Jon D. Pelletier
Department of Geosciences
University of Arizona
1040 E. Fourth St.
Tucson, AZ 85721
Landforms on Earth's surface are sculpted by flowing water in the form of
rivers and glaciers and by the wind and windborne particles. My work seeks to
understand the intrinsic feedbacks between landforms on Earth's surface and the
fluid flow above the surface which creates these self-organized patterns. I
focus primarily on computer modeling and in the integration of model results
with field and remote-sensing data. I have divided my research time roughly
equally between fluvial geomorphology, tectonic geomorphology, hillslope/soil geomorphology, eolian
geomorphology, and surface processes on Mars. I have also published a bit on
Earth's climate system and ecosystem dynamics. Selected publications are listed
2008 BOOK: Quantitative
Modeling of Earth Surface Processes, published by Cambridge University
Press. IMPORTANT: Download the Errata and Supplementary Codes that fix bugs in the printed
codes. My apology to readers for bugs in the printed codes.
Pictures of my daughter Sophia, son Gabriel, and my 1971 Airstream.
Select papers, by theme area:
C.R. and J.D. Pelletier,
Cosmogenic 3He age estimates of Plio-Pleistocene alluvial-fan surfaces in the Lower Colorado River corridor, Arizona, USA,
Quaternary Research, 79,
J.D., A robust, two-parameter method for the extraction of drainage networks from high-resolution Digital Elevation Models (DEMs): Evaluation and comparison to alternative methods using synthetic and real-world DEMs
Water Resources Research, 49,
J.D., S.B. DeLong, C.A. Orem, P. Becerra, K. Compton, K. Gressett, J. Lyons-Baral, L.A. McGuire, J. Molaro, and J. Spinler, How do vegetation bands form in drylands? Insights from numerical modeling and field studies in southern Nevada, U.S.A.,
Journal of Geophysical Research - Earth Surface, 117,
F04026, doi:10.1029/2012JF002465, 2012.
J.D., A spatially-distributed model for the long-term suspended sediment discharge and delivery ratio of drainage basinsJournal of Geophysical Research - Earth Surface
F02028, doi:10.1029/2011JF002129, 2012.
J.D., Fluvial and slope-wash erosion of soil-mantled landscapes: detachment- or
Surface Processes and Landforms, 37,
J. D., and V. R. Baker, The role of weathering in the formation of bedrock
valleys on Earth and Mars: A numerical modeling investigation, Journal of Geophysical Research, 116, E11007, doi:10.1029/2011JE003821,
J. D., et al., Calibration and testing of upland hillslope
evolution models in a dated landscape: Banco Bonito,
New Mexico, Journal of Geophysical
Research, 116, F04004, doi:10.1029/2011JF001976, 2011.
S.B., L.J. Arnold, and J.D. Pelletier, Late Holocene alluvial history of the Cuyama River, California, USA, Geological Society of America Bulletin, 123, 2160-2176, 2011.
J.D., J. Quade, R.J. Goble, and M.S. Aldenderfer, Widespread hillslope
gullying on the southeastern Tibetan Plateau: Human or climate-change induced? Geological Society of America Bulletin,
Pelletier, J.D., Minimizing the grid-resolution dependence of
flow-routing algorithms for geomorphic applications, Geomorphology, 122,
J.D., The impact of snowmelt on the late Cenozoic landscape of the southern
Rocky Mountains, USA, GSA Today, 19(7), 4-10, 2009.
G., J.D. Pelletier, G. Valentine, and W. Statham, Evaluating Suitability of a
Tephra Dispersal Model as Part of a Risk Assessment Framework, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal
Research, 177, 397-404, 2008.
Blainey, J., and J.D. Pelletier, Infiltration on alluvial
fans in arid environments: Influence of fan morphology, Journal of Geophysical Research, 113, F03008, doi:10.1029/2007JF000792,
S.B., J.D. Pelletier, and L.J. Arnold, Climate-change-triggered sedimentation
and progressive tectonic uplift in a coupled piedmont-axial system: Cuyama Valley, California, USA, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 33, 1033-1046, 2008.
J.D., M.L. Cline, S.B. DeLong, C.D. Harrington, and G.N. Keating, Dispersion of
channel-sediment contaminants in fluvial systems: Application to tephra
redistribution following a potential volcanic eruption at Yucca Mountain, Geomorphology, 94, 226-246, 2008.
J.D., L. Mayer, P.A. Pearthree, P.K. House, J. Klawon, K. Demsey, and K.R.
Vincent, An integrated approach to alluvial-fan flood hazard assessment with
numerical modeling, field mapping, and remote sensing, Geological Society of America Bulletin, 117, 1167-1180, 2005.
Leier, A.L, P.G.
DeCelles, and J.D. Pelletier, Mountains, monsoons,
Geology, 33, 289-292, 2005.
Pelletier, J.D., and S. DeLong, Oscillations in arid alluvial
channels, Geology, 32, 713-716, 2004.
