University of Vermont

NSF/UVM Community Cosmogenic Facility (CCF)

Kyle Nichols



Kyle came to UVM in 1998 to investigate the human impacts on landscape change. He employed research techniques using cosmogenic isotopes, 10Be and 26Al, to explore the arid landscapes of desert piedmonts in the Mojave Desert, large drainage basins in Namibia and Panama, and desert pavements in Arizona. He also used 10Be and 26Al to date a large prehistoric landslide, the Blackhawk, in the Mojave Desert.
PhD dissertation (University of Vermont, 2002)
Quantifying desert surface processes using 10Be and 26Al: Background and human-induced rates of landscape change, Mojave Desert, California
download PhD dissertation defense slides (ppt) (pdf)
download pdf of PhD dissertation
MS Thesis (University of Vermont, 2000)
A multi-scale approach to understanding desert piedmonts using cosmogenic isotopes and centimeter-scale surveying
download pdf of MS thesis proposal
download pdf of MS thesis progress report
download MS thesis defense slides, Part A: (ppt) (pdf), Part B: (ppt) (pdf)
download pdf of MS thesis
Honors and Awards
University of Vermont, Outstanding Research and Scholarship Award, 2002
Desert Research Institute, Jonathon O. Davis Award, 2001
Geological Society of America, J. Hoover Mackin Award, 2002
Undergraduate Degree
University of Washington, B.S. Geological Sciences, 1996
Related Links
Kyle's Skidmore web page
Kyle's UVM web page
Email Address
knichols@skidmore.edu
Current Position and Contact Information (7/2018)
Associate Professor of Geosciences
Department of Geosciences
Skidmore College
815 North Broadway
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
(518) 580-5194
Refereed Papers

Hughes, A., Rood, D. H., Whittaker, A. C., Bell, R. E., Rockwell, T. K., Levy, Y., Wilcken, K. M., Corbett, L. B., DeVecchio, D. D., Bierman, P. R., Marshall, S. T., Gurrola, L. D. and Nicholson, C. (in review, 5/2018) Geomorphic evidence for the geometry and slip rate of a young, emergent, thrust: Implications for hazard assessment and fault interaction in complex tectonic environments. Earth and Planetary Science Letters.

Nichols, K. K., Bierman, P. R. and Rood, D. H. (in revision, 2/2017) Cosmogenic 10Be and sediment budgets reveal a multi-aged Grand Canyon. GEOLOGY.

Sosa., V., Bierman, P. R., Nichols, K. K. and Rood, D. H. (2016) Long-term erosion rates of Panamanian drainage basins determined using in situ 10Be. Geomorphology. v. 275, p. 1–15. doi:10.1016/j.geomorph.2016.04.025

Nichols, K. K., Bierman, P. R. and Rood, D. (2014) 10Be constrains the sediment sources and sediment yields to the Great Barrier Reef from the tropical Barron River catchment, Queensland, Australia. Geomorphology. v. 224, p. 102–110. doi:10.1016/j.geomorph.2014.07.019

Jungers, M. C., Bierman, P. R., Matmon, A., Nichols, K., Larsen, J. and Finkel, R. (2009) Tracing hillslope sediment production and transport with in situ and meteoric 10Be. Journal of Geophysical Research – Earth Surface. v. 114(F4), p. F04020. doi:10.1029/2008JF001086

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(1), p. 151-161. doi:10.1016/j.yqres.2007.02.001

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(8), p. 4-11. doi:10.1130/GSAT01608.1

Nichols, K. K., Bierman, P. R., Caffee, M., Finkel, R. and Larsen, J. (2005) Cosmogenically enabled sediment budgeting. Geology. v. 33(2), p. 133-136. doi:10.1130/G21006.1

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(5), p. 345-368. doi:10.2475/ajs.305.5.345

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(7), p. W07004. doi:10.1029/2005WR003990

Bierman, P. R. and Nichols, K. (2004) Rock to sediment - Slope to sea with 10Be - Rates of landscape change. Annual review of Earth and Planetary Sciences. v. 32, p. 215-255. doi:10.1146/annurev.earth.32.101802.120539

Nichols, K. K., Bierman, P. R., Persico, L., Bosley, A., Melillo, P. and Kurfis, J. (2003) Quantifying land use and urban runoff changes through service learning hydrology projects. Journal of Geoscience Education. v. 51(4), p. 365-372. doi:10.5408/1089-9995-51.4.365

