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SRC - Amanda Henderson Session #5

University Events - Fri, 03/20/2015 - 00:15

Mar 21 - 9:15 AM - 9:30 AM

Geological Sciences Session #5 JKB 1129

Chair: Tom Chidsey

Judge(s): John McBride, Steve Nelson

09:15 AM Amanda Henderson

Faculty Advisor: Eric Christiansen

LOW-SHIELD VOLCANISM: A COMPARISON OF VOLCANOES ON SYRIA PLANUM, MARS AND SNAKE RIVER PLAIN, IDAHO

Volcanoes are key indicators of a planet’s internal structure, mechanics, and evolutionary history. Consequently understanding the types and ages of volcanoes on a planet’s surface are an important endeavor. A careful evaluation of the height, volume, base area, and flank slope of the volcanoes in Syria Planum, Mars and the Snake River Plain, Idaho using digital elevation models reveals that on average the volcanoes of Syria Planum have greater base areas, heights and volumes than those in Snake River Plain. Flank slope is the only parameter of equal value and range. The larger sizes of the volcanoes in Syria Planum are likely because of the lower gravity on Mars, where larger magma batches are required to produce sufficient buoyant force to overcome lithospheric strength. This results in higher eruption rates and longer flows and consequently larger volcanic structures.

SRC - Jake Voorhees Session #3

University Events - Fri, 03/20/2015 - 00:15

Mar 21 - 9:30 AM - 9:45 AM

Geological Sciences Session #3 JKB 1127

Chair: Mike Pinnell

Judge(s): Barry Bickmore, Sam Hudson

 

09:30 AM Jake Voorhees

Faculty Advisor: Ron Harris

Structural Evolution of the Beaver Dam Mountains Metamorphic Complex, SW Utah

The Beaver Dam Mountains feature a metamorphic core formed during Precambrian continental accretion. Foliations and bandings strike NW-SE and dip 50-60 ° to the SW, with a lineation plunging to the NW. Whether the steep orientation of the foliation is due to the original deformation or subsequent events is unclear. Rotating the foliation to horizontal yields N-S convergence directions on asymmetrical folds. In the north the foliation curves from NW-SE to N-S. Stereonet plots of the foliation indicate folding around a vertical axis. Eastward rotation after metamorphism is recorded by a dipping nonconformity. Limestone blocks resting above the metamorphic core have been interpreted as either gravity-slide blocks or the remnants of the hanging wall of a detachment fault. Recently discovered mylonitic textures in the metamorphic rocks of the footwall provide evidence of detachment faulting.

 

SRC - Ethan Payne Session #5

University Events - Fri, 03/20/2015 - 00:15

Mar 21 - 9:30 AM - 9:45 AM

Geological Sciences Session #5 JKB 1129

Chair: Tom Chidsey

Judge(s): John McBride, Steve Nelson

09:30 AM Ethan Payne

Faculty Advisor: Jani Radebaugh

Evolution of Paterae on Io from a Physical Analog Model

The surface of Io is enveloped with volcanic features known as paterae, or caldera-like depressions. While little is understood about their evolution, one hypothesis is that dense igneous rock collapses when layers of crustal SO2 escape. To test this hypothesis we created a physical model to allow for experimentation of different parameters involved in patera formation. Wet silicate sand has cohesion and is thus used to simulate dense crustal lava flows. This is interlain with a layer of water ice pellets 0.5  cm or blocks of dry ice 10 cm thick to simulate volatiles yielding craters similar in morphology to paterae on Io, with average dimensions of 14cm x 10cm x 5cm and 35cm x 20cm x 6cm respectively. The goal of this experiment is to scale up the results and compare them to paterae on Io.

SRC - Jared Brabazon Session #1

University Events - Fri, 03/20/2015 - 00:15

Mar 21 - 9:30 AM - 9:45 AM

Geological Sciences Session #1 JKB 1125

Chair: Gary Chapman

Judge(s): Eric Christiansen, Jani Radebaugh

09:30 AM Jared Brabazon

Faculty Advisor: Greg Carling

Differentiation of Goshen Valley Springs: a possible insight into source waters and flow-pathways

Goshen Valley has important groundwater resources that could be used to help sustain the growing population of Utah County. However, elevated levels of arsenic have been found throughout the valley. Some of the highest concentrations of arsenic have been identified in multiple springs discharging within the valley. This project identifies and separates the springs into different categories based on major dissolved ions, trace metals, and stable isotopes. These methods will help to differentiate the springs and examine possible differences in source waters and transport pathways to better understand the sources of arsenic in Goshen Valley springs.

SRC - Clarissa Escamilla Session #1

University Events - Fri, 03/20/2015 - 00:15

Mar 21 - 9:45 AM - 10:00 AM

09:45 AM Clarissa Escamilla

Geological Sciences Session #1 JKB 1125

Chair: Gary Chapman

Judge(s): Eric Christiansen, Jani Radebaugh

Faculty Advisor: Eric Christiansen

Is there evidence for delamination as the cause for Colorado Plateau uplift in Utah?

