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John Wehmiller

Professor Emeritus


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


  • Quaternary stratigraphy and geochronology of the North Carolina Coastal Plain (with USGS, NCGS, and ECU)
  • Age mixing of fossils in coastal sediments
  • Geochronology of inner shelf strata, New Jersey (with New Jersey Geological Survey)
  • Geochronology of Quaternary coastal units, peninsular Florida (with USF)
  • Compilation of major database of Quaternary fossil localities, Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf Coasts of US - involves USGS, Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, and Florida Museum of Natural History
  • Kinetics and diagenesis of amino acids in carbonate fossils
  • Collaboration with colleagues in Turkey, Chile, and California in Quaternary geochronology of coastal marine deposits in tectonically active areas.
  • Management of an international interlaboratory calibration study of amino acid enantiomeric ratios in fossil specimens



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.   
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.
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.

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.


Various on-line maps derived from our database are constantly being revised and updated. Current links can be accessed using the list provided here:


For further information regarding these maps, publications and current research, please contact JFW at jwehm@udel.edu.



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Discovering how geological processes have operated over various time scales to create and influence the planet’s surface environments.

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