Jaia Syvitski

Jaia Syvitski
University of Colorado Boulder | CUB · Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR)

Ph.D.

About

379
Publications
233,565
Reads
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32,279
Citations
Citations since 2016
57 Research Items
17007 Citations
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201620172018201920202021202205001,0001,5002,0002,500
201620172018201920202021202205001,0001,5002,0002,500
Additional affiliations
August 1995 - January 2019
University of Colorado Boulder
Position
  • Managing Director
January 1995 - December 2020
University of Colorado Boulder
Position
  • Professor Emeritus
Description
  • Presently Retired
January 1981 - July 1995
Bedford Institute of Oceanography
Position
  • Researcher

Publications

Publications (379)
Article
Full-text available
Event stratigraphy is used to help characterise the Anthropocene as a chronostratigraphic concept, based on analogous deep-time events, for which we provide a novel categorization. Events in stratigraphy are distinct from extensive, time-transgressive ‘episodes’ – such as the global, highly diachronous record of anthropogenic change, termed here an...
Preprint
Full-text available
Event stratigraphy is used to help characterise the Anthropocene as a chronostratigraphic concept, based on analogous deep-time events, for which we provide a novel categorization. Events in stratigraphy are distinct from extensive, time-transgressive ‘episodes’ – such as the global, highly diachronous record of anthropogenic change, termed here an...
Article
Full-text available
The extensive array of mid-20 th century stratigraphic event signals associated with the 'Great Acceleration' enables precise and unambiguous recognition of the Anthropocene as an epoch/series within the Geological Time Scale. A mid-20 th century inception is consistent with Earth System science analysis in which the Anthropocene term and concept a...
Article
Full-text available
The Anthropocene defined as an epoch/series within the Geological Time Scale, and with an isochronous inception in the mid-20th century, would both utilize the rich array of stratigraphic signals associated with the Great Acceleration and align with Earth System science analysis from where the term Anthropocene originated. It would be stratigraphic...
Article
Full-text available
The Anthropocene was conceptualized in 2000 to reflect the extensive impact of human activities on our planet, and subsequent detailed analyses have revealed a sub- stantial Earth System response to these impacts begin- ning in the mid-20th century. Key to this understanding was the discovery of a sharp upturn in a multitude of global socio-economi...
Chapter
Stratigraphy provides insights into the evolution and dynamics of the Earth System over its long history. With recent developments in Earth System science, changes in Earth System dynamics can now be observed directly and projected into the near future. An integration of the two approaches provides powerful insights into the nature and significance...
Article
Full-text available
Today's deltas are impacted negatively by (1) accelerated subsidence (e.g., from ground fluid extraction), (2) global eustatic sea level rise, and (3) decreased sediment supply, which increasingly starves these landforms of sediment necessary to sustain their footprint. This growing vulnerability threatens many megacities that have developed due to...
Data
Supplementary material to Syvitski et al. 2020, see https://www.researchgate.net/publication/344685697_Extraordinary_human_energy_consumption_and_resultant_geological_impacts_beginning_around_1950_CE_initiated_the_proposed_Anthropocene_Epoch
Article
Full-text available
Growth in fundamental drivers—energy use, economic productivity and population—can provide quantitative indications of the proposed boundary between the Holocene Epoch and the Anthropocene. Human energy expenditure in the Anthropocene, ~22 zetajoules (ZJ), exceeds that across the prior 11,700 years of the Holocene (~14.6 ZJ), largely through combus...
Article
Full-text available
Turbidity currents deliver sediment rapidly from the continental shelf to the slope and beyond; and can be triggered by processes such as shelf resuspension during oceanic storms; mass failure of slope deposits due to sediment-and wave-pressure loadings; and localized events that grow into sustained currents via self-amplifying ignition. Because th...
Article
Full-text available
In recent decades, the land-ocean aquatic continuum, commonly defined as the interface, or transition zone, between terrestrial ecosystems and the open ocean, has undergone dramatic changes. On-going work has stressed the importance of treating Aquatic Critical Zones (ACZs) as a sensitive system needing intensive investigation. Here, we discuss fjo...
Chapter
People are integral parts of nature and, in many respects, are becoming dominant parts. This notion is implicit in the term “Anthropocene”. In no environment is the connection between people and nature more apparent than in coastal systems. Mutual causality between humans and nature plays out there on a daily basis, sometimes in very positive ways...
Chapter
River deltas were the cradles of early civilizations and are currently the habitats of 500 million people. But river deltas worldwide are sinking and being invaded by rising seas. The effects of sea level rise and floods are greatly exacerbated by subsidence and human modifications including reductions in supply of sediment and the extraction of wa...
Chapter
Most people tend to think of coasts as material “things”. What you see when you look at a coast at any instant in time may be a beach composed of sand or a coastal wetland consisting of vegetation, mud and crabs and perhaps some methane or hydrogen sulfide gas. But in previous times it may have been very different and it probably will be different...
Chapter
Coastal environments are changing throughout the world. Climate is only one of several drivers of change. Collectively, the suite of worldwide changes constitutes what is popularly referred to as “global change”. While climate is an essential and prominent member of that suite of changing environmental conditions, it is not the only thing that is c...
Chapter
