CNCS Center for Nonlinear and Complex Systems
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A. Brad Murray, Assistant Professor of Geomorphology and Coastal Processes

I am interested in many surface processes and patterns, including rivers and a range of desert, arctic, and alpine phenomena. My recent efforts have focused on coastal and nearshore processes. The nearshore environment is a spatially extended system that exhibits complex, dynamic spatial patterns, including the arrangement of bars and channels, waves, and often an array of alongshore and cross-shore currents. I approach such systems with the perspective and techniques developed in the study of nonlinear dynamics and complex systems, looking for possibly simple, large-scale interactions that could explain complex behaviors. I use relatively simple, cellular-automata-like models to test such hypotheses. (click here for recent abstracts) Recently I have been applying these methods to beach and surf-zone problems, but I am expanding my focus onshore and offshore, to include studies of storm-driven currents and sediment transport kilometers from shore, as well as the formation and evolution of shoreline-scale features such as cuspate forelands and capes, cuspate spits, and 'sand waves'. Another aspect of my research involves comparing field or laboratory observations with models of complex systems, for which linear statistics concerning the system's behavior may not sensitively reflect the interactions that produced them. I apply and develop nonlinear data analysis techniques to sensitively test how realistic model interactions are. I also advocate using different model-testing strategies for maximally-realistic simulations and highly simplified models. (See model testing for more information.)

Contact Info:
Office Location:  334 Old Chem Building
Office Phone:  (919) 681-5069
Email Address: send me a message

Teaching (Fall 2015):

    Perkins 071, WF 01:25 PM-02:40 PM
    (also cross-listed as EOS 315.01)
    LSRC A247, F 03:05 PM-04:20 PM

PhD GeologyUniversity of Minnesota1995
MS PhysicsUniversity of Minnesota1990
BA JournalismUniversity of Minnesota1986
BIS General ScienceUniversity of Minnesota1986

earth surface processes
shorelines and coastal geology
Research Interests: coastal, river, and landscape processes and pattern formation using relatively simple computer models to test hypotheses arising from field observations.

Curriculum Vitae
Postdocs Mentored

  • Eli Lazarus (2005 - present)  
Recent Publications   (More Publications)

  1. Murray, A. B. and Gopalakrishnan, S. and McNamara, D. E. and Smith, M. D., Progress in coupling models of human and coastal landscape change, Computers and Geosciences, vol. 53 (2013), pp. 30--38, ISSN 0098-3004 [doi]  [abs]
  2. Murray, A. B. and Goldstein, E. B. and Coco, G., The shape of patterns to come: From initial formation to long-term evolution, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms (2013), ISSN 1096-9837
  3. Moore, L. J. and McNamara, D. E. and Murray, A. B. and Brenner, O., Observed changes in hurricane-driven waves explain the dynamics of modern cuspate shorelines, Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 40 no. 22 (2013), pp. 5867--5871, ISSN 1944-8007
  4. Murray, A. B. and Ashton, A. D., Instability and finite-amplitude self-organization of large-scale coastline shapes., Philos Trans A Math Phys Eng Sci, vol. 371 no. 2004 (2013), pp. 20120363, England, ISSN 1364-503X [24191115], [doi]  [abs]
  5. Williams, Z. C. and McNamara, D. E. and Smith, M. D. and Murray, A. B. and Gopalakrishnan, S., Coupled economic-coastline modeling with suckers and free riders, Journal of Geophysical Research F: Earth Surface, vol. 118 no. 2 (2013), pp. 887--899, ISSN 0148-0227 [doi]  [abs]