Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Maryn Sanders L&S Sciences

A Hillslope Stability Analysis by Use of Soil Characterization and Pore Pressure Measurements

The unique site of Antelope Valley River near Williams, California has for a few years been a place of interest and research because of the distinct sedimentary layering and the very regular pattern of hills and hollows. In the winter of 2017, a huge storm came through the site and induced four hundred landslides. Another storm then followed in the winter of 2019 at a much lesser degree of strength compared to the 2017 storm; however, it caused only about a hundred landslides, but all in new regions. The seemingly random nature of these slides has spiked my interests and pushed me to try to understand and to answer why some parts of the hills are failing, while others are not. I will be focusing on one hill in particular – Rhondas Hill – where a 2017 failure and a 2019 failure site lay side-by-side. To characterize and differentiate the regions where the land sliding occurred, this study will include pore pressure measurements of saturated soil, as well as soil samples at different points along the hillside.

Message To Sponsor

To the Zara Fund: your donation had really provided me with something that I never thought possible as a transfer student. Things happened so fast as my first year at Berkeley progressed, and gaining any kind of experience in my field had felt unattainable until I found SURF. My summer experience also really solidified my passion for science, for asking questions, and for truly being pushed to my limits to try to answer the questions. I loved every moment of it. I have also improved many life skills in the realms of public speaking, time management, and networking that are truly unique to an independent research experience. I now feel confident in my abilities and will pursue research in a national lab, national park, or graduate program after graduating from Berkeley. I cannot thank you enough for the donation, and I really hope you get a sense of how much this has affected so many aspects of my life in such a positive way.
Profile image of Maryn Sanders
Major: Geophysics
Mentor: Bill Dietrich
Sponsor: Zara Fund
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