Jon D. Pelletier
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. Selected publications are listed below.
Pictures of my daughter Sophia, son Gabriel, and my 1971 Airstream.
Williams, Z., J.D. Pelletier, and T. Meixner, Self-affine fractal spatial and temporal variability of the San Pedro River, southern Arizona, Journal of Geophysical Research, Earth Surface, 124(6), 1540-1558, doi: 10.1029/2018JF004853.
Chang, L.-L., Dwivedi, R., Knowles, J. F., Fang, Y.-H., Niu, G.-Y., Pelletier, J. D., et al. (2018). Why do large-scale land surface models produce a low ratio of transpiration to evapotranspiration? Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 123. doi: 10.1029/2018JD029159
Shephard, C., J.D. Pelletier, M. Schaap, and C. Rasmussen (2018), Signatures of obliquity and eccentricity in soil chronosequences, Geophysical Research Letters, 45(20), 11,147-11,153, doi: 10.1029/2018GL078583
Perdrial, J., P. Brooks, T. Swetnam, K. Lohse, C. Rasmussen, M. Litvak, A. Harpold, X. Zapata-Rios, P. Broxton, B. Mitra, T. Meixner, K. Condon, D. Huckle, C. Stielstra, A. Vazquez-Ortega, R. Lybrand, M. Holleran, C. Orem, J.D. Pelletier, and J. Chorover (2018), A net ecosystem carbon budget for snow dominated forested headwater catchments: linking water and carbon fluxes to critical zone carbon storage, Biochemistry, 138(3), 225-243, doi: 10.1007/s10533-018-0440-3.
Luo, W., T.D. Smith, K. Whalley, A. Darling, C. Ormand, W. C. Hung, J. L. Chiang, J.D. Pelletier K. Duffin, Earth surface modeling for education: How effective is it? Four semesters of classroom tests with WILSIM‐GC, British J. Educ. Tech., doi: 10.1111/bjet.12653
Field, J.P., J.D. Pelletier (2018), Controls on the aerodynamic roughness length and the grain-size dependence of aeolian sediment transport, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 43(12), 2616-2626, doi: 10.1002/esp.4420.
Pelletier, J.D., P.A. Kapp, J. Abell, J.P. Field, Z.C. Williams, R.J. Dorsey (2018), Controls on yardang development and morphology I. Field observations and measurements at Ocotillo Wells, California, Journal of Geophysical Research, Earth Surface, 123(4), 694-722, doi: 10.1002/2017JF004461
Pelletier, J.D., G.A. Barron-Gafford, H. Guttierez-Jurado, E.S. Hinckley, E. Istanbulluoglu, L.A. McGuire, G.-Y. Niu, M.J. Poulos, C. Rasmussen, P. Richardson, T.L. Swetnam, G.E. Tucker (2018), Which way do you lean? Using slope aspect variations to understand Critical Zone processes and feedbacks, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 43(5), 1133-1154, doi:10.1002/esp.4306.
Campisano, C.J., A.S. Cohen, J.R. Arrowsmith, A. Asrat, A.K. Behrensmeyer, E.T. Brown, A.L. Deino, D.M. Deocampo, C.S. Feibel, J.D. Kingston, H.F. Lamb, T.K. Lowenstein, A. Noren, D.O. Olago, R.B. Owen, J.D. Pelletier, R. Potts, K.E. Reed, R.W. Renaut, J.M. Russell, J.L., F. Schabitz, J.R. Stone, M.H. Trauth, and J.G. Wynn (2017), The Hominin Sites and Paleolakes Drilling Project: High-resolution paleoclimate records from the East African rift system and their implications for understanding the environmental context of hominin evolution, PaleoAnthropology, 1-43, doi:10.4207/PA.2017.ABS15.
McIntosh, J.C., C. Schaumberg, J. Perdrial, A. Harpold, A. Vázquez-Ortega, C. Rasmussen, D. Vinson, X. Zapata-Rios, P.D. Brooks, T. Meixner, J.D. Pelletier, L. Derry, J. Chorover (2017), Geochemical evolution of the Critical Zone across variable time scales informs concentration-discharge relationships: Jemez River Basin Critical Zone Observatory, Water Resources Research, 53, doi:10.1002/2016WR019712.
Rasmussen, C., L.A. McGuire, P. Dhakal, and J.D. Pelletier (2017), Coevolution of soil and topography across a semiarid cinder cone chronosequence, Catena, 156, 338–352, doi: 10.1016/j.catena.2017.04.025.
Shepard, C., M.G., Schaap, J.D. Pelletier, and C. Rasmussen (2017), A probabilistic approach to quantifying soil property change through time integration of energy and mass input, Soil, doi:10.5194/soil-2016-63.
