• Transient spatiotemporal chaos on complex networks

      Rawoot, Safia (2004-12)
      Some of today's most important questions regard complex dynamical systems with many interacting components. Network models provide a means to gain insight into such systems. This thesis focuses on a network model based upon the Gray-Scott cubic autocatalytic reaction-diffusion system that manifests transient spatiotemporal chaos. Motivated by recent studies on the small-world topology discovered by Watts and Strogatz, the network's original regular ring topology was modified by the addition of a few irregular connections. The effects of these added connections on the system's transience as well on the dynamics local to the added connections were examined. It was found that the addition of a single connection can significantly effect the transient time of spatiotemporal chaos and that the addition of two connections can transform the system's spatiotemporal chaos from transient to asymptotic. These findings suggest that small modifications to a network's topology can greatly affect its behavior.
    • Transport And Formation Processes For Fine Airborne Ash From Three Recent Volcanic Eruptions In Alaska: Implications For Detection Methods And Tracking Models

      Rinkleff, Peter G.; Cahill, Catherine F.; Dehn, Jonathan; Dean, Kenneson G.; Beget, James E. (2012)
      Airborne fine volcanic ash was collected during the eruptions of Augustine Volcano in 2006, Pavlof Volcano in 2007, and Redoubt Volcano in 2009 using Davis Rotating Unit for Measurement (DRUM) cascade impactors to observe atmospheric processes acting on ash as an atmospheric particle. During the Redoubt eruption, samples were also collected by Beta Attenuation Mass (BAM-1020) and Environmental Beta Attenuation Mass (EBAM) monitors. BAM-1020s and EBAMs provided real-time mass concentration data; DRUM samplers provided samples for post-eruptive analysis. DRUM samples were retrospectively analyzed for time-resolved mass concentration and chemistry. EBAM and BAM-1020s reported near real-time, time-resolved mass concentrations. Scanning Electron Microscopy with Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy was conducted to determine particle size, shape, and composition. Image processing methods were developed to determine particle size distributions and shape factors. Ash occurred as single grains, ash aggregates, and hybrid aggregates. Ash aggregates occurred in plumes from pyroclastic flows and were found in a discrete aerodynamic size range (2.5-1.15 microm). Hybrid ash was common in all samples and likely formed when downward mixing ash mingled with upward mixing sea salt and non-sea salt sulfate. The mass concentration of sulfate did not vary systematically with ash which indicated that the source of sulfate was not necessarily volcanic. Ash size distributions were log-normal. Size distribution plots of ash collected from the same plume at different transport distances showed that longer atmospheric residence times allowed for more aggregation to occur which led to larger but fewer particles in the plume the longer it was transported. Ash transport and dispersion models forecasted ash fall over a broad area, but ash fall was only observed in areas unaffected by topographic barriers. PM10 (particulates ≤ 10 microm in aerodynamic diameter or OA) ash was detected closer to the volcano when no PM2.5 (particulates ≤ 2.5 microm O A) ash was observed. Further downwind, PM2.5 ash was collected which indicated that the settling rates of PM10 and PM2.5 influenced their removal rates. Diurnal variations in ash mass concentrations were controlled by air masses rising due to solar heating which transported ash from the sampling site, or descending due to radiative cooling which brought ash to the sampling site. Respirable (PM2.5) ash was collected when there were no satellite ash detections which underscored the importance of ash transport and dispersion models for forecasting the presence of ash when mass concentrations are below satellite detection limits.
    • The transport of aerosols into Denali National Park and Preserve

      Wallace, Ashley N. (2012-05)
      Denali National Park and Preserve (DNPP) is a federally protected Class I visibility area in Alaska. The Regional Haze Rule in the U.S. Clean Air Act requires the visibility in all Class I areas to be 'pristine.' According to the EPA DNPP does not have `pristine' air. Therefore, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation conducted a 15-month study of particulate matter smaller than 2.5 micrometers (PM2.5) from March, 2008 through June, 2009 to identify the aerosol sources in DNPP. DRUM aerosol impactors collected aerosols at four sites (DNPP Headquarters, Trapper Creek, McGrath, and Lake Minchumina) around DNPP. The aerosol data underwent a series of analyses including: a seasonal analysis of elemental composition, an analysis of potential source regions as identified by the HYbrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory ectory (HYSPLIT) model, and Chemical Mass Balance (CMB) analyses to identify specific aerosol sources. These analyses show that the predominant sources of aerosols impacting DNPP during winter and spring lie outside of Alaska and during summer and fall are from outside and local sources. Outside sources include deserts in China and industry in Russia. Because many of the aerosols impacting DNPP are produced internationally, the visibility in DNPP cannot be restored without international collaboration.
    • The treatment of missing data on placement tools for predicting success in college algebra at the University of Alaska

