Jason B. Saleeby
Jason B. Saleeby, professor of geology, emeritus, passed away on January 16, 2023. He was 74.
Saleeby earned his bachelor's degree from California State University, Northridge, in 1972 and his doctorate from UC Santa Barbara in 1975. He joined Caltech as an assistant professor in 1978 and was tenured in 1988. He retired in 2015.
Saleeby was a champion of getting out into the field, though he combined his hands-on approach to geology with lab-based expertise in geophysics, petrology, geochronology, and thermochronology to provide analysis from the continental scale down to the microscale.
"Field-based geological research is unique in the scientific endeavor, by virtue of the direct connections that can be made between tactile human experience and advanced scientific instrumentation and analysis," Saleeby wrote upon receiving the Distinguished Geologic Career Award from the Geological Society of America in 2012. "From the perspective of a childlike inquisitiveness of our natural environment, a life full of multidisciplinary field-based research gives one the sense that our planet is the ultimate amusement park!"
Saleeby's research interests included the tectonic and geochronological studies in orogenic terranes of western North America, emphasizing the paleogeographic development of the Pacific Basin and its margins—specifically, the North American Cordillera, which is the mountain chain system that stretches along the Pacific coast of North America. In particular, he focused on the formation and structure of the batholith, a region-spanning chunk of igneous rock, of the Sierra Nevada.
"Indeed, few Earth scientists have been able to glean as much information from rocks and structures in the field, and then apply a broad range of quantitative techniques to provide constraints on their ages and origins," wrote George G. Gehrels (PhD '86) of the University of Arizona in Saleeby's Distinguished Geologic Career Award announcement.
North America Cordillera Tectonics and Paleogeography:
Saleeby, J., 2011, Geochemical mapping of the Kings-Kaweah ophiolite belt, southwestern Sierra Nevada Foothills-Evidence for progressive melange formation in a large offset transform-subduction initiation environment: in J. Wakabayashi and E. Dilek, eds. Geological Society of America Special Paper on the The Nature and Formation of Melanges, Geological Society of America Special Paper 480, p. 31-73, doi:10.1130/2011.2480(02).
Clemens-Knott, D., and Saleeby, J., 2013, Mesozoic metasedimentary framework and gabbroids of the Early Cretaceous Sierra Nevada batholith, in Putirka, K., ed., Geologic Excursions from Fresno, California, and the Central Valley: A Tour of California's iconic Geology: Geologicla Society of America Field Guide 32, p. 79-98, doi:10.1130/2013.0032(05).
Saleeby, J., Saleeby, Z., and Sousa, F., 2013, From deep to modern time along the western Sierra Nevada Foothills of California, San Joaquin to Kern River drainages, in Putirka, K., ed., Geologic Excursions from Fresno, California, and the Central Valley: A Tour of California's iconic Geology: Geological Society of America Field Guide 32, p. 37-62, doi:10.1130/2013.0032(03).
Saleeby, J.B., and Dunne, G., 2015, Temporal and tectonic relations of early Mesozoic arc magmatism, southern Sierra Nevada, California, in Anderson, T.H., Didenko, A.N., Johnson, C.L., Khanchuk, A.I., and MacDonald, J.H., Jr., eds., Late Jurassic Margin of Laurasia—A Record of Faulting Accommodating Plate Rotation: Geological Society of America Special Paper 513, p. 1–46, doi:10.1130/2015.2513(05).
Petrogenetic Development and Subsequent Tectonic Overprints of the Sierra Nevada Batholith:
Chapman, A.D., Kidder, S., Saleeby, J.B., Ducea M.N., 2010, Role of extrusion of the Rand and Sierra de Salinas schists in Late Cretaceous extension and rotation of the southern Sierra Nevada and vicinity, Tectonics, doi:10.1029/2009TC002597.
Nadin, E.S., and Saleeby, J., 2010, Quaternary reactivation of the Kern Canyon fault system, southern Sierra Nevada, California, Bulletin of the Geological Society of America, v. 122, p.1671-1685, doi:10.1130/B30009.1.
