David C. Greene
B.S. from University of California, Santa Cruz, 1978
M.S. from University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1984
Ph.D. from University of Nevada, Reno, 1995
I normally teach two introductory courses and two upper level courses.
Planet Earth is the department's entry level physical geology course, providing an introduction to the Earth and emphasizing the processes that have formed and continue to affect the surface of the planet where we live. We consider plate tectonics and the processes that create the large scale features of the Earth’s surface (continents, oceans, mountains), earth materials (rocks, minerals, soils and water) and the geologic and environmental hazards (earthquakes, floods, climate change) that result from people interacting with the processes that shape the Earth.
Rare Earth is an interdisciplinary course that provides an introduction to the geosciences in the context of a critical examination of the so-called Rare Earth Hypothesis. This is the proposal that a very large number of rare events are required to form a habitable planet such as Earth, and that in total this required chain of events is so unlikely that Earth and the intelligent life it supports may be unique in the Universe. Whether or not this hypothesis is correct, it is a stimulating idea and a very different way to think about the Earth and its evolution as a planet.
Structural Geology is a core course for geology majors, in which we consider both the processes (stress and resulting strain) and the observed products (folds, faults and mountain ranges) of geologic deformation. This is also our primary field methods class, and includes significant experience in the creation and interpretation of geologic maps and cross sections.
Global Tectonics is an upper-level course in which students examine global tectonic processes and the evolution of continents through time. Through the Plate Poster Project each student becomes expert in one of the Earth’s tectonic plates, and regularly presents posters teaching the class about important aspects of their plate. Labs in this and all of my courses emphasize the interpretation of geologic maps and remote sensing data at all scales from local to global.
Public Outreach: Teaching Earthquake-Resistant Building Techniques in Guatemala
Earthquakes occur in tectonically active regions throughout the world, and often cause major loss of life and damage to infrastructure. Geologists have so far been unable to develop reliable techniques to give warning before an earthquake strikes, and therefore efforts to reduce damage and loss of life are focused on increasing survivability. I recently made a number of presentations in Guatemala on earthquake-resistant design and building practices for local architects and builders. I hope to continue with this teaching as opportunities arise.
My present research focuses on the following areas of primary interest:
1. The evolution of superposed contractional and extensional structures in the Basin and Range province of western Utah, and the implications of this structural evolution for the development of large low-angle extensional structures such as the Snake Range metamorphic core complex.
Present work in the Confusion Range of western Utah is focused on understanding the structural geometry of this hinterland portion of the Sevier fold-and-thrust belt. We are using a combination of existing geologic mapping and detailed new mapping in key areas to develop a series of balanced and retrodeformable cross sections across the range.
The goal is to understand the connections between this zone of localized shortening and crustal thickening and regions of major crustal shortening to the east (Sevier frontal thrust belt) and extension to the west (Snake Range core complex). Future work will focus on the relations between early Tertiary basin formation and the transition from Sevier thrust faulting to low-angle extensional faulting in the eastern Basin and Range.
2. Understanding the structure and stratigraphy of metamorphic roof pendants in the Sierra Nevada of California, and the information these pendants provide about the Paleozoic and Mesozoic tectonics of the central Cordillera. Planned projects in the Sierra Nevada include continued geologic mapping and structural studies in the upper Paleozoic and Mesozoic rocks of the Mount Morrison and associated roof pendants; and investigation of the Mount Goddard and other primarily Mz pendants.
Present work, with Erik Klemetti, is focused on the new structural studies, strain analyses and dating in the Mineral King pendant in the southern Sierra and the Mesozoic section of the Mount Morrison pendant in the central Sierra Nevada.
Past research projects have included:
1. An investigation of Paleozoic intraplate tectonics in central Australia, where early extensional structures associated with the Neoproterozoic break-up of Rodinia have been reactivated as reverse faults during the mid-Paleozoic Alice Springs intraplate orogeny. These pictures from field work in central Australia show some of the geologic structures and terrain of the Aussie "Red Centre" and suggest some of the logistics required for fieldwork in the outback. Major results of this project are now published in Tectonics (Greene, 2010).
2. Previous work on the Early Archean Isua Supracrustal Belt in West Greenland is now complete, with publication of results in Tectonophysics (Hanmer and Greene, 2002). These pictures from field work in southwest Greenland show the field area, including geologic structures, very young landforms emerging from the ice, and logistics for working at the edge of the ice cap.
Greene, David C., *Matteri, Matthew M.C., and *Yezerski, Donald . 2011. The Confusion Range, west-central Utah: A Sevier-age fold-thrust belt in the hanging wall of the Snake Range decollement. GSA Abstracts with Programs. v. 43 no. 4 p. 15 View [pdf]
Greene, David C. 2010. Neoproterozoic rifting in the southern Gergina Basin, central Australia: Implications for reconstructing Australia in Rodinia. Tectonics. v. 29 no. 5 p. TC5010 View [pdf]
*Matteri, Matthew M.C., and Greene, David C . 2010. New Balanced and Retrodeformable Cross Section of the northern Confusion Range, west-central Utah indicates an east-vergent fold-and-thrust belt of Sevier age. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs. v. 42 no. 5 p. 266 View [pdf]
*Yezerski, Donald, and Greene, David C . 2009. New Structural Interpretations of the Confusion Range, West-Central Utah, Based on Balanced Cross Sections. Eos, Transactions, American Geophysical Union. View [pdf]
Greene, David C. 2008. Neoproterozoic rifting in the southern Georgina Basin, central Australia: Implications for connecting Australia and Larentia in Rodinia. Geological Society of American Abstracts with Programs. v. 40 no. 1 p. 68 View [pdf]
*Pierson, Mimi L., and Greene, David C . 2008. Geophysical Evidence for a Newoproterozoic rift basin underlying the Burke River Structural Belt, eastern Georgina Basin, central Australia. Geological Society of American Abstracts with Programs. v. 40 no. 1 p. 68 View [pdf]
Greene, David C. 2007. Great Basin. McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology, 10e.