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(1-2), p. 105-125. doi:10.1016/S0169-555X(01)00192-1

Clapp, E. M., Bierman, P. R., Nichols, K. K., Pavich, M. and Caffee, M. (2001) Rates of sediment supply to arroyos from upland erosion determined using in situ produced cosmogenic 10Be and 26Al: Quaternary Research. v. 55(2), p. 235-245. doi:10.1006/qres.2000.2211

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. 14, p. 123-136. doi:10.1130/REG14-p123

Gran, S., Nichols, K. and Bierman, P. R. (1999) Teaching winter geohydrology using frozen lakes and snowy mountains. Journal of Geoscience Education. v. 47(5), p. 420-447. doi:10.5408/1089-9995-47.5.420

Abstracts

Darling, A. L., Whipple, K. X., Bierman, P. R., Forte, A. M., Heimsath, A. M., Nichols, K. K. and Clarke, B. (2018) Erosion rate patterns in the Grand Canyon and Grand Staircase predicted from rock strength patterns with new developments on the stream power incision model. GSA Abstracts with Programs, RM/CD joint section meeting, Flagstaff, AZ. v. 50(5), Abstract 30-1. (download pdf)

Nichols, K. K., Bierman, P. R. and Rood, D. H. (2016) Sediment yields of Grand Canyon tributaries calculated over millennia and millions of years. GSA Abstracts with Programs, Annual Meeting, Denver, CO. v. 48(7), Abstract 301-7.doi:10.1130/abs/2016AM-284752

Darling, A., Whipple, K., Nichols, K. K., Clarke, B., Bierman, P. R. (2014) Rapid cosmogenic nuclide derived erosion rates on the Grand Staircase, southern Utah, USA: strong lithologic control on erosion patterns or an artifact of non-uniform distribution of quartz and cliff-slope topography. GSA Abstracts with Programs, Annual meeting, Vancouver, British Columbia. v. 46(6), p. 241, Abstract 92-12. (download pdf)

Nichols, K. K., Bierman, P. R. and Rood, D. H. (2014) Millennial-scale sediment speeds down low-gradient desert piedmonts: new data from the goldstone piedmont, Mojave desert. GSA Abstracts with Programs, Annual meeting, Vancouver, British Columbia. v. 46(6), p. 801, Abstract 332-11. (download pdf)

Nichols, K. and Bierman, P. R. (2014) 10Be constrains the sediment sources and sediment yields to the Great Barrier Reef from the tropical Barron River catchment, Queensland, Australia. EOS, AGU Fall meeting, San Francisco, CA. Abstract EP13F-05. (download pdf)

Sosa-Gonzalez, V., Bierman, P. R. and Nichols, K. K. (2013) Tropical erosion: the story of Panama. International Association of Geomorphologists Meeting, Paris. (download pdf)

Darling, A., Whipple, K. X., Nichols, K. K. and Bierman, P. R. (2013) Landscape evolution in the Grand Canyon region: insights from erosion rates and tributary stream profiles. GSA Abstracts with Programs, Annual meeting, Boulder, CO. v. 45(7), p. 482, Abstract 198-3. (download pdf)

Darling, A., Whipple, K. X., Nichols, K. K., Karlstrom, K. E., Granger, D. and Bierman, P. R. (2012) Transient incision in layer-cake stratigraphy: cosmogenic rates and dates in the context of Glen Canyon. GSA Abstracts with Programs, RM section meeting, Albuquerque, NM. v. 44(6), p. 19, Abstract 10-7. (download pdf)

Darling, A., Whipple, K. X., Nichols, K. K. and Bierman, P. R. (2012) Exhumation and landscape evolution along the Colorado River: differentiating the roles of baselevel fall and lithologic heterogeneity. EOS, AGU Fall meeting, San Francisco, CA. Abstract EP51A-0967. (download pdf)

Nichols, K., Webb, R., Bierman, P. R. and Rood, D. (2011) Measurements of cosmogenic 10Be reveal rapid response of Grand Canyon tributary hillslopes to Colorado river incision. GSA Abstracts with Programs, Annual meeting, Minneapolis, MN. v. 43(5), p. 274, Abstract 102-15. (download pdf)

