Stanford University

Geological Sciences Seminar: Dr. Alessandro Ielpi, Laurentian University

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2022 12:15 PM
More Info:


Faculty/Staff, Students, Alumni/Friends
Department of Geological Science

How do rivers respond to environmental stresses? Insight into channel mobility

River landscapes are among the most dynamic on Earth, as their plains are incessantly sculpted by processes of erosion and deposition related to river floods. River plains are also often home to dense human populations and contain important reservoirs of organic carbon in their soils. Quantifying the rates and magnitude of surface processes in relation to river dynamics is a major goal in geomorphology, in that it allows the formulation of predictive models that then inform, e.g., flood-hazard prevention or responses to watershed stressors. However, multiple mechanisms control fundamental fluvial processes such as the lateral migration of channels, interacting nonlinearly with each other. In this seminar, an oblique light is shed on how factors such as bank cohesion and sediment supply influence channel mobility. Then, a conceptual framework illustrates, with supporting case studies, how to investigate rivers impacted by stressors such as atmospheric warming, logging, or wildfires. This framework may serve as a basis for future targeted studies on the pace of sediment transfer, and even terrestrial biogeochemical fluxes, in a context of anthropogenic landscape disturbance.

Dr. Alessandro Ielpi is originally from Italy and is currently an Associate Professor of Sedimentology at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. Alessandro obtained his academic degrees from the University of Siena, and spent the second half of his doctorate as a visiting student at Dalhousie University. He then moved to the Canadian Arctic, where he completed a post-doctoral fellowship with the Geological Survey of Canada, before his appointment at Laurentian University in 2016. Alessandro’s main interest lies in the study of rivers and their stratigraphic signatures, something that led him to focus on a variety of themes, from early Earth surface processes to modern watersheds affected by anthropogenic stressors.

Email Rey Garduño,, for Zoom link and password.

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