache Valley Principal Aquifer And Geochemical Controls On Groundwater Movement In Alpine Karst, Skyler J. Sorsby

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Groundwater is documented to flow through solution-widened fractures and bedding planes in limestone and dolostone units in low-relief topography. This enhancement, or karstification, is much harder to study in alpine environments like the Bear River Range of northern Utah. This is problematic, due to the fact that the Bear River Range karst aquifer system supplies the City of Logan with a large quantity of water at Dewitt Spring. Furthermore, the karst aquifer sustains the Logan River for much of the year, and may allow groundwater to flow directly in the subsurface to the Cache Valley principal aquifer system.

Flow measurements ...


Ediacaran Depositional Age And Subsequent Fluid-Rock Interactions In The Mutual And Browns Hole Formations Of Northern Utah, Ashley W. Provow May 2019

Ediacaran Depositional Age And Subsequent Fluid-Rock Interactions In The Mutual And Browns Hole Formations Of Northern Utah, Ashley W. Provow

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Constraining the depositional age of Neoproterozoic stratigraphy in western North America has implications for correlating global glaciation and tectonic events. The depositional ages of the Neoproterozoic Mutual and Browns Hole formations of northern Utah are controlled by two conflicting datapoints. However, new U-Pb geochronological data from 95 detrital apatite grains refines the maximum depositional age of the volcanic member of the Browns Hole Formation to 613 ± 12 Ma (2σ). This places new restrictions on the time available for the deposition of underlying units. Due to debate regarding the age models for underlying stratigraphy, two scenarios for sediment accumulation rates are ...


Assessing Paleoenvironmental And Geomorphic Variability In Relationship To Paleoindian Site Burial; Centennial Valley, Montana, Hillary A. Jones May 2019

Assessing Paleoenvironmental And Geomorphic Variability In Relationship To Paleoindian Site Burial; Centennial Valley, Montana, Hillary A. Jones

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Wave action along the shores of Lima Reservoir in Centennial Valley, Montana is actively eroding the southern margins of three neighboring Paleoindian sites. Despite ostensible similarity among the sites, major site formation differences are apparent in exposed sediments. Shoreline cutbank exposures one-to-five meters high connect the sites and reveal a complicated geomorphic history. Although each site contains artifact evidence of terminal Pleistocene-early Holocene occupations, Paleoindian components at these three localities occur in very different contexts: one is buried, while the other two are apparent surface scatters. This raise the question of why sites of the same age are in both ...


New Ca-Id-Tims Detrital Zircon Constraints On Middle Neoproterozoic Sedimentary Successions, Southwestern United States, Abigail R. Bullard Dec 2018

New Ca-Id-Tims Detrital Zircon Constraints On Middle Neoproterozoic Sedimentary Successions, Southwestern United States, Abigail R. Bullard

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Three related sedimentary successions located in Arizona, Utah, and California were deposited in basins on proto-North America during the early rifting of Rodinia (~780 Mya). Previous detrital zircon U-Pb maximum ages for the units are inexact, making it difficult to piece together what happened at this point in Earth history.

We report better maximum age constraints on these units obtained by subjecting detrital zircons to high-precision CA-ID-TIMS analysis, which provide more exact 206 Pb/238U ages. These new data significantly improve the precision for the base of the ChUMP units, with an average age of 775. 63 ± 0.27 Ma ...


The Influence Of Mechanical Stratigraphy On Thrust-Ramp Nucleation And Propagation Of Thrust Faults, Sarah S. Wigginton Dec 2018

The Influence Of Mechanical Stratigraphy On Thrust-Ramp Nucleation And Propagation Of Thrust Faults, Sarah S. Wigginton

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Our current understanding of thrust fault kinematics predicts that thrust faults nucleate on low angle, weak surfaces before they propagate upward and forms a higher angle ramp. While this classic kinematic and geometric model serves well in some settings, it does not fully consider the observations of footwall deformation beneath some thrust faults. We examine an alternative end-member model of thrust fault formation called “ramp-first” fault formation. This model hypothesizes that in mechanically layered rocks, thrust ramps nucleate in the structurally strong units, and that faults can propagate both upward and downward into weaker units forming folds at both fault ...


