Gary Weissmann
Associate Professor - Hydrogeology, Stratigraphy, Sedimentology

Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences
  MSC03 2040
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM  87131-0001

Phone:  505/ 277-3636
FAX:    505/ 277-8843
Email:'s an old photo of me and you can't see my face!
Preparing for field work outside of Albuquerque

Welcome to my website!  I've been at the University of New Mexico since August 2005, and I've been doing this work since 1999 having started my career in academics at Michigan State University.  Exploring this site you'll find information about my research and teaching along with links to collaborators and the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at UNM.

Generally, my research interests focus two areas: (1) development of fluvial depositional models in aggradational continental sedimentary basins and (2) development of stratigraphically-based models of alluvial aquifers.  For interpretation of fluvial systems, my students and I spend a lot of time interpreting satellite data from around the world, looking at active sedimentary basins and the form that rivers take in these basins. Along with colleagues at the University of Aberdeen, Royal Holloway in London, and here at UNM, we described fluvial form in 724 continental sedimentary basins and found that the fluvial depositional pattern is dominated by distributive fluvial systems (DFS). Check out our paper in Geology in the near future (accepted but not available as of 9/09). We also described 415 large DFS from around the world -- these are DFS > 30km long. These are described in a paper that will soon be published in the Journal of Sedimentary Research (accepted but not available as of 9/09).

In terms of groundwater hydrology, we are presently approaching characterizing fluvial aquifers in two ways -- outcrop analogs and interpretation of subsurface data. We use both of these data set types to construct of models of aquifer heterogeneity. For the outcrop work, we combine terrestrial lidar with high resolution photography to interpret and model facies distributions. This work is leading to a fundamental understanding of dispersion characteristics through fluvial aquifers. We're looking to answer questions such as what is the influence of cross-bedding scale heterogeneity on dispersion? Why is dispersion generally non-Fickian, and can we predict the non-Fickian parameters a priori? Is there directional anisotropy in the non-Fickian parameters?

I'm really curious about what's happening inside a fluvial stratigraphic unit and how that affects groundwater!!!  How are the channel sands interconnected?  What is the distribution of fine-grained overbank material?  Can we relate large-scale bounding surface character to long term controls on accommodation space?  What are the controls on accommodation and preservation in fluvial systems?  How can we best model the stratigraphic character for input into aquifer (or reservoir) studies?  How does the stratigraphic character affect groundwater flow and contaminant transport (or petroleum migration), and what sedimentologic scale is most important to contaminant transport studies?  How can we use the stratigraphic studies to improve aquifer characterization?  Both my research and teaching focus on these issues.  Check out these links to learn more!!!



I am constantly  updating this page (...well, maybe not constantly...but I try!). Last updated 9/17/09.  If you have suggestions or comments, please contact me at .

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