Faculty & Staff
Joel E. Johnson
Associate Professor of Geology
University of New Hampshire
Department of Earth Sciences
56 College Rd., James Hall
Durham, NH 03824-3589
My research interests lie within the field of marine geology and have evolved from a background in traditional terrestrial geology, structural geology and tectonics, sedimentology, and oceanography. To this end, I believe in a integrated approach to marine geologic research, taking full advantage of not only modern geophysical tools and techniques (e.g. swath bathymetry, sidescan sonar, multichannel seismic), advances in marine micropaleontology (paleo-proxy applications), and high resolution sediment radiometric dating and geochemical techniques (e.g. AMS14C,210Pb, DDT), but also well established geological methods (e.g. structural mapping, coring, detailed sedimentary petrology, physical property logging, stratigraphic correlation). This background and approach has enabled me to pursue several collaborative projects during the last several years related to continental margin processes offshore Washington, Oregon, California, and more recently India. My current research projects are described below.
In collaboration with several academic and industry scientists from the U.S. and abroad, I recently returned from an ocean drilling expedition to the Indian Ocean, where we are investigating the occurrence and distribution of gas hydrate in the continental margin sediments along the coasts of India (Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal, and Andaman Sea). In addition to constraining the geological host environment for the gas hydrate we also recovered spectacular marine sedimentary records, which now form the basis for several new research projects. In collaboration with colleagues at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), and the University of New Hampshire (UNH) we are working on the following.
- Micropaleontologic and geochemical constraints on the origin and significance of sedimentary cycles offshore India
- Volcanic arc compositional variability in the Andaman Islands
- Organic and inorganic carbon variability in the Bay of Bengal
I am currently collaborating with colleagues at Oregon State University (OSU), Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI),and the University of New Hampshire (UNH) on the following projects on the west coast of the U.S.
- Developing a new proxy approach for reconstructing paleo-methane and sulfate fluxes in gas hydrate bearing stratigraphy
- The timing constraints and triggering mechanisms for Holocene and Late Pleistocene slope failures in the Cascadia margin
- The extent and recurrence of Holocene turbidity currents in Monterey Canyon, offshore central California
- Late Holocene deep sea fan sedimentation at biological station M, Monterey Fan
Students interested in marine related research opportunities at UNH are encouraged to apply for graduate study (see the UNH School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering and Earth Sciences Degree Options).).
- Steve Phillips: Ph.D. Candidate: Dissertation Topic: Geologic Evolution and Methane-related Diagenesis in Marine Sediments from the Cascadia, Indian, and Japanese Margins
Tom Cawthern: Ph.D. 2013, Earth and Environmental Science-Geology:
Dissertation: Reconstructing the Late Miocene to Recent Volcanic, Geologic, and Oceanographic Evolution in the Andaman Sea and Northern Bay of Bengal, Northeast Indian Ocean
- Edward Sweeney: M.S. 2008, Earth Sciences-Ocean Mapping:
Thesis: The Origin of an Anomalously Low Backscatter Region on the Seafloor along the Atlantic Continental Slope. Coadvisors: Joel Johnson, Larry Mayer and Jim Gardner
Sedimentology Lab Managers
- 2012-2014 Jacob Setera, UNH Earth Sciences B.S. Graduate 2012
- 2010-2011 Dan Solway, UNH Earth Sciences B.S. graduate 2010
- 2009-2010 Corinne Disenhof, UNH Earth Sciences B.S. graduate 2009
- 2008-2009 Eduardo Miranda, UNH Institute for the Study of Earth Oceans and Space
- 2007-2008 Steve Phillips, UNH Earth Sciences M.S. graduate 2007
Undergraduate Research Projects
- Samantha Sinclair, 2012.: Assessing the Potential for Heavy Metal Remobilization After Dam Removal: A Case Study from the Bellamy River, Dover NH. Funded in part through a UNH Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) award.
- Ashley, Bolbrock, 2007. Sources and Mechanisms for Carbon Delivery to the Deep Sea: Biological Station M, Monterey Fan, California. Funded in part through a UNH Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) award. Presented results at the UNH Undergraduate Research Conference.
- Janine Fraschetti, 2008. Geochemical Constraints on the Origin of a Shallow Ash Occurrence in the Mahanadi Basin, offshore India. Funded in part through a UNH Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) award. Presented results at the UNH Undergraduate Research Conference where she won an Award of Excellence.
