Eitan Shelef

Assistant Professor


Eitan Shelef
310 SRCC
4107 O'Hara Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15260



Dr. Shelef received a Ph.D from Stanford University in 2014 with an emphasis on geomorphology and tectonics. He was a Post-Doctoral Scholar at Los Alamos National Laboratory in 2014-2015 before joining the department in 2015. 

  • Research
  • Publications
  • Laboratory Members

Our group studies the multi-scale interactions between geomorphology, climate, hydrology, and tectonics using a combination of field methods, process-based models, topographic analysis, and geospatial statistics. Research projects typically start with field observations, air photos, and topographic data that inspire hypotheses. We then use numerical and analytical models to quantitatively explore these hypotheses, and apply field-work-based, topographic, and statistical analyses to test model consistency with natural processes and forms. Current research activities focus on linking climate-change with hillslope and riverine processes in Arctic regions, modeling of landscape evolution by various types of erosive processes, and deciphering environmental information from the geometry of channel networks.

Research Areas

∗ Student or post-doc advised, mentored, or co-advised by E. Shelef.

∗Harel, E., Goren L., Crouvi O., Ginat H., and Shelef, E., 2022, Drainage reorganization induces deviations in the scaling between valley width and drainage area. Earth Surface Dynamics, 10, 875– 894.

Shelef, E., Griffore, M., Mark, S., Coleman T., Wondolowski, N., Lasher, G. E., and Abbott, M., 2022, Sensitivity of erosion-rate in permafrost landscapes to changing climatic and environmental con- ditions based on lake sediments from Northwestern Alaska. Earth’s Future, 10(8), p.e2022EF002779.

∗Wieler, N., Mushkin, A., Zhang, H., Sagy, A., Porat, N., Shmilovitz, Y., Shi, P., Ren, Z.,Huang, F., Shi, P., Liu, J., Shelef, E., 2022, Geomorphic dating of across-fault gully incision reveals time- invariant late Quaternary slip-rates at the eastern termination of the Altyn Tagh Fault. Geophysical Research Letters, 49(8), e2021GL096933 (note: publication delayed because of COVID).

McHargue, T.R., Hodgson, D.M. and Shelef, E., 2021, Architectural Diversity of Submarine Lobate Deposits. Frontiers in Earth Science - Sedimentology, Stratigraphy and Diagenesis, 9:697170.

Shelef, E., Goren, L., 2021. The rate and extent of windgap migration regulated by tributary confluences and avulsions. Earth Surface Dynamics, 9(4), 687–700.

U. Mishra, G. Hugelius, E. Shelef, Y. Yang, J. Strauss, A. Lupachev, J. W. Harden, J. D. Jastrow, C.-L. Ping, W. J. Riley, E. A. G. Schuur, R. Matamala, M. Siewert, L. E. Nave, C. D. Koven, M. Fuchs, J. Palmtag, P. Kuhry, C. C. Treat, S. Zubrzycki, F. M. Hoffman, B. Elberling, P. Camill, A. Veremeeva, A. Orr., 2021. Spatial heterogeneity and environmental predictors of permafrost region soil organic carbon stocks. Science Advances 7(9).

∗Rohan, T., ∗Wondolowsky, N., and Shelef, E., 2020, Landslide susceptibility analysis based on citizen reports, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 46(4), 791-803.

Eizenhofer, P., McQuarrie, N., Shelef, E., Ehlers, Todd., 2019, Landscape response to lateral advec- tion in convergent orogens over geologic time scales. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth surface, 124(8), 2056-2078.

∗Harel, E., Goren, L., Shelef, E., Ginat, H., 2019. Drainage reversal toward cliffs induced by lateral lithologic differences. Geology, 47(10), 928-932.

Shelef, E., 2018, Channel profile and plan-view controls on the aspect-ratio of river basins. Geo- physical Research Letters, 45(21), 11-712.

Shelef, E., Haviv, I., Goren, L., 2018, A potential link between waterfall recession rate and bedrock channel concavity, Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth surface, 123(5), 905-923.

