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Maureen L Walton, PhD

I am a USGS Mendenhall postdoc and 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 have been at the U.S. Geological Survey Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center (Santa Cruz, CA) as a Mendenhall Postdoctoral Fellow since June 2016.

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. 


Peer-reviewed publications:

Walton, M. A. L., E. C. Roland, J. I. Walter, S. P. S. Gulick, and P. J. Dotray (in press), Seismic velocity structure across the 2013 Craig, Alaska rupture from aftershock tomography: Implications for seismogenic conditions, Earth and Planetary Science Letters.

Brothers, D. S., B. D. Andrews, M. A. L. Walton, H. G. Greene, J. V. Barrie, N. C. Miller, U. ten Brink, A. East, P. J. Haeussler, J. W. Kluesner, J. E. Conrad (2018), Slope failure and mass transport processes along the Queen Charlotte Fault: Southeastern Alaska, Geological Society of London Special Publication 17-261.

Greene, H. G., J. V. Barrie, D. S. Brothers, J. E. Conrad, K. Conway, A. East, R. Enkin, K. L. Maier, S. Nishenko, M. A. L. Walton (2018), Slope failure and mass transport processes along the Queen Charlotte Fault zone; Western British Columbia, Geological Society of London Special Publication 17-261.

Haeussler, P. J., S. P. S. Gulick, N. McCall, M. A. L. Walton, R. S. Reece, C. Larsen, D. Shugar, M. Geertsema, J. Venditti, and K. Labay (2018), Submarine deposition of a subaerial landslide in Taan Fiord, Alaska, Journal of Geophysical Research.

Higman, B., D. Shugar, C. P. Stark, G. Ekstrom, M. N. Koppes, P. Lynett, A. Dufresne, P. J. Haeussler, M. Geertsema, S. P. S. Gulick, A. Mattox, J. G. Venditti, M. A. L. Walton, N. McCall, E. Mckittrick, B. MacInnes, E. L. Bilderback, H. Tang, M. J. Willis, B. Richmond, R. S. Reece, C. Larsen, B. Olson, J. Capra, A. Ayca, C. Bloom, H. Williams, D. Bonno, R. Weiss, A. Keen, V. Skanavis, and M. Loso (2018), Glacier retreat and the largest landslide-triggered marine tsunami since 1958, Nature Scientific Reports.

Maier, K. L., E. C. Roland, M. A. L. Walton, J. E. Conrad, D. S. Brothers, P. Dartnell, J. W. Kluesner (2018), The tectonically controlled San Gabriel channel-lobe transition zone, Catalina Basin, southern California borderland, Journal of Sedimentary Research.

Conrad, J. E., N. G. Prouty, M. A. L. Walton, J. W. Kluesner, K. L. Maier, M. McGann, D. S. Brothers, E. C. Roland, and P. Dartnell (2017), Seafloor Fluid Seeps on Kimki Ridge, offshore southern California: Links to Active Strike-Slip Faulting, Deep-Sea Research Part II.

Dufresne, A., M. Geertsema, D. H. Shugar, M. Koppes, B. Higman, P. J. Haeussler, C. Stark, J. G. Venditti, D. Bonno, C. Larsen, S. P. S. Gulick, N. McCall, M. A. L. Walton, M. G. Loso, M. J. Willis (2017), Sedimentology and geomorphology of a large tsunamigenic landslide, Taan Fiord, Alaska, Sedimentary Geology.

Tréhu, A. M., M. Scheidhauer, K. M. M. Rohr, B. Tikoff, M. A. L. Walton, S. P. S. Gulick, and E. C. Roland (2015), An abrupt transition in the mechanical response of the upper crust to transpression across the Queen Charlotte Fault, Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, v. 105, no. 2b, p. 1114-1128.

Walton, M. A. L., S. P. S. Gulick, E. C. Roland, P. J. Haeussler, and A. M. Tréhu (2015), Basement and regional structure along-strike of the Queen Charlotte Fault in the context of modern and historical earthquake ruptures, Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, v. 105, no. 2b, p. 1090-1105.

Zurbuchen, J., S. P. S. Gulick, M. A. L. Walton, and J. Goff (2015), Imaging Evidence for Hubbard Glacier Advances and Retreats since the Last Glacial Maximum in Yakutat and Disenchantment Bays, Alaska, Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems.

Walton, M. A. L., S. P. S. Gulick, R. S. Reece, G. A. Barth, G. L. Christeson, and H. J. A. Van Avendonk (2014), Dynamic response to strike-slip tectonic control on the deposition and evolution of the Baranof Fan, Gulf of Alaska, Geosphere, v. 10, no. 4, p. 680-691.