      Crawford, Alyssa (2014-05)
      This project investigated the statistical significance of baccalaureate student placement tools such as tests scores and completion of a developmental course on predicting success in a college level algebra course at the University of Alaska (UA). Students included in the study had attempted Math 107 at UA for the first time between fiscal years 2007 and 2012. The student placement information had a high percentage of missing data. A simulation study was conducted to choose the best missing data method between complete case deletion, and multiple imputation for the student data. After the missing data methods were applied, a logistic regression with fitted with explanatory variables consisting of tests scores, developmental course grade, age (category) of scores and grade, and interactions. The relevant tests were SAT math, ACT math, AccuPlacer college level math, and the relevant developmental course was Devm /Math 105. The response variable was success in passing Math 107 with grade of C or above on the first attempt. The simulation study showed that under a high percentage of missing data and correlation, multiple imputation implemented by the R package Multivariate Imputation by Chained Equations (MICE) produced the least biased estimators and better confidence interval coverage compared to complete cases deletion when data are missing at random (MAR) and missing not at random (MNAR). Results from multiple imputation method on the student data showed that Devm /Math 105 grade was a significant predictor of passing Math 107. The age of Devm /Math 105, age of tests, and test scores were not significant predictors of student success in Math 107. Future studies may consider modeling with ALEKS scores, and high school math course information.
    • Tribological Comparison of Materials

      Shi, Bing; Duffy, Lawrence K.; Kuhn, Thomas B.; Liang, Hong; Rekow, Dianne (2004-12)
      Approximately 600,000 total joint replacement surgeries are performed each year in the United States. Current artificial joint implants are mainly metal-on-plastic. The synthetic biomaterials undergo degradation through fatigue and corrosive wear from load-bearing and the aqueous ionic environment of the human body. Deposits o f inorganic salts can scratch weight-bearing surfaces, making artificial joints stiff and awkward. The excessive wear debris from polyethylene leads to osteolysis and potential loosening of the prosthesis. The lifetime for well-designed artificial joints is at most 10 to 15 years. A patient can usually have two total joint replacements during her/his lifetime. Durability is limited by the body’s reaction to wear debris of the artificial joints. Wear of the artificial joints should be reduced. A focus of this thesis is the tribological performance of bearing materials for Total Replacement Artificial Joints (TRAJ). An additional focus is the scaffolds for cell growth from both a tissue engineering and tribological perspective. The tribological properties of materials including Diam ond-like Carbon (DLC) coated materials were tested for TRAJ implants. The DLC coatings are chemically inert, impervious to acid and saline media, and are mechanically hard. Carbon-based materials are highly biocompatible. A new alternative to total joints implantation is tissue engineering. Tissue engineering is the replacement of living tissue with tissue that is designed and constructed to meet the needs of the individual patient. Cells were cultured onto the artificial materials, including metals, ceramics, and polymers, and the frictional properties of these materials were investigated to develop a synthetic alternative to orthopedic transplants. Results showed that DLC coated materials had low friction and wear, which are desirable tribological properties for artificial joint material. Cells grew on some of the artificial matrix materials, depending on the surface chemistry, wettability, morphology, microstructure etc. The dry, lubricated, and cell culture friction tests showed that bovine serum albumin solution and culture media performed as lubricants. Frictional properties varied. Glass and TR-2 (PET, polyethylene terephthalate) showed good cell culture results and low friction. Both are suitable materials, both as artificial joint implant coatings and as substrates for preparing total joint implants via tissue engineering.
    • Trichodectes canis, an invasive ectoparasite of Alaskan wolves: detection methods, current distribution, and ecological correlates of spread

      Woldstad, Theresa M. (2010-05)
      Trichodectes canis, (Ischnocera: Trichodectidae), was first documented on Alaska gray wolves (Canis lupis) in 1981. Two hypotheses may explain why T. canis was not observed in Alaska until the 1980s. Symptomatic wolves could be predisposed to pediculosis, whereas mild infestations outside the observed infestation region are undetected by visual inspection. A second possible explanation is that T. canis is an invasive ectoparasite, and Alaska wolves outside the infestation region do not harbor lice. We examined wolf hides from December 2003 to February 2009, to investigate potential sampling locations, determine T. canis current distribution within Alaska, and investigate potential ecological correlates of spread. We determined that the caudal region of the wolf possessed the highest mean proportion of T. canis and we detected all cases of mild pediculosis. Lice were documented on wolves in a contiguous distribution from Southcentral Alaska to immediately north of the Alaska Range, (estimated area 174,000 km²). Occult infestations were not detected outside of the current infestation zone. That pattern of occurrence suggests that T. canis is a novel parasite within Alaska. Ecological correlates positively associated with T. canis presence include wolf densities greater than eight wolves/1000 km² and mean annual January temperatures warmer than -19°C.
    • Trophic dynamics in a changing Arctic: interactions between ptarmigan and willows in Northern Alaska

