Current Graduate Students in Geomechanics



June Clevy


June discovers an island in the sky.

June completed her bachelors degree at Illinois State University in Normal, IL, in 2003. She spent the first half of the summer of 2003 running seismic lines for the Illinois State Geological Survey before starting her PhD studies at the University of Idaho in the Fall of 2003. June is investigating the surface characteristics of Arabia Terra in the equatorial western hemisphere of Mars, mapping out evidence of past water concentrations on Mars using epithermal neutron data from the Mars Odyssey spacecraft (used to determine water-equivalent hydrogen concentrations, or WEH) as well as surface evidence of ancient drainages. She is also examining the characteristics of normal faulting in the region and how structurally controlled on topography may have ultimately impacted on WEH concentrations. June is aiming to complete her PhD degree in the Summer of 2013.

Send Email to June (jrclevy@vandals.uidaho.edu)




Emily Martin


Emily knows a thing or two about being a field geologist.

Emily completed her BA in physics at Wheaton College in Norton, MA in 2006. Emily first became interested in planetary geology after completing a research project examining the grooves of Ganymede at Wheaton, working with Dr Geoff Collins. She completed her MS degree in Earth and Planetary Sciences at Northwestern University in 2009 working on the craters of Iapetus and examining their distribution by constructing a global crater database, advised by Dr Donna Jurdy. Emily is a PhD student in the Terrestrial and Planetary Structural Geology and Geomechanics program and is researching the fracture development on Enceladus, with an emphasis on strike-slip faults and crater-related fractures. She anticipates completing her PhD degree in December 2014.

Send Email to Emily (mart5652@vandals.uidaho.edu)




James Muirhead


James conquers the Tanzania rift border fault escarpment.

James completed his BS and MS in geology at the University of Auckland, New Zealand in 2010. His Masters research considered the geometry and evolution of the Ferrar intrusive sill complex in the Alan Hills and Terra Cotta Mountain regions of Antarctica. Now at the University of Idaho, James is a PhD student working to characterize the spatial and temporal partitioning of strain by faulting and magmatism during the early stages of continental rifting, focusing on the eastern arm of the East African Rift system in Tanzania and Kenya. James is aiming to complete his PhD degree in May of 2016.

Send Email to James (muir0431@vandals.uidaho.edu)




Matthew Pendleton


Matt takes field safety seriously.

Matthew completed his BS in geology at the University of Minnesota in 2011. As an undergraduate intern at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Matthew mapped volcanic eruptive centers in the Tharsis Province of Mars. Now at the University of Idaho, Matthew is a PhD student in planetary geomechanics, currently unraveling the structural and volcanic history of a large dike intrusion complex near the Elysium Mons volcano on Mars. Matthew is aiming to complete his PhD degree in May of 2015.

Send Email to Matthew (pend5955@vandals.uidaho.edu)







Recent Graduate Students


Jane Barnes

Thesis:

Deformation bands in subglacially erupted hyaloclastite ridges, Reykjanes Peninsula, Iceland.

Papers:

In preparation.


Jane completed her M.S. degree in geology at the University of Idaho in June 2011. Her research considered the internal deformation of subglacially erupted hyaloclastite ridges along the plate boundary of Iceland. These ridges can deform under their own weight by gravitational slumping, through the intrusion of magmatic dikes, through the injection of overpressured fluids, and by long-term tectonic stress across the plate boundary. Much of this deformation occurs through the formation of cataclastic deformation bands, which were initially described in Iceland by our collaborator, Barb Tewksbury (Hamilton College, New York). The results of this work are currently being prepared for submission to the Journal of Structural Geology. Jane is currently living in Duanesburg, New York, where she is undoubtedly amusing the locals.

Send Email to Jane (barn3082@vandals.uidaho.edu)




Sandi Billings

Thesis:

Analysis of the ice shell of Jupiter's moon, Europa: Estimation of ice thickness and an examination of impact effects into a floating ice shell.

