• Hillside Gullies and Possible Glacial Landforms Associated with the Degradation of Highland Craters on Mars

      Berman, Daniel Craig; Baker, Victor R.; Berman, Daniel Craig (The University of Arizona., 2003)
      The discovery of recent water and ice related landforms on Mars has led to a new understanding of the planet. Hundreds of examples of gullies and tongue-shaped ridges have been found on hillsides in images from the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC). I conducted a thorough survey of these images and compiled a database of those containing gullies and tongue-shaped ridges, which may form as the result of flow of ice-rich materials. These features are found in similar mid-latitude bands. Crater counts on the ice flow features show estimated ages of the order 10⁶ y to 10⁷ y, similar to the timescale calculated for the last episode of high obliquity, when Models suggest ice deposition at these latitudes. Specific craters and various ice flow features were studied and compared in three regions: Newton Basin, Eastern Hellas, and Northern Elysium, leading to a model for crater degradation. Gullies, tongue ridges, debris aprons, and mantle deposits all may stem from recent cycles of ice deposition.
    • Quaternary Ostracode Paleoecology and Its Link to Climate Change in the Bonneville Basin: A Detailed Study of the Glad800 Core GSL00-4, Great Salt Lake, Utah

      Cohen, Andrew; Balch, Deborah P.; Cohen, Andrew; Flessa, Karl W.; Davis, Owen; Balch, Deborah P. (The University of Arizona., 2003)
      We report the results of a detailed paleoecological study of the Bonneville Basin covering the last ~240,000 years. Our study used fossil ostracodes and a sedimentological record obtained from the August 2000 GLAD800 drilling operation at the Great Salt Lake. We analyzed 125 samples, taken at ~1 meter intervals from core GSL00-4, for ostracodes and other paleoecologic and sedimentological indicators of environmental change. Multivariate analyses applied to the ostracode data indicate an alternation between three major environments at the core site over the cored interval. The environments fluctuated most often between shallow saline, open -water lake conditions (when the lake was high enough to inundate the core site) and salt or freshwater, spring -fed marsh (when the water level was at or lower than the core site). But occasionally, the core site was submerged by deep fresh water. Immediately following deep lake phases, crashes in lake level from rapid desiccation resulted in the deposition of thick evaporite units. These environmental changes are consistent with shoreline studies of regional lake level fluctuations, but provide considerable new detail on both the timing and environmental conditions associated with the various lake phases. Our age model (using dates obtained from ¹⁴C, U- series, tephra and biostratigraphic chronologies) allowed us to associate the core's record of regional paleohydrology to the marine oxygen isotope stages record of global climate change. The core contains high resolution, continuous records for the last three glacial/interglacial sequences. In each case we found that fresh open-water conditions (i.e. lake highstands) correspond with maximum glacial advances, except for the smaller, less intense OIS 4 glaciation, when the lake remained saline. Salt and freshwater marshes were dominant environments for most of the interglacials. However, throughout most of the Quaternary, this basin has contained a shallow, saline open-water lake.
    • Application of Growth Strata and Detrital-Zircon Geochronology to Stratigraphic Architecture and Kinematic History

      Barbeau, David Longfellow Jr.; DeCelles, P. G.; Johnson, Roy; Geslin, Jeff K.; Barbeau, David Longfellow Jr. (The University of Arizona., 2003)
      Growth strata analysis and detrital-zircon geochronology are useful applications of stratigraphy to tectonic problems. Whereas both tools can contribute to kinematic analyses of supracrustal rock bodies, growth strata are also useful for analyzing the influence of tectonics on stratigraphic architecture. This study reports: 1) a conceptual model for growth strata development; 2) stratigraphic and kinematic analyses of growth strata architectures from growth structures in southeastern Utah, the Gulf of Mexico, and northeastern Spain; and 3) the detrital-zircon geochronology of the Salinian block of central coastal California. Kinematic sequence stratigraphy subdivides growth strata into kinematic sequences that are separated by kinematic sequence boundaries. Kinematic sequences can be further partitioned into kinematic domains based on the termination patterns of strata within a kinematic sequence. Salt- related fluvial growth strata from the Gulf of Mexico and southeastern Utah contain stratigraphic architectures that are unique to different kinematic domains. Offlap kinematic domains contain fluvial strata indicative of high slopes, low accommodation rates, and strong structural influence on paleocurrent direction. Onlap kinematic domains contain fluvial strata indicative of moderate slopes, high accommodation rates, and decreased structural influence on paleocurrent direction. The stratigraphic architecture of alluvial -fan thrust -belt growth strata in northeastern Spain does not display a marked correlation with kinematic domain, and is most easily interpreted using existing models for autocyclic alluvial -fan evolution. Detrital- zircon (U -Pb) geochronologic data from basement and cover rocks of Salinia suggest that Salinia originated along the southwestern margin of North America, likely in the vicinity of the Mojave Desert. The presence of Neoproterozoic and Late Archean detrital zircons in Salinian basement rocks also suggest that Salinian sediments were recycled from miogeoclinal sediments of the western margin of North America.
    • Spatial Ability Development in the Geosciences