Greene, David C. 2006. Neoproterozoic rifting in central Australia and the breakup of Rodinia. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs. v. 38, no. 7, p. 450. View [pdf]
*Lechler, A.R., and Greene, D.C . 2006. Fault reactivation during interacontinental deformation: The Toko Syncline and Toomba Fault, Georgina Basin, central Australia. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs. v. 38, no. 5, p. 11. View Poster [pdf] View Abstract [pdf]
Glazner, A.F., Lee, J., Bartley, J.M, Coleman, D.S., Kylander-Clark, A., Greene, D.C., Le, K. 2005. Large dextral offset across Owens Valley, California, from 148 Ma to 1872 AD. Geological Society of America Cordilleran Section Field Trip Guide. p. 35.
Greene, David C. 2003. Laramide-style basement block faulting and fault inversion during the mid-Paleozoic intraplate Alice Springs orogeny, Huckitta region, Northern Territory, central Australia. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs. v. 34, no. 7, p. 344. View [pdf]
Stevens, C.H., Stone, P., and Greene, D.C.. 2003. Correlation of Permian and Triassic deformations in the western Great Basin and eastern Sierra Nevada: Evidence from the northern Inyo Mountains near Tinemaha Reservoir, east-central California. Reply: Geological Society of America Bulletin. v. 115, p. 1309-1311. View [pdf]
Hanmer, Simon, and Greene, David C.. 2002. A modern structural regime in the Paleoarchean ( 3.64 Ga); Isua Greenstone Belt, southern West Greenland . Tectonophysics . v. 346 p. 201-222
Greene, David C., and Stevens, Calvin H. 2002. Geologic Map of Paleozoic Rocks in the Mount Morrison Pendant, Eastern Sierra Nevada, California. California Division of Mines and Geology Map Sheet 53. View [pdf]
Stevens, Calvin H., and Greene, David C. 2000. Geology of Paleozoic rocks in eastern Sierra Nevada roof pendants, California. Geological Society of America Field Guide 2. v. III, p. 237-254.
*Kohlbecker, M.V. and Greene, D.C . 2000. Two joint domains in central Ohio: a divide between Appalachian Plateau-style jointing and Midcontinent-style jointing. GSA Abstracts with Programs. v. 32, no. 4, p. A22.
*Dube, J.P., and Greene, D.C. 1999. Extensional reactivation of a thrust ramp and implications of deformation in the Confusion Range, west-central Utah. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs. v. 31, no. 6, p. 51.
Stevens, Calvin H., and Greene, David C. 1999. Stratigraphy, depositional history, and tectonic evolution of Paleozoic continental margin rocks in roof pendants of the eastern Sierra Nevada, California. Geological Society of America Bulletin. v. 111, p. 919-933. View [pdf]
Greene, David C., and Herring, Donna M. 1998. Thick sequences of Early Tertiary limestones deposited in a previously undescribed basin, Snake Valley and the Confusion Range, western Millard County, Utah, in French, D.E., and Schalla, R.A. (eds.), Hydrocarbon habitat and special geologic problems of the Great Basin. 1998 Field Trip Guide, Nevada Petroleum Society, Reno, Nevada. p. 91-92.
Tikoff, Basil, and Greene, David C.. 1997. Stretching lineations in the transpressional shear zones: an example from the Sierra Nevada Batholith, California . Journal of Structural Geology. v. 19m p. 29-39
Greene, David C., Schweickert, Richard A., and Stevens, Calvin H.. 1997. The Roberts Mountains allochthon and the western margin of the Cordilleran miogeocline in the Northern Ritter Range pendant, eastern Sierra Nevada, California. Geological Society of America Bulletin. v. 109, p. 1294-1305. View [pdf]
Greene, David C., Stevens, Calvin H., Wise, James M. 1997. The Laurel-Convict fault, eastern Sierra Nevada, California: a Permo-Triassic left-lateral fault, not a Cretaceous intrabatholithic break. Geological Society of America Bulletin. v. 109, p. 483-488. View [pdf]
Greene, David C. 1996. Quaternary reactivation of the Lost Lakes fault, a brittle fault zone containing pseudotachylite in the Tuolumne Intrusive Suite, Sierra Nevada, California. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs. v. 28, no. 5, p. 70.
Greene, David C., and Schweickert, R.A. 1995. The Gem Lake shear zone: Cretaceous dextral transpression in the Northern Ritter Range pendant, eastern Sierra Nevada, California. Tectonics. v. 14, p. 945-961.