Indiana University Bloomington

Greg A. Olyphant

douglas edmonds

Robert R. Shrock Professorship in Sedimentary Geology

Assistant Professor of Geological Sciences

Office:  GY425
Phone:   812-855-4512
Research Website

Educational Background

  • Ph.D., 2009, The Pennsylvania State University
  • M.Sc., 2006 The Pennsylvania State University
  • B.Sc, 2003, St. Louis University

Research Interests

My research focuses on the sedimentology, stratigraphy, and geomorphology of depositional sedimentary systems. Example projects and scales of interest range from: secondary circulation and turbulence to formation of reach-scale features such as levees, to whole system behavior of deltas and river belts. I use a combination of mathematical modeling, field observation, and occasionally experimentation to understand these systems. My research is generally directed toward understanding the coupled surficial and sedimentological evolution of these systems. Below is a list of research interests and a brief description of each.

Courses Taught

  • Fluid flow and sediment transport
  • Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
  • Sedimentary Petrology
  • Exploring the Earth
  • Natural Hazards
  • G550, Surface Water Hydrology

Current Research Projects

NSF, Geomorphology and Landuse Dynamics (EAR 1123847) "Defining controls on incisional avulsions in alluvial basins," 2011-2014

NSF, Frontiers in Earth Systems Dynamics "A dynamic delta collaboratory," 2011-2016

American Chemical Society-Petroleum Research Fund. A theoretical and field-based study on the formation and shape of fluvial levees. 2014-2016

National Science Foundation, Science for Engineering, Education, and Sustainability for the Coast. Sustainability of Deltaic Coasts – The Trillion Dollar Problem. 2015-2019

Graduate Student Projects

  • Rebecca Caldwell, PhD student
    Thesis Project: Understanding the controls on delta morphology
  • Scott David, Ph.D. student
    Thesis Project: Understanding the origin and processes within floodplain channel networks
  • Elizabeth Olliver, M.S. student
    Thesis Project: Ecogeomorphic feebacks in Wax Lake Delta, LA
  • Steven Davey, M.S. Student
    Thesis Project: Predicting the size and shape of sand bodies in wave-dominated deltas
  • John Talley (co-advised with Ed Hermann), M.S. Student
    Thesis Project: Fluvial response to Wisconsinan deglaciation in Indiana

Undergraduate Projects and Opportunities

Katy McGuire, BSc degree from Penn State 2007-2008
Thesis title: Testing a model of river mouth bar sedimentology

Journal Articles

*student author primarily advised by Edmonds

*David, S.R., Edmonds, D.A., and Letsinger, S., Mapping Floodplain Topography; Implications for Morphodynamics of Floodplains and their Channel Networks, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms (in review).

Twilley, R.T., Bentley, S.J., Chen, Q.J., Edmonds, D.A., Hagen, S.C., Lam, N., Willson, C.S., Xu, K., Braud, D., and Peale, H.R., Co-evolution of wetland landscapes, flooding and human settlement in the Mississippi River Deltaic Plain, Sustainability Science (in review).

Sawyer, A.H., Edmonds, D.A., and Knights, D., Surface water-groundwater interactions in river-dominated deltas, Geophysical Research Letters

*Moron, S, Edmonds, DA, Amos, K, A new explanation for the origin of anabranching rivers based on alluvial bar theory, Geophysical Research Letters, (in review)

*Nardin, W., Edmonds, D.A., and Fagherazzi, S., Feedbacks between vegetation and sediment fluxes in deltaic islands during flood, Advances in Water Resources (in review)

Fagherazzi, S. Edmonds, D.A., Nardin, W., Leonardi, N., Canestreslli, A., Falcini, F., Jerolmack, D., Mariotti, G., Rowland, J.C., and Slingerland, R.L., Dynamics of river mouth deposits, Review of Geophysics (in press)

Liang, M.L., Geleynse, N.G., Edmonds, D.A. and Passalacqua, P.P. (2015) A reduced-complexity model for river delta formation: Part II Validation of the flow routing scheme, Earth Surface Dynamics 3.1, p. 87-104.