      Hall-Wallace, Michelle; Baldwin, Tammy Katherine; Hall-Wallace, Michelle; Wallace, Terry C.; Butler, Robert; Baldwin, Tammy Katherine (The University of Arizona., 2003)
      We designed an experiment to evaluate change in students' spatial skills as a result of specific interventions. Our test subjects included high school students in earth science classes, college level non-science majors enrolled in large enrollment introductory geoscience courses and introductory level geoscience students. All students completed spatial tests to measure their ability to mentally rotate three-dimensional objects and to construct a three-dimensional object from a two-dimensional representation. Results show a steady improvement in spatial skills for all groups. They also indicate that students choosing science majors typically have much higher spatial skills as they enter college. Specific interventions to improve spatial skills included having a subgroup of the non-science majors and high school students complete a suite of Geographic Information System (GIS) activities. The intervention at the high school level was more extensive and resulted in significant improvements in both categories of spatial ability. At the college level, the non-science majors that received the intervention showed no significant difference from those that did not, probably because the time spent on the intervention was too short. The geoscience majors had nearly three times the improvement of non-science majors in both categories of spatial ability attributed to hands-on weekly laboratory experiences. These results reveal a wide range of abilities among all groups of students, and suggest that we evaluate teaching strategies in all courses to ensure that students can interpret and understand the visual imagery used in lectures.
    • Variable Denudation in the Evolution of the Bolivian Andes: Controls and Uplift-Climate-Erosion Feedbacks

      Pelletier, Jon D.; Barnes, Jason B.; Chase, Clement G.; DeCelles, Peter G.; Barnes, Jason B. (The University of Arizona., 2002)
      Controls on denudation in the eastern Bolivian Andes are evaluated by synthesis of new and existing denudation estimates from basin-morphometry, stream - powered fluvial incision, landslide mapping, sediment flux, erosion surfaces, thermochronology, foreland basin sediment volumes, and structural restorations. Centered at 17.5 °S, the northeastern Bolivian Andes exhibit high relief, a wet climate, and a narrow fold- thrust belt. In contrast, the southeastern Bolivian Andes have low relief, a semi-arid climate, and a wide fold-thrust belt. Basin -morphometry indicates a northward increase in relief and relative denudation. Stream-power along river profiles shows greater average incision rates in the north by a factor of 2 to 4. In the south, profile knickpoints with high incision rates are controlled by fold-thrust belt structures such as the surface expressions of basement megathrusts, faults, folds, and lithologic boundaries. Landslide and sediment-flux data are controlled by climate, elevation, basin morphology, and size and show a similar trend; short -term denudation-rate averages are greater in the north (1- 9 mm/yr) than the south (0.3-0.4 mm/yr). Long-term denudation-rate estimates including fission track, basin fill, erosion surfaces, and structural restorations also exhibit greater values in the north (0.2-0.8 mm/yr) compared to the south (0.04-0.3 mm/yr). Controls on long-term denudation rates include relief, orographic and global atmospheric circulation patterns of precipitation, climate change, glaciation, and fold-thrust belt geometry and kinematics. The denudation synthesis supports two conclusions: 1) denudation rates have increased towards the present 2) an along-strike disparity in denudation (greater in the north) has existed since at least the Miocene and has increased towards the present. Denudation rates and controls suggest that Bolivian mountain morphology is controlled by both its orientation at mid-latitude, and the feedbacks between uplift, kinematics, orographic effects on precipitation, glaciation, and the increased erosion that accompanies orogenesis.
    • Calibration and Interpretation of Holocene Paleoecological Records of Diversity from Lake Tanganyika, East Africa

