Faculty and Staff

Mark Hemphill-Haley

Neotectonics, Paleoseismology, Geologic and Seismic Hazards, Quaternary Geology, Tectonic Geomorphology

  • Ph.D., Geology, University of Oregon, 1999
  • M.S., Environmental Science-Geology, Humboldt State University, 1987
  • B.A., Geology, Humboldt State University, 1982
Professional Experience:


  • Associate Professor, Humboldt State University, 2007-present
  • Engineering Geological Consultant, HH Geological LLC, 2010-present
  • Senior Engineering Geological Consultant, URS Corp., 2001-2011
  • Assistant Professor, Humboldt State University, 2002-2007
  • Lecturer, Humboldt State University, 2001-2002 
  • Adjunct Faculty, Boise State University, 2001 to present
  • Courtesy Research Associate, University of Oregon, Eugene, 1999-2001
  • Senior Geologist, Seismic Hazards Group, URS Corporation, 1999-2001
  • Graduate Representative to the Faculty, University of Oregon, Eugene, 1994-1995
  • Graduate Research Assistant, University of Oregon, Eugene, 1993-1999
  • Graduate Teaching Fellow, University of Oregon, Eugene, 1993-1997
  • Senior Geologist, Woodward-Clyde Consultants, Oakland, 1985-1993
  • Associate Editor, Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 2005 – 2010.
  • Visiting Scientist, GeoHazards Solutions Section, GNS Science, Wellington, New Zealand, 2008
Personal and Research Interests:

My interests are primarily centered around contemporary deformation of the western United States. I work on problems of various scales, from trench-scale paleoseismology of individual faults and folds to plate-scale deformation based on geodetic measurements and regional kinematic analyses. I have worked extensively in the Basin and Range geomorphic province and in the transition between the Basin and Range and the Cascade volcanic arc. My current location in northwestern-most California affords me the ability to work on faults within the southernmost, onshore end of the Cascadia subduction zone. I am currently involved in a USGS NEHRP-funded project to evaluate the surface rupture history of the Little Salmon fault, a portion of the fold and thrust belt of the subduction zone.

Courses Taught:
  • Geol 106 - Earthquake Country

  • Geol 109 - General Geology

  • Geol 110 - Field Geology of the Western US.

  • Geol 235 - Field Methods I

  • Geol 306 - Geomorphology

  • Geol 334 - Structural Geology

  • Geol 340 - Methods of Air Photo Interpretation

  • Geol 473 - Field Camp

  • Geol 457 - Engineering Geology

  • Geol 485 - Senior Seminar

  • Geol 553 - Quaternary Stratigraphy

  • Geol 554 - Advanced Field Methods

  • Geol 555 - Neotectonics

  • Geol 700 - Finding Faults in Humboldt County

Theses Supervised

Paul Sundberg, in progress, Geologic mapping of thrust-faulted Quaternary deposits near Fieldbrook,  Humboldt County, northern California (M.S.)

Melanie Stevens, in progress, InSAAR mapping of an active landslide in the Trinity National Forest, northern California (M.S)

Matt Kowalski, in progress, Timing of stream piracy and glacial geology of Coffee Creek by south fork Salmon Creek, Trinity Alps, northern California (Senior Thesis)

Bobbijean Freeman, in progress,Relative ages of late Pleistocene fluvial terraces of Fieldbrook valley using soil development as a proxy for age, Humboldt County, northern California (Senior Thesis)

David Perry, in progress, Late Pleistocene fluvial terraces in the southern Fieldbrook valley using traditional field mapping techniques and LiDAR (Senior Thesis)

Aaron Melody, 2009, Active Faulting and Quaternary Paleohydrology of the Truckee Fault Zone North of Truckee, California (M.S.)

Cheryl Griffith, 2008, Evaluation of Relation between Seismicity, Precipitation and Landslides in a Portion of Northwest California (committee member - M.S.)

John Wellik, 2008, The Sisters fault zone, Deschutes County, Oregon (M.S.)

Ronna Bowers, 2009,Quaternary stratigraphy, geomorphology, and hydrologic history of pluvial Lake Madeline, Lassen County, northeastern California

Jeffrey Gaines, 2008, Fluvial strath terrace formation and soil development with tectonic implications along Cache Creek, California (Committee member - M.S.)

