I am a geomorphologist interested in hillslope and fluvial processes, currently based at St. Anthony Falls Laboratory at the University of Minnesota. My research focuses on identifying and understanding controls on the structure and organisation of fluvial networks from hilltops down to floodplains. I work with high resolution DEMs derived from lidar data.


Geomorphic feature extraction from lidar

In order to understand controls on fluvial systems, it is essential to quantify and extract signatures of geomorphic features from the landscape. To do this I develop new techniques for analysing high-resolution topographic data to extract features such as river channels, floodplains, and terraces.

As part of this research I am involved in the development of LSDTopoTools, which is open source software for geomorphological research. Our software aims to facilitate the production of reproducible topographic analysis. For example, we have developed algorithms to extract accurate channel networks, perform chi analysis on river profiles, extract hilltops using flow routing, and analyse bedrock outcrops using topographic roughness. See our LSDTopoTools website for more details.

Channel network extracted for Bald Rock Basin, Feather River, California Channel networks

Fluvial terraces mapped for the Le Sueur River, Minnesota Fluvial terraces

Structure and organisation of fluvial networks

Another key part of my research is investigating how climate and tectonics control the structure and organisation of flvuial networks, such as the drainage density, channel steepness, and planform geometry of networks. I use high-resolution topographic data to explore the links between climate, tectonics, and fluvial network structure from a range of landscapes.

Hillslopes of the Tabernas Basin, SE Spain, which are deeply dissected by channels Drainage density


Clubb, F.J., Mudd, S.M., Milodowski, D.T., Valters, D.A., Slater, L.J., Hurst, M.D., and Limaye, A.B (2017) Geomorphometric delineation of floodplains and terraces from objectively defined topographic thresholds, Earth Surf. Dynam. Link to paper

Clubb, F.J., Mudd, S.M., Attal, M., Milodowski, D.T., and Grieve, S.W.D. (2016) The relationship between drainage density, erosion rate, and hilltop curvature: implications for sediment transport processes, Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface, 121, doi:10.1002/2015JF003747 Link to paper

Grieve, S.W.D., Mudd, S.M., Milodowski, D.T., Clubb, F.J., and Furbish, D.J. (2016) How does grid-resolution modulate the topographic expression of geomorphic processes? Earth Surf. Dynam., 4, 627-653, doi:10.5194/esurf-4-627-2016 Link to paper

Clubb, F.J., Mudd, S.M., Milodowski, D.T., Hurst, M.D., and Slater, L.J. (2014) Objective extraction of channel heads from high resolution topographic data, Water Resources Research, 50, 4283–4304, doi:10.1002/2013WR015167. Link to paper

Contact Details

Please feel free to email me if you have any questions about my research, or would like to discuss potential collaborations/project ideas.

Address: St. Anthony Falls Laboratory, University of Minnesota, 2 Third Avenue SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414

Email: fclubb@umn.edu