Geosciences at Virginia Tech

Faculty and Instructors

Brian W. Romans
Assistant Professor of Geology

2043A Derring Hall
+1.540.231.2234 (Phone)
+1.540.231.3386 (FAX)

Mailing Address:
4044 Derring Hall (0420)
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Ph.D., Geological & Environmental Sciences, Stanford University, 2008
M.S., Geology, Colorado School of Mines, 2003
B.A., Geology, State University of New York at Buffalo, 1997


My research is in the field of sedimentary systems analysis with specific interests in clastic sedimentology, stratigraphy, sedimentation and tectonics, and deep-sea sedimentary processes. My research aims to understand sedimentation across a broad range of spatial and temporal scales using an integrated, source-to-sink approach.

I study ancient and modern sedimentary systems using outcrop, subsurface, and Earth-surface data to address geologic problems related to tectonic and/or climatic change as well as the relationship of intrinsic sedimentary dynamics to patterns observed in the stratigraphic record. Much of this research has implications for improving prediction and characterization of subsurface stratigraphy.


Fildani, A., Hubbard, S.M., Covault, J.A., Maier, K.L., Romans, B.W., Traer, M., and Rowland, J.C., 2013, Erosion at inception of deep-sea channels: Marine and Petroleum Geology, v. 41, p. 48-61, doi: 10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2012.03.006 [link]

Romans, B.W. and Graham, S.A., 2013, A deep-time perspective of land-ocean linkages in the sedimentary record: Annual Reviews of Marine Science,
v. 5, p. 69-94, doi: 10.1146/annurev-marine-121211-172426 [link] [pdf]

Covault, J.A., Craddock, W.H.,
Romans, B.W., Fildani, A., and Gosai, M., 2013, Spatial and temporal variations in landscape evolution: Historic and longer-term sediment flux through global catchments: The Journal of Geology, v. 121, p. 35-56, doi: 10.1086/668680 [link] [pdf]

Covault, J.A., Shelef, E., Traer, M., Hubbard, S.M., Romans, B.W., and Fildani, A., 2012, Deep-water channel run-out length: Insights from seafloor geomorphology: Journal of Sedimentary Research, v. 82, p. 25-40, doi: 10.2110/jsr.2012.2 [link] [pdf]
Fosdick, J.C., Romans, B.W., Fildani, A., Bernhardt, A., Calderon, M., and Graham, S.A., 2011, Kinematic history of the Cretaceous-Neogene Patagonian fold-thrust belt and Magallanes foreland basin, Chile and Argentina (51 30'S): Geological Society of America Bulletin. v. 123, p. 1679-1698, doi: 10.1130/B30242.1 [link] [pdf]
Covault, J.A., Romans, B.W., Graham, S.A., Fildani, A., and Hilley, G.E., 2011, Terrestrial source to deep-sea sink sediment budgets at high and low sea levels: Insights from tectonically active southern California: Geology, v. 39, p. 619-622, doi: 10.1130/G31801.1 [link] [pdf]
Romans, B.W., Fildani, A., Hubbard, S.M. Covault, J.A., Fosdick, J.C., and Graham, S.A., 2011, Evolution of deep-water stratigraphic architecture, Magallanes Basin, Chile: Marine and Petroleum Geology, v. 28, p. 612-628, doi: 10.1016/j.marpetgeo/2010.05.002 [link] [pdf]
Covault, J.A., Fildani, A., Romans, B.W., and McHargue, T.R., 2011, The natural range of submarine canyon-and-channel longitudinal profiles: Geosphere, v. 7, p. 313-332, doi: 10.1130/GES00610.1 [link] [pdf]
McHargue, T.R., Pyrcz, M.J., Sullivan, M.D., Clark, J., Fildani, A., Romans, B.W., Covault, J.A., Levy, M., Posamentier, H., and Drinkwater, N., 2011 , Architecture of turbidite channel systems on the continental slope: Patterns and predictions: Marine and Petroleum Geology, v. 28, p. 728-743, doi: 10.1016/j.marpetgeo/2010.07.008 [link] [pdf]
Romans, B.W., Fildani, A., Graham, S.A., Hubbard, S.M., and Covault, J.A., 2010, Importance of predecessor basin history on sedimentary fill of a retroarc foreland basin: Provenance analysis of the Cretaceous Magallanes basin, Chile (50S-52S): Basin Research, v. 22, p. 640-658, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2117.2009.00443.x [link] [pdf]
Hubbard, S.M., Fildani, A., Romans, B.W., Covault, J.A., and McHargue, T.R., 2010, High-relief slope clinoform development: Insights from outcrop, Magallanes Basin, Chile: Journal of Sedimentary Research. v. 80, p. 357-375. doi: 10.2110/jsr.2010.042 [link] [pdf]
Covault, J.A., Romans, B.W., Fildani, A., McGann, M.M., and Graham, S.A., 2010, Rapid climatic signal propagation from source to sink in a southern California sediment routing system: The Journal of Geology, v. 118, p. 247-259. doi: 10.1086/651539 [link] [pdf]
Romans, B.W., Normark, W.R., McGann, M.M., Covault, J.A., and Graham, S.A., 2009, Coarse-grained sediment delivery and distribution in the Holocene Santa Monica Basin, California: Implications for evaluating source-to-sink flux at millennial time scales: GSA Bulletin: v. 121, p. 1394-1408, doi: 10.1130/B26393.1 [link] [pdf]
Covault, J.A. and Romans, B.W., 2009, Growth patterns of deep-sea fans revisited: Turbidite system morphology in confined basins of the Quaternary California Borderland: Marine Geology, v. 265, p. 51-66, doi: 10.1016/j.margeo.2009.06.016 [link] [pdf]
Covault, J.A., Romans, B.W., and Graham, S.A., 2009, Outcrop expression of a continental-margin-scale shelf-edge delta from the Cretaceous Magallanes Basin, southern Chile: Journal of Sedimentary Research, v. 79, p. 523-539, doi: 10.2110./jsr.2009.053 [link] [pdf]
Armitage, D.A., Romans, B.W., Covault, J.A., and Graham, S.A., 2009, The influence of mass transport deposit surface topography on the evolution of turbidite architecture: The Sierra Contreras, Tres Pasos Formation (Cretaceous), southern Chile: Journal of Sedimentary Research, v. 79, p. 287-301. [link] [pdf]
Romans, B.W., Hubbard, S.M., and Graham, S.A., 2009, Stratigraphic evolution of an outcropping continental slope system, Tres Pasos Formation at Cerro Divisadero, Chile: Sedimentology, v. 56, p. 737-764. doi: 10.1111/j/1365-3091.2008.00995.x [link] [pdf]
Hubbard, S.M., Romans, B.W., and Graham, S.A., 2008, Deep-water foreland basin deposits of the Cerro Toro Formation, Magallanes basin, Chile: Architectural elements of a sinuous basin axial channel belt: Sedimentology, v. 55, doi: 10.1111/j/1365-3091.2007.00948. [link] [pdf]
Hubbard, S.M., Romans, B.W., and Graham, S.A., 2007, An outcrop example of large-scale conglomeratic intrusions sourced from deep-water channel deposits, Cerro Toro Formation, Magallanes Basin, Southern Chile: in A. Hurst and J. Cartwright, eds., Sand Injectites: Implications for Hydrocarbon Exploration and Production: AAPG Memoir 87, p. 199-207. [pdf]
Covault, J.A., Normark, W.R., Romans, B.W., and Graham, S.A., 2007, Highstand fans of the California Borderland: The overlooked deep-water depositional system: Geology, v. 35, p. 783-786. [link] [pdf]

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