PTYS/LPL Faculty

Jon Pelletier
Jon Pelletier
Geosciences, Geography and regional development, Planetary sciences
Ph.D., 1997, Cornell

GS  360

Years with LPL:  1999 to present


Landforms on Earth's surface are sculpted by flowing water in the form of rivers and glaciers and by the wind and windborne particles. My work seeks to understand the intrinsic feedbacks between landforms on Earth's surface and the fluid flow above the surface which creates these self-organized patterns. I focus primarily on computer modeling and in the integration of model results with field and remote-sensing data. I have divided my research time roughly equally between fluvial geomorphology, tectonic geomorphology, hillslope/soil geomorphology, eolian geomorphology, and surface processes on Mars. I have also published a bit on Earth's climate system and ecosystem dynamics.

CV for Dr. Pelletier (PDF)


  • National Science Foundation Earth Surface Processes Program, Transformative Behavior of Water, Energy and Carbon in the Critical Zone: An Observatory to Quantify Linkages among Ecohydrology, Biogeochemistry, and Landscape Evolution (with 11 co-PIs), $4.3M over five years; 7/1/09-6/30/14.
  • ExxonMobil Corporation, Convergent Orogen Systems Analysis (COSA) (PI: Peter DeCelles, 7/1/07-present)


NASA ADS Author search: Jon D. Pelletier


Pelletier, J. D., Moores, J. E. Corrigendum to “Crack propagation by differential insolation on desert surface clasts” [Geomorphology 102 (2008) 472-481] 2014Geomo.219..200P

Crouvi, O., Polyakov, V. O., Pelletier, J. D., Rasmussen, C. Controls on slope-wash erosion rates in the Mojave Desert 2014ESuDD...2..535C

Niu, G.-Y., et al. Incipient subsurface heterogeneity and its effect on overland flow generation - insight from a modeling study of the first experiment at the Biosphere 2 Landscape Evolution Observatory 2014HESS...18.1873N

Pelletier, J. D. The linkage between hillslope vegetation changes and late-Quaternary fluvial-system aggradation in the Mojave Desert revisited 2014ESuDD...2..181P

Pelletier, J. D. Deviations from self-similarity in barchan form and flux: The case of the Salton Sea dunes, California 2013JGRF..118.2406P

McGuire, L. A., Pelletier, J. D. Relationships between debris fan morphology and flow rheology for wet and dry flows on Earth and Mars: A numerical modeling investigation 2013Geomo.197..145M

Engelder, T. M., Pelletier, J. D. Autogenic cycles of channelized fluvial and sheet flow and their potential role in driving long-runout gravel progradation in sedimentary basins 2013Lsphe...5..343E

Pelletier, J. D., et al. Coevolution of nonlinear trends in vegetation, soils, and topography with elevation and slope aspect: A case study in the sky islands of southern Arizona 2013JGRF..118..741P

McGuire, L. A., et al. Controls on the spacing and geometry of rill networks on hillslopes: Rain splash detachment, initial hillslope roughness, and the competition between fluvial and colluvial transport 2013JGRF..118..241M

Pelletier, J. D. A robust, two-parameter method for the extraction of drainage networks from high-resolution digital elevation models (DEMs): Evaluation using synthetic and real-world DEMs 2013WRR....49...75P

Fenton, C. R., Pelletier, J. D. Cosmogenic 3He age estimates of Plio-Pleistocene alluvial-fan surfaces in the Lower Colorado River Corridor, Arizona, USA 2013QuRes..79...86F

Pelletier, J. D., et al. How do vegetation bands form in dry lands? Insights from numerical modeling and field studies in southern Nevada, USA 2012JGRF..117.4026P

Pelletier, J. D. A spatially distributed model for the long-term suspended sediment discharge and delivery ratio of drainage basins 2012JGRF..11702028P

Pelletier, J. D., Perron, J. T. Analytic solution for the morphology of a soil-mantled valley undergoing steady headward growth: Validation using case studies in southeastern Arizona 2012JGRF..11702018P

Pelletier, J. D. Fluvial and slope-wash erosion of soil-mantled landscapes: detachment- or transport-limited? 2012ESPL...37...37P

Pelletier, J. D., Baker, V. R. The role of weathering in the formation of bedrock valleys on Earth and Mars: A numerical modeling investigation 2011JGRE..11611007P

Pelletier, J. D., et al. Calibration and testing of upland hillslope evolution models in a dated landscape: Banco Bonito, New Mexico 2011JGRF..11604004P

Rasmussen, C., et al., An open system framework for integrating critical zone structure and function, Biogeochemistry.

