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Stratigraphy/Structure/Surface Processes

Current members of the Stratigraphy/Structure/Surface Processes research group include Rebecca Dorsey, Josh Roering, Marli Miller, Dave Sutherland, and Ray Weldon. Their individual research interests are summarized below.

Rebecca Dorsey

Becky’s research is focused on field studies of tectonically active sedimentary basins, with the goal of understanding the complex tectonic, stratigraphic, and geomorphic evolution of active regions. Integrated basin analysis informs us about the dynamic interplay between ancient fault systems that create basins, and the surface processes that fill them with sediment. Becky and her students are working primarily in two areas: (1) Miocene to Pleistocene sedimentary basins along the San Andreas plate boundary system in southern California and NW Mexico; and (2) late Miocene to Pliocene sediments in SE California and SW Arizona, which record the initiation and early evolution of the Colorado River.

Josh Roering

Erosion sculpts landscapes in response to tectonic activity and climatic forcing. The focus of Josh’s research is on understanding how surface processes alter and transport bedrock and soil near the Earth’s surface. Understanding these processes is a critical prerequisite for analyzing how crustal dynamics, climate change, and land-use practices affect landscape morphology, sediment yield, and geologic hazard potential. Through field, remote sensing, experimental, and numerical investigations, Josh’s research group has embarked on a series of studies to explore how landscapes respond to various perturbations, such as storms, earthquakes, and fire.  Our investigations have encouraged us to forge fruitful collaborations with geodynamicists, soil scientists, hydrologists, ecologists, climatologists, sedimentologists, and structural geologists among others, as surface processes operate at the interface of Earth’s lithosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere.

Marli Miller

Marli uses detailed geologic mapping and small-scale structures to reconstruct the evolution of fault zones.  She is particularly interested in the structural geology and tectonics of the Death Valley region as it pertains to crustal extension.  Her most recent students and interests have focused on brittle faulting the Amargosa Chaos and brittle/ductile evolution of the turtlebacks.

David Sutherland

Dave’s research group works on problems in coastal physical oceanography and ice-ocean interactions.  See his website:

Ray Weldon

Ray’s research is primarily focused on problems in neotectonics and structural geology.

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