Date of Award

12-2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Environmental Science and Biology

Abstract

Oblique Imagery was used to assess 250 depressional features within the carbonate bedrock region of Genesee County, NY and surrounding areas. Of these features, 110 were confirmed to be sinkholes. The analysis of Pictometry Oblique Imagery, with images spanning the past 15 years, was performed to sample each individual sinkhole for each available time-step image. Parameters were created using GIS-based data and imagery characteristics, and statistically analyzed for confirmed sinkholes to assess similarities and differences between the sinkholes. A cluster analysis showed that there is a relationship between sinkholes and a variety of GIS data types. These statistically derived associations suggest that the following factors are indicative of sinkholes: Visible Depression, Secondary Characteristics, Target Soil Presence/Absence, Moisture Content, Land Use, Type (water/land), Size, and Shape. The study suggested that distance from visible escarpments and bedrock geology, two guidelines for finding karst features suggested by previous studies, were not statistically correlated to sinkholes in Genesee County and surrounding areas.

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