Research

  • Student in research lab.
  • Students on a field visit.
  • Faculty conducting Aquoustest.

The Department of Geosciences at Western Michigan University has a diverse group of faculty who perform diversified research in several fields of applied geophysics with a strong emphasis on hydrology. Internally, our faculty maintain strong collaborations with the Michigan Geological Survey and other departments such as biology, chemistry, physics, engineering and geography. Externally, faculty members establish strong collaborations with several research institutions throughout the nation and around the world. Our faculty work actively on externally-funded research programs in:

To learn more about the expertise of individual faculty member and related research possibilities, please visit:

Digital databases

External researchers can access our Web-searchable data and online repositories.

  • Earth Science Remote Sensing Lab: This lab is part of a large number of interdisciplinary research projects funded by national and international agencies. The spatial data from such investigations are available through our webmap services. These databases include geospatial data for hydrologic, geologic and groundwater studies focusing mainly on Asia, Middle East and Africa.
  • Michigan Geological Repository for Research and Education: MGRRE contains well log and drill core data from historic to recent oil and gas exploration in the Michigan Basin and includes water well cuttings from over 2000 Michigan community wells. Online data includes inventories of cores; cuttings; thin-sections; historic maps; oil, gas, bottom-hole pressure data; total production information and well log data and drill cuttings for water wells and water analyses.

Selected most recent department publications

  1. Abotalib, A.Z. and Mohamed, R.S. 2013, Surface evidences supporting a probable new concept for the river systems evolution in Egypt: a remote sensing overview, Environmental Earth Sciences, vol. 69, no. 5, pp. 1621-1635.
  2. Abouelmagd, A., Sultan, M., Sturchio, N., Soliman, F., Rashed, M., Ahmed, M., Kehew, A., Milewski, A., Chouinard, K., 2013, Paleoclimate record in the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer, Sinai Peninsula, Egypt. Quaternary Research, v. 81, p. 158-167.
  3. Ahmed, M., Sauck, W., Sultan, M., Yan, E., Soliman, F., Rashed, M., 2013, Geophysical constraints on the hydrogeologic and structural settings of the Gulf of Suez Rift–related basins: case study from the El Qaa Plain, Sinai, Egypt: Surveys in Geophysics, v. 35, p. 415–430.
  4. Ahmed, M., Sultan, M., Wahr, J., Yan, E., Chouinard, K., 2014, The use of GRACE data to monitor natural and anthropogenic induced variations in water availability across Africa, Earth Science Reviews, v. 136, p. 289-300.
  5. Alharbi, T., Sultan, M., Sefry, S., El Kadiri, R., Ahmed, M., Chase, R., Milewski, A., AbuAbdallah, M., Emil, M., Chouinard, K., 2013, An assessment of landslide distribution in the Fifa area, Saudi Arabia, using remote sensing and GIS techniques, Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences Discussion, v.1, p. 6685-6717.
  6. C.J. Schmidt,  S.C. Whisner, and J.B. Whisner, 2014, Folding of a detachment and fault-modified detachment folding along a lateral ramp, southwestern Montana, USA, Journal of Structural Geology, v. 69 p. 334-350.
  7. Dailey, D., Sauck, W., Sultan, M., Milewski, A., Ahmed, M., Laton, R., Elkadiri, R., Foster, J., Schmidt, C., Alharbi, T., 2014, Geophysical, remote sensing, GIS, and isotopic applications for a better understanding of the structural controls on groundwater flow in the Mojave Desert, California: Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies, in press.
  8. Elkadiri, R., Sultan, M., Youssef, A., Elbayoumi, T., Chase, R., Bujlkhi, and A., Bujlkhi, M.M., 2014, A Remote-Sensing-based approach for debris-flow susceptibility assessment using artificial neural networks and logistic regression modeling, IEEE JSTARS, DOI: 10.1109/JSTARS.2014.2337273. 
  9. Esch, J.M. and Kehew, A.E., 2014, Surficial Geology of the Southeast Albion 7.5 Minute Quadrangle, Calhoun and Jackson Counties, Michigan, Surficial Geologic Map Series SGM-14-05, scale 1:24000.

  10. Kehew, A.E. and Esch, J.M., 2014, Surficial Geology of the East Leroy 7.5 Minute Quadrangle, Calhoun County, Michigan, Surficial Geologic Map Series SGM-14-01, scale 1:24000.

