David R. Lageson


Professor of Structural Geology

Contact Information

Office:   Traphagen Hall, 108-108A
Phone:   (406) 994-6913
Email:   lageson@montana.edu


B.A., Geology - Western State College of Colorado, 1973
M.S., Geology - University of Wyoming, 1977
Ph.D., Geology - University of Wyoming, 1980

Research Interests

I am a field-based structural geologist with primary interests in brittle deformation of the upper crust and its sedimentary cover.  My research program addresses various aspects of the structural geology and tectonic evolution of the Rocky Mountains, focusing on the Sevier and Laramide orogens, as well as active tectonics within the Northern Intermountain Seismic Belt.  The following list highlights on-going projects, most involving graduate students:

  • Characterization of subsurface fractured reservoir rocks and seals with applications for CO2 sequestration
  • Structural analysis of joint and fracture systems in sedimentary rocks (e.g., fractured carbonates); fluid flow along joints, fractures and faults; structural diagenesis 
  • The role of structurally-controlled hydrothermal (thermobaric) dolomite diagenesis in different tectonic settings, particularly thin-skinned fold-and-thrust belts, relative to subsurface fluid-gas migration pathways and 3-D reservoir heterogeneity
  • Structural reactivation/inversion of preexisting fault systems
  • Structural controls on pluton emplacement in contractile tectonic settings
  • I have a career-long interest in carbonate rocks and carbonate sedimentology/diagenesis (stemming from my MS thesis on the Madison Limestone in Wyoming) and seek opportunities to work with interesting carbonate rocks




Current Graduate Students

Lori Babcock
Travis Corthouts
Abigail Foust
Lauren Kay
Mort Larsen
Anita Moore-Nall
Daniel Ross
Julian Stahl
Whitney Treadway

Publications and abstracts selected to show collaborative research topics over recent years (not a complete list)

Lageson, D.R., and Lynn, H.B., 2010, Characterization of CO2 reservoirs in the Absaroka thrust sheet, Idaho-Wyoming fold-and-thrust belt: Geological Society of America, Abstracts with Programs, vol. 42, no. 5, p. 608

Larsen, Martin, and Lageson, D.R., 2010, Digital geologic and structure mapping of the Hebgen Dam and Mount Hebgen 7.5-minute quadrangles, SW Montana, using global positioning system (GPS) and geographic information system (GIS) applications: Geological Society of America, Abstracts with Programs, vol. 42, no. 5.

Lynn, Helen, and Lageson, D.R., 2010, Structural controls on subsurface fluid migration through thrust sheets of the Stewart Peak culmination, northern Salt River Range, Wyoming: Geological Society of America, Abstracts with Programs, vol. 42, no. 5.

Moore-Nall, Anita, and Lageson, D.R., 2010, Hydrothermal influences for U-V mineralization in the Madison Limestone and adjacent units, Pryor Mountains, Montana-Wyoming and a possible link to elevated Pb and Hg in the Big Horn River in Montana: Geological Society of America, Abstracts with Programs, vol. 42, no. 5.

Treadway, Whitney, and Lageson, D.R., 2010, Fracture analysis and risk assessment for a “leaky” CO2 system in the Rocky Mountain foreland: Geological Society of America, Abstracts with Programs, vol. 42, no. 5.

Wong, I., Olig, S., Dober, M., Wright, D., Nemser, E., Lageson, D., Silva, W., Stickney, M., Lemieux, M., and Anderson, L., 2005, Probabilistic earthquake hazard maps for the State of Montana: Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology, Special Publication 117, 72 p., 28 plates.

O'Neill, J. Michael, Lonn, Jeff D., Lageson, David R., Kunk, Michael J., 2004, Early Tertiary Anaconda metamorphic core complex, southwestern Montana: Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, vol. 41, issue 1, p.63, 10p.
Stickney, M.C., and Lageson, D.R., 2002, Seismotectonics of the 20 August 1999 Red Rock Valley, Montana earthquake: Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, v. 92, p. 2449-2464.

Lageson, D.R., Schmitt, J.G., Horton, B.K., Kalakay, T.J., and Burton, B.R., 2001, Influence of Late Cretaceous magmatism on the Sevier orogenic wedge, western Montana: Geology, v. 29, no. 8, p. 723-726.

Kalakay, T.J., John, B.E., and Lageson, D.R., 2001, Fault-controlled pluton emplacement in the Sevier fold-and-thrust belt of southwest Montana, USA: Journal of Structural Geology, vol. 23 (6-7), p. 1151-1165.

Lageson, David R., and Stickney, Michael C., 2000, Seismotectonics of northwest Montana, USA, in Schalla, R.A., and Johnson, E.H., eds., Montana/Alberta thrust belt and adjacent foreland: Montana Geological Society, 50th Anniversary Symposium, vol. 1, p. 109-126.

Lageson, D.R., Adams, D.C., Morgan, L., Pierce, K.L., and Smith, R.B., 1999, Neogene-Quaternary tectonics and volcanism of southern Jackson Hole, Wyoming and southeastern Idaho, in Hughes, S.S., and Thackray, G.D., eds., Guidebook to the geology of eastern Idaho: Idaho Museum of Natural History and the ISU Press, Idaho State University, Pocatello, ID, p. 115-130.

Skipp, B., Lageson, D.R., and McMannis, W.J., 1999, Geologic map of the Sedan quadrangle, Gallatin and Park Counties, Montana: U.S. Geological Survey Geologic Quadrangle Map, I-2634, 1:48,000 [with tectonic history].

Burton, B.R., Lageson, D.R., Schmidt, C.J., Ballard, D.W., and Warne, J.R., 1998, Large magnitude shortening of the Lombard thrust system, Helena salient, Montana fold and thrust belt: Implications for reconstruction of the Belt Basin, in Berg, Richard B., ed., Belt Symposium III: Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology Special Publication 112, p. 229-243 and Plate 3.