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John Wehmiller

Professor Emeritus


    B.A., Chemistry, Swarthmore College, 1966.
    Ph.D., Geology/Geochemistry, Columbia University, 1971. 

Currently a Research Associate at the Paleontological Research Institution (Ithaca, NY), the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History.



  • Quaternary stratigraphy and geochronology of the North Carolina Coastal Plain (with USGS, North Carolina Geological Survey, and East Carolina University)
  • Age mixing of fossils in coastal sediments
  • Archiving of field guides, collection site documentation, and associated research documents at the University of Delaware Institutional Repository: http://udspace.udel.edu/handle/19716/10389
  • Online ArcGIS maps summarizing on-going data reporting and synthesis, US Atlantic coastal plain.  Project supported by Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Atlantic Sand Assessment Program through the Delaware and South Carolina Geological Surveys (https://www.arcgis.com/home/item.html?id=2f1a82f2812543c4bdb0b11cabd508de)
  • Documentation and distribution of our field research collection of more than 10,000 Quaternary fossils to collaborating museums and other host institutions, including the Delaware and North Carolina Geological Surveys, the Paleontological Research Institution (Ithaca, NY), the Florida Museum of Natural History, the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. 
  • Modeling the kinetics and diagenesis of amino acids in carbonate fossils



Wehmiller, J. F., York, L. L., and Bart, M. L. (1995). Amino acid racemization geochronology of reworked Quaternary mollusks on US Atlantic coast beaches: implications for chronostratigraphy, taphonomy, and coastal sediment transport.   Marine Geology, v. 124, 303-337.

Mirecki, J. E., Wehmiller, J. F., and Skinner, A. 1995. Geochronology of Quaternary Coastal Plain deposits, southeastern Virgina, USA.   Jour. Coastal Research, v. 11(4), 1135-1144. 

Lamothe, M., Wehmiller, J. F., and Noller, J. S. 1998.  Comparison of approaches to dating Atlantic coastal plain sediments, Virginia Beach, VA.  (focus on Gomez Pit, with review of Gomez Pit studies).  Available at University of Delaware Institutional Repository: Citable URI: http://udspace.udel.edu/handle/19716/13228

Wehmiller, J. F. and Miller, G. H. (2000). Aminostratigraphic dating methods in Quaternary geology, in: Noller, J. S., Sowers, J. M., and Letis, W. R., eds., Quaternary Geochronology, Methods and Applications, American Geophysical Union Reference Shelf, v. 4, p. 187-222.

Muhs, D. R., Wehmiller, J. F., Simmons, K. R., and York, L. L. (2004) Quaternary sea level history of the United States, IN: A. R. Gillespie, S. C. Porter, and B. F. Atwater, eds. The Quaternary Period in the United States, pp. 147-183. Developments in Quaternary Science. Elsevier, Amsterdam.

Smerdon J. E., H. N. Pollack, V. Cermak, J. W. Enz, M. Kresl, J. Safanda, J. F. Wehmiller (2004), Air-ground temperature coupling and subsurface propagation of annual temperature signals, J. Geophys. Res., 109, D21107, doi:10.1029/2004JD005056.

Wehmiller, J. F., Simmons, K. R., Cheng, H., Edwards, R. L. et al. (2004). Uranium-series coral ages from the US Atlantic coastal plain the “80 ka problem” revisited. Quaternary International, v. 120, 3-14.        

Mallinson, D., Riggs, S., Thieler, E. R., Culver, S., Farrell, K., Foster, D., Corbett, R., Horton, B.and Wehmiller, J. (2005) Late Neogene and Quaternary evolution of the northern Albemarle Embayment (mid-Atlantic continental margin, USA) Marine Geology 217 97-117

Barbour-Wood, S., Krause, R., Kowalewski, M., Wehmiller, J., and Simoes, M. (2006). Aspartic acid racemization dating of Holocene brachiopods and bivalves from the southern Brazilian shelf, South Atlantic. Quaternary Research 66, 323-331.

O’Donnell, T. H., Macko, S. A., and Wehmiller, J. F. (2007) Stable carbon isotope composition of amino acids in modern and fossil Mercenaria. Organic Geochemistry 38, 485-498..

Parham, P., S. R. Riggs, S, J. Culver, D. J. Mallinson, and J. F. Wehmiller (2007) Quaternary depositional patters and sea level fluctuations, northeastern North Carolina. Quaternary Research 67, 83-99.

