Harvey Kelsey

Research Associate

Harvey Kelsey
(707) 826-3991
Founders Hall, Rm. 15

My research interests initially focused on fluvial geomorphology, basin-scale geomorphic processes and sediment budgets within forested watersheds. My present research interests involve an integration of late Quaternary tectonic deformation, geomorphic processes, and Quaternary stratigraphy. My projects, which are collaborative efforts with colleagues, have used the tools of Quaternary stratigraphic analysis, in conjunction with digital imagery, to decipher paleoseismic history on the Cascadia and Sumatran subduction zones and to better understand tectonic evolution of the Yakima fold province within the Cascadia backarc region of central Washington, USA. While most of my Quaternary stratigraphic investigations have been in coastal wetlands where relative sea level changes inform subduction zone earthquake histories, more recent investigations have focused on the tectonic geomorphology of the Yakima folds of central Washington.

My publications and the thesis topics that I have advised reflect my range of research interests. Field studies have taken me to the northwestern United States (northern California, Oregon and Washington) and Alaska as well as to New Zealand, Japan and Indonesia.

Specialty Area

Active tectonics, Quaternary tectonics, Quaternary stratigraphy, fluvial geomorphology, sediment budgets


Ph.D., Geology, 1977, University of California, Santa Cruz
B.A., Geology, 1971, Princeton University


Nelson, A. R., DuRoss, C. B., Witter, R. C., Kelsey, H. M., Engelhart, S. E., Mahan, S. A., Gray, H. J., Hawkes, A. D., Horton, B. P., and Padgett, J. S., 2021, A maximum rupture model for the central and southern Cascadia subduction zone—reassessing ages for coastal evidence of megathrust earthquakes and tsunamis, in press, Quaternary Science Reviews.

Lease, R. O., Haeussler, P. J., Witter, R. C., Stockli, D. F., Bender, A. M., Kelsey, H. M. and O’Sullivan, P. B., 2021, Extreme Quaternary plate boundary exhumation and strike slip localized along the southern Fairweather fault, Alaska, USA, Geology, published online February 22, 2021, https://doi.org/10.1130/G48464.1

Padgett, J. S., Engelhart, S. E., Kelsey, H. M., Witter, R. C., Cahill N., and Eileen Hemphill-Haley, E., 2021, Timing and amount of southern Cascadia earthquake subsidence over the past 1700 years at northern Humboldt Bay, California, USA, Geological Society America Bulletin; https://doi.org/10.1130/B35701.1.

Kelsey, H. M. and Witter, R.C., 2020, Radiocarbon dating of tsunami and storm deposits, in: Brill, D. Engel, M., Garrett, E., May, S. M. and Pilarczyk, J., eds., Geological Records of Tsunamis and Other Extreme Waves, Chapter 31, Elsevier Publishing Co.; on line chapter-wise on ScienceDirect. ISBN: 978-0-12-815686-5.

Hemphill-Haley, E., Kelsey, H.M., Graehl, N., Casso, M., Caldwell, D., Loofbourrow, C., Robinson, M., Vermeer, J., and Southwick, E., 2019, Recent sandy deposits at five northern California coastal wetlands - Stratigraphy, diatoms, and implications for storm and tsunami hazards: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2018–5111, 187 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20185111.

Padgett, J.S., Kelsey, H.M., and Lamphear, D., 2019, Upper-plate deformation of Late Pleistocene marine terraces in the Trinidad, California, coastal area, southern Cascadia subduction zone: Geosphere, v. 15, p. 1–19, https://doi.org/10.1130/GES02032.1.

Staisch, L., Blakely, R., Kelsey, H., Styron, R. and Sherrod, B., 2018, Crustal structure and Quaternary acceleration of deformation rates in central Washington revealed by stream profile inversion, potential field geophysics, and structural geology of the Yakima folds, Tectonics, 37, https://doi.org/10.1029/2017TC004916.

Kelsey, H. M., Ladinsky, T. C., Staisch, L., Sherrod, B. L., Blakely, R. J., Pratt, T. L., Stephenson, W. J., Odum, J. K. and Wan, E., 2017, The story of a Yakima fold and how it informs late Neogene and Quaternary backarc deformation in the Cascadia subduction zone, Manastash anticline, Washington, USA, Tectonics, 36, https://doi.org/10.1002/2017TC004558.

Staisch, L., Kelsey, H., Sherrod, B., Möller, A., Paces J., Blakely, R. and Styron, R., 2017, Miocene–Pleistocene deformation of the Saddle Mountains: Implications for seismic hazard in central Washington, USA, Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 130, p. 411-437, doi.org/10.1130/B31783.1.

