Professor of Structural GeologyDave Lageson

Contact Information

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

Education

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

  • Structural geology and tectonic evolution of mountain belts (fold-and-thrust belts), including structural controls on pluton emplacement
  • Active tectonics and the geology of earthquakes (U.S. Northern Intermountain Seismic Belt and, most recently, the Himalaya)
  • Evolution of the Earth’s geo-biosphere and the role of microbes in sedimentation through time (Precambrian and Phanerozoic microbialites)
  • Precambrian sedimentation and tectonics; planetary analogues

Over the years, my research program has focused on various aspects of the structural geology and tectonic evolution of the Northern Rocky Mountains, focusing on the Sevier fold-and-thrust belt and Laramide provinces, as well as active tectonics of the Northern Intermountain Seismic Belt (Montana-Idaho). Recent (and ongoing) work in the Khumbu District of the Greater Himalaya focuses on the deformation/metamorphism of summit rocks on Mount Everest (with Travis Corthouts), the structural geology of the Everest-Lhotse-Nuptse massif, and structural discontinuities within the core of the Greater Himalayan slab (with Dr. Mary Hubbard, MSU). I also have ongoing research focusing on Precambrian stromatolites in Wyoming (with Dr. Don Boyd, University of Wyoming), the Proterozoic Belt Supergroup in the Northern Rockies (with Dr. Dave Bowen, MSU), Devonian stromatoporoid reef complexes of the Northern Rockies (with Dr. Dave Bowen, MSU), and modern microbialite analogues to ancient earth (with Dr. Eric Boyd, MSU).  

 

Darwin

Every field geologist needs a hardworking, strong, intelligent field assistant. DARWIN is my faithful field companion, a highly evolved Australian Cattle Dog (Red Heeler). Here we are enjoying another great day in the field. 

I am accepting new graduate students in 2018.  I will be looking for a strong background in structural geology at the undergraduate level, evidence of field-based training and mapping experience, and a STRONG desire to pursue a field-based research project in graduate school. 

Principal Collaborators

Dr. David Bowen, Department of Earth Sciences, MSU Bozeman

Dr. Donald Boyd, Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Wyoming

Dr. Eric Boyd, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, MSU Bozeman

Dr. David Eby, Department of Earth Sciences, MSU Bozeman

Dr. Mary Hubbard, Department of Earth Sciences, MSU Bozeman

Dr. Tom Kalakay, Department of Geology, Rocky Mountain College, Billings MT

Lageson Himalaya

Fieldwork in the Khumbu Himalaya, with Everest on the left distance (29,029’; 8,848 m) and Nuptse in the right foreground (25,791’; 7,861 m) and the Khumbu Glacier below. The Khumbu Icefall lies beneath the West Shoulder of Everest at the left margin of the photo. Selfie taken from the summit of Kala Patthar (18,514’; 5,644 m), October 2015. 

Miocene

The great Miocene leucogranite laccolith on the south flank of Nuptse (25,791’; 7,861 m), Khumbu Himalaya, intruding dike-infested pelitic country rocks. October 2015.

Current Graduate Students

Neil Seifert (M.S. candidate) – coadvising with Dr. Mary Hubbard

Colter Anderson (M.S. candidate)

Anita Moore-Nall (Ph.D. candidate- just finished spring 2017)

 

camp II

Structural geology at the “roof of the world.” Spectacular folds in calc-silicate layers (Everest Series greenschists) on the flank of the Nuptse-Lhotse ridge in the Western Cwm, upper Khumbu Glacier. Photo taken in 2012 from Camp II.  

Darwin Wyoming

Darwin assisting in the study of Precambrian stromatolites in Wyoming. He is pondering the depositional implications of discontinuities in layering versus patterns of silicification in these large, bulbous hemispheroids. 

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

Hubbard, Mary, Lageson, David R., and Bhattarai, Roshan Raj, 2017, Reactivated normal-sense shear zones in the core of the Greater Himalayan Sequence, Solukhumbu District, Nepal: Nepal Geological Society (in press).

Lindsay, M.R., Anderson, C., Fox, N., Scofield G., Allen, J., Anderson, E., Bueter, L., Poudel1, S., Sutherland, K., Munson-McGee, J.H., Van Nostrand, J.D., Zhou, J., Spear, J.R., Baxter, B.K., Lageson, D.R., and Boyd, E.S., 2016, Microbialite response to an anthropogenic salinity gradient in Great Salt Lake, Utah: Geobiology, DOI: 10.1111/gbi.12201.