Papers:

Billings, S.E., Kattenhorn, S.A. 2005. The great thickness debate: Ice shell thickness models for Europa and comparisons with estimates based on flexure at ridges. Icarus 177, 397-412. Download PDF


Sandi completed her M.S. degree in geophysics at the University of Idaho in December 2004. Her research was aimed at estimating the thickness of the brittle or elastic portion of the ice shell of Jupiter's moon, Europa. She also examined evidence for potential large-scale impact features on Europa that may have led to the development of a type of feature called chaos. The results of her research were published in the October 2005 volume of the journal Icarus (Special Volume on Europa's Icy Shell). Sandi is currently living in Moscow, Idaho, and works for Washington State University. She previously served on the board of directors for the Pacific section of the American Astronomical Union.

Send Email to Sandi (sandib@moscow.com)




Matt Blakeslee

Thesis:

Segmented normal fault evolution: interpretation of relay zone deformation and seismic hazard analysis.

Papers:

Blakeslee, M.W., Kattenhorn, S.A. 2013. Revised earthquake hazard of the Hat Creek fault, northern California: A case example of a normal fault dissecting variable-age basaltic lavas. Geosphere, 9 (5), 1-13, doi:10.1130/GES00910.1. Download PDF


Matt completed his BS in geology at the University of Idaho in June 2010 and his MS in May 2012. Matt's research examined the evolution of segmented normal fault systems, with an emphasis on relay ramp evolution and its effect on the partitioning of slip along segmented normal faults as the segments progressively grow. In addition to a numerical modeling analysis of controls on relay ramp geometry, Matt also examined relay ramps in the field in California, Utah, and Nevada. Matt also considered the earthquake history and seismic hazard potential of the Hat Creek fault in northern California. The results of his research were published in Geosphere, with a second paper in preparation for the Journal of Structural Geology. Matt currently lives in Houston, Texas, where he works for ConocoPhillips.

Send Email to Matt (Matthew.W.Blakeslee@conocophillips.com)




Nate Boersma

Thesis:

Surface monocline development above normal faults in basalt: numerical models and observations from southwest Iceland.

Papers:

In preparation.


Nate completed his M.S. degree in geology at the University of Idaho in September 2006. His research focused on the relationship between normal faulting and surface folding in southwest Iceland. He developed a conceptual and numerical model to explain the evolution of a monocline above an active subsurface fault and determined a mechanism for inferring subsurface fault geometry and evolution based on spatially variable monocline characteristics. The results of his research will soon be submitted to the Journal of Structural Geology. Nate is currently based out of Houston, Texas, working as a geologist for the Hess Corporation, an energy resource company.

Send Email to Nate (nboersma@hess.com)




Christina Coulter

Thesis:

Kinematic and morphological evolution of Europa's ridges.

Papers:

In preparation.


Christina completed her M.S. degree in geology at the University of Idaho in November 2009. Her research examined the processes responsible for the creation of ridges on Europa. Although these features are ubiquitous, their origins have been elusive. Christina discovered that a combination of processes, involving dilation, shearing, and contraction, can contribute to the formation of ridges, but that some amount of shearing is always a necessary component. She also discovered that the topographic variability and evolution of ridges involves visco-plastic collapse of ridges, requiring a source of hear nearby, ostensibly resulting from shearing. The results of her research will soon be submitted to Icarus. Christina is now planning to complete an MS degree in civil engineering from her distant outpost of Afognak Island, Alaska, where she is working as a GIS specialist.

Send Email to Christina (cbader@vandals.uidaho.edu)




Rachel Daly

Thesis:

Fracture styles at Upheaval Dome, Canyonlands National Park, Utah, imply both meteorite impact and salt diapirism.

Papers:

In preparation.