Sosa-Gonzales, V., Bierman, P. R., Nichols, K. K. and Rood, D. (2011) Determining long term erosion rates in Panama - an application of 10Be. GSA Abstracts with Programs, Annual meeting, Minneapolis, MN. v. 43(5), p. 274, Abstract 102-14. (download pdf)

Nichols, K. K., Bierman, P. R., Reusser, L., Portenga, E., Matmon, A. and Rood, D. (2010) Dual 10Be isotope systems constrain the source of sediment and rate of erosion for the tropical Barron River catchment, Queensland, Australia. EOS, AGU Fall meeting, San Francisco, CA. Abstract EP33D-05. (download pdf)

Bierman, P. R., Reusser, L. J., Nichols, K. K., Matmon, A. and Rood, D. (2009) Where is the sediment coming from and where is it going – a 10Be examination of the northern Queensland escarpment, Australia. GSA Abstracts with Programs, Annual meeting, Portland, OR. v. 41(7), p. 625, Abstract 244-39. (download pdf)

Bierman, P. R., Nichols, K. K., Matmon, A., Enzel, Y., Larsen, J. and Finkel, R. (2007) 10Be shows that Namibian drainage basins are slowly, steadily and uniformly eroding. Quaternary International. v. 167-168, p. 33. (download pdf)

Bierman, P. R., Nichols, K. K., Sullivan, C., Duxbury, J., and Matmon, A. (2007) Little influence of grain size on cosmogenic 10Be concentration in river sediment. GSA Abstracts with Programs, Annual meeting, Denver, CO. v. 39(6), p. 137, Abstract 53-4. (download pdf)

Jungers, M. C., Bierman, P. R., Matmon, A., Nichols, K. K., Larsen, J. and Finkel, R. C. (2007) Accepting our differences: The power of amalgamation and 10Be as a geomorphic tracer for hillslope soil transport. GSA Abstracts with Programs, Annual meeting, Denver, CO. v. 39(6), p. 513, Abstract 190-7. (download pdf)

Nichols, K. K. and Bierman, P. R. (2007) Scratching beneath the surface: Alluvial histories recorded in cosmogenic nuclide depth profiles. GSA Abstracts with Programs, Annual meeting, Denver, CO. v. 39(6), p. 260, Abstract 93-4. (download pdf)

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

Nichols, K. K., Bierman, P. R., Matmon, A., Enzel, Y., Larsen, J. and Finkel, R. C. (2007) Namibia: Interesting landscapes but monotonous erosion rates. GSA Abstracts with Programs, Annual meeting, Denver, CO. v. 39(6), p. 603, Abstract 225-2. (download pdf)

Nichols, K. K., Webb, R., Cleveland, K. M., Bierman, P. R., Finkel, R. and Larsen, J. (2007) The long and the short of it: Millennial-scale and contemporary sediment yields of eastern Grand Canyon. EOS, AGU Fall meeting, San Francisco, CA. v. 88(23), Abstract H44A-02 (download pdf)

Bierman, P. R., Nichols, K. K., Jungers, M., Larsen, J. and Finkel, R. (2006) More than rates or dates: The power of amalgamation when tracing landscape-scale processes with Be. Goldschmidt Conference Abstracts. v. 17(18), p. A51. doi:10.1016/j.gca.2006.06.208 (download pdf)

Cleveland, M., Nichols, K. K., Webb, R. H., Bierman, P. R., Larsen, J. and Finkel, R. C. (2006) Asymmetric tributary erosion rates of eastern Grand Canyon based on cosmogenic 10 Be. GSA Abstracts with Programs, Annual meeting, Philadelphia, PA. v. 38(7), p. 282, Abstract 112-26. (download pdf)

Nichols, K. K., Bierman, P. R., Larsen, J., and Finkel, R. C., (2006) A 10Be view of tropical erosion: The Rio Chagres, A steady supply of sediment in Panama. GSA Abstracts with Programs, Annual meeting, Philadelphia, PA. v. 38(7), p. 97, Abstract 34-9. (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., Klepeis, K. and Wright, S. F. (2004) Landslide data fix before non-geologists "fix" the landslide. GSA Abstracts with Programs, Annual meeting, Denver, CO. v. 36(2), p. 142. (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, Abstract 38-9. (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. GSA Abstracts with Programs, Annual meeting, Seattle WA. v. 35(6), p. 333, Abstract 154-24. (download pdf)

