Raymond Sullivan profile picture

Raymond Sullivan

Professor Emeritus

Emeritus since 2003


B.Sc. Geology- University of Sheffield
Ph.D. Geology- University of Glasgow

Research and Teaching Area

Retirement has opened up new challenges and opportunities. I am enjoying the freedom to explore new research areas and to travel to interesting places. I still maintain an office in the department and attend many of the lectures and seminars. I teach the occasional geology class mainly at CSU Chico where I fill in for my son, Morgan, from time to time when he is away attending a meeting or doing field work. I have remained active in my studies of Tertiary rocks of northern California. Morgan and I continue to lead field trips to the Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve. We are expanding our work of the Eocene rocks on the north side of Mount Diablo into the subsurface of the Sacramento basin. We have focused our research on the application of sequence stratigraphy to the depositional setting and reservoir characterization of the lower Tertiary succession in the southern part of the basin. We presented our research at the National meeting of AAPG in Salt Lake City and the Pacific Section meeting at Long Beach in 2003.

My interest in the coal-rich deposits in the Domengine Formation of California has encouraged me to travel back to Europe and my roots in Wales in order to visit other coal mining regions. Over the past year, I have many several visit to the South Wales and Somerset coalfields. While in Somerset, I took the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of William Smith using the book “The Map that changed the World” as my guide. I also spent some time in the excellent coal mining exhibits in museums in Munich and Prague. I even visited my PhD thesis area in Pembrokeshire this winter after an absence of over 40 years. I worked in the Carboniferous Limestone of this beautiful part of the coast of southwest Wales from 1957-60 while a graduate student at the University of Glasgow. The study area is now part of the Pembrokeshire National Park. I was able to look again with more experienced eyes at the rocks and structures exposed in the coastal cliffs. I stood at the section in Tenby that was the site of my first published paper in the Geological Magazine in 1964. I looked critically at the section and hoped that I got it right the first time. My over all feeling was that I had come along way since those far off days and remembered the old saying “rocks don’t lie."