Marcus Bursik

professor flerf.


PhD, Geology, California Institute of Technology – 1989

413 Hochstetter Hall
(716) 645-4265


Volcanic and geologic hazards, plumes, tephrochronology, tectonics, mapping

Research Interests

Explosive volcanism, tephra stratigraphy, volcanotectonics, Mono-Inyo Craters; geological fluid dynamics, volcanic plumes, avalanches, pyroclastic flows, Niagara Falls


Course Offerings

  • GLY 103 – Geology for Engineers
  • GLY 407 – Geologic Field Training

Current Students

  • Qingyuan Yang – PhD – Development of isopach maps and volume estimates and tephra maps
  • Khaled Rahimi – PhD - Development of volcanic hazard map for Hat Creek Graben region, N California, USA 
  • Martin Derby - PhD -  Landslide monitoring using multiple remote sensing technologies
  • Erin Girven - MS - Statistical and geospatial analysis of InSAR data for characterization of processes controlling motion of the slow-moving Berkeley landslides 

Recent Former Students

  • Dr. David Hyman – PhD (2018) – Dissertation title: "Pressurization-induced Failure of Deforming Lava Domes: Theory, Experiment, and Application" Current Postdoctoral Research Associate, Collaborative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies
  • Khaled Rahimi - MS (2017) - Thesis title: "Understanding the Role of Water in Explosive Eruptions of Kilauea volcano, Hawai’i" Current PhD student 
  • Radhika Sangani – MS (2017) – Thesis title: "Structure of the Mina Deflection in Mono Lake, CA: Inferences from paleoseismology" Current Geophysicist, Borehole Seismic LLC 
  • Mackenzie Adamson – MS (2017) – Thesis title: "Drone Aeromagnetics: A New Method for Locating Abandoned Oil and Gas Wells" Current Geologist, National Fuel 
  • Matthew Williams – MS (2015) – Thesis title: "Eruption History and Pyroclastic Flow Modeling at Azufral Volcano, Colombia"; Current GIS Consultant, LOGIC Solutions Group 
  • Qingyuan Yang – MS (2015) – Thesis title: “A new method to model thickness distribution and volume of tephra deposits”; Current PhD student
  • Ludi Xiao – MA (2015) – Project title: “Use of hydrothermal alteration in landslide hazard assessment: Mammoth Mountain, California, USA”; Current Changjiang Institute of Surveying, Planning, Design and Research, PRC
  • Leandra Marshall – MA (2015) – Project title: “Geomorphologic investigation and qualitative laboratory analog experiments of the formation of Thousand Lakes Volcano, Shasta County, Northern California”; Current intern, Craters of the Moon Natl. Monument
  • Dr. Solene Pouget – PhD (2014) – Dissertation title: “Tephra: Field, theory and application”; Darwin VAAC†
  • Timothy O’Brien – MS (2013) – Thesis title: “Correlation of lava flows on Cascade volcanoes: Tool development and example from Burney Spring Mountain, California.”; Current PhD student at University of Rochester.
  • Kevin Kersten – MS (2013) – Thesis title: “A disarticulated lava cone, Burney Spring Mountain, Shasta County, USA: implications for extensional tectonics in the southern Cascades.”; Current well site Geologist at Diversified Well Logging LLC.
  • Robert Dennen – MS (2011) – Thesis title: “Dome collapse and block-and-ash flow emplacement, Mono Craters, California.”; Currently a PhD student at University of Texas, Austin.; Also participated in the INVOGE program.
  • Dr. Shannon Kobs-Nawotniak – PhD (2009) – Dissertation title: “Modeling Particle Motion and Near-Vent Deposition in Explosive Volcanic Eruptions.”; Currently employed by Idaho State University as an Assistant Professor (tenure-track).
  • Sara Hanson-Hedgecock – MS (2009) – Thesis title: “Improvement of an intelligent system to aid in lithostratigraphic and geochemical correlation, Mono and Inyo Tephras, California.”; Finished a PhD at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2013).; Currently employed by Schlumberger as a Microseismic Geophysicist.


Recent Publications

Pouget, Solene, Marcus Bursik, and Galina Rogova. “Tephra redeposition and mixing in a Late‐glacial hillside basin determined by fusion of clustering analyses of glass‐shard geochemistry.” Journal of Quaternary Science 29, no. 8 (2014): 789-802.

Stefanescu, E. R., A. K. Patra, M. Bursik, M. Jones, R. Madankan, E. B. Pitman, S. Pouget et al. “Fast Construction of Surrogates for UQ Central to DDDAS–Application to Volcanic Ash Transport.” Procedia Computer Science 29 (2014): 1227-1235.

M. Bursik, K. Sieh, A. Meltzner. Deposits of the most recent eruption in the Southern Mono Craters, California: Description, interpretation and implications for regional marker tephras. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 2014, 275, 114–131.

R. Dennen, M. Bursik, O. Roche. Dome collapse mechanisms and block-and-ash flow em- placement dynamics inferred from deposit and impact mark analysis, Mono Craters, CA. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 2014, 276, 1–9.

M. Marcaida, M. Mangan, J. Vazquez, M. Bursik, M. Lidzbarski. Geochemical fingerprinting of Wilson Creek formation tephra layers (Mono Basin, CA) using titanomagnetite compositions. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 2014, 273, 1-14, DOI: 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2013.12.008

G. L. Paul ́ın, M. Bursik, J. L. Hubp, L. M. P. Mej ́ıa, F. A. Quesada. A GIS method for landslide inventory and susceptibility mapping in the R ́ıo El Estado watershed, Pico de Orizaba volcano, M ́exico. Natural Hazards 2014, 71(1), 1–13.