Chapman, A.D., Luffi, P., Saleeby, J., and Petersen, S., 2011, Partial melting, counterclockwise P-T path, and rapid exhumation above an ancient flat slab, insights form the San Emigdio Mountains, California, Journal of Metamorphic Geology. doi:10.1111/j.1525-1314.2011.00932.x.
Cecil, M.R., Rotberg, G., Ducea, M.N., Saleeby, J.B., and Gehrels, G.E., 2012, Magmatic growth and batholith root development in the northern Sierra Nevada, California, Geosphere, v. 8; no. 3; doi:10.1130/GES00729.1.
Chapman, A.D., Saleeby, J., Wood, D.J., and Piasecki, A., Kidder, S., Ducea, M.N., and Farley, K.A., 2012, Late Cretaceous gravitational collapse of the southern Sierra Nevada batholith, Geosphere, doi:10.1029/2009TC002597.
Chapman, A.D. and Saleeby, J.B., 2012, Geologic map of the San Emigdio Mountains, southern California, Geological Society of America Map and Chart Series MCH101, 1:40,000 scale.
Chapman, A., Saleeby, J., and Eiler, J., 2013, Slab flattening trigger for isotopic disturbance and magmatic flare-up in the southernmost Sierra Nevada batholith, California, Geology, doi:10.1130/G34445.1.
Clemens-Knott, D., van der Kolk, D.A., Sturmer, D.M., and Saleeby, J., 2013, The Goldstein Peak Formation, central California: Record of a nonmarine intra-arc basin within the Early Cretaceous arc: Geosphere, doi: 10.1130/GES00886.1.
Hall, C.A., and Saleeby, J.B., 2013, Salinia revisited: a crystalline nappe sequence lying above the Nacimiento fault and dispersed along the San Andreas fault system, California, International Geology Review, DOI:10.1080/00206814.2013.825141.
Ducea, M.N., Sleeby, J.B., and Bergantz, G., 2015, The architecture, chemistry, and evolution of continental magmatic arcs, Annual Reviews of Earth and Planetary Sciences, 10.1146/annurev-earth-060614-105049.
Chapman, A.D., Wood, D.J., Saleeby, J.S., and Saleeby, Z., 2016, Late Cretaceous to Early Neogene tectonic development of the southern Sierra Nevada region, California. Geological Society of America Fieldtrip Guide 7, Cordilleran Section, Ontario California, 55 pp.
Nadin, E.S., Saleeby, J., and Wong, M., 2016, Thermal evolution of the Sierra Nevada batholith, California, and implications for strain localization, Geosphere, v. 12, n. 2, doi:10.1130/GES01224.1.
Saleeby, J., and Chapman, A., 2020, History of exhumation and related structural relief generation for the southernmost Sierra Nevada batholith, and tectonic forcing interpretations, Geological Society of America Abstract, Cordillera Section Meeting, Pasadena, California, T-8, 2-1.
Landscape Evolution of the Southern Sierra Nevada and Linked Subsidence History of the San Joaquin Basin:
Mahéo, G., J. Saleeby, Z. Saleeby, and K. A. Farley, 2009, Tectonic control on southern Sierra Nevada topography, California, Tectonics, 28, TC6006, doi:10.1029/2008TC002340.
Saleeby, J., Saleeby, Z., Nadin, E., and Maheo, G., 2009, Step over in the structure controlling the regional west tilt of the Sierra Nevada microplate: eastern escarpment to Kern Canyon system: in W.G. Ernst, Ed., Special Volume on the Nevada Plano, International Geology Review v. 51, n. 7-8, p. 634-669.
Saleeby, J., Saleeby, Z., and Le Pourhiet, L., 2013, Epeirogenic transients related to mantle lithosphere removal in the southern Sierra Nevada region, Part II: implications of rock uplift and basin subsidence relations, Geosphere, v. 9; no. 3; p. 1-32, doi:10.1130/GES00816.1.