Seas are rising and seriously impacting coasts and coastal communities globally. Global warming is causing melting of glaciers and steric expansion of water volume. Locally and regionally, other effects including land subsidence and the slowing of ocean currents such as the Gulf Stream are causing additional rises. By midcentury, relative sea level...
Chapter
Full-text available
The shape of the land and the processes that mold the land are mutually interconnected and change together as a complex system. The coupled suites of mutually-inter-dependent hydrodynamic, biologic and anthropogenic processes, seafloor and landscape morphologies interact to cause time-dependent sequences of change. In many cases it is moving water...
Article
Full-text available
We analyse the ‘three flaws’ to potentially defining a formal Anthropocene geological time unit as advanced by Ruddiman (2018). (1) We recognize a long record of pre-industrial human impacts, but note that these increased in relative magnitude slowly and were strongly time-transgressive by comparison with the extraordinarily rapid, novel and near-g...
Article
Spatial and temporal variability of river temperature, and its impact on sediment transport, is explored. Global river temperatures, computed daily using 1980–2010 climate, reflect latitudinal and seasonal variations in solar radiation, wind patterns, humidity, and water sources, and can be cooler or warmer than air temperatures. Subpolar, Polar an...
Article
We analyse the ‘three flaws’ to potentially defining a formal Anthropocene geological time unit as advanced by Ruddiman (2018). (1) We recognize a long record of pre-industrial human impacts, but note that these increased in relative magnitude slowly and were strongly time-transgressive by comparison with the extraordinarily rapid, novel and near-g...
Book
Full-text available
The Anthropocene, a term launched into public debate by Nobel Prize winner Paul Crutzen, has been used informally to describe the time period during which human actions have had a drastic effect on the Earth and its ecosystems. This book presents evidence for defining the Anthropocene as a geological epoch, written by the high-profile international...
Chapter
Deltas are the most productive and economically important global ecosystems, associated with some of the largest coastal marine fisheries and the majority of global coastal wetlands. They are often regions of intense economic activity. Because of their ecological richness, deltas support the highest values of ecosystem goods and services in the wor...
Article
The lower Yellow River channel was maintained by artificial levees between 1580 and 1849. During this period, 280 levee breaches occurred. To estimate sediment storage on the floodplains outside the levees, a regression model with a decadal time step was developed to calculate the outflow ratio for the years when levee breaching occurred. Uncertain...
Article
Full-text available
The unprecedented use of Earth's resources by humans, in combination with increasing natural variability in natural processes over the past century, is affecting the evolution of the Earth system. To better understand natural processes and their potential future trajectories requires improved integration with and quantification of human processes....
Article
A rivers’ longitudinal gradient (i.e. slope) is a key parameter in fluvial hydrology, hydraulics, and geomorphology. It affects a multitude of fluvial variables such as flow velocity and sediment transport. Limitations in river slope data, both its availability and accuracy, constrain the fidelity of fluvial modeling, particularly at larger or glob...
Chapter
Flooding is the most common natural hazard worldwide. While some events are seasonal, large floods are episodic making flood dynamics difficult to predict. Recent modeling advances of river‐floodplain interactions do provide first‐order estimates of magnitude, frequency, and duration of floods. Here we develop new capability for the Water Balance M...
Article
The Anthropocene as a potential new unit of the International Chronostratigraphic Chart (which serves as the basis of the Geological Time Scale) is assessed in terms of the stratigraphic markers and approximate boundary levels available to define the base of the unit. The task of assessing and selecting potential Global Boundary Stratotype Section...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Anthropocene, as a potential new unit of the International Chronostratigraphic Chart, is assessed in terms of stratigraphic markers and approximate boundary levels available to define the unit base. The task of assessing and selecting potential GSSP candidate sections, a requirement in seeking formalisation of the term, is being actively pursue...
Article
Full-text available
This study examines the morphodynamic response of a deltaic system to extreme weather events. The Wax Lake Delta (WLD) in Louisiana, USA, is used to illustrate the impact of extreme events (hurricanes) on a river-dominated deltaic system. Simulations using the open source Delft3D model reveal that Hurricane Rita, which made landfall 120 km to the w...
Book
Full-text available
This exciting volume presents the work and research of the Rivers of the Anthropocene Network, an international collaborative group of scientists, social scientists, humanists, artists, policymakers, and community organizers working to produce innovative transdisciplinary research on global freshwater systems. In an attempt to bridge disciplinary d...
Article
Full-text available
Limited measurements along Greenland’s remote coastline hamper quantification of the sediment and associated nutrients draining the Greenland ice sheet, despite the potential influence of river-transported suspended sediment on phytoplankton blooms and carbon sequestration. Here we calibrate satellite imagery to estimate suspended sediment concentr...
Article
The water-sediment regulation scheme (WSRS), beginning in 2002, was an unprecedented engineering effort to manage the Yellow River with the aims to mitigate the siltation both in the lower river channel and within the Xiaolangdi Reservoir utilizing the dam-regulated flood water. Ten years after its initial implementation, multi-disciplinary indicat...
Article
