Katherine (Kate) Scharer


Dr. Scharer holds a Ph.D. from the University of Oregon and a B.S. in Geological Sciences from the University of Washington.  Prior to coming to the USGS, she was a professor at Appalachian State University in North Carolina.  Dr. Scharer studies the timing and size of pre-historic earthquakes along the San Andreas Fault and other active faults in southern California. Such research is known as “paleoseismology;” an introduction to this type of research can be found here: https://earthquake.usgs.gov/learn/topics/paleo-intro/.  A summary of the earthquake behavior and past ruptures on the San Andreas Fault can be found here: https://earthquake.usgs.gov/learn/topics/safz-paleo/.  Dr. Scharer also works to understand the geologic slip rate on active faults in southern California, combining Quaternary geochronologic data with field mapping and lidar analysis.  






Scharer, K., Weldon, R., Biasi, G., Streig, A., Fumal, T., 2017. Ground-rupturing earthquakes on the northern Big Bend of the San Andreas Fault, California, 800 A.D. to Present, Journal of Geophysical Research – Solid Earth, 122, 2193-2218, 10.1002/2016JB013606.

Leeper, R., Rhodes, B., Kirby, M., Scharer, K., Carlin, J., Hemphill-Haley, E., Avnaim-Katav, S., MacDonald, G., Starrat, S., Aranda, A., 2017. Evidence for coseismic subsidence events in a southern California coastal saltmarsh, Scientific Reports, 7, 44615, doi:10.1038/srep44615.

Scharer, K., Weldon, R., and Bemis, S., 2016. Testing geomorphology-derived rupture histories against the paleoseismic record of the southern San Andreas fault, 7th International INQUA Meeting on Paleoseismology, Active Tectonics, and Archeoseismology, 216-219. http://www.earthquakegeology.com/materials/proceedings/2016_Crestone.pdf

Biasi, G., Scharer, K., Weldon, R., Dawson, T., 2016. Does paleoseismology forecast the historic rates of large earthquakes on the San Andreas fault system? 7th International INQUA Meeting on Paleoseismology, Active Tectonics, and Archeoseismology, 38-41.

Bemis, S., Scharer, K., Dolan, J., Rhodes, E., 2016. The Elizabeth Lake paleoseismic site: Rupture pattern constraints for the past ~800 years for the Mojave section of the south-central San Andreas Fault, 7th International INQUA Meeting on Paleoseismology, Active Tectonics, and Archeoseismology, 277-280.

Burgette, R., Hanson, A., Scharer, K., Midttun, N., 2016. Late Quaternary Offset of Alluvial Fan Surfaces along the Central Sierra Madre Fault, Southern California, 7th International INQUA Meeting on Paleoseismology, Active Tectonics, and Archeoseismology, 50-53.

Rockwell, T., Scharer, K., Dawson, T., in press. Paleoseismology of the San Andreas Fault Zone, in Applied Geology of California, eds Anderson, R. and Ferriz, R., Association of Environmental and Engineering Geology Special Publication Number 26.

Scharer, K., Fumal, T., Weldon, R., Streig, A., 2015. Photomosaics and event evidence from the Frazier Mountain paleoseismic site, trench 1, cuts 5–24, San Andreas Fault Zone, southern California (2010–2012): U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2015–1147, 25 p., 3 sheets, http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20151147.

Brocher, T., Baltay, A., Hardebeck, J., Pollitz, F., Murray, J., Llenos, A., Schwartz, D., Blair, J., Ponti, D., Lienkaemper, J., Langenheim, V., Dawson, T., Hudnut, K., Shelly, D., Dreger, D., Boatwright, J., Aagaard, B., Wald, D., Allen, R., Barnhart, W., Knudsen, K., Brooks, B., Scharer, K., 2015. The Mw6.0 24 August 2014 South Napa Earthquake, Seismological Research Letters, 86, 344-354.

Salisbury, J. B., Haddad, D. E., Rockwell, T., Arrowsmith, J R., Madugo, C., Zielke, O., Scharer, K., 2015. Validation of meter-scale surface faulting offset measurements from high-resolution topographic data, Geosphere11, no. 6, p. 1–18, doi:10.1130/GES01197.1.

Scharer, K., Weldon, R., Streig, A., Fumal, T., 2014. Paleoearthquakes at Frazier Mountain, California delimit extent and frequency of past San Andreas Fault ruptures along 1857 trace, Geophysical Research Letters, 41, 4527-4534.

Scharer, K.M., Salisbury, J.B., Arrowsmith, J R., Rockwell, T.K., 2014. Southern San Andreas Fault Evaluation field activity: Approaches to measuring small geomorphic offsets – Challenges and recommendations for active fault studies,Seismological Research Letters, 85, 68-76.

