Earth Surface Processes Laboratory

University of Oregon

We're interested in how landscapes work. We revel in pondering questions such as:

  • How do climate change, vegetation, and ecosystem dynamics affect how landscapes evolve?
  • What did mountainous regions look like before the onset of Quaternary glacial advances?
  • Do mountain ranges subject to large earthquakes look different from those in quiescent tectonic regions?
  • How does the movement of large landslides respond to climatic fluctuations and variations in stream channel incision?
  • Do biota contribute to rock weathering and erosion in steepland forests?

Southern Alps, South Island, New Zealand

Simply put, erosional processes sculpt landscapes in response to tectonic and climatic forcing. Understanding the mechanics and chemistry of surface processes is a critical prerequisite for analyzing how crustal dynamics, climate change, and land-use practices affect landscape morphology, sediment yield, and geologic hazard potential. Through field, experimental, and numerical investigations, my research group and I have embarked on a series of studies to explore how landscapes respond to various perturbations.

Our investigations have led us to forge fruitful collaborations with geodynamicists, soil scientists, paleo-ecologists, sedimentologists, and structural geologists among others, as the mechanics of earth surface processes are strongly dependent on biology, soil and rock properties, and other processes. Visit the Publications and Research pages to get a sense of specific projects we're undertaking...