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For my MS thesis in Earth Science I studied the evolution of bedrock channels and the fluid mechanics of bedrock erosion by abrasion in the slot canyons of the southwest United States. Abrasion-dominated fluvial erosion generates slot canyons with intricately undulating wall morphology. Flows in slot canyons are unusual in that the walls comprise a significant portion of the wetted perimeter of the flow.

Translation: Most rivers are much wider than they are deep. Slot canyons, when they fill with water during flash floods, become rivers that are deeper than they are wide. The neat shapes found in slot canyons are a result of this type of water flow. This is scientifically interesting and also hard to study because nobody wants to be around during a flash flood. I built physical models of canyons at the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory in Minnesota to study slot canyon evolution.

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This material is based upon work supported in part by the STC Program of the National Science Foundation under Agreement Number EAR-0120914.