Jason Barnes
Jason B. Barnes, Ph.D., L.G., GISP
Senior Scientist
Environmental & Earth Sciences
Seattle

Dr. Barnes is a geologist and geomorphologist with 20 years of experience investigating landscapes and their evolution. He focuses on how landforms change, the distribution of soils, sediments, and rock within them, and the migration of water, particles, and chemicals through them. He conducts environmental site investigations for characterization and remediation of contaminants (e.g., chlorinated solvents, metals, salts, coal ash, hydrocarbons) in soils, sediments, and groundwater, and analyzes landscape changes driven by anthropogenic, tectonic, climatic, and erosion processes. Dr. Barnes uses hydrogeologic datasets from wells and direct push-drilling techniques (HPT, MIP, MiHpt, boring logs) and mapping to assess site conditions, analyze site histories (e.g., “industrial archeology”), reconstruct paleoenvironments, and evaluate potential pathways for fluids and contaminants. He also combines geologic, hydrologic, topographic, isotopic, and remote sensing-based datasets to investigate fault motion, and quantify rates and patterns (even specific events) of faulting, uplift, erosion, precipitation, and sediment transport and deposition. Dr. Barnes helps clients investigate environmental conditions, manage natural resources, assess geologic hazards (e.g., landslides, erosion, floods, earthquakes), and mitigate risks associated with landscape instability.

Dr. Barnes’s expertise includes geomorphology, structural geology, stratigraphy, sedimentology, geochronology, and geophysics. His professional experience spans government agencies (U.S. Geological Survey, Arizona Geological Survey), universities (Univ. of Tuebingen, Germany, Durham University, UK, Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), an energy company (ExxonMobil), and consulting. Example projects have involved data analysis from conventional and innovative drilling techniques; topographic analysis using digital elevation models (DEMs, e.g., LiDAR, SRTM, 3DEP); applying contaminant hydrogeology principals; investigating subsurface permeability patterns; identifying coal ash in soils; field and geographic information systems (GIS)-based geologic and geomorphic mapping and metadata standards development; geoinformatics and geospatial analytics; aerial photogrammetry; landslide mapping and susceptibility; automated river channel mapping with satellite image analysis; modelling fluvial knickpoint migration; computing river stream power, bed shear stress, erosion potential, and downstream hydraulic scaling relationships; using geomorphic features to determine fault slip behavior; estimating rock erodibility with intact rock strength measurements; calculating sediment budgets and erosion rates across multiple spatiotemporal scales; evaluating fault growth models and displacement-length scaling; investigating active faulting, fold kinematics, and paleoseismic data; using low-temperature thermochronology, geothermal, and geophysical data to reconstruct basin thermal histories for oil and gas exploration and production; and inspecting radiogenic and stable isotope concentrations in rocks, sediments, and water to constrain fault movement, precipitation pathways, paleoclimate patterns, sediment sources, and past changes in surface elevations.

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Geological Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2008
  • M.S., Geosciences, University of Arizona, 2002
  • B.A., Earth & Environmental Sciences, Wesleyan University, 1998
  • Sigma Xi, 2012

    Phi Kappa Phi, 2008

    Geological Society of America Bulletin Exceptional Reviewer Award 2012

    Top Reviewer Award, Elsevier, Geosciences Journals 2009

    John Dorr Graduate Academic Achievement Award, Geological Sciences, University of Michigan 2009

    Earth Science Postdoctoral Fellowship, National Science Foundation 2008

    Pre-Doctoral Fellowship, Rackham Graduate School, University of Michigan 2007

    Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor, Geological Sciences, University of Michigan 2006

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

Licensed Geologist, Washington, #3214

Licensed Geologist, North Carolina, #2462

Certified GIS Professional (GISP), #83260

OSHA HAZWOPER 40-Hr Training

OSHA HAZWOPER 8-Hr Refresher Training

OSHA HAZWOPER 8-Hr Site Supervisor Training

First Aid and CPR/AED Training

Publications

Full listing on Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=4gVTJ3oAAAAJ&hl=en

Srivastava V, Mukul M, Barnes JB, Mukul M. Geometry and kinematics of Main Frontal Thrust-related fault propagation folding in the Mohand Range, northwest Himalaya. Journal of Structural Geology 2018; 115: 1-18.