Understanding The Late Mesoproterozoic Earth System From The Oldest Strata In Grand Canyon: C-Isotope Stratigraphy And Facies Analysis Of The 1254 Ma Bass Formation, Grand Canyon Supergroup, Az., Usa, Erin C. Lathrop May 2018

Understanding The Late Mesoproterozoic Earth System From The Oldest Strata In Grand Canyon: C-Isotope Stratigraphy And Facies Analysis Of The 1254 Ma Bass Formation, Grand Canyon Supergroup, Az., Usa, Erin C. Lathrop

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Rocks provide insight into ancient times before complex animals existed. The oldest sedimentary rocks in Grand Canyon (the Bass Formation) allow us to glimpse into what things might have been like over a billion years ago. These rocks record the time known as the Mesoproterozoic Era (1.6 to 1.0 billion years ago), otherwise known as the ‘boring billion’. These rocks are thought to be the right age to indicate the end of an oddly stable world when continents were quiet and life was calm, yet they predate younger rocks that record extreme events. The Bass Formation, some of ...


Quaternary Incision, Salt Tectonism, And Landscape Evolution Of Moab-Spanish Valley, Utah, James P. Mauch May 2018

Quaternary Incision, Salt Tectonism, And Landscape Evolution Of Moab-Spanish Valley, Utah, James P. Mauch

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

To study the history of processes that shape the Earth’s surface, geologists look for markers in the landscape that they can date and use to measure change. Rivers leave such markers in their deposits and terrace landforms and in the overall shape of their elevation profile from head to toe. This thesis uses luminescence and cosmogenic methods to date the sediment in terraces to determine when the river deposited it. Field mapping and global positioning system (GPS) surveying are also used to measure the distance between terrace levels to quantify how much change has occurred. This study seeks to ...


Geological Characterization Of Precambrian Nonconformities: Implications For Injection-Induced Seismicity In The Midcontinent United States, Laura Cuccio Dec 2017

Geological Characterization Of Precambrian Nonconformities: Implications For Injection-Induced Seismicity In The Midcontinent United States, Laura Cuccio

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The midcontinent United States, a region which typically does not experience many earthquakes, has experienced a significant increase in the number of earthquakes over the last decade. This increase in earthquake activity has been linked to wastewater injection, a process in which large volumes of wastewater from oil and gas extraction are injected into deep (2-3 km), high-permeability sedimentary rocks, near low-permeability Precambrian (>540-million-year-old) crystalline ‘basement’ rocks. The contact between these two rock types is referred to as the Precambrian nonconformity. Injection-induced earthquakes occur on or near basement-hosted faults due to an increase in pore fluid pressures, which implies that ...


Usarray Imaging Of North American Continental Crust, Xiaofei Ma Dec 2017

Usarray Imaging Of North American Continental Crust, Xiaofei Ma

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The layered structure and bulk composition of continental crust contains important clues about its history of mountain-building, about its magmatic evolution, and about dynamical processes that continue to happen now. Geophysical and geological features such as gravity anomalies, surface topography, lithospheric strength and the deformation that drives the earthquake cycle are all directly related to deep crustal chemistry and the movement of materials through the crust that alter that chemistry.

The North American continental crust records billions of years of history of tectonic and dynamical changes. The western U.S. is currently experiencing a diverse array of dynamical processes including ...


Analysis Of The Hite Fault Group, Southeast Utah: Insights Into Fluid Flow Properties In A Reservoir Analog, Daniel J. Curtis Aug 2017

Analysis Of The Hite Fault Group, Southeast Utah: Insights Into Fluid Flow Properties In A Reservoir Analog, Daniel J. Curtis

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

In the subsurface faults can act as both barriers and conduits for fluids or gases such as CO2, hydrocarbons, or water. It is often thought that faults in porous rocks such as sandstone are barriers to fluid flow. In this study we show that this is not always the case. In sandstones like the Cedar Mesa Sandstone it is very important to understand the relationships between this history of fault slip and fluid flow. Better understanding of how fluids migrate through faults and the damaged areas surrounding these faults has strong significance to the oil and gas industry.

