Marcus Bursik


Marcus Bursik.

Marcus Bursik


Marcus Bursik



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


PhD, Geology, California Institute of Technology – 1989

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

  • 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 

Recent Former Students

  • Qingyuan Yang – PhD (2019) – Development of isopach maps and volume estimates and tephra maps
  • Erin Girven - MS (2019) - Statistical and geospatial analysis of InSAR data for characterization of processes controlling motion of the slow-moving Berkeley landslides 
  • 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

Bevilacqua, Andrea, Abani K Patra, Marcus I Bursik, et al. (2019). “Probabilistic forecasting of plausible debris flows from Nevado de Colima (Mexico) using data from the Atenquique debris flow, 1955”. In: Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences 19.4, pp. 791–820.

Hyman, David M., M. I. Bursik, and E. B. Pitman (2019). “Pressure-driven gas flow in vis- cously deformable porous media: application to lava domes”. In: Journal of Fluid Mechanics 869, pp. 85–109. doi: 10.1017/jfm.2019.211.

Yang, Qingyuan, Marcus Bursik, and Solène Pouget (2019). “Stratigraphic and sedimentologic framework for tephras in the Wilson Creek Formation, Mono Basin, California, USA”. In: Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 374, pp. 197–225.

Bevilacqua, Andrea, Marcus Bursik, Abani Patra, E Bruce Pitman, et al. (2018). “Late Quater- nary eruption record and probability of future volcanic eruptions in the Long Valley volcanic region (CA, USA)”. In: Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth 123.7, pp. 5466–5494.

Cao, Zhixuan et al. (2018). “Plume-SPH 1.0: a three-dimensional, dusty-gas volcanic plume model based on smoothed particle hydrodynamics”. In: Geoscientific Model Development 11.7, pp. 2691–2715.

Hyman, David M, Marcus I Bursik, and Gabriel Legorreta Paulı́n (2018). “Time dependence of passive degassing at Volcán Popocatépetl, Mexico, from infrared measurements: Implica- tions for gas pressure distribution and lava dome stability”. In: Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth 123.10, pp. 8527–8547.

Hyman, David and Marcus Bursik (2018). “Deformation of volcanic materials by pore pressur- ization: analog experiments with simplified geometry”. In: Bulletin of Volcanology 80.3, p. 19.

Patra, Abani K, Andrea Bevilacqua, Ali Akhavan-Safaei, et al. (2018). “Comparative analysis of the structures and outcomes of geophysical flow models and modeling assumptions using uncertainty quantification”. In: arXiv preprint arXiv:1805.12104.

Yang, Qingyuan, Marcus Bursik, and E Bruce Pitman (2018). “A new method to identify the source vent location of tephra fall deposits: development and testing, and application to key Quaternary eruptions of Western North America”. In: arXiv preprint arXiv:1806.02882.

Yang, Qingyuan, Marcus Bursik, and Solène Pouget (2018). “Tephra layers of the Wilson Creek Formation, Mono Basin, California”. In: arXiv preprint arXiv:1806.02830.

Bevilacqua, Andrea, Marcus Bursik, Abani Patra, E Bruce Pitman, et al. (2017). “Bayesian construction of a long-term vent opening probability map in the Long Valley volcanic region (CA, USA)”. In: Statistics in Volcanology 3.1, p. 1.

Legorreta Paulı́n, Gabriel, Marcus Bursik, José Juan Zamorano Orozco, et al. (2017). “Esti- mación del volumen de los depósitos asociados a deslizamientos a través de geoformas, en el flanco SW del volcán Pico de Orizaba, Puebla-Veracruz”. In: Investigaciones geográficas 92.

Paulı́n, Gabriel Legorreta and Marcus Bursik (2017). “Assessing a physical-based approach for landslide susceptibility in the Rio La Carbonera, SE flank of Pico de Orizaba volcano, Mexico”. In: Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie 61.3, pp. 181–189.

Webley, Peter et al. (2017). “Building an Uncertainty Modeling Framework for Real-Time VATD”. In: Natural Hazard Uncertainty Assessment, pp. 57–87.19

Williams, Matthew et al. (2017). “Correlation of eruptive products, Volcán Azufral, Colombia: Implications for rapid emplacement of domes and pyroclastic flow units”. In: Journal of Vol- canology and Geothermal Research 341, pp. 21–32.

Bursik, M. and P. Case (2016). “Waterfall Mist Plumes: Generation, Dynamics and Exam- ple from Niagara Falls, Canada/USA”. In: Northeastern Geoscience 34, pp. 1–6. url: http : / /

Costa, A. et al. (2016). “Results of the eruptive column model inter-comparison study”. In: Jour- nal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 326, pp. 2–25. issn: 0377-0273. doi: 10.1016/j.jvolgeores. 2016.01.017. url:

Legorreta Paulín, Gabriel et al. (2016). “Comparing landslide susceptibility models in the Rio El Estado watershed on the SW flank of Pico de Orizaba volcano, Mexico”. English. In: Natural Hazards 80, pp. 1–13. issn: 0921-030X. doi: 10.1007/s11069-015-1960-y. url: http://dx.doi. org/10.1007/s11069-015-1960-y.

Paguican, Engielle MR and Marcus I Bursik (2016). “Tectonic geomorphology and volcano- tectonic interaction in the eastern boundary of the Southern Cascades (Hat Creek Graben region), California, USA”. In: Frontiers in Earth Science 4, p. 76.

Pouget, Solène, Marcus Bursik, Christopher G. Johnson, et al. (2016). “Interpretation of um- brella cloud growth and morphology: implications for flow regimes of short-lived and long- lived eruptions”. In: Bulletin of Volcanology 78.1, pp. 1–19. issn: 1432-0819. doi: 10.1007/s00445- 015-0993-0. url:

Pouget, S. et al. (2016). “Sensitivity analysis of a one-dimensional model of a volcanic plume with particle fallout and collapse behavior”. In: Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 326, pp. 43–53. issn: 0377-0273. doi: url:

Yang, Qingyuan and Marcus Bursik (2016). “A new interpolation method to model thickness, sopachs, extent, and volume of tephra fall deposits”. In: Bulletin of Volcanology 78.10, p. 68.

Paulı́n, Gabriel Legorreta, Marcus I Bursik, et al. (2015). “Landslide susceptibility of volcanic landforms in the Rı́o El Estado watershed, Pico de Orizaba volcano, México”. In: Natural Hazards 77.2, pp. 559–574.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. Paulin, M. Bursik, J. L. Hubp, L. M. P. Mejıa, 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. Cortes, 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.