Erik Larson

About

Dr. Erik Larson is an assistant professor of geology for the Department of Natural Sciences at Shawnee State University. Erik’s areas of expertise are carbonate sedimentology and stratigraphy, and karst. His current areas of research interest involve Quaternary carbonate environments, carbonate island hydrology and geology, karst mapping techniques and technology, high latitude/glaciated karst, and the mid-Silurian geology of the Michigan Basin. Outside the classroom, Erik enjoys hiking, rock/mineral/fossil collecting, camping, reading, listening to music, railfanning, watching science fiction TV shows, and spending time with his critters.

Education

Mississippi State University
Ph.D. in Earth and Atmospheric Science, 2014
Dissertation: Bahamian Quaternary geology and the global carbon budget

Unity College
B.S. in Environmental Analysis, 2010
Senior Thesis: Paleoenvironmental change of Unity Pond, Waldo County, Maine

Primary Course Offerings
  • GEOL 1201 – Physical Geology and the Human Environment
  • GEOL 1202 – Historical Geology
  • GEOL 2204 – Sedimentary Rocks / Stratigraphy
  • GEOL 4212 – Advanced Geologic Mapping
  • GEOL 4310 – Geomorphology
  • GEOL 4311 – Surface and Groundwater Hydrology
  • GEOL 4420 – Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

Activities and Research

Research

Erik’s research is heavily field based and focuses on carbonate rocks and karst. Erik’s primary current research projects are:

Bahamian Island Geology

The Bahamian Islands are a fantastic place to study carbonate geology given the spatial and temporal constraints present. In the Bahamas Erik’s research group is investigating: 1) the development of flank margin caves and their morphology; 2) cave mapping technologies; 3) denudation rates; 4) blue hole development and expression; 5) conduit cave development, and; 6) sedimentation and stratigraphy. 

 Bahamian Island Geology - picture 1

Bahamian Island Geology - picture 2

Mid-Silurian Stratigraphy of the Michigan Basin

The Silurian Stratigraphy of the Michigan Basin has been contentious since the earliest development of oil fields in Michigan. Most studies into the Mid-Silurian stratigraphy have focused on core analysis, however Erik’s group studies these rocks in outcrop in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Erik’s group is currently investigating: 1) the Manistique Group stratigraphy; 2) the Engadine Group stratigraphy, and; 3) diagenesis and silicification of the outcropping units. 

 Mid-Silurian Stratigraphy

Mid-Silurian Stratigraphy - picture 2

Karst of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

Michigan is well known for its lack of caves, however there is still plenty of exciting karst to investigate. Topics that are currently being investigated include: 1) the location of karst features in the Hiawatha National Forest; 2) the genesis of grike fields; 3) the genesis of boulder fields, and; 4) the location and flow paths of sinkholes and springs.

 Karst

Dissolution Rates

One of the difficulties in karst studies is determining how quickly the rocks are dissolving. Field measurements can be difficult to obtain and control, whereas theoretical rates do not account for the extremely heterogeneous nature of the rocks. Erik’s research group has setup an experiment to calculate dissolution rates of carbonate rocks which can be used to help further constrain karst development.

 Carbonate dissolution

If any of these research topics are of interest to you, or if you have another project idea related to carbonates and karst please get in touch with Erik!

