Information for UND undergraduate students wishing to do senior thesis on Geomorphology
There are three options to approach the thesis: 1) you can either pursue a topic of your own choice and that is further developed with a faculty member, or 2) you can work on a project listed below, or 3) you can come and discuss about your ideas and possibilities and we can come up with something cool.
Technical details on how to write, what is involved, when to do, what is included in the sequence can be found in this document:
few potential Geomorphology related topics for motivated students (typically some preliminary work has already been done or data already exists):
-Current rates and patterns of erosion of the Badlands, western North Dakota
The landscape evolution in the Badlands is not well understood. Various people in the department have collected regolith transport data. The project requires analyses of the existing data and field work and collection of more data in the badlands.
-Morphology of Antarctic Dry Valleys from differential GPS surveys
Antarctica has remained dry and frozen for millions of years. This climate results in unexpected geomoprhology. A wealth of airborne LiDAR and differential GPS data exists. The project requires analyses of the existing data and detecting landforms and probable processes leading to those landforms.
-Liquid water percolation into a frozen soil (recharge mechanism of Antarctic soil ice)
A vigorous debate exists on the mechanisms of replacing the ice in the Antarctic permafrost which tends to sublimate over periods of thousands and millions of years. Field observations and laboratory measurements exists to get the project off the ground. The student would need to analyze the existing data and potentially develop and run new experiments.
-Regolith transport detection by RFID technology.
We have a poor understanding of the amount and timing of the regolith transport on hillslopes. This project requires the student to build the electronics for RFID reading, researching appropriate tags and attachment of those into earth materials. The field work includes the placement of RFID tagged pebbles in the field and collecting the data at the end of the field season. The data analyses is based on collected data that reveals the rate of regolith transport in a given environment.