Frank Pazzaglia

Research Interests: 

  • Geology
  • Geomorphology
  • Active Tectonics
Pennsylvania State University (B. S., Ph. D.), University of New Mexico (M. S.), Yale University (Post-Doc)
EES 016 - Geology of War; EES 115 - Sed/Strat/Surficial Processes; EES 341 - Field Camp; EES 411 - Physical and Chemical Earth Surface Processes; EES 412 - Tectonic Geomorphology

Panorama of the Early to Middle Pleistocene stratigraphy exposed along the Enza River, northern Apennines, Italy.  These beds represent a complex depositional history that has recorded tectonic and climatic forcings, and autogenic processes.


Research Interests
I am a field-oriented geomorphologist interested in long-term landscape evolution and specifically how tectonic processes are encoded in deposits and landforms.  I have long-standing research also interests in the Appalachians, the Rockies, and Apennines, and new, emerging interests in central Asia, specifically Mongolia.  We have learned much about tectonic processes at plate boundaries in the past several decades, but there is much to still learn and understand regarding the tectonic, isostatic, and dynamic processes that shape continental interiors.  In learning how to read those processes we are ever mindful of of how deposits and landforms are a complex reflection of not only tectonic, but also climatic and internal, autogenic mechanisms.  My core data sets are geologic maps, river terraces and related geomorphic markers, sedimentary petrography, thermochronology, and high-resolution stratigraphic sequences that contain rock-magnetic, mineralogic, and soil-stratigraphic proxies of environmental change.  I have excellent working relationships with a number of geochronology labs, and my students frequently develop projects that afford them the opportunity to integrate Terrestrial Cosmogenic Nuclide (TCN) and Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) into ther research.  

Watergaps of the Susquehanna River at Harrisburg, PA.  

To learn more about ongoing and future projects, as well as student opportunities, please visit my home page here.

Collaborators at Lehigh and Beyond
I have been very fortunate to have formed several long-standing research relationships with colleagues at Lehigh and internationally.

Claudi Berti, Tectonic Geomorphology everywhere it can be found.
David Anastasio and Ken Kodama, Tectonics and rock-mag cyclostratigraphy in Italy, Spain, eastern U.S.
Peter Zeitler and Anne Meltzer, Active tectonics and exhumation in the Appalachians and Mongolia.
Steve Peters, Soils and CZO research in the mid-Atlanitc region.
Don Morris, Fluvial geomorphology, hydrology, and aquatic ecology in the mid-Atlantic region.
Vincenzo Picotti (ETH) Italian Geology and Geoorphology.
Sean Willett (ETH), Geomorphology and Geodynamics
Mark Brandon (Yale), Geology, Geomorphology, Tectonics in Cascadia, Italy, Crete.
Tammy Rittenour (USU), OSL geochronology, Appalachians and Italy
Nicole Gasparini (Tulane), Landscape evolution modeling and active tectonics, Sicily.
Mark Carter (USGS), Central Virginia Seismic Zone and Appalachian Geology





Selected Publications: 

Fluvial Terraces

Pazzaglia, F. J.
Treatise on Geomorphology, 2nd edition, Volume 6

Geomorphology, active tectonics, and landscape evolution in the mid-Atlantic region, in Brezinski, D. K., Halka, J. P., and Ortt, R. A., Jr., eds., Tripping from the Fall Line: Field Excursions for the GSA Annual Meeting, Baltimore, 2015

Pazzaglia, F.J., Carter, M., Berti, C., Counts, R., Hancock, G., Harbor, D., Harrison, R., Heller, M., Mahan, S., Malenda, H., Mckeon, R., Nelson, M., Prince, P., Rittenour, T., Spotila, J., and Whittecar, R.
Geological Society of America Field Guide 40, p. 109-169, doi:10.1130/2015.0040(06).

Treatise on Geomorphology

Pazzaglia F.J., 2013, Fluvial Terraces, in, John F. Shroder (Editor-in-chief), Wohl, E. (Volume Editor)
Vol 9, Fluvial Geomorphology, San Diego: Academic Press, p. 379-412