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Dr. Eric Erslev

Adjunct Professor

Structural Geology & Tectonics
Home Phone: 970-221-2901
Cell Phone: 970 231-2654 Fax: (307) 766-6679

Dept. 3006
Laramie, Wyoming 82071-2000
University of Wyoming Office: 3046


Geology, Ph.D., Harvard University, 1981
Geology, B.A., Wesleyan University, 1976

Professional Appointments

Adjunct Professor, University of Wyoming, 2009-
Emeritus Professor, Colorado State University, 2009-
Assistant, Associate and Full Professor, CSU, 1983-2009
Assistant Professor, Lafayette College, 1981-83

Research Projects and Interests

4D development of Laramide arches (NSF-Earthscope funding)
Rocky Mountain fracture development (petroleum industry funding)
Fault-related folding mechanisms (TRISHEAR, etc.)
Scientific approaches in the geosciences (advocate and diagnositic perspectives)

Recent and Notable Papers and Books

Neely, T.G., and Erslev, E.A., in press, The interplay of fold mechanisms and basement weaknesses at the transition between Laramide basement-involved arches, north-central Wyoming, U.S.A., Journal of Structural Geology Groshong Volume.

Erslev, E.A., and Koenig, N.B., 2009, 3D kinematics of Laramide, basement-involved Rocky Mountain deformation, U.S.A.: Insights from minor faults and GIS-enhanced structure maps: in Kay, S., Ramos, V., and Dickinson, W.R., eds., Backbone of the Americas: Shallow subduction, plateau uplift and ridge and terrane collision, GSA Memoir 204, p. 125-150.

Tetreault, J., Jones, C.H., Erslev, E., Hudson, M., and Larson, S., 2008, Paleomagnetic and structural evidence for oblique slip fold, Grayback Monocline, Colorado: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 120, p. 877-892.

Erslev, E.A., and Larson, S.M., 2006, Testing Laramide hypotheses for the Colorado Front Range arch using minor faults, in Raynolds, R., and Sterne, E., eds., Mountain Geologist special issue on the Colorado Front Range, v. 43, p. 45-64.

Ruf, J.C., and Erslev, E.A., 2005, Origin of Late Mesozoic to Holocene fractures in the northern San Juan Basin, Colorado and New Mexico; Rocky Mountain Geology, v. 40, p. 91-114.

Erslev, E.A., 2005, 2D Laramide geometries and kinematics of the Rocky Mountains, Western U.S.A., Karlstrom, K.E. and Keller, G.R., editors, 2005, The Rocky Mountain Region -- An Evolving Lithosphere: Tectonics, Geochemistry, and Geophysics: American Geophysical Union Geophysical Monograph 154, p. 7-20.

Fankhauser, S.D., and Erslev, E.A., 2004, Unconformable and cross-cutting relationships indicate major Precambrian faulting on the Picuris-Pecos fault system, southern Sangre de Dristo Mountains, New Mexico, in Brister, B., and Lueth, V. (eds.), Geology of the Taos Region: New Mexico Geological Society Guidebook, 55th Field Conference, p. 121-133.

Humphreys, E., Hessler, E., Dueker, K., Farmer, G.L., Erslev, E.A., and Atwater, T., 2003, How Laramide-age hydration of North American lithosphere by the Farallon slab controlled subsequent activity in the western United States: International Geology Reviews, v. 45, p. 575-594.

Erslev, E.A., 2001, Multi-stage, multi-directional Tertiary shortening and compression in north-central New Mexico: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v.113, p. 63-74.

Erslev, E.A. and Mayborn, K. R., 1997, Multiple geometries and modes of fault-propagation folding in the Canadian thrust belt: Journal of Structural Geology, in special volume on fault-related folding, Anastasio, D., Erslev, E.A. and Fisher, D. eds., Journal of Structural Geology, v. 19, p. 321-336.

