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Arjun Heimsath

Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 6004
Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 6004
Senior Sustainability Scientist
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 6004
Biography: 

Arjun Heimsath grew up partly in the foothills of the Indian Himalaya and partly in the Hill Country of Texas, both of which led to his current passion for understanding how the earth’s surface works. His work as a Peace Corps water development engineer on the coast of Kenya led to his focus on environmental science, which he pursued in the Nepal Himalaya to quantify differences between human and natural processes of erosion. While struggling to understand all that controls erosion, Professor Heimsath “discovered” the field of geomorphology and focused his research efforts on the thin skin of the earth’s surface that is referred to as Earth’s critical zone. This zone is directly relevant to supporting human life and his main interests are in soil and water sustainability. 

Education: 
  • Ph.D. Geology, University of California-Berkeley 1999
  • M.S. Yale University, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies 1993 
  • B.S. Mechanical Engineering (honors), Yale College 1989 
Research Interests: 

Geomorphology; Tectonic geomorphology; Carbon sequestration and the carbon budget; Exposure-age dating; Glacial geomorphology; Optically stimulated luminescence and short lived isotopes; Human impacts on the landscape.

Publications: 

NOTE that these stopped auto-populating in 2010. See my CV or the publications tab in: http://www.public.asu.edu/~aheimsat/ 

PDFs of papers are available through my web site, linked above. 

