McMicken College of Arts & SciencesMcMicken College of Arts & SciencesUniversity of Cincinnati

McMicken College of Arts & Sciences

Department of Geology

Department of Geology

Faculty, Staff and Students

< Back to list

Thomas V Lowell

Title: Professor, Glacial Geology
Office: 604 Geology-Physics Building
Tel: 513-556-4165
Email: thomas.lowell@uc.edu

Education

  • Ph.D., State University of New York at Buffalo, 1987 (Geology).
  • M.S., University of Maine at Orono, 1980 (Geology).
  • B.S., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute , 1976 (Geology).

Research Information

Research Interests

My research goal is to understand the pattern of past climate changes and their causes. Of particular interest are the so-called Abrupt Climate Changes that are yet unexplained but indicate that the climate system has very sensitive tipping points. My contribution is to test various hypothesis that attempt to explain these by mapping the spatial and temporal distribution of climate changes recorded in the response of glacial systems.

Toward this end I conduct field work (listed south to north) Cordillera Darwin, Chile; South Patagonia Icefield, and Lake District of Chile; Nevado Sajama, Bolivia; Quelccaya Ice Cap, Peru; Ohio; Michigan; Minnesota; South Dakota; North Dakota; Montana; Alberta; Ontario; Quebec; Alaska; and Scoresby Sund Greenland. In all cases we reconstruct the glacial history using various techniques including: geomorphic mapping; stratigraphic analysis, radiocarbon dating, and lake coring.

Research Support

  • Collaborative Research: Testing Mechanisms for Holocene Climate Change in the Southern Tropical and Mid-Latitude Andes, National Science Foundation. $207,614. 2010 to 2013.
  • Collaborative Research: Sensitivity of local ice caps in central East Greenland to Holocene climate change, National Science Foundation. $201,310. 2009 to 2012. Status: Active.
  • Collaborative Research: Glacial Lake Ojibway Chronology to test the 8,200 yr cold-Event Trigger, National Science Foundation. $186,442. 2007.
  • Laurentide Ice Sheet activity during the Mystery Interval, Comer Science And Education Foundation . $25,000. 2007.
  • Thunder Bay -Timing of the first meltwater drainage eastward into the Lake Superior basin, Comer Science And Education Foundation . $17,000. 2007.
  • Collaborative Research: Deglaciation Chronology of the Des Moines Lobe – , National Science Foundation. $29,974. 2006.
  • The Role of glacial Lake Agassiz in Abrupt Climate Change, Comer Science And Education Foundation. $130,000. 2005.
  • Quelccaya Ice Cap: Late Glacial and Holocene Extent and implications for Tropical Climate, Bucher Travel Award, Department of Geology, University of Cincinnati. $3,000. 2005.
  • Assessing a Possible Cause of Abrupt Climate Change: Timing of Glacial Lake Agassiz Drainage, Comer Science and Education Foundation. $130,040. 2004.
  • Testing of Abrupt Climate Change with Geological Data, Comer Science and Education Foundation. $50,000. 2003.
  • Surficial mapping of the New Moorfield and South Vienna Quadrangles, United States Geological Survey. $9,000. 2000.
  • Enhanced radiocarbon chronology from Ohio: A Northern Hemisphere glacial geologic test of alternate glacial climate hypothesis, NSF. $149,997. 1992.
  • (PI), Lowell, Thomas; Owen, Lewis, Deglaciation Chronology of the Des Moines Lobe, National Science Foundation. (EAR-0544822), $29,974.00. 08/01/2006 to 07/31/2007. Status: Closed.
  • (PI), Lowell, Thomas, Assessing a Possible Change of Abrupt Climate Change: Timing of Glacial Lake Agassiz Drainage, Comer Science & Education Foundation. (OSP04139), $130,040.00. 01/01/2004 to 08/31/2006. Status: Closed.
  • (PI), Lowell, Thomas, The Role of Glacial Lake Agassiz in Abrupt Climate Change, Comer Science & Education Foundation. (21(a)(2)), $130,000.00. 01/01/2005 to 08/01/2007. Status: Closed.
  • (PI), Lowell, Thomas, Testing of Abrupt Climate Change with Geological Data, Comer Science & Education Foundation. (NCE), $50,000.00. 06/03/2003 to 04/01/2005. Status: Closed.
  • (PI), Lowell, Thomas, Surficial Mapping of the Bellefontaine and DeGraff Quadrangels, Ohio, U.S. Geological Survey. (00HQAG0040), $3,500.00. 06/01/2000 to 05/31/2001. Status: Closed.
  • (PI), Lowell, Thomas, Surfical Mapping of the New Moorefield and South Vienna, Ohio Quadrangles, U.S. Geological Survey. (NCE), $9,000.00. 06/01/2001 to 12/31/2002. Status: Closed.
  • (PI), Lowell, Thomas, Surficial and Subsurface Mapping Shandon and Harrison 7.5o Quadrangles, Hamilton and Butler Counties, Ohio, U.S. Geological Survey. (98HQAG2098), $6,500.00. 06/01/1998 to 12/31/1999. Status: Closed.
  • (PI), Lowell, Thomas, Laurentide Ice Sheet (Western Sector) Activity During the Mystery Interval, Comer Science & Education Foundation. (CP28), $25,000.00. 03/14/2007 to 03/17/2008. Status: Closed.
  • (PI), Lowell, Thomas, Collaborative Research: Glacial Lake Ojibway Chronology to Test the 8200 Year Cold-Event Trigger, National Science Foundation. (EAR 0643144), $186,442.00. 07/01/2007 to 06/30/2011. Status: Active.
  • (PI), Lowell, Thomas, Timing of the First Meltwater Drainage Eastward into the Lake Superior Basin, Comer Science & Education Foundation. (SRS 005115-001), $17,431.00. 07/26/2007 to 07/25/2008. Status: Closed.
  • (PI), Lowell, Thomas, Collaborative Research: Sensitivity of Local Glaciers in Central East Greenland to Holocene Climate Change, National Science Foundation. (ARC-0909285), $201,310.00. 08/01/2009 to 07/31/2012. Status: Closed.
  • (PI), Lowell, Thomas, Collaborative Research: Testing Mechanisms for Holocene Climate Change in the Southern Tropical and Mid-Latitude Andes, National Science Foundation. (EAR-1003072), $207,614.00. 10/01/2010 to 09/30/2013. Status: Active.