      Christie, Katie; Ruess, Roger; Lindberg, Mark; Mulder, Christa; Schmutz, Joel (2014-12)
      Shrubs have been expanding in the Arctic over the past century, with important consequences for ecosystem functioning, plant community composition, and wildlife habitat. Herbivores have the capacity to strongly moderate the growth and biomass of shrubs, and therefore need to be considered when attempting to understand and project future changes to Arctic ecosystems. Ptarmigan (Lagopus lagopus, L. muta) are common and widespread in many tundra regions, and feed on shrubs throughout their life cycle. Ptarmigan are likely to be an important herbivore in northern Alaska where shrub expansion is rapidly occurring; however, little is known about their spatial and temporal distribution in the Arctic, or the effect of their browsing on shrubs. This dissertation provides novel information on ptarmigan population ecology and herbivory in northern Alaska. Ptarmigan occupancy in northeastern Alaska increased from March through May, lending support to the idea that they undergo a spring migration from southern wintering grounds to breeding grounds north of the Brooks Range. Ptarmigan distributions were strongly linked to the presence of shrubs; occupancy was greatest in dense patches of riparian willows that grew tall enough to exceed snow depth. The frequency and intensity of ptarmigan browsing in feltleaf willow (Salix alaxensis) stands in northeastern and northwestern Alaska was high, such that ptarmigan browsed 82-89% of willows and removed 30-39% of buds. Browsed willow branches produced fewer catkins than un-browsed branches, but doubled the volume of current annual growth produced the following summer. These longer, larger-diameter shoots bore 40-60% more buds than shoots on unbrowsed branches. The removal of distal buds stimulated dormant buds at the base of the branch to produce shoots, resulting in a "broomed" architecture. Despite their tendency to produce longer shoots when browsed, highly broomed willows with a history of browsing were shorter than un-broomed willows. Broomed willows were more likely to be re-browsed by ptarmigan. Moose browsing was not as prevalent (17-44% of willows browsed) as ptarmigan browsing and resulted in reduced catkin production and increased shoot volume. Simulated ptarmigan browsing of feltleaf willows caused a similar response to that observed in the wild. Browsed willows produced fewer catkins and more buds per shoot, although buds were smaller than on un-browsed willows. Browsing altered the architecture and bud production of willows such that the biomass of easily accessible buds (within 50 cm of snow level) was greater (129 ± 30 mg) on browsed willows than un-browsed willows (113 ± 50 mg). Browsing did not affect nitrogen concentrations, but slightly reduced carbon concentrations and protein precipitation capacity (tannins) in buds produced the following winter. In a feeding preference study, when broomed and un-broomed willow branches were placed in the snow at equal heights, wild ptarmigan showed no preference for either type but obtained more buds from broomed willows. A synthesis of original and published research showed that browsing by vertebrate herbivores in the Arctic is not uniform, and that certain shrubs (such as willows) are more heavily browsed than others (such as evergreen ericoids, resin birches, and Siberian alder (Alnus viridis fruticosa)). These differences in preference translate to variation in the degree to which herbivores regulate Arctic shrub growth and community structure. As shrubs expand in the Arctic, unpalatable, fast-growing species such as alder may have an advantage over more palatable species such as willows. Collectively, this research fills critical gaps in our knowledge of ptarmigan population ecology in Alaska, provides novel insights into how ptarmigan regulate their food source for their own benefit, and enhances our understanding of how herbivores influence shrub expansion in the Arctic.
    • Trophic dynamics of boreal lakes in a changing northern landscape: impacts of lake drying and forest fires

      Lewis, Tyler L.; Lindberg, Mark; Schmutz, Joel; Larsen, Amy; Jones, Jeremy; Heglund, Patricia (2015-05)
      The abundant lakes of northern latitudes are the primary breeding grounds for many waterbird species. In recent decades, temperatures in the north have increased by twice the global average. This substantial warming has caused lake drying and increased wildfires, both of which may impact waterbird habitats. Fires release nutrients locked in terrestrial resources, making them available for transport to lakes, while lake drying concentrates nutrients and other solutes into smaller water volumes. Increased nutrients may fundamentally alter ecosystem processes of lakes by changing the timing and abundance of phytoplankton blooms, which in turn affects the abundance of aquatic invertebrates - the primary food source for breeding waterbirds and their broods. I examined effects of forest fires and lake drying on ecosystems of Subarctic boreal lakes in the Yukon Flats, Alaska, documenting changes to (1) aquatic nutrient and chlorophyll concentrations, (2) aquatic invertebrate densities, and (3) abundance and occupancy of waterbirds. Nutrient, chlorophyll, and invertebrate levels were largely unaffected by a recent forest fire. This ecosystem stability transferred upward to waterbirds, as brood abundance was also unaffected by the fire. On drying lakes, nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations increased >200% and >100%, respectively, from the 1980s to present. At the same time, concentrations of 4 major ions increased, including increases of >500% for chloride and >100% for sodium. Nonetheless, chlorophyll levels, aquatic invertebrate abundance, and occupancy of waterbird broods were largely unaffected by these chemical changes on drying lakes. Overall, ecosystems of Yukon Flats were largely resilient to short-term effects of forest fires and rising chemical concentrations associated with lake drying. Moreover, this resilience spanned multiple trophic levels, from phytoplankton to aquatic invertebrates to waterbirds.
    • Trophic pathways supporting Arctic Grayling in a small stream on the Arctic Coastal Plain, Alaska