Shelef, E., Rowland J. C., Wilson, C. J., Hilley, G. E., Mishra, U., Altmann, G. L., & Ping, C. L., 2017, Large uncertainty in permafrost carbon stocks due to hillslope soil deposits. Geophysical Research Letters, 44, 6134-6144.

Rowland, J.C., Shelef, E., Gangodagamage, C., Pope, P.A., Brumby, S.P., Wilson, C.J., 2016, A morphology independent methodology for quantifying river planform change and characteristics from remotely sensed imagery, Remote Sensing of Environment, 184, 212-228.

Shelef, E., Hilley, G., 2016, Unified framework for modeling landscape evolution by discrete flows,

Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth surface, 121(5), 816-842.

Shelef, E., Lomask, J., Fildani, A., 2015, Method and systems for automatic detection and character- ization of channel systems. U.S. Patent #8983114, filed by Chevron’s Energy Technology Company.

Moon, S., Shelef, E., Hilley, G., 2015, Recent topographic evolution and erosion of the deglaciated Washington Cascades inferred from a stochastic landscape evolution model, Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth surface, 120(5), 856-876.

Shelef, E., Hilley, G., 2014, Symmetry, randomness, and process in the structure of branched channel networks, Geophysical Research Letters, 41, 3485-3493.

Shelef, E., Hilley, G., 2014, Impact of flow-routing on catchment area calculations, slope estimates, and numerical simulations, Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth surface, 118(4), 2105-2123.

Covault, J., Shelef, E., Traer, M., Hubbard, S.M., Romans. B.W., Fildani, A., 2012, Deep-water channel run-out length: insights from seafloor geomorphology. Journal of Sedimentary Research, 82 (1), 25-40.

Shelef, E., Oskin, M., 2010, Deformation processes adjacent to active faults: Examples from eastern California, Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 115(B5) , 5308-5332.

Oskin, M., Perg, L., Shelef, E., Strane, M., Gurney, E., Singer, B., Zhang, X., 2008, Elevated shear zone loading rate during an earthquake cluster in Eastern California, Geology, 36 (6), 507-510.


Other Publications

Bain, D., Elliott, E., Shelef, E., and Guy, M., 2021, Identifying Core Information to Answer Green Infrastructure Questions. University of Pittsburgh – Pittsburgh Collaboratory for Water Research, Education, and Outreach. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Zelnis, A., Schroering, C., Bey, J., Elliott, E., Shelef, E., Bain, D., Perry, E., *Guy, M., 2020, Water and Sewer Affordability: An Insight into Water Equity in Allegheny County.

Elliott, E., Bain, D., Shelef, E., River, M., Guy, M., 2020, Flooding in Southwestern Pennsylvania:: Knowledge Gaps and Approaches. DOI: 10.18117/w8rj-wb49.

Wieler, N., Mushkin, A., Zhang, H., Shelef, E., Sagy, A., Ren, Z., Huang, F., Liu, J. and Shi, P., 2019, January. New constraints on Quaternary slip partitioning near the eastern termination of the Altyn Tagh fault in NW China. In Geophysical Research Abstracts (Vol. 21).

Coon, E., Berndt, M., Jan, A., Svyatsky, D., Atchley, A., Kikinzon, E., Harp, D., Manzini, G., Shelef, E., Lipnikov, K., Garimella, R., Xu, C., Moulton, D., Karra, S., Painter, S., Jafarov, E., and Molins, S., 2019, Advanced Terrestrial Simulator. Next Generation Ecosystem Experiments Arctic Data Collection, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA. Version 0.88, https://doi.org/10.11578/dc.20190911.1.

McHargue, T.R., Hodgson, D.M. and Shelef, E., 2019, Architectural Diversity of Submarine Lobes. Eartharxiv.org.

Bain, D., Elliott, E., Thomas, B., Shelef, E., & River, M., 2019, Green Infrastructure for Stormwater Management: Knowledge Gaps and Approaches. Pittsburgh. DOI: 10.18117/p6tc9h.

Bain, D., Elliott, E., Shelef, E., Thomas, B., & River, M., 2019, Water Quality in Southwestern Pennsylvania: Knowledge Gaps and Approaches. Pittsburgh. DOI: 10.18117/5ch6-k459.