Grant A. Meyer

Ph.D., University of New Mexico, 1993. (Professor)
(505) 277-5834, Northrop Hall, Rm. 214. Email:

Research and Academic Interests:

GEOMORPHOLOGY: My research broadly covers hillslopes, fluvial systems and the linkages between them.  I am also strongly interested in how climate influences geomorphic processes over historic, Holocene, and Quaternary timescales, and interactions between geomorphic and ecological systems.

Research questions my students and I address include:

  • How effective are forest fires in promoting geomorphic change in mountain landscapes, and what relationships exist between fire, climate and erosion over Holocene timescales?
  • How do climatic and tectonic factors and human activity control fluvial systems?  What can fluvial terraces tell us about past and present environmental change?
  • How do tributaries influence process and form in mainstem streams, and what controls sediment storage and connectivity in hillslope, alluvial fan, and fluvial systems? 
  • What are the effects of beaver activity on fluvial systems, and how do fluvial processes control beaver habitation and damming effects?
  • How do hillslope weathering and erosional processes control slope form in arid and semi-arid landscapes?
  • What are the impacts of large to extreme floods on fluvial systems, and what determines the geomorphic effectiveness of floods? 
  • How do floods influence the transport and distribution of contaminated sediments (e.g. mine tailings) in fluvial systems?

I also have interests in late Pleistocene mountain glaciation and equilibrium line altitudes in New Mexico and the western USA.

Link to My Personal Page:

Prospective graduate students and others can find links to the publications below and additional information on my personal web page (currently under construction).

Listing of Recent Publications:

  • Meyer, G.A. and Frechette, J.D. (2010) The Holocene record of fire and erosion in the southern Sacramento Mountains and its relation to climate: New Mexico Geology 32(1), p. 19-21, in press.
  • Lanza, N.L., Meyer, G.A., Okubo, C., Newsom, H.E., and Wiens, R.C. (2010) Evidence for debris flow and shallow subsurface flow on Mars: Icarus 205, 103–112.
  • Frechette, J.D. and Meyer, G.A. (2009) Holocene fire-related alluvial-fan deposition and climate in ponderosa pine and mixed-conifer forests, Sacramento Mountains, New Mexico: The Holocene 19(4), p. 639-651, doi: 10.1177/0959683609104031. [ PDF ]
  • Persico, L.P., and Meyer, G.A. (2009) Holocene beaver damming, fluvial geomorphology, and climate in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming: Quaternary Research 71, 340–353, doi:10.1016/j.yqres.2008.09.007
  • Burnett, B.N., Meyer, G.A., and McFadden, L.D. (2008), Aspect controls on hillslope geomorphology and implications for slope evolution, northeastern Arizona: Journal of Geophysical Research – Earth Surface 113, F03002, doi:10.1029/2007JF000789. [ PDF ]
  • Pierce, J.L., and Meyer, G.A. (2008), Late Holocene records of fire in alluvial fan sediments:  fire-climate relationships and implications for management of Rocky Mountain forests: International Journal of Wildland Fire v. 17, p. 84-95.
  • Amerson, B.E., Montgomery, D.R. and Meyer, G.A. (2008), Relative size of fluvial and glaciated valleys in central Idaho: Geomorphology v. 93, p. 537–547. [ PDF ]
  • Pierce, J.L., Meyer, G.A., and Jull, A.J.T. (2004), Fire-induced erosion and millennial-scale climate change in northern ponderosa pine forests: Nature, v. 432, p. 87-90. [ PDF ]
  • Meyer, G.A., Fawcett, P.F., and Locke, W.W. (2004) Late-Pleistocene equilibrium-line altitudes, atmospheric circulation, and timing of mountain glacier advances in the interior northwestern United States, in Haller, K., and Wood, S.H., eds., Geological Field Trips in Southern Idaho, Eastern Oregon, and Northern Nevada: Geological Society of America Field Guide, p. 61-66. [ PDF ]
  • Meyer, G.A. (2004), Yellowstone fires and the physical landscape, Ch. 3 in Wallace, L.L., ed., After The Fires: The Ecology of Change in Yellowstone National Park: New Haven, Yale University Press, p. 29-51.
  • Pierce, K.L., Despain, D., Whitlock, C., Cannon, K.P., Meyer, G., Morgan, L., and Licciardi, J., (2003) Quaternary geology and ecology of the greater Yellowstone area: in Easterbrook, D.J., ed., Quaternary Geology of the United States, INQUA 2003 Field Guide Volume, Desert Research Institute, Reno, NV p. 313–344. [ PDF ]
  • Meyer, G.A., and Pierce, J.L., 2003, Climatic controls on fire-induced sediment pulses in Yellowstone National Park and Central Idaho: a long-term perspective: Forest Ecology and Management, v. 178, p. 89-104.
  • Pierce, K.L., Cannon, K.P., Meyer, G.A., Trebesch, M.J., and Watts, R. (2002) Post-glacial inflation-deflation cycles, tilting, and faulting in the Yellowstone caldera based on Yellowstone Lake shorelines: U.S. Geological Survey Open-file Report 02-0142, 62 p. [ PDF ]
  • Meyer, G.A., Pierce, J.L., Wood, S.H., and Jull, A.J.T., 2001,  Fires, storms, and sediment yield in the Idaho batholith: Hydrological Processes, v. 15, p. 3025-3038.
  • Meyer, G.A., 2001,  Recent large-magnitude floods and their impact on valley-floor environments of northeastern Yellowstone: Geomorphology, v. 40, p. 271-290.
  • Marcus, W.A., Meyer, G.A., Nimmo, D.R., 2001,  Geomorphic control of persistent mine impacts in a Yellowstone Park stream and implications for the recovery of fluvial systems: Geology, v. 29, no. 4, p. 355-358. [ PDF ]
  • Meyer, G.A., and Leidecker, M.E., 1999,  Fluvial terraces along the Middle Fork Salmon River, Idaho, and their relation to glaciation, landslide dams, and incision rates: A preliminary analysis and river-mile guide, in Hughes, S.S., and Thackray, G.D., eds., Guidebook to the Geology of Eastern Idaho: Pocatello, Idaho Museum of Natural History, p. 219-235. [ PDF ]
  • Meyer, G.A., and Wells, S.G., 1997,  Fire-related sedimentation events on alluvial fans, Yellowstone National Park, U.S.A.: Journal of Sedimentary Research, v. A67, p. 776-791.
  • Meyer, G.A., editor, 1995, Late Pleistocene–Holocene evolution of the northeastern Yellowstone landscape: Friends of the Pleistocene, Rocky Mountain Cell, Field Conference Guidebook, 55 p. [ PDF ]
  • Meyer, G.A., Wells, S.G., and Jull, A.J.T., 1995,  Fire and alluvial chronology in Yellowstone National Park: Climatic and intrinsic controls on Holocene geomorphic processes: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 107, p. 1211-1230.  (1997 GSA Kirk Bryan Award recipient) [ PDF ]
  • Locke, W.W., and Meyer, G.A., 1994,  A 12,000-year record of vertical deformation across the Yellowstone caldera margin: The shorelines of Yellowstone Lake: Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 99, n. B10, p. 20,079-20,094.
  • Meyer, G.A., Wells, S.G., Balling, R.C., Jr., and Jull, A.J.T., 1992,  Response of alluvial systems to fire and climate change in Yellowstone National Park: Nature, v. 357, p. 147-150. [ PDF ]
  • Locke, W.W., Meyer, G.A., and Pings, J.C., 1992,  Morphology of a post-glacial fault scarp across the Yellowstone (Wyoming) caldera margin and its implications: Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, v. 82(1), p. 511-516. [ PDF ]
  • Balling, R.C., Jr., Meyer, G.A., and Wells, S.G., 1992,  Climate change in Yellowstone National Park: Is the drought-related risk of wildfires increasing?: Climatic Change, v. 22, p. 34-35. [ PDF ]


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