Undergraduate Research Technique Development Projects
- Samantha Sinclair, 2011. Intercollege Student Research Experience (INCO 590) Reconstructing the History of Sedimentation at the Former Head-of-tide Dam on the Bellamy River, Dover NH. Presented at the UNH Undergraduate Research Conference.
- Dan Ruhl, 2009. Intercollege Student Research Experience (INCO 590) Paleomagnetic Measurements from Indian Ocean Sediments. (co-supervised with Will Clyde)
- Kristin Bullpet, 2008. CHN Elemental Analyzer sample preparation and operation training.
- Madison Myers, 2007. Intercollege Student Research Experience (INCO 590) CHN Elemental Analyzer Training, Measurement, and Data Interpretation.
- Janine Fraschetti, 2006. NGHP-01 Ocean Drilling Cruise Shipboard Scientist and Intercollege Student Research Experience (INCO 590) Heavy Liquid Mineral Separation.
- Rachel Scudder, 2005. Shipboard Scientist: ROV Operations and Vibracoring in the Monterey Canyon.
- Kaori Tsuki, 2005. Radiocarbon Sample Preparation in Marine Sediments.
Pre-service Teacher Research Projects
- Elizabeth Connolly, 2010. New Insights from Sediment Ages and Carbon Isotopes at a Paleo-Seep/Chemosynthetic Biological Community in the Krishna-Godavari Basin, Offshore India. Presented at Fall 2009 Annual AGU Meeting in San Francisco, CA. Funded by our NSF GEO-Teach Grant.
- Meaghan Julian, 2009. Opportunistic Stratigraphy: Glacial Lake Sediments Revealed During the May 15-16, 2006 Suncook River Avulsion in Epsom, New Hampshire. Presented at the 2009 NE Section GSA Meeting in Portland, ME. Funded by our NSF GEO-Teach Grant.
In-service Teacher Research Projects
- Erica DiRenzo, Kristin FitzGerald, and Brian Smith, Summer 2009. Spatial and Temporal Variability of Sediment Deposition in Great Bay Estuary, NH. Poster Presentation at the end of our course: Research Techniques in Earth System Science for Teachers. Funded by our NSF GEO-Teach Grant).
- Derek Bent, Wendy DeMers, and Robert Schongalla, Summer 2008. Variability in Sediment Deposition in Great Bay Estuary, NH. Poster Presentation at the end of our course: Research Techniques in Earth System Science for Teachers. Funded by our NSF GEO-Teach Grant.
- Freshman Field Seminar ESCI 400
- Introduction to Oceanography ESCI 501
- Sedimentology ESCI 754/854
- Geotectonics (co-taught) ESCI 756/856
- Introduction to Petrology (co-taught) ESCI 614
- Advance Seminar in Oceanography (co-taught) ESCI 993
- Graduate Seminar in Earth Sciences ESCI 997
- Grand Canyon Seminar/Field Trip (co-taught) ESCI 796-7/896-7
- Central California Geologic Transect Seminar/Field Trip (co-taught) ESCI 796-2/896-2
- Earth Systems Science for Teachers (co-taught) ESCI 795
- Research Techniques in Earth System Science for Teachers (co-taught) ESCI 895
- Ph.D. Geological Oceanography, Oregon State University, 2004
- M.S. Structural Geology/Tectonics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1998
- B.S. Geology, University of Minnesota, Duluth, 1996
|Associate Professor of Geology, University of New Hampshire||6/2011-Present|
|Assistant Professor of Geology, University of New Hampshire||8/2005-6/2011|
|Postdoctoral Fellow, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute||8/2004-8/2005|
|Graduate Research Assistant, Oregon State University||1/1999-07/2004|
|Graduate Teaching Assistant, Oregon State University||9/1998-12/1998|
|Graduate Research Assistant, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign||1/1998-6/1998|
Graduate Teaching Assistant, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
- Johnson, J.E., Paull, C.K., and Ussler, W., in revision 2013. Holocene Fan Channel Bend Facies and Event Recurrence on the Monterey Fan, offshore Central California. GSA Bulletin
- Sweeney, E., Gardner, J.V., Johnson, J.E., and Mayer, L.A., 2012. Geological interpretation of a low-backscatter anomaly found on the New Jersey continental margin. Marine Geology, v. 326-328, pp. 46-54.
