Assistant professor Nick Deardorff, Department of Geoscience, received a PASSHE Faculty Professional Development Grant for his research on lava flow textures in Oregon.
Deardorff will work with undergraduate students in the field during summer 2014 and back on campus, processing collected data and using LiDAR to understand the history of emplacement of lava flows in central Oregon.
Few intermediate- to high-silica composition lava flows have been observed
during emplacement limiting our understanding of their emplacement conditions,
such as eruption rate, duration, and rheology (particularly viscosity).
Alternatively, using measurements of surface features of solidified lava flows,
researchers have developed a method to estimate lava flow emplacement rates and
duration. The advent of high resolution digital topography allows researchers
to remotely extract accurate measurements of flow morphologies and surface
textures; however, determining viscosity still requires direct sampling. In
this study, I intend to develop a method of remotely determining lava flow
viscosity by relating the dominant wavelengths of lava surface folds to silica
content and apparent viscosity. This proposal seeks funding for the acquisition
of existing Lidar (Light Detection And Ranging) data sets, as well as support
for field work, sample preparation, and geochemical analyses. The proposed
funding would initiate my research program and create numerous undergraduate
Department of Geoscience