AuthorBates, Melissa Elizabeth
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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.
AbstractThis study discusses the time dependent nature of geomechanics and explores low-impact methods for dating rockfalls in the cave environment. Kartchner Caverns provides a unique environment to perform this study because of its high humidity, absence of sunlight, gently fluctuating temperature, and seclusion from the above ground surface which causes the cave to be inhabited by specific types microorganisms. High precision microscopy and microbial DNA extraction were used in order to better understand the changes that rock surfaces undergo when they are exposed to the cave environment. Spectral data collection was done in order to research the applicability of remote sensing technology to assess the degree of weathering of rock surfaces at the project site. It was concluded that microbiology and chemical processes may play an important role in weathering in the cave environment and spectral imaging has the potential to be an effective data collection method.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Mining Geological & Geophysical Engineering