Srivastava V, Mukul M, Barnes JB. Main Frontal thrust deformation and topographic growth of the Mohand Range, northwest Himalaya; Journal of Structural Geology 2016; 93:131–148.

Curry MA, Barnes JB, Colgan JP. Testing fault growth models with low-temperature thermochronology in the northwest Basin and Range, USA. Tectonics 2016; 35:2467–2492.

Ellis MA, Barnes JB. A global perspective on the topographic response to fault growth. Geosphere 2015; 11, 4:1008–1023.

Fiorella RP, Poulsen CJ, Pillco-Zola RS, Barnes JB, Tabor CR, Ehlers TA. Spatiotemporal variability of modern precipitation δ18O in the central Andes and implications for paleoclimate and paleoaltimetry estimates. Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres 2015; 120:4630–4656.

Ellis MA, Barnes JB, Colgan JP. Geomorphic evidence for enhanced Pliocene-Quaternary faulting in the northwestern Basin and Range. Lithosphere 2014; 7(1):59–72.

Eichelberger N, McQuarrie N, Ehlers TA, Enkelmann E, Barnes JB, Lease RO. New constraints on the chronology, magnitude, and distribution of deformation within the central Andean orocline. Tectonics 2013; 32:1–22.

Allen GH, Barnes JB, Pavelsky TM, Kirby E. Lithologic and tectonic controls on bedrock channel form at the northwest Himalayan front. Journal of Geophysical Research – Earth Surface 2013; 118:1806–1825.

Rushlow CR, Barnes JB, Ehlers TA, Verges J. Exhumation of the southern Pyrenean fold-thrust belt (Spain) from orogenic growth to decay. Tectonics 2013; 32:843–860.

Insel N, Haschke M, Grove M, Barnes JB, Schmitt A, Strecker MR. Paleozoic-to-early Cenozoic cooling and exhumation of the basement underlying the eastern Puna plateau margin prior to plateau uplift. Tectonics 2012; 31, TC6006:1–17.

Barnes JB, Ehlers TA, Insel N, McQuarrie N, Poulsen CJ. Linking orography, climate, and exhumation across the central Andes. Geology 2012; 40:1135–1138.

Pavelsky TM, Sobolowski S, Kapnick SB, Barnes JB. Changes in orographic precipitation patterns caused by a shift from snow to rain. Geophysical Research Letters 2012; 39, L18706:1–6.

Barnes JB, Densmore AL, Mukul M, Sinha R, Jain V, Tandon SK. Interplay between faulting and base level in the development of Himalayan frontal fold topography. Journal of Geophysical Research – Earth Surface 2011; 116, F03012:1–19.

Insel N, Ehlers TA, Schaller M, Barnes JB, Tawackoli S, Poulsen CJ. Spatial and temporal variability in denudation across the Bolivian Andes from multiple geochronometers. Geomorphology 2010; 122:65–77.

Barnes JB, Ehlers TA. End member models for Andean Plateau uplift. Earth-Science Reviews 2009; 97:117–144.

Barnes JB, Heins WA. Plio-Quaternary sediment budget between thrust belt erosion and foreland deposition in the central Andes, southern Bolivia; Basin Research 2009; 21:91–109.

McQuarrie N, Ehlers TA, Barnes JB, Meade BJ. Temporal variation in climate and tectonic coupling in the central Andes. Geology 2008; 36:999–1002.

Barnes JB, Ehlers TA, McQuarrie N, O'Sullivan PB, Tawackoli S. Thermochronometer record of central Andean plateau growth, Bolivia (19.5°S). Tectonics 2008; 27, TC3003:1–25.