      Alin, Simone Rebecca; Cohen, Andrew; Flessa, Karl; Overpeck, Jonathan; Reinthal, Peter; Robichaux, Robert (The University of Arizona., 2001)
      Lake Tanganyika is a complex, tropical ecosystem in East Africa, harboring an estimated 2,100 species. Extensive watershed deforestation threatens the biodiversity and ecological integrity of the lake. In this dissertation, ecological and paleoecological methods were employed to study the distribution of invertebrate biodiversity through space and time, with particular emphasis on linkages between biodiversity and land –use patterns. Ecological surveys of fish, mollusc, and ostracod crustacean diversity at sites in northern Lake Tanganyika representing different levels of watershed disturbance revealed a negative correlation between biodiversity and intensity of watershed disturbance. To elucidate the long -term relationship between disturbance and biodiversity, paleoecological records of invertebrates offshore from watersheds experiencing different degrees of anthropogenic disturbance were examined. Life, death, and fossil assemblages of ostracod valves were compared to assess the reliability and natural variability inherent to the paleoecological record. These comparisons indicated that paleoecological (i.e. death and fossil) assemblages reliably preserve information on species richness, abundance, and occurrence frequency at comparable -to- annual resolution. Unlike life assemblages, species composition of paleoecological assemblages reflects input of species from multiple habitat types. Ostracod paleoecological assemblages are characterized by spatiotemporal averaging that renders them representative of larger areas and longer time spans than life assemblages. Thus, paleoecological assemblages provide an efficient means of characterizing longer -term, site -average conditions. Natural variability in ostracod fossil assemblages from a sediment core representing the Late Glacial to the present indicates that abundance of individual ostracod species is highly variable. Ostracod assemblages were preserved in only the most recent 2,500 years of sediment. Species composition of ostracod assemblages reflects lake water depth. Core geochemical data indicate that the coring site may have been below the oxycline for ~2,000 years, inhibiting ostracod survival and preservation. Paleoecological, sedimentological, and stable isotope data revealed differences in biodiversity and watershed disturbance through time offshore from a pair of sites. The protected site is offshore from Gombe Stream National Park (Tanzania), the other offshore from a deforested watershed outside the park. Offshore from the deforested watershed, sedimentation rates increased, and turnover in ostracod species composition occurred during the past 50 years. Comparable changes were not observed offshore from the park.
    • A Re-Os Study of Sulfides from the Bagdad Porphyry Cu-Mo Deposit, Northern Arizona, USA

      Ruiz, Joaquin; Barra-Pantoja, Luis Fernando; Ruiz, Joaquin; Patchett, P. Jonathan; Titley, Spencer R.; Barra-Pantoja, Luis Fernando (The University of Arizona., 2001)
      Use of Re-Os systematics in sulfides from the Bagdad porphyry Cu-Mo deposit provide information on the timing of mineralization and the source of the ore -forming elements. Analyzed samples of pyrite, chalcopyrite and molybdenite mainly from the quartz monzonite and porphyritic quartz monzonite units are characterized by a moderate to strong potassic alteration (secondary biotite and K- feldspar). Rhenium concentrations in molybdenite are between 330 and 730 ppm. Two molybdenite samples from the quartz monzonite and porphyritic quartz monzonite provide a Re-Os isotope age of 71.7 ± 0.3 Ma. A third sample from a molybdenite vein in Precambrian rocks yields an age of 75.8 ± 0.4 Ma. These molybdenite ages support previous suggestions of two mineralization episodes in the Bagdad deposit. An early event at 76 Ma and a later episode at 72 Ma. Pyrite Os and Re concentrations range between 0.008-0.016 and 3.9-6.8 ppb, respectively. Chalcopyrite contains a wide range of Os (6 to 91 ppt) and Re (1.7 to 69 ppb) concentrations and variable ¹⁸⁷Os/¹⁸⁸Os ratios that range between 0.13 to 22.27. This variability in the chalcopyrite data may be attributed to different copper sources, one of them the Proterozoic volcanic massive sulfides in the district, or to alteration and remobilization of Re and Os. Analyses from two pyrite samples yield an eight point isochron with an age of 77 ± 15 Ma and an initial ¹⁸⁷Os/¹⁸⁸Os ratio of 2.12. This pyrite Re-Os isochron age is in good agreement with the molybdenite ages. We interpret the highly radiogenic initial 1870s/188Os as an indication that the source of Os and, by inference, the ore-forming elements for the Bagdad deposit, was mainly the crust. This conclusion agrees with previous Pb and Nd isotope studies and supports the notion that a significant part of the metals and magmas have a crustal source.
    • A Flexural Model for the Paradox Basin: Implications for the Tectonics of the Ancestral Rocky Mountains