Pelletier, J. D., and Swetnam, T. L. (2017) Asymmetry of weathering-limited hillslopes: The importance of diurnal covariation in solar insolation and temperature, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, doi:10.1002/esp.4136.
Norman, L.M., J.B. Sankey, D. Dean, J. Caster, S. DeLong, W. DeLong, and J.D. Pelletier (2017), Quantifying geomorphic change at ephemeral stream restoration sites using a coupled-model approach, Geomorphology, 283, 1–16, doi:10.1016/j.geomorph.2017.01.017.
Trostle, K.D., J.R. Runyon, M.A. Pohlmann, S.E. Redfield, J.D. Pelletier, J. McIntosh, and J. Chorover (2016), Colloids and organic matter complexation control trace metal concentration-discharge relationships in Marshall Gulch stream waters, Water Resources Research, 52, 7931–7944, doi:10.1002/2016WR019072.
Olyphant, J., J.D. Pelletier, and R. Johnson (2016), Topographic correlations with soil and regolith thickness from shallow-seismic refraction constraints across upland hillslopes in the Valles Caldera, New Mexico. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 41, 1684–1696, doi: 10.1002/esp.3941.
Pelletier, J.D., P.D. Broxton, P. Hazenberg, X. Zeng, P.A. Troch, G.-Y. Niu, Z. Williams, M.A. Brunke, and D. Gochis (2016), A gridded global data set of soil, immobile regolith, and sedimentary deposit thicknesses for regional and global land surface modeling, Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, 8, 41–65, doi:10.1002/2015MS000526.
Pelletier, J.D. and J.P. Field (2016), Predicting the roughness length of turbulent flows over landscapes with multi-scale microtopography, Earth Surface Dynamics, 4, 391–405, doi:10.5194/esurf-4-391-2016.
Orem, C.A., and J.D. Pelletier (2016), The predominance of post-wildfire erosion in the long-term denudation of the Valles Caldera, New Mexico, Journal of Geophysical Research Earth Surface, 121, 843–864, doi:10.1002/2015JF003663.
Pelletier, J.D., M.H. Nichols, and M.A. Nearing (2016), The influence of Holocene vegetation changes on topography and erosion rates: a case study at Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed, Arizona, Earth Surface Dynamics, 4, 471–488, doi:10.5194/esurf-4-471-2016.
Orem, C.A. and J.D. Pelletier (2016), Constraining frequency–magnitude–area relationships for rainfall and flood discharges using radar-derived precipitation estimates: Example applications in the Upper and Lower Colorado River basins, USA, Hydrology and Earth System Science, 20, 4483–4501, doi:10.5194/hess-20-4483-2016.
Luo, W., J.D. Pelletier, K. Duffin, C. Ormand, W. Hung, D.J. Shernoff, X. Zhai, E. Iverson, K. Whalley, C. Gallaher, and W. Furness (2016), Advantages of simulation models in enhancing students’ learning about landform evolution: A case study using the Grand Canyon, Journal of Research in Science Teaching, Journal of Geoscience Education, 64, 60–73, doi:10.5408/15-080.1.
Pelletier, J.D. (2015), Controls on the large-scale spatial variations of dune-field properties in the barchanoid portion of White Sands dune field, New Mexico, Journal of Geophysical Research Earth Surface, 120, 453–473. doi: 10.1002/2014JF003314.
Hazenberg, P., Y. Fang, P. Broxton, D. Gochis, G.-Y. Niu, J. D. Pelletier, P. A. Troch, and X. Zeng (2015), A hybrid-3D hillslope hydrological model for use in Earth system models, Water Resources Research, 51, 8218–8239, doi:10.1002/2014WR016842.
Pelletier, J.D., D.J. Sherman, J.T. Ellis, E.J. Farrell, N.L. Jackson, B. Li, K.F. Nordstrom, L.P. Maia and M. Omidyaganeh (2015), Dynamics of sediment storage and release on dune slip faces: A field study in Jericoacoara, Brazil, Journal of Geophysical Research Earth Surface, 120, 1911–1934, doi:10.1002/2015JF003636.
Rasmussen, C., J.D. Pelletier, P.A. Troch, T.L. Swetnam, and J. Chorover (2015), Quantifying topographic and vegetation effects on the transfer of energy and mass to the Critical Zone, Vadose Zone Journal, 14, doi:10.2136/vzj2014.07.0102.