Rachel completed her M.S. degree in geology at the University of Idaho in July 2010. Her research considered the decades-old enigma of the origin of Upheaval Dome in Utah. Recent work has provided convincing evidence that the feature was caused by meteorite impact during the Cretaceous and now forms the deeply eroded root of that ancient impact feature. This evidence has been used to refute the alternative origin hypothesis that invokes salt diapirism to explain the feature. Rachel's detailed examination of a range of deformation styles at Upheaval Dome revealed that although there is ample deformation evidence of a dynamic event (meteorite impact), this deformation is superposed by a later, long-lived period of deformation that we interpret to be the result of impact-induced diapirism. Hence, both hypotheses for the origin of the dome are technically correct. The results of her research will soon be submitted to GSA Bulletin. Rachel works as a geologist at Shaw Ennvironmental, Inc. in Albuquerque, NM.

Send Email to Rachel (rachel.daly@shawgrp.com)




Leslie Fernandes

Thesis:

The magmatic influence on temporal strain partitioning at an oblique spreading center, southwest Iceland.

Papers:

In preparation.


Leslie completed his M.S. degree in geology at the University of Idaho in December 2005. His research examined evidence for temporal strain partitioning on the Reykjanes Peninsula, Iceland, through a detailed mapping survey and analysis of faulting and fracturing patterns in this oblique spreading environment. He performed an exhaustive search for clues in the fracture history to indicate the importance of the magmatic cycle on the structural architecture of the region. The results of his research will soon be submitted to the Journal of Structural Geology. Leslie is currently living and working in Vermont.

Send Email to Leslie (fernandesl_jr@hotmail.com)




Jim Grant

Thesis:

Normal fault evolution at an extensional plate boundary, southwest Iceland: A field and numerical modeling investigation.

Papers:

Grant, J.V., Kattenhorn, S.A. 2004. Evolution of vertical faults at an extensional plate boundary, southwest Iceland. Journal of Structural Geology 26, 537-557. Download PDF


Jim completed his M.S. degree in geology at the University of Idaho in May 2002. His research integrated detailed field observations and numerical model predictions to examine the mechanics and evolution of normal fault systems and fracture swarms in southwest Iceland. This work was published in the March 2003 volume of the Journal of Structural Geology. Jim is employed at Anadarko Petroleum Company in Houston, Texas.

Send Email to Jim (james_grant@anadarko.com)




Julie Groenleer

Thesis:

Analysis of cycloid growth models for Jupiter's moon, Europa: implications from developmental history and mathematical modeling.

Papers:

Groenleer, J.M., Kattenhorn, S.A. 2008. Cycloid crack sequences on Europa: Relationship to stress history and constraints on growth mechanics based on cusp angles. Icarus 193, 158-181. Download PDF


Julie completed her M.S. degree in geology at the University of Idaho in August 2006. Her research examined the growth of curved cycloidal cracks on Jupiter's moon, Europa. She utilized mathematical models based on linear elastic fracture mechanics in tandem with calculated tidal stress states in Europa's ice shell to develop a mechanical model for the development of cycloid cusps in a manner analogous to shearing-induced tailcracks along strike-slip faults. She thus showed that shearing deformation is a major aspect of the tectonics on Europa. Julie is currently living in Michigan where she works as an environmental geologist for GZA GeoEnvironmental Inc., in Livonia, MI.

Send Email to Julie (julzroguenine@gmail.com)




Jonathan Kay

Thesis:

The case for recent tectonic activity on Jupiter's moon Europa.

Papers:

In preparation.


Jon completed his M.S. degree in geology at the University of Idaho in June 2010. His research emphasized the geologically most recent tectonic features on the surface of Europa's icy shell. These fractures, called troughs, crosscut all other tectonic features, as well as features that appear to have formed through some sort of endogenic process in a thickening ice shell that created disrupted regions called chaos at the surface. Jon produced maps of young troughs, then calculated the contemporary stress fields that would exist on the surface in response to tidal forcing and the process of nonsynchronous rotation of the ice shell. By comparing fracture patterns to these stress fields, Jon was able to make a case that some regions contain fractures that may have formed within the past few tens of thousands of years, implying a potentially tectonically active ice shell. His work is currently being prepared for submission to the journal Icarus. Jon is currently residing in Chicago, Illinois, where he is enrolled in the PhD program at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Send Email to Jon (jkay5@uic.edu)




Scott Marshall

Thesis:

Growth mechanisms and morphologic evolution of cycloids on Europa.

