Larry C. Peterson

Professor of Marine Geology and Geophysics (Joint Appointment with Department of  Geological Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences)


Ph.D. Geological Sciences, Brown University, 1984.

Research Interests

Reconstruction of past oceans and climates from marine sediments; abrupt climate change; deep sea sedimentation processes; stable isotope geochemistry of foraminifera.

Courses Taught

  • Marine Micropaleontology, MGG 512
  • Deep Sea Sedimentation MGG 663
  • Paleoclimatology, MGG 676
  • Introduction to Marine Science, MSC 111
  • Earth System History, GSC 111
  • Paleontology and Stratigraphy, GSC 480

Representative Publications

In press             Peterson, L.C., and G.H. Haug. Variability in the Mean Latitude of the Atlantic ITCZ as Recorded by Riverine Input of Sediments to the Cariaco Basin, Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology.

Gill, R.B., Mayewski, P.A., Nyberg, J., Haug, G., and L.C. Peterson, Drought and the Maya Collapse, Latin American Antiquities.


2004                Black, D.E., Thunell, R.C., Kaplan, A., Peterson, L.C., and E.J. Tappa. A 2000-year record of Caribbean and tropical North Atlantic hydrographic variability. Paleoceanography, 19, PA2022, doi:10.1029/2003PA000982.


2003                Haug, G.H., Günther, D., Peterson, L.C., Sigman, D.M., Hughen, K.A., and B. Aeschliman. Climate and the collapse of Maya civilization. Science, 299: 1731-1735.


Lea, D.W., Pak, D.K., Peterson, L.C., and K.A. Hughen. Synchroneity of tropical and high-latitude Atlantic temperatures over the last glacial termination. Science, 301: 1361-1364.


Zeigler, K., Schwartz, J.P., Droxler, A.W., Shearer, M.C., and L.C. Peterson. Caribbean carbonate crash in Pedro Channel at subthermoclinal depth during MIS 11: A case of basin-to-shelf carbonate fractionation? AGU Geophysical Monograph 137, Earth’s Climate and Orbital Eccentricity: The Marine Isotope Stage 11 Question.


2002                Kennett, J.P., and L.C. Peterson. Rapid climate change: Ocean responses to Earth System instability in the late Quaternary. In: Achievements and Opportunities of Scientific Ocean Drilling, Special Issue of the JOIDES Journal, 28(1): 5-9.


2001                Haug, G.H., Hughen, K.A., Sigman, D.M., Peterson, L.C., and U. Rohl. Southward migration of the intertropical convergence zone through the Holocene. Science, 293: 1304-1308.


                        Peterson, L.C., Deep-sea sediment: Calcium carbonates. In: Steele J. H., Thorpe S. A. and Turekian K.K. (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Ocean Sciences, vol. 1, Academic Press, London: 359-368.


                        Peterson, L.C., Climate reconstruction. In: Goudie, A. (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Global Change: Environmental Change and Human Society, Oxford Press, New York: 192-199.


2000                Peterson, L.C., Haug, G.H., Hughen, K.A., and U. Rohl.  Rapid changes in the hydrologic cycle of the tropical Atlantic during the last glacial. Science, 290: 1947-1951.


                        Yarincik, K.M., Murray, R.W., Lyons, T.W., Peterson, L.C., and G.H. Haug. Oxygenation history of bottom waters in the Cariaco Basin, Venezuela, over the past 578,000 years: results from redox-sensitive metals (Mo, V, Mn, and Fe). Paleoceanography, 15: 593-604.


                        Peterson, L.C., Haug, G.H., Murray, R.W., Yarincik, K.M., King, J.W., Bralower, T.J., Kameo, K.,  Rutherford, S.D., and R.B. Pearce. Late Quaternary stratigraphy and sedimentation at ODP Site 1002, Cariaco Basin (Venezuela). In: Leckie, R.M., Sigurdsson, H. Acton, G.D., Draper, G. (Eds.), Proc. ODP, Scientific Results, 165: College Station, TX (Ocean Drilling Program): 85-99.


