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Research at St Andrews

Richard Thomas Streeter

Person

Richard Thomas Streeter
Postal address:
School of Geog & Sustainable Devt
Irvine Building
St Andrews

United Kingdom

Email: rts3@st-andrews.ac.uk

Direct phone: +44 (0)1334 463853

Research overview

I am a geographer with a broad research interest in three main topics – volcanic ash (tephra); human-environment interactions over the Holocene, and land-degradation over decades-centuries. My study areas include Iceland, the United States, Chile, and Argentina. 

 -      My research on volcanic ash (tephra) initially focussed on using tephrochronology to provide chronological control for past environmental change. More recently, I have become interested in how the properties of tephra layers (e.g. thickness, variability, grain-size) may be modified by their interaction with earth surface processes, vegetation cover and lake processes, both during and after fallout. This information will improve our ability to understand volcanic hazards, as well as potentially providing us information on the nature of the surface on which tephra was deposited.

-      Human-environment interactions over the Holocene. Much of my work in this area has been centred on reconstructing past-environmental change (particularly rates of soil erosion) in Iceland, and using this information to improve our understanding of the long-term sustainability of settlement in the North Atlantic.   

-      Erosion patterns in high-latitude rangeland grazing areas. I have used UAVs to create high-resolution maps of land surface cover in Iceland. This has allowed the quantification of the spatial structure of erosion patches, as well as the development of spatial models of soil erosion. The overall aim is an improved understanding of the interaction of geomorphological and biological processes which determine the progression of erosion, and better models of how high-latitude landscapes will respond to global change. 

 

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