Professor Emeritus Profile Image
Professor Emeritus Earth and Atmospheric Sciences 402-472-2647 322 Bessey Hall

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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

    • 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, 375-386.
    • 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.