      McFarland, Jason John; Wipfli, Mark S.; Ruess, Roger; Arp, Chris D. (2015-05)
      Arctic Grayling (Thymallus arcticus) are widely distributed on the Arctic Coastal Plain (ACP) of Alaska, and are one of the few upper level consumers in streams, but the trophic pathways and food resources supporting these fish are unknown. Grayling migrate each summer into small beaded streams, which are common across the landscape on the ACP, and appear to be crucial foraging grounds for these and other fishes. I investigated prey resources supporting different size classes of grayling in a beaded stream, Crea Creek, where petroleum development is being planned. The specific objectives were to measure terrestrial prey subsidies entering the stream, quantify prey ingested by Arctic Grayling and Ninespine Stickleback (Pungitius pungitius), determine if riparian plant species affect the quantity of terrestrial invertebrates ingested by grayling, and determine if prey size and type ingested were a function of predator size. Results indicated that small grayling (< 15 cm fork length (FL)) consumed mostly aquatic invertebrates (caddisflies, midges, and blackflies) early in the summer, and increasing quantities of terrestrial invertebrates (wasps, beetles, and spiders) later in summer, while larger fish (> 15 cm FL) foraged most heavily on stickleback. Riparian plant species influenced the quantity of terrestrial invertebrates entering the stream, however these differences were not reflected in fish diets. This study showed that grayling can be both highly insectivorous and piscivorous, depending upon fish size class, and that both aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates, and especially stickleback, are the main prey of grayling. These results highlight the importance of beaded streams as summer foraging habitats for grayling. Understanding prey flow dynamics in these poorly studied aquatic habitats, prior to further petroleum development and simultaneous climate change, establishes essential baseline information to interpret if and how these freshwater ecosystems may respond to a changing Arctic environment.
    • Trophic pathways supporting juvenile chinook and coho salmon in the glacial Susitna River, Alaska: patterns of freshwater, terrestrial, and marine resource use across a seasonally dynamic habitat mosaic

      Rine, Kristin M.; Wipfli, Mark S.; Jones, Jeremy B.; Stricker, Craig A. (2015-12)
      In large, seasonally dynamic and spatially complex watersheds, the availability and relative importance of various food resources for stream fishes can be expected to vary substantially. While numerous studies have attempted to uncover the trophic linkages that support stream salmonids, much of these efforts have occurred at small scales that disregard variability of food resources inherent in lotic systems. This study aimed to determine large-scale patterns in the contributions of freshwater, terrestrial, and marine-derived food resources to juvenile Chinook and Coho salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha and O. kisutch) in the large, glacially influenced Susitna River, Alaska. I quantified diet patterns both spatially, across different macrohabitat types positioned along a 169-km segment of the river corridor, and temporally, from June to October, using stable isotope and stomach content analyses. To further resolve energy pathways from basal carbon sources to juvenile salmon, I determined the relative roles of terrestrial organic matter and freshwater periphyton food sources to aquatic benthic invertebrate diets. The latter analysis showed that invertebrate consumers were more reliant on freshwater periphyton than on terrestrial organic matter. Bayesian stable isotope mixing models indicated that juvenile salmon in the middle Susitna River were, in turn, largely supported by freshwater invertebrate prey regardless of spatial and temporal context. The relative contribution of marine-derived prey (salmon eggs) to juvenile salmon diets was greatest in the fall within tributary mouth and off-channel macrohabitats during both years of the study. Terrestrial invertebrate prey contributions were generally greatest during mid-summer within all macrohabitat types sampled, however this pattern varied across years. No upstream to downstream diet pattern was apparent from the data. These results underscore the importance of freshwater energy pathways for sustaining juvenile Chinook and Coho salmon in the Susitna River and provide further spatial and temporal context for the importance of pulsed marine and terrestrial prey subsidies. As Pacific salmon stocks continue to decline, management and mitigation efforts should operate on knowledge gained from studies that encompass the largescale spatial and temporal variability inherent in riverine landscapes.
    • Trophic relationships in an Arctic marine foodweb and implications for trace element dynamics

