The fate and transport of fine-grained sediment is crucial for understanding of the development and evolution of lowland, coastal, and nearshore environments. My research investigates the physical and chemical controls on the aggregation of suspended sediment in rivers as they approach the ocean, and their subsequent effects on the morphology and composition of deltas built by the deposition of those aggregates
The broad aim of my research is evaluating how the physical processes of rivers and deltas shape the surface of Earth. Currently, my research is examining modern sedimentation processes of the Selenga River Delta, Lake Baikal, Russia. In particular, I am exploring the interaction between basin subsidence and the dispersal of gravel, with the aim to couple modern sediment transport processes, as influenced by tectonics, to the construction of basin stratigraphy.
The Yellow River is an end-member fluvial system as it is characterized by very suspended sediment concentrations, variable water discharge over annual and decadal timescales, and significant anthropogenic influences. In the lower reaches of the Lower Yellow River, the unique characteristics of the river combine to produce rapid channel bed aggradation that results in frequent overbank flooding and river avulsions. My research seeks to advance the science regarding long-term fluvial-deltaic evolution through comprehensive numerical models of the Yellow River and detailed field observations. A broad aim of this research is to forward model delta growth for sustainable river-engineering practices, and therefore there is application to management of deltaic landscapes globally.
The filling history of Carboniferous Shannon Basin (Co. Clare, Ireland) remains mysterious in terms of the relationship between sediment transport mechanics and the resulting stratigraphy despite research for over half a century. I aim to address this gap in our understanding short term (1-100 year time scale) morphodynamics and long term (1000-1000000 year) basin filling mechanisms by combining numerical modeling and field data, so to test the hypothesis that “fluid hydrodynamics of the PRESENT is the KEY to the stratigraphy of the PAST”.
I am broadly interested in how small-scale mechanisms manifest and control larger scale processes in river systems, in particular how grain-scale processes ultimately manifest as fractal river planform geometries. I’m also interested in how large-scale drivers like climate change manifest as changes in local scale river processes.
My research focuses on the processes that shape modern coastal systems. My current research investigates the evolution of abandoned deltaic lobes and distributary channels on the Huanghe (Yellow River), China.
Inanimate Field Assistant
Department of Earth, Environment and Planetary Sciences
Visiting Scholars and Collaborators
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering