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Samuel Johnson

Research Geologist

Contact Info

Short Biography


B.A. (1975) University of California, Santa Cruz (Earth Sciences)

M.S. (1978) University of Washington (Geological Sciences)

Ph.D. (1982) University of Washington Geological Sciences


1982-1984 - Assistant Professor, Washington State University

1984 to 2003 - Research Geologist, USGS Energy and Earthquake Hazards Programs

2003 to 2008 - Center Director, USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center

2008 to present - Research Geologist, USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center

Research Interests

Sea floor mapping and geomorphology

Coastal and marine sedimentology and stratigraphy

Active Tectonics

Geologic framework and hazards

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Johnson, S.Y., Hartwell, S.R., and Dartnell, P., 2014, Offset of latest Pleistocene shoreface reveals slip rates on the Hosgri strike-slip fault, offshore central California: Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, p. 1650-1652. Doi: 10.1785/0120130257

Johnson, S.Y. and Watt, J.T., 2012, Influence of fault trend, bends, and convergence on shallow structure and geomorphology of the Hosgri strike-slip fault, offshore Central California: Geosphere, v. 8, no. 6, p. 1632-1656, doi:10.1130/GES00830.1.

Johnson, S.Y., Dartnell, P., Cochrane, G.R., Golden, N.E., Phillips, E.L., Ritchie, A.C., Kvitek, R.G., Greene, H.G., Krigsman, L.M., Endris, C.A., Clahan, K.B., Sliter, R.W., Wong, F.L., Yoklavich, M.M., and Normark, W.R. (S.Y. Johnson, ed.), 2012, California State Waters Map Series—Hueneme Canyon and vicinity, California: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3225, 41 p., 12 sheets, available at

Johnson, S.Y., Blakely, R.J., Stephenson, W.J., Dadisman, S.V., and Fisher, M.A., 2004, Active shortening of the Cascadia forearc and implications for seismic hazards of the Puget Lowland:  44 ms pages, 18 figures, Tectonics, v. 23, TC1011, doi:10.1029/2003TC001507,2004, 27 p.
Johnson, S.Y., Stephenson, W.J., Morgan, L.A., Shanks, W.C., and Pierce, K.L., 2003, Hydrothermal and tectonic activity in northern Yellowstone Lake, Wyoming: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 115, p. 954-971.
Johnson, S.Y., Nelson A.R., Personius, S.F., Wells, R.E., Kelsey, H.M., Sherrod, B.L., Okumura, K., Koehler, R. III., Witter, R., Bradley, L.A., and Harding, D.J., 2004, Evidence for late Holocene earthquakes on the Utsalady Point fault, northern Puget Lowland, Washington. Seismological Society of America Bulletin, v. 94, p. 2219-2316.
Johnson, S.Y., Dadisman, S.V., Mosher, D.C., Blakely, R.J., and Childs, J.R., 2001, Active tectonics of the Devils Mountain fault and related structures, northern Puget Lowland and eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca region, Pacific Northwest:  U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1643, 45 p., 2 plates.
Bourgeois, J., and Johnson, S.Y., 2001, Geologic evidence of earthquakes at the Snohomish delta, Washington, in the past 1200 years: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 113, p. 482-494.
Mosher, D.C., and Johnson, S.Y. (eds.), Rathwell, G.J., Kung, R.B., and Rhea, S.B. (compilers), 2001, Neotectonics of the eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca; a digital geological and geophysical atlas: Geological Survey of Canada Open File Report D3931 (CD digital product), 18 maps and accompanying text and figures.
Johnson, S.Y., Dadisman, S.V., Childs, J.R., and Stanley, W.D., 1999, Active tectonics of the Seattle fault and central Puget Lowland - Implications for earthquake hazards:  Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 111, p. 1042-1053 and oversize insert.
Kelsey, H.M., Sherrod, B.L., Johnson, S.Y., and Dadisman, S.V., 2004, Land-level changes from a late Holocene earthquake in the northern Puget Lowland, Washington:  GEOLOGY, v.  32, p. 469-472.
Nelson, A.R., Johnson, S.Y., Kelsey, H.M., Wells, R.E., Sherrod, B.L., Pezzopane, S.K., Bradley, L., and Koehler, R.D., III, 2003, Late Holocene earthquakes on the Toe Jam Hill fault, Seattle fault zone, Washington: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 115, p. 1388-1403.
Blakely, R.J., Wells, R.E., Weaver, C.S., and Johnson, S.Y., 2002, Location, structure, and seismicity of the Seattle fault, Washington:  Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 114, p. 169-177.
Bohlen, S.R., Halley, R.B., Hickman, S.H., Johnson, S.Y., Lowenstern, J.B., Muhs, D.R., Plumlee, G.S., Thompson, G.A., Trauger, D.L., and Zoback, M.L., 1998, Geology for a changing world -- A science strategy for the Geologic Division of the U.S. Geological Survey, 2000-2010:  U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1172, 59 p.
Johnson, S.Y., Potter, C.J., Armentrout, J.M., Miller, J.J., Finn, C., and Weaver, C.S., 1996, The southern Whidbey Island fault: An active structure in the Puget Lowland, Washington:  Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 108, p. 334-354 and oversize insert.

My USGS Science Strategy Areas

Understanding Ecosystems & Predicting Ecosystems Change

Climate Variability & Change

A National Hazard, Risk, and Resilience Assessment Program

Seafloor Mapping - Geologic framework, hazards, and habitats

Image of Current Focus for Seafloor Mapping - Geologic framework, hazards, and habitats

Active field areas:

Central California (Santa  Barbara Channel to Cape Mendocino)

Contact Information

Samuel Johnson
2831 Mission Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
831-427-4748 - Fax
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