Leavander et al. (2011) proposed that delamination of the lithosphere caused the uplift of the Colorado Plateau starting about 5 Ma. They concluded that the Colorado Plateau lithosphere was hydrated, weakened, and then intruded by magma, which crystallized and converted to dense eclogite. These dense rocks created a delamination event that continues today. They claimed this process created young volcanism in southwestern Utah. However, based on a new compilation of igneous rock ages and compositions, magmatic activity is not localized in the area of proposed downwelling and the spatial pattern does not change at 6 Ma as it should, if downwelling commenced at that time. Moreover, the composition of the volcanic rocks does not change as it should, if delamination occurred.

SRC - JC Tucker Session #3

University Events - Fri, 03/20/2015 - 00:15

Mar 21 - 9:45 AM - 10:00 AM

Geological Sciences Session #3 JKB 1127

Chair: Mike Pinnell

Judge(s): Barry Bickmore, Sam Hudson

 

09:45 AM JC Tucker

Faculty Advisor: Steve Nelson

Correlation of LOI with Pollen  in Bogs

In Wayne and Sevier Counties in Utah, the Windy-Ridge mega-landslide occupies an area >27km2 and hosts many ponds and fens. To understand the climate conditions producing such a landslide, previous work used pollen indices from a 6m fen core to estimate paleo-precipitation. LOI is commonly performed on lake cores to help guide paleoclimate reconstruction.  This was attempted for the fen core. Samples were taken at 6cm intervals, heated to 500°C, then 950°C. Weights were recorded before and after each heating stage. As the LOI was determined at smaller intervals than pollen counts, interpolation was used to evaluate correlation between the indices. With interpolation, the correlation between LOI and pollen was high.  Without it, the correlation was low. In this fen LOI and pollen are proxies for different processes, suggesting that LOI may not record precipitation in other fens and bogs.

 

SRC - Dylan Dastrup Session #5

University Events - Fri, 03/20/2015 - 00:15

Mar 21 - 9:45 AM - 10:00 AM

Geological Sciences Session #5 JKB 1129

Chair: Tom Chidsey

Judge(s): John McBride, Steve Nelson

09:45 AM Dylan Dastrup

Faculty Advisor: Greg Carling

The Impact of Aeolian Dust on Trace Element Chemistry of Snowpack and Runoff

Over the past 150 years CO and UT have seen a 5-7 fold increase in dust deposition and a 400% increase in trace metals to alpine lakes. This work evaluated the relationship between the chemistry and isotopes of snowpack, dust and snowmelt runoff in alpine watersheds. Understanding these interactions will help water managers make responsible decisions concerning land and water usage throughout Utah. In cooperation with iUTAH (innovative Urban Transitions and Arid-region Hydro- sustainability), snow, water, and dust samples were collected from four watersheds in Utah and Nevada. Samples were analyzed for trace elements and major ions. 87Sr/86Sr isotopes were used as a tracer to track the dust through the system. Results indicate dust from the different watersheds has different sources, and Sr isotopes indicate that dust contributed 40% of Sr to the upper Provo River during snowmelt.

SRC - Mariah Chambers Session #5

University Events - Fri, 03/20/2015 - 00:15

Mar 21 - 10:00 AM - 10:15 AM

Geological Sciences Session #5 JKB 1129

Chair: Tom Chidsey

Judge(s): John McBride, Steve Nelson

10:00 AM Mariah Chambers

Faculty Advisor: Brooks Britt

Fluvial architecture of exhumed paleochannels in the Brushy Basin Member of the Morrison Formation, Castle Dale, Utah

The Late Jurassic Morrison Fm was deposited in the backbulge of the Sevier Orogeny during a time of increasing accommodation, preserving channel sandstones within abundant overbank mudstones. Over 190 exhumed paleochannel segments across 18 sq km of the Brushy Basin Mbr of the Morrison Fm east of Castle Dale, UT were studied and mapped to characterize the unit’s fluvial architecture. The channels range from 7-70 m wide and appear evenly spaced vertically throughout the unit. Of the 100 channel segments >125 m long, 1/3 preserve point bars. The following fluvial parameters were calculated: paleoslope .00042-.0013, sinuosity 1.7-2.0, discharge 1.5-30.5 m3/sec, and specific stream power 1.9-2.1 Watts/m2. In the study area, the Brushy Basin Mbr was deposited by low-sinuosity isolated streams representing the last phase of deposition before the migration of the forebulge across the area.

