Frank Nitsche

Research Scientist
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Marine Geology and Geophysics
208D Oceanography
61 Route 9W - PO Box 1000
(845) 365-8746
(845) 365-8156
Fields of interest: 
Marine Geology, Environmental Geophysics, Acoustic Surveys, GIS, Continental Margins, Estuaries, Quaternary Sedimentation

Large parts of the earth surface are shaped by sedimentary processes. I am fascinated with complex sedimentary features, their morphology, and understanding the mechanisms that built and modified these features. Based on my background in geophysics I am using geophysical techniques to image the morphology, extent, and internal structure of complex sedimentary features to understand their evolution as well as the controlling processes. I am exploring new ways to combine and interpret different data sets using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and to integrate geophysical data with information from sediment cores or biological observations. I am particularly interested in estuarine processes, sediment transport and deposition on continental margins, and glacially-influenced sediments. It is my goal to better understand the evolution of present and past morphology, what causes and controls deposition, erosion, and, hence the shape of sedimentary features, and how these features are linked to past glaciations and habitats.

Some of my projects include:

  • Hudson River Research ( details )
  • Amundsen Sea, West Antarctica ( details )
  • Sedimentation processes along the Westantarctic continental margin ( details )
  • Hudson River data visualization ( details )


List of degrees from highest to lowest:
University of Bremen, Germany
Diplom in Geophysics
Christian Albrechts University Kiel, Germany
Selected Publications: 
Bathymetry of the Amundsen Sea continental shelf: Implications for geology, oceanography, and glaciology, Nitsche, F. O.; Jacobs, S. S.; Larter, R. D.; Gohl, K. , Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems, Oct 18, Volume 8, p.-, (2007), Doi 10.1029/2007gc001694

Regional patterns and local variations of sediment distribution in the Hudson River Estuary, Nitsche, F. O.; Ryan, W. B. F.; Carbotte, S. M.; Bell, R. E.; Slagle, A.; Bertinado, C.; Flood, R.; Kenna, T.; McHugh, C. , Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science, Jan, Volume 71, Issue 1-2, p.259-277, (2007), DOI 10.1016/j.ecss.2006.07.021

Late-stage estuary infilling controlled by limited accommodation space in the Hudson River, Slagle, A. L.; Ryan, W. B. F.; Carbotte, S. M.; Bell, R.; Nitsche, F. O.; Kenna, T. , Marine Geology, Nov 7, Volume 232, Issue 3-4, p.181-202, (2006), DOI 10.1016/j.margeo.2006.07.009

Using geophysical information to define benthic habitats in a large river, Strayer, D. L.; Malcom, H. M.; Bell, R. E.; Carbotte, S. M.; Nitsche, F. O. , Freshwater Biology, Jan, Volume 51, Issue 1, p.25-38, (2006), DOI 10.1111/j.1365-2427.2005.01472.x

Environmental change and oyster colonization within the Hudson River estuary linked to Holocene climate, Carbotte, S. M.; Bell, R. E.; Ryan, W. B. F.; McHugh, C.; Slagle, A.; Nitsche, F.; Rubenstone, J. , Geo-Marine Letters, Nov, Volume 24, Issue 4, p.212-224, (2004), DOI 10.1007/s00367-004-0179-9

Process-related classification of acoustic data from the Hudson River Estuary, Nitsche, F. O.; Bell, R.; Carbotte, S. M.; Ryan, W. B. F.; Flood, R. , Marine Geology, Aug 30, Volume 209, Issue 1-4, p.131-145, (2004), DOI 10.1016/j.margeo.2004.05.023

Late Quaternary depositional history of the Reuss delta, Switzerland: constraints from high-resolution seismic reflection and georadar surveys, Nitsche, F. O.; Green, A. G.; Horstmeyer, H.; Buker, F. , Journal of Quaternary Science, Feb, Volume 17, Issue 2, p.131-143, (2002), Doi 10.1002/Jqs.645

Reflection seismic study of cenozoic sediments in an overdeepened valley of northern Switzerland: The Birrfeld area, Nitsche, F. O.; Monin, G.; Marillier, F.; Graf, H.; Ansorge, J. , Eclogae Geologicae Helvetiae, Volume 94, Issue 3, p.363-371, (2001)

Sedimentation processes in the Bellingshausen Sea and their variations along the continental margin, Nitsche, F. O.; Cunningham, A.; Larter, R. D.; Gohl, K. , Marine Geology, Volume 162, p.277-302, (2000)