Pelletier, J.D., How do pediments form? A numerical modeling investigation with comparison to pediments in southern Arizona, USA, Geological Society of America Bulletin.

Pelletier, J. D. Minimizing the grid-resolution dependence of flow-routing algorithms for geomorphic applications 2010Geomo.122...91P

Kolb, K. J., McEwen, A. S., Pelletier, J. D. Investigating gully flow emplacement mechanisms using apex slopes 2010Icar..208..132K

Pelletier, J.D., Numerical modeling of the late Cenozoic geomorphic evolution of Grand Canyon, Arizona, Geological Society of America Bulletin, 122, 595-608, 2010.

Kolb, K. J., Pelletier, J. D., McEwen, A. S. Modeling the formation of bright slope deposits associated with gullies in Hale Crater, Mars: Implications for recent liquid water 2010Icar..205..113K

Pelletier, J. D., Comeau, D., Kargel, J. Controls of glacial valley spacing on earth and mars 2010Geomo.116..189P

Pelletier, J.D., P.G. DeCelles, and G. Zandt, Relationships among climate, erosion, topography, and delamination in the Andes: A numerical modeling investigation, Geology, 38, 259-262, 2010.

Pelletier, J. D., Rasmussen, C. Geomorphically based predictive mapping of soil thickness in upland watersheds 2009WRR....4509417P

Banks, M. E., et al. An analysis of sinuous ridges in the southern Argyre Planitia, Mars using HiRISE and CTX images and MOLA data 2009JGRE..11409003B

Pelletier, J. D., et al. The effects of interdune vegetation changes on eolian dune field evolution: a numerical-modeling case study at Jockey's Ridge, North Carolina, USA 2009ESPL...34.1245P

Pelletier, J.D., et al., Tectonic and structural control of fluvial channel morphology in metamorphic core complexes: The example of the Catalina-Rincon core complex, Arizona, Geosphere, 5, 363-384, 2009.

Pelletier, J.D., The impact of snowmelt on the late Cenozoic landscape of the southern Rocky Mountains, USA, GSA Today, 19(7), 4-10, 2009.

Pelletier, J.D., and C. Rasmussen, Quantifying the climatic and tectonic controls on hillslope steepness and erosion rates, Lithosphere, 1, 73-80, 2009.

Huxman, T., and 7 coauthors, The Hills are Alive: Interdisciplinary Earth science at Biosphere 2, EOS, 90, 120, 2009.

Pelletier, J. D. Controls on the height and spacing of eolian ripples and transverse dunes: A numerical modeling investigation 2009Geomo.105..322P

Banks, M. E., et al. High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) observations of glacial and periglacial morphologies in the circum-Argyre Planitia highlands, Mars 2008JGRE..11312015B

Murray, A. B., et al. Geomorphology, complexity, and the emerging science of the Earth's surface 2009Geomo.103..496M

Pelletier, J.D., A.L. Leier, and J.R. Steidtmann, Wind-driven reorganization of coarse clasts on the surface of Mars, Geology, 37, 55-58, 2009.

Moores, J. E., Pelletier, J. D., Smith, P. H. Crack propagation by differential insolation on desert surface clasts 2008Geomo.102..472M

Keating, G. N., et al. Evaluating suitability of a tephra dispersal model as part of a risk assessment framework 2008JVGR..177..397K

Blainey, J. B., Pelletier, J. D. Infiltration on alluvial fans in arid environments: Influence of fan morphology 2008JGRF..11303008B

Delong, S. B., Pelletier, J. D., Arnold, L. J. Climate change triggered sedimentation and progressive tectonic uplift in a coupled piedmont-axial system: Cuyama Valley, California, USA 2008ESPL...33.1033D

Pelletier, J.D., Research focus: Glacial erosion and mountain building, Geology, 36, 591-592, 2008.

