John Caskey profile picture

John Caskey

Associate Professor
Neotectonics, seismotectonics of coastal central California and Nevada
Phone: (415) 405-0353
Location: TH 616
Office Hours:
Tue: 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.or by appointment


B.A. Geology - Humboldt State University
M.S. and Ph.D. Geology - University of Nevada, Reno

Research and Teaching Area: 

I continue to involve students in my summer research out in central Nevada focusing on a variety of recent and ongoing projects such as: patterns and rates of paleoseismicity in the central Nevada seismic belt; characteristics of active faults in relation to geothermal resources in the Basin and Range; paleoliquefaction in the Stillwater seismic gap; and pluvial lake histories and using pluvial lake shorelines as tiltmeters to measure isostatic and tectonic deformation. Much of the work we’ve accomplished over the past few years has recently come to fruition through manuscripts either accepted or submitted to the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America and the Journal of Geodynamics. I’ve organized and participated in a number of field trips the past few years; none more exciting and rewarding than the 2003 Annual Pacific Cell Friends of the Pleistocene field trip to Dixie Valley, Nevada. In keeping with tradition, the Friends trip was an epic experience, camping out under a star-filled desert sky and full moon with over 200 crazy students and professionals for three days and nights. The aspects of historical faulting, paleoseismology, and chronostratigraphy of the central Nevada seismic belt we presented seemed to go over pretty well too. It’s been a fun teaching majors’ courses in Structural Geology, Field Methods, Neotectonics, and a non-majors course on earthquakes, working with students on their thesis research, and spending most of the summer months in the field trying to keep my research progressing, often in new directions. In the last few years I’ve had the privilege of working with some talented and enthusiastic M.S. and B.S. students on interesting local projects such as: documenting the active nature and style of deformation along the (blind) Serra thrust fault in southwest San Francicso (Drew Kennedy); Tectonic geomorphology and paleoseismic behavior of the southern Rodgers Creek fault (Carrie Randolph-Loar); correlation and uplift rates of late Pleistocene marine terraces along the Seal Cove fault (Mitch Monroe); Geophysical mapping of serpentinite bodies in the San Francisco Presidio (Joe Pesche); and mapping and Ar/Ar dating of coast range volcanic rocks at Burdell Mountain with implications for long-term offset on the East Bay fault system (Rick Ford).