Lonnie Leithold-- Research and Teaching

My research and teaching interests focus on sediments, their role in Earth surface processes and the record that they preserve of the Earth's history. Current research explores the role that sedimentary particles play in carbon cycling, from their production in mountain belts to their ultimate burial on the continental margins. In collaboration with Neal Blair, I am looking at how the time that particles spend in surficial terrestrial and marine environments controls the character of the associated organic carbon. One of the most exciting aspects of this research is its interdisciplinary nature, spanning tectonics, geomorphology, soil science, sediment transport and biogeochemistry. I also have a strong interest in using sediments to reconstruct ancient environments. Past research has looked at the role of storms and river floods in Plio-Pleistocene shelf sedimentation in California, and the record of sea-level and climate change in fine-grained sediments along the margin of the Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway.

Plume of the flooding Eel River, northern California (1974)





Research Past and Present