• Contact Info
Publications in VIVO

Anderson, Suzanne Prestrud



Research Areas research areas


research overview

  • I am a geomorphologist focused on the interaction of chemical processes and physical erosion processes on the Earth’s surface. I study how rock breaks down to be released into mobile regolith (or soil) through physical stresses and chemical alteration. The architecture of weathered rock and soil layers at the surface reflects the history of rock emplacement, tectonic movements, attack by biologic systems (roots and microorganisms), water, and erosion processes. I study the effects of weathering, erosion processes, and specific erosional systems: e.g., weathered rock strength, water flow paths, rates of mobile regolith formation, rock chemical alteration, solute fluxes, fluvial systems, hillslope systems, glaciers, and permafrost. The goal is to develop models that describe interaction of erosion and weathering processes to form the architecture of the near-surface environments, also known as the critical zone and that affect global chemical cycles.


  • geomorphology, weathering, hydrology, geochemistry


selected publications


courses taught

  • GEOG 1011 - Environmental Systems: Landscapes and Water
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018
    Lect. and lab. Introduces landscapes and flowing water, emphasizing the formation and geographic distribution of mountains, volcanoes, valleys, and deserts, and their shaping by rivers and glaciers. Includes field trips.
  • GEOG 4241 - Principles of Geomorphology
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2020 / Spring 2021 / Spring 2024
    Studies weathering, mass-wasting, fluvial, wind, and marine processes and the resulting landforms. Same as GEOL 4241.
  • GEOG 4261 - Glaciers and Permafrost
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018
    Surveys the major terrestrial components of the cryosphere, including permafrost, glaciers and ice sheets. Emphasizes physical processes involving ice, including thermal behavior, ice deformation and mass balance, but also considers biogeochemical processes and landforms associated with ice. The climate context, including human interactions and recent climate history, will be considered. Taught in a combination lecture-seminar format. Recommended prerequisite: GEOG 4241.
  • GEOL 1010 - Exploring Earth
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2019 / Fall 2023
    Introductory geology for majors and non-majors. Studies Earth, its materials, its characteristics, its dynamic processes, and how it relates to people. Separate lab (GEOL 1030) is recommended. Degree credit not granted for both GEOL 1010 and GEOL 1012.
  • GEOL 1170 - Our Deadly Planet
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2022 / Spring 2023
    This course investigates those events so dramatic and catastrophic that they have left evidence in the geologic record that suggest they significantly impacted life on the planet. These include. but are not limited to, violent volcanic eruptions, mega-earthquakes and associated tsunamis, landslides and sector collapse on volcanoes, megafloods, rapid climatic change, superstorms, and impacts from asteroids and comets. The intent is to use examples from recent events and processes to frame and interpret evidence for these types of events observed in the rock record.
  • GEOL 3090 - Developing Scientific Writing Skills
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2020
    Focuses on the development of scientific writing skills. Enhances student ability to write professionally, revise text and review the work of others. Writing assignments integrate the subject matter of different topics in earth science. Department enforced prerequisites: a lower division writing course and two of the following: GEOL 2001 or GEOL 2005 or GEOL 2700 or GEOL 3010 or GEOL 3030 or GEOL 3120 or GEOL 3320 or GEOL 3430 or GEOL 3820.
  • GEOL 4241 - Principles of Geomorphology
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2020 / Spring 2021 / Spring 2022 / Spring 2024
    Studies weathering, mass-wasting, fluvial, wind, and marine processes and the resulting landforms. Same as GEOG 4241.
  • GEOL 5700 - Geological Topics Seminar
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2023
    Offers seminar studies in geological subjects of special current interest. Primarily for graduate students, as departmental staff and facilities permit. May be repeated up to 15 total credit hours provided that topics vary.
  • GEOL 5702 - Geomorphology Seminar
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2024
    Explores the dynamics and forms of the earth's surface through critical reading and discussion of both classical and modern literature. May be repeated up to 10 total credit hours.
  • GEOL 6950 - Master's Thesis
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2020 / Spring 2021 / Summer 2021 / Fall 2023 / Spring 2024
    May be repeated up to 6 total credit hours.


International Activities

Other Profiles