Cathy Cathy

Cathy on Glacier Divide in the Sierra Nevada, Summer 2011.

Photos by Sally Goodin, Geology, UC Berkeley *78.
Cathy J. Busby
Research Statement
September 3, 2014
Cathy's 2014-2015 AAPG Distinguished Lecturer talks will focus on the two main themes of her current NSF-funded research:
Extensional and Transtensional Rift Basins in California and Mexico
The Miocene-Recent Walker Lane transtensional rift (eastern California-western Nevada) is the northern extension of the Salton Trough-Gulf of California transtensional rift, where the process of continental rupture has not yet been completed, and rift initiation is being studied onland. Break-up to early post-breakup rocks of the same age are being studied in the Baja basins project, and integrated with published oceanographic data from adjacent oceanic basins in the Gulf of California. Inland of the Gulf, in the Sierra Madre Occidental (famed for its gold treasure), the onset of continental rifting is recorded in the Eocene to Miocene silicic large igneous province and its basins. Cathy's research in this rift system over the past 13 years includes detailed geologic mapping, process sedimentologic and volcanologic studies, and geochronologic and geochemical studies, as well as plate margin scale tectonic reconstructions.
Geology of Modern and Ancient Oceanic Arcs
Mesozoic oceanic arc terranes make up the western third of Mexico, providing insight into the processes that create continental crust. Superbly-exposed, intact upper to middle crustal sections through oceanic arc terranes in Baja California provide valuable outcrop analogs to modern oceanic arcs, including the Izu-Bonin-Marianas arc, which was the focus of three IODP expedition in 2014. Oceanic arcs are far less well understood than continental arcs, because modern ones lie largely below sea level and ancient ones are commonly modified by the accretion process. Cathy's research on oceanic arcs over the past 35 years provides a geologic perspective that is complementary to more abundant geochemical and geophysical investigations. Her onland work focuses on geologic map-based stratigraphy and structure, petrography, and geochronology, for comparison with oceanographic investigations of modern oceanic arcs. Data from modern and ancient oceanic arc systems are integrated to determine tectonic controls on geologic variation in convergent margins.
Photos of My Collaborators

Upper slideshow: Jason Saleeby, Glenn Melosh, David Wagner
Lower slideshow: Elena Centeno Garcia, Luca Ferrari, Jason Saleeby, Michael Purucker
photo of Luca Ferrari
Dr. Luca Ferrari UNAM

Dr. Jason Saleeby, Cal Tech (above in the slideshow), first involved me in co-authoring papers when I was still an undergraduate at Berkeley.
Glenn Melosh, GeoGlobal Energy, was my collaborator on the Puchilidza geothermal field in the northern Chilean Andes. We first met when I was an undergraduate at Berkeley.