Dr Ruth Robinson

Senior Lecturer; Director of Teaching

tel: +44 01334 463996
fax: +44 01334 463949
email: rajr@st-andrews.ac.uk
room: 420  (Irvine Building)
Irvine Building
University of St Andrews
North Street
St Andrews
KY16 9AL


Research Overview

My research was initially in the area of quantitative sedimentology, using numerical models to understand the controls on grain-size trends in gravel-bed rivers and applying the modeling results and implications to grain-size trends in ancient river systems. In 2000, I started to develop interests in landscape evolution more generally and in trying to constrain surface process rates through numerical age dating techniques, such as optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) and cosmogenic-ray nuclide dating. Since 2005, I have been working on quantifying the material fluxes and chemistry of the water and sediment transported by the Irrawaddy and Salween rivers of Burma. More recently, our research group has been working with Randy Parrish and Matt Horstwood at NIGL, and Dan Barford at SUERC in East Kilbride, using innovative geochronological methods on detrital minerals to identify the sediment provenance of Cenozoic deposits in central Burma and their exhumation history. This work has demonstrated that the Yarlung Tsangpo river in southern Tibet formerly connected around the eastern syntaxis and drained into the Irrawaddy river in Burma. This connection was broken around 18 Ma during exhumation of the eastern syntaxis and deformation along major shear zones around the syntaxis. 



