Baylor University
Department of Geology
College of Arts and Sciences

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Dr. Lee Nordt



Contact Information
Dr. Lee Nordt
Department of Geology
Baylor University
One Bear Place #97354
Waco, Texas 76798

Phone (254) 710-3362
Fax (254) 710-2673

Room E421, Baylor Sciences Building

Lee_Nordt@baylor.edu

Nordt

Professor & Dean, College of Arts & Sciences

Professional Geoscientist

Fellow, Geological Society of America

Ph.D., Texas A&M University

General Information

My research interests include developing modern-ancient analogues of soil and paleosol weathering, ancient landscape reconstruction, stable biogeochemistry of climate change, the soil carbon cycle, Quaternary geology, and geoarchaeology. I currently serve on the editorial board of the journal Geology and recently stepped down after many years of service on the Geoarchaeology editorial board. I recently substantially modified the soils and paleopedology terms for the online version of the Glossary of Geologic Terms (American Geophysical Union). Along with colleague Stacy Atchley, we carry an $80,000 Petroleum Research Fund grant to study landscape and climate evolution of the upper Triassic in the southwestern U.S. Please see the Research>Sedimentary tabs on the departmental web page for more information. Steve Driese and I recently received an NSF grant with colleague Dan Breecker from the University of Texas calibrating the paleosol carbonate CO2 barometer for vertic paleosols by monitoring soil CO2 in modern Vertisols. I co-authored a successful NSF doctoral enhancement grant with graduate student Steve Ahr to study the soils, age, and origin of the sandy mantle in Texas.

Departmental Equipment

Our department has a truck-mounted drill rig and state-of-the-art research laboratories in the science building and geology annex. Equipment includes XRD, XRF, mass spectrometer, particle size analyzer, SEM, and soil organic and inorganic carbon analyzer. Please see the Facilities tab on the departmental web page for more information.

Current Research Projects

  • Late Triassic landscape and climate evolution of the Petrified National Park, Arizona

  • Stable C isotopes as proxy for evolution of the grasslands of the North American Great Plains

  • Modern-ancient analogues of soil weathering for quantifying physical-chemical properties of paleosols and climate conditions
  • Paleosol and Landscape reconstruction of the Dawson Creek section across the K/T boundary of the Big Bend National Park, Texas
  • Development of modern Vertisol climosequence
  • Geoarchaeology of the Fort Hood Military Reservation, Texas

  • Geoarchaeology of the sandy mantle, Texas

Courses

  • Paleosols and Paleoclimates
  • Global Soil Systems
  • Geoarchaeology
  • Wetlands

Current Doctoral Students

Holly Meier – Late Quaternary stratigraphy and geoarchaeology of the Owl Creek drainage basin within the Fort Hood Military Reservation, Texas.

Selected Publications

Driese, S.G., Nordt, L.C., Waters, M.R., and Keene, J.L. (in press). Pedological, micromorphological, and geochemical interpretation of site formation history and potential disturbance of stratigraphic context in Vertisols at the Debra L. Friedkin archaeological site in central Texas, USA. Geoarchaeology.

Nordt, L. (in press). Late Quaternary fluvial landscape evolution of the Rio Casas Grandes and San Pedro: Implications for the archaeological record. In Late Archaic Cerros de Trincheras Sites of Chihuahua, Mexico, R. Hard and R. Roney (eds.). University of Utah Press.

Trendell, A.M., Atchley, S. C., and Nordt, L.C. (in press). Facies analysis of a probable large fluvial fan depositional system: the Upper Triassic Chinle Formation AT Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona: Journal of Sedimentary Research.

Weissmann, G.S., Hartley, A.J., Scuderi, L.A., Nichols, G.J., Davidson, S.K., Atchley, S.C., Bhattacharyya, P., Chakraborty, T., Ghosh, P., Nordt, L.C., Owen, A., and Sheldon, N. (in press). Prograding distributive fluvial systems-Geomorphic models and ancient examples. In New Frontiers in Paleopedology and Terrestrial Paleoclimatology, Driese, S. and Nordt, L. (eds.). SEPM (Society of Sedimentary Geology) Special Publication.

