Daniel Muhs


I study geomorphology, soils and Quaternary stratigraphy to reconstruct paleoclimates over the past two and a half million years of geologic time.  My main study areas are in the central and western USA (Mississippi Valley, Great Plains, Rocky Mountains, desert Southwest, Pacific Coast and Alaska), but I have also worked in the Caribbean, Spain and Israel.  My main interests are in origin and paleoclimatic significance of dune fields, stratigraphy and paleopedology of loess, effects of long-range-transported dust on soils, the atmosphere, oceans and ecosystems, and sea level history.




University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado 1977-1980 (Ph.D., Physical geography/Geology)

University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois 1973-1975 (M.S., Physical geography/Soil science)

University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois 1972-1973 (B.A., Physical geography)

University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois 1970-1972 (B.A., English, History)

Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 1968-1970  (English)



Professional experience:

1995-date:  Geologist, Geology and Environmental Change Science Center, USGS, Denver, CO

1985-1995: Geologist, Branch of Isotope Geology, USGS, Denver, CO

1983-1984:  Soil Scientist with USGS while on leave-of-absence with the University of Wisconsin to accept National Research Council Research Associateship, Denver, Colorado. 

1980-1985:  Assistant and Associate Professor of Geography, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI

1978-1980, part-time Soil Scientist, U.S. Geological Survey, Branch of Central Regional Geology.

1977-1979: Instructor (while a Ph.D student), Department of Geography, University of Colorado at Boulder and University of Colorado at Denver

1975-1976:  Soil Scientist, U.S. Soil Conservation Service/Iowa State University 


Other publications (see tab below for main list):

 Muhs, D.R., Kautz, R., and MacKinnon, J.J., 1985, Soils and the location of cacao orchards at a Maya site in western Belize:  Journal of Archaeological Science, v. 12, p. 121-137.

Muhs, D.R., 1985, Amino acid age estimates of marine terraces and sea levels, San Nicolas Island, California:  Geology, v. 13, p. 58-61.

Muhs, D.R., 1985, Age and paleoclimatic significance of Holocene sand dunes in northeastern Colorado:  Annals of the Association of American Geographers, v. 75, p. 566-582.

Crittenden, R.C. and Muhs, D.R., 1986, Cliff-height and slope-angle relationships in a chronosequence of marine terraces, San Clemente Island, California:  Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie, v. 30, p. 291-301.

Muhs, D.R., 1987, Conclusions, in Muhs, D.R., ed., Pacific coast and mountain system, in Graf, W.L., ed., Geomorphic Systems of North America: Boulder, Colorado, Geological Society of America, Centennial Special Volume 2, p. 570-571.

Muhs, D.R., Kelsey, H.M., Miller, G.H., Kennedy, G.L., Whelan, J.F., and McInelly, G.W., 1990, Age estimates and uplift rates for late Pleistocene marine terraces: Southern Oregon portion of the Cascadia forearc:  Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 95, p. 6685-6698..

Muhs, D.R., Bush, C.A., and Rosholt, J.N., 1990, Uranium-series disequilibrium in Quaternary soils:  Significance for 222Rn hazard assessment, in Doe, B., ed., Proceedings of a U.S. Geological Survey Workshop on Environmental Geochemistry:  U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1033, p. 39-44.

Herwitz, S.R. and Muhs, D.R., 1995, Bermuda solution pipe soils: A geochemical evaluation of eolian parent materials: in Curran, A.H. and White, B., eds., Terrestrial and shallow marine geology of the Bahamas and Bermuda: Geological Society of America Special Paper 300, p. 311-323.

Muhs, D.R., and Zarate, M., 2001, Eolian records of the Americas and their paleoclimatic significance, in Markgraf, V., ed., Interhemispheric Climate Linkages, San Diego, Academic Press, p. 183-216.

Muhs, D.R., 2004, Mineralogical maturity in dune fields of North America, Africa and Australia: Geomorphology, v. 59, p. 247-269.

 Otto-Bliesner, B.L., Marshall, S.J., Overpeck, J.T., Miller, G.H., Hu, A., Anderson, P., Bennike, O., Bigelow, N., Brigham-Grette, J., Duvall, M., Edwards, M., Frechette, B., Funder, S., Johnsen, S., Knies, J., Koerner, R., Lozhkin, A., MacDonald, G.,Matthiessen, J., Montoya, M., Muhs, D., Reeh, N., Sejrup, H.P., Turner, C., Velichko, A., 2007, Simulating Arctic climate warmth and icefield retreat in the last interglaciationScience, v. 311, p.1751-1753.

Jansen, EysteinOverpeck, JonathanBriffa, Keith RDuplessy, Jean-ClaudeJoos, FortunatMasson-Delmotte, ValerieOlago, DanielOtto-Bliesner, BettePeltier, W RichardRahmstorf, StefanRamesh, RengaswamyRaynaud, DominiqueRind, DavidSolomina, OlgaVillalba, RicardoZhang De'erBarnola, Jean-MarcBauer, EvaBrady, EstherChandler, MarkCole, JuliaCook, EdwardCortijo, EslaDokken, TrondFleitmann, DominikKageyama, MasaKhodri, MyriamLabeyrie, Laurent;Laine, AlexandreLevermann, AndersLie, OyvindLoutre, Marie-FranceMatsumoto, KatsumiMonnin, EricMosley-Thompson, EllenMuhs, DanielMuscheler, RaimundOsborn, TimPaasche, OyvindParrenin, FredericPlattner, Gian-KasperPollack, HenrySpahni, RenatoStott, Lowell DThompson, LonnieWaelbroeck, ClaireWiles, GregoryZachos, JamesGuo Zhangteng, 2007, Palaeoclimate, in: Climate change 2007; the physical science basis; contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Alley, R.B., Fitzpatrick, J.J., Brigham-Grette, J., Miller, G.H., Muhs, D., and Polyak, L., 2009: Paleoclimate Concepts. In Past Climate Variability and Change in the Arctic and at High Latitudes. A report by the U.S. Climate Change Program and Subcommittee on Global Change Research. U.S. Geological Survey, Reston , VA, p. 22–76.

Alley, R.B., Andrews, J.T., Clarke, G.K.C., Cuffey, K.M., Funder, S., Marshall, S.J., Mitrovica, J.X., Muhs, D.R., Otto-Bleisner, B., 2009: Past Extent and Status of the Greenland Ice Sheet. In Past Climate Variability and Change in the Arctic and at High Latitudes. A report by the U.S. Climate Change Program and Subcommittee on Global Change Research. U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA, p. 303–357.