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Richard Chamberlin

Domino faulting
Richard uses "domino-block" model to illustrate a common mode of upper crustal extension in the Rio Grande rift near Socorro. Real crustal blocks are not this rigid at depth.

Emeritus Senior Field Geologist
New Mexico Bureau of Geology & Mineral Resources
New Mexico Tech
801 Leroy Place
Socorro NM 87801-4796
(575) 835-5310 Office Phone
(575) 835-6333 fax

Since “retirement” in June 2010, Richard has continued to work part time at the Bureau on geologic map projects and related studies that concern Cenozoic volcanism, magmatism and the Rio Grande rift in central New Mexico. Richard’s primary interest is the structural control magmatism, geometry of magma ascent and the evolution of volcanoes, including the 32.5 million-year old supervolcano at Socorro known as the Socorro caldera.  

EDUCATION

  • Ph.D. Geology, 1980, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado
  • M.S. Geology, 1975, New Mexico Tech, Socorro, New Mexico
  • United States Naval Reserve Officer Candidate School, 1968, Newport, RI
  • B.S. Geology, 1967, New Mexico Tech, Socorro, New Mexico

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

  • 1996 – present
    Senior Field Geologist, NMBMMR (now NMBGMR )
  • 1990 – 1996
    Field Economic Geologist, NMBMMR
  • 1990 (Feb-July)
    Field Geologist, Queensland Geological Survey (sabbatical)
  • 1980 – 1990
    Economic Geologist, NMBMMR
  • 1974 (Summer)
    Exploration Geologist, EXXON CO. USA
  • 1973 (Summer)
    Exploration Geologist, NORANDA EXPLORATION INC.

PROFESSIONAL SOCIETIES

  • New Mexico Geological Society: (elected honorary member, 1997) President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, Guidebook Editor, Field Conference Chair, Publications Committee Chair, Spring Meeting Chair.
  • Geological Society of America
  • Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists
  • Sigma Xi

HONORS & AWARDS

  • Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge: Volunteer Service Certificate, 2002
  • New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology: Twenty Year Service Award, 2000
  • New Mexico Geological Society: Honorary Member, 1997
  • Constantin Boy Scout Camp: Geology Camp Leader Award, 1996
Richard in Iceland
Richard (on right) and Carlo Doglioni, Universita' La Sapienza, Italy, tour the Hveragerdi geothermal field in southeastern Iceland.

SPECIALTIES

  • Geologic mapping, especially in volcanic terranes and calderas
  • Structural geology of the Rio Grande rift, extensional tectonics
  • Cenozoic geology of west-central New Mexico 

RESEARCH

RECENT PUBLICATIONS & ABSTRACTS

  1. Chamberlin, R.M., McIntosh W.C., and Eggleston T.L., 2004, 40Ar/ 39Ar Geochronology and Eruptive History of the Eastern Sector of the Oligocene Socorro Caldera, Central Rio Grande Rift, New Mexico: in Tectonics, Geochronology and Volcanism in the Southern Rocky Mountains and Rio Grande Rift, S.M. Cather, W.C. McIntosh and S.A. Kelly (eds.), New Mexico Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources Bulletin.
  2. Leuth, V.W., Chamberlin, R.M., and Peters, L., 2004, Age of Mineralization in the Luis Lopez Manganese District, Socorro County, New Mexico: as Determined by 40 Ar/39Ar Dating of Cryptomelane, in press, in Tectonics, Geochronology and Volcanism in the Southern Rocky Mountains and Rio Grande Rift, S.M. Cather, W.C. McIntosh and S.A. Kelly (eds.), New Mexico Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources Bulletin.
  3. Chamberlin, R.M., 2004, Preliminary Geologic Map of the San Lorenzo Spring 7.5 Minute Quadrangle, Socorro County, New Mexico, New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources Open-file Geologic Map Series, OF-GM-86, 31p. 1 plate.
  4. Chamberlin, Richard M., Chapin, Charles E., and McIntosh, William C., 2002, Westward Migrating Ignimbrite Calderas and a Large Radiating Mafic Dike Swarm of Oligocene Age, Central Rio Grande Rift, New Mexico: Surface Expression of an Upper Mantle Diapir?: Geological Society of America, Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 34, No.6, p.438.
    [PDF of poster 5.56 Mb file]
  5. Chamberlin, R.M., Eggleston, T.L., and McIntosh, W.C., 2002, Geology of the Luis Lopez Quadrangle, Socorro County, New Mexico: New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resource Open File Geologic Map, OF-GM-53, 43p. 1 fig. 3 tables, 2 sheets.
  6. Chamberlin, R.M., 2001, Waning-stage Eruptions of the Oligocene Socorro Caldera, Central New Mexico: in Volcanology in New Mexico, L.S. Crumpler and S.G. Lucas (eds.), New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin 18, p. 69-77.
  7. Chamberlin, R.M., Cather, S.M., Nyman, M.W., and McLemore, V.T., 2001, Preliminary Geologic Map of the Lemitar 7.5' Quadrangle, Socorro County, New Mexico: New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources Open-file Geologic Map OF-GM-38, 28 p. 2 plates.
  8. Chamberlin, R.M., 2001, Modal Mineralogy, Textural Data and Geochemical Data for Caldera-facies Hells Mesa Tuff and a Comagmatic Lava Dome, with Selected Data Plots and Supporting Map Data: New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources Open-file Report 458, 41 p.

CURRENT PROJECTS

  • Argon geochronology and geology of Neogene basalts and rhyolites in the central Rio Grande rift (with Bill McIntosh)
  • Geologic mapping of the Water Canyon quadrangle
  • Geologic mapping and Ar/Ar dating of the Magdalena radial dike swarm (w/ Bill McIntosh)
  • Geologic mapping of intersecting basaltic dikes near Riley and the Joyita Hills
  • Monitoring of surface deformation (tilting) above the Socorro magma body (w/ Dave Love et.al)
  • Quaternary and late Cenozoic deformation patterns above the Socorro magma body
  • Geology and Ar/Ar dating of manganese mineralization in the Socorro-Magdalena region (with Virgil Lueth and Lisa Peters)