Mark Hemphill-Haley

Professor Emeritus

Dr. Hemphill-Haley standing in a paleoseismic trench holding a trench log and smiling
(707) 826-3933
Founders Hall, Rm. 6A

My interests are primarily centered around contemporary deformation of the western United States. I work on problems of various scales, from trench-scale paleoseismology of individual faults and folds to plate-scale deformation based on geodetic measurements and regional kinematic analyses. I have worked extensively in the Basin and Range geomorphic province and in the transition between the Basin and Range and the Cascade volcanic arc. My current location in northwestern-most California affords me the ability to work on faults within the southernmost, onshore end of the Cascadia subduction zone. I am currently involved in a USGS NEHRP-funded project to evaluate the surface rupture history of the Little Salmon fault, a portion of the fold and thrust belt of the subduction zone. 

Professional Experience

  • Associate Professor, Cal Poly Humboldt, 2007-present
  • Engineering Geological Consultant, HH Geological LLC, 2010-present
  • Senior Engineering Geological Consultant, URS Corp., 2001-2011
  • Assistant Professor, Cal Poly Humboldt, 2002-2007
  • Lecturer, Cal Poly Humboldt, 2001-2002 
  • Adjunct Faculty, Boise State University, 2001 to present
  • Courtesy Research AssociateUniversity of Oregon, Eugene, 1999-2001
  • Senior GeologistSeismic Hazards Group, URS Corporation, 1999-2001
  • Graduate Representative to the Faculty, University of Oregon, Eugene, 1994-1995
  • Graduate Research Assistant, University of Oregon, Eugene, 1993-1999
  • Graduate Teaching Fellow, University of Oregon, Eugene, 1993-1997
  • Senior Geologist, Woodward-Clyde Consultants, Oakland, 1985-1993
  • Associate Editor, Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 2005 – 2010
  • Visiting Scientist, GeoHazards Solutions Section, GNS Science, Wellington, New Zealand, 2008

Specialty Area

Neotectonics, Paleoseismology, Geologic and Seismic Hazards, Quaternary Geology, Tectonic Geomorphology


Ph.D., Geology, University of Oregon, 1999
M.S., Environmental Science-Geology, Humboldt State University, 1987
B.A., Geology, Humboldt State University, 1982

Courses Taught

GEOL 106 - Earthquake Country
GEOL 109 - General Geology
GEOL 110 - Field Geology of the Western US.
GEOL 235 - Field Methods I
GEOL 306 - Geomorphology
GEOL 334 - Structural Geology
GEOL 457 - Engineering Geology
GEOL 475- Geology Field Camp
GEOL 485 - Senior Seminar
GEOL 553 - Quaternary Stratigraphy
GEOL 554 - Advanced Field Methods
GEOL 555 - Neotectonics
GEOL 700 - Finding Faults in Humboldt County


Clark, K. J., Cochran, U. A., Berryman, K. R., Biasi, G., Langridge, R., Villamor, P., Bartholomew, T., Litchfield, N., Pantosti, D., Marco, S., Van Dissen, R., Turner, G., Hemphill-Haley, M., Barker, D. H. N. in progress 2012, Deriving a long paleoseismic record from a shallow water Holocene depocentre on the Alpine fault, New Zealand, to be submitted to the Geological Society of America.

McCalpin, J. P., Carver, G., Hemphill-Haley, M. A., Solie, D., Weldon, E., Atici, M., and Matthews, D., 2010, Preliminary Report, The Alaska Pipeline Project, 2010 Fault Delineation Field Program: WorleyParsons Canada Services, Ltd., 125 p.

Clark, K. J., Hayward, B. W., Cochran, U. A., Grenfell, H. R., Hemphill-Haley, E., Mildenhall, D. C., Hemphill-Haley, M. A., and Wallace, L. M., 2011, Investigating subduction earthquake geology along the southern Hikurangi margin using palaeoenvironmental histories of intertidal inlets: New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, p. 1-17.

Dengler, L., Hemphill-Haley, M., Felton, V., Monro, A., and Warren, J., 2009, Living on Shaky Ground, How to Survive Earthquakes and Tsunamis in Northern California: Humboldt Earthquake Education Center at Humboldt State University, p. 17.

Knudsen, K., Wong, I. G., Dober, M., Hemphill-Haley, M., and Terra, F., 2008, Site-specific Seismic Hazard Evaluation of the Fruta del Norte Project, Southern Ecuador: Final Report, p. 61.

Langridge, R. M., Hemphill-Haley, M. A., and Ries, W., 2008, Active Fault Mapping and Rupture Avoidance at Queen Mary Hospital, Hanmer Springs, GNS Science Consultancy Report 2008/113, p. 52.

Litchfield, N., Van Dissen, R., Hemphill-Haley, M., Townsend, D., and Heron, D., 2010a, It’s Our Fault – Ohariu Fault Paleoearthquake Investigations: Final Report, GNS Science Consultancy Report 2010/17, p. 34.