S. Pouget, M. Bursik, J. A. Cort ́es, C. Hayward. Use of principal component analysis for identification of Rockland and Trego Hot Springs tephras in the Hat Creek Graben, northeastern California, USA. Quaternary Research 2014, 81, 125–137.

M. Bursik, K. Sieh. Digital database of the Holocene tephras of the Mono-Inyo craters, California. USGS Digital Data Series 758 2013.

T. O’Brien, K. Kersten, M. Bursik, D. Champion. Paleomagnetism: A geophysical tool for bedrock mapping and the assessment of fault kinematics in volcanic terrains, experience from Burney Spring Mountain, NE California.  In 26th Symposium on the Application of Geophysics to Engineering and Environmental Problems 2013 (SAGEEP 2013), Environmental and Engineering Geophysical Society, Curran Associates, Inc., Red Hook, NY, p. 515—522

R. Madankan, S. Pouget, P. Singla, M. Bursik, J. Dehn, M. Jones, A. Patra, M. Pavolonis, E. Pitman, T. Singh, et al.. Computation of probabilistic hazard maps and source parameter estimation for volcanic ash transport and dispersion. Journal of Computational Physics 2013, 271, 39-59.

A. K. Patra, M. Bursik, J. Dehn, M. Jones, R. Madankan, D. Morton, M. Pavolonis, E. B. Pitman, S. Pouget, T. Singh, et al.. Challenges in Developing DDDAS Based Methodology for Volcanic Ash Hazard Analysis–Effect of Numerical Weather Prediction Variability and Parameter Estimation. Procedia Computer Science 2013, 18, 1871–1880.

G. L. Paulin, M. Bursik, M. Ram ́ırez-Herrera, J. Lugo-Hubp, J. Z. Orozco, I. Alc ́antara- Ayala, Landslide Inventory and Susceptibility Mapping in the R ́ıo Chiquito-Barranca Del Muerto Watershed, Pico de Orizaba Volcano, Mexico in Landslides: Global Risk Preparedness, Springer, 2013, pp. 277–287.

G. L. Paul ́ın, M. Bursik, M. T. Ram ́ırez-Herrera, T. Contreras, M. Polenz, J. L. Hubp, L. M. P. Mej ́ıa, L. A. Salinas. Landslide inventory mapping and landslide susceptibility modeling as- sessment on the SW flank of Pico de Orizaba volcano, Puebla-Veracruz, Mexico. Zeitschrift fu ̈r Geomorphologie 2013, 57, 371–385.

G. L. Paul ́ın, M. Bursik, M. Ram ́ırez-Herrera, J. Lugo-Hubp, J. Z. Orozco, I. Alc ́antara-Ayala, Landslide Inventory and Susceptibility Mapping in a Mexican Stratovolcano in Landslide Sci- ence and Practice, Springer, 2013, pp. 141–146.

G. L. Paul ́ın, M. Bursik, S. Pouget, C. Serdar, J. L. Hubp. Mapping landforms for landslide hazards assessment on the SW flank of Pico de Orizaba volcano, Puebla-Veracruz, Mexico. 2013.

G. L. Paul ́ın, M. Bursik, J. L. Hubp, An Overview of a GIS Method for Mapping and Assessing Landslide Hazards in Landslide Science and Practice, Springer, 2013, pp. 379–385.

S. Pouget, M. Bursik, P. Webley, J. Dehn, M. Pavolonis. Estimation of eruption source parameters from umbrella cloud or downwind plume growth rate. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 2013, 258, 100–112.

M. Bursik, M. Jones, S. Carn, K. Dean, A. Patra, M. Pavolonis, E. B. Pitman, T. Singh, P. Singla, P. Webley, et al.. Estimation and propagation of volcanic source parameter uncer- tainty in an ash transport and dispersal model: application to the Eyjafjallajokull plume of 14–16 April 2010. Bulletin of Volcanology 2012, 74, 2321–2338.

A. S. Jayko, M. Bursik. Active transtensional intracontinental basins: Walker Lane in the western Great Basin. Tectonics of Sedimentary Basins: Recent Advances 2012, 226–248.

R. Madankan, P. Singla, A. Patra, M. Bursik, J. Dehn, M. Jones, M. Pavolonis, B. Pitman, T. Singh, P. Webley. Polynomial chaos quadrature-based minimum variance approach for source parameters estimation. Procedia Computer Science, 2012, 9, 1129–1138.

A. Patra, M. Bursik, J. Dehn, M. Jones, M. Pavolonis, E. B. Pitman, T. Singh, P. Singla, P. Webley. A DDDAS framework for volcanic ash propagation and hazard analysis. Procedia Computer Science, 2012, 9, 1090–1099. 8

E. Stefanescu, M. Bursik, G. Cordoba, K. Dalbey, M. Jones, A. Patra, D. Pieri, E. Pitman, M. Sheridan. Digital elevation model uncertainty and hazard analysis using a geophysical flow model. Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Science, 2012, 468, 1543–1563.

E. Stefanescu, M. Bursik, A. Patra. Effect of digital elevation model on Mohr-Coulomb geo- physical flow model output. Natural Hazards, 2012, 62, 635–656.