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Nanson, Gerald C.

Faculty Member

  • Honorary Fellow - Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health
  • Honorary Fellow - School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • GeoQuEST Research Centre
  • Associate Member - Centre for Archaeological Science

Overview


Gerald Nanson completed his BSc (hons) at Otago University (1970), his MSc at the University of Alberta (1972) and his PhD at Simon Fraser University (1977). He was appointed to the University of Wollongong in 1977 where he has chaired the Faculty of Social Sciences, co-founded the environmental science degree, chaired the Department of Geography, established the luminescence dating laboratory and facilitated the merger of the Departments of Geography and Geology into a School of Geosciences. In 1982 he facilitated the formation of the Australian and New Zealand Geomorphology Group (ANZGG), the professional body in Australasia. He has held distinguished visiting-residential positions at a range of universities internationally and has for a number of years been a Visiting Professor at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing. His distinctions include the Farouk El Baz Award from the Geological Society of America for excellence in Desert research, the Distinguished Geomorphologists Medal from the Australian and New Zealand Geomorphology Group 2012 and the Linton Medal from the Institute of British Geomorphology in recognition of his outstanding to geomorphological research and scholarship.   

Research Overview


  • Over 40 years Gerald has conducted his research across a wide range of areas of geomorphology, hydrology and Quaternary science including the study of bedload transport in mountain streams, developing statistical and quantitatively-rational models of channel migration on meandering rivers, detailing the formation and sedimentology of river floodplains, explaining the formation and behaviour of anabranching rivers (a previously poorly studied type), describing the hydrology and geomorphology of desert rivers, examining and dating the formation and migration of desert dunefields, and  detailing the interactive geomorphology, palaeohydrology and Quaternary history of Australia’s rivers and lake systems, especially in the arid zone. In addition to his academic work he has undertaken numerous studies of applied river management. In the past 15 years he has shifted focus from largely empirical to strongly theoretical research by developing (with colleague He Qing Huang) a fully-rational model based on the least action principle to show that alluvial rivers exhibit maximum flow efficiency and are attracted towards the stable stationary equilibrium state. His work is now widely reported in textbooks and encyclopaedias. 

Selected Publications


Research Overview


  • Over 40 years Gerald has conducted his research across a wide range of areas of geomorphology, hydrology and Quaternary science including the study of bedload transport in mountain streams, developing statistical and quantitatively-rational models of channel migration on meandering rivers, detailing the formation and sedimentology of river floodplains, explaining the formation and behaviour of anabranching rivers (a previously poorly studied type), describing the hydrology and geomorphology of desert rivers, examining and dating the formation and migration of desert dunefields, and  detailing the interactive geomorphology, palaeohydrology and Quaternary history of Australia’s rivers and lake systems, especially in the arid zone. In addition to his academic work he has undertaken numerous studies of applied river management. In the past 15 years he has shifted focus from largely empirical to strongly theoretical research by developing (with colleague He Qing Huang) a fully-rational model based on the least action principle to show that alluvial rivers exhibit maximum flow efficiency and are attracted towards the stable stationary equilibrium state. His work is now widely reported in textbooks and encyclopaedias. 

Selected Publications


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