Thomas Dunne

University of California, Santa Barbara


Election Year: 1988
Primary Section: 15, Geology
Secondary Section: 64, Human Environmental Sciences
Membership Type: Member

Research Interests

I conduct field and theoretical studies of drainage-basin, hillslope, and fluvial geomorphology and of the application of hydrology and geomorphology in landscape management and hazard analysis. I study the stochastic and spatial aspects of the sediment supply to mountain river networks in which sediment loading of the channel system is driven by the interaction of wildfires, rainstorms, and spatially varying landscape properties. I have a particular interest in erosion and sedimentation on active volcanoes, including the role of debris flows. This work began after the 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens and has continued sporadically. A result of this work has been my participation on the NRC Committee on Alluvial Fan Flooding, which studied ways to improve the prediction of flooding and sedimentation hazards on alluvial fans. Current efforts are devoted to studies of hydrology, sediment transport, sedimentation, and geomorphology in the Amazon River Basin. Current work includes mapping of precipitation, runoff, and evaporation fields to define the water budget of the Basin; modeling the water budget and the migration of runoff through the Amazon valley system to generalize the results to include altered climatic and land-use conditions; prediction of sediment supply to the Amazon River from the Andes Mountains; routing of sediment along rivers of the Amazon lowland; and hydraulic and sedimentation processes in floodplains.

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