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Roger D. Flood


Ph.D., 1978, Massachusetts Institute of Technology/ Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution


Marine geology, sediment dynamics, continental margin sedimentation

Research Interests

I am presently studying sedimentation processes and patterns in several marine and fresh water environments. I am particularly interested in the use of high-resolution methods, including geophysical techniques (side-scan sonar, seismic profiling, physical property analysis, and high-resolution bathymetry), photography, submersible studies and sediment analysis, to provide new insights into sedimentary processes. My current research includes sedimentation patterns in modern environments (including the Great Lakes, the Hudson River, and local estuaries), the structure and evolution of sedimentary bodies on the continental margin, and new methods of rapid sediment characterization.

Precise characterization of sedimentary environments is important for understanding marine and freshwater environmental problems. We have been using high-resolution geophysical techniques in studies of contamination problems in Lake Ontario (PCB resuspension and ship-derived wastes) and in the Hudson River (PCBs) as well as in benthic habitat surveys in Long Island’s Great South Bay (hard-clams). These studies, undertaken in multidisciplinary groups, provide new insights into long-standing management issues.

It is important to understand the structure and development of submarine fans and sediment drifts on the continental margin. Submarine fans contain much of the sediment eroded from continents during sea level lowstands and significant hydrocarbon reserves. A drilling program on the Amazon Fan in 1994 (ODP Leg 155) studied the sedimentary processes, facies, and climate records of this modern deposit. Sediment drifts on continental margins collect sediment transported to the site by bottom currents. High sedimentation rates result in expanded climate records, and bedforms created by flowing waters contain a record of those flows. ODP Leg 172 studied bed forms and climate records on the Blake Bahama Outer Ridge in early 1997.

Selected Publications

Flood, R.D. and Piper, D.J.W., 1997. Amazon deep-sea fan: relationship to equatorial climate change, continental denudation and sea-level fluctuations. In: Flood, R.D., Piper, D.J.W., Klaus, A. and Peterson, L.C. (eds), Proc. ODP, Sci. Results, 155: College Station, TX (Ocean Drilling Program).

Hawley, N., Wang, X., Brownawell, B. and Flood, R.D., 1996. Sediment resuspension in Lake Ontario during the unstratified period, 1992-1993. Journal of Great Lakes Research, 22: 707-721.

Ryan, W.B.F. and Flood, R.D., 1996. Side-looking sonar backscatter response at dual frequencies. Marine Geophysical Researches, 18: 689-705.

Stoll, R.D., Bautista, E. and Flood, R.D., 1994. New tools for the study of seafloor geotechnical and geoacoustical properties. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 92: 2937-2944.

Flood, R.D.; Shor, A.N.; Manley, P.L. Morphology of abyssal mud waves at Project MUDWAVES site in the Argentine Basin. Deep-Sea Research II, 40:859-888; 1993.

Flood, R.D.; Manley, P.L.; Kowsmann, R.O.; Appi, C.A.; Pirmez, C. Seismic facies and Late Quaternary growth of Amazon submarine fan. In: Weimer, P.; Link, M.H., eds.. Seismic Facies and Sedimentary Processes of Modern and Ancient Submarine Fans. New York: Springer-Verlag; pp: 415-433; 1991.

Flood, R.D. Submersible studies of current-modified bottom topography in Lake Superior. Journal of Great Lakes Research 15:3-14; 1989.

Flood, R.D. A lee-wave model for deep sea mud wave activity. Deep-Sea Research 35:975-983; 1988.

SoMAS 2016 Retrospective Banquet

Many thanks for those that joined us on December 14, 2016 for our Holiday Retrospective with great food and people. The highlight was when Santa arrived and the little ones all got a ride with him. A special thank you to those who helped organize the event including...

Update on the Old Inlet Breach and Great South Bay

As those who have ventured over to the Old Inlet breach recently have undoubtedly noted, there have been major changes in the breach over the past few months. Charles N. Flagg, Roger Flood, Robert Wilson and Claudia Hinrichs at the School of Marine and Atmospheric...

SoMAS Showcases Undergraduate Research at REU Summer Symposium

Friday, August 1st, SoMAS hosted a summer research symposium, showcasing the work of undergraduates who spent the summer working on research projects with SoMAS faculty mentors. Many of the students were part of the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)...

The New York Underwater Landscape

MSRC Professor Roger Flood headlined the first Geology Open Night of the spring semester last week with a talk on New York's underwater landscape. He highlighted research that he and his lab have conducted over the past five years that uses sound to map underwater...

MSRC Geologist on Two-Month Deep Sea Drilling Expedition

The Amazon Fan is not a Brazilian device to keep cool. It is a natural deep water geological formation that is built of a number of channels and their levees, much like the alluvial fans at the bases of eroding mountains. This submarine fan was formed from sediments...

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