Nemkin, Samantha, R., Lageson, David, van der Pluijm, Ben, and Van der Voo, Rob, 2016, Remagnetization and folding in the frontal Montana Rocky Mountains: Lithosphere, doi:10.1130/L579.1, Vol. 8, No. 6, p. 716-728. (Themed issue: Tectonics at the Micro- to Macroscale: Contributions in Honor of the University of Michigan Structure-Tectonics Research Group of Ben van der Pluijm and Rob Van der Voo)

Thacker, Jacob O., Lageson, David R., and Mogk, David W., 2016, Subsurface structural and mineralogical characterization of the Laramide South Prairie fault in the Stillwater Complex, Beartooth Mountains, Montana: Lithosphere, doi:10.1130/L562.1 (Themed issue: Tectonics at the Micro- to Macroscale: Contributions in Honor of the University of Michigan Structure-Tectonics Research Group of Ben van der Pluijm and Rob Van der Voo)

Corthouts, T.L., Lageson, D.R., and Shaw, C.A., 2016, Polyphase deformation, dynamic metamorphism and metasomatism of Mount Everest’s summit limestone, east central Himalaya, Nepal/Tibet: Lithosphere, Vol. 8, No. 1, p. 38-57.

Hubbard, Mary, and Lageson, David, 2016, Structural discontinuities in the Solukhumbu Himalaya: partitioning of deformation and metamorphism within the Greater Himalayan sequence: 31st Himalayan-Karakoram-Tibet (HKT) Workshop, Aussois, France (9-12 May, 2016).

Lageson, David R., Fort, Monique, Bhattarai, Roshan Raj, and Hubbard, Mary, 2016, Damage from the April-May 2015 Gorkha earthquake sequence in the Solukhumbu district (Everest region), Nepal: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 48, No. 7, doi: 10.1130/abs/2016AM-282306.

Anderson, Colter, Bowen, Lageson, Dave, Bowen, Dave, Mogk, David, and Mueller, Paul A., 2016, Stratigraphic framework and provenance of the lower Belt Supergroup (Newland Formation), Helena embayment, central Montana: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 48, No. 7, doi: 10.1130/abs/2016AM-282097.

Fox, Nicholas R., Mogk, David W., Bowen, David W., Lageson, David R., and Mueller, Paul A., 2016, The Mesoproterozoic Lahood Formation: Provenance and tectonic environment of deposition: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 48, No. 7, doi: 10.1130/abs/2016AM-283015.

Lynn Paris, Helen, and Lageson, David, 2016, Fracture analysis of the Stewart Peak culmination in the fold and thrust belt of western Wyoming: Implications for structurally controlled fluid migration: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 48, No. 6, doi: 10.1130/abs/2016RM-276193.

Moore-Nall, Anita, and Lageson, David R., 2016, Uranium-Vanadium mineralization in Mississippian aged paleokarst, northern Bighorn Basin, Montana and Wyoming, indicates a hydrothermal Permian Phosphoria source of metals including REE and TL: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs. Vol. 48, No. 7, doi: 10.1130/abs/2016AM-287959.

Boyd, Donald W., and Lageson, David R., 2014, Self-guided walking tour of the Paleoproterozoic stromatolites in the Medicine Bow Mountains, Wyoming: Wyoming State Geological Survey, Public Information Circular No. 45, 24 p. (plus related web site: http://www.wsgs.wyo.gov/Research/Geology/stromatolites.aspx)

MOORE-NALL, Anita L., EGGERS, Margaret J., DOYLE, John, FELICIA, Dayle, LAGESON, David R., and CAMPER, Anne K., 2014, LOWER HEALTH STATUS ON INDIAN RESERVATIONS, AN EPIDEMIC IN NORTH AMERICA, MAY BE RELATED TO GEOLOGIC AND OR GEOGRAPHIC LOCATION OF NATURAL RESOURCES: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 46, No. 5, p.74.

Lageson, David R., 2013, The Birth of Everest, in, The Call of Everest: The History, Science, and Future of the World’s Tallest Peak: National Geographic Society, Washington, D.C., p. 28-55.

Lageson, D.R., Treadway, W., Larsen, M., and Lynn, H., 2012, Applications of Google Earth Pro© to fracture and fault studies of Laramide anticlines in the Rocky Mountain foreland: Geological Society of America, Special Paper 492 (Google Earth and Virtual Visualizations in Geoscience Education and Research), p. 209-220. 

Corthouts, T.L., Lageson, D.R., and Shaw, C.A., 2015, Polyphase deformation, dynamic metamorphism, and metasomatism of Mount Everest's summit limestone, east central Himalaya, Nepal/Tibet: Lithosphere, published online on 16 November 2015 as doi:10.1130/L473.1.

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.

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.

 

 Dave and Darwin

Field trip to the Bridger Range near Bozeman, summer 2017. Students are looking for invertebrate fossils in talus from the Mississippian Lodgepole Limestone, while Darwin supervises from a comfortable perch. 

Dave and Darwin II

Howling with joy at beautiful folded outcrops in the Bridger Range.

Dave and Darwin III

 

Lageson GreenlandFieldwork in eastern Greenland (August 2017), scoping out new research projects.