Elizabeth Barnett, 2007, Active faulting at the northeast margin of the greater Puget lowland : a paleoseismic and magnetic-anomaly study of the Kendall fault scarp, Whatcom County, northwest Washington (committee member - M.S.)

Chad Pritchard, 2004, Late Holocene Relative Sea-Level Changes, Arcata Bay, California (committee member - M.S.)

Amy M. Thomson, 2004, Geologic Investigation of the Proposed Gilman Creek Fault Across the Banning Bench Alluvial Fan, San Gorgonio Pass Fault Zone, Banning, CA. (B.S. Senior Thesis)

Jason Robert Patton, 2004, Late Holocene Coseismic Subsidence and Coincident Tsunamis, Southern Cascadia Subduction Zone, Hookton Slough, Wigi (Humboldt Bay), California (committee member - M.S.)

Jay D. Stallman, 2003, Strath Terrace Genesis in the North Fork Elk River Valley, North Coastal California (committee member - M.S.)

Sara C. Smith, 2003, Quaternary Movement on an Inherited Mesozoic Structure: The Rush Peak Fault, West-Central Idaho (commitee member - M.S., Boise State University)

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Clark, K. J., Cochran, U. A., Berryman, K. R., Biasi, G., Langridge, R., Villamor, P., Bartholomew, T., Litchfield, N., Pantosti, D., Marco, S., Van Dissen, R., Turner, G., Hemphill-Haley, M., Barker, D. H. N. in progress 2012, Deriving a long paleoseismic record from a shallow water Holocene depocentre on the Alpine fault, New Zealand, to be submitted to the Geological Society of America.

McCalpin, J. P., Carver, G., Hemphill-Haley, M. A., Solie, D., Weldon, E., Atici, M., and Matthews, D., 2010, Preliminary Report, The Alaska Pipeline Project, 2010 Fault Delineation Field Program: WorleyParsons Canada Services, Ltd., 125 p.

Clark, K. J., Hayward, B. W., Cochran, U. A., Grenfell, H. R., Hemphill-Haley, E., Mildenhall, D. C., Hemphill-Haley, M. A., and Wallace, L. M., 2011, Investigating subduction earthquake geology along the southern Hikurangi margin using palaeoenvironmental histories of intertidal inlets: New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, p. 1-17.

Dengler, L., Hemphill-Haley, M., Felton, V., Monro, A., and Warren, J., 2009, Living on Shaky Ground, How to Survive Earthquakes and Tsunamis in Northern California: Humboldt Earthquake Education Center at Humboldt State University, p. 17.

Knudsen, K., Wong, I. G., Dober, M., Hemphill-Haley, M., and Terra, F., 2008, Site-specific Seismic Hazard Evaluation of the Fruta del Norte Project, Southern Ecuador: Final Report, p. 61.

Langridge, R. M., Hemphill-Haley, M. A., and Ries, W., 2008, Active Fault Mapping and Rupture Avoidance at Queen Mary Hospital, Hanmer Springs, GNS Science Consultancy Report 2008/113, p. 52.

Litchfield, N., Van Dissen, R., Hemphill-Haley, M., Townsend, D., and Heron, D., 2010a, It’s Our Fault – Ohariu Fault Paleoearthquake Investigations: Final Report, GNS Science Consultancy Report 2010/17, p. 34.

Litchfield, N., Van Dissen, R., Hemphill-Haley, M., Townsend, D., and Heron, D., 2010b, Post c. 300 year rupture of the Ohariu Fault in Ohariu Valley, New Zealand: New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, v. 53, no. 1, p. 43 - 56


Van Dissen, R., Barnes, P., Beavan, J., Cousins, J., Dellow, G., Francois-Holden, C., Fry, B., Langridge, R., Litchfield, N., Little, T., McVerry, G., Ninis, D., Rhoades, D., Robinson, R., Saunders, W., Villamor, P., Wilson, K., Barker, P., Berryman, K., Benites, R., Brackey, H., Bradley, B., Carne, R., Cochran, U., Hemphill-Haley, M., King, A., Lamarche, G., Palmer, N., Perrin, N., Pondard, N., Rattenbury, M., Read, S., Semmens, S., Smith, E., Stephenson, W., Wallace, L., Webb, T., and Zhao, J., 2010, It’s Our Fault: better defining earthquake risk in Wellington, 11th IAEG Congress, Auckland, New Zealand, p. 737-746.


