Jeffrey A. Nittrouer

Assistant Professor in Earth Science

image of Dr. Jeffrey A. Nittrouer
  • 2010-2012 Post-doctoral research fellow, Department of Geology, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois
  • 2010 PhD, Geological Sciences, University of Texas
  • 2006 M.S., Earth and Environmental Sciences, Tulane University
  • 2003 B.S., Geology, University of Washington

Phone: (713) 348-4886
Office: 221 Keith-Wiess Geology Labs
Department of Earth Science, MS-126
Rice University
6100 Main Street
Houston, TX 77005

Research Areas

Sedimentology, stratigraphy, basin analysis, geomorphology, fluvial hydrology


Research Statement

My research examines sediment transport, hydrology, basin evolution, and stratigraphy of lowland river systems, in order to understand how physical processes interact to shape the Earth's surface, over modern to geological timescales. My scientific approach combines data collected from targeted field studies, to build and validate numerical, time-and-space iterative model solutions. I have been primarily focused on evaluating the morphodynamics and stratigraphic evolution of river systems, and this knowledge is used to analyze depositional history of large basins linked to lowland river systems, as well as manage evolving fluvial-deltaic landscapes and anthropogenic impacts.

I collaborate with earth scientists, engineers, ecologists, and social scientists to evaluate broader environmental and societal applications of my research. My career goal is to continue and expand these interdisciplinary endeavors as a research scientist, and to develop a program that engages and educates students at the collegiate academic level.

Selected Publications

[11] Nittrouer, J. A., Best, J. L., Brantley, C., Czapiga, M., Cash, R. W., Kumar, P., and G. Parker, "Mitigating land loss in coastal Louisiana by controlled diversion of Mississippi River sand", Nature Geoscience, 5, pp. 534-537. doi. 10.1038/NGEO1525

[10] Kenney, M. A., Hobbs, B. F., Mohrig, D., Huang, H., Nittrouer, J. A., Kim, W., and G. Parker, "Cost analysis of water and sediment diversions to optimize land building in the Mississippi River delta", submitted to Water Resources Research

[9] Nittrouer, J. A., Shaw, J., Lamb, M. P., and D. Mohrig (2012) "Spatial and temporal trends for water-flow velocity and bed-material sediment transport in the lower Mississippi River" GSA Bulletin, 124, pp. 400-414. doi:10.1130/B30497.1

[8] Petter, A. L., Steel, R. J., Mohrig, D., and J. A. Nittrouer (in press), "The stratigraphic consequences of long-term river aggradation, part I: the importance of backwater hydraulic conditions for downstream sediment fractionation and changes in fluvial style in the Campanian Lower Castlegate Sandstone of Utah", Journal of Sedimentary Research

[7] Lamb, M. P., Nittrouer, J. A., Shaw, J., and D. Mohrig (2012) "Backwater and river-plume controls on scour upstream of river mouths: Implications for fluvio-deltaic morphodynamics", Journal of Geophysical Research, 117, doi:10.1029/2011JF002079

[6] Chatanantavet, P., Lamb, M. P., and J. A. Nittrouer (2012) "Backwater controls on avulsion locations on deltas", Geophysical Research Letters, 39, doi:10.1029/2011GL050197

[5] Nittrouer, J. A., Mohrig, D., Allison, M. A., and A. B. Peyret (2011), "The Lowermost Mississippi River: A mixed bedrock-alluvial channel", Sedimentology, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3091.2011.01245.x

[4] Nittrouer, J. A., Mohrig, D., and M. A. Allison (2011), "Punctuated sand transport in the lowermost Mississippi River", Journal of Geophysical Research, 116, pp. 1914-1934. doi: 10.1029/2011JF002026

[3] Venditti, J. G., Humpries, R. P., Allison, M. A., Nittrouer, J. A., and M. Church (2010), "Morphology and dynamics of a gravel-sand transition", Proceedings of the 9th Federal Interagency Sedimentation Conference, June 27-July 1, 2010, Las Vegas, NV

[2] Ryan-Mishkin, K., Walsh, J. P., Corbett, D. R., Dail, M. B., and J. A. Nittrouer (2009), Modern sedimentation in a mixed siliciclastic-carbonate coral reef environment, La Parguera, Puerto Rico. Caribbean Journal of Science, 45, issue 2-3, pp. 151-167.

[1] Nittrouer, J. A., Allison, M. A., and R. Campanella (2008) "Bedform transport measurements in the lower Mississippi River", Journal of Geophysical Research, 113, F03004, doi: 10.1029/2007JF000795