- Goldfinger, C., Nelson, C.H., Morey, A.E., Johnson, J.E., Patton, J.R., Karabanov, E., Gutiérrez- Pastor, J., Eriksson, A.T., Gràcia, E., Dunhill, G., Enkin, R.J., Dallimore, A., and Vallier, T., 2012, Turbidite event history—Methods and implications for Holocene paleoseismicity of the Cascadia subduction zone: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1661–F, 170 p. (Available at http://pubs.usgs.gov/pp/pp1661f/).
- Rose, K., Johnson, J.E., Phillips, S.C., Smith, J., Reed, A., Disenhof, C., Presley, J., 2012. MITAS- 2009 Expedition, U.S. Beaufort Shelf and Slope—Lithostratigraphy Data Report; NETL- TRS-2-2012; U.S. Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory, 136 pages.
- Ponton, C., Giosan, L., Eglinton, T.I., Fuller, D.Q., Johnson, J.E., Kumar, P., and Collett, T.S., 2012. Holocene aridification of India, Geophysical Research Letters 39, L03704:10.1029/2011GL050722.
- Phillips, S.C., Johnson, J.E., Miranda, E., Disenhof, C., 2011, Improving CHN measurements in carbonate-rich marine sediments. Limnology and Oceanography: Methods, vol 9, pp. 194-203, DOI 10:4319/lom.2011.9.194.
- Johnson, J.E., Solway, D., Disenhof, C., Torres, M.E., Hong, W-L., Rose, K., 2010, Identifying Slope Failure Deposits from a Potentially Mixed Magnetic Susceptibility Signal in Gas Hydrate Bearing Regions. Fire in the Ice, The National Energy Technology Laboratory Methane Hydrate Newsletter. http://www.netl.doe.gov/technologies/oil-gas/publications/Hydrates/Newsletter/MHNews_2011_01.pdf
- Paull, C.K., Ussler III, W., Holbrook, W.S., Hill, T.M., Haflidason, H., Winters, W., Lorenson, T., Aiello, I., Johnson, J.E., and Lundsten, E., 2010. The tail of the Storegga Slide: insights from the geochemistry and sedimentology of the Norwegian Basin Deposits. Sedimentology, 57, pp. 1409-1429, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3091.2010.01150.x.
- Paull, C.K., Schlining, B., Ussler, W. III, Lundsten, E., Barry, J.P., Caress, D.W., Johnson, J.E., and McGann, M., 2010. Submarine Mass Transport Within Monterey Canyon: Benthic Disturbance Controls on the Distribution of Chemosynthetic Biological Communities. In D.C. Mosher et al (eds.), Submarine Mass Movements and Their Consequences, Advances in Natural and Technological Hazards Research, vol. 28, Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2010.
- Gutierrez-Pastor, J., Nelson, C.H., Goldfinger, C., Johnson, J.E., Escutia, C., Eriksson, A., Morey, A.E., and Shipboard Scientific Party, 2009. Earthquake Control of Holocene Turbidite Frequency Confirmed by Hemipelagic Sedimentation Chronology on the Cascadia and Northern California Active Continental Margins. In: External Controls on Deep-Water Depositional Systems SEPM Special Publication No. 92 (CD version), Copyright © 2009 SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology), ISBN 978-1-56576-200-8, p. 179–197.
- Goldfinger, C., Grijalva, K., Bürgmann, R. Morey, A.E., Johnson, J.E., Nelson, C.H., Gutiérrez-Pastor, J., Ericsson, A., Karabanov, E., Chaytor, J.D., Patton, J., and Gràcia, E., 2008, Late Holocene Rupture of the Northern San Andreas Fault and Possible Stress Linkage to the Cascadia Subduction Zone. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 98 (2), 861-889, doi: 10.1785/0120060411.
- Paull, C.K., Ussler, W. III, Holbrook, S.W., Hill, T.M., Keaten, R., Mienert, J., Haflidason, H., Johnson, J.E., Winters, W.J., and Lorenson, T.D., 2007, Origin of pockmarks and chimney structures on the flanks of the Storegga Slide, offshore Norway. Geo-Marine Letters, DOI 10.1007/s00367-007-0088-9.