Publications

Peer Reviewed Publications

  • Wiles, G.C., Barclay, D.J., Calking, P.E., and Lowell, T.V., 2008, Century to millennial-scale temperature variations for the last two thousand years indicated from glacial geologic records of Southern Alaska: Global and Planetary Change, no. 60, p. 115-125.
  • Lepper, K., Fisher, T.G., Hadjas, I., and Lowell, T.V., 2007, Ages for the Big Stone Moraine and the oldest beaches of Glacial Lake Agassiz: Implications for deglacial chronology: Geology, no. 35, p. 667-670.
  • Derouin, S.A., Lowell, T.V., and Hadjas, I., 2007, Evolution and deglaciation of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan: An examination of chronology and stratigraphy in kettle lake cores: Journal of Great Lakes Research, v. 33, no. 4, p. 875-886.
  • Lutz, B., Wiles, G.C., Lowell, T.V., and Michaels, J., 2007, The 8200 abrupt climate change in Brown’s Lake, Northeast Ohio: Quaternary Research, v. 67, p. 292-296.
  • Fisher, T.G., Lowell, T.V., 2006, Questioning the age of the Moorhead Phase in the glacial Lake Agassiz basin: Quaternary Science Reviews, v. 21-22, p. 2688-2691.
  • Schaefer, J., Denton, G.H., Barrell, D., Ivy-Ochs, S., Kubik, P.W., Anderson, B.G., Phillips, F., M., and Lowell, T.V., and Schlüchter, C., 2006, Near-Synchronous Interhemispheric termination of the Last Glacial Maximum in Mind-Latitudes, Mid-latitude moraines reveal near-synchronous interhemispheric termination of the Last Glacial Maximum: Science, no. 312, p. 1510-1513.
  • Lowell, T.V., and Fisher, T.G., 2006, Reply to comment on Testing the Lake Agassiz meltwater trigger for the Younger Dryas, by E. Steig: Eos, v. 87, p. 132.
  • Fisher, T.G., Lowell, T.V., Loope, H.M., 2006, Comment on “Alternative routing of Lake Agassiz overflow during the Younger Dryas: New dates, paleotopography, and a re-evaluations” by Teller et al. 2005: Quaternary Science Reviews, no. 25, p. 1137-1141.
  • Lowell, T.V., Fisher, T.G., Comer, G.C., Hajdas, I., Waterson, N., Glover, K., Loope, H.M., Schaefer, J.M., Rinterknecht, V., Broecker, W., Denton, G.H., and Teller, J.T., 2005, Testing the Lake Agassiz meltwater trigger for the Younger Dryas: Eos, v. 86, p. 365-373.
  • Lowell, TV., Schoenenberger, K., Deddens, J.A., Denton, G.H., Smith, C. Black, J., and Hendy, C.H., 2005, Rhizocarpon calibration curve for the Aoraki/ Mount Cook area of New Zealand: Journal of Quaternary Science, v. 20, p. 313-325.
  • Vandergoes, M.J., Newnham, R.M., Preusser, F., Hendy, C.H., Lowell, T.V., Fitzsimons, S.J., Hogg, A.G., Kasper, H.U., Schluchter, C., 2005, Regional Insolation forcing of late Quaternary climate change in the Southern Hemisphere: Nature, no. 436, p. 242-245.
