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Steve Colman


Large Lakes Observatory
University of Minnesota Duluth
2205 E. 5th St.,
Research Laboratory Building 208
Duluth, MN 55812

Tel. (218) 726-6723

Fax: (218) 726-6979

email: scolman at


  • Quaternary stratigraphy and geochronolgy in terrestrial, lacustrine, and nearshore marine environments.
  • Paleoclimatic and paleoenvironmental records from the sediments of large lakes and estuaries.
  • Use of biogenic silica, radiocarbon dating, and high-resolution seismic-reflection stratigraphy in paleoenvironmental research.


University of Colorado, Ph.D.
Pennsylvania State University, M.S.
University of Notre Dame, B.S.


  • Paleoenvironmental records from Lake Qinghai, China (NSF Grant: Tracing the late Quaternary record of the Asian monsoon system: Paleoclimate history from the Qinghai Lake Drilling Project)
  • Sedimentary process, isostatic rebound, and the effects of climate change in Lake Superior
  • Deglacial history of the upper Laurentian Great Lakes (NSF Grant: Testing the Hypothesis of Eastward Lake Agassiz Discharge at the Beginning of the Younger Dryas using Marine Seismic-Reflection Methods)


An, Z., Colman, S.M., Zhou, W., Brown, E., Li, X., Jull, A.T., Wang, S., Liu, W., Sun, Y., Lu, X., Song, Y., Chang, H., Cai, Y., Xu, H., Wang, X., Liu, X., Han, Y., Cheng, P., Ai, L., Wang, Z., Chang, X., Zhu, Y., Wu, Z., Liu, X., in press. Interplay between the Westerlies and the Asian summer monsoon recorded in Lake Qinghai sediments since 32 ka. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Voytek, E.B., Colman, S.M., Wattrus, N.J., Gary, J.L., Lewis, C.F.M., 2011. Thunder Bay, Ontario, was not a pathway for catastrophic floods from glacial Lake Agassiz. Quaternary International.

Gary, J.L., Colman, S.M., Wattrus, N.J., Lewis, C.F.M., 2011. Post-Marquette discharge from Glacial Lake Agassiz into the Superior basin. Journal of Paleolimnology.

Yu, S.-Y., Colman, S.M., Lowell, T.V., Milne, G.A., Fisher, T.G., Breckenridge, A., Boyd, M., Teller, J.T., 2010. Freshwater Outburst from Lake Superior As a Trigger for the Cold Event 9300 Years Ago. Science 328, 1262-1266.

Colman, S.M., Rosenbaum, J.G., Kaufman, D.S., Dean, W.E., McGeehin, J.P., 2009. Radiocarbon ages and age models for the last 30,000 years in Bear Lake, Utah-Idaho, In: Rosenbaum, J.G., Kaufman, D.S. (Eds.), Paleoenvironments of Bear Lake, Utah and Idaho, and Its Catchment. Geological Society of America, Special Paper 450, pp. 133-144.

Colman, S.M., Yu, S.-Y., An, Z., Shen, J., and Henderson, A.C.G., 2007, Late-Cenozoic climate changes in China's western interior: A review of research on Lake Qinghai and comparison with other records: Quaternary Science Reviews, v. 26, p. 2281-2300.

Colman, S.M., 2007, Conventional wisdom and climate history: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, v. 104, p. 6500-6501.

Colman, S.M., Kaufman, D.S., Bright, J., Heil, C., King , J.W., Dean, W.E., Rosenbaum, J.R., Forester, R.M., Bischoff, J.L., and Perkins, M., 2006, Age Models for a Continous 250-kyr Quaternary Lacustrine Record from Bear Lake, Utah-Idaho: Quaternary Science Reviews, v. 25, p. 2271-2282.

Colman, S.M., 2006, Acoustic stratigraphy of Bear Lake, Utah-Idaho-Late Quaternary sedimentation patterns in a simple half-graben: Sedimentary Geology, v. 185, p. 113-125.

Colman, S.M., Bradbury, J.P., Rosenbaum, J.G., and Adam, D.P., 2004, Paleolimnology and paleoclimate studies in Upper Klamath Lake: Journal of Paleolimnology, v. 31, p. 129-138.

Colman, S.M., Bradbury, J.P., McGeehin, J.P., Holmes, C.W., Edginton, D., and Sarna-Wojcicki, A.M., 2004, Chronology of sediment deposition in Upper Klamath Lake, Oregon: Journal of Paleolimnology, v. 31, p. 139-149.

Colman, S.M., Karabanov, E.B., and Nelson, C.H., 2003, Quaternary depositional patterns and environments in Lake Baikal from high-resolution seismic stratigraphy and coring: Journal of Sedimentary Research v. 73, p. 941-956.

Colman, S.M., 2002, Paleoclimate: A Fresh Look at Glacial Floods: Science, v. 296, p. 1251-1252.

Colman, S.M., and Bratton, J.F., 2003, Anthropogenically induced changes in sediment and biogenic silica fluxes in Chesapeake Bay: Geology, v. 31, p. 71-74.

Colman, S.M., Baucom, P.C., Bratton, J., Cronin, T.M., McGeehin, J.P., Willard, D., Zimmerman, A., and Vogt, P., 2002, Radiocarbon Dating, Chronologic Framework, and Changes in Accumulation Rates of Holocene Estuarine Sediments from Chesapeake Bay: Quaternary Research, v. 57, 58-70.

Colman, S.M., Kelts, K., and Dinter, D., 2002, Depositional history and neotectonics in Great Salt Lake, Utah from high-resolution seismic stratigraphy: Sedimentary Geology, v. 148, p. 61-78.


Colman, S.M., 1996, Continental Drilling for Paleoclimatic Records: Recommendations from an International Workshop: PAGES Workshop Report Series 96-4, 104 pp.

Colman, S.M., Peck, J.A., Karabanov, E.B., Carter, S.J., Bradbury, J.P., King, J.W., and Williams, D.F., 1995, Continental climate response to orbital forcing from biogenic silica records in Lake Baikal, Siberia: Nature, vol. 378, p. 769-771.

Colman, S.M., Forester, R.M., Reynolds, R.L., Sweetkind, D.S., King, J.W., Gangemi, P., Jones, G.A., Keigwin, L.D., and Foster, D.S., 1994, Lake-level history of Lake Michigan for the past 12,000 years--The record from deep lacustrine sediments: Journal of Great Lakes Research, vol. 20, p. 73-92. (IAGLR Chandler-Meisner Award)

Colman, S.M., and Watson, K., 1983, Ages estimated from a diffusion-equation model for scarp degradation: Science, v. 221, p. 263-265.

Colman, S.M., 1982, Chemical weathering of basalts and andesites--Evidence from weathering rinds, U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1246, 51 p. (GSA Kirk Bryan Award).

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