Wei Luo

Research Emphases

Hydrology, Geomorphology, GIS, Remote Sensing, Mars

Specific Research Endeavors

I am a broadly trained Physical Geographer with an Interdisciplinary perspective. I am interested in terrestrial and Martian geormorphology and GIS applications in various fields. The intellectual cores that are common to my research interests are space and time. I use advanced computational methods (GIS, remote sensing, computer modeling, statistics and machine learning) and a systems approach to investigate various phenomena in which space or location plays an important role (e.g., watershed hydrologic responses to rainfall and access to health care). I also attempt to infer past processes that were interacting as a dynamic system based on present spatial forms or patterns (e.g., landform evolution, linguistic geography).

My current research centers around the following three general areas:

Frequently Taught Courses

GEOG 101/102: Survey of Physical Geography
GEOG 303: Water Resources and the Environment
GEOG 338: Geography of Asia
GEOG 359: Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
GEOG 460/560: Remote Sensing (with Mace Bentley)
GEOG 492: Hydrology
GEOG 493: Computer Methods and Modeling
GEOG 498A/790A: Seminar in Current Problems

Representative Publications

Luo, W., X. Li, L. Di, T. Stepinski, 2013, “Webservice for Stream Extraction from Digital Elevation Model data,” GeoJournal, doi:10.1007/s10708-013-9502-1, published online 9/15/2013.

Luo, W., and T. F. Stepinski, 2012, “Orientation of valley networks on Mars: The role of impact cratering,” Geophysical Research Letters, v. 39, L24201, doi:10.1029/2012GL054087.

Luo, W., T. Whippo, 2012, "Variable catchment sizes for the two-step floating catchment area (2SFCA) method,," Health & Place, v. 18, p. 789–795, doi:10.1016/j.healthplace.2012.04.002.

Luo, W., D.T. Pederson, 2012, Hydraulic conductivity of the High Plains Aquifer re-evaluated using surface drainage patterns, Geophysical Research Letters, v. 39, L02402, doi:10.1029/2011GL050200. Refereed.

Wang, F., Wang, G.,  Hartmann, J., Luo, W., 2011, "Sinification of Zhuang place names in Guangxi, China: a GIS-based spatial analysis approach", Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, doi: 10.1111/j.1475-5661.2011.00471.x. Refereed. 

Luo, W., B. Grudzinski, and D. Pederson, 2011, “Estimating hydraulic conductivity for the Martian subsurface based on drainage patterns — A case study in the Mare Tyrrhenum Quadrangle,” Geomorphology, doi:10.1016/j.geomorph.2010.10.018.

Luo, W., B. Grudzinski, and D. Pederson, 2010, “Estimating hydraulic conductivity from drainage patterns derived from a DEM - A case study in the Oregon Cascades,” Geology, v. 38, n. 4, p. 335–338, doi: 10.1130/G30816.1 .

Luo, W., F. Wang,, J. Hartmann, 2010, "Terrain characteristics and Tai toponyms: a GIS analysis od Muang, Chain and Viang," GeoJournal, v. 75, p. 93–104, DOI 10.1007/s10708-009-9291-8.

Luo, W., and T. F. Stepinski, 2009, Computer-generated global map of valley networks on Mars, Journal of Geophysical Research, 114, E11010, doi:10.1029/2009JE003357.

Luo, W. and Y. Qi, 2009, “An enhanced two-step floating catchment area (E2SFCA) method for measuring spatial accessibility to primary care physicians,” Health & Place, v. 15, p. 1100–1107, doi:10.1016/j.healthplace.2009.06.002.

Luo, W. and T. F. Stepinski, 2008, “Identification of geologic contrasts from landscape dissection pattern: An application to Cascade Range, Oregon,” Geomorphology. v. 99, p. 90-98, 10.1016/j.geomorph.2007.10.014.

Luo, W., and A. D. Howard, 2008, "Computer simulation of the role of groundwater seepage in forming Martian valley networks," Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 113, E05002, doi:10.1029/2007JE002981.

Kitts, K., W. Luo, W.C. Hung, 2008, "Did it ever rain on Mars? A Professional Development Opportunity for Teachers and an Actual NASA Research Opportunity for Middle and High School Students," The Earth Scientist, v. 27,  n. 2, p. 17-20.

Luo, W., “Just-in-Time-Teaching (JiTT) Improves Students’ Performance in Classes - Adaptation of JiTT in 4 Geography Courses,” Journal of Geoscience Education, v. 56, n.2, p. 166-172.

Luo, W. and M. Konen, 2007, “New results from Using a Web-based Interactive Landform Simulation Model (WILSIM) in a General Education Physical Geography Course,” Journal of Geoscience Education, v. 55, n5, n.5, p. 423-425 .

Luo, W., J. Hartmann, P. Huang, J. Liu, 2007, “Geographic patterns of Zhuang (Tai) kinship terms in Guangxi and border areas: a GIS analysis of language and culture change,” Social and Cultural Geography, v. 8, n. 4, p. 575-596.

Wang, F., J.H. Hartmann, W. Luo, P. Huang, “GIS-based Spatial Analysis of Tai Place Names in Southern China: An Exploratory Study of Methodology,” Geographic Information Sciences, v. 12, n. 1, p. 1-9.

