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Richard L Reynolds

I investigate how climatic variability, weather, and land uses affect surfaces and ecosystems of deserts, with emphasis on sediment eroded, transported, and deposited by wind, mostly as atmospheric dust. 

My studies probe the geologic, biologic, and human controls on dust generation as well as the mineralogic and geochemical properties of dust that in turn affect climate, weather, ecosystem health, water resources (effects of dust on melting of snow and ice), ocean fertility, and the health of a large proportion of earth’s people. I have also conducted research on:

  • Hawaiian coral-reef health in settings of coastal erosion
  • Quaternary climate and responses of landscapes to climatic change and human activities
  • Iron-sulfur diagenesis and its effects on lake-sediment paleoenvironmental records
  • Magnetic and chemical records of airborne pollution and environmental change
  • Paleomagnetism of Tertiary and Quaternary sedimentary and igneous rocks
  • Sources of magnetic anomalies in the shallow crust
  • Field geology, Antarctica (1970-1971; 1978-1979)


*Disclaimer: Listing outside positions with professional scientific organizations on this Staff Profile are for informational purposes only and do not constitute an endorsement of those professional scientific organizations or their activities by the USGS, Department of the Interior, or U.S. Government