In ...


Investigating Patterns Of Fluvial Form And Incision Near The Yellowstone Hotspot — Alpine Canyon Of The Snake River, Wyoming, Daphnee Tuzlak May 2017

Investigating Patterns Of Fluvial Form And Incision Near The Yellowstone Hotspot — Alpine Canyon Of The Snake River, Wyoming, Daphnee Tuzlak

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The Snake River flows across the dynamically uplifting hotspot plume of the Yellowstone region, cuts through the Snake River Range and ultimately enters the lowlying eastern Snake River Plain. Thermal and mantle-dynamic uplift around Yellowstone has been recorded by short-term geodesy and modeled by geophysicists, but measurements over Quaternary timescales and an understanding of how that uplift influences regional incision are absent. The Snake River is the only regional river that crosses the uplifting Yellowstone Plateau and flows into the subsiding eastern Snake River Plain (SRP), and provides an opportunity to investigate both ends of the phenomenon on the tailing ...


Hydrocarbon And Co2 Emissions From Oil And Gas Production Well Pad Soils Comparative To Background Soil Emissions In Eastern Utah, Cody S. Watkins May 2017

Hydrocarbon And Co2 Emissions From Oil And Gas Production Well Pad Soils Comparative To Background Soil Emissions In Eastern Utah, Cody S. Watkins

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Emissions of methane, non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHC), and carbon dioxide (CO2) at 27 natural gas well pads, 11 non-well locations in oil and gas fields, and 7 hydrocarbon-bearing outcrops in eastern Utah between 2013 and 2016 were measured using a dynamic flux chamber (DFC) in effort to answer the following questions: What effect does the development of oil and gas have on the observed air quality (increased ozone, CO2, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and/or methane emissions) in northeastern Utah? What percentage of these gases is due to natural background emissions, and what percentage is due to oil and ...


Spatio-Temporal History Of Fluid-Rock Interaction In The Hurricane Fault Zone, Jace Koger May 2017

Spatio-Temporal History Of Fluid-Rock Interaction In The Hurricane Fault Zone, Jace Koger

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The Hurricane Fault is a 250-km long, west dipping, Basin and Range-bounding normal fault in SW Utah and NW Arizona that initiated in the mid-Miocene to Pliocene. It has been primarily active in the Quaternary, with slip rates of 0.2 – 0.6 mm/yr. There are multiple hot springs along its 250-km length and multiple late Tertiary-Quaternary basaltic centers broadly parallel the fault. Possible sources of hot spring fluids include deeply-circulated meteoric water that experienced water-rock exchange at high temperatures (>100 °C) and deep-seated crustal fluids. Aside from the source of modern hot spring fluids and heat, questions about ...


Magmatic Evolution Of Early Subduction Zones: Geochemical Modeling And Chemical Stratigraphy Of Boninite And Fore Arc Basalt From The Bonin Fore Arc, Emily A. Haugen May 2017

Magmatic Evolution Of Early Subduction Zones: Geochemical Modeling And Chemical Stratigraphy Of Boninite And Fore Arc Basalt From The Bonin Fore Arc, Emily A. Haugen

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The Izu-Bonin-Mariana arc stretches south from Japan to Guam in the Western Pacific. International Ocean Discovery Project Expedition 352 drilled four core in the fore arc of the Izu-Bonin arc east of the Bonin Islands: U1439C, U1440B, U1441A, and U1442A. From the four core, 124 samples were retrieved and analyzed for major and trace elements. Two main rock types were identified: FAB and boninite. FAB is a Mid-Ocean Ridge Basalt (MORB)-like tholeiite with variable fluid mobile element enrichment such as Rb, Ba, and Sr, and low Ti/V ratios more similar to an island arc volcanic than a mid-ocean ...


