Environmental, Geographic, and Geological Sciences


Yuri Gorokhovich


Recent research projects:

2010. Assessment of floods and landslides in Uganda.

The project was conducted as a part of NSF grant together with the team from John Hopkins University, School of Public Health. Severe rains during March – April caused enormous flooding in Butaleja County and deadly landslide in village of Nametsi, province of Bududa. One of the undergraduate students from Lehman College, Mr. Tahjib Saman participated in surveys.

The blog regarding the project is available at: http://gorokhovich.wordpress.com/

Video clips: (two parts):


Preliminary report is available on ReliefWeb: http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/rwb.nsf/db900sid/VVOS-87YQTR?OpenDocument&query=bududa%20report


During measurements of the discharge on Manafwa River, Butaleja County, Uganda

Mr. Tahjib Zaman, student, Lehman College during floodplain survey with GPS.

Deadly landslide in Nametsi villeage, Bududa province. This landslide buried almost 300 people.

Geologic mapping of slopes in the landslide area near Nametsi, Uganda

2008 - 2009. Community based GIS mapping of subsistence resource in Northwestern Borough of Alaska. This project was conducted as part of NOAA grant “Assessment of the Vulnerability of the Northwestern Arctic Borough Coast to the Sea-Level Rise Induced by Climate Change” together with the team from Yale University, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. We integrated GIS and remote sensing data to measure coastal erosion rates and together with local hunters and fishermen mapped subsistence resources for future spatial modeling. Preliminary results were presented at AGU meeting in December, 2009.


Dr. Yuri Gorokhovich and local hunters from Kivalina village use GIS to map subsistence resources.

Dr Gorokhovich during the polar night in January in village of Selawik.

Mapping coastal erosion stimulated by the permafrost thawing near village of Selawik

Subsidence and landslide in the upper reaches of Selawik river

Coastal landforms in Kotzebue Sound near Deering village.

2005 – 2008. Deglaciation of the western Greenland coast. This project was conducted together with Dr. Vincent Rinterknecht from University of St. Andrews. Original funding was obtained from the Climate Center of Columbia University and later from PSC-CUNY Award, City University of New York. The field work included mapping, measuring weathering rates with Schmidt hammer and cosmogenic sampling for Be10 isotope analysis. Our research suggested much faster deglaciation of the western Greenland coast due to the lower ice thickness during the Last Glacial Maximum (i.e. 20K years ago) than predicted by glacial and climatic models.


  • Gorokhovich Y., V. Rinterknecht, J. Rogers. 2009. Post-Younger Dryas deglaciation of the Greenland western margin as revealed by spatial analysis of lakes. Journal of Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 34, pp. 801- 809.
  • Rinterknecht V.R., Y. Gorokhovich, J. Schaefer, M. Caffee. 2009. Preliminary 10Be Chronology for the Last Deglaciation of the Western Margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Journal of Quaternary Science, 24 (3) pp. 270-278

Video clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeCgx43upWA


Dr. Gorokhovich samples moraine boulders with jack hammer.

Dr. Gorokhovich measures vertical angles of horizon with compass. This is necessary to account for variation in isotope concentration at the sampling site.

Dr. Gorokhovich measure weathering rate of the exposed glaciated surface with Schmidt hammer.

Our transportation in Greenland

2007. Assessment of the earthquake damage in five Peruvian cities. This project was conducted as a part of the NSF grant “Social and Environmental Vulnerability in Disasters: Spatial Analysis and Information Management for Humanitarian Decision Making”. Field work was done by the joint team from John Hopkins University (School of Public Health) and Lehman College. Lehman College team included Dr. Yuri Gorokhovich and two undergraduate students, Ms. Shiloh Herbert (geology major) and Ms. Andrea Diaz (journalism major). We provided mapping and modeling support to John Hopkins team and used Schmidt hammer to define strength of mortar and bricks in intact and collapsed buildings. Results of this investigation showed that the quality of mortar in public structures was lower than in private structures. This means that the government should provide better control over the quality of public buildings.


Gorokhovich Y., S. Doocy, A. Voustianiouk, C. Small. 2010. Assessment of mortar and brick strength in earthquake-affected structures in Peru using a Schmidt Hammer. Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities. American Society of Civil Engineering. Posted ahead of print 16 January 2010. Permalink: http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)CF.1943-5509.0000120

Milch K, Y. Gorokhovich, S. Doocy.2010.The Inppares-JHSPH-CUNY Study Team, and S. Doocy.  Effects of Seismic Intensity and Socioeconomic Status on Displacement after the 2007 Peru Earthquake.  Disasters. no. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-7717.2010.01188.x


Schmidt hammer was used to measure quality of mortar and bricks in collapsed and intact buildings

Temporary tents for earthquake victims in Icha.

Collapsed building in Chincha.

2007 – 2009. Ancient civilizations and water supply. This project stemmed from my interest in Minoan Bronze Age civilization on Crete. First, like many other people I thought that the demise of Minoan culture was caused by the Late Bronze Age eruption of the Santorini volcano located within 100 km from Crete. However, the more I read about Santorini and its impact on Crete, the more I was convinced that it was not a main cause of the demise. My research led me to the idea of diminishing water supply due to the earthquake activity.

Video clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8jKZCzXg1s


  • Mays L., Y. Gorokhovich. 2010. Water technology in the ancient American societies. In: Ed. L. Mays, “Ancient Water Technologies”, Springer Verlag, pp. 171 – 200.
  • Gorokhovich Y., L. Ullman. 2010. Ground water resources and earthquake hazards: ancient and modern perspectives. In: Ed. L. Mays, “Ancient Water Technologies”, Springer Verlag, pp. 201 – 216.
  • Gorokhovich Y., G. Fleeger. 2007. Pymatuning Earthquake in Pennsylvania and Late Minoan Crisis on Crete. Water Science & Technology: Water Supply, Vol 7, No 1, pp 245–251
  • Gorokhovich Y. 2005. Abandonment of Minoan Palaces on Crete in Relation to the Earthquake Induced Changes in Ground Water Supply. Journal of Archeological Sciences, 32 (2), pp. 217-222


Dr. Gorokhovich walks along ancient aqueduct system in Tipon, Peru.

Inca build aqueduct near Tipon, Peru

Lower part of the Inca aqueduct near Tipon, Peru

Minoan “lustral basin” in Kommos, Crete

Minoan well at Phaestos, Crete

Minoan drainage system (aqueduct?) at Agiya Triada, Crete

Last modified: Oct 13, 2011

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