  • Borns, H.W. Jr., Doner, L.A., Dorion, C.C., Jacobson, G.L., Kaplan, M.E., Kreutz, K.J., Lowell, T.V., Thompson, W.B., and Weddle T.K., 2004, The Deglaciation of Maine, in Ehlers J., and Gibbard, P.L., eds, Quaternary Glaciations- Extent and Chronology, Amsterdam, Elsevier: Developments in Quaternary Science, v. 2b, p. 89-109.
  • Hulbe, C. L., MacAyeal, D. R., Denton, G. H., Kleman, J., Lowell, T. V., 2004, Catastrophic ice shelf breakup as the source of Heinrich event icebergs: Paleoceanography, no. 19, p. PA1004, doi:10.1029/2003PA000890.

Books

  • Gilman, R., Chapman, C.A., Lowell, T.V., and Borns, H.W., Jr., 1989, The geology of Mount Desert Island: A visitor's guide to the geology of Acadia National Park: Maine Geological Survey, Bulletin 38.

Other Publications

  • Lowell, T.V., 1996, Open File Map 96-5: Surficial Geology of the Southwest Harbor Quadrangle MaineMaine Geological Survey.
  • Maynard, J.B., Lowell, T.V., and Nash, D.B., 2004, Geological and geochemical appraisal of the Shaker Creek Aquifer in the vicinity of the Mason OH wellfieldGreater Cincinnati Water Works.

In Press

  • Yu, Shi-Yong, Colman, Steven M, Lowell, Thomas V, Milne, Glenn A, Fisher, Timothy G, Breckenridge, Andy, Boyd, Matthew, & Teller, James T (2010). Freshwater outburst from Lake Superior as a trigger for the cold event 9300 years ago. Science (New York, N.Y.), 328(5983), 1262-6.
  • Lowell, Thomas V, & Kelly, Meredith A (2008). Climate. Was the Younger Dryas global?. Science (New York, N.Y.), 321(5887), 348-9.
  • Applegate, Patrick J, Lowell, Thomas V, & Alley, Richard B (2008). Comment on "Absence of cooling in New Zealand and the adjacent ocean during the Younger Dryas chronozone." Science (New York, N.Y.), 320(5877), 746; author reply 74.
  • Schaefer, Joerg M, Denton, George H, Barrell, David J A, Ivy-Ochs, Susan, Kubik, Peter W, Andersen, Bjorn G, Phillips, Fred M, Lowell, Thomas V, & Schlüchter, Christian (2006). Near-synchronous interhemispheric termination of the last glacial maximum in mid-latitudes. Science (New York, N.Y.), 312(5779), 1510-3.
  • Vandergoes, Marcus J, Newnham, Rewi M, Preusser, Frank, Hendy, Chris H, Lowell, Thomas V, Fitzsimons, Sean J, Hogg, Alan G, Kasper, Haino Uwe, & Schlüchter, Christian (2005). Regional insolation forcing of late Quaternary climate change in the Southern Hemisphere. Nature, 436(7048), 242-5.
  • Moreno, P I, Jacobson, G L, Lowell, T V, & Denton, G H (2001). Interhemispheric climate links revealed by late-glacial cooling episode in southern Chile. Nature, 409(6822), 804-8.
  • Lowell, T V (2000). As climate changes, so do glaciers. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 97(4), 1351-4.
  • Lowell, T V, Heusser, C J, Andersen, B G, Moreno, P I, Hauser, A, Heusser, L E, Schlüchter, C, Marchant, D R, & Denton, G H (1995). Interhemispheric correlation of late pleistocene glacial events. Science (New York, N.Y.), 269(5230), 1541-9.