Spatiotemporal Evolution Of Pleistocene And Late Oligocene-Early Miocene Deformation In The Mecca Hills, Southernmost San Andreas Fault Zone, Amy C. Moser May 2017

Spatiotemporal Evolution Of Pleistocene And Late Oligocene-Early Miocene Deformation In The Mecca Hills, Southernmost San Andreas Fault Zone, Amy C. Moser

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Seismogenically active faults (those that produce earthquakes) are very complex systems that constantly change through time. When an earthquake occurs, the rocks surrounding a fault (the “fault rocks”) become altered or damaged. Studying these fault rocks directly can inform what processes operated in the fault and how the fault evolved in space and time. Examining these key aspects of faults helps us understand the earthquake hazards of active fault systems.

The Mecca Hills, southern California, consist of a set of hills adjacent to the southernmost San Andreas Fault. The topography is related to motion on the San Andreas fault, which ...


Sequence Stratigraphy, Chemostratigraphy, And Biostratigraphy Of Lower Ordovician Units In Northeastern And Western Central Utah: Regional Implications, Colter R. Davis May 2017

Sequence Stratigraphy, Chemostratigraphy, And Biostratigraphy Of Lower Ordovician Units In Northeastern And Western Central Utah: Regional Implications, Colter R. Davis

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The Lower to Middle Ordovician Garden City Formation and Pogonip Group are coeval successions of mixed carbonate and siliciclastic rocks deposited under normal marine conditions on a shallow carbonate ramp on the western margin of Laurentia. The Garden City Formation was deposited in the Northern Utah Basin and the Pogonip Group was deposited in the Ibex Basin. These two basins experienced different rates of thermal subsidence following Neoproterozoic rifting along the western margin of Laurentia resulting in significant thickness differences between rock units and varying lithologic expressions of eustatic change. This study provides a unique opportunity to examine the lithologic ...


(Uranium-Thorium)/Helium Thermochronologic Constraints On Secondary Iron-Oxide Mineralization In Southwestern New Mexico, Michael Channer May 2017

(Uranium-Thorium)/Helium Thermochronologic Constraints On Secondary Iron-Oxide Mineralization In Southwestern New Mexico, Michael Channer

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Southwestern New Mexico experienced protracted volcanism from ~60 Ma to 500 ka and associated epithermal mineralization. We apply hematite (U-Th)/He (hematite He) thermochronology to fracture-hosted hematite in the Lordsburg Mining District to resolve the timing of mineralization related to hydrothermal fluid circulation. We interpret hematite He dates with integrated field and structural observations, scanning electron microscopy to characterize hematite texture and grain size distribution, and zircon U-Pb and zircon (U-Th)/He (zircon He) chronology to constrain the timing of host rock formation and the ambient low-temperature thermal history, respectively. Undeformed hematite fills fractures cut a brecciated rhyolite and preserve ...


Confirmation Of A New Geometric And Kinematic Model Of The San Andreas Fault At Its Southern Tip, Durmid Hill, Southern California, Daniel K. Markowski May 2016

Confirmation Of A New Geometric And Kinematic Model Of The San Andreas Fault At Its Southern Tip, Durmid Hill, Southern California, Daniel K. Markowski

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The southern - 100 km long Coachella section of the San Andreas fault is the only section of the fault in southern California that has not experienced a historical earthquake, and it may be the most overdue section of the fault. Numerical models of rupture propagation shows that a large earthquake with a nucleation one in the Durmid Hill field area would produce particularly destructive and deadly ground shaking in southern California. This is used as the model earthquake for the ShakeOut exercises in southern California because it is may represent the worst-case scenario for southern California but does not appear ...


Structural And Lithological Influences On The Tony Grove Alpine Karst System, Bear River Range, North Central Utah, Kirsten Bahr May 2016

Structural And Lithological Influences On The Tony Grove Alpine Karst System, Bear River Range, North Central Utah, Kirsten Bahr

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The fracture-dominated Tony Grove alpine karst system in the Bear River Range in north-central Utah, has caves ranging from 5m deep, consisting of solution-enlarged single fractures, to the large, 374m deep, Main Drain Cave, characterized by a series of vertical drops and horizontal passages. The caves int he Tony Grove area are developed throughout the 510m thick Fish Haven and Laketown Dolomites. The Swan Peak Formation, consisting of orthoquartzite and shale, underlies the dolomites.