SRC - Scott Zylstra Session #3

University Events - Fri, 03/20/2015 - 00:15

Mar 21 - 10:00 AM - 10:15 AM

Geological Sciences Session #3 JKB 1127

Chair: Mike Pinnell

Judge(s): Barry Bickmore, Sam Hudson

 

10:00 AM Scott Zylstra

Faculty Advisor: Ron Harris

?Preliminary Petrologic Analysis? of the Beaver Dam Metamorphic Complex, Southern Utah

?The Beaver Dam Mountains expose the only Precambrian crystalline rocks in the southern third of Utah.  Mapping and petrographic analysis of these rocks indicate that the southern part of the complex comprises lithologies of interfingered garnet-rich leucogranite and quartzo-feldspathic orthogneiss (near the detachment fault these have a mylonitic greenschist overprint), both of which grade into migmatites.  The northern section contains k-feldspar and quartz pegmatite dikes which crosscut fine-grained mylonitic paragneiss, both of which transition to amphibolite.  Thin sections of these rocks show ?what is likely ?restitic hornblende, the presence of sillimanite?, intense mylonitization, ?and brittle ?shearing and elongating? or resorbtion? of garnet.  Possible protoliths include ?clastic or turbiditic ?sediments and intermediate and felsic igneous ??rocks?.

SRC - Jeff Valenza Session #1

University Events - Fri, 03/20/2015 - 00:15

Mar 21 - 10:00 AM - 10:15 AM

Geological Sciences Session #1 JKB 1125

Chair: Gary Chapman

Judge(s): Eric Christiansen, Jani Radebaugh

10:00 AM Jeff Valenza

Faculty Advisor: Tom Morris

Apparent Hummocky Cross-stratification of the upper Entrada Sandstone: Evidence for HCS-dominated tempestites interbedded with very shallow to emergent siliclastic environments

Tempestites are sedimentary deposits traditionally thought to be formed by high-energy storm events. Typically identified by hummocky cross-stratification (HCS), an indicator of subaqueous oscillatory flow, tempestites have been interpreted to occur between fair weather and storm wave base. Utah’s Jurassic (Callovian) Entrada Sandstone hosts fine-grained sand units that demonstrate apparent hummocky cross-stratification (AHCS). Research conducted on the upper Entrada Sandstone has categorized its depositional environments to consist predominantly of wadi-type alluvial systems and inland to coastal sabkha facies. AHCS observed in the Entrada Sandstone suggests that high energy marine events inundated isotopes. These methods will help to differentiate the springs and examine possible differences in source waters and transport pathways to better understand the sources of arsenic in Goshen Valley springs.

Open Studio at the MOA

University Events - Fri, 03/20/2015 - 00:15

Mar 21 - 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

On the first and third Saturday of each month, families can drop in to the BYU Museum of Art anytime between 10 AM and 12 Noon to participate in Open Studio, a free-choice, self-guided art making experience related to one of the Museum’s current exhibitions. After being presented with a key question about an exhibition theme, family members can create their own unique responses using the art materials provided.

All ages are welcome, and registration is not required. 

SRC - Charles Andros Session #2

University Events - Fri, 03/20/2015 - 00:15

Mar 21 - 10:30 AM - 12:15 PM

Geological Sciences Session #2 JKB 1125

Chair: Dave Noble

Judge(s): Ron Harris, Summer Rupper

 

10:30 AM Charles Andros

Faculty Advisor: Barry Bickmore

Employment of the Bond Valence Model in Molecular Dynamics Simulation

In the field of molecular modeling, producing molecular mechanics models with the twin characteristics of accuracy and efficiency is the hard-pressed goal of many modelers. My research group has successfully produced a molecular mechanics model that is capable of accurately predicting all aspects of molecular geometry and energetics for the O-H system, utilizing a computationally cheap parameter known as bond valence. Unfortunately, our model's parameters have not yet been tested in molecular dynamics (MD) simulation. My project is to implement our model in an MD software package known as LAMMPS (Large-scale Atomic/Molecular Massively Parallel Simulator) and then perform MD simulations to see if the model can successfully predict the dynamics and thermochemistry of water using fewer parameters than existing molecular mechanics models for water.

 

10:45 AM Kimberly Sowards

Faculty Advisor: Ron Harris

Tectonic Activity in Indonesia, and Mitigating Future Disasters

Tsunamis occur at least every 4 years over the past 400 years in the Indonesian archipelago.  However, most of the people who live along Indonesia’s 81,000 km of coastline do not know that they are at risk or how to respond. To communicate this danger to those in harms way I constructed tsunami inundation maps for several populated coastal regions that were inundated by tsunamis in the past.  The maps show how much of the coastal area would be inundated by tsunamis with run-up heights 0-5m, 5-10m and 10-20m.  Approximately 150 million people (60% of the population) live in these inundations zones.  Distribution of these maps is critical to increase awareness of those who live in each of these inundation zones about the tsunami hazards they face.

