climate and Earth processes
BRIAN YANITES Assistant Professor of Geological Sciences | Geomorphology
In the spring semester, Brian teamed up with 6 graduate and 3 undergraduate students in his Advance
Geomorphology course to analyze river response to Typhoon Morakot in southern Taiwan using Google
Earth. The typhoon caused 22,000 landslides. The students quantified how this material has impacted riv-
er systems in these landscapes. The work has implications for understanding the cascade of hazards that
can exist for decades following such an event. The work is currently under review for publication.
In May, Brian and Ph.D. student Brigid Lynch traveled to southwestern Peru to measure rates of river ero-
sion and geomorphology. The goal of the collaborative project is to tease apart tectonic and climate drivers
of canyon incision along the western flank of the Andes. The IU team will combine estimates of basin-wide
erosion rates from cosmogenic nuclides with river morphology metrics to calibrate a model of river incision.
This model will be used to constrain the dynamics of canyon incision and ultimately help quantify when
these canyons began forming. While conducting field work, the research team observed the eruption of the Sabancaya.
In July, Ph.D. student Nate Mitchell attended the Tobacco Root Mountain Geologcial Society’s annual “Field Confer-
ence”. Following the meeting, Nate conducted field work throughout central Idaho, measuring river morphology and
rock strength in the Salmon and Clearwater watersheds. The goal of the project is to unravel how rock-type influences
the rate of landscape transience.
Brian’s research website: http://earth.indiana.edu/yanites/geomorphology.
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Chachani and El Misti volcanoes loom over
Arequipa, Peru’s second most populous city.