Surface fracture measurements (n=3502) yielded two distinctive sets of fractures. The northeast-southwest sets had a mean orientation of 41±0.7°

and the northwest-southeast set ...


Crustal Architecture Of The Snake River Plain, Idaho, Through Geochemical Investigation Of Crustal Sill And Shallow Subvolcanic Xenoliths, Douglas James Jones May 2016

Crustal Architecture Of The Snake River Plain, Idaho, Through Geochemical Investigation Of Crustal Sill And Shallow Subvolcanic Xenoliths, Douglas James Jones

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The Snake River Plain (SRP) in southern Idaho is one of the best preserved examples of continental hotspot tracks. A layered mafic intrusion has been seismically imaged in the mid-crust, however, few geochemical studies have investigated the midcrustal sill complex’s importance in the evolution of SRP magmas. This thesis investigates the geochemistry of 3 xenoliths from a mid-to-lower crustal sill complex sampled from core taken from Kimama, ID, and 3 xenoliths from a shallow sub-volcanic magma chamber beneath the SRP sampled from Sid Butte, ID. Forward modeling and partition coefficient calculations estimate the parent melt of the Sid Butte ...


The Influence Of Small Displacement Faults On Seal Integrity And Lateral Movement Of Fluids, Eric A. Rasmusson May 2016

The Influence Of Small Displacement Faults On Seal Integrity And Lateral Movement Of Fluids, Eric A. Rasmusson

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

In the subsurface, faults can act as conduits for seal bypass or as lateral barriers to subsurface fluid flow. Recent reservoir modeling shows that the area where a reservoir-seal interface is in contact with a fault—the fault-interface corner—can be a site of high pore-fluid pressure that may cause seal failure. This can have negative implications for industries dependent on the quality of that seal, for example, petroleum, CO2 sequestration, waste fluid injection, and nuclear waste storage industries.

In order to better understand the fault-interface corner and improve models, we examined five mesoscale (cm- to m- scale) normal-slip faults ...


The Mh-2 Core From Project Hotspot: Description, Geologic Interpretation, And Significance To Geothermal Exploration In The Western Snake River Plain, Idaho, Jerome A. Varriale May 2016

The Mh-2 Core From Project Hotspot: Description, Geologic Interpretation, And Significance To Geothermal Exploration In The Western Snake River Plain, Idaho, Jerome A. Varriale

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The MH-2 science drill hole, on Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, was drilled in 2012 to a total depth 1821 m as part of Project Hotspot. It encountered flowing artesian thermal water at 1,745 m below ground surface. This signature of a potential blind high temperature geothermal resource indicates that further analyses are needed to characterize the resource. Whole rock core was recovered to a total depth of 1821 m below ground surface and a suite of wireline logs collected. In this thesis I describe the lithologies represented in the core, correlate these lithologies to outcrop analogs, and ...


The Colorado Plateau As A Virtual Laboratory For Mobile Games For Geoscience Education And Relations Between Rock Strength And River Metrics, Natalie Bursztyn Aug 2015

The Colorado Plateau As A Virtual Laboratory For Mobile Games For Geoscience Education And Relations Between Rock Strength And River Metrics, Natalie Bursztyn

All Graduate Theses and Dissertations

This dissertation encompasses two studies: one developing virtual field trips for mobile devices for an innovative approach to lower-division geoscience education, and the other examining the role of rock strength in river erosion and landscape evolution.

The education study involves the development of three virtual field trip modules (Geologic Time, Geologic Structures, and Hydrologic Processes, all free on iTunes and Google Play) that lead students down a virtual Colorado River through Grand Canyon by physically moving around their campus quad, football field or other location, using their GPS-equipped smart phone or tablet. As students reach each location in the scaled ...