Information about web site author, Eric Clausen

At present I am a professor emeritus having taught geology at Minot State University (North Dakota, USA) from 1968 until 1997. I was trained in geology at Columbia University and the University of Wyoming where my studies emphasized regional geomorphology. While working at Minot University I taught geology and also served as Faculty Development Coordinator. In 1995 I began part-time work directing the National Geographic Society Education Foundation funded North Dakota Geographic Alliance, which I continued to do until 2007. For off site questions and discussions about my Missouri River drainage basin landform origins research project essays I can be reached at

Geomorphology is the study of landforms and my interest as a geomorphology researcher is in determining the origin of large drainage systems, such as the Missouri River drainage basin in North America. The Missouri River drainage basin consists of thousands of smaller drainage basins, each of which has a history my essays are trying to unravel. What I try to do is reconstruct the landscape the way it looked prior to the present day drainage system. I then try to determine how the present day drainage system evolved.

For many years I have pursued a research interest that developed when as result of geologic field work and interpretation of large mosaics of detailed North American topographic maps I discovered significant evidence previous investigators had ignored. Over a period of many years, after studying such anomalous evidence, I was forced to develop a fundamentally different interpretation of North American geomorphic history than that which is generally accepted. My essay “About the thick ice sheet that melted fast geomorphology paradigm” briefly describes how my interest in alternate geomorphology paradigms began and evolved.

The “thick ice sheet that melted fast” geomorphology paradigm is being introduced on this website. Essays on this website are interpreting detailed Missouri River drainage basin landform origins from the “thick ice sheet that melted fast” perspective. This is a fundamentally different geomorphology paradigm or perspective than the paradigm or perspective used by previous geomorphology researchers and is enabling me to interpret literally thousands of previously unexplained and ignored landform features. In addition to the Missouri River drainage basin drainage divide area essays on this website I have also included a few essays (under pages on the sidebar) describing (but not illustrating) the evolution of New England drainage basin areas as determined from similar topographic map evidence.


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  1. Andrea Beth Crackel

    Hi Dr Clausen,
    Do you have publications that address the geological formations, as a result of glaciation and flooding, that deal with North Dakota?
    I’m interested in reading about basically everything dealing with the geomorphology of my beloved home state.
    Thank you very much,
    Andrea (Bartz) Crackel

    • Eric Clausen

      Hi Andrea,
      My current publications related to North Dakota are listed on this website’s page titled “Links to Open Access Papers Related to This Website.” Trying to explain North Dakota evidence as the list shows led me to regions outside of North Dakota-especially in the Rocky Mountain region, although my most recent studies relate to the Ohio River-Atlantic Ocean drainage divide area and specifically to the Tennessee River-Gulf of Mexico drainage divide. What started out as a modest southwest North Dakota research project where I refused to believe what paleontologists were saying about the White River Formation alluvium has turned out to be an extremely productive research project where I can now explain previously unexplained topographic map drainage system and erosional landform evidence in almost all areas of the continental United States. At this time I am busy writing demonstration papers to illustrate how a new and fundamentally different Cenozoic glacial history paradigm explains big picture topographic map drainage system and erosional landform evidence and future North Dakota related papers are not high on my priority list. I do though encourage you to continue your interest in North Dakota geomorphology and to consider writing some North Dakota related geomorphology papers of your own (either as Word Press blogs or for publication in one of the many on-line geology or geography journals). Detailed topographic maps are available at the United States Geological Survey National Map website and easy to access and use. My published papers describe my interpretations of North Dakota drainage system and erosional landform development, which as you know are different from interpretations given in North Dakota Geological Survey and other publications. Your papers might compare and evaluate the different interpretations based on your own observations of the North Dakota topographic map evidence.
      Best Wishes, Eric Clausen

      • Andrea Beth Crackel

        Hello Dr. Clausen!
        Oh the memories….. They include discussion between a certain geomorphologist and a (not to be named) paleontologist! 😊
        I hope to look at your publications.
        I highly doubt I will write anything. A surgery, to treat my epilepsy, has left me with a limited ability to process and write new research. I do enjoy reading what has been published.
        Thank you so much for responding!
        Are you able to share what you are doing these days? I don’t know the limitations of this website.
        Andrea Crackel
        I just saw your response on November 20, 2021

  2. Eric Clausen

    Hi Andrea,

    This website is primarily devoted to the research notes which led to the development of a new paradigm able to explain drainage system and erosional landform evidence found on USGS detailed topographic maps. I maintain this website to demonstrate that I studied the entire Missouri River drainage basin in great detail before proposing what many geologists including a not to be named paleontologist consider radical interpretations of geologic history. My goal right now is to publish in open access and other geologic journals as many papers as possible in which I use the new paradigm to explain topographic map drainage system and erosional landform evidence found in numerous different and diverse continental United States locations. My most recent papers which are still being reviewed or which have been accepted but not yet published deal with areas in Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Alabama, and Colorado, all of which are located outside of the Missouri River drainage basin. As geologic journals publish my papers I add the papers to the list of published papers which can be found under Links to Open Access Published Papers Related to this Website, which can be found on this website’s home page. If you want to contact me directly my email address is


    Eric Clausen

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