Using AVIRIS Hyperspectral Imagery to Study the Role of Clay Mineralogy in Colorado Plateau Debris-Flow Initiation
AuthorRudd, Lawrence P.
AdvisorBaker, Victor R.
Committee ChairBaker, Victor R.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe debris-flow initiation variable of clay mineralogy is examined for Holocene age debris-flow deposits across the Colorado Plateau. A Kolmogorov-Smirnov two-sample test between 25 debris-flow producing shale units and 23 shale units rated as not producing debris-flows found a highly significant difference between shale unit kaolinite-illite and montmorillonite clay content. Debris-flow producers tend to have abundant kaolinite and illite (61.5% of clays) and small amounts of montmorillonite (10.4%). Clay sample soluble cation (Na, Ca, K, and Mg) content could not be used to accurately divide the data set into debris-flow producers and debris-flow non-producers by either cluster analysis or a Kolmogorov-Smirnov two-sample test.AVIRIS hyperspectral data reveal that debris-flow deposits, colluvium, and some shale units in Cataract Canyon, Utah display the double-absorption feature characteristic of kaolinite at 2.2 Âµm. Lab-based reflection spectra and semi-quantitative x-ray diffraction results show that Cataract Canyon debris-flow matrix clays are dominated by kaolinite and illite and lacking in montmorillonite. A surface material map showing the spectral stratigraphy of the study area was created from AVIRIS data classified using an artificial neural network and compares favorably to existing geologic data for Cataract Canyon. A debris-flow initiation potential map created from a GIS-based analysis of surface materials, slope steepness, slope aspect, and fault maps shows the greatest debris-flow initiation potential in the study area to coincide with outcrops of the Moenkopi Formation on steep (>20%), southwest-facing slopes. Small areas of extreme debris-flow initiation potential are located where kaolinite and illite clay-rich colluvial wedges are located on southwest-facing walls of Colorado River tributary canyons. The surface materials map shows formations clearly when they remain relatively consistent in composition and exposure throughout the study area, such as the White Rim Sandstone and most clay-rich members of the Moenkopi Formation. The debris-flow producing Organ Rock Shale and Halgaito Formation were shown inconsistently on the surface materials map, likely as a result of compositional variations in the study area. The results of this study provides evidence that hyperspectral imagery classified using an ANN can be successfully used to map the spectral stratigraphy of a sparsely vegetated area such as Cataract Canyon.