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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Decade: 2010-2019
 Degree Discipline: Applied Geography
Automated Treetop Detection and Tree Crown Identification Using Discrete-return Lidar Data

Automated Treetop Detection and Tree Crown Identification Using Discrete-return Lidar Data

Date: May 2013
Creator: Liu, Haijian
Description: Accurate estimates of tree and forest biomass are essential for a wide range of applications. Automated treetop detection and tree crown discrimination using LiDAR data can greatly facilitate forest biomass estimation. Previous work has focused on homogenous or single-species forests, while few studies have focused on mixed forests. In this study, a new method for treetop detection is proposed in which the treetop is the cluster center of selected points rather than the highest point. Based on treetop detection, tree crowns are discriminated through comparison of three-dimensional shape signatures. The methods are first tested using simulated LiDAR point clouds for trees, and then applied to real LiDAR data from the Soquel Demonstration State Forest, California, USA. Results from both simulated and real LiDAR data show that the proposed method has great potential for effective detection of treetops and discrimination of tree crowns.
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Assessing the Role of Smaller Format Retailers on the Food Desert Landscape in Dallas, Texas

Assessing the Role of Smaller Format Retailers on the Food Desert Landscape in Dallas, Texas

Date: May 2013
Creator: Regan, Amanda D.
Description: Many policy and business decisions regarding food deserts in the U.S. are based on the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) definition of a food desert. This definition only includes large/national chain grocery retailers, based on the assumption that these major retailers are the only affordable sources of food contributing to balanced diets. As alternative distribution channels, including smaller stores, start to include groceries in their product offering, the need to consider the role of other businesses in the food retailing environment should be addressed. This thesis assesses the role of smaller format grocery retailers (small local grocers, convenience stores, gas stations, dollar stores, and drug stores) in shaping the food desert landscape in Dallas, Texas. The analysis evaluates the products offered in these stores, and then identifies the difference these stores make when included in the USDA analysis. This was done by collecting in-store data to determine the variety of products offered, the affordability of those products, and the overall healthfulness of the store. In addition, the gaps in supply and demand were identified in the USDA-defined food deserts in order to identify the impact any smaller format retailer may have. The findings suggest that, overall, smaller format retailers ...
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Geoarchaeological Analysis of Two New Test Pits at the Dmanisi Site, Republic of Georgia

Geoarchaeological Analysis of Two New Test Pits at the Dmanisi Site, Republic of Georgia

Date: May 2013
Creator: Zack, Winston S.
Description: This thesis presents the results of geoarchaeological investigations conducted at two new test pits, M11 and M12, at the paleoanthropological site of Dmanisi during the 2012 field season. This research is important for understanding the site formation processes occurring along the north-south axis of the Dmanisi site and how that affects the chronostratigraphic sequence and interpretation of archaeological materials here. With these excavations we can build a stronger interpretation for how broader areas of this site formed and changed both geologically and archaeologically. The geologic results of this study indicate that changes in sediment deposition and development episodes can affect interpretations of how long these sediments accumulated, how likely bones are to preserve, as well as how secondary gravel deposition can influence several archaeological interpretations. The archaeological results suggest that there could have been changes in occupation intensity between the stratum A and B phases although different rates of sediment deposition and surface stability could affect such artifact accumulations. In addition, during the stratum B phase there appears to be little change in artifact procurement behaviors and reduction characteristics by these hominins. The overall results of this research indicate that geologic factors should be addressed and cautions should be taken ...
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Spatial Analysis of North Central Texas Traffic Fatalities 2001-2006

Spatial Analysis of North Central Texas Traffic Fatalities 2001-2006

Date: December 2010
Creator: Rafferty, Paula S.
Description: A traditional two dimensional (planar) statistical analysis was used to identify the clustering types of North Central Texas traffic fatalities occurring in 2001-2006. Over 3,700 crash locations clustered in ways that were unlike other researched regions. A two dimensional (x and y coordinates) space was manipulated to mimic a one dimensional network to identify the tightest clustering of fatalities in the nearly 400,000 crashes reported from state agencies from 2003-2006. The roadway design was found to significantly affect crash location. A one dimensional (linear) network analysis was then used to measure the statistically significant clustering of flow variables of after dark crashes and daylight crashes. Flow variables were determined to significantly affect crash location after dark. The linear and planar results were compared and the one dimensional, linear analysis was found to be more accurate because it did not over detect the clustering of events on a network.
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Spatio-temporal Variation of Nitrate Levels in Groundwater in Texas, 1970 to 2010

