Lewis A. Owen
Professor, Department Head, Quaternary geology, geomorphology and geochronology
Geology - Tenure-Track Faculty
500B Geology-Physics Building
B.Sc., Imperial College of Science and Technology, University of London, London, England, 1985 (Geology).
PhD, University of Leicester, United Kingdom, 1988 (Geomorphology).
My research focuses on the Quaternary geology and geomorphology of tectonically active mountain belts and their forelands. I am particularly concerned with quantifying the timing, and rates and magnitudes of landscape evolution in these regions to understand the dynamics and interactions between tectonics, Earth surfaces processes and climate. This involves remote sensing, field mapping, geomorphic and sedimentological analysis of landforms, and geochronology. I have concentrated my efforts in two major geographic-tectonic regions: the Himalayan-Tibetan orogen; and the Cordilleras of North and South America. These regions provide two of the best natural laboratories for understanding the dynamics of and the interaction between geomorphic, tectonic and climatic processes along active plate margins. I have also undertaken research in other tectonically active regions, including: the Red Sea margin in Yemen; and the Atlas and Anti-Atlas Mountains of Morocco. Ultimately, these studies provide analogs for understanding and modeling the evolution of ancient mountains. Currently, I direct two laboratories, one for optically stimulated luminescence dating and the other for terrestrial cosmogenic nuclides.