Stephen J. Culver, Kathleen M. Farrell, David J. Mallinson, Benjamin P. Horton, Debra A. Willard, E. Robert Thieler, Stanley R. Riggs, Scott W. Snyder, John F. Wehmiller, Christopher E. Bernhardt, Caroline Hillier (2008). Micropaleontologic record of late Pliocene and Quaternary paleoenvironments in thenorthern Albemarle Embayment, North Carolina, U.S.A.Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 264 (2008) 54–77

David J. Mallinson, Stephen J. Culver, Stanley R. Riggs, E. Robert Thieler, David Foster,John Wehmiller, Kathleen M. Farrell, Jessica Pierson (2010). Regional seismic stratigraphy and controls on the Quaternary evolution of the Cape Hatteras region of the Atlantic passive margin, USA. Marine Geology 268, 16–33.

Wehmiller, J.F., et al.,  (2010) Aminostratigraphy of surface and subsurface Quaternary sediments, North Carolina coastal plain, USA, Quaternary Geochronology  5, 459-492. doi:10.1016/j.quageo.2009.10.005.

Krause et al. (2010).  Quantitative comparisons and models of time-averaging in bivalve and brachiopod shell accumulations. Paleobiology 36(3), 428-452.

Culver, S. J., Farrell, K. M., Mallinson, D. J., Willard, D. A., Horton, B. P., Riggs, S. R., Thieler, E. R., Wehmiller, J. F., Parham, P., Snyder, S. W., Hillier, C. (2011).  Micropaleontologic record of Quaterenary paleoenvironments in the Central Albemarle Embayment, North Carolina, U. S. A.  Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 305, 227-249.

Wehmiller et al., 2012. Calibration of amino acid racemization (AAR) kinetics in United States mid-Atlantic Quaternary mollusks using 87Sr/86Sr analyses: evaluation of kinetic models and estimation of regional Late Pleistocene temperature history. Quaternary Geochronology 7, 21-36.

Wehmiller, J. F. , 2013. United States Quaternary coastal sequences and molluscan racemization geochronology - what have they meant for each other for the past 45 years?   Quaternary Geochronology 16, 3-20.

Simonson, A. E., Lockwood, R., and Wehmiller, J. F., 2013.  Three approaches to radiocarbon calibration of amino acid racemization in Mulinia lateralis from the Holocene of Chesapeake Bay, USA  Quaternary Geochronology, 16: 62-72.

Wehmiller, J., 2013.  Interlaboratory comparison of amino acid enantiomeric ratios in Pleistocene fossils.  Quaternary Geochronology, 16: 173-182.

Miller, K. et al. 2013.  Pleistocene Sequence Stratigraphy of the shallow continental shelf, offshore New Jersey: Constraints by IODP Leg 313 coreholes.   Geosphere 9, 74-95.  (error in data table #3, in process of being corrected; publication is open-source)

Farrell, K. M. et al. 2013. Graphic logging for interpreting process-generated stratigraphic sequences and aquifer/reservoir potential: with analog shelf to shoreface examples from the Atlantic coastal plain province, U. S. A.  Journal of Sedimentary Research, 83, 723-745.

Wehmiller and Pellerito, 2015.  An evolving database for Quaternary aminostratigraphy.  GeoResJ, 6, 115-123.  Available at this link: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214242815000170

Wehmiller and Pellerito, 2015.  Open-File Report at the Delaware Geologic Survey containing the UD amino acid database and associated files.   http://www.dgs.udel.edu/publications/ofr50-database-quaternary-coastal-geochronologic-information-atlantic-and-pacific-coast

Wehmiller et al., 2015 Geological Society of America Annual Meeting Poster: Racemization-inferred age distribution of mollusks in the US Atlantic margin coastal system. Available on the GSA meeting web site: https://gsa.confex.com/gsa/2015AM/webprogram/Paper263915.html

Wehmiller, J.F., Ramsey, K. E., and Thieler, E. R. 2017.  Paired racemization and radiocarbon analysis of Pleistocene and Holocene shells, US Atlantic coastal plain: implications for shell geochronology, Pleistocene sea level history, and paleoclimate.  Geological Society of America, Southeastern Section, Richmond VA.  March 2017

Wehmiller, J. F. 2017.  On-line databases for Atlantic coastal plain aminostratigraphic data.  Geological Society of America, Southeastern Section, Richmond VA.  March 2017





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