Breecker, D.O., Yoon, Junyeon, Michel, L.A., Dinka, T.M., Driese, S.G., Mintz, J.S., Nordt, L.C., Romanak, K.D., Morgan, C.S. (in press). CO2 concentrations in Vertisols: seasonal variability and shrink-swell. In New Frontiers in Paleopedology and Terrestrial Paleoclimatology, Driese, S. and Nordt, L. (eds.). SEPM (Society of Sedimentary Geology) Special Publication.

Nordt, L., Hallmark, T., Driese, S., and Dworkin, S. (2013). Multi-Analytical approach to characterizing and interpreting the fossil record of soils. In New Frontiers in Paleopedology and Terrestrial Paleoclimatology, Driese, S. and Nordt, L. (eds.). SEPM Special Publication No. 44, pp. 89-108.

Ahr, S.W., Nordt, L.C., Forman, S.L. (2013). Soil genesis, optical dating, and geoarchaeological evaluation of two upland Alfisol pedons within the Tertiary Gulf Coastal Plain. Geoderma, 192:211-226.

Ahr, S.W., Nordt, L.C., and Driese, S.G. (2012). Lithologic discontinuities and parent material uniformity within the Texas sandy mantle and implications for the archaeological burial and preservation potential in upland settings. Quaternary Research: 78:60-71.

Stinchcomb, G.E., Driese, S.G., Nordt, L.C. and Allen, P.M. (2012). A mid to late Holocene history of floodplain and terrace reworking along the middle Delaware River valley, USA. Geomorphology:169-170:123-141.

Nordt, L., Hallmark, T., Driese, S., and Dworkin, S. (2012). Biogeochemical characterization of a lithified paleosol: Implications for the interpretation of ancient Critical Zones. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 87:267-282. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gca.2012.03.019

Trendell, A.M., Atchley, S.C., Nordt, L.C., and Dworkin, S.I. (2012). Depositional and diagenetic controls on fluvial reservoir attributes within the Late Triassic Sonsela Member, Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona. American Association of Petroleum Geologists 96:679-707. DOI:10.1306/08101111025

Ramezani, J., Hoke, G.D., Fastovsky, D.E., Bowering, S., Therrien, F., Dworkin, S.I., Atchley, S.C, and Nordt, L.C. (2011). High-precision U-Pb zircon geochronology of the Late Triassic Chinle Formation, Petrified Forest National Park (Arizona, USA): Geological Society of America Bulletin 123:2142-2159. doi:10.1130/B30433.1

Nordt, L., Dworkin, S., Atchley, S. (2011). Ecosystem response to soil biogeochemical behavior during the Late Cretaceous and early Paleocene within the western interior of North America. Geological Society of America Bulletin 123:1745-1762.

Waters, M.R., Forman, S.L., Jennings, T.A., Nordt, L.C., Driese, S.G., Feinberg, J.M., Keene, J.L., Halligan, J., Lindquist, A., Pierson, J., Hallmark, C.T., Collins, M.B., Wiederhold, J.E. (2011). The Buttermilk Creek Complex and the Origins of Clovis at the Debra L. Friedkin Site, Texas. Science 331 (6024): 1599–1603. doi:10.1126/science.1201855.

Stinchcomb,G.E., Messner, T.C., Driese, S.G, Nordt, L.C., and Stewart, R.M. (2011). Pre-colonial (A.D. 1100–1600) sedimentation related to prehistoric maize agriculture and climate change in eastern North America. Geology 39:363-366.

Nordt, L.C., Collins, M., Monger, H., and Fanning, D. (2011). Entisols. 2nd Edition. In Handbook of Soil Science, P. Huang (ed.), pp. 33-49 to 33-63. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida.

Southard, R., Driese, S., and Nordt, L. (2011). Vertisols. 2nd Edition. In Handbook of Soil Science, P. Huang (ed.), pp. 33-82 to 33-97, CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida.

Nordt, L. (in press). Late Quaternary fluvial landscape evolution of the Rio Casas Grandes and San Pedro: Implications for the archaeological record. In Late Archaic Cerros de Trincheras Sites of Chihuahua, Mexico, R. Hard and R. Roney (eds.). University of Utah Press.