Pelletier, J.D., et al., Recent gully deposits on Mars: Wet or dry flow?, Geology, 36, 211-214, 2008.

Pelletier, J. D., et al. Dispersion of channel-sediment contaminants in distributary fluvial systems: Application to fluvial tephra and radionuclide redistribution following a potential volcanic eruption at Yucca Mountain 2008Geomo..94..226P

Banks, M., and J.D. Pelletier, Numerical modeling of ice-cap geometry over cratered terrain: Application to the south polar region of Mars, Journal of Geophysical Research, 113, doi:10.1029/2007JE002895, 2008.

Pelletier, J. D. Fractal behavior in space and time in a simplified model of fluvial landform evolution 2007Geomo..91..291P

Pelletier, J. D., Cline, M., Delong, S. B. Desert pavement dynamics: numerical modeling and field-based calibration 2007ESPL...32.1913P

Pelletier, J.D., and M.L. Cline, Nonlinear slope-dependent transport in cinder cone evolution, Geology, 35, 1067, 2007.

Pelletier, J. D. Numerical modeling of the Cenozoic geomorphic evolution of the southern Sierra Nevada, California 2007E&PSL.259...85P

Cook, J. P., Pelletier, J. D. Relief threshold for eolian sand transport on alluvial fans 2007JGRF..11202026C

Pelletier, J. D. Cantor set model of eolian dust deposits on desert alluvial fan terraces 2007Geo....35..439P

DeLong, S.B., J.D. Pelletier, and L. Arnold, Bedrock landscape evolution modeling: Calibration using geochronology and DEM analysis, Geological Society of America Bulletin, 119, 157-173, 2007.

Pelletier, J. D. Erosion-rate determination from foreland basin geometry 2007Geo....35....5P

Barnes, J. B., et al. Eocene to recent variations in erosion across the central Andean fold-thrust belt, northern Bolivia: Implications for plateau evolution 2006E&PSL.248..118B

Barnes, J.B., and J.D. Pelletier, Latitudinal variation of denudation in the evolution of the Bolivian Andes, American Journal of Science, 306, 1-31, 2006.

Pelletier, J.D., Sensitivity of playa windblown-dust emissions to climatic and anthropogenic change, Journal of Arid Environments, 66, 62-75, 2006.

Pelletier, J. D., et al. Evolution of the Bonneville shoreline scarp in west-central Utah: Comparison of scarp-analysis methods and implications for the diffusion model of hillslope evolution 2006Geomo..74..257P

Pelletier, J. D., et al. Geomorphic control of radionuclide diffusion in desert soils 2005GeoRL..3223401P

Pelletier, J. D., Cook, J. P. Deposition of playa windblown dust over geologic time scales 2005Geo....33..909P

Pelletier, J.D., et al., An integrated approach to alluvial-fan flood hazard assessment with numerical modeling, field mapping, and remote sensing, Geological Society of America Bulletin, 117, 1167-1180, 2005.

Pelletier, J. D. Formation of oriented thaw lakes by thaw slumping 2005JGRF..11002018P

Kohfield, K.E., et al., Linking the scales of dust emissions: A workshop report, EOS, Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, 86, 113-114, 2005.

Leier, A.L, P.G. DeCelles, and J.D. Pelletier, Mountains, monsoons, and megafans, Geology, 33, 289-292, 2005.