Papers:

Kattenhorn, S.A., Marshall, S.T. 2006. Fault-induced perturbed stress fields and associated tensile and compressive deformation at fault tips in the ice shell of Europa: Implications for fault mechanics. Journal of Structural Geology, 28, 2204-2221. Download PDF

Marshall, S.T., Kattenhorn, S.A. 2005. A revised model for cycloid growth mechanics on Europa: Evidence from surface morphologies and geometries. Icarus 177, 341-366. Download PDF

Marshall, S.T., Kattenhorn, S.A., Cooke, M.L. 2010. Secondary normal faulting in the Lake Mead fault system and implications for regional fault mechanics. In: Miocene Tectonics of the Lake Mead Region, Central Basin and Range, Umhoefer, P.J., Beard, L.S., Lamb, M.A., eds, Geological Society of America Special Paper, 463, 289-310. Download PDF


Scott completed his M.S. degree in geology at the University of Idaho in August 2004. His research involved an investigation of strike-slip faults and related secondary fractures on Jupiter's moon, Europa, complemented by comparisons to similar features seen on Earth. His terrestrial based work was centered near Lake Mead, southeastern Nevada, where he mapped large-scale strike-slip faults in the Lake Mead fault system as well as small-scale deformation band faults and slipped joints in Valley of Fire State Park. Scott completed his PhD degree under Dr Michele Cooke at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Massachusetts, and is now an assistant professor at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina.

Send Email to Scott (marshallst@appstate.edu)




Amelia (Amy) McMillin

Thesis:

Assessment of linkage likelihood in segmented normal fault systems in the Tharsis region, Mars.

Papers:

In preparation.


Amy completed her M.S. degree in geology at the University of Idaho in May 2013. Her research examined the geometry of segments, linkages, and overlaps in normal fault systems on the flanks of Alba Patera, Mars, for comparison with terrestrial fault systems. Her work is currently being prepared for submission to the journal Icarus. Amy is currently residing in Gillette, WY, where she works for Rellstab Services.

Send Email to Amy (amymac703@gmail.com)




Alex Patthoff

Dissertation:

Tectonic history of the South Polar Terrain of Saturn's moon Enceladus and evidence for a global ocean.

Papers:

Patthoff, D.A., Kattenhorn, S.A. 2011. A fracture history on Enceladus provides evidence for a global ocean. Geophysical Research Letters 38, L18201, doi:10.1029/2011GL048387. Download PDF


Alex completed his Ph.D. in geology at the University of Idaho in May 2013. His research considered the fracturing of ice in the south-polar region of Saturn's moon Enceladus to establish the stress history recorded in the fracture sequence, to determine the properties of the ice shell, and to provide insights into the eruptive plumes emanating from cracks in this region. This work resulted in 1 publication in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, for which Alex received the nationally competitive Pellas-Ryder Award from the Geological Society of America for the best student first-authored paper in planetary sciences during 2011. Two additional publications are currently in preparation. Alex is currently a postdoctoral researcher in planetary science at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA, where he is working under the mentorship of Dr. Robert Pappalardo.

Send Email to Alex (Donald.A.Patthoff@jpl.nasa.gov)




Suzette Payne

Dissertation:

Kinematics of the Snake River Plain and Centennial Shear Zone, Idaho, from GPS and earthquake data.

