Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Geological and Environmental Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Mohamed Sultan

Second Advisor

Dr. W. Richard Laton

Third Advisor

Dr. William A. Sauck

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Duane Hampton


Remote sensory, geophysics, isotope, Mojave, desert

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


An integrated study was conducted in the Mojave Basin to investigate the potential role of faults and basement uplifts for groundwater flow in the Mojave Desert. Observations made include: 1) Very Low Frequency (VLF) measurements across mapped (using LIDAR and Geoeye-1 imagery) fault traces showed significant radio field dip angles indicative of presence of shallow sub-vertical, sheet-like conductors; many of the VLF tilt peaks coincided with changes in the magnetic profiles; 2) Vertical Electric Soundings indicate shallow basement west of, and parallel to, the Helendale Fault and deep saturated zones east of the fault/basement outcrop (F/B); and 3) isotopic analyses for groundwater from productive wells, and mountain front and valley springs sampled west of the F/B are less depleted than samples east of the F/B, and show evidence of mixing between aquifers on either side. Findings are consistent with the Helendale Fault channeling groundwater from the San Bernardino Mountains with basement uplifts acting as barriers to lateral groundwater flow.


Fifth Advisor: Dr. Christopher Schmidt