Research Interests/Current Research
The majority of my research is directed toward understanding depositional processes in environments (both regressive deltas and transgressive estuaries) where tidal processes are an important agent of sediment deposition. Such environments are complex, both morphologically and with regard to the way in which tidal, river and wave processes interact on time scale ranging from days to decades. A significant component of my recent work has been focused on the development of criteria for identifying the characteristic morphological elements within tidal systems (i.e., large dunes, tidal bars and channels) in ancient successions, and for determining where a given deposit formed in the transition zone between the mouth a river system and the landward limit of tidal action. In this regard, the nature of the muddy laminae and interbeds has turned out to be an important environmental parameter. In this regard, my students and I have spent considerable effort studying the origin and detailed characteristics of thick “mud drapes” formed by tidally and wave-generated fluid muds. Additional research has also focused on sandy, open-coast tidal flats where wave processes dominate tidal currents. Future research will continue to explore these themes, concentrating on an exploration of the tidal-fluvial and tidal-wave transitions. I also plan to investigate the nature of sedimentation in mouth-bar and delta-front region of tide-influenced and tide-dominated deltas because this zone is poorly understood at present.