Published Abstract

  • Kelly, M.A., Lowell, T.V., Schaefer, J.M., Schwartz, R., Migro, P., Denton, G.H., and Alley, R.B., 2006, 10BE Dates Moraines in East Greenland Suggest that the Little Ice Age Mountain Glacier Advance was the Most Extensive Glacial Advance During the Holocene Epoch: GSA, v. 38, no. 7, p. 265.
  • Milawski, J.E., Densramis, N.C., McFaddin, J., Michaels, J.A., Redder, M., Lowell, T.V., and Huff, W.D., 2006, Sedimentary Processes Associated with Deglaciation Near Sioux Pond Lookout, Northwest Ontario: GSA, v. 38, no. 7, p. 70.
  • Smith, C.A., Lowell, T.V., 2006, Evidence of Chanes in Glacial Thermal Regime: a Test Case from Nevado Sajama, Bolivia: GSA, v. 38, no. 7, p. 60.
  • Loope, H.M., Fisher, T.G., Lowell, T.V., and Hajdas. I., 2006, Glaciolacustrine Sedimentation and Chronology of the Western Thunder Bay Lowland, Northwest Ontario: GSA, v. 38, no. 7, p. 73.
  • Fisher, T.G. and Lowell, T.V., 2006, Revisiting the Age of the Moorhead Phase of Glacial Lake Agassiz: GSA, v. 38, no. 7, p. 72.
  • Breckenridge, A., Lowell, T.V., Fisher, T.G., 2006, A revised stratigraphy from Fenton Lake, Ontario: evidence for northern drainage of Lake Superior prior to 9, 000 cal BP (8.1 14C ka): 10th International Paleolimnology Symposium, Duluth, MN.
  • Zavar, E., Wiles, G.C., Taggart, D., Michaels, J.A., and Lowell, T.V., 2006, Alluvial Records of Environmental Change from Mid to Late Holocene, Northeast Ohio: GSA, v. 38, no. 4, p. 65.
  • Johnson, P.E., Wiles, G.C., Lowell, T.V., Santos, J., Sobral da Cunha, L. J., and Rochette, A., 2006, Reconstructing Little Ice Age Glacial Histories for Cresent and Amherst Glaciers, College Fiord, Southern Alaska: GSA, v. 38, no. 4, p. 25.
  • Lutz, B.D., Wiles, G., Lowell, T.V., and Michaels, J., 2006, The 8K Event in Northeast Ohio.: GSA, v. 38, no. 4, p. 26.
  • Stewart, A.K. and Lowell, T.V., 2006, Testing the Effectiveness of Glacier Erosion by Channel Analyses: Northeastern Ohio, USA: GSA, v. 38, no. 4, p. 69.
  • Derouin, S.A., Lowell, T.V., Hadjas, I., 2006, Bracketing the chronology of ice sheet advance/retreat using radiocarbon analysis of kettle lake cores, Upper Peninsula of Michigan: GSA, v. 38, no. 4, p. 4.
  • Waterson, N. Lowell, T.V., Fisher, T.G., Hajdas, I., 2006, The minimum problem in dating deglaciation: A strategy from the Fort McMurray area Alberta: GSA, v. 38, no. 4, p. 58.
  • Lowell, T.V., 2006, Two Glacial Signatures: In or Out: GSA, v. 38, no. 4, p. 57.
  • Fisher, T.G., Lowell, T.V., 2006, When was the Moorhead low-water phase of glacial Lake Agassiz?: GSA, v. 38, no. 4, p. 57.
  • Loope, H.M., Fisher, T.G., Lowell. T.V. Hajdas, I., 2006, Glaciological and chronological constraints of Laurentide ice sheet occupation of the superior basin during the Younger Dryas: GSA, v. 38, no. 4, p. 57.
  • Lowell, T.V., Fisher, T.G., Hajdas, I., 2005, Revised Deglacial Chronology of the Laurentide Ice Sheet and Implications for Catastrophic Meltwater Discharge as Triggers for Abrupt Climate Change: Annual Meeting of American Geophysical Union, San Francisco, CA.
