Oregon State University

College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences

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Alexander (Alex) Rohrmann

Alexander Rohrmann photo
Research Associate (Post Doc)
Discipline: Geology and Geophysics
Office: Wilkinson 202
Email: rohrmana@oregonstate.edu
Vita or Résumé (PDF)

Research Interests:

Lipid Biomarkers
Tectonics
Geochronology
Stable Isotopes
Surface Processes
Terrestrial Sedimentology
Tectonic Geomorphology

My interest focuses on the complex feedbacks between tectonic, surface and climate processes. I take a field-based approach that entails geological mapping, structural and basin analysis, geochemistry combined with thermochronology, and cosmogenic nuclide dating to solve different aspects of spatiotemporal patterns of surface processes and their tectonic and/or climatic forcing mechanisms.

Aims of my research efforts to date include: (1) quantifying the dynamic relationships between tectonics and climate with respect to the development of mountain belts, plateaus and biodiversity, (2) deciphering process rates at a variety of time scales to better understand the discrepancies between long-term (i.e., geological) and short-term process rates of deformation, erosion and hydrology (3) studying active and inactive thrust belts to better understand changes of tectonic style, timing of deformation, uplift and erosion of foreland systems, (4) understanding the role of climate and vegetation in shaping mountain belts, (5) determine the rates of wind erosion processes, (6) the late Cenozoic tectonic evolution of Asia and South America.

Most recently, I have been investigating tectonic and ecohydrologic conditions in NW Argentina during orographic barrier uplift and plateau growth, and studied the role of wind erosion in central Asia. In my future professional career I hope to investigate more deeply terrestrial archives that hold valuable information of past tectonic activity, and its forcing of climatic and paleohydrologic conditions.

Publications

In Preperation

Rohrmann, A., Strecker, M.R.; Sachse, D., Mulch, A.; Pingel, H., Nieto-Moreno, V. Alonso, R.: Miocene tectonic uplift of the southern-central Andes revealed by leaf-wax stable isotopes, NW Argentina.

Rohrmann, A., Kirby, E.: Uplift an upstream river network expansion: Evolution of the Yangtze River, China.

De Silva, S.L., Rohrmann, A., Spagnuolo, M.G.: Quantification of wind erosion on the Altiplano-Puna Plateau.

Strecker, M., Uba, C.E., Rohrmann, A., Mulch, A., Bookhagen, B., Schmitt, A.K., Chamberlain, C.P.: Late Miocene onset of the South American Monsoon in souther Bolvia.

In Review

none

Peer-reviewed

Rohrmann, A., Sachse, D., Mulch, A., Pingel, H., Tofelde, S., Alonso, R.N., Strecker, M.R., 2016: Miocene orographic uplift forces rapid hydrological change in the southern central Andes, Nature Scientific Reports, 6:35678, doi: 10.1038/srep35678.

Nieto-Moreno, V., Rohrmann, A., Van der Meer, M.T.J., Simninghe Damste, J.S., Sachse, D., Tofelde, S., Niedermeyer, E., Strecker, M.R., Mulch, A., 2016: Elevation-dependent changes in n-alkanes δD and soil GDGTs across the South Central Andes, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 453, p. 234-242, doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2016.07.049.

Pingel, H., Mulch, A., Alonso, R., Cottle, J., Hynek, S., Poletti, J., Rohrmann, A., Schmitt, A., Strecker, M.R., 2016, Surface uplift and convective rainfall along the southern Central Andes (Angastaco Basin, NW Argentina), Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 440, p. 33-42, doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2016.02.009.

Rohrmann, A., Strecker, M.R., Bookhagen, B., Mulch, A.; Sachse, D.; Pingel, H., Alonso, R.N., Schildgen, T.F., Montero, C., 2014: Can stable isotopes ride out the storms? The role of convection for water isotope in models, records, and paleoaltimetry studies in the central Andes, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 407, p. 187-195, doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2014.09.021.