Kinziger, A.P., Hellmair, M., Fong, S.R., Goodman D.H. and Kelsey, H.M., 2016, Evolution of rough sculpin (Cottus asperrimus) genetic divergence and late Quaternary displacement on the Hat Creek fault, California, USA, Conservation Genetics, published online June 18, 2016, doi: 10.1007/s10592-016-0859-9.

Bender,A. M., Amos, C. B., Bierman, P., Rood, D. H., Staisch, L., Kelsey, H. andSherrod, B., 2016, Differential uplift andincision of the Yakima River terraces,central Washington State, J. Geophys.Res. Solid Earth, 121, doi:10.1002/2015JB012303. PDF

Kelsey, H.M., Engelhart, S.E., Pilarczyk, J.E., Horton, B.P., Rubin, C.M., Daryono, M.R., Ismail, N., Hawkes, A.D., Bernhardt, C.E. and Cahill, N., 2015, Accommodation space, relative sea level and the archiving of paleoearthquakes along subduction zones: Geology, v. 43, p. 675-678, doi: 10.1130/G36706.1. PDF

Kelsey, H. M., 2015, Geomorphological indicators of past sea levels,in: Shennan, I., Long, A.J., Horton, B.P., eds., Handbook of Sea-Level Research, Chapter 5,p.66-82,John Wiley & Sons,Chichester. ISBN: 978-1-118-45258-5. PDF

Kelsey, H. M., Witter, R. C., Engelhart, S. E., Briggs, R., Alan Nelson, A., Haeussler. P. and Corbett, D. R., 2015, Beach ridges as paleoseismic indicators of abrupt coastal subsidence during subduction zone earthquakes, and implications for Alaska-Aleutian subduction zone paleoseismology, southeast coast of the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, Quaternary Science Reviews, v. 113, p. 147-158, doi: 10.1016/j.quascirev.2015.01.006. PDF

Barnett, E., Sherrod, B.L., Hughes. J.F., Kelsey. H.M., Czajkowski, J.L., Walsh, T.J., Contreras, T.A, Schermer, E.A. and Carson, R.J., 2015, Paleoseismic evidence for late Holocene tectonic deformation along the Saddle Mountain fault zone, southeastern Olympic Peninsula, Washington, USA, Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, v. 105,p.38-71, doi: 10.1785/0120140086. PDF

Graehl, N., Kelsey, H.M., Witter, R.C., Hemphill-Haley, E., and Engelhart, S., 2015, Stratigraphic and microfossil evidence for a 4500-year history of Cascadia subduction zone earthquakes and tsunamis at Yaquina River estuary, Oregon, USA, Geological Society of America Bulletin, v.127, p. 211-226, doi: 10.1130/B31074.1. PDF

Nelson, A.R., Personius, S.F., Sherrod, B. L., Kelsey, H.M., Johnson, S. Y., Bradley, L-A. and Wells, R.E., 2014, Diverse rupture modes for surface-deforming upper plate earthquakes in the southern Puget Lowland of Washington State, Geosphere, v. 10 p. 769-796. PDF

Prentice, C.S., Larsen, M.C., Kelsey, H.M. and Zachariasen, J., 2014, Late Holocene slip rate and ages of prehistoric earthquakes along the Maacama Fault near Willits, Mendocino County, northern California, Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, v. 104, p. 2966-2984, doi: 10.1785/0120140003. PDF

Sherrod, B.L., Barnett, E., Schermer, E., Kelsey, H.M., Hughes, J., Foit, F.F., Jr., Weaver, C.S., Haugerud, R. and Hyatt, T., 2013, Holocene tectonics and fault reactivation in the foothills of the north Cascade Mountains, Washington, Geosphere, v. 9, p. 827-852, doi: 10.1130/GES00880.1

Grand Pre, C., Horton, B. P., Kelsey, H. M., Rubin, C. M., Hawkes, A., Daryono, M., Rosenberg G., Southon, J., Culver, S. J., 2012. Stratigraphic evidence of an early Holocene earthquake in Aceh, Indonesia, Quaternary Science Reviews, 54, 142-151. PDF

Kelsey, H. M.; Sherrod, B. L.; Blakely, R. J.; Haugerud, R. A., 2012, Holocene faulting in the Bellingham forearc basin: Upper-plate deformation at the northern end of the Cascadia subduction zone, Journal of Geophysical Research, 117, B03409, doi:10.1029/2011JB008816. PDF

