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Roger Flood

Research Professor



- Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Research Topics:

Marine geology, sediment dynamics, continental margin sedimentation


  • Bio/Research


    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.

  • 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.

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