Dr. Elisabeth Steel

Dr. Elisabeth SteelElisabeth Steel

Email e.steel@queensu.ca
Website www.queens-sedimentology.com

I am a clastic sedimentologist interested in sediment transport processes in a broad range of environments. I’m primarily interested in sediment gravity flows and how they shape marine and terrestrial environments. I investigate these processes through physical experiments, outcrop studies, sediment cores, and subsurface datasets (e.g. well logs and seismic surveys)

Supervising Information

Students interested in joining the Clastic Sedimentology Group are encouraged to visit my website at : www.queens-sedimentology.com. I am committed to building a diverse and inclusive research group, and students from historically underrepresented groups in STEM and non-traditional backgrounds are highly encouraged to apply.

Research Interests/Current Research

I am most interested in understanding source-to-sink sediment transport processes and the ways in which successions of gravity flow deposits record tectonic and environmental signals through time. My research spans a broad range of topics including sediment gravity flow successions, evolution of alluvial fans, and predictions of deltaic stratigraphy from surface dynamics.

Projects are available for PhD and Masters students interested in: conducting flume experiments on dynamics of turbidity currents; comparisons of subaerial and submarine debris flows; field-based studies of modern and ancient alluvial fan successions; and subsurface interpretation of deep-water sedimentary successions. Opportunities are also available for students to propose and develop their own projects.

Professional Associations

Association for Women Geoscientists (AWG)

Geological Society of America (GSA)

American Geophysical Union (AGU)

American Association of Petroleum Geology (AAPG)

National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT)

Society for Sedimentary Geology (SEPM


2017 – SEPM Pacific Section John Crowell Award – Top PhD dissertation, 2017­

2016 – Alumni Graduate Award for Research Excellence (UCSB)

2015 – Wendell Phillips Woodring Memorial Graduate Fellowship (UCSB)


Steel, E., Simms, A.R., Steel, R., and Olariu, C. (2018), Delivery of sand to the continental shelf by hyperpycnal currents: insights from the Jurassic Lajas formation, Neuquén Basin, Argentina,

Sedimentology, 65(6), p. 2149-2170. https://doi.org/10.1111/sed.12460

Schwalbach, J. R., Holloway, J.W., Steel, E., and Coldewey, R. (2018), Pliocene Repetto Formation Turbidites, Ventura Avenue Field, Ventura, California: Linking Reservoir Properties, Lithofacies, and Stratigraphic Elements: SEPM/PS-SEPM From the Mountains to the Abyss: The California Borderland as an Archive of Southern California Geologic Evolution

Steel, E., Buttles, J., Simms, A., Mohrig, D., and Meiburg, E., 2017, The role of buoyancy reversal in turbidite deposition and submarine fan geometry: Geology, v. 45, no. 1, p. 35-38.

Steel, E., Simms, A., Warrick, J., and Yokoyama, Y., 2016, Highstand shelf fans: the role of buoyancy reversal in the deposition of a new type of shelf sand body: GSA Bulletin, v. 128, no. 11-12, p. 1717-1724.

Warrick, J.A., Simms, A.R., Ritchie, A., Steel, E., Dartnell, P., Conrad, J.E., and Finlayson, D.P., 2013, Hyperpycnal plume-derived fans in the Santa Barbara Channel, California: Geophysical Research Letters, v. 40, p. 1-6.

Kim, W., Connell, S.D., Steel, E., Smith, G.A., and Paola, C., 2011, Mass balance control on the

interaction of axial and transverse channel systems: Geology, v.39, p. 611-614.

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