Field, J.P., D.D. Breshears, D.J. Law, J.C. Villegas, L. López-Hoffman, P.D. Brooks, J. Chorover, G.A. Barron-Gafford, R.E. Gallery, M.E. Litvak, R.A. Lybrand, J.C. McIntosh, Thomas Meixner, Guo-Yue Niu, S.A. Papuga, J.D. Pelletier, C.R. Rasmussen, and P.A. Troch (2015), Critical zone services: Expanding context, constraints, and currency beyond ecosystem services, Vadose Zone Journal, doi:10.2136/vzj2014.10.0142.
Vázquez-Ortega, A., J. Perdrial, A. Harpold, X. Zapata, C. Rasmussen, J. McIntosh, M. Schaap, J.D. Pelletier, P.D. Brooks, M.K. Amistadi, and J. Chorover (2015), Rare Earth elements as reactive tracers of biogeochemical weathering in forested rhyolitic terrain, Chemical Geology, 391, 19–32, doi:10.1016/j.chemgeo.2014.10.016.
Pelletier, J.D., A.B. Murray, J.L. Pierce, P.R. Bierman, D.D. Breshears, B.T. Crosby, M. Ellis, E. Foufoula-Georgiou, A.M. Heimsath, C. Houser, N. Lancaster, M. Marani, D.J. Merritts, L.J. Moore, J.L. Pederson, M.J. Poulos, T.M. Rittenour, J.C. Rowland, P. Ruggiero, D.J. Ward, K.X. Whipple, A.D. Wickert, E.M. Yager (2015), Forecasting the response of Earth’s surface to future climatic and land-use changes: An assessment, Earth's Future, 3, 220–251, doi:10.1002/2014EF000290.
Kapp, P., A. Pullen, J.D. Pelletier, J. Russell, and C. Fulong (2015), From dust to dust: Quaternary wind erosion of the Mu Us Desert and Loess Plateau, China, Geology, 43, 835–838, doi: 10.1130/G36724.1.
Pangle, L.A., S.B. DeLong, N. Abramson, J. Adams, G.A. Barron-Gafford, D.D. Breshears,, P.D. Brooks, J. Chorover, W.E. Dietrich, K. Dontsova, M. Durcik, J. Espeleta, T.P.A. Ferre, R. Ferriere, W. Henderson, E.A. Hunt, T.E. Huxman, D. Millar, B. Murphy, G.-Y. Niu, M. Pavao-Zuckerman, J.D. Pelletier, C. Rasmussen, J. Ruiz, S. Saleska, M. Schaap, M. Sibayan, P.A. Troch, M. Tuller, J. van Haren, X. Zeng, The Landscape Evolution Observatory: large-scale controllable infrastructures to study coupled Earth-surface processes, Geomorphology, 244, 190–203, doi:10.1016/j.geomorph.2015.01.020.
Orem, C.A., and J.D. Pelletier (2015), Quantifying the time scale of elevated geomorphic response following wildfires using multi-temporal LiDAR data: An example from the Las Conchas fire, Jemez Mountains, New Mexico, Geomorphology, 232, 224–238 doi: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2015.01.006.
Hayakawa, Y.S., T. Oguchi, H. Saito, A. Kobayashi, V.R. Baker, J.D. Pelletier, L.A. McGuire, G. Komatsu, and K. Goto (2015), Geomorphic imprints of repeated tsunami waves in a coastal valley in northeastern Japan, Geomorphology, 242, 3–10, doi: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2015.02.034.
Engelder, T.M., and J.D. Pelletier (2015), Simulating foreland basin response to mountain belt kinematics and climate change in the Eastern Cordillera and Subandes: An analysis of the Chaco foreland basin in southern Bolivia, in DeCelles, P.G., Ducea, M.N., Carrapa, B., and Kapp, P.A., eds., Geodynamics of a Cordilleran Orogenic System: The Central Andes of Argentina and Northern Chile: Geological Society of America Memoir 212, pp. 337–357, doi:10.1130/2015.1212(17).
Crouvi, O., V.O. Polyakov, J.D. Pelletier, and C. Rasmussen (2015), Decadal-scale soil redistribution along hillslopes in the Mojave Desert, Earth Surface Dynamics, 3, 251–264, doi:10.5194/esurf-3-251-2015.
Pelletier, J.D., and D.J. Jerolmack (2014), Multi-scale bedform interactions and their implications for the abruptness and stability of the downwind dune-field margin at White Sands, New Mexico, U.S.A., Journal of Geophysical Research Earth Surface, 119, 2396–2411, doi:10.1002/2014JF003210.
