William C Burton


Recent Accomplishments


Professional Studies/Experience

  • Bedrock mapping, western Connecticut (2016-).  Detailed bedrock mapping of two 7.5-minute quadrangles in western CT highlands in response to elevated U levels in domestic water wells and ground-water supply and quality in local watershed.  Includes complexly deformed Paleozoic plutonic and metamorphic rocks affected by Taconic and Acadian orogenies, plus early Mesozoic sedimentary/volcanic rift basin.  Logistical support from CT Geological Survey and Pomperaug River Watershed Coalition.
  • Bedrock mapping, southern Virginia (2018-).  Detailed mapping of two 7.5-minute quadrangles as an eastern continuation of USGS mapping of Mt. Rogers National Recreation Area.  Includes Mesoproterozoic and Neoproterozoic plutonic, metasedimentary, and metavolcanic rocks.
  • Volcano hazard monitoring, USGS Volcano Hazards Program.  Analyzes incoming remote-sensing data from active volcanic regions, both domestic and international, as part of a USGS volcano monitoring team, and advises on the trend and timing of eruptive activity.  Three major monitored eruptions in 2018 that impacted thousands of people include Fuego in Guatemala and Merapi and Agung volcanoes in Indonesia.
  • Bedrock mapping, Central VA Seismic Zone (2012-2018).  One of a team of USGS, State, and University geologists that studied the Central Virginia Seismic Zone in the wake of the August, 2011 M5.8 earthquake near Mineral, Va.   Detailed bedrock mapping of the epicentral region determined that the subsurface fault that triggered the earthquake may have reactivated an ancient contact between granite and schist.  First author on one scientific paper and one field guide about the earthquake, and three 1:24,000-scale geologic maps.  Coauthor on two 1:24,000-scale geologic maps and one scientific paper.
  • Previous mapping and research (1983-2012). Bedrock geologic controls on flow, distribution, and chemistry of ground water; bedrock geologic mapping, geochronology, and structural analysis of complexly deformed orogenic belts; mapping and tectonic history of Neoproterozoic and Mesoproterozoic rocks.  1:12,000 to 1:50,000-scale analog and digital geologic mapping of complexly deformed Mesoproterozoic metamorphic and igneous rocks of the central and northern Appalachian mountains; Neoproterozoic metavolcanic and metasedimentary rocks of accreted terranes in the southern Appalachians; autochthonous Neoproterozoic through Ordovician metasedimentary and metavolcanic rocks of the southern, central and northern Appalachians; Silurian and Devonian metamorphic and igneous rocks of the northern Appalachians; Neoproterozoic to early Paleozoic volcanic, intrusive, and sedimentary rocks of the Jebel Saghro range, Morocco; Neoproterozoic intrusive, volcanic and sedimentary rocks of northern Madagascar; and clastic sediments and volcanics of the Early Mesozoic rift basins, central and northern Appalachian mountains.
  • Administrative experience:  Volcano Hazards Program (2009-2011)
    • Oversaw the allocation of $15.2M in American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) funds, including chairing of review panel allocating $7.8M in research funds to academic institutions.    Developed, tracked, and reported new VHP performance metrics for the Office of Budget and Performance.  Assisted in developing and coordinating the National Volcano Early Warning System (NVEWS) and other scientific efforts that impact national objectives. Led use of classified assets to satisfy Program requirements in emergency response to volcanic activity and volcano hazard assessment, and served as the point of contact for the VHP for classified activities and participated in workshops, seminars, and conferences in support of this goal, including regular meetings of the multi-agency Civil Applications Committee.  Represented the Program at USGS management meetings.


Professional societies/affiliations/committees/editorial boards

Honors, awards, recognition, elected offices

Scientific/Oral Presentations, Abstracts