                                                                                    Yarincik, K.M., Murray, R.W., and L.C. Peterson. Climatically controlled eolian and hemipelagic deposition in the Cariaco Basin, Venezuela, over the past 578,000 years: Results from Al/Ti and K/Al. Paleoceanography, 15: 210-228.


                        Werne, J.P., Hollander, D.J., Lyons, T.W., and L.C. Peterson. Climate-induced variations in productivity and planktonic ecosystem structure from the Younger Dryas to Holocene in the Cariaco Basin (Venezuela).  Paleoceanography, 15: 19-29.


1999                Black, D.B., Peterson, L.C., Overpeck, J.T., Kaplan, A., Evans, M.N., and M. Kashgarian.  Eight centuries of North Atlantic ocean-atmosphere variability. Science, 286: 1709-1713.


                        Dean, W.E., Piper, D.Z., and L.C. Peterson. Molybdenum accumulation in Cariaco Basin sediment over the past 24 k.y.: A record of water-column anoxia and climate. Geology, 27(6): 507-510. 


                        Clayton, T., Pearce, R.B., and L.C. Peterson. Indirect climate control of the clay mineral composition of Quaternary sediments from the Cariaco Basin, northern Venezuela (ODP Site 1002). Marine Geology, 161: 191-206.


1998                Hughen, K.A., Overpeck, J.T., Lehman, S.J., Kashgarian, M., Southon, J., Peterson, L.C., Alley, R., and D.M. Sigman. Deglacial changes in ocean circulation from an extended radiocarbon calibration. Nature, 391: 65-68.


                        Haug, G.H., Pedersen, T.F., Sigman, D.M., Calvert, S.E., Nielsen, B., and L.C. Peterson. Glacial/interglacial variations in production and nitrogen fixation in the Cariaco Basin during the last 580 kyrs. Paleoceanography, 13(5): 427-432


                        Hughen, K.A., Overpeck, J.T., Lehman, S.J., Kashgarian, M., Southon, J., and L.C. Peterson. A new 14C calibration data set for the last deglaciation. Radiocarbon, 40: 483-494.


1997                Lin, H.-L., Peterson, L.C., Overpeck, J.T., Trumbore, S.E., and D.W. Murray. Late Quaternary climate change from  18O records of multiple species of planktonic foraminifera: high-resolution records from the anoxic Cariaco Basin (Venezuela). Paleoceanography, 12(3): 415-427.


                                    Murray, D.W., and L.C. Peterson. Biogenic carbonate production and preservation changes between 5 and 10 Ma from the Ceara Rise, Western Equatorial Atlantic. In: Shackleton, N.J., Curry, W.B., Richter, C., and Bralower, T.J. (Eds.), Proc. ODP, Scientific Results, 154, College Station, TX (Ocean Drilling Program): 375-388.


1996                Hughen, K., Overpeck, J.T., Peterson, L.C., and S.E. Trumbore. Rapid climate changes in the tropical Atlantic during the last deglaciation. Nature, 380: 51-54.


Hughen, K., Overpeck, J.T., Peterson, L.C., and  R.F. Anderson. The nature of varved sedimentation  in the Cariaco Basin, Venezuela, and its palaeoclimatic significance, In: A.E.S. Kemp (ed.), Palaeoclimatology and Palaeoceanography from Laminated Sediments, Geological Society, Special Publication, No. 116, London: 171-183.


Russell, A.D., Emerson, S.R., Mix, A., and L.C. Peterson. The use of foraminiferal uranium/calcium ratios as an indicator of changes in seawater uranium content. Paleoceanography, v.11(6): 649-663.


1995                Peterson, L.C., Abbott, M.R., Anderson, D.M., Caulet, J.-P., Conte, M.H., Emeis, K.-C., Kemp, A.E.S., and C.P. Summerhayes. How do upwelling systems vary through time? In: C.P. Summerhayes, M.V. Angel, K.C. Emeis, B. Zeitschel (eds.), Upwelling in the Modern Ocean: Modern Processes and Ancient Records, John Wiley & Sons: 285-311.