Erslev, E.A., and Ward, D.J., 1994, Element and volume flux in coalesced slaty cleavage: Journal of Structural Geology v. 16, p. 531-554.

Erslev, E.A., and Rogers, J.L., 1993, Basement-cover geometry of Laramide fault-propagation folds, in Schmidt, C.J., Chase, R., and Erslev, E.A., (eds.), Laramide basement deformation in the Rocky Mountain foreland of the western United States: G.S.A. Special Paper 280, p. 125-146.

Erslev, E.A., 1993, Thrusts, back-thrusts, and detachment of Laramide foreland arches, in Schmidt, C.J., Chase, R., and Erslev, E.A., (eds.), Laramide basement deformation in the Rocky Mountain foreland of the western United States: G.S.A. Special Paper 280, p. 339-358.

Erslev, E.A., 1991, Trishear fault-propagation folding: Geology, v. 19, p. 617-620.

Erslev, E.A., and Sutter, J., 1990, Evidence for Proterozoic mylonitization in the northwestern Wyoming Province: G.S.A. Bulletin, v. 102, p. 1681-1694.

Erslev, E.A., and Ge, H., 1990, Quantitative fabric analysis: Least-squares center-to-center and mean object ellipse fabric analysis: Journal of Structural Geology, v. 12, p. 1047-1059.

Erslev, E.A., 1986, Basement balancing of Rocky Mountain foreland uplifts: Geology, v. 14, p. 259-262, reprinted in Foster and Beaumont (eds.), 1989, Structural Concepts and Techniques II, AAPG Treatise of Petroleum Geology Reprint Series No. 10, p. 145-148.

Graduate Students

  • Karen Aydinian, UW MS candidate, 3D deformation of northern Bighorn Arch
  • Cyrus Gillett, CSU MS candidate, Multi-stage deformation of NW Colorado
  • Ryan Thompson, CSU MS candidate, Central Wind River Basin deformation
  • Wes Clary, CSU MS candidate, Brittle-ductile deformation on Picuris-Pecos fault
  • Tim Riley, CSU MS candidate, GIS analysis of deformed Laramide surfaces
  • Cody Allen, CSU MS student, Fracture mechanisms in the Denver Basin
  • + 32 completed CSU MS and Ph.D. students


GEOL4060 - Rocky Mountain Field Trip – co-leader of 2008, 2009 trips
GEOL???? – Advanced Structural Geology – to be taught Spring 2010
GEOL5211 - Seminar in Structural Geology and Tectonics - co-taught with B. Carrapa

Teaching and Research Statement

Thoughtful application of scientific approaches has been the cornerstone of my teaching and research. I consider myself a diagnostic, “multiple working hypothesis” scientist and seek to instill an active scientific consciousness in my students. This perspective has allowed us to contribute to numerous debates in structural geology and tectonics by integrating observations from multiple perspectives.

I spent 26 years teaching structural geology and tectonics at Colorado State University in a full time faculty position. My CSU students and I enjoyed integrating input from multiple disciplines, including structural, geophysical and geochemical data, and at diverse scales, from micro-scale mineral equilibria, geochronology and strain analysis to regional scale fold modeling and tectonics. Field studies have been the basis for much of our research as the real world has provided us with our best inspirations. Our largely field-generated hypotheses are typically tested by subsurface data, geochemical data, and 3D kinematic restorations.

Recent collaborative research projects funded by petroleum industry sponsors have created a very productive synergism of academic theory and industry data. An early retirement from CSU and an adjunct position at the University of Wyoming have allowed me to maintain my academic graduate and research programs while allowing more interaction with petroleum and other geologic industries. The already strong critical mass of structural and tectonic expertise at the University of Wyoming will allow me to continue my graduate program and strengthen my bridge between academia and industry.

Contact Us

Department of Geology and Geophysics

1000 E. University Ave.

Laramie, WY 82071-2000

Phone: 307-766-3386

Fax: 307-766-6679


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