Spatio-temporal Variation of Nitrate Levels in Groundwater in Texas, 1970 to 2010

Date: December 2012
Creator: Rice, Susan C.
Description: This study looks at spatial variation of groundwater nitrate in Texas and its fluctuations at 10 year increments using data from the Texas Water Development Board. While groundwater nitrate increased in the Ogallala and Seymour aquifers across the time period, the overall rate in Texas appears to be declining as time progresses. However, the available data is limited. Findings show that a much more targeted, knowledge based strategy for sampling would not only reduce the cost of water quality analysis but also reduce the risk of error in these analyses by providing a more realistic picture of the spatial variation of problem contaminants, thereby giving decision-makers a clearer picture on how best to handle the reduction and elimination of problem contaminants.
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The Impact Of Land Use And Land Cover Change On The Spatial Distribution Of Buruli Ulcer In Southwest Ghana

The Impact Of Land Use And Land Cover Change On The Spatial Distribution Of Buruli Ulcer In Southwest Ghana

Date: December 2011
Creator: Ruckthongsook, Warangkana
Description: Buruli ulcer (BU) is an environmental bacterium caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans. Modes of transmission and hosts of the disease remain unknown. The purposes of this study are to explore the environmental factors that are possibly explain the spatial distribution of BU, to predict BU cases by using the environmental factors, and to investigate the impact of land use and land cover change on the BU distribution. The study area covers the southwest portion of Ghana, 74 districts in 6 regions. The results show that the highest endemic areas occur in the center and expand to the southern portion of the study area. Statistically, the incidence rates of BU are positively correlated to the percentage of forest cover and inversely correlated to the percentages of grassland, soil, and urban areas in the study area. That is, forest is the most important environmental risk factor in this study. Model from zero-inflated Poisson regression is used in this paper to explain the impact of each land use and land cover type on the spatial distribution of BU. The results confirm that the changes of land use and land cover affect the spatial distribution of BU in the study area.
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Geologic and Lithic Analysis of the Red River Cache

Geologic and Lithic Analysis of the Red River Cache

Date: May 2011
Creator: Gregory, Brittney
Description: The Red River Cache is an assemblage of 33 bifaces, found in Cooke County, along Cache Creek, a tributary to the Red River. Also found with the cache was a hearth which yielded charcoal for AMS dating which returned an age of 2770- 2710 Cal YBP placing the cache in the Late Archaic. The geologic investigation of Cache Creek established 3 Holocene allostratigraphic units that provide information depositional environments adjacent to the Red River. Lithic analysis explored the production of bifaces during the Late Archaic and compared the cache to regional records. Using both geologic and lithic analysis this thesis investigates the temporal and cultural context of the cache using a geoarchaeological approach.
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An Investigation of the Relationship between HIV and Prison Facilities in Texas: The Geographic Variation and Vulnerable Neighborhood Characteristics

An Investigation of the Relationship between HIV and Prison Facilities in Texas: The Geographic Variation and Vulnerable Neighborhood Characteristics

Date: August 2011
Creator: Kutch, Libbey
Description: Previous research suggests that prisons may be fueling the spread of HIV infection in the general population. In 2005, the HIV rate was more than 2.5 times higher in US prison populations. Environmental factors in prisons such as illicit drug use and unprotected sexual activities can be conducive for HIV transmission. Because the vast majority of prison inmates are incarcerated for less than three years, transmission of HIV between prison inmates and members of the general population may occur at a high rate. The environment in which an individual lives and the entities that comprise it affect the health of that person. Thus the location of prisons within communities, as well as socio-demographic characteristics may influence the geography of HIV infection. HIV surveillance data, obtained from the Texas Department of State Health Services, were used to investigate the relationship between the location of prison units in Texas and HIV infection rates in the surrounding zip codes. The results suggest that HIV prevalence rates are higher among geographic areas in close proximity to a prison unit. With continued behavioral risks and low treatment adherence rates among individuals infected with HIV, there is a possibility of increased HIV prevalence. Vulnerable places, locations ...
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Gentrification in Oklahoma City:  Examining Urban Revitalization in Middle America

