Faculty & Staff

Peter Thompson

Peter J. Thompson
Affiliate Professor of Geology

Structural Geology and Tectonics
Ph.D. Univ. of Massachusetts, 1985
email address:

Courses Taught

Research Interests

My main interests lie in the area of New England stratigraphy, structure and tectonic history, especially of Vermont and New Hampshire. The plate tectonic model, in conjunction with modern methods of geochemical and dating analysis, has greatly enhanced our understanding in recent decades. What excites me about this work is that, despite a century and a half of collective endeavor by countless geologists, many questions remain unanswered.

Current Projects

VERMONT STATE MAP: Since 2000 I have served as associate editor for a new bedrock map of Vermont to be published in 2010 by USGS. At a scale of 1:100,000, the map is 2½ times larger, and shows far greater detail, than the previous Vermont map (Doll et al., 1961). The greatest change is probably the compilation of map units into tectonic slices, in keeping with the region's complicated tectonic history. The new map and cross sections represent the work of hundreds of geologists, mostly working at a scale of 1:24,000 since the plate tectonic "revolution".

JOINT STUDIES: My own most recent mapping has integrated water-bearing capacity of rock units into the basic collection and interpretation of stratigraphic and structural data. These projects have been iniated by towns and funded through the USGS Cooperative Mapping Program and geological surveys of Vermont (town of Woodstock) and New Hampshire (towns of Dublin, Lyme and Antrim). The aim of these studies is to better our understanding of groundwater movement in bedrock aquifers. In the summer of 2010 I'll be doing a similar study in the Boston Harbor Islands National Park, a joint USGS/NPS project.

GEOLOGY OF THE HIGHEST POINT IN EACH STATE: The Highpointers Club held their annual meeting at Mt. Washington, New Hampshire, in 2005. This event inspired me to post a summary of the bedrock geology, soils, surficial geology and other topics of interest for the highest point in each state.

Recent Publications

Older Publications

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