Cecil, R., Saleeby, Z., Saleeby, J. and Farley, K., 2014, Pliocene-Quaternary subsidence and exhumation of the southeastern San Joaquin Basin, California, in response to mantle lithosphere removal, Geosphere, doi:10.1130/GES00882.1.
Saleeby, J., Saleeby, Z., Robbins, J., and Gillespie, J., 2015, Sediment Provenance and Dispersal of Neogene-Quaternary Strata of the Eastern San Joaquin Basin and its Transition into the Southern Sierra Nevada, California, Geosphere, doi:10.1130/GES01359.1.
Goebel, T.H.W., Hosselnl, S.M., Cappa, F.,, Hauksson, E., Ampuero, J.P., Aminzadeh, and Saleeby, J.B., 2016, Wastewater disposal and earthquake swarm activity at the southern end of the Central Valley, Califronia, Geophysical Research Letters, 43, doi:10.1002/2015GL066948.
Sousa, F.J., Farley, K.A., Saleeby, J., and Clark, M.K., 2016, Eocene activity on the western Sierra fault system and its role incising Kings River Canyon, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2016.01.020.
Sousa, F.J., Saleeby, J., Farley, K.A., Unruh, J.R., and Lloyd, M.K., 2016, The southern Sierra Nevada pediment, central California, Geosphere, v. 13, n. 1, doi:10.1130/GES01389.1.
Saleeby, J., and Saleeby, Z., 2019, Late Cenozoic structure and tectonics of the southern Sierra Nevada- eastern San Joaquin Basin transition, California, Geosphere, https://doi.org/10.1130/GES02052.1.
Tectonic and Geodynamic Development of the SW U.S. Upper Mantle:
Luffi, P., Saleeby, J., Lee, C.T.A., and Ducea, M., 2009, Lithospheric mantle duplex beneath the central Mojave Desert revealed by xenoliths from Dish Hill, California: Journal of Geophysical Research., doi:10.1029/2008JB005906.
Liu, L., Gurnis, M., Seton, M., Saleeby, J., Muller, D., and Jackson, J., 2010, The role of oceanic plateau subduction in the Laramide orogeny, Nature Geoscience, doi:10.1038/NGEO829.
Saleeby, J., Le Pourhiet, L., Saleeby, Z., Gurnis, M., 2012, Epeirogenic transients related to mantle lithosphere removal in the southern Sierra Nevada region, Part I: implications of thermal-mechanical modeling, Geosphere, v. 8; no. 6; p. 1286–1309; doi:10.1130/GES00746.1.
Jones, C.H., and Saleeby, J.B., 2013, Introduction: geodynamics and consequences of lithospheric removal in the Sierra Nevada, California, Geoshpere, v. 9; no. 2; p. 188–190; doi:10.1130/GES00907.1.
Le Pourhiet, L., and Saleeby, J., 2013, Lithospheric convective instability could induce creep along the San Andreas fault, Geology, doi: 10.1130/G34244.1.
Sun, D., Gurnis, M., Saleeby, J., and Helmberger, D., 2017, A dipping, thick segment of the Farallon Slab beneath Central US, Journal of Geophysical Research, Solid Earth, doi:10.1002/2016JB013915.
Quinn, D. P., Saleeby, J. B., Ducea, M. N., Luffi, P., and Asimow, P. D., 2018, Late Cretaceous construction of the mantle lithosphere beneath the central California coast revealed by Crystal Knob xenoliths. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, v. 19, p. 3302–3346.
Chapman, A.D., Rautela. O., Shields, J., Ducea, M.N., and Saleeby, J., 2019, Fate of the lower lithosphere during shallow-angle subduction: the Laramide example, GSA Today, https://doi.org/10.1130/GSATG412A.1.
Saleeby, J., 2019, Structural and kinematic relationships suggesting a genetic linkage between the Monterey plate and the Transverse Ranges upper mantle high seismic wave speed anomaly, southern California, Geological Society of America Abstract, Cordillera Section Meeting, Portland Oregon, T1, 2-1.