Foster, M. A. and Kelsey, H. M, 2012, Knickpoint and knickzone formation and propagation, South Fork Eel River, northern California, Geosphere, 8, doi:10.1130/GES00700.1. PDF

Dura, T., Rubin, C. M., Kelsey, H. M., Horton, B. P., Hawkes, A., Vane, C.,  Daryono, M., Grand Pre, C., Ladinsky, T., and Bradley S., 2011, Stratigraphic record of Holocene coseismic subsidence, Padang, West Sumatra, Journal of Geophysical Research, 116, B11306, doi:10.1029/2011JB008205. PDF

Kelsey, H. M., Sherrod, B. L., Nelson, A. R., and Brocher, T. M., 2008, Earthquakes generated from bedding-plane-parallel reverse faults above an active wedge thrust, Geological Society of America Bulletin, 120, 1581-1597. PDF

Sherrod, B. L., R. J. Blakely, C. S. Weaver, H. M. Kelsey, E. Barnett, L. Lib-erty, K. L. Meagher, and K. Pape, 2008, Finding concealed active faults: Extending the southern Whidbey Island fault across the Puget Lowland, Washington, J. Geophys. Res., 113, B05313, doi:10.1029/2007JB005060. PDF

Kelsey, H.M, Satake, K., Sawai, Y., Sherrod, B., Shimokawa, K., and Shishi-kura, M., 2006, Recurrence of postseismic coastal uplift, Kuril subduction zone, Japan, Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, L13315, doi:10.1029/2006GL026052. PDF

Nelson, A.R., Kelsey, H.M. and Witter, R.C., 2006, Great earthquakes of variable magnitude at the Cascadia subduction zone, Quaternary Research, 65, 354-365. PDF

Lock, J., Kelsey, H. M., Furlong, K. P. and Woolace, A, 2006, Late Neogene and Quaternary landscape evolution of the northern California Coast Ranges: evidence for Mendocino triple junction tectonics, Geological Society of Amer-ica Bulletin, 118, 1232-1246, doi: 10.1130/B25885.1.  PDF

Williams, T.B., Kelsey, H. M. and Freymueller, J.T., 2006, GPS-derived strain in northwestern California: termination of the San Andreas fault system and convergence of the Sierra Nevada-Great Valley block contribute to southern Cascadia forearc contraction, Tectonophysics , 413, 171-184. PDF

Kelsey, H. M., Nelson, A. R. Witter, R. C., and Hemphill-Haley, E. 2005, Tsunami history of an Oregon coastal lake reveals a 4,600 year record of great earthquakes on the Cascadia subduction zone, Geological Society of America Bulletin, 117, 1009-1032. PDF

Sawai, Y., Satake, K., Kamataki, T., Nasu, H., Shishikura, M., Atwater, B. F., Horton, B. P., Kelsey, H. M., Nagumo, T. and Yamaguchi, M., 2004, Transient uplift after a 17th-century earthquake along the Kurile subduction zone, Science, 306, 1918-1920.

Atwater, B.F., Furukawa, R. Hemphill-Haley, E., Ikeda, Y., Kashima, K., Ka-wase, K., Kelsey, H.M., Moore, A.L., Nanayama, F., Nishimura, Y., Odagiri, S., Ota, Y., Park, S., Satake, K., Sawai, Y., and Shimokawa, K., 2004, Seventeenth-century uplift in eastern Hokkaido, Japan, The Holocene, 14, 487-501.

Johnson, S. Y., Nelson A. R., Personius, S. F., Wells, R. E., Kelsey, H. M., Sherrod, B. L., Okumura, K., Koehler, R., Witter, R. C., Bradley, L. and Harding, D. J., 2004, Evidence for Late Holocene Earthquakes on the Utsal-ady Point Fault, Northern Puget Lowland, Washington, Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 94, 2299-2316.

Kelsey, H.M., Sherrod, B.L., Johnson, S.Y. and Dadisman, S.V., 2004, Land-level changes from a late Holocene earthquake in the northern Puget low-land, Washington, Geology, 32, 469-472. PDF

Schermer, E.R., Van Dissen, R., Berryman, K.R., Kelsey, H.M. and Cashman, S.M., 2004, Active faults, paleoseismology, and historical fault rupture in northern Wairarapa, North Island, New Zealand, New Zealand Journal of Ge-ology and Geophysics, 47, 101-122.

