I am a geoscientist with a broad interest in the dynamics and the time- and spatial scales of Earth’s surface processes. Combining field observations, remote sensing, geochronology, laboratory experiments, and geochemical analyses, I am particularly invested in studying links between active tectonics, erosion processes, and chemical cycles.

Currently, I am a postdoctoral researcher at the German Research Center for Geosciences (GFZ) in Potsdam, Germany, where I started my latest project together with Niels Hovius and a number of collaborators. We study the weathering of silicate and carbonate rocks in rapidly uplifting landscapes and the importance of floods and landslides in controlling weathering in these landscapes.

Previously, I completed my PhD  at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), working with Douglas Burbank. There, we studied variations of tectonic uplift rates of a series of folds across timescales of years to millions of years, as well as the stunningly rapid erosion of these folds by alluvial rivers. In addition, together with Chris Paola at St Anthony Falls Laboratory, we developed a model for the lateral erosion of topography using sandbox experiments.

Please have a look around the site for more information on current and past projects and do not hesitate to contact me with any questions.

Email: aaronbufe (at) gmail (dot) com


New Publication: In the forealand of the Tian Shan rivers erode kilometer-wide platforms into folds that are rapidly uplifting. In our new paper, we show that the existence of these eroded surfaces imply that rivers must change the rate at which they migrate laterally by, perhaps as much as an order of magnitude over timescales of thousands of years. Such large changes in the lateral erosion rate seem to occur in response to much smaller (less than order-of magnitude) changes in climate or tectonics. Get the full story in Variations of Lateral Bedrock Erosion Rates Control Planation of Uplifting Folds in the Foreland of the Tian Shan, NW China, published in JGR Earth Surface (Link).

EGU 2018 Session: As soon as AGU is over, EGU is approaching. If you are working on anything related to chemical weathering, or  global chemical cycles, please consider submitting to our session: Chemical weathering and organic carbon mobilization: From mountains to basins. (Link)

AGU 2017 Poster: We presented our newest findings on the controls on lateral channel mobility at AGU 2017. Experimental evidence for a control by channel-wall height on alluvial channel migration  Link to the poster

Blog article about field work: Robert Emberson wrote a nice two-part AGU blog post about our recent field work in Taiwan and the major rainstorm we experienced (> 1.2m of rain in three days) – Links to Part 1 and Part 2.

AGU 2017 Session: The AGU abstract deadline is approaching! Please consider submitting to our session on Physical experiments of Earth surface processes: novel results and advances in methods, instrumentation, and data handling (Link)

New publication: Our study on the Quaternary Tectonic Evolution of the Pamir-Tian Shan Convergence Zone, Northwest China got accepted in Tectonics. You can see the preliminary version here.

New publication: Our paper got accepted in Geophysical Research Letters on Temporal changes in rock-uplift rates of folds in the foreland of the Tian Shan and Pamir from geodetic and geologic data. The paper is still in print but you can see the preliminary version here.

EGU 2017 – Talk: Watch out for our talk at EGU: Variations in lateral erosion rates control fluvial planation and strath terrace formation on uplifting folds: Evidence from both the field and sandbox model (Link)

EGU 2017 – Poster: Watch out for our poster at EGU: Geomorphic evidence for Quaternary tectonics on the southern flank of the Yellowstone hotspots from terraces and stream profiles along the Hoback and Snake River (Link)

Today, I started a new position as a postdoctoral researcher at the German Research Center for Geosciences (GFZ) in Potsdam!

AGU 2017 – Poster: Watch out for my poster at AGU: T51F-2991: Insights into the Quaternary tectonics of the Yellowstone hotspot from a terrace record along the Hoback and Snake rivers.

TerraSAR-X / TanDEM-X Meeting: Poster presentation at the TerraSAR-X / TanDEM-X Science Team Meeting: Rapid deformation in the foreland of the Pamir and Tian Shan, western China, revealed by Envisat-ASAR radar interferometry.

GSA 2016: Talk at GSA Annual meeting in Denver: Quaternary tectonics along the flanks of Yellowstone from terraces along the Hoback and Snake River

New publication: Our paper got accepted in Nature Geoscience: Fluvial bevelling of topography controlled by lateral channel mobility and uplift rate.