Pelletier, J. D. Persistent drainage migration in a numerical landscape evolution model 2004GeoRL..3120501P

Pelletier, J. D. The influence of piedmont deposition on the time scale of mountain-belt denudation 2004GeoRL..3115502P

Pelletier, J.D., and S. DeLong, Oscillations in arid alluvial channels, Geology, 32, 713-716,

Hsu, L., Pelletier, J. D. Correlation and dating of Quaternary alluvial-fan surfaces using scarp diffusion 2004Geomo..60..319H

Pelletier, J. D. How do spiral troughs form on Mars? 2004Geo....32..365P

Pelletier, J. D. Estimate of three-dimensional flexural-isostatic response to unloading: Rock uplift due to late Cenozoic glacial erosion in the western United States 2004Geo....32..161P

Pelletier, J. Drainage basin evolution in the Rainfall Erosion Facility: dependence on initial conditions 2003Geomo..53..183P

Pelletier, J. D. Coherence resonance and ice ages 2003JGRD..108.4645P

Pelletier, J.D., Natural variability of atmospheric temperatures and geomagnetic intensity over a wide range of time scales, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the U.S.A., 99, 2546-2553, 2002.

Pelletier, J.D., Spring-block models of seismicity: Review and analysis of a structurally-heterogeneous model coupled to a viscous asthenosphere, Geophysical Monographs, 120, 27-42, 2000.

Pelletier, J.D., Are large complex ecosystems more unstable? A theoretical reassessment with predator switching, Mathematical Biosciences, 163, 91-96, 2000.

Pelletier, J.D., Model assessments of the optimal design of nature reserves for maximizing species longevity, Journal of Theoretical Biology, 202, 25-32, 2000.

Pelletier, J. D. Statistical self-similarity of magmatism and volcanism 1999JGR...10415425P

Pelletier, J.D., and D.L. Turcotte, Self-affine time series: II. Applications and models, Advances in Geophysics, 40, 91-166, 1999.

Pelletier, J. D. Self-organization and scaling relationships of evolving river networks 1999JGR...104.7359P

Pelletier, J.D., The species-area effect and self-affine dynamics in a biogeographical model of speciation and extinction, Physical Review Letters, 82, 1983-1987, 1999.

Pelletier, J.D., and D.L. Turcotte, Shapes of river networks and leaves: Are they statistically similar?, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society: Biological Sciences, 354, 1-5, 1999.

Pelletier, J.D., Paleointensity variations of Earth's magnetic field and their relationship with polarity reversals, Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors, 110, 115-128, 1999.

Turcotte, D.L., J.D. Pelletier, and W.I. Newman, Networks with side-branching in biology, Journal of Theoretical Biology, 193, 577-592, 1998.

Pelletier, J.D. and D.L. Turcotte, Application of a stochastic deposition and erosion model to reservoir heterogeneity and stratigraphic data, Numerical Experiments in Stratigraphy: Recent Advances in Stratigraphic/Sedimentologic Computer Simulation, SEPM Special Publications, 62, 253-264, 1998.

Pelletier, J. D. The power spectral density of atmospheric temperature from time scales of 10-2 to 106 yr 1998E&PSL.158..157P

Pelletier, J., Turcotte, D. Long-range persistence in climatological and hydrological time series: analysis, modeling and application to drought hazard assessment 1997JHyd..203..198P

Pelletier, J.D., et al., Scale-invariance of soil moisture variability and its implications for the frequency-size distribution of landslides, Engineering Geology, 48, 255-268, 1997.

Pelletier, J.D. and D.L. Turcotte, Synthetic stratigraphy with a stochastic diffusion model of sedimentation, Journal of Sedimentary Research, 67, 1060-1067, 1997.

Pelletier, J. D. Analysis and Modeling of the Natural Variability of Climate. 1997JCli...10.1331P

Pelletier, J. D. Kardar-Parisi-Zhang Scaling of the Height of the Convective Boundary Layer and Fractal Structure of Cumulus Cloud Fields 1997PhRvL..78.2672P

Pelletier, J.D. and D.L. Turcotte, Scale-invariant topography and porosity variations in fluvial sedimentary basins, Journal of Geophysical Research, 101, 28,165-28,175, 1996.

Pelletier, J. D., Turcotte, D. L. Scale-invariant topography and porosity variations in fluvial sedimentary basins 1996JGR...10128165P

Pelletier, J. D., Shapiro, M. H., Tombrello, T. A. Molecular dynamics simulations of low-energy cluster deposition on metallic targets 1992NIMPB..67..296P