- Goldfinger, C., Morey, A., Nelson, C. Hans, Gutierrez-Pastor, J., Johnson, J.E., Karabanov, E., Chaytor, J., Eriksson, A., 2007, Rupture lengths and temporal history of significant earthquakes on the offshore and north coast segments of the Northern San Andreas Fault based on turbidite stratigraphy. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 254:9-27.
- Johnson, J.E., Goldfinger, C., Tréhu, A.M., Bangs, N.L.B., Torres, M.E., and Chevallier. J., 2006, North-South Variability in the History of Deformation and Fluid Venting Across Hydrate Ridge, Cascadia Margin. In Tréhu, A.M., Bohrmann, G., Torres, M.E., and Colwell, F.S. (Eds.), Proc. ODP, Sci. Results, 204 [Online]. http:/www-odp.tamu.edu/publications/204_SR/125/125.htm
- Chevallier, J., Tréhu, A.M., Bangs, N.L., Johnson, J.E., and Meyer, H. J., 2006, Seismic sequence stratigraphy and Tectonic Evolution of Southern Hydrate Ridge. In Tréhu, A.M., Bohrmann, G., Torres, M.E., and Colwell, F.S. (Eds.), Proc. ODP, Sci. Results, 204 [Online]. Available at: http://www-odp.tamu.edu/publications/204_SR/121/121.htm.
- Tréhu, A.M., Bohrmann, G., Rack, F.R., Collett, T.S., Goldberg, D.S., Long, P.E., Milkov, A.V., Riedel, M., Bangs, N.L., Barr, S.R., Borowski, W.S., Claypool, G.E., Delwiche, M.E., Dickens, G.R., Gracia, E., Guerin, G., Holland, M., Johnson, J.E., Lee, Y-J, Liu, C-S, Schultheiss, P., Su, X., Teichert, B., Tomaru, H., Torres, M.E., Vanneste, M., Watanabe, M., and Weinberger, J.L., 2004, Three-dimensional distribution of gas hydrate beneath southern Hydrate Ridge: constraints from ODP Leg 204. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 222:845-862.
- Tréhu, A.M., Flemings, P.B., Bangs, N.L., Chevallier, J., Gracia, E., Johnson, J.E., Liu, C.-S., Liu, X., Riedel, M., and Torres, M.E., 2004 Feeding methane vents and gas hydrate deposits at south Hydrate Ridge. Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 31, L23310, doi:10.1029/2004GL021286.
- Johnson, J.E., Goldfinger, C., and Suess, E., 2003. Geophysical constraints on the surface distribution of authigenic carbonates across the Hydrate Ridge region, Cascadia margin. Marine Geology, 202 (1-2) 79-120.
- Goldfinger, C. Nelson, C.H., and Johnson, J.E., 2003, Deep-Water Turbidites as Holocene Earthquake Proxies: The Cascadia Subduction Zone and Northern San Andreas Fault Systems. Annals of Geophysics, 46(5), 1169-1194.
- Goldfinger, C., Nelson, C.H., and Johnson, J.E., 2003, Holocene Earthquake Records From the Cascadia Subduction Zone and Northern San Andreas Fault Based on Precise Dating of Offshore Turbidites Annual Reviews Earth and Planetary Science, vol. 31, 555-577.
Ocean Drilling Program Initial Reports
- Collett, T.S., Riedel, M., Cochran, J., Boswell, R., Presley, J., Kumar, P., Sathe, A., Sethi, A., Lall, M., Sibal, V., and the NGHP Expedition-01 Scientists, 2008, National Gas Hydrate Program Expedition 01 Initial Reports, Vol. I and II on DVD.
- Tréhu, A.M., Bohrmann, G., Rack, F., Torres, M.E., Collett, T., Goldberg, D., Long, P.E., Milkov, A.V., Riedel, M., Schultheiss, P., Bangs, N.L., Barr, S.R., Borowski, W.S., Claypool, G.E., Delwiche, M.E., Dickens, G.R., Gracia, E., Guerin, G., Holland, M., Johnson, J.E., Lee, Y.-J., Liu, C.-S., Su, X., Teichert, B.,Tomaru, H., Vanneste, M., Watanabe, M., and Weinberger, J.L., 2003, Proc. ODP, Init. Repts., 204 [Online]. Available on the World Wide Web: http://www-odp.tamu.edu/publications/
- Tréhu, A. M., Bangs, N. L., Arsenault, M. A., Bohrmann, G., Goldfinger, C., Johnson, J. E., Nakamura, Y., and Torres, M. E., 2002, Complex Subsurface Plumbing Beneath Southern Hydrate Ridge, Oregon Continental Margin, from High-resolution 3D Seismic Reflection and OBS Data. Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Gas Hydrates, Yokohama Japan. May 19-23, 2002, p. 90-96.