Burpee A.P., Slingerland, R.L., Edmonds, D.A., Parsons, D., Best, J., Cederberg, J., McGuffin, A., *Caldwell, R.L., *Nijhuis, A., and Royce, J., (2015) Grain size control on the morphology and stratigraphy of river-dominated deltas, Journal of Sedimentary Research, DOI

Nardin, W., and Edmonds, D.A., (2014) Optimal vegetation height for sedimentation in deltaic freshwater marshes, Nature Geoscience , v. 7, no. 10, p. 722-726 DOI

*Caldwell, R.C., and Edmonds, D.A., (2014) A numerical modeling study of the effect of sediment properties on delta process and morphology JGR-Earth Surface DOI

Edmonds, D.A. and Caldwell, R.C., (2014) River Delta Processes and Shapes, Encyclopedia of Natural Resources, ed. Y.Q. Wang.

Hajek, E.A., and Edmonds, D.A., (2014) Is river avulsion style controlled by floodplain morphodynamics? Geology, DOI.

Canestrelli, A., Nardin, W., Edmonds, D.A., Fagherazzi, S., and Slingerland, R.L., (2014) Importance of frictional effects and jet instability on the morphodyanmics of river mouth bars and levees JGR-Oceans, 119, DOI

Nardin, W., Mariotti, G., Edmonds, D.A., Guerico, R., and Fagherazzi, S., (2013), Growth of river mouth bars in sheltered bays in the presence of frontal waves. J. Geophys. Res. Earth Surf., 118, 872886, DOI

Snyder, N.P., Nesheim, A.O., Wilkins, B.C., and Edmonds, D.A., (2013) Predicting grain size in gravel-bedded rivers using digital elevation models: application to paraglacial watersheds in Maine. Geological Society of America Bulletin 125.1-2 (2013): 148-163

Edmonds, D. A., (2012) Stability of backwater influenced bifurcations: a study of the Mississippi–Atchafalaya bifurcation. Geophysical Research Letters, 39, L08402, DOI

Edmonds, D. A., Paola, C., Hoyal, D., Sheets, B. (2011) Metrics to quantify the morphology of river deltas and their channel networks. Journal of Geophysical Research–Earth Surface,DOI

Edmonds, D.A., Shaw, J., and Mohrig, D., (2011) Topset–dominated deltas: a new model for river delta stratigraphy, Geology, 39, p. 1175–1178; DOI

Paola, C., Twilley, R., Edmonds, D.A., Kim, W., Mohrig, D., Parker, G., Viparelli, E., Voller, V. (2011) Natural Processes in Delta Restoration: Application to the Mississippi Delta. Annual Reviews of Marine Science, 25.

Wolinsky, M., Edmonds, D.A., Martin, J., Paola, C. (2010). Delta Allometry: Growth Laws for River Deltas. Geophysical Research Letters, 37, L21430, DOI

Edmonds, D.A., R.L. Slingerland, J. Best, D. Parsons, N. Smith (2010), The response of river–dominated delta networks to permanent changes in river discharge, Geophysical Research Letters, 37, L12404, DOI

Edmonds, D.A., and R.L. Slingerland (2010), Significant effect of sediment cohesion on delta morphology, Nature–Geoscience, 3, 105–109, DOI

Edmonds, D.A., D. Hoyal, B. Sheets, and R. Slingerland (2009), Predicting delta avulsions: Implications for coastal wetland restoration, Geology, 37, 759–762, DOI

Smith, N.D., Perez-Arlucea, M., Edmonds, D.A., and Slingerland, R.L., (2009) Elevation adjustments of paired natural levees during flooding of the Saskatchewan River, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, DOI

Edmonds, D. A., and R. L. Slingerland (2008), Stability of delta distributary networks and their bifurcations, Water Resources Research, 44, W09426, DOI

Edmonds, D. A., and R. L. Slingerland (2007), Mechanics of river mouth bar formation: Implications for the morphodynamics of delta distributary networks, Journal of Geophysical Research, 112, F02034, DOI

Selected Presentations

Slingerland, R, Edmonds, D.A., AGU 2011, The Role of Vegetation in the Forms of Tropical Lowland Deltas, American Geophysical Union, San Francisco. (December 9, 2011).

