NCED Research

In its 10-year tenure, NCED has made major contributions to the growth of Earth-Surface Dynamics (ESD) through direct research in three Integrated Programs (IP) of Streams, Watersheds and Deltas. These contributions include (publications can be found in the publications section):

  • delta.jpgEstablishment of experimental geomorphology and stratigraphy as a major source of insight in ESD, developing new methods for studying delta  evolution, effect of vegetation on rivers, multi-size particle transport, and landscape evolution (e.g. Paola et al., 2009; Grams and Wilcock, 2007; Strong and Paola, 2006; Yu et al., 2006; Caylor et al., 2004);
  • Integration of geomorphic and ecologic variables into predictive reference-state models, that take topography and basic environmental variables (e.g. sunlight, rainfall) as input and deliver testable predictions of fine-scale geomorphic (e.g. channel depth) and ecologic (e.g. fish populations) variables (e.g. Muneepeerakul et al., 2007; Paola et al., 2006; Lowe et al., 2006; Power et al., 1998)
  • Integration of quantitative methods from engineering, physics, and applied math into ESD, for example, book.jpgapplication of moving-boundary and dimensionless analysis techniques to ESD problems from  delta evolution to denitrification (e.g. O'Connor and Hondzo, 2008; Barnes et al., 2007; Voller et al., 2006);
  • Advances in the coupling of life, especially vegetation, and landscape dynamics (e.g. Tal and Paola, 2010; Tal and Paola, 2007; Tal et al., 2004), including the first quantitative investigation of the influence (or not) of life on topography (Dietrich and Perron, 2006);
  • Integration of a variety of novel methods from stochastic hydrology, including nonlocal transport and multifractal spatial signatures, into  ESD, for example, the first exploration of potential influence of non-local transport on geomorphology and landscape modeling (Fig. 2; Foufoula-Georgiou et al., 2010; Stark et al., 2009);
  • Advances in providing the scientific basis for restoring streams (e.g. Kenney at al., 2012; Pitlick et al., 2009; Wilcock et al., 2009) and deltaic wetlands (e.g. Paola et al., 2011), for example, development of a stream-restoration toolbox, certificate programs, and short courses; and
  • Integration of subsurface structure and stratigraphic records into understanding present-day delta dynamics, for example, showing how surface and subsurface records of delta growth and self-organization could inform predictions of delta restoration (e.g. Ganti et al., 2011; Paola et al., 2011).