Gevaert, A.I., A.J. Teuling, R. Uijlenhoet, S.B. DeLong, T.E. Huxman, L. Pangle, J. Chorover, J.D. Pelletier, S.R. Saleska, X. Zeng, and P.A. Troch (2014), Hillslope experiment demonstrates role of convergence during two-step saturation, Hydrology and Earth System Science, 18, 1-12, doi:10.5194/hessd-18-1-2014.
McGuire, L.A., J.D. Pelletier, and J.J. Roering (2014), Development of topographic asymmetry: Insights from dated cinder cones in the western United States, Journal of Geophysical Research Earth Surface, 119, 1725–1750, doi:10.1002/2014JF003081.
Pelletier, J.D. (2014), The linkages among hillslope-vegetation changes, elevation, and the timing of late-Quaternary fluvial-system aggradation in the Mojave Desert revisited, Earth Surface Dynamics, 2, 455-468, doi:10.5194/esurf-2-455-2014.
Pelletier, J.D., and C.A. Orem (2014), How do sediment yields from post-wildfire debris-laden flows depend on terrain slope, soil burn severity class, and drainage basin area? Insights from airborne-lidar change detection, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 39, 1822–1832, doi:10.1002/esp.3570.
Niu, G.-Y., P.A. Troch, C. Paniconi, R.L. Scott, M. Durcik, X. Zeng, T. Huxman, D. Goodrich, and J.D. Pelletier (2014), An integrated modelling framework of catchment-scale ecohydrological processes: 2. The role of water subsidy by overland flow on vegetation dynamics in a semi-arid catchment, Ecohydrology, 7, 815–827, doi: 10.1002/eco.1405.
Komatsu, G., Goto, K., Baker, V.R., Oguchi, T., Yuichi S. Hayakawa, Y.S., Hitoshi Saito, H., Jon D. Pelletier, J.D., McGuire, L., and Iijima, Y., Effects of tsunami wave erosion on natural landscapes: Examples from the 2011 Tohoku-oki Tsunami, in Kontar, Y., Santiago-Fandiño, V., and Takahashi, T., editors, Tsunami Events and Lessons Learned; Environmental and Societal Significance. Springer, Heidelberg, p. 243-253, 2013.
McGuire, L.A., J.D. Pelletier, Relationships between debris fan morphology and flow rheology for wet and dry flows on Earth and Mars: A numerical modeling investigation, Geomorphology, 197, 145–155, 2013.
Engelder, T., and J.D. Pelletier, Autogenic cycles of channelized fluvial and sheet flow and their potential role in driving long-runout gravel progradation in sedimentary basins, Lithosphere, 5, 343–354, doi:10.1130/L274.1, 2013.
McGuire, L.A., J.D. Pelletier, J.A. Gomez, and M.A. Nearing, 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, Journal of Geophysical Research, 118, doi:10.1002/jgrf.20028, 2013.
Pelletier, J.D., Barron-Gafford, G.A., Breshears, D.D., Brooks, P.D., Chorover, J., Durcik, M., Harman, C.J., Huxman, T.E., Lohse, K.A., Lybrand, R., Meixner, T., McIntosh, J.C., Papuga, S.A., Rasmussen, C., Schaap, M., Swetnam, T.L., and Troch, P.A., Coevolution of nonlinear trends in vegetation, soils, and topography with elevation and slope aspect: A case study in the sky islands of southern Arizona, Journal of Geophysical Research – Earth Surface, 118, doi:10.1029/2012JF002569, 2013.
Pelletier, J.D., A robust, two-parameter method for the extraction of drainage networks from high-resolution Digital Elevation Models (DEMs): Evaluation and comparison to alternative methods using synthetic and real-world DEMs, Water Resources Research, 49, doi:10.1029/2012WR012452, 2013.
Pelletier, J.D., S.B. DeLong, C.A. Orem, P. Becerra, K. Compton, K. Gressett, J. Lyons-Baral, L.A. McGuire, J. Molaro, and J. Spinler, How do vegetation bands form in drylands? Insights from numerical modeling and field studies in southern Nevada, U.S.A., Journal of Geophysical Research, 117, F04026, doi:10.1029/2012JF002465, 2012.
Pelletier, J.D., A spatially-distributed model for the long-term suspended sediment discharge and delivery ratio of drainage basins, Journal of Geophysical Research, 117, F02028, doi:10.1029/2011JF002129, 2012.
Pelletier, J.D., and J.T. Perron, Analytic solution for the morphology of a soil-mantled valley undergoing steady headward growth: Validation using case studies in southeastern Arizona, Journal of Geophysical Research, 117, F02018, doi:10.1029/2011JF002281, 2012.