Pingel, H., Alonso, R.N., Mulch, A., Rohrmann, A., Sudo, M., Strecker, M.R., 2014, Pliocene orographic barrier uplift in the southern Central Andes, Geology, doi: 10.1130/G35538.1 

Rohrmann, A., Heermance, R., Kapp, P., McCalister, A., Fulong, C., 2013, Wind as the primary driver of erosion in the Qaidam Basin, China, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 374, p. 1-10, doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2013.03.011

Rohrmann, A., Kapp, P., Carrapa, B., Reiners, P., Gyunn, J., Ding, L., Heizler, M., 2012, Thermochronologic evidence for Plateau formation in central Tibet by ~45 Ma: Geology, v. 40, p. 187-190, doi: 10.1130/G32530.1

Kapp, P., Pelletier, J., Rohrmann, A., Heermance, R., Russel, J., 2011, Speculations about the history of wind erosion in the Qaidam Basin and its implications for tectonics, paleoclimate, and the source of the Loess Plateau: GSA Today, v. 21, no. 4/5, doi: 10.1130/GSATG99A.1

Analytical Methods

Compound-specific stable isotope analysis Leaf wax n-alkanes δD and δ13C
Water stable isotope analysis δD and δ18O of meteoric water
(U-Th)/He low temperature thermochronology Apatite and Zircon (U-Th)/He dating
Tectonics Tectonic and structural analysis
Quantification of erosion/Denudation In-situ and meteoric cosmogenic nuclide (10Be)

Honors/scholarships/grants

2015 — Feodor Lynen Research Fellowship – for highly-qualified scientists and scholars from Germany, who just embark on their academic careers (Alexander von Humboldt Foundation)

2012 — Outstanding Student Paper Award (OSPA) awarded by the American Geophysical Union (AGU) for excellent research in the geophysical sciences.

2012 — “Bernd-Rendel-Preis”- Young scientist achievement award by the German Science Foundation (DFG)

2011 — Cover story of May's GSA Today edition: Wind erosion in the Qaidam basin, central Asia: Implication for for tectonics, paleoclimate, and the source of the Loess Plateau

2008 — Recipient of the first “Farouk El-Baz Student Research Award” of the Geological Society of America, for outstanding research in arid environments and to encourage and promote desert research.

Invited Lectures

Climate and Tectonics of the southern Central Andes, NW Argentina, Portland State University (Portland, USA), 2017- Invited by Prof. John Bershaw

Climate and Tectonics of the southern Central Andes, NW Argentina, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) (Boston, USA), 2016- COG3 seminar

Tectonic, Climate and Landscape Evolution in the Southern Central Andes, University of Connecticut (Mansfield, USA), 2016- Invited by Prof. Michael Hren

Water stable-isotopes and paleohydrology of the south-central Andes- Argentina, Oregon State University (Corvallis, USA), 2013- Invited by Prof. Eric Kirby

Wind as the primary driver of erosion in the Qaidam Basin, China, Stanford University (Palo Alto, USA), 2013- Invited by Prof. George Hilley

Service/Outreach

Peer reviewer for Tectonics, EPSL, Nature Scientific Reports, Tectonophysics, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Geology and GSA Bulletin, Geomorphology and IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing

Primary convener of the AGU session “Growth of Orogenic Plateaus: New Tools, Emerging Ideas, and Outstanding Questions”, 2015

Science talk at the RBB (Rundfunk Berlin Brandeburg) Science day (TV), 2014)

Teaching Experience

2012 — Co-Instructor, "A system approach to Earth Science", Department of Earth & Environmental Science in cooperation with the Department of Politics, University of Potsdam, Germany    

— Teaching assistant, Modul BscP17 "Einführung in die Strukturgeologie Exkursion, Rheingraben-Jura-Nördliche Schweizer Alpen", Department of Geoscience, University of Potsdam, Germany

2011 — Teaching assistant, Modul MScP02 "Seminar and Colloquim- Geoscience", Department of Geoscience, University of Potsdam, Germany

