Scott EK Bennett, Ph.D.

Scott is a Research Geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. He works for the Pacific Northwest Geologic Mapping and Urban Hazards team in the Geology, Minerals, Energy, & Geophysics Science Center. His research is focused on geologic mapping, structural geology, neotectonics, and geomorphology of the Pacific Northwest region of the United States.


Scott Bennett is a Research geologist who combines geologic mapping, structural geology, basin analysis, and geochronology to investigate the timing and rates of crustal deformation. His interdisciplinary and collaborative research focuses on quantifying surface and crustal processes that yield insight into lithospheric-scale plate tectonic systems.

Scott studies the deformation and evolving landscape of continents, collecting data that allows him to reconstruct tectonic movements over a large range of temporal and spatial scales, from earthquakes to orogenies and from faults to plate boundaries.  Scott has experience conducting research in the Cascadia subduction zone of the Pacific Northwest (USA and Canada), on both margins of the Gulf of California oblique rift, along the San Andreas fault system, within the Walker Lane, and across the Basin and Range including the Rio Grande Rift.


Professional Experience:

  • Research Geologist -- Tectonics and Geologic Mapping -- USGS Menlo Park, CA; 2017-present
  • Research Geologist -- Tectonics, Paleoseismology, and Geologic Mapping -- USGS Seattle, WA; 2015-2017
  • Mendenhall Post-doc -- Paleoseismology and Earthquake Hazards -- USGS Golden, CO; 2013-2015
  • Graduate Student Researcher -- Tectonics, Neotectonics, and Geologic Mapping -- University of California, Davis; 2009-2013
  • Exploration Geology Intern -- Basin Analysis and Tectonics -- Aera Energy; Summer 2011
  • Graduate Student Researcher -- Tectonics and Geologic Mapping -- University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; 2006-2009
  • Engineering Geologist -- Landslide Analysis, Mapping, Paleoseismology, -- GeoConcepts, Inc. & Nolan Associates; 2002-2006



  • Ph.D., Geology, University of California, Davis; 2013
  • M.S., Geological Sciences, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill; 2009
  • B.S., Geological Sciences, California State University, Northridge; 2004
  • Minor in Geography, California State University, Northridge; 2004


Invited Talks:

February 2017                University of Washington, Marine Geology and Geophysics Dept

January 2017                  Western Washington University, Geology Dept

May 2016                        USGS Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Seminar

April 2016                       Northern Arizona University, School of Earth Sciences and Environmental Sustainability

November 2015              University of Washington, Earth and Space Sciences Dept

September 2015             University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Geological Sciences Dept

April 2015                       Seismological Society of America Annual Meeting

March 2015                    USGS Headquarters, Reston, VA

March 2015                    Colorado School of Mines, Department of Geophysics - Heiland Lecture

February 2015                Utah Quaternary Fault Parameters Working Group

January 2015                  Basin and Range Province Seismic Hazards Summit

December 2014              USGS Earthquake Science Center

February 2014                Utah Quaternary Fault Parameters Working Group

January 2013                  USGS Geologic Hazards Science Center

January 2013                  Northern California Geological Society

November 2012              Northern Arizona University, School of Earth Sciences and Environmental Sustainability

August 2011                   AERA Energy, Bakersfield, CA

March 2007-2011           Prescott College-Kino Bay Center, Sonora, Mexico



Miocene to Recent Evolution of the Lower Colorado River Corridor and the Northern Gulf of California

  • Conveners: Crow, R., McDougall, K., Bennett, S., Darin, M.
  • Geological Society of America (GSA) 2018 Cordillera/Rocky Mountain Section Meeting.

Decadal to Millennial Strain Accumulation at Subduction Zones

  • Conveners: Regalla, C., Morell, K., Bennett, S., Leonard, L., Amos, C. and Loveless, J.
  • Geological Society of America (GSA) 2017 Annual Meeting.

How Reliable Are Reconstructions and Models of Surface-Rupturing Earthquakes?

  • Conveners: Bennett, S., Scharer, K., Lozos, J.
  • Seismological Society of America (SSA) 2015 Annual Meeting.

Interplay between Sonoran Desert geology and non-geologic processes

  • Conveners: Bennett, S., Darin, M.
  • Next Generation Sonora Desert Researchers 2015 Meeting.

Recent Advances and Findings in Earthquake Geology and Paleoseismology

  • Conveners: Bennett, S., DuRoss, C.
  • Seismological Society of America (SSA) 2014 Annual Meeting.

Controls on Fault Rupture Patterns

  • Conveners: Bennett, S., Gold, R., Briggs, R.
  • American Geophysical Union (AGU) 2013 Fall Meeting.

The Pacific-North America Plate Boundary Through Time: Translation, Rotation, Erosion, and 4-D Strain

  • Conveners: Dorsey, R., Umhoefer, P., Bennett, S., Martín-Barajas, A.
  • American Geophysical Union (AGU) 2013 Fall Meeting.

Reconstructing the Pacific-North America Plate Boundary Through Late Cenozoic Time

  • Conveners: Bennett, S., Dorsey, R., Oskin, M., Darin, M.
  • Geological Society of America (GSA) 2013 Cordillera Section Meeting.

4-D Geologic Evolution of the Gulf of California

  • Convener: Bennett, S.
  • Next Generation Sonora Desert Researchers 2012 Inaugural Meeting.

Gulf of California-Salton Trough Rift Margin: Recent Findings and Remaining Questions

  • Conveners: Bennett, S., Brothers, D., Kluesner, J.
  • American Geophysical Union (AGU) 2009 Fall Meeting.