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Gregory S. Hancock

Professor Emeritus

Email: [[gshanc]]

  • Middlebury College, B.S., Geology, 1989

  • University of California/Santa Cruz, M.S., Earth Sciences, 1995

  • University of California/Santa Cruz, Ph.D., Earth Sciences, 1998

Research Interests

Geomorphology, hydrology, landscape evolution, human influence on the landscape

 My research focuses on understanding the mechanics and rates of processes acting to shape the Earth's surface and the topographic changes produced by these processes. Much of my work is aimed at investigating the rates of incision and processes acting in bedrock-floored river systems, and the evolution of river form through time.  Rivers are the primary drivers of landscape evolution in most landscapes, and the rate at which rivers downcut through time generally dictates the rate at which the rest of the landscape evolves.

My research also includes applied hydrology and geomorphology. Human-induced land use changes have significantly altered surface hydrology over much of the planet, with potentially significant consequences to rivers and streams.  My students and I are working on several research projects to assess the impact of urban and agricultural runoff on streams and the success of engineered structures at minimizing these impacts.

Current Research Projects
  • The effects of weathering on bedrock channel erosion and form (funded by NSF Geomorphology and Land Use Dynamics)
  • Assessing rates and drivers of landscape evolution in the Piedmont and Blue Ridge using cosmogenic 10-beryllium to determine bare-bedrock and basin-averaged erosion rates
  • Determining the efficacy of wet retention ponds at protecting streams from urban runoff 
Publications since 2007

(updated 9/2018)

Schobe, C., Hancock, G.S., Eppes, M., & Small, E., (2017). Field evidence for the influence of weathering in shaping bedrock river channels. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 42(13), 1997-2012.

Hancock, G.S., Hamilton, S.E., *Stone, M., Kaste, J., & *Lovette, J. (2015).  A Geospatial Methodology to Identify Locations of Concentrated Runoff from Agricultural Fields.  JAWRA Journal of American Water Resources Association, 51(6), 1613-1625.

Small, E.E., Blom, T., Hancock, G.S., Hynek, B.M., & Wobus, C.W. (2015).  Variability of rock erodibility in bedrock-floored stream channels based on abrasion mill experiments.  Journal of Geophysical Research:  Earth Surface, 120(8), 1455-1469.

Caverly, E., Kaste, J.M., Hancock, G.S., & Chambers, R.M. (2013).  Dissolved and particulate organic carbon fluxes from an agricultural watershed during consecutive tropical storms.  Geophys. Res. Lett. 40(19), 2013GL057619-6, doi:10.1002/grl.50982

Abbot, L.D., & Hancock, G.S. (Eds.) (2013), Classic Concepts and New Directions: Exploring 125 years of GSA discoveries in the Rocky Mountain region, Geological Society of America (GSA) Field Guide 33, Boulder, CO. 388 p.

Hancock, G.S., E.E. Small, and C. Wobus (2011), Modeling the effects of weathering on bedrock‐floored channel geometry, J. Geophys. Res., 116, F03018, doi:10.1029/2010JF001908.

Hancock, G.S., J.W. Holley, and R.M. Chambers (2010), A Field-Based Evaluation of Wet Retention Ponds: How Effective Are Ponds at Water Quantity Control?, JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 46(6), 1145-1158.

Lang, K.A., L.B. Parker, and G.S. Hancock (2010), Open File Report 10-02: Bedrock and surficial geologic map along the James River near Hardware, Virginia, Virginia Division of Geology and Mineral Resources, Charlottesville.

Manduca, C.A., Baer, E., Hancock, G.S., Macdonald, R.H., Patterson, S., Savina, M., and Wenner, J., (2008), Making undergraduate geoscience quantitative. Eos, v. 89, p. 149-150.

Hancock, G., and M. Kirwan (2007), Summit erosion rates deduced from Be-10: Implications for relief production in the central Appalachians, Geology, 35(1), 89-92.

Densmore, A.L., M.A. Ellis, Y. Li, R. J. Zhou, G.S. Hancock, and N. Richardson (2007), Active tectonics of the Beichuan and Pengguan faults at the eastern margin of the Tibetan Plateau, Tectonics, 26(4).


GEOL 320: Earth Surface Processes

GEOL 314/ENSP 201: Watershed Dynamics

GEOL 315: Hydrology

GEOL 427: Numerical Modeling in the Earth Sciences

GEOL 310: Regional Field Geology- Geomorphology and Geology of California