Papers:

Payne, S.J., McCaffrey, R., King, R.W., 2008. Strain rates and contemporary deformation in the Snake River Plain and surrounding Basin and Range from GPS and seismicity. Geology 36, 647-650. Download PDF

Payne, S.J., McCaffrey, R., King, R.W., Kattenhorn, S.A. 2012. A new interpretation of deformation rates in the Snake River Plain and adjacent Basin and Range regions based on GPS measurements. Geophysical Journal International, 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2012.05370.x. Download PDF

Payne, S.J., McCaffrey, R., Kattenhorn, S.A. 2013. Extension driven right-lateral shear in the Centennial Shear Zone adjacent to the eastern Snake River Plain, Idaho. Lithosphere, 5, 407-419, doi:10.1130/L200.1. Download PDF


Suzette completed her Ph.D. degree in geology at the University of Idaho in December 2011. Her research used recent GPS data from the Snake River Plain and adjacent Centennial Tectonic Belt (part of the Basin and Range Province north of the Snake River Plain) to infer a velocity differential from the CTB to the SRP that can only be reconciled with the presence of right-lateral shearing between the two provinces at a rate of ~0.7 mm/yr. This shearing is not taken up by a discrete boundary between the two provinces but is rather likely distributed between numerous preexisting structural features (faults). The results of her research were published in the August 2008 volume of the journal Geology, with additional papers in press in the journal Geophysical Journal International, and submitted to the journal Lithosphere. Suzette is currently living in Idaho Falls, Idaho, and works for the Idaho National Laboratory as a seismologist.

Send Email to Suzette (Suzette.Payne@inl.gov)




Conrad Schaefer

Thesis:

Field characterization and thermal-mechanical analysis of fracture distributions in basalt lava flows, Eastern Snake River Plain, Idaho.

Papers:

Schaefer, C.J., Kattenhorn, S.A. 2004. Characterization and evolution of fractures in low-volume pahoehoe lava flows, eastern Snake River Plain, Idaho. GSA Bulletin 116, 322-336. Download PDF

Kattenhorn, S.A., Schaefer, C.J. 2008. Thermal-mechanical modeling of cooling history and fracture development in inflationary basalt lava flows. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 170, 181-197. Download PDF


Conrad completed his M.S. degree in geology at the University of Idaho in October 2002. His research considered the cooling history and resultant fracture growth evolution in small pahoehoe lava flows of the Eastern Snake River Plain, Idaho. Conrad developed a fracture classification scheme for the basalt flows and also developed the first numerical models to consider both conduction and convection cooling in finite flows. The results of his field-based research were published in the March/April 2004 volume of the Bulletin of the Geological Society of America. A second paper was published the Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research in 2008, showcasing his numerical modeling of lava flow cooling. Conrad is currently living in Austin, Texas, where he works for the State of Texas at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

Send Email to Conrad (frshtrax@yahoo.com)




Justin Vetter

Thesis:

Evaluating displacements along Europan ridges.

Papers:

In preparation.


Justin completed his M.S. degree in geology at the University of Idaho in October 2005. His research examined evidence for ridge development by combined shearing and contractional deformation mechanisms on Jupiter's icy moon, Europa. The results of his research will soon be submitted to the journal Icarus. Justin is living in Seattle, WA.

Send Email to Justin (justinvetter@gmail.com)




Erin Walker

Thesis:

Evolution of the Hat Creek fault system, northern California.

Papers:

In preparation.


Erin completed her M.S. degree in geology at the University of Idaho in October 2008. Her research involved a structural analysis of the Hat Creek fault zone in northern California to unravel the growth evolution and slip characteristics of the fault as it broke through Pleistocene lava flows. Erin lives in Pittsburgh, PA, where she works as a geologist for Seneca Resources.

Send Email to Erin (WalkerE@srcx.com)






Geomechanics group in 2004 photo. L to R: Scott Marshall, Sandi Billings, June Clevy, Simon Kattenhorn, Justin Vetter, Leslie Fernandes, Nate Boersma.


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