Frank O. Nitsche Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory

Research Interests and Projects

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 and geology 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.

Main Research Topics:

Hudson River Sediment
Coastal areas and estuaries are focal points for human development. Understanding the sediment dynamics of these areas is essential for successfully managing the resulting economic and environmental needs. We are using a combination of acoustic survey data and sediment samples to better understand the distribution of deposition, sediment type and sediment environments as well as the processes and conditions that controls this distributions. The main focus area is the Hudson River, but we are also working in the Long Island Sound and other coastal systems. (read more)
Detailed bathymetry of the Antarctic continental margin can reveal pathways of sediment and water transported beneath former ice sheets and allows reconstruction of ice flow. I am involved in various activates to compile and analyze bathymetric data from all around Antarctica. Much of the work has been focused on the Amundsen Sea in west Antarctica. In addition, I am also involved in the International Bathymetric Chart of the Southern Ocean (IBCSO).
(read more)
It is often easier to view data in context of other data and I enjoy creating maps. So I am working with a range of tools such as GoogleEarth, ArcGIS, GeoMapApp, and Fledermaus to visualize spatial data in various forms.
(read more)

Current Projects:

gravity corer
The goal of this project, which is funded by a consortium of EPA, CT DEEP, and NYCDEC, is to generate detailed habitat maps of the bottom of Long Island Sound.
(read more)
NB Palmer
This project will investigate various cross shelf troughs along the East Antarctic continental margin. Data will be collected on cruise with the NB Palmer in spring 2015.
This project will investigate changes in sediment deposition in the upper parts of the Hudson River Estuary as result of the combined effects of hurricanes Irine and Sandy
(read more)

Previous Projects:

3D-mapping of glacial and glacial-fluvial deposits in alpine valleys