Maureen L Walton, PhD

I am a marine geophysicist interested in tectonic problems related to active fault systems, particularly strike-slip systems, and how to better understand modern geohazards in the context of active tectonics.


I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Colorado at Boulder, graduating summa cum laude with a bachelor's degree in Geology in 2010. I went on to study marine geophysics at the University of Texas at Austin, working with Dr. Sean Gulick at the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics (UTIG). I received my Ph.D. in Geosciences in the spring of 2016, and joined the U.S. Geological Survey Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center (Santa Cruz, CA) as a Mendenhall Postdoctoral Fellow in June 2016. I'm now a research geologist with the USGS.

Scientifically, I am interested in the way that faults deform in complex stress environments, namely along transform systems. I use observations and interpretations of tectonic geomorphology, subsurface fault structure, and seismicity to better understand modern geohazards such as earthquakes, submarine landslides, and tsunamis. I am a field-going scientist and specialize in the acquisition, processing, and interpretation of marine geophysical data at all scales, particularly seismic reflection data. Current research areas include the Queen Charlotte Fault in southeastern Alaska, strike-slip faults and submarine landslides offshore of southern and south-central California, and the Cascadia subduction zone.