Gentrification in Oklahoma City: Examining Urban Revitalization in Middle America

Access: Use of this item is restricted to the UNT Community.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Petty, Clint C.
Description: Gentrification applies not only to the largest and oldest cities; it is a multi-scalar phenomenon playing out in smaller and less prominent settings as well. This study examines temporal changes in property values, demographic characteristics, and types of businesses in the central Oklahoma City area. A major urban revitalization project which began in 1993 created strong gentrification characteristics near the renewal's epicenter, the Bricktown entertainment district. Data suggest that several specific neighborhoods in the surrounding area exhibited rising property values, improving educational attainment rates, decreasing household sizes, and a shift toward cosmopolitan retail activity. While it is evident that Bricktown has been transformed, the socio-economic traits of surrounding neighborhoods have been altered by the ripple effects of urban renewal.
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Faunal Exploitation during the Depopulation of the Mesa Verde Region (A. D. 1300): A Case Study of Goodman Point Pueblo (5MT604)

Faunal Exploitation during the Depopulation of the Mesa Verde Region (A. D. 1300): A Case Study of Goodman Point Pueblo (5MT604)

Date: August 2011
Creator: Hoffman, Amy Susan
Description: This analysis of faunal remains from Goodman Point Pueblo (5MT604), a large village occupied just before the ancestral Puebloans permanently left southwestern Colorado at the end of the thirteenth century, explores the effect of dietary stress during abandonment in the Four Corners region. As archaeologists, we interpret what these former cultures were like and what resources they used through what they left behind. By specifically looking at faunal remains, or remains from food resources, environmental change and dietary stress can be assessed. Identifications of taxa identified at Goodman Point are made explicit via a systematic paleontology. This is followed by site-level taxonomic abundances and spatial analysis. Then, effects of technological innovations, environmental change, and sample quality are examined as alternate explanations of shifts in foraging efficiency, particularly related to animal hunting. Analyzing why and if the availability of faunal resources changes over time helps to clarify why the ancestral Puebloans left southwestern Colorado.
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Spatial Patterns in Development Regulation: Tree Preservation Ordinances of the DFW Metropolitan Area

Spatial Patterns in Development Regulation: Tree Preservation Ordinances of the DFW Metropolitan Area

Date: August 2011
Creator: Cox, Carissa
Description: Land use regulations are typically established as a response to development activity. For effective growth management and habitat preservation, the opposite should occur. This study considers tree preservation ordinances of the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area as a means of evaluating development regulation in a metropolitan context. It documents the impact urban cores have on regulations and policies throughout their region, demonstrating that the same urban-rural gradient used to describe physical components of our metropolitan areas also holds true in terms of policy formation. Although sophistication of land use regulation generally dissipates as one moves away from an urban core, native habitat is more pristine at the outer edges. To more effectively protect native habitat, regional preservation measures are recommended.
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Lone Star Booster: The Life of Amon G. Carter

Lone Star Booster: The Life of Amon G. Carter

Date: December 2011
Creator: Cervantez, Brian
Description: Abstract Though a very influential Texan during the first half of the twentieth century, Amon Carter has yet to receive a full scholarly treatment, a problem which this dissertation attempts to rectify by investigating the narrative of Carter’s life to see how and why he was able to rise from humble beginnings to become a powerful publisher who symbolized boosterish trends within Texas and the New South. Publisher of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, philanthropist, oilman, and aviation supporter, Carter used his power and influence to become a leading booster of his city and region seamlessly making the transition from being a business progressive to New Deal supporter to an Eisenhower Democrat. His connections with corporations like American Airlines and General Motors helped bring aviation and industry to his region, and his ability to work with public and private entities helped inspire his failed attempt to make the Trinity River navigable up to Fort Worth. His own success at building the Star-Telegram into the largest circulating newspaper in Texas encouraged him to expand his media empire into radio and television, while the wealth he gained from his oil activities enabled him to form a philanthropic foundation that would provide support for ...
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An Analysis of UNT Commuting Patterns