 

11:00 AM Jacob Lee

Faculty Advisor: Brooks Britt

Ontogony of Saints and Sinners Fauna

Terrestrial vertebrates grow in cycles, which leaves distinctive marks on the internal structure of long bones; called Lines of Arrested Growth (LAGs). LAG’s can be useful for studying the ontogeny of extinct species because of four properties: (1) they are present in all vertebrates, the lines are annular, (2) they are commonly fossilized, and (3) both the number and spacing of the lines enable us to determine whether an animal was juvenile or mature. Currently eight new species have been uncovered at the Saints and Sinners (S

 

11:15 AM Isaac Allred

Faculty Advisor: Sam Hudson

Fluvial architecture and facies distribution of the Cutler Formation within Fisher mini-basin, Paradox basin, Utah: Reservoir modeling of a salt-influenced, source-proximal fluvial system using digital outcrop techniques

The Paradox Basin lies on the SW flank of the Uncompahgre Uplift, which was a high-relief source of arkosic sediment to the basin in the Permian. Outcrops of the Permian Cutler Fm proximal to the Uncompahgre near Moab, Utah record the transition from proximal alluvial fan deposits to braided stream channels within a salt modified mini-basin. Numerous canyons provide excellent exposure of the high energy fluvial channels in multiple directions, providing insight into the three-dimensional architecture of these channels. High accuracy GPS mapping of these architectural elements and measurement of vertical sections will lead to detailed models that will improve the understanding of this heterogeneous fluvial reservoir. The exposed length of the Cutler Formation in the study area provides an analog for similar source proximal, high energy systems elsewhere in the geological record.

 

11:30 AM John Hunt

Faculty Advisor: Bart Kowallis

Geologic mapping in the Lake Mountain 7.5’ Quadrangle

As part of a project funded by the Utah Geological Survey, we mapped near the Little Water Hills (LWH) in the Lake Mountain Quadrangle, Uintah County, Utah at the 1:24,000 scale. The area was previously mapped using 3-D mapping software, but was left largely unchecked by a field geologist. Our field observations added detail to the mapping area, which led us to discover an unmapped formation – the Cretaceous Age Mesa Verde Formation – characterized by tar sands 2-3 m thick that pinch and swell. We also identified a new gravity slide deposit in the Duschene River Formation, improved the accuracy of contact placement, and increased the detail on Quaternary units. We added a left-lateral strike-slip fault and a splaying normal fault system along the LWH. Our findings produce a more accurate depiction of the geological units and reflect a more complete geologic history.

 

11:45 AM Brian Packer

Faculty Advisor: Greg Carling

Mercury Concentrations in Snowpack and Snowmelt in Northern Utah and Great Basin National Park  in Eastern Nevada

Mercury is a problematic contaminate that transforms into a toxic, bio-accumulative form known as methylmercury in aquatic environments. Atmospheric mercury collects onto snow during winter months through wet and dry deposition. During spring runoff mercury in snowpack is released into streams and rivers through snowmelt. Over the last year snow and river samples have been collected at various locations throughout northern Utah and Great Basin National Park in Nevada. With use of the Brooks Rand Mercury Analyzer at BYU, these samples are being analyzed for total mercury and methylmercury concentrations. By comparing concentrations of mercury in snowpack and  runoff we can develop an understanding of how mercury in snow can impact the watershed in these regions.

 

12:00 PM Durban G. Keeler

Faculty Advisor: Summer Rupper

Climate reconstructions of the European Younger Dryas from glacier geometries and extent

Studying abrupt climate variations in the past yields insights into the mechanisms behind such deviations, and allows for improved forecasts of future climate change. Glaciers are important tools in these climate investigations, due in part to their high climate sensitivity, with few other complicating factors. However, interpreting past climate from changes in glacial extent remains a challenge, thus limiting the applicability of these otherwise useful records. Here I present a method of reconstructing past climate (with associated model uncertainties) from minimal inputs of glacial geometries, using the European Younger Dryas as a test case. Such reconstructions allow for more detailed investigations into the extent, synchronicity, and mechanisms of abrupt climatic variations in the past, and will inform our understanding of the mechanisms driving climatic change.

 

12:15 PM Ethan Cook

Faculty Advisor: Sam Hudson

Near-salt stratal geometries of the Cutler Formation and implications for the evolution of the Onion Creek Diapir, Utah

The Onion Creek diapir is the sub-aerially exposed portion of the Fischer Valley salt wall in Moab, Utah. Strata ranging in ages from Pennsylvanian through Jurassic contact the diapir. The Permian Cutler formation is well exposed along much of the north side of the diapir revealing stratal geometries that divulge much about the basin's sedimentological history. These halokinetic geometries provide insight into the positive feedback loop between the passive diapiric rise of the Permian salt and the response of the Cutler fluvial system. Initial field observations suggest that the Fisher mini basin depocenter may be further away from the diapir than previous studies have suggested. Further studies using dGPS and photogrammetric techniques will trace surfaces to and from the diapir to more accurately map the halokinetic sequence stratigraphy.

SRC - Hannah Checketts Session #4

University Events - Fri, 03/20/2015 - 00:15

Mar 21 - 10:30 AM - 12:15 PM

Geological Sciences Session #4 JKB 1127

Chair: Mike Pinnell

Judge(s): Tom Morris, Brooks Britt

 

10:30 AM Hannah Checketts

Co-Author(s): David Yeates, Josh Whitmer

Faculty Advisor: Barry Bickmore

Extension of the bond-valence model in molecular mechanics to predict properties of bonds in molecules containing oxygen.