Scharer, K.M., Fumal, T.E., Weldon, R.J., Streig, A.R., 2014. Photomosaics and event evidence from the Frazier Mountain paleoseismic site, Trench 1, Cuts 1–4, San Andreas Fault Zone, Southern California (2007-2009), U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2014-1002, 4 sheets, various scales, pamphlet 23 p., http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2014/1002/.

Elliot, J.R., Copley, A.C., Holley, R., Scharer, K., Parsons, B., 2013. The 2011 Mw7.1 Van (Eastern Turkey) earthquake, Journal of Geophysical Research, 118, 1619-1637.

Hales, T.C., Scharer, K.M., Wooten, R.M., 2012. Southern Appalachian hillslope erosion rates measured by soil and detrital radiocarbon in hollows, Geomorphology, 138, 121-129.

Scharer, K.M., Biasi, G.P., Weldon, R.J., 2011. A reevaluation of the Pallett Creek earthquake chronology based on new AMS radiocarbon dates, San Andreas fault, California, Journal of Geophysical Research, 116, B12111.

Biasi, G.P., Weldon, R.J., and Scharer, K.M., 2011. Rupture length and paleomagnitude estimates from point measurements of displacement – A model-based approach, in Geological Criteria for Evaluating Seismicity Revisited: Forty Years of Paleoseismic Investigations and the Natural Record of Past Earthquakes, GSA Special Publication 479, 195-204

Scharer, K.M., Biasi, G.P., Weldon, R.J., Fumal, T.E., 2010. Quasi-periodic recurrence of large earthquakes on the southern San Andreas fault, Geology, 38, 555-558.

Scharer, K.M., 2010. Changing views of the San Andreas fault, Science. 327, 1089.

Philibosian, B., Fumal, T. E., Weldon II, R. J., Kendrick, K. J., Scharer, K. M., Bemis, S. P., Burgette, R. J., and Wisely, B. A., 2009. Photomosaics and logs of trenches on the San Andreas Fault near Coachella, California: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2009-1039, 2 sheets, http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2009/1039/.

Scharer, K.M., Weldon, R. J. II, Fumal, T. E., Biasi, G. P., 2007. Paleoearthquakes on the southern San Andreas fault, Wrightwood, CA 3000 to 1500 B.C.: a new method for evaluating paleoseismic evidence and earthquake horizons,Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 97, 1054-1093.

Chen, J., Heermance, R., Burbank, D., Scharer, K., Wang, C., 2007. Quantification of growth and lateral propagation of the Kashi anticline, southwest Chinese Tian Shan, Journal of Geophysical Research – Special Section on Fault-Related Folding, 112, B03S16.

Scharer, K. M., Burbank, D. W., Chen, J., Weldon, R. J., 2006.  Kinematic models of fluvial terraces over active detachment folds: Constraints on the growth mechanism of the Kashi-Atushi fold system, Chinese Tian Shan, Geological Society of America Bulletin, 118, 1006-1021.

Weldon, R. J, Fumal, T. E., Biasi, G. P., Scharer, K. M., 2005. Past and future earthquakes on the San Andreas fault, Science, 308, 966 – 967.

Scharer, K. M., Burbank, D. W., Chen, J., Weldon, R. J., Rubin, C., Zhao, R., Shen, J., 2004.  Detachment folding in the Southwestern Tian Shan - Tarim foreland, China; Shortening estimates and rates, Journal of Structural Geology, 26(11), 2119-2137.

Weldon, R. J, Scharer, K. M., Fumal, T. E., Biasi, G. P., 2004.  Wrightwood and the earthquake cycle: what a long recurrence record tells us about how faults work, GSA Today, 14(9), 4-10.

Weldon, R. J., Fletcher, D. K., Weldon, E. M., Scharer, K. M., McCrory, P. A., 2003. An update of Quaternary faults of central and eastern Oregon, U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 02-301, 26 map sheets, scale 1:100,000, 1 CD-ROM.

Weldon, R. J. II, Fumal, T. E., Powers, T. J., Pezzopane, S. K., Scharer, K. M., Hamilton, J. C., 2002. Structure and earthquake offsets on the San Andreas fault at the Wrightwood, California paleoseismic site, Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 92, 2704-2725.

Chen, J., Burbank, D. W., Scharer, K. M., Sobel, E., Jinhui, Y., Rubin, C., Ruibin, Z., 2002. Magnetochronology of the upper Cenozoic strata in the southwestern Chinese Tian Shan; rates of Pleistocene folding and thrusting, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 195(1-2), 113-130.

Jayko, A., Green, N., Scharer, K. M., 1996. Plio-Pleistocene strain rates associated with regional folding, Sonoma California, in Toward Assessing the Seismic Risk Associated with Blind Thrust Faults, San Francisco Bay Region, California, U.S. Geological Survey Open File Report # 096-0267.