Professor Emeritus Profile Image
Professor Emeritus Earth and Atmospheric Sciences 318 Bessey Hall

Please click here to visit my homepage.

Most of my research has involved wind-blown sediments on the Great Plains (Quaternary) and on the Colorado Plateau (Pennsylvanian through Jurassic). A recently completed project focused on rain-slumped strata within the Navajo Sandstone along the Utah-Arizona border. Clint Rowe and I have been trying to use the cross-strata in the Navajo to figure out atmospheric circulation over the supercontinent Pangea during the Early Jurassic. I've also been working with vertebrate paleontologists on some exciting Cretaceous sites in Mongolia, China, and Patagonia.

The Nebraska Sand Hills cover nearly one fourth of the state of Nebraska and provide some "ground truth" for interpretations of ancient wind-blown sandstones. More important, however, is their record of Quaternary climate change on the Great Plains. Recent work has shown that most of this giant dunefield--including bedforms up to 400 feet high--was active only a few thousand years ago. Jim Swinehart of the Conservation and Survey Division of University of Nebraska, my students, and I have been studying the interactions of streams, dunes, and lakes on the Great Plains during the latest Pleistocene and the Holocene. 

Most recently I've been working with Dick Kettler, Ross Secord, and Cara Burberry on three different projects: iron-rich concretions (southern Utah); rising anticlines (central Wyoming), and sheeting joints (southern Utah). 

Selected Publications

Loope, D.B. and Secord, R., 2017, Interactions of a
     Paleocene river, a rising fold, and early
     diagenetic concretions: Journal of Sedimentary
     Research, v. 87, p . 866-879.

Burgess, D.T., Kettler, R.M., and Loope, D.B., 2016,
     The geologic context of wonderstone a
     complex, outcrop-scaled pattern of iron-oxide
     cement: Journal of Sedimentary Research, v. 86,

Kettler, R.M., Loope, D.B., Weber, K.A. and Niles,
     P.B., 2015, Life and Liesegang: Outcrop-scale
     microbially induced diagenetic structures and
     geochemical self-organization phenomena
     produced by oxidation of reduced iron:
     Astrobiology, v. 15, no. 8, p. 616-636.

Loope, D.B., and Kettler, R.M., 2015, The footprints
     of ancient CO2-driven flow systems: Ferrous
     carbonate concretions below bleached
     sandstone; Geosphere, v. 11, p. 943-957.

Loope, D.B., Seiler, W.S., Mason, J.A., and Chan,
     M.A., 2008, Wind scour of Navajo Sandstone at
     The Wave (Central Colorado Plateau, USA),
     Journal of Geology, 116, 173-183.

Miao, X., Mason, J.A., Swinehart, J.B., Loope, D.B.,
     Hanson, P.R., Goble, R.J., and Liu, X., 2007, A
     10,000 year record of dune activity, dust storms,
     and severe drought in the central Great Plains,
     Geology, 35, 119-122.

Milan, J. and Loope, D.B., 2007, Preservation and
     erosion of theropod tracks in eolian deposits:
     examples from the Middle Jurassic Entrada
     Sandstone, Utah, U.S.A., Journal of Geology, 115,

Rowe, C.M., Loope, D.B., Oglesby, R.J., Van der
     Voo, R. and Broadwater, C.E., 2007,
     Inconsistencies between Pangean
     reconstructions and basic climate controls,
     Science, 318, 1284-1286.

Loope, D.B., 2006, Burrows dug by large
     vertebrates into rain-moistened, Middle Jurassic
     dune sand, Journal of Geology, 114, 753-762.

Sridhar, V., Loope, D.B., Swinehart, J.B., Mason,
     J.A., Oglesby, R.J., and Rowe, C.M., 2006, Large
     Wind Shift on the Great Plains during the
     Medieval Warm Period, Science, 313, 345-347.