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Mima mounds, often associated with vernal pools, have historically been shrouded in genetic uncertainty. Nevertheless, emerging from the array of explanations proposed, a biological mechanism for mound formation has steadily gained strength. We use innovations in remote sensing and geomorphic modeling to develop a new approach to evaluate the microtopography. Using a digital elevation model created from LIDAR (light detection and ranging) data, morphometric values—average mound diameters, heights, slopes, and curvatures—were calculated across an 18 km2 sector of a mound-pool region that covers an ancient river terrace near Merced, California. The terrain information was applied to a sediment transport...

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