      Dehn, Larissa-A (2005-08)
      Tissues of subsistence-harvested Arctic marine and terrestrial mammals and potential prey species were analyzed for isotopes of carbon and nitrogen and selected trace elements describing contaminant pathways in the food web. Feeding habits of ice seals were characterized using stable isotopes and gastric contents analysis. Bearded seals (Erignathus barbatus) relied on the benthic food chain. Zooplankton and fishes were significant prey for ringed seals (Phoca hispida), while fishes were the principal prey in spotted seals (Phoca largha). Gastric prey composition and isotope ratios varied with age and sex. Effects of age, trophic level, and prey prevalence on trace element concentrations in seal tissues were investigated. Most trace elements differed significantly in phocid tissues. Bearded seals had the highest cadmium (Cd) concentrations and spotted seals the lowest. This indicates a connection of Cd with invertebrate prey, while mercury (Hg), in particular the proportion of organic to total Hg (THg), accumulated in the piscivorous food web. Silver (Ag) showed possible association to benthic feeding habits. Altered trace element accumulation patterns were observed in compromised seals. Stable isotopes illustrated belugas (Delphinapterus leucas) occupied a higher trophic level than bowheads (Balaena mysticetus) and gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus). Trace element concentrations also differed significantly among these cetaceans. Observed relationships with age or length in species analyzed were complex and nonlinear rather than previously reported continuous bioaccumulation with age. Cd was similar in belugas and bowheads but lowest in gray whales. THg was highest in belugas and near detection limit in mysticetes, supporting the connection of Hg with fish and Cd with invertebrates. The hepatic selenium (Se ):THg ratio exceeded the frequently described equimolarity in all species. Se:THg molar ratios and tissue concentrations of zinc (Zn) may show promise as indicators of immune status and animal health. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) feed on the highest trophic level, though Cd concentrations were either similar to, or significantly lower than those in belugas or ice seals. Conversely, THg increased significantly from seal to bear. Generally, trace elements in Alaska-harvested animals were lower than for other Arctic regions, and trace metal magnification in the Arctic food web was not significant.
    • Tsunami runup in U and V shaped bays

      Garayshin, Viacheslav Valer'evich; Гарайшин, Вячеслав Валерьевич; Rybkin, Alexei; Rhodes, John; Nicolsky, Dmitry (2013-08)
      Tsunami runup can be effectively modeled using the shallow water wave equations. In 1958 Carrier and Greenspan in their work "Water waves of finite amplitude on a sloping beach" used this system to model tsunami runup on a uniformly sloping plane beach. They linearized this problem using a hodograph type transformation and obtained the Klein-Gordon equation which could be explicitly solved by using the Fourier-Bessel transform. In 2011, Efim Pelinovsky and Ira Didenkulova in their work "Runup of Tsunami Waves in U-Shaped Bays" used a similar hodograph type transformation and linearized the tsunami problem for a sloping bay with parabolic cross-section. They solved the linear system by using the D'Alembert formula. This method was generalized to sloping bays with cross-sections parameterized by power functions. However, an explicit solution was obtained only for the case of a bay with a quadratic cross-section. In this paper we will show that the Klein-Gordon equation can be solved by a spectral method for any inclined bathymetry with power function for any positive power. The result can be used to estimate tsunami runup in such bays with minimal numerical computations. This fact is very important because in many cases our numerical model can be substituted for fullscale numerical models which are computationally expensive, and time consuming, and not feasible to investigate tsunami behavior in the Alaskan coastal zone, due to the low population density in this area
    • Two- and three-dimensional study of the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability, magnetic reconnection and their mutual interaction at the magnetospheric boundary

      Chen, Qinxue; Otto, Antonius; Watkins, Brenton; Sentman, Davis; Smith, Roger (1997)
      Magnetic reconnection and the Kelvin-Helmholtz (KH) instability regulate the transport of magnetic flux, plasma, momentum and energy from the solar wind into the magnetosphere. In this thesis, I use two-dimensional and three-dimensional MHD simulations to investigate the KH instability, magnetic reconnection, and their relationship. Two basic flow and magnetic field configurations are distinguished at the Earth's magnetopause: (1) configurations where the difference in plasma velocity between the two sides of the boundary $\Delta$v (velocity shear) is parallel to the difference of the magnetic field $\Delta$b (magnetic shear), and (2) configurations where the velocity shear is perpendicular to the magnetic shear. For configuration (1), either magnetic reconnection is modified by the shear flow, or the KH instability is modified by the magnetic shear and resistivity. The evolution of the basic configuration (2) requires three dimensions. In this case, both processes can operate simultaneously in different planes. If the KH instability grows faster initially, it can wrap up the current layer and thereby initiate a very fast and turbulent reconnection process. The resulting magnetic turbulence can provide the first explanation of often very turbulent structures of the magnetopause current layer. For the first time, it is quantitatively confirmed that the KH instability operates at the magnetospheric boundary at low latitudes.
    • Two-dimensional Bernstein-Greene-Kruskal modes in a magnetized plasma with kinetic effects from electrons and ions

