Larry Syu-Heng Lai, Ph.D.
A Fan of Sedimentary Geology & Geomorphology –


I am a field geologist, passionate about the Earth's surface processes that drive sediment production & transport, the development of sedimentary basins, and landscape evolution in tectonically active regions. I am currently a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Washington, working with Dr. Alison Duvall's team and the Cascadia Copes Hub. If not in the office, you may find me hiking on mountain trails, playing on basketball courts, or snowboarding on the slopes!

Me on the main drainage divide of Taiwan

Everything I am studying in a nutshell!


& Stratigraphy

A study to understand the origin, transport, and deposition of sediments, and their spatio-temporal patterns and variations. It helps us to understand the net result of ancient surface processes, depict paleo-geography, and offer future predictions.

Sedimentary Basin

A synthetic geological study to understand the developement of sedimentary basins and related near-surface crustal dynamics. It provides the basis for geo-history research, geological resource exploration, and regional tectonic activities.


The study to understand the interplay between surface processes, climate change, and tectonic activities. It combines merits of field observation and numerical modeling to investigate the controls of landscape evolution in tectonically active regions.

Other Research Skills/Tools

Field Mapping & Observation

Field geological mapping and observations provide both quantitative and qualitative constraints of the real world and offer direct insights to the geospatial problems and relative chronology of the geohistory.

Rock Paleomagnetism

Magnetic properties and mineralogy of rocks and sediments, which provide archives of paleomagnetic polarity changes, depositional time, and particle alignment due to tectonic and sedimentological processes.

Calcareous Nannofossil

Calcareous Nannoplankton are tiny (2.5-30 μm) oceanic phytoplankton that emerge around late Triassic. Their skeletons are not only significant contributors of rock-forming processes but also valuable biostratigraphic age markers.

Topographic Analysis

Quantitative measurements and analysis of the geomorphic metrics using digital eleveation models and other remote-sensing data. The results offer a better understanding of the large-scale landform patterns and their relationship with other natural factors (bedrock variabilities, climate change, tectonic deformation, biosphere activities).

Numerical Modeling

A computational and theoretical approach to simulate topographic evolution, basin subsidence, and sediment dynamics at the surface. This tool allows us to investigate the long-term effect of different natural variables and their relative importance in controlling topographic changes.