USU Geomorphology

Process Geomorphology research at USU includes study of climate, tectonic, and human-caused changes to rivers and hillslopes, as well as reconstructing the history of entire landscapes. Timescales of interest have ranged from single flood events to records of erosion and sedimentation over millions of years, and research ranges from field-based to involving remote sensing and numerical modeling. Our focus has been on the U.S. Interior West, but more recent work has included Olympic Mountain NP and New Zealand. Scroll down to read about faculty research interests and past projects that students at USU have been involved with.

Field tripping by boat near Professor Valley, Utah


Daphnee Tuzlak, 2016, Investigating patterns of fluvial form and incision near the Yellowstone Hotspot- Alpine Canyon of the Snake River, Wyoming

Kirk Townsend, 2015, A chronostratigraphic record of arroyo entrenchment and aggradation in Kanab Creek, southern Utah

Kerry Riley, 2015, Arroyo cut and fill records from southern Utah (Johnson Wash)

Carlie Ideker, 2015, Application of luminescence dating to ceramic sherds on prehistoric occupations at high-altitude sites

Natalie Bursztyn, 2015, Colorado River terraces



Faye Geiger, Landscape Evolution of the Needles Fault Zone, Utah, Investigated Through Chronostratigraphic and Terrain Analysis


Will Huff, A middle to late Holocene record of arroyo cut-fill events in Kitchen Corral Wash, southern Utah

Andrew Jochems, Formation, deformation, and incision of Colorado River terraces upstream of Moab, Utah

Emilee Skyles, Alluvial geochronology and watershed analysis of the Golo River, Northeastern Corsica, France

Cianny Wyshnytzky, Constraining ice advance and linkages to paleoclimate of two glacial systems in the Olympic Mountains, Washington and the Southern Alps, New Zealand


Eric Allen, Dendrochronology in northern Utah: Modeling sensitivity and reconstructing Logan River flows


Anne Hayden, Reconstructing the Holocene Arroyo History of the Upper Escalante River, Southern Utah, using OSL and radiocarbon dating

Chris Tressler, From Hillslopes to Canyons, Studies of erosion at differing time and spatial scales within the Colorado River drainage


Erin Tainer, High-resolution Holocene alluvial chronostratigraphy at archaeological sites in eastern Grand Canyon, Arizona

Michelle Summa, Geologic Mapping, Alluvial Stratigraphy, and OSL Dating of Kanab Creek

Jon Harvey, Reconciling Holocene alluvial records in Buckskin Wash, southern Utah

David Dean, Historic Geomorphic Changes of the Lower Rio Grande in the Big Bend Region of Texas, Chihuahua, and Coahuila


Randy Goetz, A post-project assessment of the Provo River restoration project: Channel design, reconfiguration, and the reestablishment of critical physical processes


Jason Alexander, Riparian sedimentation on the Green River, Dinosaur National Monument
Scott Cragun, Pleistocene terraces and incision of the Colorado River at Lees Ferry, Arizona
Ben DeJong, Transient sedimentation of Pleistocene terrace gravel in eastern Grand Canyon
Jonathan Felis, Cliff retreat and climate change on the northern Colorado Plateau
Kevin Hadder, Quaternary stratigraphy and geochronology of Browns Park, Utah and Colorado
Nick Nelson, Channel changes below Jackson Lake Dam on the Snake River, Teton National Park
Karen Williams, Predicting channel network changes resulting from wildfires in Glacier National Park
Jay Zarnetske, Hyporheic zones of arctic rivers and climate change


Rob Mackley, Bedrock-strength controls on the long profile of the Colorado River


Ron Counts, Late Cenozoic stratigraphy of the northeastern Uinta Mountains
Greg Larsen, Effects of Tamarisk removal along the Green River and Yampa River Canyons


Dave Gaeuman, Fluvial geomorphology and bedload transport of the lower Duschene River, Uinta Basin
Isaac Larsen, Debris flows, fire, and debris-fan reworking in Dinosaur National Monument
Paul Petersen, Gully erosion of archeological sites in Grand Canyon
Erkan Istanbulluoglu, Quantification of stream sediment inputs from steep forested mountains
Matt Anders, Quaternary landscape evolution of eastern Grand Canyon


Carrie Elliott, Debris fans and geomorphology of Desolation and Gray canyons, Utah


Betty Paepke, Channel geomorphology in a glaciated basin on the north slope of the Uinta Mountains
Hoda Sondossi, Sandbar behavior in response to Glen Canyon Dam, Grand Canyon National Park