Steve Lund

Professor of Earth Sciences
Pronouns He / Him / His Email Office ZHS 273 Office Phone (213) 740-5835

Research & Practice Areas

Climate Science, Geobiology, Geophysics, Tectonics


  • Ph.D. Geophysics, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, 1981
  • M.S. Geophysics, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, 1976
  • B.S. Geology, University of North Dakota Grand Forks, 1972
  • Summary Statement of Research Interests

    My primary research specialty is the Earth’s magnetic field and its variability through time. This includes the pattern of directional and intensity (secular) variation during intervals of stable magnetic field polarity such as today, the evidence for anomalous excursions, the sequence of magnetic field reversals, and the field geometry during transitions. All of these aspects of geomagnetic field variability provide insights into the magnetohydrodynamic processes active in the Earth’s core which generate the geomagnetic field. One of my long-term goals is to define as best possible the space/time structure of the geomagnetic field, to then look for evidence in that structure of recurring, distinctive features of the field that may indicate coherent dynamical elements in the core dynamo, and finally to link the observed patterns of field variation to current theoretical studies of dynamo processes in order to better understand the fundamental dynamics of dynamo activity in the Earth’s core.

    This primary research focus has fostered the development of four other research specialties:

    1) rock magnetism of sediments: Any paleomagnetic study of sedimentary rocks must evaluate the processes that produce (or subtract from) the natural magnetic remanence in sediments and estimate their relative times of remanence acquisition (or loss). These processes begin at the time of sediment deposition and may continue for an extended time thereafter as the sediment de-waters, compacts, and chemically alters. I am particularly interested in two aspects of these processes – early sediment diagenesis and biological factors in sediment magnetization.

    2) quaternary paleoclimate/paleoceanography: The quantification and timing of continental and oceanographic environmental/climatic variability requires multidisciplinary efforts. I have strong interests in such problems and believe that paleomagnetism/rock magnetism can provide unique perspectives on them. The pattern of directional secular variation can be used regionally to date Quaternary sediment sequences. The pattern of intensity variation and ocurrances of excursions can provide additional isochrons on a global scale. These dating/correlation tools can often dramatically improve the time resolution of sediment sequences and permit more detailed studies of the paleoclimatic and paleoceanographic variability recorded within them. By understanding the rock magnetic variability in sediments, one can estimate the role of physical and chemical environmental factors in the sediment magnetizations and estimate their paleoclimatic/paleoceanographic causes.

    3) microplate tectonics: I have maintained an interest in the application of paleomagnetic/rock magnetic tools to practical problems in structural geology and tectonics. I have focused on issues relating to the evolution of the North American Cordillera, especially evidence regarding possible large-scale strike-slip motions or rotations of crustal blocks (terranes) along the Cordilleran margin.

    4) time-series analysis: Time series analysis and related linear or nonlinear data processing techniques are necessary for considering the broad range of paleomagnetic field variation and paleoclimatic/paleoenvironmental variability that has occurred in the geologic past. Specific techniques include 1-D and 2-D spectral analysis, scalar and vector statistical analyses, mathematical simulation modeling, vector waveform analysis, and both linear and nonlinear (dynamical) systems.

  • Contracts and Grants Awarded

    • Reassessment Of The Mono Lake Excursion, (National Science Foundation), Lund, Steven Phillip, $155,000, 07/01/2006 – 06/30/2009
    • Collaborative Research: Pleistocene Geomagnetic Field Variability From the High Latitute Southern He, (National Science Foundation), Lund, Steven Phillip, $165,000, 01/01/2007 – 12/31/2008
    • Collaborative Research/Rui: Assessing Multi-Scale Holocene Climate Variability in Western North Amer, (National Science Foundation), Lund, Steven Phillip, $47,896, 09/01/2006 – 08/31/2008
    • Paleomagnetism and Rock Magnetism of Postglacial Carbonates from the Tahiti Coral Reef, (US Science Support Program, JOI), Steven Lund, Ellen Platzman, $29,128, 09/01/2006 – 08/31/2007
    • Paleomagnetism and Rock Magnetism of Postglacial Carbonates from the Tahiti Coral Reef, (US Science Support Program, JOI), Steven Lund, $44,271, 06/01/2006 – 05/31/2007
  • Book

    • Camoin, G., Iryu, Y., McInroy, D., Lund and others, S. P. (2007). Proceedings of the IODP: Expedition 310 report – Tahiti Sea Level. (Vol. 310) Integrated Ocean Drilling Program.