J.D., Drainage network evolution in the Rainfall Erosion Facility: Dependence
on initial conditions, Geomorphology,
53, 183-196, 2003.
J.D., The self-organization and scaling relationships of evolving river
networks, Journal of Geophysical Research,
104, 7359-7375, 1999.
J.D. and D.L. Turcotte, Synthetic stratigraphy with a
stochastic diffusion model of sedimentation, Journal of Sedimentary Research, 67, 1060-1067, 1997.
Pelletier, J.D. and D.L. Turcotte,
Scale-invariant topography and porosity variations in fluvial sedimentary
basins, Journal of Geophysical Research,
101, 28,165-28,175, 1996.
How do pediments form? A numerical modeling investigation with comparison to
pediments in southern Arizona, USA, Geological
Society of America Bulletin, 122,
J.D., Numerical modeling of the late Cenozoic geomorphic evolution of Grand
Canyon, Arizona, Geological Society of
America Bulletin, 122, 595-608,
J.D., P.G. DeCelles, and G. Zandt, Relationships
among climate, erosion, topography, and delamination in the Andes: A numerical
modeling investigation, Geology, 38, 259-262, 2010.
J.D., Engelder, T.M., Comeau,
D., Hudson, A., Leclerc, M., Youberg, A., and S. Diniega, Tectonic and structural control of fluvial channel
morphology in metamorphic core complexes: The example of the Catalina-Rincon
core complex, Arizona, Geosphere, 5, 363-384, 2009.
J.D., Numerical modeling of the Cenozoic fluvial evolution of the southern
Sierra Nevada, California, Earth and
Planetary Science Letters, 259, 85-96, 2007.
S.B., J.D. Pelletier, and L. Arnold, Bedrock landscape evolution modeling:
Calibration using geochronology and DEM analysis, Geological Society of America Bulletin, 119, 157-173, 2007.
Pelletier, J.D., Erosion-rate determination from foreland basin
geometry, Geology, 35, 5-8, 2007.
J.B., T.A. Ehlers, N. MacQuarrie, P.B. Sullivan, and
J.D. Pelletier, Eocene to recent variations in erosion across the central
Andean fold-thrust belt, northern Bolivia: Implications for plateau evolution, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 248, 118-133, 2006.
J.B., and J.D. Pelletier, Latitudinal variation of denudation in the evolution
of the Bolivian Andes, American Journal
of Science, 306, 1-31, 2006.
J.D. Pelletier, and C. Rasmussen, Predicting the thickness and aeolian fraction of soils in upland watersheds of the Mojave Desert,
Geoderma, 195-196C, 94-110, 2013.
and J.T. Perron, Analytic solution for the morphology of a soil-mantled valley undergoing steady headward growth: Validation using case studies in southeastern Arizona,
Journal of Geophysical Research - Earth Surface, 117, F02018, doi:10.1029/2011JF002281, 2013.
., L.A. McGuire, J.L. Ash, T.M. Engelder, L.E. Hill, K.W. Leroy, C.A. Orem, W.S. Rosenthal, M.A. Trees, C. Rasmussen, and J. Chorover, Calibration and testing of upland hillslope evolution models in a dated landscape: Banco Bonito, New Mexico,
Journal of Geophysical Research - Earth Surface, 116, F04004, doi:10.1029/2011JF001976, 2011.
C., P. Brooks, J. Chorover, T. Huxman,
P.A. Troch, and J.D. Pelletier, An open system framework for integrating
critical zone structure and function, Biogeochemistry, 102,
J.D., and C. Rasmussen, Geomorphically-based
predictive mapping of soil thickness in upland watersheds, Water Resources Research, 45,
W09417, doi:10.1029/2008WR007319, 2009.
Pelletier, J.D., and C. Rasmussen, Quantifying the climatic and
tectonic controls on hillslope steepness and erosion
rates, Lithosphere, 1, 73-80, 2009.
Moores, J.E., J.D. Pelletier, and P.H. Smith, Crack
propagation by differential insolation on desert surface clasts,
Geomorphology, 102, 472-481, 2008.
J.D., M. Cline, and S. DeLong, Desert pavement dynamics: Numerical modeling and
field-based calibration, Earth Surface
Processes and Landforms, 32,
J.D., and M.L. Cline, Nonlinear slope-dependent transport in cinder cone
evolution, Geology, 35, 1067, 2007.
J.D., S. DeLong, A.H. Al Suwaidi, M.L. Cline, Y.
Lewis, J.L. Psillas, and B. Yanites,
Evolution of the Bonneville shoreline scarp in west-central Utah: Comparison of
scarp-analysis methods and implications for the diffusion model of hillslope evolution, Geomorphology,
74, 257-270, 2006.
J.D., C.D. Harrington, J.W. Whitney, M.L. Cline, S.B. DeLong, K.T. Ebert,
Geomorphic control of radionuclide diffusion in desert soils, Geophysical Research Letters, 32, L23401, doi:10:1029/2005GL024347,
L., and J.D. Pelletier, Correlation and dating of Quaternary alluvial fan
surfaces using scarp diffusion, Geomorphology,
60, 319-335, 2004.