The bond-valence model is quantitatively simple and accurate for describing combinations of bond lengths, but cannot describe their spatial distribution. Therefore, our group has expanded the model to include vector representations of bond valence. The valence vector sum describes the spatial distribution and strength of bonds around an atom.  We have used quantum mechanical and experimental structures of molecules with two single bonds reaching a central atom to show that the valence vector sum on the central atom is predictable on the basis of the electronegativities and sizes of the bonded atoms.  We initially demonstrate this principle using oxygen-containing molecules, and show that the trends are connected with the lone-pair bond-weakening effect.

 

10:45 AM Mackenzie Hanson

Faculty Advisor: Eric Christiansen

Analysis of the Upper Rhyolite in the Kimberly, Idaho Core: Project Hotspot

The Upper Rhyolite of the Kimberly Core, a 2 km deep well drilled in the Snake River Plain near Twin Falls, Idaho, is a 230 m thick rhyolite of Miocene age. Based on the presence of contorted flow layering, a basal breccia, and the absence of eutaxitic fabric, we have interpreted it to be a lava flow. Whole rock compositions as well as compositions of pyroxene, plagioclase, Fe-Ti Oxides, and glass have been determined using XRF and electron microprobe analysis. These measurements allow us to calculate the temperature, water content, and oxygen fugacity and test its correlation with volcanic rocks at the surface. The data accumulated show that the lava flow correlates with the Shoshone Falls rhyolite exposed on the floor of the Snake River Canyon.

 

11:00 AM Allayna McFarlane

Faculty Advisor: Ron Harris

Tsunami Hazards in Indonesia

Tsunami hazards in Indonesia have claimed around 200,000 lives in the past decade because most of those who inhabit coastal regions prone to tsunami inundation do not know if they are in danger or how to respond to it. One of the most hazardous areas are the south coasts of Java and Bali.  The last time an earthquake of this magnitude occurred along the Java Trench was in 1586. Since that time at least 15 meters of strain has accumulated along the Java Trench, which is enough to produce a magnitude 9 earthquake. By using GeoClaw I modeled a major earthquake off the coast of Java to quantify potential tsunami hazards in the area. Tsunami heights from the simulated earthquake along the Java Trench ranged from 2 to 4 m.  Inundation maps I have constructed show that at least 100,000 people would be affected by the tsunami when it happens.

 

11:15 AM Scott Meek

Faculty Advisor: Sam Hudson

Quantitative Reservoir Modeling and Description of Cretaceous Fluvial Sandstones

Tight gas reservoirs are found in Cretaceous fluvial sandstones of the Frontier Formation in the Green River Basin of southwestern Wyoming.  Understanding the architectural style of the fluvial system will allow for improved reservoir prediction in this and other comparable basins.  Detailed, quantitative outcrop descriptions will be obtained using emerging techniques such as differential GPS and photogrammetry, along with more traditional geologic methods. Combined with available subsurface data, these techniques will facilitate construction of fully-realized 3D static reservoir models for use as analogs in subsurface reservoir characterization.

 

11:30 AM Eric Johnson

Faculty Advisor: Summer Rupper

The contribution of feedbacks to glacier ablation in the monsoonal Himalayas

Himalayan glaciers are an important freshwater source for more than 1 billion people. In recent decades, glacier recession throughout high Asia has led to concern for future water resources in the region. Resource planning requires reasonable constraints on how this retreat will impact water resources in the future. Predicting glacier responses to changes in climate, however, is complicated by the poorly quantified effects of feedbacks on glacier ablation. This study develops a surface energy- and mass-balance model to quantify the contributions of individual feedbacks to the mass balance of a glacier in the monsoonal Himalayas, a region whose glacier-climate sensitivity is especially poorly constrained. Results will be used to address which feedbacks are most likely to impact regional, long-term water resources.

 

11:45 AM Tucker Chapman

Faculty Advisor: Greg Carling

The Impact of Snake Creek on the Provo River Watershed Chemistry

The Provo River is an important water source for over 1 million people who live along the Wasatch Front. However, water quality in the Provo River is severely altered by Snake Creek, a small tributary that is located above water storage reservoirs and distribution systems. Snake Creek contains elevated salinity and high concentrations of many trace elements, particularly arsenic. At its headwaters Snake Creek has low conductivity (<400 &micro;S/cm) and low arsenic concentrations (<2 &micro;g/L). However, water quality deteriorates rapidly as the stream passes through an area of hot springs and tufa mounds. At the confluence with the Provo River, the conductivity exceeds 800 &micro;S/cm and arsenic concentrations exceed 15 &micro;g/L. This presentation will discuss geochemistry and arsenic concentrations of hot springs and surface waters in the Snake Creek watershed.

 

12:00 PM Ben Godwin

Faculty Advisor: Greg Carling

Lead-210 Geochronology of Jordan River sediments

Lead-210 sediment dating is a method of geochronology which uses the known decay rate of 210Pb to date sediments as far back as 150 years. Cores were taken by Utah Valley University at various locations within the Jordan River and at the mouth of Utah Lake, and sent to BYU to have analized. One of the initial three cores was determined to have an accurate decay curve, and subsequent age profile. The other two were deemed unprofitable as their decay curves showed no trend with which to make an age profile. This is believed to be due to hydraulic mixing of the sediment where the cores were taken. A core from Garden Basin was taken and processed with two different 210Pb methods. The first method employed was an ashing method, designed to minimize organics in the sediment. This method did not prove fruitful. The original method was then used, and a successful age profile was possible.