Publications

  1. Sumrall, J.L., Clary, R.M. & Larson, E.B., 2017, Influence of geographic affiliation on student performance in online geology and meteorology courses: Journal of Geoscience Education, v. 65, no. 3, p. 336-345, doi: 10.5408/15-139.1.
  2. Sumrall, J.B., Larson, E.B. & Mylroie, J.E., 2017, Very high magnesium calcite formation and microbial communities found in porosity of the Seroe Domi formation of Curacao, Netherland Antilles: Carbonates and Evaporites, v. 32, no. 2, p. 123-133, doi: 10.1007/s13146-017-0352-7.
  3. Sumrall, J.B., Larson, E.B. & Mylroie, J.E., 2016, Caves within dolomitized sections of the Seroe Domi Formation on Curacao, Netherland Antilles: Acta Carsologica, v. 45, no. 1, p. 19-32, doi: 10.3986/ac.v45i1.650.
  4. Kambesis, P.N., Larson, E.B. & Mylroie, J.E., 2016, Morphometric analysis of cave patterns using fractal indicies: in Feinberg, J., Gao, Y & Alexander, Jr., E.C., Caves and Karst Across Time: Geological Society of America Special Paper 516, p. 67-86, doi: 10.1130/2016.2516(06).
  5. Kambesis, P.N., Mylroie, J.R., Mylroie, J.E., Larson, E.B., Owen-Nagel, A.M. & Sumrall, J.B., 2016, Influence of karst denudation on the northwest coast of Curacao: in Glumac, B. & Savarese, M., eds., Proceedings of the 16th Symposium on the Geology of the Bahamas and other Carbonate Regions, Gerace Research Centre, San Salvador, Bahamas, p. 200-212.
  6. Larson, E.B., Mylroie, J.E., Albury, N., Kakuk, B. & Iliffe, T., 2016, Infilled blue holes on the Bahama banks as point sources for whiting origin: in Glumac, B. & Savarese, M., eds., Proceedings of the 16th Symposium on the Geology of the Bahamas and other Carbonate Regions, Gerace Research Centre, San Salvador, Bahamas, p. 237-242.
  7. Mylroie, J.E., Kambesis, P.N., Owen, A.M., Sumrall, J.B., Larson, E.B., Mylroie, J.R. & Lace, M.J., 2016, Flank margin cave development at Cala Pi and Cala Figuera, Mallorca Island, Spain: in Glumac, B. & Savarese, M., eds., Proceedings of the 16th Symposium on the Geology of the Bahamas and other Carbonate Regions, Gerace Research Centre, San Salvador, Bahamas, p. 213-221.
  8. Larson, E.B. & Mylroie, J.E., 2014, A review of whiting formation in the Bahamas and new models: Carbonates and Evaporites, v. 29, p. 337-347, doi: 10.1007/s13146-014-0212-7
  9. Larson, E.B. & Mylorie, J.E., 2013, Quaternary glacial cycles: Karst processes and the global CO2 budget: Acta Carsologica, v. 42, no. 2-3, p. 197-202, doi: 10.3986/ac.v42i2-3.661
  10. Alexander, S.C., Rahimi, M., Larson, E.B., Bomberger, C., Greenwaldt, B & Alexander, Jr., E.C., 2013, Combining LiDAR, aerial photography, and Pictometry® tools for karst features database management: in: NCKRI Symposium 2: Proceedings of the 13th Multidisciplinary Conference on Sinkholes and the Engineering and Environmental Impacts of Karst May 6-10, 2013: Land, L., Doctor, D.H. & Stephenson, J.B (eds.), p. 441-448.