Recent Publications

Schildgen, TF, Robinson, RAJ, Savi, S, Phillips, WM, Spencer, JQG, Bookhagen, B, Scherler, D, Tofelde, S, Alonso, RN, Kubik, PW, Binnie, SA & Strecker, MR 2016, 'Landscape response to late Pleistocene climate change in NW Argentina: sediment flux modulated by basin geometry and connectivity' Journal of Geophysical Research - Earth Surface, vol 121, no. 2, pp. 392-414. DOI: 10.1002/2015JF003607
Nijhuis, AG, Edmonds, DA, Caldwell, RL, Cederberg, JA, Slingerland, RL, Best, JL, Parsons, DR & Robinson, RAJ 2015, 'Fluvio-deltaic avulsions during relative sea-level fall' Geology, vol 43, no. 8, pp. 719-722. DOI: 10.1130/G36788.1
Hampson, GJ, Duller, RA, Petter, AL, Robinson, RAJ & Allen, PA 2014, 'Mass-balance constraints on stratigraphic interpretation of linked alluvial-coastal-shelfal deposits from source to sink: example from Cretaceous Western Interior Basin, Utah and Colorado, U.S.A.' Journal of Sedimentary Research, vol 84, no. 11, pp. 935-960. DOI: 10.2110/jsr.2014.78
Robinson, RAJ, Brezina, CA, Parrish, R, Horstwood, M, Win Oo, N, Bird, MI, Thein, M, Walters, A, Oliver, GJH & Zaw, K 2014, 'Large rivers and orogens: The evolution of the Yarlung Tsangpo–Irrawaddy system and the eastern Himalayan syntaxis' Gondwana Research, vol 25, no. 1, pp. 112-121. DOI: 10.1016/j.gr.2013.07.002
King, GE, Robinson, RAJ & Finch, AA 2014, 'Towards successful OSL sampling strategies in glacial environments: deciphering the influence of depositional processes on bleaching of modern glacial sediments from Jostedalen, Southern Norway' Quaternary Science Reviews, vol 89, pp. 94-107. DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2014.02.001
Shi, X, Kirby, E, Robinson, RAJ, Furlong, K & Wang, E 2014, 'Holocene slip rate along the Gyaring Co Fault, central Tibet' Geophysical Research Letters. DOI: 10.1002/2014GL060782
King, G, Sanderson, DCW, Robinson, RAJ & Finch, AA 2014, 'Understanding processes of sediment bleaching in glacial settings using a portable OSL reader' Boreas, vol 43, no. 4, pp. 955-972. DOI: 10.1111/bor.12078
King, G, Robinson, RAJ & Finch, AA 2013, 'Apparent OSL ages of modern deposits from Fåbergstølsdalen, Norway: implications for sampling glacial sediments' Journal of Quaternary Science, vol 28, no. 7, pp. 673-682. DOI: 10.1002/jqs.2666
Cortes, J, Gonzalez, G, Binnie, SA, Robinson, R, Freeman, SPHT & Vargas, G 2012, 'Paleoseismology of the Mejillones Fault, northern Chile:: Insights from cosmogenic 10Be and optically stimulated luminescence determinations' Tectonics, vol 31, TC2017. DOI: 10.1029/2011TC002877
Robinson, RAJ, Phillips, W, Spencer, J, Strecker, M, Alonso, R, Kubik, P & Biniie, S 2012 'Late Quaternary erosion, sediment storage and landscape evolution in NW Argentina using terrestrial cosmogenic nuclide and optically stimulated luminescence dating' Geological Society of America Bulletin.
King, GE, Finch, AA, Robinson, RAJ, Taylor, RP & Mosselmans, JFW 2011, 'The problem of dating quartz 2: Synchrotron generated X-ray excited optical luminescence (XEOL) from quartz' Radiation Measurements, vol 46, no. 10, pp. 1082-1089. DOI: 10.1016/j.radmeas.2011.08.014
King, G, Finch, AA, Robinson, RAJ & Hole, DE 2011, 'The problem of dating quartz 1: Spectroscopic ionoluminescence of dose dependence' Radiation Measurements, vol 46, no. 1, pp. 1-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.radmeas.2010.07.031
Hedley, PJ, Bird, MI & Robinson, RAJ 2010, 'Evolution of the Irrawaddy delta region since 1850' Geographical Journal, vol 176, no. 2, pp. 138-149. DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-4959.2009.00346.x
Abesser, C & Robinson, R 2010, 'Mobilisation of iron and manganese from sediments of a Scottish Upland reservoir' Journal of limnology, vol 69, no. 1, pp. 42-53. DOI: 10.3274/JL10-69-1-04
Owen, LA, Robinson, RAJ, Benn, DI, Finkel, RC, Davis, NK, Yi, C, Putkonen, J, Li, D & Murray, AS 2009, 'Quaternary glaciation of Mount Everest' Quaternary Science Reviews, vol 28, no. 15-16, pp. 1412-1433. DOI: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2009.02.010
Hoare, PG, Gale, SJ, Robinson, RAJ, Connell, ER & Larkin, NR 2009, 'Marine Isotope Stage 7-6 transition age for beach sediments at Morston, north Norfolk, UK: implications for Pleistocene chronology, stratigraphy and tectonics' Journal of Quaternary Science, vol 24, no. 4, pp. 311-316. DOI: 10.1002/jqs.1267
Bird, MI, Robinson, RAJ, Win Oo, N, Maung Aye, M, Lu, XX, Higgitt, DL, Swe, A, Tun, T, Lhaing Win, S, Sandar Aye, K, Mi Mi Win, K & Hoey, TB 2008, 'A preliminary estimate of organic carbon transport by the Ayeyarwady (Irrawaddy) and Thanlwin (Salween) Rivers of Myanmar' Quaternary International, vol 186, no. 1, pp. 113-122. DOI: 10.1016/j.quaint.2007.08.003
Spencer, JQG & Robinson, RAJ 2008, 'Dating intramontane alluvial deposits from NW Argentina using luminescence techniques: problems and potential' Geomorphology, vol 93, no. 1-2, pp. 144-155. DOI: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2006.12.021
Robinson, RAJ, Bird, MI, Win Oo, N, Hoey, TB, Maung Aye, M, Higgitt, DL, Lu, XX, Sandar Aye, K, Swe, A, Tun, T & Lhaing Win, S 2007, 'The Irrawaddy River sediment flux to the Indian Ocean: the original nineteenth-century data revisited' The Journal of Geology, vol 115, no. 6, pp. 629-640. DOI: 10.1086/521607
Harkins, N, Kirby, E, Heimsath, A, Robinson, R & Reiser, U 2007, 'Transient fluvial incision in the headwaters of the Yellow River, northeastern Tibet, China' Journal of Geophysical Research - Earth Surface, vol 112. DOI: 10.1029/2006JF000570
