Geomorphology Brown Bag - Spring 2003
Friday 12-1PM in ALS 3006
Interesting techniques in geomorphology (or just the ones you are using)

A short history of this quarter's topic or how this thing is really run:

Sarah Lewis: Once again it's time to decide what we'll be focusing on in brown bag this quarter. My general feeling is that we have more enthusiasm from the students when we pick a clear topic of focus, and we never seem to get around to asking them what they want to learn about. Are there strong feelings about possible topics or should I just pick something?

andrew meigs: sarah, thanks for taking the initiative on this once again. I am in favor of landscape evolution models, but will not volunteer for the first session.

Jay Noller: I'd like to see demonstrations of techniques folks are using in their research or papers rich in technique demonstrations. The "field" season is coming up, so brushing up on techniques is likely on everyone's minds.

andrew meigs: in keeping with the tradition of swaying with the wind, i think jay has a good suggestion. a techniques-oriented series could be interesting. i would probably pick a paper on OSL dating, for example.

Gordon (grump) Grant: To retain my reputation as a contrary and nascent curmudgeon, I want to opine that "technique" papers per se are not necessarily interesting in and of themselves, unless you're likely to be applying the technique tomorrow. So I would encourage selection of papers that use techniques in interesting ways to reveal something about Mother Nature. But I know that everyone knew that already.

Stephen Lancaster could not be reached for comment.

Date Presenter Topic
Apr 4 2003


We'll start the quarter with a classic paper (originally published in 1897) that is all about the mindset you need before you are able to apply any sort of technique. T.C. Chamberlin, 1965. The Method of Multiple Working Hypotheses, Science 148: 754-759.

Apr 11 2003

Nathan Casebeer & Stephen Lancaster

Jennings, K.L., Bierman, P.R., Southon, J. 2003. Timing and style of deposition on humid-temperate fans, Vermont, United States Geological Society of America Bulletin 115: 182-199. (I don't know why they want to read this one when the techniques used by Bierman and his students to get lake cores are SO much more interesting and that paper is only 4 pages long).

Apr 18 2003

Chris Bromley & Will Russell

Chapter 2 from Schumm, 1991 "To interpret the earth" . The idea is to read the chapter (Will and Chris will be presenting a summary to start with) and to see to what extent last week's paper on humid-temperate fans applies the scientific approach described.

Related readings: Summary of Chapters 3 & 4 of "To interpret the earth" prepared by Chris Bromley; additional reading suggested by Will Russel: Benda et al, 2002. How to Avoid Train Wrecks When Using Science in Environmental Problem Solving, BioScience 52: 1127-1136.

Scientific Method.pdf, Summary of Chapters 3 and 4 of Schumm 1991.doc, Benda2002(BioSci_Trnwreck).pdf
Apr 25 2003

Jon Major, USGS Cascade Volcano Observatory

M.R. Waters and C.V. Haynes, 2001, Late Quaternary arroyo formation and climage change in the American Southwest: Geology, v. 29, p. 399-402.

Also: Geosciences Seminar Series Lecture on Thursday 4/24 at 4PM in Gilfillan Auditorium.

May 2 2003

Peter Wampler

Rock music, bedload samplers, and painted pebbles: This short paper compares incipient motion of the bed using Helly-Smith sampler and painted tracer techniques. It will serve as a springboard to talking about the issues involved in trying to accurately measure when rocks start to move in a gravel-bed river. Peter will also share some of his experience with tracers and painted squares and show the video and spectorgram of the hydrophone recording he made last winter on the Clackamas.

M. Ashiq & J. C. Bathurst, 1999. Comparison of bed load sampler and tracer data on initiation of motion. Journal of Hyraulic Engineering 125: 661-664

Ashiq et al 1999.pdf
May 9 2003

Rose Wallick

Micheli & Kirchner, 2002. Effects of wet meadow riparian vegetation on streambank erosion; 1, Remote sensing measurements of streambank migration and erodibility. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 27: 627-639. Andrew will hate it. It's pretty interesting to Rose anyways. There is a companion paper in the same volume for people who are really interested (like Rose).

May 16 2003

Colin Robins

Tiwari et al. 2000. Evaluation of WEPP and its comparison with USLE and RUSLE. Transactions of the American Society of Agricultural Engineers, Vol 43 (5): 1129-1135. 

Colin would like to discuss the successes and potential fallacies of models in earth science, from their methods and design, to the sources of error they incorporate, and their degree of real-world validity. He's picked some crazy soil science acronyms to get us going. I have no idea what WEPP is, but RUSLE sounds really exciting - I guess I need to read the paper. Why don't we each bring our favorite model acronym to Friday's seminar? I know Stephen has one....

May 23 2003

Anne Jefferson

Dohrenwend, J.C., Abrahams, A.D. & Turrin, B.D. 1987. Drainage development on basalitc lava flows, Cima volcanic field, southeast California, and Lunar Crater volcanic field, south-central Nevada. GSA Bulletin 99:405-413.

May 30 2003

Dave Montgomery, UW

Montgomery, D. R., Greenberg, H. M., and Smith, D. T., Streamflow response to the Nisqually Earthquake, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 201, p. 19-28, 2003. He also has some insights to share on parallels between the historical decline of English and New England salmon and the ongoing "salmon crisis" in the Pacific Northwest.

Also" Geosciences Seminar Series Lecture on Thursday 5/29 at 4PM in Gilfillan Auditorium:

Jun 6 2003

Brian Atwater, USGS

In association with Geosciences Seminar Series: Holocene land-level changes along the Kuril Trench. Brian's suggested reading (for background): Plafker, G., and Savage, J.C., 1970, Mechanism of the Chilean earthquakes of May 21 and 22, 1960: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 81, p. 1001-1030. See especially 1006-1014 and 1024.Linde, A.T., and Silver, P.G., 1989, Elevation changes and the great 1960 Chilean earthquake: support for aseismic slip: Geophysical Research Letters, v. 16, p. 1305-1308. Barrientos, S.E., Plafker, G., and Lorca, E., 1992, Postseismic coastal uplift in southern Chile: Geophysical Research Letters, v. 19, p. 701-704.