Michael A. O’Neal, Ph.D.  Department of Geological Sciences, University of Delaware



My research seeks to explain how the Earth's surface is influenced by changes in climate and human activities over diverse timescales. Nearly all of my studies involve directly measuring properties of the Earth's surface and trying to understand how those properties are created by climatic, geologic, and anthropogenic processes. My research group collects data using a very wide range of techniques, including sophisticated laser mapping systems, remotely sensed imagery, and less sophisticated but useful field methods that include traditional instrument surveys. The basic research questions I address can be posed in many different settings. As a result, my publications encompass a wide spectrum of surficial environments including glaciers, beaches, river channels, and earthworks, in addition to publications that investigate changes in climatic processes such as temperature patterns and heat stress caused by landcover change.


Contact Information

101C Penny Hall
University of Delaware
Newark, DE 19716


Recent Manuscripts

O’Neal M.A. (in press) Terrestrial Laser Scanner Survey Design and Data Analysis in Above-Water Coastal Settings. In Remote Sensing and Modeling, Coastal Research Library. Springer. 

O’Neal M.A. (in review) Estimating rock exposure ages in the northern Cascade Range using Lecanora sp. lichens.

Stotts, S., M.A. O’Neal, and J.E. Pizzuto (accepted) Exposed tree root analysis as a dendrogeomorphic approach to estimating bank erosion at the South River, VA. Geomorphology.

Pizzuto et al. (in press) Characteristic Length Scales and Time-Averaged Transport Velocities of Suspended Sediment In the Mid-Atlantic Region, U.S.A. Water Resources Research.

Stotts, S., M.A. O’Neal, and J.E. Pizzuto (In press) Observations of riparian trees and bank characteristics along a bank stability gradient at South River, Va. River Research and Applications.

O’Neal M.A. (in press) Fjords/Geomorphic Mapping/Glaciated Estuaries. Encyclopedia of Estuaries. Springer.

O’Neal et al. (2013) Lichenometric Dating of Rock Surfaces in the northern Cascade Range, USA. Geografiska Annaler.  Vol.95, No. 3. pp. 241-248.

Danilina, I. A.R. Gillespie, L.K. Balick, A. Mushkin, M.A. O'Neal. (2012) Performance of a thermal-infrared radiosity and heat-diffusion model for estimating sub-pixel radiant temperatures over the course of a day. Remote Sensing of Environment. Vol. 124, pp. 492-501.

O’Neal, M.A. (2012) An Objective Approach to Defining Earthwork Geometries Using Sub-Decimeter Digital Elevation Models. Geoarchaeology. Vol. 27, No. 2, pp. 157-165.

O’Neal, M.A. and J.E. Pizzuto (2011) The Rates and Spatial Patterns of Annual Riverbank Erosion Revealed Through Terrestrial Laser Scanner Surveys of the South River, VA. ESPL. Vol. 36, No. 5, pp 695-701.

Lowery, D., M.A. O’Neal, et al. (2010) Late Pleistocene Upland Stratigraphy of The Western Delmarva Peninsula, USA. Quaternary Science Reviews, Vol. 29, pp. 1472-1480.

O’Neal. M.A. (2010) Identifying lichenometrically datable, glacierized terrains: A case study in the Cascade Range of western North America. Geocarto International. Vol. 25, No.4, pp. 315-325.

O’Neal et al. (2010) A field-based model of the effects of landcover changes on daytime summer temperatures in the North Cascades. Physical Geography. Vol. 31. No. 2.

Pizzuto, J.E., M.A. O’Neal, and S. Stotts (2010) On the Retreat of Forested, Cohesive Riverbanks. Geomorphology. Vol. 116, No. 3-4, pp. 341-352