Modern deltas are dependent on human-mediated freshwater and sediment fluxes. Changes to these fluxes impact delta biogeophysical functioning and affect the long-term sustainability of these landscapes for human and for natural systems. Here we present contemporary estimates of long-term mean sediment balance and relative sea level rise across 46 g...
Article
Full-text available
The unprecedented use of Earth's resources by humans, in combination with the increasing natural variability in natural processes over the past century, is affecting evolution of the Earth system. To better understand natural processes and their potential future trajectories requires improved integration with and quantification of human processes....
Data
This is the link to the press release from University of Leicester for the new AWG paper authored by the above members of the working group: https://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/press/press-releases/2017/march/the-anthropocene-scientists-respond-to-criticisms-of-a-new-geological-epoch
Article
Full-text available
A range of published arguments against formalizing the Anthropocene as a geological time unit have variously suggested that it is a misleading term of non-stratigraphic origin and usage, is based on insignificant temporal and material stratigraphic content unlike that used to define older geological time units, is focused on observation of human hi...
Article
Myanmar is among 15 nations that account for 80% of global population exposed to flooding. In 2008, the country suffered exceptional damage and human mortalities (> 138,000) from tropical storm Nargis, which followed an unusual but not unprecedented storm track. In 2015, heavy monsoonal rains related to the tropical Madden–Julian Oscillation plus a...
Article
Full-text available
Some of the world's largest cities are sinking faster than the oceans are rising. Humans are part of the problem, but we can also be part of the solution through monitoring and modeling.
Article
Full-text available
Stratigraphy provides insights into the evolution and dynamics of the Earth System over its long history. With recent developments in Earth System science, changes in Earth System dynamics can now be observed directly and projected into the near future. An integration of the two approaches provides powerful insights into the nature and significance...
Article
The existing National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) MOD35_L2 cloud mask performance was assessed using imagery of Kangerlussuaq Fjord, Greenland. It was found to perform suboptimally, especially near glacially fed river mouths, due to sediment-laden water being highly reflective in...
Article
Full-text available
Biospheric relationships between production and consumption of biomass have been resilient to changes in the Earth system over billions of years. This relationship has increased in its complexity, from localised ecosystems predicated on anaerobic microbial production and consumption, to a global biosphere founded on primary production from oxygenic...
Article
Full-text available
The maturing of Earth system science as a discipline has underpinned the development of concepts such as the Anthropocene and planetary boundaries. The International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme's (IGBP) scientific and institutional history is deeply intertwined with the development of the concept of the Earth as a system as well as the discipline...
Article
Full-text available
Human activity is leaving a pervasive and persistent signature on Earth. Vigorous debate continues about whether this warrants recognition as a new geologic time unit known as the Anthropocene. We review anthropogenic markers of functional changes in the Earth system through the stratigraphic record. The appearance of manufactured materials in sedi...
Conference Paper
We study changes in global riverine water discharge and sediment flux over a 50-year period, 1960–2010, using the WBMsed v.2.0 global hydrological water balance model. Normalized departure from an annual mean is used to quantify spatial and temporal dynamics at continental scale. Coefficient of variance analysis is used to quantify temporal variabi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
A modelling of risks to subsea infrastructure of seabed sediment mass flows under extreme storm events has implications for stratigraphy on continental margins. This project under BOEM, coupled advanced modelling modules to investigate the phenomena. The period 2008-10 was used for test data, covering hurricanes Gustav and Ike, in the Mississippi t...
Article
Full-text available
The development of earth System Science has been inseparable in many ways from IGBP's scientific and institutional evolution.
Article
Full-text available
While the concept of the Anthropocene reflects the past and present nature, scale and magnitude of human impacts on the Earth System, its true significance lies in how it can be used to guide attitudes, choices, policies and actions that influence the future. Yet, to date much of the research on the Anthropocene has focused on interpreting past and...
Article
Full-text available
Deltas are highly sensitive to increasing risks arising from local human activities, land subsidence, regional water management, global sea-level rise, and climate extremes. We quantified changing flood risk due to extreme events using an integrated set of global environmental, geophysical, and social indicators. Although risks are distributed acro...
Article
Full-text available
A recently published analysis by Lewis and Maslin (Lewis SL and Maslin MA (2015) Defining the Anthropocene. Nature 519: 171–180) has identified two new potential horizons for the Holocene−Anthropocene boundary: 1610 (associated with European colonization of the Americas), or 1964 (the peak of the excess radiocarbon signal arising from atom bomb tes...
Article
Full-text available
The 'Anthropocene' concept provides a conceptual framework that encapsulates the current global situation in which society has an ever-greater dominating influence on Earth System functioning. Simulation models used to understand earth system dynamics provide early warning, scenario analysis and evaluation of environmental management and policies....