Luo, W., and T. F. Stepinski (2006), “Topographically derived maps of valley networks and drainage density in the Mare Tyrrhenum quadrangle on Mars,” Geophysical Research Letters, 33, L18202, doi:10.1029/2006GL027346. 

Luo, W., Peronja, E., Duffin, K., Stravers, A. J., 2006, Incorporating Nonlinear Rules in a Web-based Interactive Landform Simulation Model (WILSIM), Computers and Geosciences, v. 32, n. 9, p. 1512-1518 (doi: 10.1016/j.cageo.2005.12.012).

Luo, W., and A. D. Howard, 2005, “Morphometric Analysis of Martian Valley Network Basins Using a Circularity Function”, Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 110, E12S13, doi:10.1029/2005JE002506. .

Luo, W., Stravers, J., and K. Duffin, 2005, “Lessons Learned from Using a Web-based Interactive Landform Simulation Model (WILSIM) in a General Education Physical Geography Course,” Journal of Geoscience Education, v. 53, n. 5, p. 489-493. .

Wang, F. and W. Luo, 2005, “Assessing spatial and nonspatial factors for healthcare access: towards an integrated approach to defining health professional shortage areas,” Health and Place, v. 11, n. 2, p. 131-146 (doi:10.1016/j.healthplace.2004.02.003).   

Luo, W., F. Wang, and C. Douglass, 2004, “Temporal Changes of Access to Primary Health Care in Illinois (1990-2000) and Policy Implications,” Journal of Medical Systems. v. 28, n. 3, p. 287-299.   

Luo, W., K.L. Duffin, E. Peronja, J.A. Stravers, and G.M. Henry, 2004, “A Web-based Interactive Landform Simulation Model (WILSIM),” Computers and Geosciences. v. 30, n. 3, p. 215-220. (scanned )

Luo, W., 2004, “Using a GIS-based Floating Catchment Method to Assess Areas with Shortage of Physicians,” Health and Place, v. 10, n. 1, p. 1-11.

Luo, W. and F. Wang, 2003, “Measures of spatial accessibility to health care in a GIS Environment: synthesis and a case study in the Chicago region,” Environment and Planning B:Planning and Design 2003, v. 30, n .6, p. 865 – 884.

Luo, W. and J.M. Harlin, 2003, “A Theoretical Travel Time based on Watershed Hypsometry,” Journal of American Water Resources Association, v.39, n. 4, 785-792.

Luo, W., 2002, “Hypsometric Analysis of Margaritifer Sinus and Origin of Valley Networks,” Journal of Geophysical Research – Planets, v. 107, n. 10, p. 1-1~1-10, doi:10.1029/2001JE001500.

Luo, W., 2001, “LANDSAP: A Coupled Surface and Subsurface Cellular Automata Model for Landform Simulation,” Computers and Geosciences, v. 27, n.3, 363-367. 

Luo W., J.F. Hartmann, J. Li, and V. Sysamouth, 2000, “GIS Mapping and Analysis of Tai Linguistic and Settlement Pattern of Southern China,” Geographic Information Sciences, v. 6, n. 2, p. 129-136.

Harlin, J. and W. Luo, 2000, “Predicting Time to Hydrograph Peak from Basin Energy Potential: A Hypsometric Approach,” Papers and Proceedings of the Applied Geography Conferences, v. 23: p. 224-229.

Luo, W., 2000, “Quantifying groundwater-sapping landforms with a hypsometric technique,” Journal of Geophysical Research - Planets, v. 105, n. 1, p. 1685-1694. 

Luo, W., 1998, “The Automation of Hypsometric Analysis with a Geographic Information System (GIS),” Computers and Geosciences, v. 24, n.8, p. 815-821. 

Luo, W., R.E. Arvidson, M. Sultan, R. Becker, M.K. Crombie, N. Sturchio, Z.E. Alfy, 1997, “Ground-water sapping processes, Western Desert, Egypt,” Geological Society of America Bulletin, January, v. 109, n. 1, p. 43-62. 

Arvidson, R.E., R. Becker, A. Shanabrook, W. Luo, N. Sturchio, M. Sultan, Z. Lofty, A.M. Mahmoud and Z.E. Alfy, 1994, “Climatic, eustatic, and tectonic controls on Quaternary deposits and landforms, Red Sea coast, Egypt,” Journal of Geophysical Research – Solid Earth, v. 99, n. 6,  p. 12175-12190. 

Hartmann, J.F., W. Luo, and V. Sysamouth, 2010, "Tai Participation in the Spread of Rice Agriculture in Asia," in Rice Origin, Antiquity and History, edited by S. D. Sharma, CRC press, 580p.

Luo, W. and F. Wang, 2003, “Spatial Accessibility to Primary Care and Physician Shortage Area Designation:  A Case Study in Illinois with GIS Approaches,” in Geographic Information Systems & Health Applications, edited by R. Skinner and O. Khan., Idea Group Publishing, Hershey, PA, pp 260-278.

Wang, F. and W. Luo, 2005, “GIS-Based Accessibility Measures and Application,” in Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, edited by M. Khosrow-Pour, Idea Group Reference, Hershey, PA, p. 1284-1287.

Wei Luo

Distinguished Research Professor

Office: Davis Hall 120


Ph.D., Washington University, St. Louis

Contact Us

Department of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment
Davis Hall, Room 312

815-753-1943 (undergraduate)
815-753-0631 (graduate)

815-753-1945 (fax)

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