You are here

Darren Larsen

Assistant Professor, Geology


  • Email: dlarsen@oxy.edu
  • Phone: (323)341-4041
  • Room: HSC 217
  • Office Hours: M, W, F: 10:35am -11:35am

Education: B.A., Colby College, M.S., P.h.D., University of Colorado Boulder

Darren teaches Introductory Geology, Earth’s Climate: Past and Future, Evolution of the Earth, Field Geology, and Sedimentary Geology.


Research Specialty:

Quaternary geology, Paleoclimate, Geomorphology, Sedimentary systems


Research Interests:

My research interests lie at the nexus between paleoclimatology and geomorphology, where I use a range of tools, field observations, and analytical techniques to answer questions in these highly interdisciplinary fields. Much of my work involves investigating sedimentary archives to develop a greater understanding of Earth’s climate system (for example, through changes in glacier extents, environmental conditions, and monsoon behavior) and surface processes (such as landslides, erosion rates, and sediment transport). I am particularly interested in the sedimentary record of abrupt climate change, glacial-lacustrine sedimentation, and neotectonic activity in Arctic and alpine regions. I am also interested in landscape evolution and the interaction of living organisms with their physical environment. Ongoing research projects in Iceland, Peru, the Western US, and elsewhere provide numerous opportunities for professional collaborations and student involvement.


Recent Publications:

Larsen, D.J., Finkenbinder, M.S., Abbott, M.B., Ofstun, A., 2016. Deglaciation and postglacial environmental changes in the Teton Mountain Range recorded at Jenny Lake, Grand Teton National Park, WY. Quaternary Science Reviews 138, 62-75.

Geirsdóttir, Á., Miller, G.H., Larsen, D.J., 2016. Landforms in Hvítárvatn, central Iceland, produced by recent advances of surging and non-surging glaciers. In: Dowdeswell, J.A., Canals, M., Jakobsson, M., Todd, B.J., Dowdeswell, E.K., Hogan, K.A., (Eds.), Atlas of Submarine Glacial Landforms: Modern, Quaternary and Ancient. The Geological Society of London, 46, 1-4.

Larsen, D.J., Geirsdóttir, Á., Miller, G.H., 2015. Precise chronology of Little Ice Age expansion and repetitive surges of Langjökull, central Iceland. Geology 43, 167-170.

Larsen, D.J., Miller, G.H., Geirsdóttir, Á., 2013. Asynchronous Little Ice Age glacier fluctuations in Iceland and European Alps linked to shifts in subpolar North Atlantic circulation. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 380, 52-59.

Miller, G.H., Briner, J.P., Refsnider, K.A., Lehman, S.J., Geirsdóttir, Á., Larsen, D.J., Southon, J.R., 2013. Substantial agreement on the timing and magnitude of Late Holocene ice cap expansion between East Greenland and the Eastern Canadian Arctic: A commentary on Lowell et al., 2013. Quaternary Science Reviews 77, 239-245.

Geirsdóttir, Á., Miller, G.H., Larsen, D.J., Ólafsdóttir, S., 2013. Abrupt Holocene climate transitions in the northern North Atlantic region recorded by synchronized lacustrine records in Iceland. Quaternary Science Reviews 70, 48-62. 

Ólafsdóttir, K.B., Geirsdóttir, Á., Miller, G.H., Larsen, D.J., 2013. Evolution of NAO and AMO strength and cyclicity derived from a 3 ka varve-thickness record from Iceland. Quaternary Science Reviews 69, 142-154.

Larsen, D.J., Miller, G.H., Geirsdóttir, Á., Ólafsdóttir, S., 2012. Non-linear Holocene climate evolution in the North Atlantic: a high-resolution, multi-proxy record of glacier activity and environmental change from Hvítárvatn, central Iceland. Quaternary Science Reviews 39, 14-25.

Miller, G.H., Geirsdóttir, Á., Zhong, Y., Larsen, D.J., Otto-Bliesner, B.L., Holland, M., Bailey, D.A., Refsnider, K.A., Lehman, S.J., Southon, J.R., Anderson, C., Bjornsson, H., Thordarson, T., 2012. Abrupt onset of the Little Ice Age triggered by volcanism and sustained by sea-ice/ocean feedbacks. Geophysical Research Letters 39, L02708, doi:10.1029/2011GL050168.

Larsen, D.J., Miller, G.H., Geirsdóttir, Á., Thordarson, T., 2011. A 3000-year varved record of glacier activity and climate change from the proglacial lake Hvítárvatn, Iceland. Quaternary Science Reviews 30, 2715-2731.