  11. Kehew, A.E. and Esch, J.M., 2014, Surficial Geology of the Southwest Albion 7.5 Minute Quadrangle, Calhoun County, Michigan, Surficial Geologic Map Series SGM-14-04, scale 1:24000.

  12. Kehew, A.E. and Esch, J.M., 2013, Surficial Geology of the Climax 7.5 Minute Quadrangle, Calhoun and Kalamazoo Counties, Michigan, Surficial Geologic Map Series SGM-13-03, scale 1:24000.
  13. Kehew, A.E., Ewald, S.K., Esch, J.M. and Kozlowski, A.L. 2013, On the origin of tunnel channels of the Saginaw Lobe, Laurentide Ice Sheet, Michigan USA. Boreas, Vol. 42, pp. 442–462.
  14. Kehew, A.E., Kozlowski, A.L., Bird, B.C. and Esch, J.M. 2013, Contrasting terrains of the Lake Michigan and Saginaw lobes of the Laurentide Ice Sheet in southern Michigan, in, Gillespie, R., ed., Insights into the Michigan Basin, Geological Society of American, Field Guide 31, p. 15-36.
  15. Milewski, A., Sultan, M., Al-Dousari, A., Yan, E., 2013, Geologic and hydrologic settings for development of freshwater lenses in arid lands, Hydrologic Processes, doi: 10.1002/hyp.9823.
  16. Pearl, F. B., and W. A. Sauck, 2014, Geophysical and geoarchaeological investigations at Aganoa Beach, American Samoa:  an early archaeological site in Western Polynesia, Geoarchaeology; doi 10.1002/gea.21491.
  17. Su, B.X., Qin, K.Z., Zhou, M.F, Sakyi, P.A., Thakurta, J., Tang, D.M., Liu, P.P., Xiao, Q.H and Sun, H., 2014, Petrological, geochemical and geochronological constraints on the origin of the Xiadong Ural-Alaskan type complex in NW China and tectonic implication for the evolution of southern Central Asian Orogenic Belt, Lithos, vol. 200-201, 226-240,doi: 10.1016/j.lithos.2014.05.005.
  18. Sultan, M., Ahmed, M., Wahr, J., Yan, E., Emil, M.K., 2014, Monitoring aquifer depletion from space: case studies from the Saharan and Arabian aquifers, Rodell, M., (Ed.), Chapman Remote Sensing AGU monograph number 206, (in press).
  19. Sultan, M., Chouinard, K.Ahmed, M., Sturchio, N., Yan, M., Milewski, A., Becker, R., Becker, D. and  Wahr, J., 2013, Assessment of the vulnerabilities of the Nubian Sandstone Fossil Aquifer, North Africa. climate vulnerability: understanding and addressing threats to essential resources. Elsevier Inc., Academic Press, 311–333 pp.
  20. Sultan, M., Sefry, S., AbuAbdallah, 2014, Impacts of climate change on the Red Sea region and its watersheds, Saudi Arabia, Red Sea Book Series, Elsevier Inc., Academic Press (in press).
  21. Thakurta, J., Ripley, E.M. and Li, C., 2014, Platinum group element geochemistry of sulfide-rich horizons in the Ural-Alaskan type ultramafic complex of Duke Island, southeastern Alaska, Economic Geology, vol. 109, 643-659.
  22. Voice, P. J. and Harrison, W. B. III (eds.) 2014, Michigan basin field experience and Devonian carbonate reservoir core workshop, Michigan Petroleum Technology Transfer Institute Satellite Workshop Volume prepared for the March 2014 MI PTTC Meeting, Mt. Pleasant, MI.
  23. Voice, P. J. and Harrison, W. B. III 2014, Paleozoic Geology of the Central Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Michigan Basin Geological Society Summer Excursion Guide book, Co-published by the Michigan Basin Geological Society and the Michigan Geological Survey, 111 pp.
  24. Vuke, S.M., Lonn, J.D., Berg, R.B., and Schmidt, C.J., 2014, Geologic Map of the Bozeman 30’ X 60’ Quadrangle, Southwestern Montana, Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology Open File Report.
  25. Whisner, S.C., Schmidt, C.J., and Whisner J.B., 2014, Structural analysis of the Lombard  thrust sheet and adjacent areas in the Helena salient southwest Montana, USA, Journal of Structural Geology, v. 69 p. 351-376.
  26. Zaki, A., Sultan, M., and Elkadiri, R., 2014, Comment on: Polygonal faults in chalk: Insights from extensive exposures of the Khoman Formation, Western Desert, Egypt, Geology, July 2014, v.42, p. 342.