The vast majority of theses in this collection are open access and freely available. There are a small number of theses that have access restricted to the WWU campus. For off-campus access to a thesis labeled "Campus Only Access," please log in here with your WWU universal ID, or talk to your librarian about requesting the restricted thesis through interlibrary loan.

Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award

Summer 2015

Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Amos, Colin B.

Second Advisor

Schermer, Elizabeth, 1959-

Third Advisor

Sherrod, Brian Louis


The Yakima fold belt comprises fault-related folds deforming Miocene basalts and younger deposits of the Columbia Plateau in central Washington State. Geodesy implies ~2 mm/yr of modern, NNE-directed regional shortening; however the distribution of Quaternary deformation among individual structures remains unclear. South of Ellensburg, Washington, the Yakima River cuts a ~600-m deep canyon across several of the folds, preserving flights of strath terraces that record the progressive incision. Graded alluvial basins at the head and mouth of the canyon imply that terrace incision also records differential rock uplift. We integrate lidar analysis, field observations, and cosmogenic burial dating of eight strath terraces in the canyon to quantify Quaternary incision across two folds, Manastash Ridge and Umtanum Ridge.

Isochron burial ages from in-situ 26Al and 10Be characterize four terrace-forming intervals at ≤0.5 Ma, 0.7 -1.3 Ma, 1.5-1.7 Ma, and 2.8-3.0 Ma. Along with the burial ages, we use lidar-derived strath heights to calculate time-averaged bedrock incision rates of ~10-3 mm/yr through synclinal lows, and ~10-2 within the Manastash and Umtanum Ridge anticlines (~0.07 mm/yr from 0.2-0.4 Ma and ~0.04 mm/yr from 1.5-1.7 Ma, respectively). Collectively, the results demonstrate Quaternary differential bedrock incision and uplift of the Manastash and Umtanum Ridge anticlines. Incision rates permit horizontal shortening at ~0.08-0.12 mm/yr across master faults (dip 30±10° S) beneath the folds, indicating that other compressional structures in the region likely take up the remaining ~1-2 mm/yr of modern regional geodetic shortening.





Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Terraces (Geology)--Washington (State)--Yakima River Valley; Erosion--Washington (State)--Yakima River Valley; Geomorphology--Washington (State)--Yakima River Valley; Morphotectonics--Washington (State)--Yakima River Valley

Geographic Coverage

Yakima River Valley (Wash.)




masters theses




Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this thesis for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.

Included in

Geology Commons