Nordt, L. and Driese, S. (2010). New weathering index improves rainfall estimates for paleo-Vertisols. Geology 38:407-410.

Nordt, L. and Driese, S. (2010). A modern soil characterization approach to reconstructing physical and chemical properties of paleo-Vertisol. American Journal of Science 310:37-64.

Forman, S., Nordt, L., Gomez, J., Pierson, J. (2009). Late Holocene dune migration on the south Texas sand sheet. Geomorphology 108:159-170.

Nordt, L. C. and Driese, S. G. (2009). Hydropedological assessment of a vertisol climosequence on the Gulf Coast Prairie Land Resource Area of Texas. Hydrological Earth System Science Discussion 6:3637-3668.

Nordt, L. and Wilding, L. (2009). Organic carbon stocks and sequestration potential of Vertisols in the Coast Prairie Major Land Resource Area of Texas. In Soil Carbon Sequestration and the Greenhouse Effect, 2nd edition, Lal, R. editor, pp. 159-168. Soil Science Society of America Special Publication 57. Madison, Wisconsin.

Cleveland, D., Nordt, L., Dworkin, S. and Atchley, S. (2008). Pedogenic carbonate isotopes as evidence for extreme climate events and biotic crisis near the Triassic-Jurassic boundary. Geological Society of America Bulletin 120:408-415.

Nordt, L., von Fischer, J., and Tieszen, L. (2008). Coherent changes in relative C4 plant productivity and climate during the late Quaternary in the North American Great Plains. Quaternary Science Reviews, 27:1600-1611.

Cleveland, D., Nordt, L., and Atchley, S. (2008). Paleosols, trace fossils, and precipitation estimates of the uppermost Triassic strata in northern New Mexico. Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology 257:421-444.

Cleveland, D., Atchley, S., and Nordt, L. (2007). Continental sequence stratigraphy of the upper Triassic (Norian-Rhaetian) Chinle strata, northern New Mexico, U.S.A.: allocyclic and autocyclic origins of paleosol-bearing alluvial successions. Journal of Sedimentary Research 77:909-924.

Nordt, L., von Fischer, J., and Tieszen, L. (2007). Late Quaternary temperature record from buried soils of the North American Great Plains. Geology 35:159-162.

Prochnow, S., Nordt, L., Atchley, S., and Hudec, M. (2006). Multi-proxy paleosol evidence for middle and late Triassic climate trends in eastern Utah. Palaeogeography Palaeoclimatology Palaeoecology 232:53-72.

Nordt, L., Orosz, M., Driese, S., and Tubbs, J. (2006). Vertisol carbonate properties in relation to mean annual precipitation: Implications for paleoprecipitation estimates. Journal of Geology 114:501-510.

Prochnow, S., Atchley, S., Boucher, T., Nordt, L. , and Hudec, M. (2006). The influence of salt withdrawal subsidence on paleosol maturity and cyclic fluvial deposition in the upper Triassic Chinle Formation: Castle Valley, Utah. Sedimentology 53:1319-1345.

Dworkin, S., Nordt, L., Atchley, S. (2005). Determining terrestrial paleotemperatures using the oxygen isotopic composition of pedogenic carbonate. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 237:56-68.

Driese, S., Nordt, L., Lynn, W., Stiles, C., Mora, C., and Wilding, L. (2005). Distinguishing climate in the soil record using chemical trends in a vertisol climosequence from the Texas Coastal Praire, and application to interpreting Paleozoic paleosols in the Appalachian Basin. Journal of Sedimentary Research 75:339-349.

Prochnow, S., Nordt, L., Atchley, S., Hudec, M., and Boucher, T. ( 2005). Triassic paleosol catenas associated with a salt-withdrawal minibasin in southeastern Utah, U.S.A. Rocky Mountain Geology 40:25-49.

Nordt, L. (2004). Late Quaternary alluvial stratigraphy of a low-order tributary in central Texas: A response to changing climate and sediment supply. Quaternary Research 62:289-300.

