Center for Nonlinear Earth Systems

a research group dedicated to the study of non-linear dynamics in natural earth systems





The Center for Nonlinear Earth Systems was formed as a unit of the Columbia Earth Institute in early March, 1997. Initiated with start-up funds provided by the Vice-Provost's office, the center brings together a diverse group of researchers with a commonality of interests in things non-linear. The initial group comprising CNES is primarily located at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, but future plans include expanding the membership more broadly within the Columbia community and collaboration with researchers in nearby universities, both of which are happening now at a limited scale. Along with this expansion, we expect also that the range of topics being explored within the Center will also increase.

Current Research Projects

Dynamics of Granular Media

Fluid flow in reactive media

Brittle Deformation

Formation of Geomorphic Features

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Symposium on Localization Phenomena
and Dynamics of Brittle and Granular Media

A symposium was hosted by CNES at Columbia from Aug. 6-9, 1997. It is intended as the first of a biannual series in which the subject areas change each time. A meeting report has been submitted for publication in EOS, Transactions of the American Geophysical meeting. Also available is an Extended Abstracts Volume, edited by J. Contreras.

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Affiliated Personnel


Christopher H. Scholz , Professor, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Head of CNES
Complexity in brittle and granular deformation.

Einat Aharonov , L-DEO Postdoctoral Fellow
Fluid flow in reactive media: hydrothermal and magma systems. Granular dynamics.

Bruce Shaw , Storke-Doherty Lecturer, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Earthquake and fault dynamics, landform development models.

David Sparks , Assoc. Res. Sci, L-DEO
Fluid flow in magmatic systems. Granular dynamics.

Marc Spiegelman , Adjunct Assoc. Professor, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Fluid flow in reactive media: magma systems.

Jeffrey Weissel , Senior Res. Assoc., L-DEO
Fractal development of landscapes.


Anu Gupta , PhD candidate, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Fault interactions in fault populations.

Lindsay McDevit , undergraduate, Physics
Landslide dynamics.

Chrysanthe Spyropoulos , PhD candidate, Applied Physics
Modeling the development of fault populations.

Eric Tenthoray , PhD candidate, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Diagenesis and deformation under hydrothermal conditions.

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