— Teaching assistant, Modul BW01 "Field course A: Sediments and field mapping (France)", Department of Geoscience, University of Potsdam, Germany

— Teaching assistant, Modul BscP17 "Einführung in die Strukturgeologie Exkursion, Rheingraben-Jura-Nördliche Schweizer Alpen", Department of Geoscience, University of Potsdam, Germany

2010 — Teaching assistant, Modul BW01 “Field course A: Sediments and field mapping (France)”, Department of Geoscience, University of Potsdam, Germany

2009 — Teaching assistant, “Advanced structural mapping in the Pyrenees (Spain)”, Department of Geoscience, University of Potsdam, Germany

2008 — Teaching assistant, “Introduction to Stratigraphy and Sedimentology”, Department of Geoscience, University of Arizona, U.S.A

Conference Contributions & abstracts

Joint Meeting of The Geological Society of America, 2016 Denver, U.S.A

Rohrmann, A.; Sachse, D.; Mulch, A.; Pingel, H.; Nieto-Moreno, V.; Alonso, R.N.; Strecker, M.R. (2016): Tectonic, climate and landscape evolution of the southern-central Andes revealed by leaf wax stable isotopes (Talk)

American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2015, San Francisco, U.S.A

Rohrmann, A.; Sachse, D.; Mulch, A.; Pingel, H.; Nieto-Moreno, V.; Alonso, R.N.; Strecker, M.R. (2016): Tectonic, climate and landscape evolution of the southern-central Andes revealed by leaf wax stable isotopes (Poster)

American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2015, San Francisco, U.S.A

Nieto-Moreno, V.; Rohrmann, A.; Van der Meer, M.T.J.; Simninghe Damste, J.S.; Sachse, D.; Tofelde, S.; Niedermeyer, E.; Strecker, M.R.; Mulch, A.  (2016): Soil n-alkane δD and branched GDGTs distributions track elevation-induced precipitation and temperature changes along the South Central Andes (Argentina) (Poster)

American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2015, San Francisco, U.S.A

Pingel, H.; Mulch, A., Rohrmann, A., Alonso, R., Strecker, M.R., (2016): Hydrogen stable isotopes from hydrated volcanic glass record orogenic growth and climate change at the eastern Puna Plateau margin, NW Argentina (Poster)

Plant Wax 2015, Ascona, Switzerland

Rohrmann, A.; Sachse, D.; Strecker, M.R.; Mulch, A.; Pingel, H.; Alonso, R.N. (2015): Rapid hydrological response to central Andean Plateau uplift revealed by leaf wax stable isotopes (Talk)

European Geophysical Union, Annual Meeting 2015, Vienna, Austria

Rohrmann, A.; Sachse, D.; Strecker, M.R.; Mulch, A.; Pingel, H.; Alonso, R.N. (2015): Rapid hydrological response to central Andean Plateau uplift, NW-Argentina (Poster)

Rohrmann, A., Strecker, M.R., Bookhagen, B., Mulch, A.; Sachse, D.; Pingel, H., Alonso, R.N., Schildgen, T.F., Montero, C. (2015): Can stable isotopes ride out the storms? The role of convection for water isotope in models, records, and paleoaltimetry studies in the central Andes (Talk)

American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2014, San Francisco, U.S.A

Rohrmann, A.; Sachse, D.; Strecker, M.R.; Mulch, A.; Pingel, H.; Alonso, R.N. (2014): Multi-proxy reconstruction of the paleo-hydrological cycle during Andean Plateau uplift, NW-Argentina (Poster)

American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2013, San Francisco, U.S.A

Rohrmann, A.; Sachse, D.; Strecker, M.R.; Pingel, H.; Mulch, A.; Ponta, A.K.; Alonso, R.N. (2013): Reconstructing the Mio-Pliocene South American Monsoon and Orographic Barrier Evolution (Angastaco Basin, NW Argentina), abstract #PP43B-2093 (Poster)

