Daniel Buscombe

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Research Gate


Current Role

I am currently a Research Geologist at the U.S. Geological Survey. I study the complex inter-relations between fluid flows, landforms, sediment transport and sedimentology. My research approach is interdisciplinary in sedimentology, coastal and hydraulic engineering, and geophysics, applying methodologies ranging from field surveys and laboratory analysis to analytical and numerical modeling. Of special interest to me is geostatistical analyses, computational geomorphology and sedimentology, stochastic modeling techniques, instrument design, and the remote characterization of sedimentary environments, which includes sensing the properties of flows and particles at rest and in motion, in single and multiphase flows, both terrestrial and subaqueous, by developing and applying novel acoustics and optics instrumentation and computational algorithms Additionally, I invest time in supporting, developing, and maintaining various open source scientific packages in the Python world. Through all of this, I enjoy working on the instrumentational and computational methodologies that are helping push forward geosciences research in the era of ever-growing datasets.

My Research

Principally, I measure sediment: what is it made of; what lives in or on it; how it gets picked up by flows of air and water; how it gets deposited into landforms; how these processes evolve in time due to feedback processes; how it gets preserved in the rock record. The properties of sediment (grain size, shape, packing, cohesion, etc) fundamentally control what grows in or on it; how fast and far it moves; how long it stays there. These properties govern the dynamics of air and water turbulence; water turbidity; formation of dunes in deserts, rivers and seas; the attenuation and scattering of light and sound; and landform stability. Documenting and understanding how sediment properties change in time and space is fundamental to understanding and modeling the hydraulics of open channel flow; the mechanics of sediment transport in water and air; the evolution of landforms; and the distribution of primary producers which support ecosystems of all types.