Hawkes, AD, Bird, M, Cowie, S, Grundy-Warr, C, Horton, BP, Hwai, ATS, Law, L, Macgregor, C, Nott, J, Ong, JE, Rigg, J, Robinson, R, Tan-Mullins, M, Sa, TT, Yasin, Z & Aik, LW 2007, 'Sediments deposited by the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami along the Malaysia-Thailand Peninsula' Marine and Petroleum Geology, vol 242, pp. 169-190. DOI: 10.1016/j.margeo.2007.02.017
Morrocco, SM, Ballantyne, CK, Spencer, JQG & Robinson, RAJ 2007, 'Age and significance of aeolian sediment reworking on high plateaux in the Scottish Highlands' The Holocene, vol 17, no. 3, pp. 349-360. DOI: 10.1177/0959683607076448
Lukas, S, Spencer, JQG, Robinson, RAJ & Benn, DI 2007, 'Problems associated with luminescence dating of Late Quaternary glacial sediments in the NW Scottish Highlands' Quaternary Geochronology, vol 2, no. 1-4, pp. 243-248. DOI: 10.1016/j.quageo.2006.04.007
Abesser, C, Robinson, R & Soulsby, C 2006, 'Iron and manganese cycling in the storm runoff of a Scottish upland catchment' Journal of Hydrology, vol 326, pp. 59-78. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2005.10.034
Owens, B, McLean, D, Simpson, KRM, Shell, PMJ & Robinson, R 2005, 'Reappraisal of the Mississippian palynostratigraphy of the East Fife coast, Scotland, United Kingdom' Palynology, vol 29, pp. 23-47.
Owens, B, Shell, PMJ, McLean, D, Robinson, RAJ & Simpson, KRM Reappraisal of the Dinantian palynostratigraphy of the East Fife coast, Scotland.
Abesser, CA, Robinson, RAJ & Soulsby, C 2005, 'Iron and manganese cycling during storm runoff in a Scottish Upland catchment' Journal of Hydrology.
Robinson, RAJ, Spencer, JQG, Strecker, MR, Richter, A & Alonso, RN 2005, Luminescence Dating of Alluvial Fans in Intramontane Basins of NW Argentina. in A Harvey, A Mather & M Stokes (eds), Alluvial Fans: Geomorphology, Sedimentology, Dynamics. Geological Society of London, pp. 153-168.
Lawton, TF, Pollock, S & Robinson, RAJ 2003, 'Integrating sandstone petrology and nonmarine sequence stratigraphy: application to the Late Cretaceous fluvial systems of Southwestern Utah, USA' Journal of Sedimentary Research, vol 73, pp. 389-406.
Robinson, RAJ & Slingerland, R 2001, Predicting fluvial-deltaic aggradation in Lake Roxburgh, New Zealand. Test of a Water and Sediment Routing Model. in DF Merriam & JC Davies (eds), Geologic Modelling and Simulation - Sedimentary Systems. Kluwer, pp. 119-133.
Robinson, RAJ, Tucker, GE & Gupta, S Modelling River Response to Varying Vertical Uplift and Lateral Propagation Rates of Folds.
Robinson, RAJ & Tucker, GE Modelling structurally controlled sediment distribution and storage in Cretaceous piggyback basin, the Canyon Range, Utah.
Bates, CR & Robinson, RAJ Geophysical methods for remotely monitoring water resources on links golf courses.
Bates, CR & Robinson, RAJ Geophysics and Groundwater Modelling of Coastal Golf Courses.
Oliver, GJH & Robinson, RAJ The effects of batholiths and their buoyancy on orogeny.
Poulsen, CJ, Flemings, BP, Robinson, RAJ & Metzger, JN 1998, 'Three-dimensional stratigraphic evolution of the Miocene Baltimore Canyon region: Implications for eustatic interpretations and the systems tract model' Geological Society of America Bulletin, vol 110, no. 9, pp. 1105-1122.
Robinson, RAJ & Slingerland, RL 1998, 'Origin of fluvial grain-size trends in a foreland basin: Pocono Formation on the central Appalachian basin' Journal of Sedimentary Research, vol 68, no. 3, pp. 473-486.
Robinson, RAJ & Slingerland, RL 1998, 'Grain-size trends, basin subsidence and sediment supply in the Campanian Castlegate Sandstone and equivalent conglomerates of Central Utah' Basin Research, vol 10, pp. 109-127.
Plaza, R, Robinson, RAJ, Prave, AR & Bates, CR Depositional model of late Cretaceous Frontier Formation, Wind River Basin, Wyoming.
Oliver, GJH, Buchwalt, R & Robinson, RAJ How and when did the Grampian orogeny occur in Scotland?.
Robinson, RAJ & Oliver, GJH Batholithic buoyancy and Dalradian terrane uplift.
Herrero Fernandez, MJ, Robinson, RAJ, Prave, AR & Bates, CR Basin-wide analogue modelling for a complex reservoir evaluation: the Mesaverde Formation.
Kirk, AJ, Lowe, SV & Robinson, RAJ Structural and depositional influence within the syntectonic Canyon Range Conglomerate.
Robinson, RAJ & Lawton, TF Constraining tectonic influences on depositional processes: lessons from the orogenic belt of Central Utah.
Gupta, S & Robinson, RAJ Orogenic drainage reorganization - the explanation for along-strike variation in the timing of regressive-transgressive successions. Cretaceous Western Interior basin, USA.
Robinson, RAJ & Slingerland, RL 1998, 'Origin of fluvial grain-size trends in a foreland basin: the Pocono Formation of the Central Appalachian Basin' Journal of Sedimentary Research, vol A68, pp. 473 - 486.
Robinson, RAJ & Prave, AR To scale or not to scale: Facies influence on scale invariance.
Lainchbury, S, Robinson, RAJ, Prave, AR & Bates, CR Depositional framework of erosional surfaces in the Late Cretaceous Frontier Formation, Wind River Basin, WY.
Herrero Fernandez, JM, Robinson, RAJ, Prave, AR & Bates, CR Sandstone channel geometry and stacking pattern in the Late Cretaceous Mesaverde Formation, Wind River basin, WY.
Robinson, RAJ & Oliver, GJH Granite buoyancy and Dalradian terrane uplift.
Robinson, RAJ, Rennie, CA & Oliver, GJH Palaeocurrent data , source terrains and palaeogeographic setting of the Dalradian Block: the Stonehaven Dunnotter Groups revisited.
Robinson, RAJ, Pazzaglia, FJ & Traverse, A 1997, 'Palynology of the Bryn Mawr Formation (Miocene): insights on the age and genesis of Middle Atlantic margin fluvial deposits' Sedimentary Geology, vol 108, pp. 19-44.
Herrero-Fernandez, M, Robinson, RAJ & Bates, CR Outcrop and subsurface data synthesis and reservoir characterisation of the transition between the Cody and Mesaverde formations, Wind River basin, Wyoming.

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