  • Fisher, T.G., Lowell, T.V., 2005, Testing the Agassiz meltwater trigger for the Younger Dryas cold period: Gary Comer Abrupt Climate Change Roundtable Conference, IBM Palisades, NY.
  • Waterson, N.J., Lowell, T.V., Fisher, T.G., Loope, H., Hadjas, I., 2005, The deglaciation chronology of the Fort McMurray area, Alberta: implications for meltwater drainage: GSA, v. 37, no. 7, p. 542.
  • Pritchard, K.L. and Lowell, T.V., 2005, Relationships And Patterns Of Channel Formation During Deglaciation Of The Miami Lobe, Near Piqua, Ohio: GSA, v. 37, no. 5, p. 8.
  • Goetz, S., J, T., Ham, N., Kinnicutt, P., Kincaire, K., Lowell, T, V., and Derouin, S., 2005, Late-Glacial And Post-Glacial Landscape Evolution Of Beaver Island, Michigan: GSA, v. 37, no. 5, p. 82.
  • Fisher, T.G., Lowell, T.V., Glover, K., and Hajdas, I., 2005, A Later Deglacation Of Northwestern Ontario: Implications For Eastern Lake Agassiz Drainage: GSA, v. 37, no. 5, p. 21.
  • Fisher, T.G., Lowell, T.V., Loope, H.M., Henry, T., 2005, Deglaciation in northwestern Ontario: implications for the beginning of the Moorhead Phase of glacial Lake Agassiz: GSA, v. 37, no. 7, p. 542.
  • Kelly, M.A., Hall, B.L., Lowell, T.V., Schaefer, J.M., Denton, G.H., and Broecker, W.S., 2005, A Chronology of Mountain Glaciation and Associated Paleotemperature Records from the Scoresby Sund Region, East Greenland: GSA, v. 37, no. 7, p. 40.
  • Lowell, T.V., Fisher, T.G., 2005, What if we had looked from space first? Using SRTM DEM data to generate alternative hypothesis for deglaciation of the Laurentide Ice Sheet: Canadian Quaternary Association Biennial Meeting, Winnipeg, Manitoba, p. A52.
  • Fisher, T.G., Lowell, T.V., Glover, K. and Hajdas I., 2005, A new deglacial chronology for the area west of Thunder Bay, Ontario, and its implications for a Moorhead phase eastern outlet of glacial Lake Agassiz: Canadian Quaternary Association Biennial Meeting, Winnipeg, Manitoba, p. A27.
  • Waterson, N.J., Lowell, T.V., Fisher, T.G., Glover, K., Hajdas, I., ETH, Z., 2005, The Deglaciation And Holocene Development Of The Fort Mcmurray Area, Alberta: GSA, v. 37, no. 5, p. 9.
  • Derouin, S.A., and Lowell, T.V., 2005, Chronology Of Glacial Retreat In The Upper Peninsula Of Michigan From Kettle Lake Cores: GSA, v. 37, no. 5, p. 63.
  • Michaels, J.A., Zavar, E.M., Trenton, A.M., Wiles, G.C, and Lowell, T.V., 2004, Post Glacial Environmental History From Lakes, Bogs And Alluvial Fans, Northeast Ohio: GSA, v. 36, no. 5, p. 70.
  • Licht, K.J., Sembach, J., Jordan, B., and Lowell, T.V., 2005, Preliminary Analysis Of Paleoenvironmental Records From Two Ne Indiana Wetlands Since The Lgm: GSA, v. 36, no. 5, p. 531.
  • Glover, K.C., Lowell, T.V., Pair, D., and Wiles, G., 2005, Deglaciation And Post-Glacial Climate Change In A Regional Network Of Sites, Ohio And Eastern Indiana: GSA, v. 36, no. 5, p. 249.