      Tang, Han; Chung-Sang, Ng; Delamere, Peter; Newman, David (2020-05)
      Electrostatic structures are observed in various of space environments including the auroral acceleration region, the solar wind region and the magnetosphere. The Bernstein-Greene-Kruskal (BGK) mode, one of the non-linear solutions to the Vlasov-Poisson system, is a potential explanation to these phenomena. Specifically, two dimensional (2D) BGK modes can be constructed through solving the Vlasov-Poisson-Ampère system with the assumption of a uniform ion background. This thesis discusses the existence and features of the 2D BGK modes with kinetic effects from both electrons and ions. Specifically, we construct electron or ion BGK modes with finite temperature ratio between ions and electrons. More general cases, the electron-ion 2D BGK mode with the participation of both non-Boltzmann electron and ion distributions are constructed and analyzed as well.
    • Unsupervised multi-scale change detection from SAR imagery for monitoring natural and anthropogenic disasters

      Ajadi, Olaniyi A.; Meyer, Franz; Webley, Peter; Tape, Carl; Cahill, Catherine (2017-08)
      Radar remote sensing can play a critical role in operational monitoring of natural and anthropogenic disasters. Despite its all-weather capabilities, and its high performance in mapping, and monitoring of change, the application of radar remote sensing in operational monitoring activities has been limited. This has largely been due to: (1) the historically high costs associated with obtaining radar data; (2) slow data processing, and delivery procedures; and (3) the limited temporal sampling that was provided by spaceborne radar-based satellites. Recent advances in the capabilities of spaceborne Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) sensors have developed an environment that now allows for SAR to make significant contributions to disaster monitoring. New SAR processing strategies that can take full advantage of these new sensor capabilities are currently being developed. Hence, with this PhD dissertation, I aim to: (i) investigate unsupervised change detection techniques that can reliably extract signatures from time series of SAR images, and provide the necessary flexibility for application to a variety of natural, and anthropogenic hazard situations; (ii) investigate effective methods to reduce the effects of speckle and other noise on change detection performance; (iii) automate change detection algorithms using probabilistic Bayesian inferencing; and (iv) ensure that the developed technology is applicable to current, and future SAR sensors to maximize temporal sampling of a hazardous event. This is achieved by developing new algorithms that rely on image amplitude information only, the sole image parameter that is available for every single SAR acquisition. The motivation and implementation of the change detection concept are described in detail in Chapter 3. In the same chapter, I demonstrated the technique's performance using synthetic data as well as a real-data application to map wildfire progression. I applied Radiometric Terrain Correction (RTC) to the data to increase the sampling frequency, while the developed multiscaledriven approach reliably identified changes embedded in largely stationary background scenes. With this technique, I was able to identify the extent of burn scars with high accuracy. I further applied the application of the change detection technology to oil spill mapping. The analysis highlights that the approach described in Chapter 3 can be applied to this drastically different change detection problem with only little modification. While the core of the change detection technique remained unchanged, I made modifications to the pre-processing step to enable change detection from scenes of continuously varying background. I introduced the Lipschitz regularity (LR) transformation as a technique to normalize the typically dynamic ocean surface, facilitating high performance oil spill detection independent of environmental conditions during image acquisition. For instance, I showed that LR processing reduces the sensitivity of change detection performance to variations in surface winds, which is a known limitation in oil spill detection from SAR. Finally, I applied the change detection technique to aufeis flood mapping along the Sagavanirktok River. Due to the complex nature of aufeis flooded areas, I substituted the resolution-preserving speckle filter used in Chapter 3 with curvelet filters. In addition to validating the performance of the change detection results, I also provide evidence of the wealth of information that can be extracted about aufeis flooding events once a time series of change detection information was extracted from SAR imagery. A summary of the developed change detection techniques is conducted and suggested future work is presented in Chapter 6.
    • Upper crustal structure of southern Alaska: An interpretation of seismic refraction data from the Trans-Alaska Crustal Transect

