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Brian Yanites

Brian Yanites

Assistant Professor


McClure 303D


(208) 885-4704

Mailing Address

Department of Geological Sciences
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive, MS 3022
Moscow, ID 83844-3022

  • Ph.D., Geological Sciences, 2009—University of Colorado
  • M.S., Geosciences, 2005 – University of Arizona
  • B.A., Earth and Planetary Sciences, 2002 Washington University in St. Louis

  • Geomorphology
  • Landscape evolution
  • Climate-tectonic-topography interactions
  • Tectonic geomorphology
  • Numerical modeling of landscape processes

  • Yanites, B.J. and Kesler, S.E. (in press) A climate signal in exhumation patterns revealed by porphyry copper deposits. Nature Geoscience
  • Jeffery, M. L., B. J. Yanites, C. J. Poulsen, and T. A. Ehlers (2014), Vegetation-precipitation controls on Central Andean topography, J. Geophys. Res. Earth Surf., 119, doi:10.1002/2013JF002919.
  • Wilcox, T., Mueller, K., Upton, P., Powell, L.K., Chen, Y.G., Huang, S.T., Yanites, B.J., Tucker, G., (2013) Structural inheritance and erosional controls on thrust kinematics in western Taiwan. Geosphere. DOI: 10.1130/GES00819.1
  • Yanites, B.J. T.A. Ehlers, J.E. Becker, M. Schnellman, S. Heuberger. (2013) High magnitude and rapid incision from river capture: Rhine River, Switzerland.J. Geophys. Res. Earth Surf, 118, DOI: 10.1002/jgrf.20056
  • Jeffery, M. L., T. A. Ehlers, B. J. Yanites, and C. J. Poulsen (2013), Quantifying the role of paleoclimate and Andean Plateau uplift on river incision, J. Geophys. Res. Earth Surf, 40, doi:10.1002/jgrf.20055.
  • Yanites, B.J., Ehlers, T.A. (2012) Global climate and tectonic controls on the denudation of glaciated mountains, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 325-326, pp. 63-75. doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2012.01.030
  • Yanites, B.J. G.E. Tucker, H.L. Hsu, C.C. Chen, Y.G. Chen, K.J. Mueller. (2011) The influence of sediment cover variability on long term incision rates: an example from the Peikang River, central Taiwan, JGR-Earth Surface, 116, F03016, doi:10.1029/2010F001933
  • Wilcox, T., K. Mueller, P. Upton, Y.G. Chen, S.-T. Huang, B. Yanites, and G. Tucker, (2011) Linking Taiwan's Subcritical Hsueshan Range Topography and Foreland Basin Architecture. Tectonics, 30, TC4011, doi:10.1029/2010TC002825
  • Yanites, B.J., G.E. Tucker. (2010), Controls and limits on bedrock channel geometry, J. Geophys. Res., 115, F04019, doi:10.1029/2009JF001601.
  • Yanites, B.J., G.E. Tucker, K.J. Mueller, Y.G. Chen. (2010) How rivers react to large earthquakes: evidence from central Taiwan. Geology, 38, n. 7 (639-642), doi: 10.1130/G30883.1
  • Yanites, B.J. G.E. Tucker, K.J. Mueller, Y.G. Chen, T. Wilcox, S.Y. Huang, K.W. Shi. (2010) Incision and channel morphology across active structures along the Peikang River, central Taiwan: Implications for the importance of channel width. GSA-Bulletin, 122, 7-8 (1192-1208), doi: 10.1130/B30035.1
  • Hsu, H.L., B.J. Yanites, C.C. Chen, Y.G. Chen. (2010). Bedrock detection using 2D electrical resistivity imaging along the Peikang River, central Taiwan. Geomorphology, v.114, n. 3 (406-414). doi:10.1016/j.geomorph.2009.08.004
  • Yanites B. J., G. E. Tucker, R. S. Anderson (2009), Numerical and analytical models of cosmogenic radionuclide dynamics in landslide-dominated drainage basins, J. Geophys. Res., 114, F01007, doi:10.1029/2008JF001088.
  • Pelletier, J.D., S. DeLong, A.H. Al Suwaidi, M.Cline, Y. Lewis, J.L. Psillas, and B.Yanites. (2006) Evolution of the Bonneville shoreline scarp in west-central Utah: Comparison of scarp-analysis methods and implications for the diffusion model of hillslope evolution. Geomorphology, 74 (1-4), doi:10.1016/j.geomorph.2005.08.008.
  • Yanites B. J., R. H. Webb, P. G. Griffiths, C. S. Magirl (2006), Debris flow deposition and reworking by the Colorado River in Grand Canyon, Arizona, Water Resources Research, 42, W11411, doi:10.1029/2005WR004847.

  • Bedrock river evolution
    I am working to understand the controls on river evolution in mountainous environments. The dynamics of these rivers are important for a number of reasons ranging from maintaining a healthy habitat for fishes to using river geomorphology as indicators of active faults. An interesting location to study these processes is the island of Taiwan, an active orogen. The youthfulness of this mountain range offers to opportunity to measure rivers in various stages of evolution. Moreover, the island is seismically active, offering an opportunity to consider the role of earthquakes on river evolution.
  • Lithology and landscapes
    Any geologist with a rock hammer can recognize that different rock types can very different resistance to erosion, yet the geomorphology community does not have a robust ability to predict the erodibility of a particular lithology. I am working to improve our understanding of the impacts of lithology on landscape evolution using a combination of numerical modeling and fieldwork.
  • Landscapes and climate
    In collaboration with climate researchers, I am working to improve our understanding on how climate influences landscape evolution. By using well constrained natural experiments, including places such as the Andes and impact craters, we are working to understand how the integrated effect of weather events result in either landform, erosional and/or depositional records of climate and geomorphic processes.


Department of Geological Sciences

Physical Address:
McClure Hall 203

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Drive, MS 3022
Moscow, ID 83844-3022

Phone: (208) 885-6192


Web: Geological Sciences