McQuarrie N, Barnes JB, Ehlers TA. Geometric, kinematic, and erosional history of the central Andean Plateau, Bolivia (15–17ºS). Tectonics 2008; 27, TC3007:1–24.

Graymer RW, Brabb EE, Jones DL, Barnes JB, Nicholson RS, Stamski RE. Geologic Map and Map Database of Eastern Sonoma and Western Napa Counties, California. USGS Scientific Investigations Map 2956, 2007.

Barnes JB, Ehlers TA, McQuarrie N, O’Sullivan PB, Pelletier JD. Eocene to recent variations in erosion across the central Andean fold-thrust belt, northern Bolivia: Implications for plateau evolution; Earth and Planetary Science Letters 2006; 248:118–133.

Barnes JB, Pelletier JD. Latitudinal variation of denudation in the evolution of the Bolivian Andes; American Journal of Science 2006; 306:1–31.

Zeilinga de Boer J, Barnes JB, Ernst RE. Variations in the Anisotropy of the Magnetic Susceptibility (AMS) in the early Jurassic Holyoke flow basalt of the Hartford Rift Valley (CT and MA): Magnetic evidence for internal deformation during cooling. Northeastern Geology and Environmental Sciences 2006; 28:231–237.

McLaughlin RJ, Ellen SD, Blake MC, Jayko AS, Irwin WP, Clarke SH, Aalto KR, Carver GA. Digital database by Barnes JB, Cecil JD, Cyr KA, Phelps GA. Geology of the Cape Mendocino, Eureka, Garberville and southwestern part of the Hayfork 30 by 60 minute quadrangles and adjacent offshore areas, northern California. USGS Miscellaneous Field Studies Map MF-2336, 2000.

Brabb EE, Roberts S, Cotton WR, Kropp AL, Wright RH, Zinn EN. Digital database by Roberts S, Mills SK, Barnes JB, Marsolek JE. Possible costs associated with investigating and mitigating geologic hazards in rural areas of western San Mateo County, California. USGS Open-File Report 00-127, 2000.

Prior Experience

Principal Geoscientist, Landscape Analytics LLC, 2013–2017

Geologist | Environmental Consultant, Solutions-IES, Inc., 2015–2016

Visiting Research Scientist & Lecturer, Geosciences, University of Tübingen, Germany 2013–2014

Assistant Professor & McMillan Fellow, Geological Sciences, University of North Carolina, 2010–2013

NSF Earth Science Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute of Hazard & Risk Research, Durham University, UK, 2008–2010

Research Geologist, ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company, 2006

Geologist | GIS Analyst, Arizona Geological Survey, 2002

Geologist | GIS Analyst, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), 1999–2000

Professional Affiliations

American Geophysical Union–AGU

Geological Society of America–GSA

Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists-AEG

Project Experience

Site Characterization, Investigation, and Remediation

Remedial Investigation (RI) at a Former Washington State Department of Transportation Property: Revised an RI Work Plan in response to client and agency feedback. Focused on site areas with existing Model Toxics Control Act (MCTA) screening level exceedances and filling data gaps to determine the extent of potential debris, fill, and buried waste. Contaminants of concern included herbicides, metals, dioxins/furans, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds (VOCs, SVOCs), and total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH).

Site Characterization, Paleoenvironmental Reconstruction, and Geospatial Data Analysis: Characterized and analyzed the 3-dimensional distributions of soil units, grain sizes, permeability, and contaminants at a complex site in Nevada in order to better understand its paleoenvironmental history and stratigraphic architecture. Evaluated hypotheses for possible preferential pathways for contaminants in groundwater, assessed hydraulic profiling tool [HPT]-generated hydraulic conductivity estimates, and completed calculations to help quantify remedial cost estimates.

Oil Spill Site Fieldwork: Participated in ongoing research projects focused on the biodegradation of hydrocarbons into metabolites following an oil spill in 1979 at the USGS National Crude Oil Research Site near Bemidji, MN. Activities included groundwater and light non-aqueous phase liquid (LNAPL) sampling, documenting environmental conditions, and logistics associated with shipping samples under short holding times.