 

12:15 PM Corbin Lewis

Faculty Advisor: Jani Radebaugh

A New Measurement Approach to Determining Sand Dune Width and Spacing Trends in Titan&rsquo;s Belet Sand Sea

Much of Earth&rsquo;s and Titan&rsquo;s surfaces are covered in sand seas, which are filled with sand dunes. The similarity in the shape and spatial trends of dunes on Earth and Titan suggests that the comparative analysis of dunes on both bodies will yield the best results. Previous data suggest trends of increasing spacing closer to the sand sea margin. Using Arcmap, we developed a system for measurements of width and spacing every 500 meters along the dune. The data are collected by measuring the distance between segmented lines that trace along dark and bright radar boundaries, indicative of dune margins. This will allow for the analysis of dune-to-dune and individual dune trends. It is anticipated that the results will illuminate understanding of width and spacing trends in sand seas as well as the processes that shape the face of Titan.

SRC - Trevor Tuttle Session #6

University Events - Fri, 03/20/2015 - 00:15

Mar 21 - 10:30 AM - 12:15 PM

Geological Sciences Session #6 JKB 1129

Chair: Tom Chidsey

Judge(s): Steve Nelson, John McBride

 

10:30 AM Trevor Tuttle

Co-Author(s): Matthew Wood

Faculty Advisor: Sam Hudson

Distribution of Rafted Blocks in the Onion Creek Salt Diapir

The Onion Creek Diapir near Moab, Utah exposes approximately 5 km2 of highly deformed evaporates, shales, and limestones of the Pennsylvanian Paradox Formation. Differential loading of this strata soon after deposition caused it to rise diapirically upwards and form one of a series of walls present in the basin, similar to salt diapirs throughout the world. During this process, large amounts of the interbedded shales and limestones were rafted up as isolated blocks within the salt and are now present at the surface. Preliminary observations show that these rafted blocks are concentrated along the margins of the diapir. The ability of salt to entrain and lift denser objects is a hotly debated topic. The spatial distribution of rafted blocks in the Onion Creek Diapir will help us better understand the mechanics of rafting and the capacity of salt to move denser objects.

 

10:45 AM Gerrit Gardner

Faculty Advisor: Steve Nelson

Heavy Metal Contaminant at an Agricultural Property Converting to Residential Use, Tooele, UT

Soil characterization activities have been conducted for 90 acres of agricultural property in anticipation of conversion to residential use where nearby smelting operations contaminated the soil over the course of a century.  Surface soils show Pb and As concentrations up to 4 times the EPA limit for residential zoning, therefore remediation (removal of soil) is required. However, the depth of removal is not known. Leaching experiments indicate relatively low Pb and As immobility. In order to verify this in the field, the area was re-sampled at 0-23 and 23-46 cm depths across the property.  Preliminary data show that heavy metals (As, Pb, Cu, Zn) are concentrated in the upper interval by factors of 1.5 to 3.  However, the deeper interval may still contain significant metal concentrations, probably due rapid infiltration by flood events from smelter retention ponds.

 

11:00 AM Timothy Goodsell

Faculty Advisor: Greg Carling

Potential for water quality impacts due to agriculture and urban runoff in the middle Provo River, Utah

Understanding impacts of natural and anthropogenic processes on water quality is important, especially in rapidly growing arid states like Utah. The purpose of this study is to evaluate water chemistry in the middle Provo River system, which flows through Heber Valley, in the Wasatch Mountains of central Utah, and is undergoing a rapid transition from agriculture- to urban-dominated landscape. We investigated potential end-member concentrations for trace metals for what may be possible during storm runoff, and their likelihood of negatively effecting water quality in the middle Provo. Utilizing the representative groundwater concentrations, we estimated the flow of groundwater within a specific reach. Considering what each source contributes to the river will help develop methods of mitigation and control for future water quality in urbanizing areas.

 

11:15 AM Dustin Northrup

Faculty Advisor: Jani Radebaugh

A comparative analysis of yardangs found in the Qaidam Basin of western China

Two morphologically different fields of wind eroded ridges known as yardangs are found in the Qaidam Basin of western China. To understand the differences in morphology, we measured yardang length, width, spacing, and sinuosity in both fields. The northern field yardangs (NFY) demonstrate a north-south trend, are relatively continuous along their lengths, have a moderate variance in widths and a high yardang density per area. The southern field yardangs (SFY) trend east-west, display a large degree of discontinuousness in yardang material along their lengths with a bimodal distribution of widths.  There is a low yardang density per area in comparison with NFY, possibly resulting from a change in wind direction to north-south, which exposed the yardangs to cross-feature erosion. This study can be used to help differentiate yardangs from dunes on celestial bodies such as Venus or Titan.