Sherrod, B.L., Brocher, T.M., Weaver, C. S., Bucknam, R.C., Blakely R.J., Kelsey, H.M., Nelson, A.R. and Haugerud, R., 2004, Holocene fault scarps near Tacoma, Washington, USA, Geology 32, 9-12.

Nelson, A.R., Johnson, S.Y., Kelsey, H.M., Wells, R.E., Sherrod, B.L., Pez-zopane, S.K., Bradley, L., Koehler, R.D., and Bucknam, R.C., 2003, Late Holocene earthquakes on the Toe Jam Hill fault, Seattle fault zone, Bain-bridge Island, Washington, Geological Society of America Bulletin, 115, 1388-1403. PDF

Witter, R. C, Kelsey, H. M., and Hemphill-Haley, E. 2003, Great Cascadia earthquakes and tsunamis of the past 6,700 years, Coquille River estuary, southern coastal Oregon Geological Society of America Bulletin, 115, 1289-1306. PDF

Kelsey, H. M., Witter, R. C. and Hemphill-Haley, E. 2002, Plate-boundary earthquakes and tsunamis of the past 5,500 yr, Sixes River estuary, southern Oregon, Geological Society of America Bulletin, 114, 298-314. PDF

Kelsey, H.M, 2001, Active faulting associated with the southern Cascadia subduction zone in northern California, in Ferriz, H. and Anderson, R. (eds), Engineering Geology Practice in Northern California, Division of Mines and Geology Bulletin 210, Association of Engineering Geologists Special Publica-tion 12, p. 259-274.

Witter, R. C., Kelsey, H. M. and Hemphill-Haley, E. 2001, Pacific storms, El Nino and Tsunamis, Competing mechanisms for sand deposition in a coastal marsh, Euchre Creek, Oregon, Journal of Coastal Research, 17, 563-583.

Ollerhead, J., Huntley, D. J., Nelson, A. R., and Kelsey, H. M., 2001, Optical dating of tsunami-laid sand from an Oregon coastal lake; Quaternary Sci-ence Reviews, 20, 1915-1926.

Polenz, M. and Kelsey, H. M., 1999, Development of a late Quaternary marine terraced landscape during on-going tectonic contraction, Crescent City coastal plain, Quaternary Research, 52, 217-228. PDF

Kelsey, H. M., A. Hull, S. Cashman, K. Berryman, P. Cashman, J. Trexler, and J. Begg, 1998, Paleoseismology of an active reverse fault in a forearc setting: the Poukawa fault zone, Hikurangi forearc, New Zealand: Geological Society of America Bulletin, 110, 1123-1148.

Kelsey, H. M., Witter, R. C. and Hemphill-Haley, E., 1998, Response of a small Oregon estuary to coseismic subsidence and postseismic uplift in the past 300 years; Geology, 26, 231-234. PDF

Bockheim, J. G., Marshall, J. G., and Kelsey, H. M., 1996, Soil-forming proc-esses and rates on uplifted marine terraces in southwestern Oregon, USA; Geoderma, 73, 39-62.

Kelsey, H. M., Ticknor, R. L., Bockheim, J. G., and Mitchell, C. E., 1996, Quaternary Upper Plate Deformation in Coastal Oregon; Geological Society of America Bulletin, 108, 843-860.

Kelsey, H.M., Cashman, S.M., Berryman, K.R. and Beanland, S., 1995, Structural evolution along the inner forearc of the obliquely convergent Hi-kurangi margin, New Zealand; Tectonics, 14, 1-18.

Kelsey, H.M., Coghlan, M.C., and Pitlick, J., 1995, Geomorphic analysis of streamside landsliding in the Redwood Creek basin; in Geomorphic processes and aquatic habitat in the Redwood Creek basin, northwestern Califor-nia; U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1454, Nolan, M., Kelsey, H., and Marron, D., eds., p. JI-J12.

Cashman, S.M., Kelsey, H.M., and Harden, D.R., 1995, Geology of the Red-wood Creek basin, northwestern California; U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1454, Nolan, M., Kelsey, H., and Marron, D., eds., p. B1-B13.

Best, D.W., Kelsey, H.M., and Hagans, D.K., 1995, Role of fluvial hillslope erosion and road construction in the sediment budget of Garrett Creek, Humboldt County, California; in Geomorphic processes and aquatic habitat in the Redwood Creek basin, northwestern California; U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1454, Nolan, M., Kelsey, H., and Marron, D., eds., p.M1-M9.