      Barbeau, David Longfellow Jr.; Dickinson, William R.; DeCelles, Peter G.; Chase, Clement G.; Demko, T.; Geslin, Jeff K.; Garzione, C.; Sussman, A.; Bump, A.; Barbeau, David Longfellow Jr. (The University of Arizona., 2000)
      The Paradox Basin is a large (200 km x 265 km) asymmetric basin that developed along the southwestern flank of the basement-involved Uncompahgre uplift during the Pennsylvanian-Permian (Desmoinesian-Wolfcampian) Ancestral Rocky Mountain (ARM) orogenic event. Traditionally interpreted as a pull-apart basin, the Paradox Basin more closely resembles intraforeland flexural basins such as those that developed between the basement-cored uplifts of the Late Cretaceous-Eocene Laramide orogeny. The width, shape, subsidence history, facies architecture, and structural relationships of the Uncompahgre-Paradox system are exemplary of typical 'immobile' foreland basin systems. Along the southwest-vergent Uncompahgre thrust, ~5 km of coarse-grained syntectonic Desmoinesian-Wolfcampian sediments were shed from the Uncompahgre uplift by alluvial fans and were reworked by fluvial megafan deposystems in the proximal Paradox Basin. The coeval rise of an uplift-parallel barrier ~250 km southwest of the Uncompahgre front restricted reflux from the open ocean south and west of the basin, and promoted deposition of thick evaporite-shale and biohermal carbonate facies in the medial and distal, submarine parts of the basin, respectively. Nearshore carbonate shoal and terrestrial siliciclastic deposystems overtopped the basin during the late stages of subsidence during the Missourian through Wolfcampian. Reconstruction of an end-Permian two-dimensional uplift-basin profile from seismic, borehole, and outcrop data depicts the relationship of these deposystems to the differential accommodation space (i.e., foreland basin depozones) generated by Pennsylvanian-Permian subsidence. Flexural modeling of the restored basin profile indicates that the Paradox Basin can be described by flexural loading of a fully broken continental crust (Te = 25 km; D = 10²³ N m) by a model Uncompahgre uplift (A(c-s) = 214 km², ρ = 2670 kg /m³) and accompanying synorogenic sediments (ρ = 2325 kg /m³). The Paradox Basin's lack of flexural interference by competing loads, its location on the relatively undeformed Colorado Plateau, and its well-exposed and well-studied basin-fill provide a rare glimpse into a Paleozoic intraforeland flexural basin. Other thrust-bounded basins of the Ancestral Rocky Mountains are not so optimal for study. However, similarities in basin profiles, structural relationships and facies architectures suggest that many ARM basins share a geodynamic and tectonic history similar to the Paradox Basin's. Therefore, plate tectonic models that attempt to explain the development of ARM uplifts need to also consider the province's intraforeland flexural basins.
    • UA Geosciences Newsletter, Volume 5, Number 2 (Spring 2000)

      University of Arizona Department of Geosciences (Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2000)
    • Time-Space Variations in Mesozoic and Cenozoic Meteoric Waters, Southwestern North America