Nordt, L., Wilding, L., and Lynn, W., Crawford, C. (2004). Vertisol genesis in a humid climate in the coastal plain of Texas. Geoderma 122:83-102.

Atchley, S., Nordt, L., and Dworkin, S. (2004). Alluvial sequence stratigraphy and sea level change: an example from the K/T transition of the Tornillo Basin, Big Bend National Park, west Texas. Journal of Sedimentary Research 74:392-405.

Nordt, L.C., Hayashida, F., Hallmark, C.T., and Crawford, C. (2004). Late Prehispanic soil fertility, irrigation management, and agricultural productivity in Northwest coastal Peru. Geoarchaeology 119:1-26.

Driese, S.G., Jacobs, J.R., and Nordt, L.C. (2003). Criteria for identification of carbonate parent material in paleosols occurring in mixed siliciclastic-carbonate successions. Sedimentary Geology 157:49-69.

Nordt, L., Athchley, S., and Dworkin, S. (2003). Terrestrial evidence for two intense greenhouse events in the latest Cretaceous. GSA Today 13:4-9.

Nordt, L.C. (2003). Late Quaternary fluvial landscape evolution in desert grasslands of northern Mexico. Geological Society of America Bulletin 115:596-606.

Nordt, L.C., Atchley, S., and Dworkin, S. (2002). Paleosol isotopic barometer indicates extreme fluctuations in atmospheric pCO2 across the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary. Geology 30:703-706.

Nordt, L.C., Boutton, T.W., Mandel, R., and Jacob, J.S. (2002). C4 Plant Productivity and Climate-CO2 Variations in the Southern Great Plains During the Late Quaternary. Quaternary Research 58:182-188.

Nordt, L.C. (2002). Soil Inorganic Carbon: Climate and Time. In Encyclopedia of Soils, Lal, R. editor-in-chief, p. 697-700. Marcel-Dekker, Inc., New York.

Wilding, L.P., Nordt, L.C., and Kimble, J.M. (2002). Soil Inorganic Carbon: Global Stocks. In Encyclopedia of Soils, Lal, R. editor-in-chief. Marcel-Dekker, Inc., New York.

Drees, L.R., Wilding, L.P., and Nordt, L.C. (2001). Reconstruction of soil inorganic and organic carbon sequestration across broad geoclimatic regions. In Soil Carbon Sequestration and the Greenhouse Effect, R. Lal (ed.), pp. 155-172. Soil Science Society of America Special Publication No. 57. Madison.

Wilding, L.P., Drees, L.R., and Nordt, L.C. (2001). Spatial variability: enhancing the mean estimate of organic and inorganic carbon in a sampling unit. In Assessment Methods for Soil Carbon, R. Lal, J.M. Kimble, R.F. Follett, B.A. Stewart (eds.), pp. 69-86. Lewis Publishers, Boca Raton.

Nordt, L.C. (2001). Stable C and O isotopes in soils: applications for archaeological research. In Earth-Sciences and Archaeology, P. Goldberg, V. Holliday, R. Ferring (eds.), pp. 419-445. Kluwer/Plenum Publishers, New York.

Driese, S.G., Mora, C.I., Stiles, C.A., Joeckel, R.M., and Nordt, L.C. (2000). Mass-balance reconstruction of a modern vertisol: implications for interpretations of geochemistry and burial alteration of paleovertisols. Geoderma 95:179-204.

Nordt, L.C., Wilding, L.P. and Drees, L.R. (2000). Pedogenic carbonate transformations in leaching soil systems: implications for the global C cycle. In Global Climate Change and Pedogenic Carbonates, R. Lal, J. Kimble, A. Mtimet, H. Eswaran, H. Scharpenseel (eds.), pp. 43-64. Lewis Publishers, Florida.

Nordt, L.C., Collins, M., Fanning, D., and Monger, H. (1999). Entisols. In Handbook of Soil Science, M. Sumner (ed.), pp. E-224-242. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida.

Nordt, L.C., E.F. Kelly, T.W. Boutton, and O.A. Chadwick, eds. (1998). Biogeochemistry of Isotopes in Soil environments: Theory and Application. Geoderma 82:1-4.

