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Geology & Geophysics

Faculty in the Department of Geology & Geophysics conduct a wide range of research focusing on contemporary and water resource issues and water cycle change over Earth's history.

  • Brenda Bowen is a sedimentary geologist who's work includes the study of fluid-rock interactions and the chemistry and biology of aquatic systems in extreme environments.
  • Gabe Bowen uses stable isotope tracers and spatiotemporal data analysis to understand hydrological change across a range of systems (atmospheric, surface, human infrastructure), spatial scales (watershed to global), and timescales (modern, Holocene, and deep time).
  • Paul Brooks combines field observations, chemical and isotopic tracers, and modeling to quantify the interactions between climate, vegetation, and geomorphology that control the partitioning of snow and rain into societal and ecosystem water resources.
  • Thure Cerling uses isotopes to study processes occurring near the Earth's surface (soils, landform evolution, erosion) and to interpret terrestrial environments in the past (paleoenvironments, paleodiets, paleophysiology).
  • Diego Fernandez is interested in the application of elemental and isotopic geochemistry to environmental science and water resource problems. He directs the University's ICP-MS lab facilities and has led the development of new methods for fast analysis of Sr isotope ratios in waters via multicollector ICP-MS.
  • Paul Jewell applies hydrodynamic principles and models to problems of sedimentation and geochemistry in surface water environments.
  • Bill Johnson's research concerns the transport of contaminants in aquatic and groundwater systems, particularly related to particle transport as well as trace element cycling related to human and ecosystem health.
  • Kip Solomon uses environmental age-dating tracers (3H, 3He, 4He, CFCs, SF6, 14C) to characterized groundwater flow systems for both water quantity and water quality evaluations.

Faculty in the Geology & Geophysics department are active leaders and contributors to the Global Change and Sustainability Center and other campus, national, and international initiatives related to water resources and environmental change. The Department is home to a number of world-class, water-related research facilities providing capabilities for light stable isotope analysis of waters, water quality, suspended particulates, noble gas age dating, and multi-collector ICP-MS analysis of a wide range of elements and their isotope ratios.

Visit the Geology and Geophysics Department for more information