University of Colorado at Boulder

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Suzanne Anderson

Geomorphology; Weathering; Hydrology; Glaciology

Associate Professor of Geography 

Physical Geography
Fellow of INSTAAR
Faculty of Hydrologic Sciences
303-735-0951 Gugg 203  |  303-492-7071 INSTAAR RL1 249  
Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, 1995

Research Interests

Her research explores the interaction of physical and chemical processes that shape landscapes and drive geochemical cycles. She has particular interests in glacial erosion and geochemistry, and has worked on ice dynamics, hydrology and geochemical processes of several Alaskan glaciers. She currently heads the Boulder Creek Critical Zone Observatory, one of three National Science Foundation-funded environmental observatories dedicated to interdisciplinary study of the Critical Zone, the life-sustaining interface at the Earth's surface where rock meets air and water.

Selected Publications

Anderson, RS, Anderson, SP, and Tucker, GE . (2013). Rock damage and regolith transport by frost: An example of climate modulation of critical zone geomorphology. . Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 38: 299-316. doi:10.1002/esp.3330

Anderson, SP, Anderson, RS, and Tucker, GE . (2012). Landscape scale linkages in critical zone evolution. Comptes rendus- Geoscience 344: 586-596. doi:10.1016/j.crte.2012.10.008

Hinckley, E.-L., Ebel, B.A., Barnes, R.T., Anderson, R.S., Williams, M.W., and Anderson, S.P. (2012). Aspect control of water movement on hillslopes near the rain-snow transition of the Colorado Front Range, U.S.A. Hydrological Processes. doi:10.1002/hyp.9549

Frederick, ZA, Anderson, SP, and Striegl, R. (2011). Annual estimates of water and solute export from 42 tributaries to the Yukon River. Hydrological Processes. 10.1002/hyp.8255

Riggins, SG, Anderson, RS, Anderson, SP, and Tye, AM. (2011). Solving a conundrum of a steady-state hillslope with variable soil depths and production rates, Bodmin Moor, UK. Geomorphology, 128: 73-84.

Publications updated May 2013

Labs & Facilities

CU Mountain Research Station

The Mountain Research Station (MRS), directed by Bill Bowman, is an interdisciplinary research facility of the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, University of Colorado, devoted to advancement...

Recent Courses Include

Spring 2014  GEOG 1011 (4) Env Systems 2 - Landscapes and Water

Spring 2014  GEOG 5241 (1) Topics in Physical Geog: The Critical Zone of Earth

Fall 2013  GEOG 4241 (4) Principles of Geomorphology

Graduate Students

Small-scale hydrologic systems; water chemistry
M.A. Alumni
Subsurface Evolution: Characterizing the physical and geochemical changes in weathered bedrock of Lower Gordon Gulch, Boulder Creek Critical Zone Observatory
Ph.D. Alumni
The production and evolution of mobile regolith: Modeled soil production and measured chemical weathering

What's New

Boulder Creek CZO is ramping up its activities, with work by the team of 15 faculty and senior scientists and numerous graduate students and technicians underway on the following topics: long-time scale geomorphic evolution of the watershed, glacial retreat history in the headwaters, geochemical characterization of soils and weathered rock, stream dissolved organic matter characterization, controls on the invasive diatom Didymosphenia geminata, microbe-mineral interactions, snowpack observations, surface water-groundwater interactions, and geophysical surveying of subsurface structure. In summer 2009, we hope to undertake our first deep coring and well-drilling in the CZO, an activity that should provide insight in the groundwater flow system, as well as provide samples of the full weathered rock profile, and ground truth for geophysical surveys. A group of students in the Keck Geology Consortium undergraduate research program will join us in July for a month. NSF Earth Sciences Post-doctoral Fellows Becca Barnes and Eve-Lyn Hinckley have joined the Boulder Creek CZO team. Barnes is studying in-stream processing of nitrogen, and Hinckley is studying nitrogen dynamics and hydrology of hillslopes.

"What's New" updated February 2009