Pingel, H.; Strecker, M.R.; Mulch, A.; Rohrmann, A.; Ricardo, R.N. (2013): Tracking Orographic Barriers through Hydrogen Stable Isotopes in Hydrated Volcanic Glass (Humahuaca Basin, E Cordillera, NW Argentina, 23-24°S), abstract #T41B-2569 (Poster)

GV & Sediment Meeting, 2013, Tübingen, Germany

Rohrmann, A.; Strecker, M.R.; Bookhagen, B.; Mulch, A.; Sachse, D.; Pingel, H.; Montero, C. (2013): Impact of deep convective storms on stable isotope in precipitation and climate records, NW-Argentina (Talk)

Himalayan Karakorum Tibet Workshop (HKT), 2013, Tübingen, Germany

Rohrmann, A.; Heermance, R.; Kapp, P.; Cai, F. (2013): Wind as the primary driver of erosion in the Qaidam Basin, China (Talk)

American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2012, San Francisco, U.S.A

Rohrmann, A.; Strecker, M.R.; Clarke B.; Bookhagen, B.; Mulch, A.; Sachse, D. (2012): Stream-water stable isotopes, moisture fluxes, complex topography and isotopic fractionation along the South Central Andes, abstract #T21E-2606 (Poster)

GV & Sediment Meeting 2012, Hamburg, Germany

Rohrmann, A., Heermance, R., Kapp, P., Cai, F. (2012): Quantification of severe wind erosion in the Qaidam Basin, China (Talk)

American Geopysical Union, Fall Meeting 2011, San Francisco, U.S.A

Rohrmann, A., Strecker, M.R., Bookhagen, B., Sachse, D., Mulch, A. (2011): Modern rainfall amounts and water stable isotope data from the south central Andes of NW-Argentina: Impacts of orographic barriers and plateau topography, abstract #A41D-0122 (Poster)

American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2010, San Francisco, U.S.A

Rohrmann, A.; Heermance, R.; Kapp, P., Mc-Callister, A. (2010): First quantification of severe wind erosion in yardang fields using cosmogenic 10Be within the western Qaidam Basin, China, abstract #EP41C-0716 (Poster)

European Geophysical Union, Annual Meeting 2010, Vienna, Austria

Rohrmann, A.; Kapp, P.; Gyunn., J., Reiners, P.; Carrapa, B.. (2010): Thermochronologic evidence for Plateau formation in central Tibet by Collision, abstract #EGU2010-3097 (Poster)

Asian Workshop, Asian Climate and Tectonics 2010, Utrecht, Netherlands

Rohrmann, A.; Kapp, P.; Gyunn., J., Reiners, P.; Carrapa, B.. (2010): Thermochronologic evidence for Plateau formation in central Tibet by Collision (Talk)

American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2009, San Francisco, U.S.A

Heermance, R.; Kapp, P.; Rohrmann, A.; McCallister, A. (2009): Extreme winds during the Quaternary deduced from yardang preservation within lacustrine sediments in the Qaidam Basin, China, abstract #PP21B-1341 (Poster)

5th International Symposium on Tibetan Plateau, Beijing, China

Kapp, P.; Rohrmann, A.; Volkmer, J. (2009): The tectonic history and formation of the Tibetan Plateau (Talk)

American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2008, San Francisco, U.S.A              

Rohrmann, A.; Kapp, P; Reiners, P. (2008): Minimal erosion in central Tibet since the Eocene and implications for plateau development, abstract #T32A-08 (Talk)

2008 Joint Meeting of The Geological Society of America, Houston, U.S.A

Kapp, P.; Rohrmann, A.; Pelletier, J. (2008): Wind-enhanced tectonics in the Qaidam Basin and implications for the source of the Loess Plateau (Talk)

Geodaze 2008, Tucson, U.S.A

Rohrmann, A.; Kapp, P.; Pelletier, J.; Russel, J.; (2008):  Wind-enhanced tectonics in the Qaidam Basin and implications for the source of the Loess Plateau (Talk)