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Dr. Nathaniel Lifton

Associate Prof. & Associate Head Dr. Nathaniel Lifton
Curriculum Vitae
Associated website(s):
Google Scholar , Geology and Geophysics

  • 1997 Ph.D., Geosciences, University of Arizona
  • 1985 B.S., Geological Sciences, University of California at Santa Barbara

Research Interests
My research interests focus on developing methods for using in situ cosmogenic nuclides (CNs) to derive surface exposure ages and/or erosion rates for process-oriented geomorphic studies. I have developed reliable methods for extracting in situ cosmogenic 14C (in situ 14C) from quartz, and continue to advance those techniques. Recently, I have been using in situ 14C to calibrate variations of in situ CN production rates with altitude and latitude. As an outgrowth of that work, I am also investigating the effects of millennial-scale geomagnetic variability on CN production rates in time and space. I am also applying in situ 14C in concert with long-lived CNs such as 10Be, 26Al, and 36Cl to investigate complex exposure scenarios, particularly involving glacial advance and retreat.

Professional Experience

  • 2010 - present: Assistant Professor, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Purdue University
  • 2002 - 2010: Associate Research Scientist, Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona, and NSF-Arizona Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Facility
  • 1997 - 2002: Research Associate, Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona, and NSF-Arizona Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Facility
  • 1990 - 1997: Research Assistant, Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona
  • 1985 - 1990: Geologist, Dames & Moore, Santa Barbara, CA, Irvine, CA, and Tucson, AZ
Selected Publications - Google Scholar Page for a complete list of publications
  • Lifton, N., Sato, T., Dunai, T., 2014. Scaling in situ cosmogenic nuclide production rates using analytical approximations to atmospheric cosmic-ray fluxes. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 386 149-160
  • Briner, J.P., Lifton, N.A., Miller, G.H., Refsnider, K., Anderson, R.K., Finkel, R., 2014. Using in situ cosmogenic 10Be, 14C, and 26Al to decipher the history of polythermal ice sheets, Quaternary Geochronology 19, 4-13.
  • Granger, D.E., Lifton, N.A., Willenbring, J.K., 2013. A cosmic trip: 25 years of cosmogenic nuclides in geology (invited contribution). Geological Society of America Bulletin 125, 1379–1402.
  • Goehring, B.M., Muzikar, P., and Lifton, N.A., 2013, An in situ 14C-10Be Bayesian isochron approach for interpreting complex glacial histories: Quaternary Geochronology, v. 15, p. 61–66.
  • Pigati, J.S., Lifton, N.A., Jull, A.J.T., and Quade, J, 2010. A simplified in situ cosmogenic 14C extraction system, Radiocarbon. 52(2-3), 1236-1243
  • Pigati, J.S., Lifton, N.A., Jull, A.J.T., and Quade, J, 2010. Extraction of in situ cosmogenic 14C from olivine, Radiocarbon. 52(2-3), 1244-1260
  • Goehring, B.M., Kurz, M.D., Balco, G., Schaefer, J.M., Licciardi, J., Lifton, N., 2010. A reevaluation of in situ 3He production rates, Quat. Geochron. 5, 410-418.
  • Lifton, N., Smart, D. F., and Shea, M. A., 2008. Scaling time-integrated in situ cosmogenic nuclide production rates using a continuous geomagnetic model. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 268, 190-201.
  • Balco, G., Stone, J.O., Lifton, N., and Dunai, T.J., 2008. A complete and easily accessible means of calculating surface exposure ages or erosion rates from 10Be and 26Al measurements. Quat. Geochron. 3, 174-195.
  • Anderson, R.K., Miller, G.H., Briner, J.P., Lifton, N.A., DeVogel, S.B., 2008, A millennial perspective on Arctic warming from 14C in quartz and plants emerging beneath ice caps, Geophysical Research Letters, 35, L01502, doi: 10.1029/2007GL032057.
  • Pigati, J.S., Quade, J., Wilson, J., Jull, A.J.T., and Lifton, N., 2007, Development of low-background vacuum extraction and graphitization systems for 14C dating of old (40-60 ka) samples: Quaternary International, v. 166, p. 4-14.
  • Miller, G.H., Briner, J.P., Lifton, N.A., and Finkel, R.C., 2006, Limited ice-sheet erosion and complex exposure histories derived from in situ cosmogenic 10Be, 26Al, and 14C on Baffin Island, Arctic Canada: Quaternary Geochronology, 1, p. 74-85.
  • Lifton, N.A., Bieber, J.W., Clem, J.M., Duldig, M.L., Evenson, P., Humble, J.E., and Pyle, R., 2005, Addressing solar modulation and long-term uncertainties in scaling in situ cosmogenic nuclide production rates: Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 239(1-2), p. 140-161.
  • Matmon, A., Shaked, Y., Porat, N., Enzel, Y., Finkel, R., Lifton, N., Boarretto, E., and Agnon, A., 2005, Landscape development in a hyperarid sandstone environment along the margins of the Dead Sea fault: Implications from dated rock falls: Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 240, p. 803-817.
  • Lifton, N.A., Jull, A.J.T., and Quade, J., 2001. A new extraction technique and production rate estimate for in situ 14C in quartz. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 65(12): 1953-1969.

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