2009 Alum

Fernando A. Martinez Torres

Fernando A. Martinez Torres

Years participated in RESESS:
2010 →

An Overview

Geochemical evidence for flat-slab subduction in Cenozoic western North America

Academic Affiliation: Sophomore, University of Puerto Rico, Mayaquez, Geology
Science Research Mentors: Greg Tucker - University of Colorado at Boulder; David Phillips - UNAVCO
Writing and Communication Mentor: Shelley Olds – UNAVCO


The process of gully erosion is not completely understood by geologists due to insufficient data. We use various techniques including 3-D laser scanning (terrestrial and airborne), real-time kinematic-GPS and aerial photography to acquire new data from a study site at Bijou Creek, Colorado, to help improve our understanding of this process. Analysis of the data shows that the average rate of erosion in the head cut of this specific gully is 0.5 meters per year with the rate of movement every year to be generally very constant. We also analyzed the rate of erosion of other gullies in Bijou Creek and found that their rates of erosion vary depending on the location of the landscape. The aerial photographs confirm the rate of erosion for the general head cut of the gully, but with TLS, we can analyze the locations of the gully being eroded the quickest and how much each area has been eroded. By comparing TLS scans from 2008 and 2009, we observed that the main erosion is in the head cut of the gully; everything else in the scan area was seen to move at a slower rate (or showed no movement over the this period).

Full color point cloud image printed in the 2009 Earth, Wind, Sea, and Sky. The colors show the difference in meters from 2008 to 2009.