Hemphill-Haley, M.A. and Weldon, R.J., 2004, Estimating Prehistoric Earthquake Magnitude from Point Measurements of Surface Rupture, in Proceedings of the Basin and Range Province Seismic Hazards Summit II, 2004, William Lund, ed, 21 p.  Submitted and accepted August 2004.

Liberty, L.M., Hemphill-Haley, M.A. and Madin, I.P., 2003, The Portland Hills Fault:  uncovering a hidden fault in Portland, Oregon using high-resolution geophysical methods, Tectonophysics, v. 368, p. 89-103.

Hemphill-Haley, M.A., Liberty, L.M., and Madin, I.P., 2002, Source characterization study of the Portland Hills Fault, Portland metropolitan area, Oregon, Report to the U.S. Geological Survey,  22p.

Madin, I.P. and Hemphill-Haley, M.A., 2001, The Portland Hills fault at Rowe Middle School, Oregon Geology, v. 63, n. 2, p. 47-49

Wong, I.G., Hemphill-Haley, M.A., Liberty, L.M., Madin, I.P., 2001, The Portland Hills fault:  An earthquake generator or just another old fault?, Oregon Geology, v. 63, n. 2, p. 39-47, 50.

Hemphill-Haley, M. A., Page, W. D., Carver, G. A., and Burke, R. M., 2000, Paleoseismicity of the Alvord Fault, Steens Mountain, southeastern Oregon, in Noller, J.S., Sowers, J. M., and Lettis, W. R., eds., Quaternary Geochronology, Methods and Applications, AGU Reference Shelf 4, p. 537-540.

Hemphill-Haley, M. A., Sawyer, T. L., Knuepfer, P. L. K., Forman, S. L., and Wong, I. G., 2000, Timing of faulting events from thermoluminescence dating of scarp-related deposits, Lemhi fault, southeastern Idaho, in Noller, J.S., Sowers, J. M., and Lettis, W. R., eds., Quaternary Geochronology, Methods and Applications, AGU Reference Shelf 4, p. 541-548.

Hemphill-Haley, M.A., and Weldon, R.J. II, 1999, Estimating prehistoric earthquake magnitude from point measurements of surface rupture: Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, v. 89, p. 1264-1279.

Hemphill-Haley, M.A., Carver, G.A., and Burke, B., 1999, Late Quaternary stratigraphy and Holocene fauting along the eastern margin of Steens Mountain, southeastern Oregon; in Narwold, C., ed., Quaternary Geology of the Northern Quinn River and Alvord Valleys, southeastern Oregon; 1999 Friends of the Pleistocene Field Trip, Pacific Cell,

Kelson, K. I., Forman, S. L., Gardner, J. N., Hemphill-Haley, M. A., Kolbe, T. R., Olig, S. S., Reneau, S. L., Simpson, G. D., and Wong, I. G., 1996, Latest Pleistocene and possibly Holocene displacement along the Rendija Canyon Fault, Los Alamos County, New Mexico: New Mexico Geological Society Guidebook, v. 47.

Olig, S. S., Kelson, K. I., Gardner, J. N., Reneau, S. L., and Hemphill-Haley, M., 1996, The earthquake potential of the Pajarito Fault system, New Mexico: New Mexico Geological Society Guidebook, v. 47th Field Conference, p. 143-152.

Wong, I. G., and Hemphill-Haley, M. A., 1992, Seismicity and faulting near the Hayward and Mission faults, in Second Conference on Earthquake Hazards in the Eastern San Francisco Bay Area, Hayward, California, p. 207-215.

Wong, I., Hemphill-Haley, M., and Salah-Mars, S. 1993, The Scotts Mills, Oregon, earthquake on March 25, 1993, Earthquakes and Volcanoes, v. 24, n. 2., p. 86-92.

Mark Hemphill-Haley

Contact Information:

Office: Founders 12
Email: markhh@humboldt.edu
Ph. 707-826-3933