Faculty and Staff

Brandon Browne

Igneous petrology, volcanology, field geology


Ph.D., Geology, 2005, University of Alaska, Fairbanks
M.S., Geology, 2001, University of Alaska, Fairbanks
B.S., Geology, 1998, Oregon State University
B.S., Environmental Science, 1998, Oregon State University

Professional Experience:

Associate Professor, Humboldt State University, 2015-present
Lecturer, Humboldt State University, 2014-2015
Associate Professor, Occidental College, 2013-2014
Associate Professor, California State University, Fullerton, 2011-2013
Assistant Professor, California State University, Fullerton, 2005-2011

Personal and Research Interests:

My research uses geologic mapping and field relations of volcanic deposits coupled with geochemical, petrological, and experimental analytical techniques to investigate a variety of magmatic and volcanic processes. Current research projects examine the volume, extent, and manner in which magma was erupted as well as better understand a variety of pre-eruptive magmatic differentiation processes in Alaska (Augustine Volcano, Aniakchak Volcano), northern California (Mount Shasta), and the eastern California (Golden Trout Volcanic Field).

Golden Trout Volcanic Field, Sierra Nevada (left) and Deer Mountain Quarry near Mount Shasta (right)

Courses Taught:

GEOL 109: General Geology 

GEOL 300: California Geology

GEOL 303: Earth's Resources

GEOL 312: Earth Materials (Mineralogy)


GEOL 314: Petrology


GEOL 380: Advanced Petrology


GEOL 474: Volcanology


GEOL 435: Geologic Field Methods II


GEOL 475: Summer Geology Field Camp


GEOL 482: Instrumental Methods in Geology (Scanning Electron Microscopy)


GEOL 485: Geology Senior Seminar

GEOL 554: Advanced Field Geology


Theses Supervised

MS Geology Theses:

2018 Trace Element and Isotopic Fingerprinting of Olivine Phenocrysts as Recorders of Magmatic Processes in the Golden Trout Volcanic Field, California (Mark Szymanski)

2012 Petrology and Mineral Inventory of Basaltic Inclusions from the 2006 Eruption of Augustine Volcano, Alaska (Michelle Vitale)

2012 A Comparative Study of the 370 yr BP West Island and 1883 AD Burr Point Pyroclastic Deposits, Augustine Volcano, Alaska (Carolyn Rath)

2010 Petrology and Barometry of the Earthquake Dome Magma, Mammoth Mountain (Michael Van Ry)

2010 A Model Eruption: Using FLOWGO to Predict the Geospatial Extent of Lava Flows Erupted from Near Mammoth Mountain and a Discussion of Ensuing Environmental and Economic Impacts (John Velarde)

2009 Petrological, Textural, and Geochemical Constraints on Magma Mixing During Pre-Historic Eruptions at Augustine Volcano, Cook Inlet Alaska (Arron Steiner)


BS Geology Theses:

2018 Geochemical and petrographic analysis of rhyolite from Long Canyon Dome, Sierra Nevada, California (Regina Khoury)

2018 A petrographic and geochemical transect of the Gibson Peak Pluton, Klamath Mountains (S. Pierce)

2018 SEM EDS analysis of amphibole from Shastina Cone and Black Butte (Shady Shafik)    

2017 Petrological insights to the origin of vitrophyre in Miocene Volcanic Stratigraphy in the Gavilan Wash, Picacho Mountains, Imperial County, California (James Sainsbury)

2016 Petrology and geologic mapping of Tunnel Cone, Kern Plateau, Sierra Nevada (Raul Becerra)

2016 Pre-eruptive storage temperatures of the Long Canyon Dome rhyolite, Kern Plateau, Sierra Nevada (Nick Richard) 

2016 Geochemistry and mineralogy of Spring Hill, a parasitic cone of Mt Shasta, Siskiyou County, CA (Robert Cowdrey)

2014 Pre-Eruptive Storage Conditions of Dome 7403 Lava, Long Valley Caldera, California (Matthew Hutchinson)

2014 Gabbroic Xenoliths as Recorders of Andesite Petrogenesis Erupted During the 2006 Augustine Volcano, Alaska (Roslyn Woods)