Pelletier, J. D., and V. R. Baker, The role of weathering in the formation of bedrock valleys on Earth and Mars: A numerical modeling investigation, Journal of Geophysical Research, 116, E11007, doi:10.1029/2011JE003821, 2011.
Pelletier, J. D., L.A. McGuire, J.L. Ash, T.M. Engelder, L.E. Hill, K.W. Leroy, C.A. Orem, W.S. Rosenthal, M.A. Trees, C. Rasmussen, and J. Chorover, Calibration and testing of upland hillslope evolution models in a dated landscape: Banco Bonito, New Mexico, Journal of Geophysical Research, 116, F04004, doi:10.1029/2011JF001976, 2011.
Pelletier, J.D., J. Quade, R.J. Goble, and M.S. Aldenderfer, Widespread hillslope gullying on the southeastern Tibetan Plateau: Human or climate-change induced? Geological Society of America Bulletin, 123, 1926-1938, 2011.
Kapp, P., J.D. Pelletier, A Rohrmann, R. Heermance, and J. Russell, Wind erosion in the Qaidam Basin, central Asia: Implications for tectonics, paleoclimate, and the source of the Loess Plateau, GSA Today, 21, 4-10, 2011.
Kolb, K.J., J.D. Pelletier, and A.S. McEwen, Modeling the formation of bright slope deposits associated with gullies in Hale Crater, Mars: Implications for recent liquid water, Icarus, 205, 113-137, 2010.
Banks, M., and seven coauthors, An Analysis of Sinuous Ridges in the Southern Argyre Planitia, Mars using HiRISE and CTX Images and MOLA Data, Journal of Geophysical Research, 114, E09003, doi:10.1029/2008JE003244, 2009.
Pelletier, J.D., H. Mitasova, R.S. Harmon, and M. Overton, The effects of interdune vegetation changes on eolian dune field evolution: A numerical-modeling case study at Jockey’s Ridge, North Carolina, USA, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 34, 1245-1254, 2009.
Pelletier, J.D., Engelder, T.M., Comeau, D., Hudson, A., Leclerc, M., Youberg, A., and S. Diniega, 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.
Banks, M., and ten coauthors, HiRISE Observations of Glacial and Periglacial Morphologies in the Circum-Argyre Planitia Highlands, Mars, Journal of Geophysical Research, 113, E12015, doi:10.1029/2007JE002994, 2009.
Keating, G., J.D. Pelletier, G. Valentine, and W. Statham, Evaluating Suitability of a Tephra Dispersal Model as Part of a Risk Assessment Framework, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 177, 397-404, 2008.
DeLong, S.B., J.D. Pelletier, and L.J. Arnold, Climate-change-triggered sedimentation and progressive tectonic uplift in a coupled piedmont-axial system: Cuyama Valley, California, USA, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 33, 1033-1046, 2008.
Pelletier, J.D., M.L. Cline, S.B. DeLong, C.D. Harrington, and G.N. Keating, Dispersion of channel-sediment contaminants in fluvial systems: Application to tephra redistribution following a potential volcanic eruption at Yucca Mountain, Geomorphology, 94, 226-246, 2008.
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.
Barnes, J.B., T.A. Ehlers, N. MacQuarrie, P.B. Sullivan, and J.D. Pelletier, Eocene to recent variations in erosion across the central Andean fold-thrust belt, northern Bolivia: Implications for plateau evolution, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 248, 118-133, 2006.
Pelletier, J.D., S. DeLong, A.H. Al Suwaidi, M.L. Cline, Y. Lewis, J.L. Psillas, and B. Yanites, Evolution of the Bonneville shoreline scarp in west-central Utah: Comparison of scarp-analysis methods and implications for the diffusion model of hillslope evolution, Geomorphology, 74, 257-270, 2006.
Pelletier, J.D., C.D. Harrington, J.W. Whitney, M.L. Cline, S.B. DeLong, K.T. Ebert, Geomorphic control of radionuclide diffusion in desert soils, Geophysical Research Letters, 32, L23401, doi:10:1029/2005GL024347, 2005.
Pelletier, J.D., L. Mayer, P.A. Pearthree, P.K. House, J. Klawon, K. Demsey, and K.R. Vincent, 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. 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. and D.L. Turcotte, Long-range persistence in climatological and hydrological time series: analysis, modeling, and application to drought hazard assessment, Journal of Hydrology, 203, 198-208, 1997.
Pelletier, J.D., B.D. Malamud, T. Blodgett, and D.L. Turcotte, 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., M.H. Shapiro, and T.A. Tombrello, Molecular dynamics simulations of low-energy cluster deposition on metallic targets, Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B, 67, 296-300, 1992.