      Wolf, Lorraine W.; Stone, David B.; Davies, John N.; Harrison, William D.; Pulpan, Hans; Shapiro, Lewis H.; Wallace, Wesley K. (1989)
      Seismic refraction and wide-angle reflection data from the U.S. Geological Survey's Trans-Alaska Crustal Transect is used to investigate the upper crustal structure of southcentral Alaska. The data consist of two intersecting refraction lines: the 135-km Chugach profile which follows the E-W strike of the Chugach Mountains and the 126-km Cordova Peak profile which follows the N-S regional dip. The four shots of the Chugach profile and the five shots of the Cordova Peak profile were recorded on 120 portable seismic instruments spaced at 1-km intervals. Interpretation of data from the Chugach terrane indicates that near-surface unconsolidated sediment and glacial ice overlie rocks of unusually high average compressional velocities (5.4-6.9 km/s) in the upper 10 km of crust. A thick unit correlated with a metasedimentary and metavolcanic flysch sequence has velocities of 5.4-5.9 km/s. It is underlain by mafic to ultramafic metavolcanic rocks (6.0-6.4 km/s) correlated with the terrane basement. Mid-crustal layers beneath the Chugach terrane contain two velocity reversals (6.5 and 6.7 km/s) attributed to off-scraped oceanic sedimentary rocks which are underlain by mafic to ultramafic oceanic volcanic crust (7.0-7.2 km/s). Interpretation of data from the Prince William terrane indicates systematically lower velocities in Prince William terrane rocks as compared to Chugach terrane rocks at comparable depths. The upper 10 km of crust, having average compressional velocities of 3.0-6.2 km/s, is correlated with clastic sedimentary and volcanic rocks which are overlain by younger terrigenous sedimentary rocks. A 2-km thick layer at 10-12 km depth is correlated with mafic to ultramafic Prince William terrane basement rocks. The difference in velocity structure between the Chugach and Prince William terranes suggests that the Contact fault zone is a terrane boundary which extends to a depth of at least 10-12 km. Deep structure beneath the two terranes is not well constrained by the seismic refraction data. Potential field data support the interpretation that a thick low-velocity zone occurs at a 12-15 km depth and may contain subducted continental rocks of the Yakutat terrane, which is currently accreting to and being thrust beneath the North American continent along the Gulf of Alaska margin.
    • Urban stream management: interdisciplinary assessment of the Ship Creek fishery

      Krupa, Meagan B. (2009-05)
      The Lower Ship Creek Fishery in the city of Anchorage, Alaska is one of the state's most popular sport fisheries. After years of channelization and development, this social-ecological system (SES) continues to experience the effects of urbanization and is struggling to achieve robustness. I applied a robustness framework to the management of management this fishery because of its semi-engineered nature. This framework uses interdisciplinary methods to study the interrelationships between the fishery's socio-economic and ecological components. Robustness is more appropriate than resilience as an analytical framework because of the relative insensitivity of the engineered components to ecological feedbacks. On Lower Ship Creek, the engineered hatchery fish continue to thrive despite declining stream conditions. The robustness of this fishery contributes to the resilience of the city by increasing local food and recreation options and supporting a diverse set of businesses. To study the robustness of this SES in the context of the resilience of Anchorage, I first combined historical photos and existing Ship Creek data with research conducted on other streams to create an environmental history of the creek. This history then was used to describe how eras of urban development have altered the creek's ecosystem processes and created new ecological constraints related to 1) loss of wetlands and riparian vegetation; 2) erosion, pollution, and channelization; 3) loss of fish species; and 4) flow alteration and habitat loss. Using Lovecraft's (2008) typology, I proposed four plausible management scenarios that highlight the trade-offs associated with management of this fishery: 1) Ship Creek Redesign, 2) Mitigation, Construction, and Maintenance, 3) KAPP Dam Removal, and 4) Business as Usual. The second of these scenarios is most consistent with the current ecological constraints, the characteristics preferred by most stakeholders, and current socio-economic trends. Since Scenario 2 will require a large monetary investment, I examined this SES's cost structure and compared it with previously published analyses of the economic benefits of the fishery. By quantifying the costs borne by each agency, I showed how externalities produce intra- and inter-agency tension. These data were used to construct a new cost-sharing framework that provides decision makers with an economic incentive to work more cooperatively in the future. I then explored the interrelationship of the SES's socioeconomic and ecological subsystems, using Anderies et al.'s (2004) framework. I applied Ostrom's design principles (1990) to sport fisheries to explore the reasons why agencies have not cooperated to produce a more robust fishery. This SES fails to meet three of the design principles: it lacks 1) an equal proportion of benefits and costs, 2) collective-choice arrangements, and 3) user and biophysical monitoring. I then suggest how to improve the design and increase the robustness of this SES. This study proposes that the maintenance of semi-engineered systems is important both for local users and for the resilience of states and countries. In the context of global trends toward increasing urbanization, this study provides an interdisciplinary approach to increasing the robustness of urban streams and building resilience within states and countries.
    • Using infrasound to characterize volcanic emissions at Tolbachik, Karymsky, and Sakurajima volcanoes