- Nelson, C. Hans., Goldfinger, C., Johnson, J. E., Dunhill, G., 2000, Variation of Modern Turbidite Systems Along the Subduction Zone Margin of Cascadia Basin and Implications for Turbidite Reservoir Beds, In Weimer, P.W., Nelson, C. H. et al. (Editors), Deep-water Reservoirs of the World, Gulf Coast Section Society of Economic Paleontologists and Mineralogists Foundation 20th Annual Research Conference, Houston, Texas. Dec. 3, 2000, 31 p.
Recent Meeting Presentations
- Johnson, J.E., Phillips, S., Clyde, W., Giosan, L., Rose, K, 2012. Integrating Primary Sedimentology, Authigenic Phases, and Pore Fluid Geochemistry to Reconstruct the Migration History of the SMT in Gas Hydrate Bearing Regions. Gordon Research Conference Natural Gas Hydrate Systems Occurrence and Dynamic Behavior in Hydrates: Past and Present. Ventura, CA March 18-23, 2012
- Johnson, J.E., Torres, M.E., Hong, W.-L., Disenhof, C., Miranda, E., Rose, K., 2010. Slope Failure Records in Gas Hydrate Bearing Regions of the Cascadia Margin. Abstract OS53A-1370 presented at 2010 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, Calif., 13-17 Dec.
- Johnson, J.E. and Torres, M.E., 2010. Slope Failure Records in Gas Hydrate Bearing Regions on the Cascadia Margin. Gordon Research Conference on Natural Gas Hydrate Systems, Colby College, Waterville, ME June 6-11, 2010.
- Johnson, J.E., Phillips, S.C., Miranda, E., Giosan, L., and Rose, K., 2009. Long-term Variability of Carbon and Nitrogen in the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea: Results from NGHP Expedition 1. Eos Trans. AGU, 90 (52), Fall Meet. Suppl., Abstract OS44A-01.
- Johnson, J.E., Varner, R.K., Bryce, J., Finkel, L., Froburg, E., Graham, K., Hale, S.R., Von Damm, K., and Shipboard Scientific Party (2008), Teachers as Researchers: Using Estuarine Processes to Learn and Teach Earth System Interactions, EOS Trans. AGU, 89(53), Fall Meet. Suppl., Abstract ED22A-07.
- Johnson, J.E., Giosan, L., Rose, K., and Fraschetti, J., 2007. Stratigraphy, Sedimentology, and Depositional History of Gas Hydrate Bearing Sediments Along the Eastern Continental Margin of India and in the Andaman Accretionary Wedge: Results from NGHP Expedition 01. EOS Trans. AGU 88 (52), Fall Meet. Suppl., Abstract OS11C-02.
- Johnson, J.E., Paull, C.K., Normark, W., Ussler, W., 2006. The Extent and Recurrence of Holocene Turbidity Currents in Monterey Canyon and Fan Channel, Offshore California. EOS Trans. AGU, 87 (52), Fall Meet. Suppl., Abstract OS14A-06.
- Johnson, J.E., Paull, C.K., Normark, W., Ussler, W., 2005, Late Holocene Turbidity Currents in Monterey Canyon and Fan Channel: Implications for Interpreting Active Margin Turbidite Records. EOS Trans. AGU, 86(52), Fall Meet. Suppl., Abstract OS21A-1521.
- Johnson, J.E., 2004. Deformation, Fluid Venting, and Slope Failure at an Active Margin Gas Hydrate Province, Hydrate Ridge Cascadia Accretionary Wedge. [Ph.D. Dissertation] Oregon State University, Corvallis.
- Johnson, J.E., 1998, A Subsurface Analysis of the Structure and Evolution of the Du Quoin Monocline, Southern Illinois. [M.S. Thesis] University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.