2014 Extending Interfield Analysis of Tumuli on Terrestrial Inflated Lava Flows to Mars (Simran Sangha)

2013 Volatile Budget of Basaltic Involved in 2006 Eruption of Augustine Volcano (Alaska) Recorded by Plagioclase-Hosted Melt Inclusions (Laurel Morrow)

2013 Petrography of Minaret Cone, Mammoth Mountain (Blair Davidson)

2013 Stratigraphy of ~90ka Rhyolite Pumice Fall Deposit from Mammoth Mountain’s (Only?) Plinian Eruption (Zackary Newman)

2013 Pyroclastic Stratigraphy of the ~680 yr BP Panum Dune Flow Deposit (Zachary Haygood)

2013 Skarn Mineralization in the Bird Spring Formation at the Slaughterhouse Fault, New York Mountains (Taylor Kennedy)

2012 Magma Mixing Recorded in Amphibole Compositions in Low-Silica Andesite and Basaltic Enclaves from the 2006 Eruption of Augustine Volcano, Alaska (Ashley Melendez)

2011 Evidence for Glaciovolcanism at Long Canyon Dome, Sierra Nevada (John Hennessy)

2011 Clinopyroxene Geothermobarometry of Quaternary Basalts atop the Kern Plateau, Sierra Nevada (Colin Campbell)

2010 Field Geology of Long Canyon Dome, Sierra Nevada (David Van Sickle)

2010 Textural Evolution of Plagioclase Microlites Across Pahoehoe-A’a Lava Flow Transitions (Michael Matranga)

2010 Pre-Eruptive Magmatic Temperature of Long Canyon Dome Rhyolite Based on Ti-in-Zircon Thermometry, Sierra Nevada (Benjamin Lewis)

2009 Major Element Fingerprinting of Lake Manix Tephra – Origins in the Southern Sierra Nevada (Chrysta Wells)

2008 Petrology, Geochronology, and Geologic Map of Groundhog Cone, Golden Trout Wilderness, South-Central Sierra Nevada, CA (Phil Saleen)

2008 Fire and Ice: Evidence for Syn-eruptive Magma-Ice Interactions at Little Whitney Cone, Golden Trout Wilderness, California (Frank Wille)

2008 Mineralogy, Petrology, and Field Geology of Monache Dome, a Garnet-Bearing Rhyolite in the Southern Sierra Nevada, CA (Allen Martin)

2007 Quantifying the Textural Characteristics of Hornblende Reaction Rims as a Means of Understanding the Style and Rate of Magma Ascent during Dome Forming Volcanic Eruptions (Mark Robson)

2007 Contrasting Basaltic Eruption Styles at Red Cones Volcanoes, California (Michael Louros)

2007 Petrography of Eruptive Products from Red Cones Volcanoes, Eastern California (Antonio Martos)

2007 Time Scales of Eruption Trigger Events at Mammoth Mountain, California (Christopher Terpolilli)

2007 Magma Ascent Rates at Mammoth Mountain, California (Christa Wolfe)

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Articles and Selected Abstracts (student author): 

Diniega, S., Sangha, S., Browne, B.L., (2018) Using satellite imagery to identify and analyze tumuli on Earth and Mars. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 482, p. 52-61. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2017.10.028

Browne, B.L., Sion, B.D., Phillips, F., Nicholson, R., (2017) Eruption styles and late Pleistocene ages from 36Cl dating of Groundhog Cone, the most recent and unglaciated basaltic volcano in the Golden Trout Volcanic Field, Kern Plateau, Sierra Nevada. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs. Vol. 49, No. 6 doi: 10.1130/abs/2017AM-295298  

Browne, B.L., Becerra, R., Campbell, C., Saleen, P., Wille, F., (2017) Quaternary basaltic volcanism in the Golden Trout Volcanic Field, southern Sierra Nevada, California. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2017.05.028

Browne, B.L., Tepley, F., (2016) Very coarse-grained plagioclase-CPX-hornblende orthocumulate xenoliths from East Tanaga Volcano, western Aleutian Islands, Alaska. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs vol 48, No 4, https://doi: 10.1130/abs/2016CD-274417

