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Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center

Jonathan Warrick, Research Geologist


Contact info

Photo of Jon.E-mail:
Phone: (831) 460-7569
Fax: (831) 427-4748
Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center
400 Natural Bridges Drive
Santa Cruz, CA 95060




B.Sc., 1993, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

M.Sc., 1995, University Wisconsin-Madison

Ph.D., 2002, University of California, Santa Barbara

Research Activities

My research focuses on rivers and physical changes that occur to coastal systems. I investigate watersheds and their erosional and sediment transport processes and the geomorphic, oceanographic and ecological effects of river-based materials that are discharged to the sea. Exploration of these topics has led to additional work to describe changes occurring on beaches, coastal cliffs and the seafloor over time. Many of these subjects are being addressed in my work on the Elwha River, Washington, where the largest dam removal project in U.S. history was completed in 2014 (

To follow me on Google Scholar or ResearchGate, use the links below:

Selected Publications

Selected publications are listed below. A complete listing of my publications can be found on my CV. Please contact me for copies of these publications.

Warrick, J.A., and J.D. Milliman, 2003. Hyperpycnal sediment discharge from semi-arid southern California rivers - implications for coastal sediment budgets. Geology, vol. 31, no. 9, pp. 781-784.

Warrick, J.A., D.A. Fong, 2004. Dispersal scaling from the world's rivers. Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 34, pp. L04301.

Warrick, J.A., L.A.K. Mertes, D.A. Siegel, and C. MacKenzie, 2004. Estimating suspended sediment concentrations in turbid coastal waters of the Santa Barbara Channel with SeaWiFS. International Journal of Remote Sensing - Remote Sensing Letters, vol. 25, no. 10, pp. 1995-2002.

Warrick, J.A., P.M. DiGiacomo, S.B. Weisberg, N.P. Nezlin, M. Mengel, B.H. Jones, J.C. Ohlmann, L. Washburn, E.J. Terrill and K.L. Farnsworth, 2007. River plume patterns and dynamics within the Southern California Bight. Continental Shelf Research, vol. 27, pp. 2427-2448.

Warrick J.A., J.A. Hatten, G.B. Pasternack, A.B. Gray, M.A. Goni, and R.A. Wheatcroft, 2012. The effects of wildfire on the sediment yield of a coastal California watershed, Geological Society of America, Bulletin., vol. 124, no. 7/8, p. 1130-1146.

Warrick J.A. and P.L. Barnard, 2012. The offshore export of sand during exceptional discharge from California rivers. Geology, vol. 40, no. 9, pp. 787-790.

Warrick, J.A., A.R. Simms, A. Ritchie, E. Steel, P. Dartnell, J. Conrad, and D. Finlayson, 2013. Hyperpycnal-derived fans of the Santa Barbara Channel, California. Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 40, no. 50488, p. 1-6.

Warrick J.A., 2013. Dispersal of fine sediment in nearshore coastal waters. Journal of Coastal Research, vol. 29, no. 3, p. 579-596

Warrick, J.A., M.A. Madej, M.A. Goñi, and R.A. Wheatcroft, 2013. Trends in the suspended-sediment yields of coastal rivers of northern California, 1955-2010. Journal of Hydrology, vol. 489, p. 108-123.

Warrick, JA, 2014. Trend analyses with river sediment rating curves. Hydrological Processes, doi:10.1002/hyp.10198.

Warrick, JA, 2014. Eel River margin source-to-sink sediment budget: revisited. Marine Geology, v. 351, p. 25-37.

Curriculum Vitae

Available as a PDF document.

In the News

Here are a few examples – with links to sources – of where my work has been highlighted.

2006    Environmental Science & Technology news article, “California’s Shifting Sands” (vol. 40, no.1, pp. 6-7) about river sources of beach sand. []

2009    Science Daily article, “Sediment Yield From The Tectonically Active Semiarid Western Transverse Ranges Of California” about sources of sediment and sand for southern California beaches. []

2012    Front-page Seattle Times article, “Dam gone, nature rebuilds Elwha River beach” about sediment transport from the Elwha River during dam removal. August 6, 2012. []

2013    Elwha: A River Reborn by AAAS Kavli Science Journalism award winners Lynda Mapes and Steve Ringman. []

2014    National Geographic news article, “World’s Largest Dam Removal Unleashes U.S. River After Century of Electric Production” about final stages of dam removal on the Elwha River. []

Files for download

The following files can be used to conduct 'Cobble Cam' grain size analyses on digital photographs as described in Warrick et al. (2009). Please see the read_me.rtf file for more information.

Download all files listed below, as a .zip (compressed, 16K):

Web links


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