Nichols, K. K., Bierman, P. R., Finkel, R. and Larsen, J. (2003) Long-term erosion and sedimentation rates of the Rio Chagres basin based on cosmogenic 10Be. International Scientific Symposium The Rio Chagres: A Multi-Disciplinary Profile of a Tropical Watershed Abstract Volume. (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)

Bierman, P. R., Nichols, K. K., Clapp, E., Matmon, A., Caffee, M. and Finkel, R. (2002) Tracking landscape scale sediment generation and transport using 10Be and 26Al. Abstracts of Goldschmidt Conference, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, v. 66, p. A-77. (download pdf)

Nichols, K. K., Bierman, P. R., Larsen, J. and Finkel, R. C. (2002) Sedimentation of the Panama Canal reservoir: Cosmogenic nuclide estimates of background sediment yield. GSA Abstracts with Programs, Annual meeting, Denver, CO. Abstract 233-14.(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: GSA Abstracts with Programs, Annual meeting, Denver, CO. Abstract 123-14. (download pdf)

Kurfis, J., Bierman, P. R., Nichols, K., Persico, L. and Melillo, P. (2001) Green university town succumbs to blacktop: Quantifying the increase in impermeable surfaces and runoff through time. GSA Abstracts with Programs, Annual meeting, Boston, MA. v. 32, p. A-179, Abstract 74-0. (download pdf)

Nichols, K. K. and Bierman, P. R. (2001) Birth and growth processes of the Miller Brook gully, northern Vermont. GSA Abstracts with Programs, NE section meeting, Burlington, VT. v. 33, p. A-3, Abstract 3-0. (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, AGU Fall meeting, San Francisco, CA. v. 82(47), Abstract H42D-0392. (download pdf)

Nichols, K. K., Bierman, P. R., Klepeis, K. and Wright, S. (2001) Landslide initiation after drought. GSA Abstracts with Programs, Annual meeting, Boston, MA. v. 32, p. A-440, Abstract 180-0. (download pdf)

Persico, L. P., Nichols, K. K. and Bierman, P. R. (2001) Tracking painted pebbles in the Mojave: annual rates of sediment transport and the impact of offroad vehicles. GSA Abstracts with Programs, Annual meeting, Boston, MA. v. 33, p. A-439. (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. American Society of Agronomy and Soil Science Society of America, Annual meeting. p. 74. (download pdf)

Nichols, K. K., Bierman, P. R. and Caffee, M. W. (2000) The Blackhawk keeps its secrets: landslide dating using in situ 10Be. GSA Abstracts with Programs, Annual meeting, Reno, NV. v. 32, p. A-400. (download pdf)

Nichols, K. K., Bierman, P. R. and Caffee, M. (1999) Revisiting the pediment problem using 10Be and 26Al; a case study of the Iron and Granite Mountain piedmonts, Mojave desert, California. GSA Abstracts with Programs, Annual meeting, Denver, CO. 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, USA. 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. GSA Abstracts with Programs, Annual meeting, Toronto, Canada. v. 30, p. A-143. (download pdf)

Other Publications

Bierman, P. R., Clapp, E. M., Nichols, K. K., Gillespie, A. R. and Caffee, M. (2001) Using cosmogenic nuclide measurements in sediments to understand background rates of erosion and sediment transport in Harmon, R. S. and Doe, W. M. eds. Landscape Erosion and Evolution Modelling, New York. Kluwer. p. 89-116. (link to publisher)

Bierman, P. R., Wright, S. and Nichols, K. K. (1999) Slope stability and late Pleistocene/Holocene history, Northwestern Vermont. New England Intercollegiate Geologic Conference Guidebook. (download pdf)

Nichols, K., Bierman, P. R., Finkel, R. and Larsen, J. (2005) Long-Term (10 to 20 kyr) Sediment Generation Rates for the Upper Rio Chagres Basin Based on Cosmogenic 10Be. in Harmon, R. S., eds. The Rio Chagres: A Multidisciplinary Profile of a Tropical Watershed, Kluwer Academic Publishers. (download pdf)

Last modified July 16 2018 11:12 AM

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