  • Brantley S.L. et al. Twelve testable hypotheses on the geobiology of weathering. Geobiology (2010).
  • DiBiase, R.A., Whipple, K.X., Heimsath, A.M., and Ouimet, W.B. Landscape form and millennial erosion rates in the San Gabriel Mountains, CA. Earth and Planetary Science Letters (2010).
  • Heimsath, A.M., Chappell, J., and Fifield, K. Eroding Australia: Rates and processes from Bega Valley to Arnhem Land. Geological Society of London (2010).
  • Adams, B.A.*, Whipple, K.X., Heimsath, A.M., Wan Soest, M.C., and Hodges, K.V.,. The Enigmatic Transient Landscapes of Bhutan. EOS Supplement, Transactions of the AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA (2010).
  • DiBiase, RA*, Whipple, K.X., and Heimsath, A.M. Using topography to decipher the uplift history of the western San Gabriel Mountains, CA. EOS Supplement, Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, Fall 2009 meeting (2010).
  • Dixon, JL*, Hartshorn, A.S.*, Heimsath, A.M., DiBiase, R.A.*, and Whipple, K.X. Chemical Weathering in the San Gabriel Mountains of California: The influence of erosion rates, soil depth, and transport processes on soil chemical losses (Invited). EOS Supplement, Transactions of the AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA (2010).
  • Heimsath, A.M., Jungers, M.C.*, Amundson, R., Balco, G., and Shuster, D.L. Eroding and Inflating the Atacama Desert, Chile: Insights Through Cosmogenic 10-Be, 26-Al and 21-Ne. EOS Supplement, Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, Fall 2010 meeting (2010).
  • Jungers, MC*, Amundson, R., Heimsath, A.M., Christensen, P.R., and Edwards, C.S. Ancient and Modern Salars of the Atacama Desert, Chile: A Terrestrial Analog for Evaporite Formation on Mars. EOS Supplement, Transactions of the AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA (2010).
  • Rossi, M.W.*, Whipple, K.X., DiBiase, R.A.* and Heimsath, A.M. Climate and the erosional efficiency of fluvial systems. EOS Supplement, Transactions of the AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA (2010).
  • Burke, B* A.M. Heimsath, J. Chappell, and K. Yoo*. Weathering the escarpment: Chemical and physical rates and processes, southeastern Australia. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms (2009).
  • Cook, K.L.*, Whipple, K.X., Heimsath, A.M., and Hanks, T. Rapid incision of the Colorado River in Glen Canyon – insights from channel profiles, local incision rates, and modeling of lithologic controls. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms (2009).
  • Dixon, J.L.*, Heimsath, A.M., and Amundson, R. The critical role of climate and saprolite weathering in landscape evolution. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms (2009).
  • Dixon, J.L.*, Heimsath, A.M., Kaste, J.M.*, and Amundson, R. Climate driven processes of hillslope weathering. Geology (2009).
  • Furbish, D.J., Haff, P.K., Dietrich, W.E., and Heimsath, A.M. Statistical description of slope-dependent soil transport and the diffusion-like coefficient. Journal of Geophysical Research - Earth Surface (2009).
  • Heimsath, A.M., Hancock, G.R., and Fink, D. The ‘humped’ soil production function: Eroding Arnhem Land, Australia. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms (2009).
  • O’Farrell, C.R.*, A.M. Heimsath, D.E. Lawson, L.M. Jorgensen*, E.B. Evenson, G. Larson, and J. Denner. Quantifying periglacial erosion: insights on a glacial sediment budget, Matanuska Glacier, Alaska. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms (2009).
  • Amundson, R., Heimsath A.M., Jungers, M., Chong, G., and Demergasso, C. The Salar Llamara, Chile: A Possible Analogue for Etched Terrain on Mars. EOS Supplement, Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, Fall 2009 meeting (2009).
  • Chadwick, O., Levick, S.R., Khomo, L.*, Hartshorn, A.S.*, Heimsath, A.M., and Bern, C. Soil collapse and dilation as modifier of hillslope morphology (Invited). EOS Supplement, Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, Fall 2009 meeting (2009).
  • DiBiase, R.A.*, Whipple, K.X., and Heimsath, A.M. Channel incision and the role of sediment supply in the San Gabriel Mountains, California. EOS Supplement, Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, Fall 2009 meeting (2009).
  • Heimsath, A.M., DiBiase, R.A.*, Whipple, K.X., and Walsh, J.*. Sediment supply differences between soil and bedrock dominated landscapes, San Gabriel Mountains, CA. EOS Supplement, Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, Fall 2009 meeting (2009).
  • Heimsath, A.M. and McGlynn, R.S.*. Quantifying headwall retreat rates in the Nepal High Himalaya. Geomorphology (2008).
  • DiBiase, RA, Heimsath, AM, and Whipple, KX. Hillslope Angle, Channel Steepness and Millennial Erosion Rates in the San Gabriel Mountains, CA. EOS Supplement, Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, Fall 2008 meeting (2008).
  • Dixon, JL, Heimsath, AM, and Amundson, R. Delving Deeper: How Saprolite And Chemical Weathering Influence The Expression Of Climate On Surface Shaping Processes. EOS Supplement, Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, Fall 2008 meeting (2008).
  • Dixon, JL, Heimsath, AM, and Amundson, R. Saprolite and the evolution of upland landscapes - Links between erosion and weathering in Sierra Nevada, CA. GEOCHIMICA ET COSMOCHIMICA ACTA (2008).
  • Hartshorn AS, Heimsath AM, Chadwick OA. Maximum granite catena differentiation. GEOCHIMICA ET COSMOCHIMICA ACTA (2008).
  • Heimsath AM, Chappell J, Hancock GR, et al. Eroding Australia: Slowly. GEOCHIMICA ET COSMOCHIMICA ACTA (2008).
  • Heimsath, AM. Erosion rates and processes across two trans Himalayan transects in central Nepal. Himalayan Geology (2008).
Research Activity: 
  • Barton,C Michael*, Heimsath,Arjun, Sarjoughian,Hessam Seyed, Vivoni,Enrique, Vivoni,Enrique. CNH: The Emergence of coupled Natural and Human Landscapes in the Western Mediterranean. NSF-BIO-DEB(9/1/2013 - 8/31/2018).
  • Heimsath,Arjun*. Dating Basin Deposits: Extending the Reach of Cosmogenic Nuclide Dating Into the Miocene. ACS-PETROLEUM RESEARCH FUND(1/1/2012 - 8/31/2014).