    Book Chapters

    • Lund, S. P., Stoner, J., Lamy, F. (2007). Late Quaternary Paleomagnetic Secular Variation Records and Chronostratigraphy from ODP Sites 1233 and 1234. pp. p. 200-210. Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Project, Scientific Results Volume 202.
    • Lund, S. P., Stoner, J., Channell, J., Lamy, F. (2007). Detailed paleomagnetic and rock magnetic variability within three Site 1233 high-resolution study intervals. pp. p. 210-220. Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Project, Scientific Results Volume 202.
    • Lund, S. P. (2007). Paleomagnetic secular variation. (Vol. NA) Encyclopedia of Geomagnetism and Paleomagnetism.
    • Lund, S. P., Tiedemann, R., Stern, A., Steph, S., Stoner, J. (2007). Astronomically calibrated time scales from 6-2.5 Ma and benthic isotope stratigraphies. (Vol. vol. 202) Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Project.

    Journal Article

    • Kirby, M., Lund, S. P., Anderson, M., Bird, B. (2007). Insolation forcing of Holocene climate change in Southern California: a sediment study from Lake Elsinore. Journal of Paleolimnology.
    • Paces, J., Neymark, L., Whelan, J., Wooden, J., Marshall, B., Peterman, Z., Lund, S. P. (2007). Impacts of Quaternary climate change on unsaturated-flow zone through Yucca Mountain, Nevada, derived from U-series ages, growth rates, and cathodoluminenscence in subsurface secondary opal. Scientific Investigations Report 07-xx/U.S. Geological Survey.
    • Lund, S. P., Stott, L. D., Schwartz, M., Thunell, R., Chen, A. (2006). Holocene paleomagnetic secular variation records from the western Equatorial Pacific Ocean. Earth and Planetary Science letters/Elsevier. Vol. 246, pp. 381-392.
    • Yuan, F., Linsley, B., Benson, L., Lund, S. P. (2006). Late Holocene lake level reconstruction based on a sediment record at decadal resolution from Walker Lake, Nevada. Paleogeog., Paleoclim., Paleoecol.. Vol. 240, pp. 497-507.
    • Lund, S. P., Stoner, J., Channell, J., Acton, G. (2006). Brunhes Paleomagnetic Field Variability Recorded in Ocean Drilling Program Cores. Phys. Earth Planet. Int.. Vol. 156, pp. 194-205.
    • Kirby, M., Lund, S. P., Bird, B. (2006). Mid-Wisconsin sediment record from Baldwin Lake reveals hemispheric climate dynamics (Southern CA, USA). Paleogeog., Paleoclim., Paleoecol.. Vol. 241, pp. 267-283.
    • Lund, S. P., Schwartz, M., Keigwin, L., Johnson, T. (2005). Deep-sea sediment records of the Laschamp geomagnetic field excursion (~41,000 cal. Yrs. BP). J. Geophys. Res.. Vol. 110, pp. B04101.
    • Kirby, M., Lund, S. P., Poulsen, C. (2005). Hydrologic Variability and the Onset of Modern El Niño-Southern Oscillation: A 19,250 Calendar Year Record From Lake Elsinore, southern California. J. Quat. Sci.. pp. p. 239-254.
    • Stott, L. D., Prokopenko, M., Thunell, R., Haug, G., Koutavas, A., Lund, S. P. (2004). Decline of surface temperature and salinity in the western tropical Pacific Ocean in the Holocene epoch: Nature, v. 431, p. 56-59. Nature. Vol. v. 431, pp. 56-59.