An Analysis of UNT Commuting Patterns

Date: May 2010
Creator: Waskey, Susan L.
Description: Academic institutions have recently organized to address their campus' greenhouse gas emissions. Along those lines, the University of North Texas (UNT) pledged to minimize the campus' environmental impact, and conducted a transportation survey in May 2009. The analyses confirm that commuting to campus was the second highest source (29%) of UNT's greenhouse gas emissions, following purchased electricity (48%). Students, faculty and staff drive over 89 million miles per year, 84% of which comes from students. Forty‐two percent of student driving trips originate in the primary and secondary core areas surrounding Denton, which are partially served by buses. However, because these core areas are in close proximity to the campus, they contribute only 8% of the total student driving distance. Beyond the Denton core, the inner periphery of Denton County contributes another 22% of driving mileage. Students living in the outer periphery (outside Denton County) contribute the remaining 70% of total driving distance, and carpooling is currently their only alternative.
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Archaeological Proteomics: Method Development and Analysis of Protein-Ceramic Binding

Archaeological Proteomics: Method Development and Analysis of Protein-Ceramic Binding

Date: May 2010
Creator: Barker, Andrew L.
Description: The analysis of protein residues recovered from archaeological artifacts provides a unique opportunity to reveal new information about past societies. However, many scientists are currently unwilling to accept protein-based results due to problems in method development and a basic lack of agreement regarding the ability of proteins to bind to, and preserve within, artifacts such as pottery. In this paper, I address these challenges by conducting a two-phase experiment. First, I quantitatively evaluate the tendency of proteins to sorb to ceramic matrices by using total organic carbon analysis and spectrophotometric assays to analyze samples of experimentally cooked ceramic. I then test a series of solvent and physical parameters in order to develop an optimized method for extracting and preparing protein residues for identification via mass spectrometry. Results demonstrate that protein strongly sorbs to ceramic and is not easily removed, despite repeated washing, unless an appropriate extraction strategy is used. This has implications for the future of paleodietary, conservation ecology and forensic research in that it suggests the potential for recovery of aged or even ancient proteins from ceramic matrices.
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Using Geographic Information Systems for the Functional Assessment of Texas Coastal Prairie Freshwater Wetlands Around Galveston Bay

Using Geographic Information Systems for the Functional Assessment of Texas Coastal Prairie Freshwater Wetlands Around Galveston Bay

Date: May 2010
Creator: Enwright, Nicholas
Description: The objective of this study was to deploy a conceptual framework developed by M. Forbes using a geographic information system (GIS) approach to assess the functionality of wetlands in the Galveston Bay Area of Texas. This study utilized geospatial datasets which included National Wetland Inventory maps (NWI), LiDAR data, National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) imagery and USGS National Land Cover data to assess the capacity of wetlands to store surface water and remove pollutants, including nitrogen, phosphorus, heavy metals, and organic compounds. The use of LiDAR to characterize the hydrogeomorphic characteristics of wetlands is a key contribution of this study to the science of wetland functional assessment. LiDAR data was used to estimate volumes for the 7,370 wetlands and delineate catchments for over 4,000 wetlands, located outside the 100-yr floodplain, within a 2,075 square mile area around Galveston Bay. Results from this study suggest that coastal prairie freshwater wetlands typically have a moderate capacity to store surface water from precipitation events, remove ammonium, and retain phosphorus and heavy metals and tend to have a high capacity for removing nitrate and retainremove organic compounds. The results serve as a valuable survey instrument for increasing the understanding of coastal prairie freshwater wetlands ...
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Finding Terroir in Southwest Iowa

Finding Terroir in Southwest Iowa

Date: August 2013
Creator: Deines, Dory
Description: Terroir combines the physical landscape of the vineyard with the grapevines and the methods and techniques used to produce wine from the grapes. This study used a GIS to identify the characteristics of the physical landscape in Pottawattamie, Mills, Montgomery, Fremont, and Page counties in southwestern Iowa. The components were combined in the GIS using a weighted linear index to identify areas suitable for vineyard development and to identify the general characteristics of the area. Vineyard owners were interviewed to help determine the weighting system to use in the GIS and to determine their perceptions of how the physical landscape impacts their vineyards, as well as to determine what grape varieties they plant in their vineyards and their decisions on making wine from these grapes. This information was collected to identify whether the vineyard owners had developed a sense of place for their vineyards and how this sense might aid them in the development of a terroir for their wines. The resulting perceptions about the individual wineries were then considered in conjunction with the results from the GIS modeling to understand how the physical landscape influences the concepts of sense of place and terroir in southwest Iowa. The physical landscape ...
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Examining the Role of Latitude and Differential Insolation in Asymmetrical Valley Development