  • Heimsath,Arjun*. Landscape Sensitivity to Changing Climate: Plio-Pleistocene Erosion and Sedimentation in SE Arizona. NSF-GEO-EAR(10/1/2011 - 9/30/2014).
  • Whipple,Kelin X*, Heimsath,Arjun. Post-6 Ma Tectonic Evolution of the Bhutan Himalaya. NSF-GEO-EAR(3/1/2011 - 2/28/2014).
  • Heimsath,Arjun*. Career: Quantifying Erosional Processes on Upland Landscapes. NSF-GEO-EAR(4/5/2008 - 1/31/2009).
  • Heimsath,Arjun*. CR: Tectronics and Topography in the Transverse Ranges: Landscape Response to Rock Uplift Rate across the Transition from Soil-Mantle to Rocky Slope. NSF-GEO-EAR(8/31/2007 - 8/31/2010).
Fall 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
SES 191First-Year Seminar
GLG 327Earth's Critical Zone
SOS 374Earth's Critical Zone
SES 494Special Topics
GLG 591Seminar
SES 592Research
SES 598Special Topics
SES 599Thesis
SES 692Research
SES 792Research
SES 799Dissertation
Summer 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
GLG 327Earth's Critical Zone
SOS 374Earth's Critical Zone
GLG 452Field Geology II
SES 592Research
SES 692Research
SES 792Research
SES 799Dissertation
Spring 2020
Course NumberCourse Title
SES 493Honors Thesis
GLG 591Seminar
SES 598Special Topics
SES 599Thesis
SES 692Research
SES 792Research
SES 799Dissertation
Fall 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
SES 191First-Year Seminar
GLG 327Earth's Critical Zone
SOS 374Earth's Critical Zone
SES 494Special Topics
GLG 591Seminar
SES 592Research
SES 598Special Topics
SES 599Thesis
SES 792Research
SES 799Dissertation
Summer 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
GLG 452Field Geology II
SES 592Research
Spring 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
GLG 464Solving Environmental Problems
SES 499Individualized Instruction
GLG 591Seminar
SES 592Research
SES 598Special Topics
SES 599Thesis
SES 692Research
SES 792Research
SES 799Dissertation
Fall 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
SES 191First-Year Seminar
GLG 327Earth's Critical Zone
SOS 374Earth's Critical Zone
SES 494Special Topics
GLG 591Seminar
SES 592Research
SES 599Thesis
SES 792Research
SES 799Dissertation
Summer 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
GLG 452Field Geology II
GLG 494Special Topics
SES 592Research
SES 692Research
SES 792Research
SES 799Dissertation
Spring 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
GLG 464Solving Environmental Problems
SES 494Special Topics
GLG 591Seminar
SES 592Research
SES 598Special Topics
SES 599Thesis
SES 692Research
SES 792Research
SES 799Dissertation
Fall 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
SES 191First-Year Seminar
GLG 327Earth's Critical Zone
SOS 374Earth's Critical Zone
SES 494Special Topics
GLG 591Seminar
SES 592Research
SES 599Thesis
SES 792Research
SES 799Dissertation
Summer 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
GLG 452Field Geology II
SES 592Research
SES 692Research
SES 792Research
SES 799Dissertation
Spring 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
SOS 394Special Topics
SES 394Special Topics
GLG 493Honors Thesis
GLG 591Seminar
AST 592Research
GLG 592Research
SES 592Research
GLG 599Thesis
SES 692Research
GLG 692Research
AST 692Research
SES 792Research
AST 792Research
GLG 792Research
SES 799Dissertation
AST 799Dissertation
GLG 799Dissertation
Fall 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
SES 191First-Year Seminar
GLG 327Earth's Critical Zone
SOS 374Earth's Critical Zone
GLG 492Honors Directed Study
SES 494Special Topics
GLG 591Seminar
GLG 592Research
GLG 599Thesis
SES 692Research
GLG 692Research
AST 692Research
AST 792Research
GLG 792Research
SES 792Research
SES 799Dissertation
AST 799Dissertation
GLG 799Dissertation
Summer 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
GLG 452Field Geology II
GLG 592Research
AST 692Research
GLG 799Dissertation
Spring 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
GLG 499Individualized Instruction
GLG 591Seminar
AST 592Research
GLG 592Research
GLG 599Thesis
GLG 692Research
AST 692Research
GLG 792Research
AST 792Research
GLG 799Dissertation
AST 799Dissertation
Presentations: 
  • Dosseto, A Heimsath, A.M. Rhodes, E.J. Quantifying Present and Ancient Rates of Earth Surface Processes. American Geophysical Union Annual Meeting (Dec 2010).
  • Heimsath, A.M. Eroding the Earth: Limits to Soil. Colloquium (Nov 2010).
  • Heimsath, A.M. Eroding the Earth: Quantifying Rates & Processes. Colloquium (Apr 2010).
  • Heimsath, A.M. The Earth is Eroding: Quantifying Surface Processes. Colloquium (Mar 2010).
  • Heimsath, AM. Erosional/Weathering Controls on Soil to Bedrock Landscapes. Critical Zone Science Planning Workshop (Oct 2009).
  • Heimsath, AM. Optically Stimulated Luminscence and short-lived isotopes to quantify hillslope sediment transport. The 6th North World Luminescence Dating and Dosimetry Workshop, Seattle, WA 2009 (Oct 2009).
  • Heimsath, AM, Korup, O, and Roering, JJ. Quantifying Hilslope Processes and Rates of Landscape Evolution. American Geophysical Union Annual Meeting (Dec 2008).
  • Heimsath, AM. Quantifying Erosion Rates and Processes Across Upland Landscapes. Symposium (Nov 2008).
  • Heimsath AM. Rock, Water, SciSoils: Roshamboing the Earth's Surface. Symposium (Feb 2008).
Service: 
  • Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, Associate Editor (2008 - 2011)
  • National Academy of Sciences/Kavli Frontier of Sciences - US-Indonesia Frontiers of Science, Founding Organizing Committee (2010 - 2011)
  • Graduate Recruiting and Admissions Committee, Chair (2009 - 2011)
  • Graduate Recruiting and Admissions Committee, Member (2009 - 2011)
  • Climate Science Search Committee, Member (2009 - 2010)
  • Bylaws Committee, Member (2009 - 2010)
  • NSF-funded community Geomorphology Text Book, Member (2009 - 2010)
  • NSF-IGERT Proposal Panel Review, Panel member (2009 - 2009)
  • American Geophysical Union/Sediment and Landscape Dynamics Technical Subcommittee, Member (2008 - 2008)
  • SESE-SHESC Consortium for Human Geochronology, Member (2008 - 2008)