Presentations (since 2015), student co-authors are in bold

  • Larson, E.B., 2017, Teaching groundwater hydrology principles inexpensively: Permeameters and Darcy’s Law. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, vol. 49, no. 6.
  • Leesburg, J.N., Larson, E.B., Gauvey, K.L., Sumrall, J.B., Hahn, M.S., Stratigraphic reconnaissance of the Bush Bay Formation, Engadine Group, Hiawatha National Forest, Upper Peninsula, MI. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, vol. 49, no. 6.
  • Sumrall, J.B., Larson, E.B., Burton, M.I., Quiroga, A., Vega, J., Gauvey, K.L., Leesburg, J.N., 2017, Relationship of bedrock geology and karst features in the St. Ignace District of the Hiawatha National Forest, UP Michigan. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, vol. 49, no. 6.
  • Gauvey, K.L., Sumrall, J.B., Leesburg, J.N., Larson, E.B., Hahn, M.S., 2017, Stratigraphic framework of silicification in the middle Silurian carbonates of the St. Ignace District of the Hiawatha National Forest, UP Michigan. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, vol. 49, no. 6.
  • Larson, E.B., Testa, M.P., Burton, M.I. & Evans, B.A., 2017, Improved cave surveying techniques for enhanced mapping and realistic modeling in the Compass software. VII Convencion de Ciencias de la Tierra, XII Congreso de Geologia (Geologia 2017), Havana, Cuba, p. 16.
  • Testa, M.P., Larson, E.B. & Kirkland, B.L., 2017, The identification and influence of organic matter on carbonate mineral growth. VII Convencion de Ciencias de la Tierra, XII Congreso de Geologia (Geologia 2017), Havana, Cuba, p. 192.
  • Burton, M.I., Carpenter, D.D. & Larson, E.B., 2016, A new cave survey technique for improving 3D rendering and volumetric accuracy within the Compass software. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, vol. 48, no. 7.
  • Burton, M.I., Sumrall, J.B. & Larson, E.B., 2016, Grike (kluftkarren) development in the Hiawatha National Forest, Upper Peninsula, Michigan. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, vol. 48, no. 7.
  • Larson, E.B. & Sumrall, J.B., 2016, Surifical karst and pseudokarst features of the Hiawatha National Forest, Upper Peninsula, Michigan. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, vol. 48, no. 7.
  • Leesburg, J.N., Hall, V.P. & Larson, E.B., 2016, Calculating dissolution rates of carbonate rocks: A new laboratory method. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, vol. 48, no. 7.
  • Sumrall, J.B. & Larson, E.B., 2016, Surficial geologic reconnaissance of the St. Ignace District of the Hiawatha National Forest. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, vol. 48, no. 7.
  • Quiroga, A., Sumrall, J.B. & Larson, E.B., 2016, Geochemical delineation of the Middle Silurian carbonates of the Hiawatha National Forest, Michigan. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, vol. 48, no. 1.
  • Vega, J., Sumrall, J.B. & Larson, E.B., 2016, Cementation history within the Silurian carbonates of the Hiawatha National Forest, Michigan. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, vol. 48, no. 1.
  • Burton, M.I., Vega, J., Quiroga, A., Ramos, M., Sumrall, J.B. & Larson, E.B., 2015, Formation of surficial karst features in the Hiawatha National Forest, Upper Peninsula, Michigan. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, vol. 47, no. 7, p. 557.
  • Evans, B.A. & Larson, E.B., 2015, Further advances in cave volume calculations: Continued refinement of the Compass® software. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, vol. 47, no. 7, p. 415.
  • Kambesis, P.N., Mylroie, J. & Larson, E.B., 2015, Morphometric analysis of cave patterns using fractal indices. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, vol. 47, no. 7, p. 415.
  • Larson, E.B. & Mylroie, J.E., 2015, Blue holes, conduit caves, and whitings of the Bahamas. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, vol. 47, no. 7, p. 557.
  • Quiroga, A., Ramos, M., Vega, J., Burton, M.I., Larson, E.B. & Sumrall, J.B., 2015, Elemental and mineralogical analysis of the Engadine Group in the Upper Peninsula, MI. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, vol. 47, no. 10, p. 361.
  • Ramos, M., Quiroga, A., Burton, M.I., Vega, J., Larson, E.B. & Sumrall, J.B., 2015, Using magnetic susceptibility and stable isotopes to correlate outcrops of the Engadine Group within in the Hiawatha National Forest of the Upper Peninsula, MI. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, vol. 47, no. 10, p. 361.
  • Sumrall, J.B. & Larson, E.B., 2015, The status of island karst processes on island Cenozoic dolostones. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, vol. 47, no. 10, p. 557.
  • Vega, J., Burton, M. I., Quiroga, A., Ramos, M., Larson, E.B. & Sumrall, J.B., 2015, Petrographic correlation between outcroppings of the Silurian carbonates in the Hiawatha National Forest of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, vol. 47, no. 10, p. 361.
  • Evans, B.A. & Larson, E.B., 2015, Advances in cave volume calculations: Refinement of the Compass® software. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, vol. 47, no. 2, p. 92.
  • Sumrall, J.B. & Larson, E.B., 2015, Petrogenesis of volcaniclastic carbonate rocks from the Seroe Domi Formation, Curacao. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, vol. 47, no. 1, p. 45.

Invited Presentations:

  • September 2017: Creek Run LLC Training Seminar and Environmental Geology Symposium
  • April 2016: The Ohio University Geoscience Colloquium September
  • 2015: Creek Run LLC Training Seminar and Environmental Geology Symposium 

Additional Information

Affiliations:

  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • American Association of Petroleum Geologists
  • Geological Society of America
  • National Speleological Society

Faculty by Discipline

Contact Information

Department of Natural Sciences
940 Second Street
Portsmouth, OH 45662

Dr. Andy Napper, Chairperson
Sharon Messer, Secretary

Phone: (740) 351-3456
Fax: (740) 351-3596

smesser@shawnee.edu or
science@shawnee.edu

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