  • Fisher, T.G., Lowell, T.V., Glover, K.C., and Hajdas, I., 2005, Deglaciation West Of Thunder Bay, Ontario: A Conundrum For Eastern Lake Agassiz Drainage: GSA Abstracts with Programs, v. 37, no. 1, p. 5.
  • Rinterknecht, V.R., Schaefer, J.M., Lowell, T.V., Denton, G.H., Teller, J.T., Broecker, W.S., Fisher, T.G., and Kubik, P.W., 2004, Cosmogenic Dating Evidence for the Routing of Lake Agassiz Overflow During the Younger Dryas: American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA.
  • Lowell, T.V., Fisher, T.G., Waterson, N.J., and Glover, K. C., 2004, Deglaciation Of The Fort Mcmurray, Alberta, Area: Is It Later Than We Think?: GSA, v. 36, no. 5, p. 498.
  • Hamilton, R., Goetz, S.L., Hamm, N.R., and Lowell, T.V., 2004, Channel Development of Superglacial Streams in Clean Ice: Implications for Understanding Bedrock-Channel Formation: GSA, v. 36, no. 3, p. 10.
  • Davis, T., Denner, J., Goetz, S.L., Hamm, N.R., and Lowell, T.V., 2004, Sediment Storage in an Ice-Marginal Lake, Matanuska Glacier, Alaska: GSA, v. 36, no. 3, p. 11.
  • Lowell, T.V., 2003, Response of New Zealand glaciers to the climate events of the Little Ice Age: A Templet for Older Climate Changes?: GSA, v. 35, no. 6, p. 480.
  • Stewart, A.K. and Lowell, T.V., 2003, Asymmetries in the Miami-Scioto interlobate area, West-Central, Ohio, United States: GSA, v. 35, no. 6, p. 425.
  • Beckwith-Laube, M., Kennedy, M., Wiles, G., Calking, P., and Lowell, T.V., 2003, Late Holocene Glacial Stratigraphy of Columbia Bay Alaska: Extending the Record: GSA, v. 35, no. 6, p. 424.
  • McArthur, K., Leondard, E.M., Fricke, H., and Lowell, T.V., 2003, Glacial-Interglacial Environmental Change as Inferred from Organic Content and Carbon Isotope Analysis of Peat, Brewster Bog, Ohio: GSA, v. 35, no. 6, p. 210.
  • Glover, K., Lowell, T.V., Pair, D., and Wiles, G.C., 2003, Last Termination: A Network of Paleocbasins Dating to C. 16, 000 14C yr: XVI INQUA congress, p. 165.
  • Szabo, J.P. Lowell, T.V., Pair, D., and Wiles, G.C., 2003, Studies on the Stratigraphy of Glacial Deposits and rates of retreat of Wisconsinan ice: XVI INQUA Congress, p. 73.
  • Glover, K.C., and Lowell, T.V., 2003, Paleoclimate Reconstruction of the Last Termination from a Bog Sequence, Champaign Co., Ohio: Third International Limnogeology Congress Abstract Volume, p. 105.
  • Glover, K.C., and Lowell, T.V., 2003, Paleoclimate Reconstruction of the Late Termination, Campaign Co. Ohio: GSA, v. 34, p. 504.
  • Lowell, T.V., Pair, D., and Wiles, G.C., 2003, Preliminary Radiocarbon retreat chronology of the Erie Lobe: It might mean this: North-Central Section, GSA, Kansas City, Missouri.

Experience & Service

Work Experience

  • 1986 to 1992, Assistant Professor, University of Cincinnati.
  • 1992 to 2000, Associate Professor, University of Cincinnati.
  • 2000 to Present, Professor, University of Cincinnati.