Examining the Role of Latitude and Differential Insolation in Asymmetrical Valley Development

Date: August 2013
Creator: Curran, Lorna L.
Description: Valley development through erosional processes typically tends to create symmetrical valleys. Over time, water cuts through the substrate to create valleys, gorges, and canyons for which the sides are the valley are evenly sloped. However, there are anomalies to this process. Asymmetrical valleys have been well-documented even in areas of uniform substrate or little tectonic uplift. One proposed explanation for the asymmetry of these valleys is differential insolation. This may lead to different microclimates from one slope to another which alter the rate and extent of erosion. Since the differences in received insolation vary with latitude (especially in streams that flow along an east/west axis), it follows that the degree of asymmetry should also vary with latitude if differential insolation is a primary driving factor in the development of these valleys. To evaluate if insolation plays a role in the development of asymmetrical valleys, this study examines variability in asymmetry across 447 valleys in nine study areas located at different latitudes. The degree of asymmetry for each valley was measured by using 30 meter resolution digital elevation models (DEMs) to determine the slope angle of each side of the valley. Asymmetry was measured by computing a ratio of the average ...
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The Geography of Maternal Mortality in Nigeria

The Geography of Maternal Mortality in Nigeria

Date: May 2012
Creator: Ebeniro, Jane
Description: Maternal mortality is the leading cause of death among women in Nigeria, especially women aged between 15 and 19 years. This research examines the geography of maternal mortality in Nigeria and the role of cultural and religious practices, socio-economic inequalities, urbanization, access to pre and postnatal care in explaining the spatial pattern. State-level data on maternal mortality rates and predictor variables are presented. Access to healthcare, place of residence and religion explains over 74 percent of the spatial pattern of maternal mortality in Nigeria, especially in the predominantly Muslim region of northern Nigeria where poverty, early marriage and childbirth are at its highest, making them a more vulnerable population. Targeting vulnerable populations in policy-making procedures may be an important strategy for reducing maternal mortality, which would also be more successful if other socio-economic issues such as poverty, religious and health care issues are promptly addressed as well.
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A Multiscalar Analysis of Buruli Ulcer in Ghana: Environmental and Behavioral Factors in Disease Prevalence

A Multiscalar Analysis of Buruli Ulcer in Ghana: Environmental and Behavioral Factors in Disease Prevalence

Date: May 2012
Creator: Ferring, David
Description: Buruli ulcer (BU), an infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans, is the third most common mycobacterial disease after leprosy and tuberculosis and a WHO-defined neglected tropical disease. Despite years of research, the mode of transmission of BU remains unknown. This master’s thesis provides an integrated spatial analysis of disease dynamics in Ghana, West Africa, an area of comparatively high BU incidence. Within a case/matched control study design, environmental factors associated with BU infection and spatial behaviors are investigated to uncover possible links between individual daily activity spaces and terrains of risk across disturbed landscapes. This research relies upon archival and field-collected data and analyses conducted with geographical information systems (GIS).
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Spatial Analysis of Hiv/aids Survival in Dallas and Harris Counties, Texas

Spatial Analysis of Hiv/aids Survival in Dallas and Harris Counties, Texas

Date: May 2012
Creator: Heald, Stephanie
Description: More Texans are living with HIV infection than ever before. in fact, there has been a 6% increase annually, since 2002. This trend is not a result of increased HIV/AIDS incidence, but rather improving life expectancy of those living with HIV. Due to significant advances in HIV/AIDS testing, prevention, and treatment, individuals with HIV are living longer than ever before. However, throughout the state, the life expectancy of a person infected with HIV/AIDS varies spatially. This study investigates and attempts to explain the spatial distribution of HIV/AIDS survival rates by examining neighborhood socioeconomic characteristics. the results suggest that, contrary to expectation, the lowest survival rates occur, not in extreme poverty areas, but rather in moderate SES areas. Too rich to qualify for free treatments, but not rich enough to afford purchasing such treatments, the middle income living with HIV infection are caught between the cracks. the results provide important input for targeting public health interventions to improve HIV/AIDS survival.
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The Role of Knowledge and Attitude in Residential Irrigation Efficiency

