Faculty & Staff

Faculty

Alan D. Howard

Professor · Ph.D. Johns Hopkins University, 1970

Contact Information

My research focuses on the complex interactions and constraints that govern the evolution of natural landscapes, including surfaces of other planets. This research combines field studies, theory, simulation modeling, and quantitative analysis. Field studies have included evolution of channels in badlands, the natural regime and man’s influence on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, and the role of groundwater sapping in erosion of sandstone canyons in the southwest U.S.. Simulation models have been developed for barchan dune equilibrium, stream network development, river meandering, drainage basin evolution, and scarp retreat by groundwater sapping. Theoretical modeling includes the role of equilibrium and thresholds in geomorphic systems and controls on drainage network geometry. Planetary research has included studies of eolian, polar, and fluvial processes on Mars. Recent student research on terrestrial landscapes focuses on landform evolution and river sedimentation on the Virginia Coastal Plain, thgeomorphic effects of large floods, hydrology and lakes of the U.S. Great Basin, and the history of debris flow erosion of the Virginia Blue Ridge. Planetary studies by students include erosion of Martian craters, deposition and erosion of thick sedimentary deposits on the rim of the Martian Hellas impact basin, and studies of drainage network evolution and lakes on Mars early in its history.

Recent Publications

Forsberg-Taylor, N. K., Howard, A. D., Craddock, R.A., 2004, Crater degradation in the Martian highlands: morphometric analysis of the Sinus Sabaeus region and simulation modeling suggest fluvial processes. Journal of Geophysical Research, Planets.109, E05002, doi:10.1029/2004JE002242.

Moore, J. M. and Howard, A. D., 2005, Large alluvial fans on Mars. Journal of Geophysical Research, 110, E04005, doi:10.1029/2004JE002352.

Howard, A. D. Moore, J. M., and Irwin, R. P. III, 2005, An intense terminal epoch of widespread fluval activity on early Mars: 1. Valley network incision and associated deposits. Journal of Geophysical Research, Planets, 110, D12S14, doi:10.1029/2005JE002459.

Lamb, M. P., Howard, A. D., Johnson, J., Whipple, K., Dietrich, W.E., and Perron, J. T., 2006, Can springs cut canyons into rock?, Journal of Geophysical Research, Planets, v. 111, doi:10.1029JE002663.

Wilson, S. A., Howard, A. D., Moore, J. M., and Grant, J. A., 2007, The geomorphic and stratigraphic analysis of Terby Crater and layered deposits north of Hellas Basin, Mars, Journal of Geophysical Research, Planets, v. 112, E08009, doi:10.1029/2006JE002830.

Howard, A. D., 2007, Simulating the development of martian highland landscapes through the interaction of impact cratering, fluvial erosion, and variable hydrologic forcing, Geomorphology, 91, 332-363.

Howard, A. D., 2007, Simulating the development of martian highland landscapes through the interaction of impact cratering, fluvial erosion, and variable hydrologic forcing, Geomorphology, 91, 332-363.

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  1. Prof. Alan Howard awarded G.K. Warren Prize | Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia, U.Va. :

    [...] Prof. Alan D. Howard has been awarded the National Academy of Sciences’ 2010 G.K. Warren Prize. ¬†Prof. Howard is “being honored for his seminal contributions on the theory of fluvial erosion, sedimentation, and landscape evolution”. ¬†Established by Emily B. Warren in memory of her father, the award honors noteworthy and distinguished accomplishment to fluviatile morphology and closely related aspects of the geological sciences. [...]

    -- January 26, 2010 @ 1:17 pm