Browne, B.L., Szramek, L. (2015) Rates of Magma Ascent and Storage. Encyclopedia of Volcanoes 2nd Edition, Sigurdsson, H., Houghton, B., McNutt, S., Rymer, H., Stix, J. (eds) Academic Press, p. 203-214

Churikova, T.G., Ivanov, B.V., Eichelberger, J., Worner, G., Browne, B., Izbekov, P. (2013) Major and trace element zoning in plagioclase from Kizimen Volcano (Kamchatka): Insights into magma-chamber processes. Journal of Volcanology and Seismology, v. 7, p. 112-130 

Steiner, A., Browne, B.L., Nye, C. (2012) Quenched Mafic Inclusions in ≤2,200 yrs B.P. deposits at Augustine Volcano, Alaska. International Geology Review DOI:10.1080/00206814.2011.636641

Browne, B.L., Bursik, M., Deming, J., Louros, M., Martos, A., and Stine, S., (2010) Eruption Chronology and Petrologic Reconstruction of the Holocene Eruption of Red Cones, Southern Inyo Chain, California. Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 122, p. 1401-1422. https://doi.org/10.1130/B30070.1

Browne, B.L., P. Izbekov, J. Eichelberger, T. Churikova, (2010) Constraints on the Pre-Eruptive Storage Conditions of the Holocene-Aged KZI Dacite Magma Erupted from Kizimen Volcano, Kamchatka. International Geology Review 52, issue 12, p. 95-110

Blazevic, M., Kirby, M., Woods, A., Browne, B.L., Bowman, D. (2009). A sedimentary facies model for glacial-age sediments in Baldwin Lake, Southern California, Sedimentary Geology, 219, p. 151-168.

Coombs, M.L., McGimsey, R.G., Browne, B.L. (2008), Preliminary volcano-hazard assessment for Gareloi Volcano, Gareloi Island, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2008-5159, 36 pp.

Coombs, M.L., McGimsey, R.G., Browne, B.L. (2007), Preliminary volcano-hazard assessment for the Tanaga Volcanic Cluster, Tanaga Island, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2007-5094, 46 pp.

Browne, B.L. (2006) Investigating Magma Withdrawal Dynamics During Plinian Eruptions Through Mineral and Eruptive Stratigraphies: Examples From the Chemically Zoned 400 yr BP Eruption of Half Cone Volcano, Aniakchak National Park, Alaska. Eos Trans. AGU, 87(52), Fall Meet. Suppl., Abstract V53E-05

Browne, B.L., Gardner, J.E., (2006) The Influence of Magma Ascent Path on the Texture, Mineralogy, and Formation of Hornblende Reaction Rims. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 246, 161-176

Eichelberger, J.C., Izbekov, P.E., Browne, B.L. (2006) Bulk Chemical Trends at Arc Volcanoes are not Liquid Lines of Descent. Lithos 87, 135-154

Browne, B.L., Eichelberger, J.C., Patino, L.C., Vogel, T.A., Uto, K., Hoshizumi, H., (2006) Magma mingling as indicated by texture and geochemistry of plagioclase phenocrysts from Unzen volcano, SW Japan. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 154, 103-116

Browne, B.L., Eichelberger, J.C., Patino, L.C., Vogel, T.A., Dehn, J., Uto, K., Hoshizumi, H., (2006) Generation of porphyritic and equigranular enclaves during magma mingling at Unzen volcano, SW Japan. Journal of Petrology 47, 301-328

Browne, B.L., Gardner, J.E. (2005) The transport and deposition of pyroclastic material from the ~1000 A.D. caldera-forming eruption of Volcán Ceboruco, Nayarit, Mexico. Bulletin of Volcanology 67, 469-489

Browne, B.L., Gardner J.E. (2004) The nature and timing of caldera collapse as indicated by accidental lithic fragments from the ~1000 A.D. eruption of Volcán Ceboruco, Mexico. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 130, 93- 105


Coombs, M.L., McGimsey, R.G., and Browne, B.L. (2012) Geologic Map of Mount Gareloi, Gareloi Island, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 2012-3145, 1 plate

Contact Information:

Office: Founders 20
Email: Brandon.Browne "at' humboldt.edu
Ph. 707-826-3950