University of Vermont

Cosmogenic Nuclide Laboratory and Geomorphology Research Group

River Incision, Eastern North America



We have been using cosmogenic nuclides to understand the rate at which two large rivers draining the North American passive margin cut into rock. The Potomac and Susquehanna Rivers both incise schist as they flow through dramatic gorges. One river, the Susquehanna, drains partially glaciated terrain. The other river basin, the Potomac, has never been glaciated. Yet, their incision histories are quite similar.
Project Support
NSF Erosion of Bedrock Rivers EAR-0003447
Proposal Project Summary (download pdf)
Other Related Links
Susquehanna River Samples
Potomac River Samples
People Working on this Project
Paul Bierman
Jennifer Larsen
Milan Pavich
Luke Reusser
C. Scott Southworth
E-An Zen
Theses Related to this Project

Lucas Reusser, MS thesis (2004): Late Pleistocene Bedrock Channel Incision Along The U.S. Atlantic Passive Margin Measured with 10-Be: Holtwood Gorge, Susquehanna River, Pennsylvania (download pdf)
Publications Related to this Project

Reusser, L., and Bierman, P., 2007, Accuracy assessment of LiDAR-derived DEMs of bedrock river channels: Holtwood Gorge, Susquehanna River: Geophysical Research Letters, v. 34. (download pdf)

Reusser, L., Bierman, P., Pavich, M., Larsen, J., and Finkel, R., 2006, An episode of rapid bedrock channel incision during the last glacial cycle, measured with 10Be: American Journal of Science, v. 306, p. 69-102. (download pdf)

Bierman, P., Zen, E.-a., Pavich, M., and Reusser, L., 2004, The incision history of a passive margin river, the Potomac near Great Falls, Geology of the National Capital Region - Field Trip Guidebook. (download pdf)

Reusser, L.J., Bierman, P.R., Pavich, M.J., Zen, E.-a., Larsen, J., and Finkel, R., 2004, Rapid Late Pleistocene incision of Atlantic passive-margin river gorges: Science, v. 305, p. 499-502. (download pdf)

Reusser, L., Bierman, P., Pavich, M., Butler, E., Larsen, J., and Finkel, R., 2003, Late Pleistocene bedrock channel incision of the lower Susquehanna River: Holtwood Gorge, Pennsylvania, In "Channeling through time: Landscape evolution, land use change, and stream restoration in the lower Susquehanna Basin", in Merritts, D., Walter, P., and de Wet, A., eds., Southeastern Friends of the Pleistocene Fall 2003 Guidebook, p. 48-55. (download pdf)
Abstracts Related to this Project

Reusser, L., Bierman, P.R., Pavich, M., Larsen, J., and Finkel, R.C., 2006, Timing, rates, and volumes of bedrock channel incision measured with 10Be, GPS, and LIDAR: Holtwood Gorge, PA: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 38, p. 278. (download pdf)

Bierman, P., Reusser, L., Pavich, M., Zen, E.-a., Larsen, J., and Finkel, R., 2004, Great Falls is 30,000 years old - Episodic incision along the Potomac River revealed using field mapping and 10-Be analysis, GSA Northeastern Section (39th Annual) and Southeastern Section (53rd Annual) Joint Meeting: Tyson's Corner, Virginia. (download pdf)

Reusser, L., Bierman, P., Pavich, M., Zen, E.-a., Larsen, J., and Finkel, R., 2004, Climate-driven bedrock channel incision of the Susquehanna River, Holtwood Gorge, Pennsylvania: Regional Similarities, GSA Northeastern Section (39th Annual) and Southeastern Section (53rd Annual) Joint Meeting: Tyson's Corner, Virginia. (download pdf)

Reusser, L., Bierman, P.R., Butler, E., Pavich, M., and Finkel, R., 2003, Late Pleistocene bedrock channel incision of the lower Susquehanna River: Holtwood Gorge, Pennsylvania: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs. (download pdf)

Bierman, P.R., Pavich, M.J., Reusser, L.J., Zen, E.A., Finkel, R., and Larsen, J., 2002, Major, climate-correlative incision of the Potomac River Gorge at Great Falls about 30,000 years ago: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 34. (download pdf)

Last modified January 28 2009 10:10 AM

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