1994                Lin, H.-L., and L.C. Peterson. A 28,000 year record of hydrography in the anoxic Cariaco Basin (Venezuela) based on oxygen isotope data from multiple species of planktonic foraminifera. Journal of the Geological Society of China, 37/4: 425-444.


1993                Imbrie, J., Berger, A., Boyle, E., Clemens, S., Duffy, A., Howard, W., Kukla, G., Kutzbach, J., Martinson, D., McIntyre, A., Mix, A., Molfino, B., Morley, J., Peterson, L., Pisias, N., Prell, W., Raymo, M., Shackleton, N., and J. Togweiller. On the structure and origin of major glaciation cycles, 2. The 100,000 year cycle. Paleoceanography, 8(6): 699-735.


1992                Peterson, L.C., Murray, D.W., Ehrmann, W.U., and P. Hempel.  Cenozoic carbonate accumulation and compensation depth changes in the Indian Ocean.  In: Duncan, R.A., Rea, D.K., Kidd, R.B., von Rad, U., and Weissel, J.K. (eds.), The Indian Ocean: A synthesis of Results from the Ocean Drilling Program, Geophysical Monograph 70, American Geophysical Union (Washington, D.C.): 311-333.


Imbrie, J., Boyle, E., Clemens, S., Duffy, A., Howard, W., Kukla, G., Kutzbach, J., Martinson, D., McIntyre, A., Mix, A., Molfino, B., Morley, J., Peterson, L., Pisias, N., Prell, W., Raymo, M., Shackleton, N., and J. Togweiller. On the structure and origin of major glaciation cycles, 1.  Linear responses to Milankovitch forcing. Paleoceanography, 7(6): 701-738.


1991                Peterson, L.C., Overpeck, J.T., Kipp, N.G., and J. Imbrie. A high-resolution late Quaternary upwelling record from the anoxic Cariaco Basin, Venezuela. Paleoceanography, 6: 99-119.


1990                Peterson, L.C., and J. Backman. Late Cenozoic carbonate accumulation and the history of the carbonate compensation depth in the western equatorial Indian Ocean.  In: Duncan, R.A., Backman, J., Peterson, L.C., et al., Proc. ODP, Scientific Results, 115: College Station, TX (Ocean Drilling Program): 467-507.


1989                Overpeck, J.T., Peterson, L.C., Kipp, N.G., Imbrie, J., and D. Rind. Climate change in the Circum-North Atlantic Region during the last deglaciation. Nature, 338: 553-557.


1985                Peterson, L.C. and W.L. Prell.  Carbonate dissolution in recent sediments of the eastern equatorial Indian Ocean: Preservation patterns and carbonate loss above the lysocline.  Marine Geology, 64: 259-290.


Peterson, L.C. and W.L. Prell. Carbonate preservation and rates of climate change:  An 800 kyr record from the Indian Ocean.  In:  The Carbon Cycle and Atmospheric CO2:  Natural Variations Archean to Present (E.T. Sundquist and W.S. Broecker, Eds.), AGU Geophysical Monograph 32, Washington, D.C.:  251-270.


1984                Peterson, L.C., Recent abyssal benthonic foraminiferal biofacies of the eastern equatorial Indian Ocean.  Marine Micropaleontology, 8: 479-519.


1982                Peterson, L.C. and G.P. Lohmann.  Major change in Atlantic deep and bottom waters 700,000 years ago: Benthonic foraminiferal evidence from the South Atlantic.  Quaternary Research 17: 26-38.



Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science

Marine Geology and Geophysics
of Miami
4600 Rickenbacker Causeway
Miami, FL 33149

Telephone: (305) 421-4692 (RSMAS Office)
Telephone: (305) 284-6821 (Geological Sciences Office)

Last Revised:  7 December 2004