Postdoctoral Scholar Sourav Saha Uses Lidar, GIS, and Geochronology to Model Landscape Evolution
Sourav Saha joined the Kentucky Geological Survey (KGS) in January as a postdoctoral scholar associated with the Digital Earth Analysis Laboratory (DEAL). His goal is to develop project collaborations with researchers in the University of Kentucky (UK) departments of Earth and Environmental Sciences and Civil Engineering. Sourav comes to KGS from the University of California, Los Angeles where he specialized in single-grain luminescence techniques used to quantify the sediment flux and depositional characteristics of sand-size grains in southern California's semi-arid catchments.
Sourav grew up in the foothills of the eastern Himalaya, and says, "I pursued a career in geology because I am fascinated with how interactive our geosystem is at different spatiotemporal scales; I am curious about the physical and chemical processes of the natural world; and because of the fun of exploring and adventure." Prior to receiving his PhD in geology from the University of Cincinnati in 2018, Sourav earned master's degrees in geomorphology and geography from Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India.
During his graduate studies in New Delhi, Sourav explored the geologic features and landforms in remote parts of the western Himalaya, primarily by solo trips which often spanned for months. His work involved reconstructing past climate variations using high-frequency Holocene glacial records as a proxy in the Himalaya and Tibet. Sourav used cosmogenic dating, remote sensing, and statistical models to identify how different types of glaciers responded differently to a uniform change in the climate. He also collaborated on projects to quantify the rockwall slope erosion rates of mountain catchment headwaters across the distinct precipitation gradient in the northwest Himalaya.
Of his developing work at KGS, Saha says, "Even though my projects are in their incipient stage, I envision they will focus on utilizing the statewide Kentucky airborne lidar data, UAV lidar, the Google Earth Engine, geochronological techniques, and the Landlab model to create a model for landscape evolution in Kentucky. These projects may also compare landscape evolution in anthropologically altered areas at varying degrees."