Nordt, L.C., Hallmark, C.T., Wilding, L.P., and Boutton, T.W. (1998). Quantifying pedogenic carbonate accumulations using stable carbon isotopes. Geoderma 82:115-136.

Boutton, T.W., Nordt, L.C. and Kuehn, D.D. (1998). Late Quaternary Vegetation and Climate Change in the North American Great Plains. In Isotope Techniques in the Study of Environmental Change, pp. 653-662. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA-SM-349/47). April 14-18, 1997, Vienna, Austria.

Joffe, A., Hansen, J., Nordt, L.C., and Goldberg, P. (1998). Tel Rekhesh, Eastern Lower Galilee: 1998 Pilot Season. Orient-Express 3:66-68.

Wilding, L.P. and Nordt, L.C., (1998). A response to "Pedodiversity and global soil patterns at coarse scales." Geoderma 83:196-199.

Nordt, L.C., Wilding, L.P., Hallmark, C.T., and Jacob, J.S. (1996). Carbon isotope composition of soil carbonates and their use in studying pedogenesis. In Mass Spectrometry of Soils, S. Yamasaki and T.W. Boutton, (eds.), pp. 133-154. Marcel-Dekker, Inc.

Waters, M.R. and Nordt, L.C. (1995). Late Quaternary alluvial history of the Brazos River in east-central Texas. Quaternary Research 43:311-319.

Nordt, L.C. (1995). Geoarchaeology of Henson Creek: a low-order tributary in Central Texas. Geoarchaeology 10:205-221.

Boutton, T.W., Nordt, L.C., and Archer, S.R. (1994). Climate, CO2 and plant abundance. Nature 372:625-626.

Nordt, L.C., T.W. Boutton, C.T. Hallmark, and M.R. Waters. (1994). Late Quaternary climate changes in Central Texas based on the isotopic composition of organic carbon. Quaternary Research 41:109-120.

Boutton, T.W., Nordt, L.C., Archer, S.R., Midwood, A.J., and Casar, I. (1993). Stable carbon isotope ratios of soil organic matter and their potential use as indicators of paleoclimate. In Applications of Isotope Techniques in Studying Past and Current Environmental Changes in the Hydrosphere and the Atmosphere - International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA-SM-329/53). April 19-23, Vienna, Austria.

Nordt, L.C., Jacob, J.S., and Wilding, L.P. (1991). Quantifying map unit composition for quality control in Soil Surveys. In Spatial Variabilities of Soils and Landforms, M. J. Mausbach and L.P. Wilding (eds.), pp. 183-198. Soil Science Society of America Special Publication Number 28. Madison, Wisconsin.

Jacob, J.S. and L.C. Nordt (1991). Soil and landscape evolution: a paradigm for pedology. Soil Science Society of America Journal 55:1194.

Grants

Breecker, D., Driese, S., and Nordt, L. (2009). Collaborative Research: Calibrating the paleosol carbonate CO2 barometer for vertic paleosols by monitoring soil CO2 in modern Vertisols. National Science Foundation, Geobiology and Low-Temperature Geochemistry program (FUNDED $292,550)

Nordt, L. and Ahr, S. (2009). Determining the age and origin of the Texas sandy mantle: implications for archaeological integrity in upland settings, National Science Foundation, Doctoral dissertation improvement (FUNDED $15,000)

Nordt, L. (2008). Development of a new dating technique for alluvial deposits containing archaeological materials: a case study from the Fort Hood Military Reservation, Texas, Department of Defense. ($54,000)

Nordt, L. (2007) (co-principal investigators). MRI: Acquisition of an isotope ratio mass spectrometer for nutrient dynamics and paleoclimate research and student training. National Science Foundation, $342,185

Atchley, S. and Nordt, L. (2006). The interrelationship of sequence stratigraphy, paleoclimatology, and terrestrial ichnology in Triassic paleosol-bearing alluvial successions, Moenkopi and Chinle Formations, southwestern United States. Petroleum Research Fund (FUNDED $80,000).

