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Cosmogenic Nuclide Laboratory and Geomorphology Research Group

Mojave Desert Sediment Dynamics



The speed at which sediment is generated in arid-region drainage basins and then transported across desert piedmonts is not well known. Using amalgamation techniques and detailed analysis of soil profiles, we determined that sediment generation rates for numerous Mojave Desert source basins and sediment virtual velocities across low-gradient piedmonts are commonly decimeters per year.
Project Support
DOD ARO 2 Understanding rates of change DAAD199910143
Proposal Project Summary (download pdf)
People Working on this Project
Paul Bierman
Marc Caffee
Jennifer Larsen
Kyle Nichols
Lyman Persico
Darrin Santos
Theses Related to this Project

Lyman Persico, B.S. thesis (2002): Tracking painted pebbles on a Mojave Desert piedmont: Annual rates of sediment movement and impact of off-road vehicles (download pdf)

Darrin Santos, BS Honors Thesis (1999): The Effects of Two Years of Intense Military Activity on the Source Areas and Source-Basin Lengths of Channel Heads in Camp Iron Mountain of the U.S. Army's Former Desert Training Center, Mojave Desert, California (download pdf)
Publications Related to this Project

Nichols, K.K., Bierman, P.R., Eppes, M.C., Caffee, M., Finkel, R., and Larsen, J., 2007, Timing of surficial process changes down a Mojave Desert piedmont: Quaternary Research, v. 68, p. 151-161. (download pdf)

Nichols, K.K., Bierman, P.R., Foniri, W.R., Gillespie, A.R., Caffee, M., and Finkel, R., 2006, Dates and rates of arid region geomorphic processes: GSA Today, v. 16, p. 4-11. (download pdf)

Nichols, K.K., Bierman, P.R., Caffee, M., Finkel, R., and Larsen, J., 2005, Cosmogenically enabled sediment budgeting: Geology, v. 33, p. 133-136. (download pdf)

Nichols, K.K., Bierman, P.R., Eppes, M.C., Caffee, M., Finkel, R., and Larsen, J., 2005, Late Quaternary history of the Chemehuevi Mountain piedmont, Mojave Desert, deciphered using 10Be and 26Al: American Journal of Science, v. 305, p. 345-368. (download pdf)

Nichols, K.K., Bierman, P.R., Hooke, R.L., Clapp, E., and Caffee, M., 2002, Quantifying sediment transport on desert piedmonts using 10Be and 26Al: Geomorphology, v. 45, p. 89-104. (download pdf)

Nichols, K.K., and Bierman, P.R., 2001, Fifty-four years of ephemeral channel response to two years of intense World War II military activity, Camp Iron Mountain, Mojave Desert, California: Geological Society of America Reviews of Engineering Geology, v. XIV, p. 123-136. (download pdf)
Abstracts Related to this Project

Nichols, K.K., Bierman, P., and Matmon, A., 2007, Deconvolving semi-arid landscape histories: Insights from cosmogenic nuclides: Quaternary International, v. 167 - 168, p. 305. (download pdf)

Persico, L.P., Nichols, K.K., and Bierman, P.R., 2005, Tracking painted pebbles: Short-term rates of sediment movement on four Mojave Desert piedmont surfaces: Water Resources Research, v. 41, p. W07004. (download pdf)

Nichols, K.K., and Bierman, P.R., 2004, Using cosmogenic nuclides to decipher desert piedmont surface histories and process rates. Desert Surficial Processes and Landscape Dynamics on Military Lands: Scientific Advances, New Challenges, & Technology Transfer Workshop, p. 24. (download pdf)

Nichols, K.K., Bierman, P.R., Persico, L.P., Larsen, J., Caffee, M., and Finkel, R., 2003, U.S. Army impacts on Mojave Desert sediment, past and present: International Conference on Military Geology and Geography, p. 47. (download pdf)

Nichols, K.K., Bierman, P.R., Eppes, M.C., Caffee, M.W., Finkel, R.C., and Larsen, J., 2003, The speed and history of piedmont sediment: XVI Inqua Congress Programs with Abstracts, p. 140. (download pdf)

Nichols, K.K., Bierman, P.R., Eppes, M.C., Finkel, R.C., Caffee, M.W., and Larsen, J., 2003, The life of desert piedmont sediment: Sediment tracing using cosmogenic nuclides: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 35, p. 134-24. (download pdf)

Persico, L., Nichols, K.K., and Bierman, P.R., 2002, The tortoise, the tank, and the sage: What really moves Mojave Desert pebbles: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs. (download pdf)

Nichols, K.K., Bierman, P.R., Hooke, R.L., Eppes, M.C., Persico, L., Caffee, M., and Finkel, R., 2001, Regular cosmogenic nuclide dosing of sediment moving down desert piedmonts: EOS Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, v. H42D-0392. (download pdf)

Bierman, P.R., Nichols, K.K., Clapp, E.M., and Caffee, M.W., 2000, Army impacts on desert soils -- Comparing geologic rates of change to those occasioned by General George S. Patton: Annual Meetings Program, American Society of Agronomy and Soil Science Society of America, 2000 annual meeting, p. 74. (download pdf)

Nichols, K.K., Bierman, P.R., and Caffee, M., 1999, Revisiting the pediment problem using 10-Be and 26-Al: A case study of the Iron and Granite Mountain piedmonts, Mojave Desert, California: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 31, p. A-256. (download pdf)

Nichols, K.K., Bierman, P.R., and Caffee, M., 1999, Long-term sediment dynamics of the Iron and Granite Mountain piedmonts, Mojave Desert, California, U.S.A.: International Conference on Drainage basin Dynamics and Morphology, Jerusalem, Israel, p. 47. (download pdf)

Nichols, K.K., and Bierman, P.R., 1998, Geomorphic response to military training in the Mojave Desert: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 30, p. A-143. (download pdf)

Last modified August 08 2008 08:31 AM

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