Faculty & Staff

Dr. Keith A. Brunstad
Classes taught:

Introduction to Geology (GEOL 120), GEOFYRST (GEOL 120), Mineralogy (GEOL 242), Earth Materials (ESCI 215), Igneous & Metamorphic Petrology (GEOL 314), Field Geology of Plate Boundaries (GEOL 343), Geoscience Research Techniques (GEOL 390), Economic Geology (GEOL 641)

Areas of interest:

Physical Volcanology, Volcano-tectonics, Mineralogy, Petrology, Geochemistry


My primary area of research is in Physical Volcanology and Volcano-tectonics in which I’m interested in the generation, accumulation, transport, and eruption and emplacement processes associated with volcanic systems. Thus far, I have concentrated on the regional volcano-tectonic processes associated with plate-boundary environments such as the Cascade volcanic arc and intraplate environments associated with rifts like the Rio Grande of New Mexico and Hot Spots such as Hawaii. I employ a multidisciplinary approach by combining Sequence Stratigraphy, Geochemistry, Structure and Tectonics, and Geophysics to understand the genesis, evolution, and emplacement processes of both moderate and large volume volcanic systems. Volcanic rocks are analyzed by various analytical techniques including XRF, ICP-MS, SEM-EDX, EMPA, and Light Microscopy, most of which are available in the WSU Geoanalytical Lab and SUNY Oneonta. Currently, the main focus of my research is the generation, storage, and emplacement and eruption of the high-silica rhyolites associated with the most recent caldera forming eruption from Valles caldera, NM. In addition, I’m characterizing the subunit stratigraphy of the Tshirege Member of the Bandelier Tuff associated with this caldera-forming event. I’m also working with students on the emplacement of the Tieton andesite lava flow, which is currently the longest documented lave flow of this type, located in the Cascade Mountain Range of Washington State. Closer to home, I have students working on the environmental impact of reservoir sediment release in the Oneonta Creek drainage basin, Oneonta, New York as a case study, of a the much problem, of aging dams and dam removal in the Northeast, USA. Finally, I also have students working on the geochemistry of the different anorthosites in the Adirondack Mountains of New York in conjunction with the New York State Museum. .

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