Douglas Burbank

Distinguished Professor Emeritus

Office Hours

By Appointment

Office Location

Webb 1051


Tectonic Geomorphology, Collisional Orogens, Sedimentation and Tectonics, Surface Processes


Research focuses on 

1) quantification of the interactions among climate, erosion, and tectonics in present-day orogenesis and landscape evolution; 

2) interactions of folds, faults, and depositional systems; 

3) evolution of collisional mountain belts; and 

4) kinematics of thrust faulting and continental transtension. 

Most projects combine extensive field observations with geochronology, analysis of digital topography, geodesy, and structural and stratigraphic analyses.



Citation Summary: Google Scholar Citation


Burbank, D.W., and Anderson, R.S., Fall 2011, Tectonic Geomorphology; 2nd edition: Wiley, 454 pp.

Burbank, D.W., and Anderson, R.S., 2001, Tectonic Geomorphology: Blackwell Scientific, Oxford, 274 pp. 


Research Papers and Book Chapters from 2011 to 2012


Burbank, D.W., Bookhagen, B., Gabet, E.J., Putkonen, J.,2012 Modern climate and erosion in the Himalaya: Comptes Rendus Geoscience, CRAS2A-3126, v. 344, p 610-626.

Fisher, G. B.; Amos, C.B.; Bookhagen, B.; Burbank, D.W.;  Godard, V., 2012, Channel widths, landslides, faults, and beyond: The new world order of high-spatial resolution Google Earth imagery. In, Whitmeyer, S.J., Bailey, J.E., De Paor, D.G. and Ornduff, T. (eds.) Google Earth and Virtual Visualizations in Geoscience Education and Research: Geological Society of America Special Paper 492, p. 1-21. Fisher_etal_GSASpecPap492_2012.pdf

Li, T., Chen, J., Thompson, J. A., Burbank, D. W., and Xiao, W., 2012, Equivalency of geologic and geodetic rates in contractional orogens: New insights from the Pamir Frontal Thrust: Geophysical Research Letters, v. 39, doi:10.1029/2012GL051782. Li Tao Pamir Frontal Thrust rates GRL2012.pdf

Godard, V., Burbank, D.W., Bourlès, D.L.,Bookhagen, B.,Braucher, R., and Fisher, G.B., 2012, Impact of glacial erosion on 10Be concentrations in fluvial sediments of the Marsyandi catchment, central Nepal: J. Geophys. Res., doi:10.1029/2011JF002230.Godard glacial eros 10Be conc JGR 2012.pdf

Lease, R. O., Burbank, D.W., Zhang, H., Liu, J., and Yuan, D., 2012, Cenozoic shortening budget for the northeastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau: Is lower crustal flow necessary?: Tectonics, v. 31, doi:10.1029/2011TC003066.Lease Burbank L crust flow? Tectonics 2012.pdf

Lease, R.O., Burbank, D.W., Hough, B., Wang, Z., and Yuan, D., 2012, Pulsed Miocene range growth in northeastern Tibet: Insights from Xunhua basin magnetostratigraphy and provenance, Geological Society of America Bulletin, doi: 10.1130/B30524.1, p. 657-677.LeaseBurbank TibetBasins GSAB 2012.pdf

Pratt-Sitaula, B., Burbank, D. W., Heimsath, A., Humphrey, N., Oskin, M. E., and Putkonen, J., 2011, Topographic control of asynchronous glacial advances: Geophysical Research Letters, v. 38, p. L24502, doi:10.1029/2011GL049940.Pratt-Sitaula_etal_Topo-control-glac_GRL2011.pdf

Goode, J. K., Burbank, D. W., and Bookhagen, B., 2011, Basin width control of faulting in the Naryn Basin, south-central Kyrgyzstan: Tectonics, v. 30, TC6009, doi:10.1029/2011TC002910.Goode-Burbank basin width controls Tectonics 2011.pdf

Clarke, B. A., and Burbank, D. W., 2011, Quantifying bedrock-fracture patterns within the shallow subsurface: Implications for rock mass strength, bedrock landslides, and erodibility: Journal of  Geophysical Research, v. 116, F04009, Clarke fracture density:rock strength JGR 2011.pdf

Godard, V., and D. Burbank (2011), Mechanical analysis of controls on strain partitioning in the Himalayas of central Nepal, Journal of Geophysical Research, 116, B10402, doi:10.1029/2011JB0082. Godard-Burbank Himal fault mechanics JGR 2011.pdf

Amos, C., J. Lapwood, D. Nobes, D. Burbank, U. Rieser, and A. Wade (2011), Palaeoseismic constraints on Holocene surface ruptures along the Ostler Fault, southern New Zealand, New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, 54(4), 367–378, doi:10.1080/00288306.2011.601746. Amos_2011_NZJGG.pdf

Rood, D.H., Burbank, D.W., Herman, S.W., and Bogue, S., Rates and timing of vertical-axis block rotations across the central Sierra Nevada-Walker Lane transition in the Bodie Hills, California/Nevada: Tectonics, v. 30, TC5013, doi:5010.1029/2010TC002754.  Rood Tectonic rotation Sierra Nev-Walker Lane Tectonics 2011.pdf

Godard, V., and Burbank, D.W., 2011, Mechanical analysis of controls on strain partitioning in the Himalayas of central Nepal: Journal of Geophysical Research. v. 116, doi:10.1029/2011JB0082.

Goode, J. K., and Burbank, D. W., 2011, Kinematic implications of consequent channels on growing folds: Journal of  Geophysical Research, v. 116, p. B04407, doi:10.1029/2010JB007617. Goode  Channels & fold kinematics JGR2011.pdf

Rood, D.H., Burbank, D.W., and Finkel, R. C., 2011, Chronology of Glaciations in the Sierra Nevada, California, from 10Be Surface Exposure Dating: Quaternary Science Reviews, v. 30, p. 646-661. Rood_et_al_2011b_QSR_Sierra_glaciers.pdf

Lease, R.O., Burbank, D.W., Clark, M.K., Farley, K.A., Zheng, D., & Zhang, H., 2011, Middle Miocene reorganization of deformation along the northeastern Tibetan Plateau , Geology, doi: 10.1130/G31356.1 Lease-Burbank He ages NE Tibet Geol 2011.pdf

Rood, D.H., Burbank, D.W., and Finkel, R. C., 2011, Spatiotemporal Patterns of Fault Slip Rates Across the Central Sierra Nevada Frontal Fault Zone: Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 301, p. 457-468;  doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2010.11.006. Rood_et_al_2011_EPSL_SNFFZ.pdf


EARTH 2          Principles of Physical Geology

EARTH 6          Mountains, Boots, and Backpacks: Field Study of the High Sierra

EARTH 104A    Field Studies in Geological Methods

EARTH 201A    Graduate Research and Field Seminar

EARTH 201B    Graduate Research Seminar

EARTH 217      Tectonic Geomorphology

EARTH 257      Advanced Stratigraphic and Geomorphic Field Methods

EARTH 270      Seminar in Geologic Problems

EARTH 280      Seminar in Field Geology