Date of Graduation

5-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Geology (MS)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Geosciences

Advisor

John B. Shaw

Committee Member

Christopher Liner

Second Committee Member

Doy L. Zachry

Abstract

As meandering rivers laterally migrate over time, they build channel belts. The accumulation of all previous flow paths creates the channel belt. To better understand these ancient rivers, modern river systems are being mapped to find statistical relationships between current flow path and the channel belt of river systems. It is important to examine a wide range of systems in terms of age, size, and location. The rivers are being mapped using an ImageJ, interpretations from Saucier (1994) and Google Earth. Three channel belt morphologies are mapped for 15 modern channel belts; the width of the river in relation to the width of the channel belt; the curvature of the meander scars on the channel belt; and the spacing length between unconformable points. Unconformable points are locations where these previous flow paths overlap one another on the channel belt edge. Statistical analysis of the data reveals that the median range for the ratio of channel belt width to mean channel width (W*) is 8.9 to 76, W* for the data set also as a P90/P10 range of 1.6 to 3.7. The median range for the normalized radius of curvature of the channel belt (P*) for the entire data set is 3.8 to 35 and has a P90/P10 range of 16 to 49. The median range for the normalized spacing between unconformable points (L*) for all river reaches in the data set is 2.7 to 24, with a P90/P10 range of 2.9 to 7.6. These variation constraints provide information about the formation of fluvial channel belts and the petroleum reservoirs they can create.

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