Testing New Remediation Approaches: Collaborated on projects aimed at improved site characterization by testing novel in situ bioremediation techniques for addressing comingled contaminants such as TCE, TCA, and 1,4-Dioxane at sites with low permeability. Fieldwork involved sampling groundwater, surface water, soil, organic compounds, and direct-push drilling including a hydraulic profiling tool [HPT], a membrane interface probe [MIP], a combined tool [MiHpt], and logging soil cores. Performed data analysis, GIS-based data interpolation, and pilot groundwater flow modeling with MODFLOW.


Contaminant and Geologic Data Analysis: Assessed the source(s), nature, and extent of perchloroethylene (PCE) contamination from a dry cleaner in California. Quantified PCE concentrations in soil, soil vapor, and groundwater as a function of distance from areas of interest, and used soil borings to estimate percentages of various grain sizes within the subsurface stratigraphy to assess concerns about the site’s permeability.

Contaminant Release Reconstruction and Groundwater Movement: Provided technical support determining the timing and release of heating oil from a degraded underground storage tank (UST) at a lakeshore property in order to help assess liability for cleanup. Researched and retrieved historical documents, including through public document requests, compiled relevant local environmental data, and estimated the range of possible LNAPL volumes and groundwater travel times using site data and established correction factors.

Development and Expansion of the Enviro.wiki (www.enviro.wiki): Helped develop, add, and edit content by reviewing and shepherding the scientific content through the editorial, MediaWiki-based coding and formatting, and quality assurance/control (QA/QC) processes. Currently helping develop a sustainable editorial policy, train new editors, and acting as a development team member providing technical support as the site expands.

Environmental Liabilities and Risk Management

Risk-Based Management Research for Coal Combustion Residual (CCR) Facilities: Researched and assessed available physical test methods for identifying CCRs in soils and their use in determining CCR removal during site closure planning and activities. Developed a sampling and analysis plan (SAP) to evaluate and compare existing methodological practices for identifying CCRs in soils at impacted sites undergoing closure.

Geodatabase Development for Assessing Property Damage Claims: Helped develop a GIS-based geodatabase containing construction-based claims of property damage from water infrastructure upgrade activities within a city in the southern U.S. The geodatabase included geotechnical data such as borings, inclinometers, monitoring wells, vibration monitoring records, tax parcels, construction limits, and aerial photos that could be used to evaluate claims and possibly select specific properties for on-site inspections.

Mapping, Geomorphology, Hazards, and Climate

Geologic Mapping in the Western U.S.: Supported the revision, expansion, and digitizing of USGS geologic maps and associated databases with fieldwork and GIS for Napa and Sonoma Counties in the San Francisco Bay Area and numerous quadrangles in northern, coastal California surrounding Cape Mendocino. Developed and implemented early phases of map metadata standards and helped train and oversee other GIS analysts in support of these projects. Also worked on mapping projects along the Tucson-Phoenix urban corridor with the Arizona Geological Survey.

Landslide Mapping and Susceptibility: Employed electrical resistivity measurements to map the basal slip surface of the Mission Peak landslide triggered by the 1997-1998 El Niño in Alameda County, California. Refined, revised, and expanded geologic maps and associated geodatabases to support a landslide susceptibility analysis that evaluated the relationships between geology, land use, and increased sediment supply to fish spawning and riparian habitats along the northern California coast.

Coevolution of Faulting and Topography: Led project to improve understanding of how growing faults create topography. Involved topographic analysis, global-scale fault motion database development, fieldwork in the U.S. Basin and Range, catchment-scale erosional flux calculations, and river knickpoint migration mapping and modeling. This project constrained the causes and timescales for topographic relief generation by active fault systems globally and quantified the topographic imprint of a change in fault slip rate on several normal faults in the Nevada Basin and Range.

