Public Release: 

Local geology, global connections: GSA Cordilleran Section to convene in Fresno

2013 Geological Society of America Cordilleran Section Meeting

Geological Society of America

Boulder, Colorado, USA - Geoscientists from western North America and beyond will convene in Fresno, California, USA, on 20 May to celebrate GSA's 125th Anniversary and discuss current geoscience research. This meeting emphasizes the international relevance of Cordilleran geology, with a higher than usual number of non-American presenters for a regional meeting. Topics include tectonic and petrologic processes associated with active plate margins, salmon spawning sites restoration, new regulations for fault rupture hazard zones, and water supply issues.

Fresno is ideally located for exploring the best of Cordilleran geology--nestled at the foot of the Sierra Nevada, and yet still within a short driving time of the geologic wonders of the California Coast Ranges. The field trips for this meeting fully exploit these advantages, including explorations along Panoche Pass to the San Francisco Bay Area, visits to the Fairmead Landfill Fossil Site and Fossil Discovery Center, and the western Sierra Nevada foothills between the San Joaquin and Kern Rivers.

The meeting will take place at the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center in Fresno.

Local Committee and Technical Program Chair John Wakabayashi of California State University-Fresno says that many of the technical sessions, highlighted below, reflect "big-picture science that also highlight the international character of this meeting," noting that "several of the critical zone sessions bear on very large-scale processes of interest to many globally." Wakabayashi adds, "Four related sessions on tectonic and petrologic processes at convergent plate margins are by far the most international of the meeting."

Science presentations cover local geology as well, including papers on the paleoecology of western North America (Monday, 1:30 to 5:30 p.m., and poster session on Tuesday); the Pacific-North America plate boundary (Tuesday, 8 a.m. to noon, with a poster session on Monday); and oceanic petrogenesis of Pacific-type convergent margins (Wednesday poster session).

Selected Highlights of the Scientific Program

The scientific program is composed of oral and poster presentations organized into 16 themed sessions plus an array of research in general discipline areas. Go to to learn more.

Tectonic Processes that Build the Stratigraphic and Structural Record of Ancient and Modern Convergent Margin.

David Scholl of the USGS, Roland von Huene of the Univ. of California-Davis, Trevor Dumitru of Stanford Univ., and John Wakabayashi of California State Univ.-Fresno, presiding. Monday, 8 a.m. to noon (session 1).


Critical Zone I and II: Where Rock Meets Water and Life at Earth's Surface

Clifford S. Riebe of the Univ. of Wyoming, Leonard S. Sklar of San Francisco State Univ., and Kate Maher of Stanford Univ., presiding. Monday, 9:20 a.m. to noon (session 2) and 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. (session 5).

Abstracts: and

Mélanges: Comparison and Contrast between Circum-Pacific and Tethyan Chaotic Rock Bodies, and Modern Submarine Analogues.

Yildirim Dilek of Miami Univ. of Ohio; Andrea Festa of the Univ. of Torino, Italy; and Yujiro Ogawa, of Century Tsukuba-Miradaira, Japan, presiding. Monday, 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. (session 4).


Reconstructing the Pacific-North America Plate Boundary through Late Cenozoic Time I.

Scott E.K. Bennett of the Univ. of California-Davis, Rebecca Dorsey of the Univ. of Oregon, Michael Oskin of the Univ. of California-Davis, and Michael H. Darin of Conoco-Phillips, presiding. Tuesday, 8 a.m. to noon (session 13).


Oceanic Petrogenesis of Pacific-Type Convergent Margins.

Tatsuki Tsujimori of Okayama Univ., Japan; W. Gary Ernst of Stanford Univ.; and John Wakabayashi of California State Univ., presiding. Tuesday, 8:15 a.m. to noon (session 12).


Engineering and Environmental Geology (Posters)

Tuesday, 8 a.m. to noon; authors will be present at their posters from 9 to 11 a.m. (session 14).


Ophiolites and Suture Zones

Yildirim Dilek of Miami Univ. of Ohio, John Wakabayashi of California State Univ.-Fresno, and John Shervais of Utah State Univ., presiding. Tuesday, 1:30 to 5:30 p.m.


Hydrogeologic Issues of Irrigated Agricultural Regions--Problems and Solutions

C. John Suen of California State Univ., and Dong Wang of USDA-San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences Center , presiding. Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. (session 30).



Search the program by keywords or view complete session schedule by day at

Abstracts/program book (PDF):

General meeting information:

Local contact information:


Eligibility for media registration is as follows:

  • Working press representing bona fide, recognized news media with a press card, letter or business card from the publication.
  • Freelance science writers, presenting a current membership card from NASW, ISWA, regional affiliates of NASW, ISWA, CSWA, ACS, ABSW, EUSJA, or evidence of work pertaining to science published in 2012 or 2013.
  • PIOs of scientific societies, educational institutions, and government agencies.

Present media credentials to Beth Engle onsite at the GSA registration desk to obtain a badge for media access. Complimentary meeting registration covers attendance at all technical sessions and access to the exhibit hall. Journalists and PIOs must pay regular fees for paid luncheons and any short courses or field trips in which they participate. Representatives of the business side of news media, publishing houses, and for-profit corporations must register at the main registration desk and pay the appropriate fees.

For additional information and assistance, contact Christa Stratton, GSA Director of Communications, at the address above.

The Geological Society of America, founded in 1888, is a scientific society with more than 25,000 members from academia, government, and industry in more than 100 countries. Through its meetings, publications, and programs, GSA enhances the professional growth of its members and promotes the geosciences in the service of humankind. Headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, GSA encourages cooperative research among earth, life, planetary, and social scientists, fosters public dialogue on geoscience issues, and supports all levels of earth science education.

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