 

11:30 AM David Yeates

Co-Author(s): Josh Whitmer, Hannah Checketts

Faculty Advisor: Barry Bickmore

Extension of the bond-valence model in molecular mechanics to predict properties of bonds in molecules containing sulfur and selenium.

The bond valence model is quantitatively simple and accurate for describing combination of bond lengths, but fails to describe spatial distribution. Therefore, our group has expanded the model to include vector representations of bond valence. The valence vector sum describes the spatial distribution and strength of bonds around an atom. We have used quantum mechanical and experimental structures of molecules with two single bonds reaching a central atom to show that the valence vector sum on the central atom is predictable on the basis of the electronegativities and sizes of the bonded atoms. Like oxygen, sulfur and selenium-containing molecules show that the trends are connected with the lone pair bond-weakening effect.

 

11:45 AM Kimberly Sowards

Faculty Advisor: Greg Carling

Local Meteoric Water Line of Lindon, Utah

Hydrogen and oxygen isotopes are used to investigate the origin of precipitation and trace water through the hydrologic system. For example, as water travels over continents it becomes enriched in light isotopes due to the weight differences and phase changes of the isotopes. The stable isotopes of water are typically reported as ?2H (Deuterium) and ?18O, which are the ratios of 2H to 1H and 18O to 16O respectively, relative to a standard. Global meteoric precipitation usually falls along a line described by the equation D = 8*?18O   10, but is variable at regional scales due to processes like evaporation. By analyzing the precipitation found in Lindon, Utah,  over a 13 year period the local meteoric water line was found to be D = 7.25*?18O - 2.5.This presentation will discuss the process by which isotopes become depleted and how the local meteoric water line was calculated using MATLAB.

 

12:00 PM Michael Jensen

Faculty Advisor: Eric Christiansen

Element Analysis of Quartz Grains in the Wah Wah Springs Tuff and Granodiorite Intrusion

The Wah Wah Springs Tuff and the Wah Wah Springs Intrusive Granodiortie are both part of the Indian Peak caldera complex in southwest Utah. An estimated 5,900 km3 of magma came out of the earth, making it one of the largest known explosive eruptions in our planet&rsquo;s history. It erupted 30 million years ago, a time of explosive silicic activity in the middle Cenozoic Great Basin ignimbrite flare-up. By determining the composition of the quartz, we can better understand the temperatures and pressures at which large volume eruptions occur. These results can be compared with potential large scale silicic eruption volcanoes today and possibly identify which locations are more likely to erupt. In addition, these studies will help us understand what triggers such large eruptions and how they stop.

 

12:15 PM John Leishman

Faculty Advisor: Eric Christiansen

Analysis of Thick Miocene Intracaldera A-type Rhyolite Ignimbrite, Central Snake River Plain, Idaho

In studying A-type silicic magma systems, we are analyzing a 2 km deep core from the Snake River Plain, in Idaho. The core contains 3 distinctive rhyolite layers, with the lowermost rhyolite being very thick (about 1400 m). This lowest rhyolite contains plagioclase, clinopyroxene, orthopyroxene, apatite, and Fe-Ti oxides. Electron microprobe analyses show the average plagioclase is An33Ab60Or7, the average augite is Wo39En34Fs27, and the average orthopyroxene is Wo4En47Fs49 with little zoning apparent. There is no significant difference in mineral composition from the top to the bottom of this layer. The lack of variation in the minerals through this rhyolite suggests a single eruptive event. Comparisons of the rhyolite with ignimbrites in the nearby Cassia Mountains have yet to reveal any strong correlation (based on both rock and compositions).

SRC - Kimberly Sowards Session #2

University Events - Fri, 03/20/2015 - 00:15

Mar 21 - 10:45 AM - 11:00 AM

Geological Sciences Session #2 JKB 1125

Chair: Dave Noble

Judge(s): Ron Harris, Summer Rupper

 

10:45 AM Kimberly Sowards

Faculty Advisor: Ron Harris

Tectonic Activity in Indonesia, and Mitigating Future Disasters

Tsunamis occur at least every 4 years over the past 400 years in the Indonesian archipelago.  However, most of the people who live along Indonesia&rsquo;s 81,000 km of coastline do not know that they are at risk or how to respond. To communicate this danger to those in harms way I constructed tsunami inundation maps for several populated coastal regions that were inundated by tsunamis in the past.  The maps show how much of the coastal area would be inundated by tsunamis with run-up heights 0-5m, 5-10m and 10-20m.  Approximately 150 million people (60% of the population) live in these inundations zones.  Distribution of these maps is critical to increase awareness of those who live in each of these inundation zones about the tsunami hazards they face.