Nordt, L.C., Mora, C., and Driese, S. (2002). National Science Foundation, Vertisol climo- and chronosequences in coastal Texas: Developing climate proxies to interpret paleosols in the geologic record, ~$300,000 (not funded).

Nordt, L.C. National Science Foundation Supplementary Grant (FUNDED), Evaluating the Climate Sensitivity of Paleozoic Paleovertisols Based on the Analysis of a Modern Vertisol Climosequence, 2000 ($5,000).

Nordt, L.C. and Driese, S., Mora, C. (FUNDED). National Science Foundation, Evaluating the Climate Sensitivity of Paleozoic Paleovertisols Based on the Analysis of a Modern Vertisol Climosequence, October, 1999 ($235,000).

Nordt, L.C. National Park Service, Big Thicket National Preserve. (FUNDED). GIS Mapping of Wetlands in the Big Thicket National Preserve, June, 1998 ($25,000).

Nordt, L.C. Assignment Agreement, Intergovernmental Personnel Act, HQ,III Corps Fort Hood and Baylor University, Student Intern. (FUNDED). June, 1999 to June 2000. ($50,000).

Nordt, L.C. Assignment Agreement, Intergovernmental Personnel Act, HQ,III Corps Fort Hood and Baylor University, Student Intern, (FUNDED). June, 1998 to June 1999. ($50,000).

Nordt, L.C. Assignment Agreement, Intergovernmental Personnel Act, HQ,III Corps Fort Hood and Baylor University, Student Intern, (FUNDED). June 1997 to June 1998. ($50,000).

Past Students

Gary Stinchcomb – Paleoclimatic evidence of Holocene rapid climate change and floodplain deposition in the Mid-Atlantic, USA (co-advisor, Steven Driese)

Aislyn Trendell – Late Triassic sequence stratigraphy, landscape evolution, and climate change in Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona (co-advisor, Stacy Atchley)

David Cleveland (Ph.D.). Sequence stratigraphy, paleosols, and interpretations of climates of the late Triassic in New Mexico.

Steve Ahr (Ph.D.). Stratigraphy, age, and geoarchaeology of the sandy mantle, east Texas.

John Bongino (M.S.). Late Quaternary history of the Waco Mammoth site.

Chris Gotcher (M.S.). Triassic paleosols, landscapes and climate of the Triassic in the Petrified National Forest, Arizona.

Shane Prochnow (Ph.D.) 2005. Climatic Variability Across the Permian-Triassic Boundary Evident in Paleosols of the Cutler, Moenkopi, and Chinlé Formations, Paradox Basin, Utah.

Maria Orosz (M.S.) 2005. Vertisol genesis along a topo-sequence in the central Texas Blackland Prairie.

Nathaniel Beal (M.S.) 2003. Hydromorphic changes in a newly constructed wetland: Bosque River floodplain, central Texas. (with Dr. J. Yelderman).

Corey Crawford (M.S.). 2002. Genesis of a Vertisol in a Subhumid Climate of the Coastal Plain of Texas.

Robert Forkner (M.S.). 2002. Paleoenvironmental Reconstruction Across the K-T Boundary Using paleosols in the Red Deer River Valley, Alberta Canada.

Shane Prochnow (M.S.). 2001. Paleohydrology and Geoarchaeology of the South End of Horn Shelter Number 2 along the Brazos River, Central Texas.

Lee Hilliard (M.S.). 2000. GIS Application to Geoarchaeological and Archaeological Interpretations in the Fort Hood Military Reservation, Fort Hood, Texas.

Lisa Zygo (M.S.). 1999. Wetland Distribution in the Big Thicket National Preserve.

Clover Lambert (M.S.). 1998. Monitoring of hydrogeological, biochemical, and soil properties of an emergent Wetland on West Galveston Island.

Corey Crawford (B.S.). 1999. Hydric Properties of Shrink Swell Soils in a Riparian Setting in Central Texas.

Lee Hilliard (B.S.). 1997. Late Quaternary geology of the Waco Mammoth Site, Waco, Texas.

Drew Lowe (B.S.). 1997. Holocene Floodplain History of Mill Creek in Navarro County, Texas.