A better understanding of how landscapes react to climate change is essential not only for interpreting the sedimentary record, but also predicting the impacts of future climate changes on surface processes and landscape hazards. Catchment-fan systems are small sediment-transport systems with rapid source-to-sink transfer of material and rich sedimentary archives of information about surface processes. We are studying coupled mountain catchment-alluvial fan systems in NW Argentina and the SW United States, and examining how alluvial fan morphology, stratigraphy, and sedimentology records transient signals of past climate variability. By using catchment-fan systems as analogues for broader landscapes, we are investigating

  1. the sensitivity of eroding landscapes to environmental change
  2. how climate signals propagate through sediment transport systems, and
  3. whether proximal basin deposits can be inverted for quantitative reconstructions of climate and tectonics.

Our research into sediment routing systems combines field geomorphology and sedimentology, stratigraphy, geochemistry, geochronology, and remote sensing.

Principal Investigators


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