Virginia Institute of Marine Science

John T. Wells

Dean of School of Marine Science; Director of Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Email : [[wells]]
Phone : (804) 684-7103
Office : Watermen's Hall 230
Department : Dean/Director's Office

  • B.S., Geology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • M.S., Geological Oceanography, Old Dominion University
  • Ph.D., Marine Sciences (minor in Statistics), Louisiana State University
Research Interests

The focus of my research for the past 25 years has been in the field of coastal Marine Geology, with emphasis on the sedimentology and morphology of clastic sedimentary environments and the physical processes that shape their evolution. Specific topics of research include: dynamics of fine-grained sediments; estuarine and deltaic sedimentation; and, beach and shelf processes. Field sites are located along the central North Carolina beaches, lower Neuse River and Pamlico Sound, and in the recent past, in the Mississippi Delta, along the west coast of Korea, and in Lake Malawi in east Africa.

Current Projects
  • Sediment Resuspension and Deposition in the Neuse River Estuary from Flooding Associated with Hurricanes
  • Beach Erosion and the Fate of Nourishment Sand: Results of High Resolution Beach and Nearshore Mapping
  • Shoal and Channel Migration at the Queen Anne's Revenge Wrecksite: 300 years of Change and Implications to Submerged Artifacts
  • Geological and Physical Transport Processes on a Cape-Attached Shoal: Field Observations and Numerical Modeling
Selected Publications
  • Conaway, C.A. and J.T. Wells (in press). Aeolian dynamics along scraped shorelines, Bogue Banks, North Carolina. Journal of Coastal Research.
  • Park, J-Y. and J.T. Wells (in press). Longshore transport at Cape Lookout, North Carolina: shoal evolution and the regional sediment budget. Journal of Coastal Research.
  • Park, J-Y. and J.T. Wells (in press). Spit growth and downdrift erosion: results of longshore transport modeling and morphologic analysis at the Cape Lookout cuspate foreland. Journal of Coastal Research.
  • Wells, J.T. and J.E. McNinch, 2003. Role of inlet dynamics in scour and burial of marine artifacts in energetic coastal settings. Proceedings of the 1st International Maritime Heritage Conference. WIT Press, pp. 87-96.
  • Borrelli, M. and J.T. Wells, 2002. Sediment bypassing, spit progradation and the Cape Lookout "Jetty". Shore and Beach 70:15-19.
  • Roessler, T.S. and J.T. Wells, 2001. Beach changes along eastern Bogue Banks, NC resulting from the 1996 hurricane season. Journal of Coastal Research 17:964-975.
  • Wells, J.T. and J.E. McNinch, 2001. Reconstructing shoal and channel configuration in Beaufort Inlet: 300 years of change at the site of Queen Anne's Revenge. Southeastern Geology 40:11-18.
  • Recipient of 1998 Distinguished Teaching Award at UNC-Chapel Hill for post-baccalaureate instruction
Professional Memberships
  • American Geophysical Union
  • American Society of Limnology and Oceangraphy
  • Geological Society of America