Snyder, N.P., Nesheim, A.O., Wilkins, B.C., Edmonds, D.A., Fall Meeting 2011, Predicting bed grain size in threshold channels using lidar digital elevation models, American Geophysical Union, San Francisco, CA. (December 9, 2011).

Burpee, A., Slingerland, R., Edmonds, D.A., AGU 2011, Relationships between sediment caliber and delta shoreline geometry and stratigraphy, American Geophysical Union, San Francisco. (December 6, 2011).

Caldwell, R., Edmonds, D.A., AGU 2011, The effect of grain size distribution on river delta morphology, American Geophysical Union, San Francisco. (December 6, 2011).

Edmonds, D.A., AGU 2011, Will the Atchafalaya River Capture the Lower Mississippi River?, American Geophysical Union, San Francisco. (December 6, 2011).

Millard, C., Hajek, E., Edmonds, D.A., Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Comparison of floodplain and avulsion–associated deposits in ancient fluvial successions: implicatins for crevasse–splay deposition and avultion style, GSA, Minneapolis, MN. (October 2011).

Edmonds, D.A., Hajek, E., Smith, P., Millard, C., Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Controls on the thicknesses of heterolithic deposits below avulsion channels, Minneapolis, MN. (October 10, 2011).

Edmonds, D.A., Shaw, J., Mohrig, D., Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Topset–dominated deltas: A new model for river delta stratigraphy. (October 10, 2011).

Edmonds, D.A., American Association of Petroleum Geologists Annual Meeting, Defining the First Order controls on delta stratigraphy, Houston, TX. (April 2011).

Liang, M., Voller, V., Edmonds, D.A., Paola, C., AGU Fall Meeting, Toward a Reduced Complexity Channel Resolving Model for Sedimentary Delta Formation, American Geophysical Union, San Francisco. (December 17, 2010).

Parsons, D, Edmonds, D.A., Best, J., Slingerland, R., 18th ISC conference, Deltaic morphodynamics and bifurcation stability: Wax Lake Delta, LA, USA, International Sedimentologic Conference, Mendoza, Argentina. (September 27, 2010).

Edmonds, D.A., Hoyal, DCJD, Sheets, BA, and Slingerland, RL, Downstream control on distributary channel avulsion, AAPG Annual Meeting, 2008, San Antonio, TX.

Edmonds, D.A., et al., A stability diagram for fine-grained cohesive bifurcations, EOS (American Geophysical Union Transactions), Fall Meeting 2007.

Edmonds, D.A., Hoyal, D.C.JD, Sheet, B., and Bloch, R.B., On the nature of delta distributary channel fill, AAPG Annual Meeting, 2007, Long Beach, CA

Edmonds D.A., et al., The Morphology and Stability of Bifurcations in the Mossy River Delta, Saskatchewan Canada, EOS (American Geophysical Union Transactions), Fall Meeting, 2006.

Edmonds, D.A., and Slingerland, R.L., Genesis and Shapes of Delta Distributary Networks, AAPG annual meeting, 2006, Houston, TX.

Edmonds, D.A., and Slingerland, R.L., Mechanics of River-dominated Delta Bifurcations, 8th International Conference on Fluvial Sedimentology, Delft, Netherlands, Aug. 8-12, 2005.

Edmonds, D.A., Slingerland, R.L., and DeSibour, R.M., Geometric Properties of Bifurcating Delta Distributary Delta Channels, EOS (American Geophysical Union Transactions), Fall Meeting, 2004.


Organized and ran a workshop on modeling in Delft3D at the Community Surface Dynamics Modeling System (CSDMS) annual meeting 2011

Member of the clastic stratigraphy planning committee for AAPG 2012

Organized sessions at AGU, GSA, AAPG meetings on topics ranging from deltas, to avulsions, to quantitative stratigraphy

Reviewer for National Science Foundation, Geology, Journal of Sedimentary Research, Sedimentology, Journal of Geophysical Research, Geophysical Research Letters, Geomorphology, and Earth Surface Processes and Landforms

Member of American Geophysical Union, Geological Society of America, SEPM, AAPG