Dr. John Holbrook

Professor of Geology - Texas Christian University

Dr. John Holbrook is a Professor in the Department of Geology and the Energy Institute at Texas Christian University. He previously served as a Professor at University of Texas at Arlington and Southeast Missouri State University. His research interests are field oriented, focusing mostly on both modern and ancient fluvial systems and physical stratigraphy. Current interests include basin permeability architecture and connectivity of flow paths, mechanics of discontinuity surfaces, and tectonic and climatic impact on river processes. He applies his research widely across petroleum, geothermal, and environmental issues. He gained his B.S. at the University of Kentucky, his M.S. at the University of New Mexico, and his Ph.D. at Indiana University, all in Geology. He chairs the NSF Research Coordination Network for research in geothermal energy from sedimentary basins. He has served on several committees at SEPM, GSA, and AAPG. He is a member of GSA Council, past Chair of the GSA Sedimentary Geology Section, and is a GSA Fellow. He has served SEPM on SEPM Council and as President of Gulf Coast and Mid-Continent section, and he teaches short courses and serves/chairs committees for AAPG. He recently served as vice chair on the Board of Geologist Registration in Missouri.

Dr. Holbrook’s research interests are broad, but have a common theme centered about fluvial sedimentology. Most particularly, current research interests focus on the factors controlling fluvial geomorphology and resultant fluvial depositional architecture. As such, a high concentration is placed on the factors linking fluvial surficial processes and preservation of fluvial sediments.

He currently maintain ongoing research in both modern and ancient fluvial sedimentation. Recent work has addressed how neotectonic and climatic effects on fluvial geomorphology are preserved in the Holocene fluvial strata of active river systems. He and his students have on-going research in several areas. Where the Mississippi River crosses the New Madrid seismic zone, we are working to develop the use of fluvial sedimentology as a paleoseisimic proxy. Neotectonic effects on rivers are also being explored in the Rhine-Meuse delta of The Netherlands, and the Channel Country of Australia. His students are currently drilling holes in the lower Missouri Valley in order to develop the first chronology of these Holocene strata. This is part of their effort to patch together the runoff history of the northern Great Plains and thus gain some insights into the Holocene paleoclimate history of the North American interior. As well, we have active research in Cretaceous strata of the U.S. Western Interior. Research here focuses on the interaction between upstream vs. downstream controls on fluvial architecture, the origin and hierarchy of fluvial bounding surfaces, and the effects of river input on the interaction between the Boreal and Tethyan seas.