- Assistant Professor, Earth and Environmental Sciences
- Queens College
Landscapes are the skin of the Earth, the interface between solid Earth and atmosphere. As such, landscapes are the manifestation of the Earth’s coevolving internal, surface, and atmospheric processes and can be probed for the competing interactions between tectonics, rock types, climate, and geomorphic processes. Landscapes are also the tapestry over which the biota evolves and, as such, how landscapes change over time has many broadly impacting ramifications, from biodiversity to sustainability.
From mountains to lowlands, I apply cosmogenic nuclides to constrain modern and paleo-erosion rates, exposure and burial dating, simple numerical modeling of cosmogenic isotopes and landscape evolution. My research also draws on principles of process-geomorphology and a variety of techniques and tools, such as (i) geologic, stratigraphic, structural, and geomorphic mapping in the field, (ii) GIS, remote sensing, and scientific programming for advanced spatial and temporal analysis of topography, vegetation (i.e. vegetation cover and type), and climate (i.e. rainfall and storm frequency). I combine these tools and techniques in a holistic approach to investigate landscapes with the following overarching and shared goals:
- Constrain the partitioning between tectonics, rock type, and climate in controlling the evolution of topography both in active orogens and intraplate settings (i.e. sedimentary basins, cratons).
- Build records of past erosional fluxes adjacent to mountain ranges usingcosmogenic isotopes.
- Constrain transient and anomalous morphologies in landscapes through topographic analysis.
- Identify and understand the mechanistic relationships between landscape evolution and biodiversity.
- Infer likely triggers of landscape and biotic change based on my observations.
Recent publications (* denotes student authors):
Val, P. & Willenbring, JK, 2022. Across-strike asymmetry of the Andes orogen linked to the age and geometry of the Nazca plate. Geology, doi: 10.1130/G50545.1
*Fadul, C. M.; *Oliveira, P.; Val, P, 2022. Ongoing landscape transience in the Eastern Amazon Craton consistent with lithologic control of base level. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, doi: 10.1002/esp.5447
Schaefer, JM; Codilean, AT; Willenbring, JK; Lu, Z-T; Keisling, B; Fülöp, R-H; Val, P, 2022 Cosmogenic Nuclide Techniques, Nature Reviews Methods Primers, 2, 18, doi: 10.1038/s43586-022-00096-9
Hoorn, C; Boschman, LM; Kukla, T; Sciumbata, M; Val, P, 2022 The Miocene wetland of western Amazonia and its role in biogeography, Perspective Article, Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, doi: 10.1093/botlinnean/boab098
Val, P.; Lyons, N; Gasparini, N; Willenbring, J; Albert, J 2022 Landscape evolution as a diversification driver in freshwater fishes, Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 9, doi: 10.3389/fevo.2021.788328
Val, P.; Figueiredo, J; Melo, G; Flantua, SGA; Quesada CA; Fan, Y; Albert, JA; Guayasamin, JM; Hoorn, C, 2021 Chapter 1: Geology and geodiversity of the Amazon: Three billion years of history, In: Nobre C, Encalada A,… (Eds). Amazon Assessment Report 2021. United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, New York, USA. Available from theamazonwewant.org/spa-reports/. doi: 10.55161/POFE6241
- Queens College