      Becker, Jennifer L.; Titley, Spencer R.; Quade, Jay; Barton, Mark D.; Becker, Jennifer L. (The University of Arizona., 1999)
      Mesozoic and Cenozoic hydrothermal systems of the southwestern North American Cordillera contain a complex record from which meteoric water stable isotope compositions (δ¹⁸O and δ D) can be inferred. This record is therefore of interest as a proxy for climate. New analytical results combined with systematic review of isotopic values from more than 200 locations in the southwestern North American Cordillera show regular isotopic patterns in time and space. Jurassic isotopic ratios are high, and Late Cretaceous values are more negative. During the Oligocene, there is a transition to more negative values. The ancient dD values are higher from most locations when compared to younger and present day values. This enrichment is compatible with warmer climates in the past and with changes in tectonic environments and paleoelevation and paleolatitude estimates over the same time interval. Complications in the application of the data include uncertainties in the estimated temperatures, alteration ages, isotopic disequilibrium, and incorporation of multiple fluids.
    • A Palynological Analysis of Part of Death Valley Core DV93-1: 166-114 KA

      Davis, Owen K.; Bader, Nicholas E.; Davis, Owen K.; Quade, Jay; Dettman, David; Bader, Nicholas E. (The University of Arizona., 1999)
      Salt Core DV93 -1, from Badwater Basin in California's Death Valley, spans the past 192 ka. An analysis of fossil palynomorphs from 151.8 m (ca. 166 ka) to 103.5 m (ca. 114 ka) delimits four pollen zones. Zone 1, the "cheno -am" zone (151.8 to 143.5 m depth, 166 -154 ka), contains high percentages of Chenopodiaceae /Amaranthus pollen, and correlates with marine Oxygen Isotope Stage (OIS) 7. Zone 2, the juniper zone (143.5 to 117.3 m, 154 -124 ka), correlates with OIS 6 and contains high percentages of Cupressaceae pollen and low percentages of Ambrosia pollen. A simultaneous drop in juniper and increase in oak (Quercus) pollen, followed by replacement of Artemisia with Ambrosia, occurs at the Zone 2 /Zone 3 (oak zone) boundary (124 ka), corresponding to OIS Termination II warming. Zone 4, the Asteraceae zone (108.8 to 103.5 m, 119 -115 ka), contains higher percentages of Asteraceae and cheno -am pollen, indicating further warming.
    • The Nucleation and Evolution of Riedel Shear Zones as Deformation Bands in Porous Sandstone

      Davis, George H.; Ahlgren, Stephen G.; Davis, George H.; Chase, Clement G.; DeCelles, Peter G.; Ahlgren, Stephen G. (The University of Arizona., 1999)
      Riedel shear zones are geometric fault patterns commonly associated with strike-slip fault systems. The progressive evolution of natural Riedel shear zones within the Navajo Sandstone of southern Utah is interpreted from the spatial evolution of small-scale, incipient Proto-Riedel Zones (PRZs) to better-developed Riedel shear zones using field mapping and three-dimensional digital modeling. PRZs nucleate as a tabular zone of localized shearing marked by en èchelon deformation bands, each of which is no more than a few mm wide and tens of cm long, and oriented at 55° - 85° to the trend of the zone. With increasing strain, deformation bands and sedimentary markers are sheared ductily through granular flow and assume a sigmoidal form. The temporal and spatial evolution of bands comprising a Riedel shear zone suggests that PRZs nucleate as transitional-compactional deformation bands under localized, supra-lithostatic fluid pressure. Subsequent bands develop under modified regional stresses as conjugate shear fractures within the strain- hardened axis of the PRZ. These antithetic driven systems are not compatible with traditional synthetic driven models of Riedel shear zones. Unlike most synthetic driven examples, these antithetic driven systems are not controlled by preexisting "basement" structures, thus their geometries reflect a primary propagation or secondary passive deformation mechanism.
    • UA Geosciences Newsletter, Volume 5, Number 1 (Fall 1999)

      University of Arizona Department of Geosciences (Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1999)
    • UA Geosciences Newsletter, Volume 4, Number 2 (Spring 1999)