SRC - Gerrit Gardner Session #6

University Events - Fri, 03/20/2015 - 00:15

Mar 21 - 10:45 AM - 11:00 AM

Geological Sciences Session #6 JKB 1129

Chair: Tom Chidsey

Judge(s): Steve Nelson, John McBride

 

 

10:45 AM Gerrit Gardner

Faculty Advisor: Steve Nelson

Heavy Metal Contaminant at an Agricultural Property Converting to Residential Use, Tooele, UT

Soil characterization activities have been conducted for 90 acres of agricultural property in anticipation of conversion to residential use where nearby smelting operations contaminated the soil over the course of a century.  Surface soils show Pb and As concentrations up to 4 times the EPA limit for residential zoning, therefore remediation (removal of soil) is required. However, the depth of removal is not known. Leaching experiments indicate relatively low Pb and As immobility. In order to verify this in the field, the area was re-sampled at 0-23 and 23-46 cm depths across the property.  Preliminary data show that heavy metals (As, Pb, Cu, Zn) are concentrated in the upper interval by factors of 1.5 to 3.  However, the deeper interval may still contain significant metal concentrations, probably due rapid infiltration by flood events from smelter retention ponds.

SRC - Mackenzie Hanson Session #4

University Events - Fri, 03/20/2015 - 00:15

Mar 21 - 10:45 AM - 11:00 AM

Geological Sciences Session #4 JKB 1127

Chair: Mike Pinnell

Judge(s): Tom Morris, Brooks Britt

 

10:45 AM Mackenzie Hanson

Faculty Advisor: Eric Christiansen

Analysis of the Upper Rhyolite in the Kimberly, Idaho Core: Project Hotspot

The Upper Rhyolite of the Kimberly Core, a 2 km deep well drilled in the Snake River Plain near Twin Falls, Idaho, is a 230 m thick rhyolite of Miocene age. Based on the presence of contorted flow layering, a basal breccia, and the absence of eutaxitic fabric, we have interpreted it to be a lava flow. Whole rock compositions as well as compositions of pyroxene, plagioclase, Fe-Ti Oxides, and glass have been determined using XRF and electron microprobe analysis. These measurements allow us to calculate the temperature, water content, and oxygen fugacity and test its correlation with volcanic rocks at the surface. The data accumulated show that the lava flow correlates with the Shoshone Falls rhyolite exposed on the floor of the Snake River Canyon.

SRC - Allayna McFarlane Session #4

University Events - Fri, 03/20/2015 - 00:15

Mar 21 - 11:00 AM - 11:15 AM

Geological Sciences Session #4 JKB 1127

Chair: Mike Pinnell

Judge(s): Tom Morris, Brooks Britt

 

11:00 AM Allayna McFarlane

Faculty Advisor: Ron Harris

Tsunami Hazards in Indonesia

Tsunami hazards in Indonesia have claimed around 200,000 lives in the past decade because most of those who inhabit coastal regions prone to tsunami inundation do not know if they are in danger or how to respond to it. One of the most hazardous areas are the south coasts of Java and Bali.  The last time an earthquake of this magnitude occurred along the Java Trench was in 1586. Since that time at least 15 meters of strain has accumulated along the Java Trench, which is enough to produce a magnitude 9 earthquake. By using GeoClaw I modeled a major earthquake off the coast of Java to quantify potential tsunami hazards in the area. Tsunami heights from the simulated earthquake along the Java Trench ranged from 2 to 4 m.  Inundation maps I have constructed show that at least 100,000 people would be affected by the tsunami when it happens.

SRC - Timothy Goodsell Session #6

University Events - Fri, 03/20/2015 - 00:15

Mar 21 - 11:00 AM - 11:15 AM

Geological Sciences Session #6 JKB 1129

Chair: Tom Chidsey

Judge(s): Steve Nelson, John McBride

11:00 AM Timothy Goodsell

Faculty Advisor: Greg Carling

Potential for water quality impacts due to agriculture and urban runoff in the middle Provo River, Utah

Understanding impacts of natural and anthropogenic processes on water quality is important, especially in rapidly growing arid states like Utah. The purpose of this study is to evaluate water chemistry in the middle Provo River system, which flows through Heber Valley, in the Wasatch Mountains of central Utah, and is undergoing a rapid transition from agriculture- to urban-dominated landscape. We investigated potential end-member concentrations for trace metals for what may be possible during storm runoff, and their likelihood of negatively effecting water quality in the middle Provo. Utilizing the representative groundwater concentrations, we estimated the flow of groundwater within a specific reach. Considering what each source contributes to the river will help develop methods of mitigation and control for future water quality in urbanizing areas.

SRC - Jacob Lee Session #2

University Events - Fri, 03/20/2015 - 00:15

Mar 21 - 11:00 AM - 11:15 AM

Geological Sciences Session #2 JKB 1125

Chair: Dave Noble

Judge(s): Ron Harris, Summer Rupper

 

 

11:00 AM Jacob Lee

Faculty Advisor: Brooks Britt

Ontogony of Saints and Sinners Fauna

Terrestrial vertebrates grow in cycles, which leaves distinctive marks on the internal structure of long bones; called Lines of Arrested Growth (LAGs). LAG&rsquo;s can be useful for studying the ontogeny of extinct species because of four properties: (1) they are present in all vertebrates, the lines are annular, (2) they are commonly fossilized, and (3) both the number and spacing of the lines enable us to determine whether an animal was juvenile or mature. Currently eight new species have been uncovered at the Saints and Sinners (S

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