Active Faulting and Erosion at the Himalayan Front: Led collaborative project quantifying the topographic growth associated with active faulting with implications for improving seismic hazard assessments. Involved developing new topographic and satellite image analysis techniques, fieldwork, structural geology and stratigraphy, rock strength proxies, cosmogenic nuclide analysis, and simulations for disentangling the imprint of recycling on sediment exposure histories to (a) compare the relative importance of uplift patterns and local base level affecting topographic growth, (b) test the fidelity of mapping Himalayan geologic patterns remotely using fluvial geomorphology, and (c) advance the use of surface exposure dating in geomorphic applications.

Evaluating Fault Growth Models: Led a project that developed a new framework for evaluating contrasting models for fault growth using [U-Th]/He and fission track thermochronology data, balanced geologic cross sections, and established fault displacement-length scaling relationships. Applied this framework to several active normal faults in the Nevada Basin and Range.

Emergent Himalayan Fault Zone Assessment: Collaborated on a project detailing the active Main Frontal Thrust (MFT) fault zone exposed at the Himalayan front, with implications for seismic hazard assessments for the Mohand Range in India. Involved fieldwork, structural geology, stratigraphy, balanced cross sections, high-resolution, real-time GPS-based topographic measurements, and kinematic fold modelling to (a) characterize the MFT kinematic history, (b) reinterpret the existing structural model from a fault-bend fold to a fault-propagation fold, and (c) corroborate these interpretations using measured and modelled topography and erosion histories.

Mountain Rainfall Patterns and Dynamics: Collaborated on a project that simulated the effect of a precipitation phase change (snow to rain) throughout the central Sierra Nevada. This involved using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) regional climate model combined with North American Regional Reanalysis boundary conditions. The project utilized idealized simulations to explore this anticipated effect of climate warming on California mountain ranges with implications for water storage, resources, and management. Also collaborated on another project measuring and modeling the patterns of stable isotopes in precipitation across the central Andes to better understand them as tracers for identifying their sources and reconstructing paleoclimate and elevation histories in high plateau regions. 

Sedimentary Processes and Basin Analysis 

Improving Appalachian Basin Models with Thermochronology: Led projects focused on reconstructing the history of basin deposition, burial, heating, and subsequent cooling and uplift. Projects used fission track and [U-Th]/He thermochronology and thermal modeling to reconstruct time-temperature histories of basin sediments in support of natural resource exploration. Components included proposal design, fieldwork, research, database development, sub-contracted lab work, data analysis, thermal modeling, and results interpretation.

Sediment Budget between Andes Erosion and Foreland Sedimentation: Led project that linked source region sediment production to sink deposition across the southern Bolivian Andes. Involved basin analysis, sediment isopach (thickness contours) maps, erosion surface reconstruction, topographic and satellite image analysis, GIS-based 3D volume difference and material flux calculations, and erosion-rate estimates over multiple scales. This project resulted in a quantitative sediment mass balance case study that was used to test a reservoir quality model.

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Geological Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2008
  • M.S., Geosciences, University of Arizona, 2002
  • B.A., Earth & Environmental Sciences, Wesleyan University, 1998
  • Sigma Xi, 2012

    Phi Kappa Phi, 2008

    Geological Society of America Bulletin Exceptional Reviewer Award 2012

    Top Reviewer Award, Elsevier, Geosciences Journals 2009

    John Dorr Graduate Academic Achievement Award, Geological Sciences, University of Michigan 2009

    Earth Science Postdoctoral Fellowship, National Science Foundation 2008

    Pre-Doctoral Fellowship, Rackham Graduate School, University of Michigan 2007

    Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor, Geological Sciences, University of Michigan 2006

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

Licensed Geologist, Washington, #3214

Licensed Geologist, North Carolina, #2462

Certified GIS Professional (GISP), #83260

OSHA HAZWOPER 40-Hr Training

OSHA HAZWOPER 8-Hr Refresher Training

OSHA HAZWOPER 8-Hr Site Supervisor Training

First Aid and CPR/AED Training