Evolution of Sedimentary Systems


Situated on the banks of the Mississippi LSU provides a natural home for the study of the geology of sedimentary systems. Our proximity to one of the largest and most economically significant deltas worldwide connects us to both academic and applied sedimentary research, yet our studies range across much wider areas in our attempt to understand global processes. Our faculty investigate many aspects of how the sedimentary record is formed, which is essential if we are to be able to interpret the record preserved in sedimentary basins, on continental margins, and even the Martian subsurface. LSU faculty, postdoctoral scholars and graduate students are involved in the sediment source to sink process and in understanding how the stratigraphic record is built. We apply a variety of sedimentary, geophysical, geochemical, palynological  and GIS-statistical methods to our study sites on Earth and beyond with which we reconstruct environment change through time and identify processes that affected the accumulation and lithification of sediment at specific locations.

Sediments can reveal changes in climate and environmental conditions, or track tectonic processes. We also examine how surface processes feedback on tectonics and through chemical weathering on global climate. The formation, filling, and evolution of sedimentary basins, as revealed by our research, advances applications by our colleagues in the petroleum industry, as well as having implications for academic research goals. Researchers at LSU work closely with the oil industry in sharing data sets and samples, but also undertake research with the support of more academic programs including the National Science Foundation and NASA. The sedimentary systems group at LSU covers a wide range of subdisciplines, empowering us to build multidisciplinary teams that can target a range of problems in the surface processes and sedimentary geology sphere. We even apply our terrestrial expertise beyond Earth, on Mars, characterizing chemical and eolian evolution of sediment as a pathway to exobiology. Our links with researchers within geography, engineering and oceanography at LSU moreover provide us with a broader base within the geosciences and maintain a critical mass of researchers within this important sphere of the geosciences. Our planetary research extends our scope in interdisciplinary collaborations that support NASA’s science objectives.


What we do

Last updated March 13th 2013

Where we work on Earth - Active research projects

A research group within the Department of Geology and Geophysics

and on Mars