      University of Arizona Department of Geosciences (Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1999)
    • UA Geosciences Newsletter, Volume 4, Number 1 (Fall 1998)

      University of Arizona Department of Geosciences (Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1998)
    • UA Geosciences Newsletter, Volume 3, Number 2 (Spring 1997)

      University of Arizona Department of Geosciences (Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1997)
    • Fire Frequency, Nutrient Concentrations and Distributions, and δ13C of Soil Organic Matter and Plants in Southeastern Arizona Grassland

      Biggs, Thomas; Quade, Jay; Webb, Robert H.; Bull, William B.; Hendricks, David M.; Long, Austin; Biggs, Thomas (The University of Arizona., 1997)
      Over the past century, woody plants and shrubs have increased in abundance at the expense of grasslands in many semiarid regions. The availability and concentrations of nutrients influence the relative success of plants, but the effects of fire frequency on soil nutrients is unknown for semiarid grasslands. On the gunnery ranges of Fort Huachuca in southeastern Arizona, study sites were established to examine the effects of fire frequency on soil biogeochemistry, plant biochemistry, and δ¹³C values in soil organic matter (SOM). The sites were on homogeneous granitic alluvium where wildfire frequency history is known from 1973 to present and no cattle grazing has occurred in recent decades. Subplots represent fire frequencies of no burns, 3 fires per decade, and 5 fires per decade. The "no burn" plot has abundant C₃ Prosopis veleruina (mesquite) trees, whereas the burned plots are open C₄-dominated grasslands with scattered mesquite trees. Prosopis trees have altered SOM pools by the concentration of plant nutrients and the addition of isotopically light shrub litter. Frequent fires have altered the basic geochemistry and nutrient availabilities of the soil, and the changes appear to be significant enough to affect plant growth. Soil pH increases with burning frequency, and TOC, total nitrogen, and plant -available phosphorus show significant increases on the infrequently burned plot. Burning is advantageous for preservation or restoration of grasslands, as total living grass biomass is greater on the two burned plots. Root biomass is significantly lower on the "frequently burned" plot. Concentrations of the key nutrients nitrogen and phosphorus are reduced in plants on the burned sites compared to plants on the unburned site. Fires help re-distribute nutrients but evidence of nutrient concentrations and δ¹³C values are retained in SOM for many decades. Estimates of bulk carbon turnover rates range from 112 to 504 years. Evidence for modern C₃ shrub expansion is found in the shift of SOM δ¹³C values from values characteristic of C₄ grasses to C₃ shrubs in surface soil layers. δ¹³C(SOM) values indicate that the Holocene and Late Pleistocene were dominated by C₄ grasslands, and the pre-Late Pleistocene vegetation was a C₄-grass savanna with abundant C₃ plants.
    • UA Geosciences Newsletter, Volume 3, Number 1 (Fall 1997)

      University of Arizona Department of Geosciences (Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1997)
    • Migration of Recharge Water Downgradient from the Santa Catalina Mountains into the Tucson Basin Aquifer

      Long, Austin; Barger, Erin E.; Long, Austin; Eastoe, Christopher J.; Bassett, R. L.; Barger, Erin E. (The University of Arizona., 1996)
      Aquifers in the arid alluvial basins of the southwestern U.S. are recharged predominantly by infiltration from streams within the basins and by water entering along the margins of the basins from surrounding mountains (mountain -front recharge). The Tucson Basin of Southeastern Arizona is such a basin. The Santa Catalina Mountains form the northern boundary of this basin and receive more than twice as much precipitation (about 70 cm/yr) as the basin does (about 30 cm/yr). In this study environmental isotopes were employed to investigate the migration of precipitation basinward through joints and fractures. Water samples were obtained from springs in the Santa Catalina Mountains. Stable isotopes and thermonuclear bomb-produced tritium enabled qualitative characterizations of flow paths and flow velocities. Stable isotopic measurements fail to display a direct altitude effect. Tritium values indicate that although a few springs discharge pre-bomb water, most springs discharge waters from the 1960's or later.
    • UA Geosciences Newsletter, (Spring 1996)

      University of Arizona Department of Geosciences (Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 1996)