      Albert, Sarah; Fee, David; Tape, Carl; Szuberla, Curt (2015-08)
      The work presented herein includes one main body of research on infrasound from Tolbachik Volcano and suggestions for future work on eruption dynamics using infrasound from other volcanoes. We use both regional and local infrasound data to track the dynamics of the 2012-2013 eruption of Tolbachik Volcano, Kamchatka, Russia. Analysis of regional data recorded at the IMS array IS44 in southern Kamchatka, ~384 km from the vent, focuses on the eruption onset in November 2012, while analysis of local data recorded 100-950 m from the vent focuses on activity in February and August 2013. Signals recorded from Tolbachik suggest an increase in eruptive intensity occurred from November 28-29, 2012. Local infrasound data are characterized primarily by repeated, transient explosion signals indicative of gas slug bursts. Three methods are employed to pick slug burst events in February and August, with all methods proving to be effective. The nature of slug bursts makes a monopole acoustic source model particularly fitting, permitting volume outux and slug radius calculations for individual events. Volume outuxes and slug radii distributions provide three possible explanations for the eruption style of Tolbachik Volcano from mid-February to late August. Cumulative outux for slug bursts (i.e. mass of emissions from individual bursts) derived by infrasound for both February and August range from <100 to 3000 kg. These values are greater than infrasound-derived emissions calculated at Pacaya Volcano, but less than those calculated at Mt. Erebus Volcano. From this, we determine slug bursts at Tolbachik Volcano in February and August were larger on average than those at Pacaya Volcano in 2010, but smaller on average than those at Mt. Erebus in 2008. Suggestions for future work are also given after analysis of acoustic waveforms from local infrasound data collected at Karymsky and Sakurajima Volcanoes. Activity at both of these volcanoes ranges from short-duration ash-rich explosions to longer-duration ash-rich explosions. A multiparameter dataset collected at Karymsky Volcano in August 2011 includes infrasound data, gas and ash data, and thermal imagery from eruptive events. Content of gas vs. ash, general plume characteristics, plume altitude above the vent, plume temperature, and SO₂ emission rates are correlated with acoustic waveform families identifed at each volcano using a cross correlation method. This preliminary analysis shows promise for correlating acoustic waveforms with eruptive activity and can likely be improved with future work.
    • Using self-organizing maps to detail synoptic connections between climate indices and Alaska weather

      Winnan, Reynir C.; Bhatt, Uma S.; Collins, Richard L.; Walsh, John E.; Wackerbauer, Renate A. (2015-12)
      Seasonal forecasts for Alaska strongly depend on the phases of Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), and warm water in the North Pacific called the North Pacific Mode or more popularly the "Pacific blob." The canonical descriptions of these climate indices are based on seasonal averages, and anomalies that are based on a long-term mean. The patterns highlight general geographical placement and display a sharp contrast between opposing phases, but this may be misleading since seasonal averages hide much of the synoptic variability. Self-organizing maps (SOMs) are a way of grouping daily sea level pressure (SLP) patterns, over many time realizations into a specified set of maps (e.g. 35 maps) that describe commonly occurring patterns. This study uses the SOMs in the context of climate indices to describe the range of synoptic patterns that are relevant for Alaska. This study found that the patterns common during a given phase of the PDO include subtle differences that would result in Alaska weather that is very different from what is expected from the canonical PDO description, thus providing some explanation for recent studies that find the PDO link to Alaska climate is weakening. SOMs analysis is consistent with recent studies suggesting that the pattern responsible for the 2014 Pacific warm blob is linked to tropical sea-surface temperature (SST) forcing. An analysis of the summer SLP SOMs in the context of Alaska wildland fires was also conducted. This analysis identified several commonly occurring patterns during summers with large areas burned. These patterns are characterized by low pressure in the Bering Sea, which would be consistent with increased storm activity and thus an ignition source for the fires. Identifying synoptic patterns that occur during a particular phase of a teleconnection index contributes towards understanding the mechanisms of how these indices influence the weather and climate of Alaska.
    • Using WRF/Chem, in-situ observations, and Calipso data to simulate smoke plume signatures on high-latitude pixels

      Madden, James Michael; Mölders, Nicole; Sassen, Kenneth; Prakash, Anupma; Grell, Georg (2014-05)
      The transport of wildfire aerosols provides concerns to people at or near downwind propagation. Concerns include the health effects of inhalation by inhabitants of surrounding communities and fire crews, the environmental effects of the wet and dry deposition of acids and particles, and the effects on the atmosphere through the scattering and absorption of solar radiation. Therefore, as the population density increases in Arctic and sub-Arctic areas, improving wildfire detection increasingly becomes necessary. Efforts to improve wildfire detection and forecasting would be helped if additional focus was directed toward the distortion of pixel geometry that occurs near the boundaries of a geostationary satellite's field of view. At higher latitudes, resolution becomes coarse due to the curvature of the Earth, and pixels toward the boundaries of the field of view become difficult to analyze. To assess whether it is possible to detect smoke plumes in pixels at the edge of a geostationary satellite's field of view, several analyses were performed. First, a realistic, fourdimensional dataset was created from Weather Research and Forecasting model coupled with Chemistry (WRF/Chem) output. WRF/Chem output was statistically compared to ground observations through the use of skill scores. Output was also qualitatively compared to vertical backscatter and depolarization products from the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation (CALIPSO) satellite. After the quantitative and qualitative examinations deemed the model output to be realistic, synthetic pixels were constructed, appropriately sized, and used with the realistic dataset to examine the characteristic signatures of a wildfire plume. After establishing a threshold value, the synthetic pixels could distinguish between clean and smoke-polluted areas. Thus, specialized retrieval algorithms could be developed for smoke detection in strongly distorted pixels at the edge of a geostationary satellite's field of view.