Kelsey, H.M., Engebretson, D.C, Mitchell, C.E., and Ticknor, R.L., 1994, Topographic form of the Coast Ranges of the Cascadia margin in relation to coastal uplift rates and plate subduction; Journal of Geophysical Research, 99, 12245-12255. PDF

Kelsey, H.M. and Bockheim, J. G, 1994, Coastal landscape evolution as a function of eustasy and surface uplift rate, Cascadia margin, southern Oregon; Geological Society of America Bulletin, 106, 840-854. PDF

Personius, S.F., Kelsey, H.M. and Grabau, P.G., 1993, Evidence for regional stream aggradation in the central Oregon Coast Range during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition; Quaternary Research, 40, 297-308.

Cashman, S.M., Kelsey, H.M., Erdman, C., Cutten, H. and Berryman, K.B., 1992, Structural transect and analysis of strain partitioning across the forearc of the Hikurangi subduction zone, Hawke's Bay, North Island, New Zealand; Tectonics, 11, 242-257.

Erdman, C.F. and Kelsey, H.M., 1992, Pliocene and Pleistocene stratigraphy and tectonics, Ohara Depression and Wakarara Range, North Island, New Zealand; New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, 35, 177-193.

Bockheim, J.G., Kelsey, H.M. and Marshall, J.G., 1992, Soil development, relative dating and correlation of Late Quaternary marine terraces in south-western Oregon; Quaternary Research, 37, 60-74.

Kelsey, H.M., 1990, Late Quaternary deformation of marine terraces on the Cascadia subduction zone near Cape Blanco, Oregon; Tectonics, 9, 983-1014. PDF

McInelly, G.W. and Kelsey, H.M., 1990, Late Quaternary tectonic deforma-tion in the Cape Arago-Bandon region of coastal Oregon as deduced from wave-cut platforms; Journal of Geophysical Research, 95, 6699-6713. PDF

Muhs, D.R., Kelsey, H.M., Miller, G.H., Kennedy, G.L., Whelan, J.F. and McInelly, G.W., 1990, Age estimates and uplift rates for the late Pleistocene marine terraces; southern Oregon portion of the Cascadia forearc; Journal of Geophysical Research, 95, 6685-6698.

Cashman, S.M. and Kelsey, H.M., 1990, Forearc uplift and extension, central Hawke's Bay, New Zealand: mid-Pliocene to present; Tectonics, 9, 23-44.

Kelsey, H.M. and Trexler, J.H., 1989, Pleistocene deformation of a portion of the southern Cascadia forearc: Prairie Creek Formation, northern California; Journal of Geophysical Research, 94, 13027-14039.

Kelsey, H.M., and Carver, G.A., 1988, Late Neogene and Quaternary tectonics associated with the northward growth of the San Andreas transform fault, northern California; Journal of Geophysical Research, 93, 4797-4819. PDF

Kelsey, H.M., 1988, Formation of inner gorges, Catena, 15, 433-458.

Kelsey, H.M., Madej, M.A., and Lamberson, R., 1987, Stochastic model for the long term transport of stored sediment in a river channel; Water Resources Research, 23, 1738-1750.

Nolan, K.M., Lisle, T.E., and Kelsey, H.M., 1987, Bankfull discharge and sediment transport in northwestern California; in Erosion and Sedimentation in the Pacific Rim; International Association of Hydrological Sciences Publica-tion No. 165, Beschta, R.L. et al., eds., p. 439-450.

Kelsey, H.M., 1987, Geomorphic processes in the recently uplifted Coast Ranges of northern California; in Geomorphic Systems of North America; Decade of North American Geology, Geological Society of America, Centen-nial Special Volume 2, Graf, W., ed., p. 550-560.

Kelsey, H.M., and Cashman, S.M., 1983, Wrench faulting in northern Califor-nia and its tectonic implications; Tectonics, 2, 565-576.

Kelsey, H.M., and Hagans, D.K., 1982, Major right lateral faulting in the Franciscan assemblage of northern California in the late Tertiary; Geology, 10, 387-391.

Kelsey, H.M., 1982, Hillslope evolution and sediment movement in a forested headwater basin, Van Duzen River, north coastal California; Sediment budgets and routing in forested drainage basins, U.S. Forest Service General Technical Report PNW 141, p. 86-96.

Kelsey, H.M., 1980, A sediment budget and an analysis of geomorphic proc-ess in the Van Duzen River basin, north coastal California, 1941-1975; Geological Society of America Bulletin, Part II, 91, 1119-1216.  PDF

Kelsey, H.M., 1978, Earthflows in Franciscan melange, Van Duzen River ba-sin, California; Geology, 6, 361-364.