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

Dr. Barnes has 18 years of experience as a geologist and hydrogeologist investigating landscapes and their response to environmental and anthropogenic changes over time. He assists clients in addressing complex geologic and hydrogeologic questions by integrating his expertise in geomorphology (e.g., watersheds, rivers, and hillslopes), geology, stratigraphy, sedimentology, geophysics, and geochronology. He specializes in surface and subsurface hydrogeology investigations for environmental site characterization and remediation of contaminants in soils, sediments, and groundwater. Dr. Barnes has reconstructed site histories and paleo-environments, conducted sedimentary basin analysis, dated geomorphic events, and examined erosion processes, sediment transport-depositional systems, faulting, and regional hydrologic patterns. He helps public and private entities evaluate environmental conditions, manage natural resources, assess geologic hazards (e.g., landslides, erosion, floods, earthquakes), and discern how landforms adjust to change (e.g., river knickpoint migration, sediment supply, aggradation).

Dr. Barnes’s expertise includes using techniques such as field mapping, sampling, drilling, aerial photogrammetry, geographic information systems (GIS), and hydrogeologic models to develop comprehensive geomorphic and geologic maps and analyses for environmental projects. He uses direct push-type characterization techniques (e.g., HPT, MIP), rock and sediment logs, and well data to evaluate environmental site conditions and potential pathways for water and contaminants (e.g., VOCs, 1,4-Dioxane, TDS). He also specializes in diverse methods (e.g., sediment-flux data, landslide mapping, sediment isopachs and volumes, paleoerosion surface degradation, balanced cross sections, and isotopic techniques) for quantifying amounts and rates of erosion and deposition across multiple spatial and temporal scales.

Dr. Barnes also combines isotopes, digital elevation models (DEMs; e.g., LIDAR), satellite images, geologic datasets, geospatial analytics, subsurface geophysics, and simulations for resource management and hazards applications. For example, he has applied low-temperature thermochronology (fission track, [U-Th]/He) to constrain sediment thermal histories for oil and gas exploration and production. He has used DEMs, river channel profiles, and fault slip and thermochronology data to evaluate fault growth models and the topographic signature of (and response to) fault motion. He helped collect climate data and develop simulations to re-create Andes paleoclimate patterns and explore the effect of changing patterns of snow and rain on water resources in the California Sierra Nevada. He has employed electrical conductivity measurements to map the basal slip surface of a landslide and refined existing geomorphic maps to support landslide susceptibility projects. He is currently involved in research a) advancing methods for using cosmogenic radionuclides to track sediment recycling and estimate catchment erosion histories and b) determining the structure, geometry, and kinematics of the seismogenic Himalayan frontal thrust from recently discovered exposures of the fault zone.

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

    Center for Global Initiatives Curriculum Development Award, University of North Carolina 2012

    Junior Faculty Development Award, University of North Carolina 2011

    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

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

Publications

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 & McMillian 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

Geological Society of America

Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists

Project Experience

Testing New Remediation Approaches: Collaborated on projects aimed at site characterization to support testing novel in situ bioremediation techniques for addressing comingled contaminants (e.g., volatile organic compounds [VOCs], 1,4-Dioxane). Fieldwork included sampling groundwater, surface water, soil, and organic compounds, and direct-push drilling (hydraulic profiling tool [HPT], membrane interface probe [MIP], a combined tool [MiHpt], and logging sediment cores). Additional support involved data analysis, conceptual site design and evaluation, GIS-based data interpolation, and pilot groundwater flow modeling with the USGS’s modular hydrologic model (MODFLOW).

Phase Change (snow-rain) Effect on Sierra Nevada Rainfall Patterns: Collaborated on a project to simulate the effect of snow falling as rain throughout the central Sierra Nevada. This involved 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.

Sediment Recycling and Faulting 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.

Emergent Fault Zone Assessment: Collaborated on a project detailing the active Main Frontal Thrust (MFT) fault zone 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.

Coevolution of Faulting and Topography:
Led project to improve understanding of how faults grow and create topography. Involved topographic analysis, global-scale fault motion database development, fieldwork in the US Basin & Range (Nevada), [U-Th]/He and fission track thermochronology, catchment-scale erosional flux calculations, river knickpoint migration modeling, and fault displacement-length scaling relationships. This project quantified the topographic imprint of a change in fault slip, developed a new framework for evaluating fault growth models, and constrained the causes and timescales for topographic relief generation by active fault systems.

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.

Quantifying a Sediment Budget Between Andes Erosion and 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 well-constrained 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

    Center for Global Initiatives Curriculum Development Award, University of North Carolina 2012

    Junior Faculty Development Award, University of North Carolina 2011

    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

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