The Role of Knowledge and Attitude in Residential Irrigation Efficiency

Date: August 2012
Creator: Nickerson, Joel
Description: Residential irrigation efficiency is a long-term concern for any community that faces water supply stress. When ability to raise water prices is constrained, public education and conservation programs can produce reduced water usage. Understanding the factors behind residential irrigation efficiency allows the design of more effective conservation campaigns. Combining site-specific water budgets with usage data for four hundred homes in North Texas enables quantifying efficient irrigation behavior. A survey of homeowners tests for the presence of conservation-positive attitudes and the knowledge required to implement those attitudes. The influence of neighbors’ watering habits is investigated using spatial clustering tools. Findings are analyzed in the context of an attitude, knowledge, and habit model of conservation behavior. The presence of automatic irrigation systems, small irrigated areas, and having knowledge of the amount that one waters one’s lawn are found to contribute to more intensive irrigation. Mixed evidence for small-scale clustering in irrigation intensity is presented.
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Quantitative Comparison of Lidar Data and User-generated Three-dimensional Building Models From Google Building Maker

Quantitative Comparison of Lidar Data and User-generated Three-dimensional Building Models From Google Building Maker

Date: August 2012
Creator: Liu, Yang
Description: Volunteered geographic information (VGI) has received increased attention as a new paradigm for geographic information production, while light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data is widely applied to many fields. This study quantitatively compares LiDAR data and user-generated 3D building models created using Google Building Maker, and investigate the potential applications of the quantitative measures in support of rapid disaster damage assessment. User-generated 3D building models from Google Building Maker are compared with LiDAR-derived building models using 3D shape signatures. Eighteen 3D building models are created in Fremont, California using the Google Building Maker, and six shape functions (distance, angle, area, volume, slope, and aspect) are applied to the 18 LiDAR-derived building models and user-generated ones. A special case regarding the comparison between LiDAR data and building models with indented walls is also discussed. Based on the results, several conclusions are drawn, and limitations that require further study are also discussed.
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A Storm Water Runoff Investigation Using Gis and Remote Sensing

A Storm Water Runoff Investigation Using Gis and Remote Sensing

Date: August 2012
Creator: Jennings, Laura
Description: Environmental controls are becoming more and more expensive to implement, so environmental management is becoming more technologically advanced and efficient through the adoption of new techniques and models. This paper reviews the potential for storm water runoff for the city of Denton, Texas and with the main objective to perform storm water runoff analyses for three different land use datasets; each landuse dataset created with a different methodology. Also analyzed was the difference between two North Central Texas Council of Governments land use datasets and my own land use dataset as a part of evaluating new and emerging remote sensing techniques. The results showed that new remote sensing techniques can help to continually monitor changes within watersheds by providing more accurate data.
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A Geoarchaeological Investigation of Site Formation in the Animas River Valley at Aztec Ruins National Monument, NM

A Geoarchaeological Investigation of Site Formation in the Animas River Valley at Aztec Ruins National Monument, NM

Date: August 2010
Creator: Caster, Joshua
Description: This paper presents an investigation of sedimentary deposition, soil formation, and pedoturbation in the Animas River Valley to determine the provenience of archaeological deposits in an open field at Aztec Ruins National Monument, NM outside of the Greathouse complex. Four stratigraphic pedounits correlated with active fan deposition have been proposed for the lower terrace in the project area with only one of these units retaining strong potential for buried archaeological deposits from the Anasazi late Pueblo II/Pueblo III period. The distal fan on the lower terrace and the Animas River floodplain appear to show poor potential for archaeological deposits either due to shallow sediment overburden with historic disturbance or alluvial activity during or after occupation. Based on these findings, four other zones of similar fan development have been identified throughout the Animas Valley and are recommended for subsurface testing during future cultural resource investigations.
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