Litchfield, N., Van Dissen, R., Hemphill-Haley, M., Townsend, D., and Heron, D., 2010b, Post c. 300 year rupture of the Ohariu Fault in Ohariu Valley, New Zealand: New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, v. 53, no. 1, p. 43 - 56

 Van Dissen, R., Barnes, P., Beavan, J., Cousins, J., Dellow, G., Francois-Holden, C., Fry, B., Langridge, R., Litchfield, N., Little, T., McVerry, G., Ninis, D., Rhoades, D., Robinson, R., Saunders, W., Villamor, P., Wilson, K., Barker, P., Berryman, K., Benites, R., Brackey, H., Bradley, B., Carne, R., Cochran, U., Hemphill-Haley, M., King, A., Lamarche, G., Palmer, N., Perrin, N., Pondard, N., Rattenbury, M., Read, S., Semmens, S., Smith, E., Stephenson, W., Wallace, L., Webb, T., and Zhao, J., 2010, It’s Our Fault: better defining earthquake risk in Wellington, 11th IAEG Congress, Auckland, New Zealand, p. 737-746.

Hemphill-Haley, M.A. and Weldon, R.J., 2004, Estimating Prehistoric Earthquake Magnitude from Point Measurements of Surface Rupture, in Proceedings of the Basin and Range Province Seismic Hazards Summit II, 2004, William Lund, ed, 21 p.  Submitted and accepted August 2004.

Liberty, L.M., Hemphill-Haley, M.A. and Madin, I.P., 2003, The Portland Hills Fault:  uncovering a hidden fault in Portland, Oregon using high-resolution geophysical methods, Tectonophysics, v. 368, p. 89-103.

Hemphill-Haley, M.A., Liberty, L.M., and Madin, I.P., 2002, Source characterization study of the Portland Hills Fault, Portland metropolitan area, Oregon, Report to the U.S. Geological Survey,  22p.

Madin, I.P. and Hemphill-Haley, M.A., 2001, The Portland Hills fault at Rowe Middle School, Oregon Geology, v. 63, n. 2, p. 47-49

Wong, I.G., Hemphill-Haley, M.A., Liberty, L.M., Madin, I.P., 2001, The Portland Hills fault:  An earthquake generator or just another old fault?, Oregon Geology, v. 63, n. 2, p. 39-47, 50.

Hemphill-Haley, M. A., Page, W. D., Carver, G. A., and Burke, R. M., 2000, Paleoseismicity of the Alvord Fault, Steens Mountain, southeastern Oregon, in Noller, J.S., Sowers, J. M., and Lettis, W. R., eds., Quaternary Geochronology, Methods and Applications, AGU Reference Shelf 4, p. 537-540.

Hemphill-Haley, M. A., Sawyer, T. L., Knuepfer, P. L. K., Forman, S. L., and Wong, I. G., 2000, Timing of faulting events from thermoluminescence dating of scarp-related deposits, Lemhi fault, southeastern Idaho, in Noller, J.S., Sowers, J. M., and Lettis, W. R., eds., Quaternary Geochronology, Methods and Applications, AGU Reference Shelf 4, p. 541-548.

Hemphill-Haley, M.A., and Weldon, R.J. II, 1999, Estimating prehistoric earthquake magnitude from point measurements of surface rupture: Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, v. 89, p. 1264-1279.

Hemphill-Haley, M.A., Carver, G.A., and Burke, B., 1999, Late Quaternary stratigraphy and Holocene fauting along the eastern margin of Steens Mountain, southeastern Oregon; in Narwold, C., ed., Quaternary Geology of the Northern Quinn River and Alvord Valleys, southeastern Oregon; 1999 Friends of the Pleistocene Field Trip, Pacific Cell,

Kelson, K. I., Forman, S. L., Gardner, J. N., Hemphill-Haley, M. A., Kolbe, T. R., Olig, S. S., Reneau, S. L., Simpson, G. D., and Wong, I. G., 1996, Latest Pleistocene and possibly Holocene displacement along the Rendija Canyon Fault, Los Alamos County, New Mexico: New Mexico Geological Society Guidebook, v. 47.

Olig, S. S., Kelson, K. I., Gardner, J. N., Reneau, S. L., and Hemphill-Haley, M., 1996, The earthquake potential of the Pajarito Fault system, New Mexico: New Mexico Geological Society Guidebook, v. 47th Field Conference, p. 143-152.

Wong, I. G., and Hemphill-Haley, M. A., 1992, Seismicity and faulting near the Hayward and Mission faults, in Second Conference on Earthquake Hazards in the Eastern San Francisco Bay Area, Hayward, California, p. 207-215.

Wong, I., Hemphill-Haley, M., and Salah-Mars, S. 1993, The Scotts Mills, Oregon, earthquake on March 25, 1993, Earthquakes and Volcanoes, v. 24, n. 2., p. 86-92.