J.D., B.D. Malamud, T. Blodgett, and D.L. Turcotte,
Scale-invariance of soil moisture variability and its implications for the
frequency-size distribution of landslides, Engineering
Geology, 48, 255-268, 1997.
J.D., H. Mitasova, R.S. Harmon, and M. Overton, The
effects of interdune vegetation changes on eolian dune field evolution: A numerical-modeling case
study at Jockey's Ridge, North Carolina, USA, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 34, 1245-1254, 2009.
J.D., Controls on the height and spacing of eolian
ripples and transverse dunes: A numerical modeling investigation, Geomorphology, 105, 322-333, 2009.
J.P., and J.D. Pelletier, Relief threshold for eolian
transport across alluvial fans, Journal
of Geophysical Research, 112,
F02026, doi:10.1029/2006JF000610, 2007.
J.D., A Cantor set model of eolian dust accumulation
on desert alluvial fan terraces, Geology,
35, 439-442, 2007.
Pelletier, J.D., Sensitivity of playa windblown-dust emissions to
climatic and anthropogenic change, Journal
of Arid Environments, 66, 62-75,
J.D., and J.P. Cook, Deposition of playa windblown dust over geologic time
scales, Geology, 33, 909-912, 2005.
Kolb, K.J., A.S.
McEwen, and J.D. Pelletier, Investigating gully flow emplacement mechanisms
using apex slopes, Icarus, 208, 132-142, 2010.
Kolb, K.J., J.D.
Pelletier, and A.S. McEwen, Modeling the formation of bright slope deposits associated
with gullies in Hale Crater, Mars: Implications for recent liquid water, Icarus, 205, 113-137, 2010.
J.D., D. Comeau, and J. Kargel,
Controls on glacial valley spacing on Earth and Mars, Geomorphology, 116,
and seven coauthors, An Analysis of
Sinuous Ridges in the Southern Argyre Planitia, Mars using HiRISE and
CTX Images and MOLA Data, Journal of
Geophysical Research, 114, E09003, doi:10.1029/2008JE003244, 2009.
and ten coauthors, HiRISE Observations of Glacial and
Periglacial Morphologies in the Circum-Argyre
Planitia Highlands, Mars, Journal of Geophysical Research, 113, E12015, doi:10.1029/2007JE002994, 2009.
J.D., A.L. Leier, and J.R. Steidtmann,
Wind-driven reorganization of coarse clasts on the
surface of Mars, Geology, 37, 55-58, 2009.
J.D., K.J. Kolb, A.S. McEwen, and R.L. Kirk, Recent gully deposits on Mars: Wet
or dry flow?, Geology,
36, 211-214, 2008.
M., and J.D. Pelletier, Forward modeling of ice topography on Mars to infer basal shear stress conditions, Journal of Geophysical Research, 113, doi:10.1029/2007JE002895, 2008.
J.D., How do spiral troughs form on Mars?, Geology, 32, 365-367, 2004.
J.D., Coherence resonance and ice ages, Journal
of Geophysical Research, 108,
J.D., The power-spectral density of atmospheric temperature from time scales of
10-2 to 106 yr, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 158, 157-164, 1998.
J.D. and D.L. Turcotte, Long-range persistence in
climatological and hydrological time series: analysis, modeling, and
application to drought hazard assessment, Journal
of Hydrology, 203, 198-208,
Pelletier, J.D., Analysis and modeling of the natural variability
of climate, Journal of Climate, 10, 1331-1342, 1997.
J.D., Are large complex ecosystems more unstable? A
theoretical reassessment with predator switching, Mathematical Biosciences, 163,
Pelletier, J.D., Model assessments of the optimal
design of nature reserves for maximizing species longevity, Journal of Theoretical Biology, 202, 25-32, 2000.
J.D., The species-area effect and self-affine dynamics in a biogeographical
model of speciation and extinction, Physical
Review Letters, 82, 1983-1987,
J.D., Spring-block models of seismicity: Review and analysis of a
structurally-heterogeneous model coupled to a viscous asthenosphere, Geophysical Monographs, 120, 27-42, 2000.
Pelletier, J.D., Statistical self-similarity of magmatism
and volcanism, Journal of Geophysical
Research, 104, 15425-15438,
J.D., and D.L. Turcotte, Self-affine time series: II.
Applications and models, Advances in
Geophysics, 40, 91-166, 1999.
J.D., Paleointensity variations of Earth's magnetic
field and their relationship with polarity reversals, Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors, 110, 115-128, 1999.
Turcotte, D.L., J.D. Pelletier, and W.I. Newman, Networks
with side-branching in biology, Journal
of Theoretical Biology, 193,
scaling of the top of the convective boundary layer and the fractal structure
of cumulus cloud fields, Physical Review
Letters, 78, 2672-2675, 1997.
J.D., Variations in solar luminosity from time scales of minutes to months, Astrophysical Journal, 463, L41-L45, 1996.