Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Earth and Environmental Sciences


Chemistry and Biochemistry

First Reader/Committee Chair

Meek, Norman


The goal of this Project was to monitor and measure ongoing changes in the geomorphology of one reach of The Desert Knolls Wash (DKW), an unstable ephemeral stream channel in Apple Valley, California. The DKW flows into the Mojave River just upstream of the Upper Mojave Narrows, a historic site that has been the focus of recorded human activity in the region since 1776.

Two surveyed cross-sections were established for three periods of time between November 2012 and November 2014 which were to be re-measured after significant flows. However, owing to the persistent drought in the location, there were no significant changes observed. Aerial photos from 1938 to 2005 and historic photos from 1919 covering the DKW were studied to note the increase in urban density.

The project has established baseline field measurements to document the magnitude and timing of the ongoing channel changes as well as predict what will happen over the next two decades if measures are not taken to stabilize the channel permanently.