Norman Smith

Professor Emeritus

Ph.D., 1967, Brown

Contact Information

414 Morrill Hall
402-472-5362
nsmith3@unl.edu

My research interests lie mainly in the areas of clastic sedimentology, geomorphology, and physical sedimentation processes, particularly those processes of sediment transport and deposition that occur in rivers, lakes, and glacier-related environments. Most of my work is based on field investigations of modern sedimentary environments, although my students and I have also worked on ancient sedimentary successions ranging in age from Precambrian to Late Holocene. Such studies know few geographic limitations, and recent projects have taken us to such places as Antarctica, South Africa, Botswana, Iceland, Guyana, Alaska, Canadian Rocky Mountains, and Saskatchewan as well as closer to home in the Great Plains. Current and recently completed projects include: (1) origin and development of natural levees in alluvial systems, (2) causes of avulsions and their geomorphological and depositional effects on evolving floodplains, and (3) effects of dams on the behavior of river channels and floodplains.

Selected Publications


  • Abbado, D., Slingerland, R.L., and Smith, N.D., 2005, The origin of anastomosis in the upper Columbia River, British Columbia, Canada, in Fluvial Sedimentology VII (edited by Blum, M.D., Marriott, S., and Leclair. S. (eds.)), Internat. Assoc. Sedim. Special Publ. 35..

  • Slingerland, R.L., and Smith, N.D., 2004, River avulsions and their deposits, Annual Rev. Earth Planetary Sciences, 32, 257-285.

  • Smith, N.D., and Pérez-Arlucea, M., 2004, Effects of peat on the shapes of alluvial channels: examples from the Cumberland Marshes, Saskatchewan, Canada, Geomorphology, 61, 323-335.

  • Morozova, G.S., and Smith, N.D., 2003, Organic-rich deposition in the Saskatchewan River floodplain (Cumberland Marshes, Canada): effects of progradational avulsions, Sed. Geol., 157, 15-29.

  • McCarthy, T.S., Smith, N.D., Ellery, W.N., and Gumbricht, T., 2002, The Okavango Delta—semiarid alluvial fan sedimentation related to incipient rifting, in Sedimentation in Continental Rifts (edited by Renaut, R.W., and Ashley, G.M. (eds.)), SEPM Spec. Pub. 73, 179-193.