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Jon Major

Research Hydrologist

Contact Info


Short Biography

Position:  Research Hydrologist

 

Education:

University of Dayton, B.S., 1980, Geology

The Pennsylvania State University, M.S., 1984, Geology

University of Washington, Ph.D., 1996, Geology


Professional Society Memberships:

Geological Society of America

American Geophysical Union

International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of Earth's Interior (IAVCEI)

American Avalanche Association (Member affiliate)

 

Recognition:

Fellow, Geological Society of America (GSA)

E.B. Burwell Award, GSA, 1991

University of Dayton Alumni Achievement Award, 1999

Kirk Bryan Award, GSA, 2008


Editor:

Associate editor, Geological Society of America Bulletin, 2000-2011

Associate editor, Journal of Geophysical Research–Earth Surface, 2010-2014

Co-editor, Geological Society of America Special Paper 375, Natural Hazards in El Salvador

Co-editor, Debris Flow Hazards Mitigation--Mechanics, Prediction, and Assessment: Proceedings of 4th International Conference on Debris Flow Hazards Mitigation (Millpress)

Chief guest editor, Andean Geology issue focused on eruption of Chaitén Volcano (2013, v. 40(2))


Other professional service:

Panel member, GSA Quaternary Geology and Geomorphology (QG&G) Division, 2002-2004
Secretary, GSA QG&G Division, 2006-2012

Member, International Organizing Committee, International Debris Flow Hazards Mitigation Conferences (DFHM), 2008-present

   Chair, DFHM IOC, 2008-2012






Publications

Pierson, T.C., and Major, J.J., 2014, Hydrogeomorphic effects of explosive volcanic eruptions on drainage basins. Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences 42: 469-507.

Wilcox, A.C., O'Connor, J.E., Major, J.J. 2014. Rapid reservoir erosion, hyperconcentrated flow, and downstream deposition triggered by breaching of 38 m tall Condit Dam, White Salmon River, Washington. Journal of Geophysical Research--Earth Surface 119, doi:10.1002/2013JF003073

Major, J.J., 2013, Stress, deformation, conservation, and rheology: A survey of key concepts in continuum mechanics, in Schroder, J. (Editor in Chief), Marston, R.A., and Stoffel, M., eds., Treatise on Geomorphology. Academic Press, San Diego, CA, v. 7, Mountain and Hillslope Geomorphology, p. 20-43.

Manville, V., Major, J.J., and Fagents, S.A., 2013, Modelling lahar emplacement and hazards, in Fagents, S.A., Gregg, T., and Lopez, R., eds., Modelling Volcano Processes. Cambridge University Press, p. 300-330.

Waythomas, C.F., Pierson, T.C., Major, J.J., and Scott, W.E., 2013, Voluminous ice-rich and water-rich lahars generated during the 2009 eruption of Redoubt Volcano, Alaska: Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, in press.

Major, J.J., and Lara, L.E., 2013, Overview of the 2008-2009 eruption of Chaitén volcano, Chile: Andean Geology, v. 40(2), p. 196-215.

Major, J.J., Pierson, T.C., Hoblitt, R.P., and Moreno, H., 2013, Pyroclastic density currents associated with the 2008-2009 eruption of Chaitén volcano (Chile): Forest disturbances, deposits, and dynamics: Andean Geology, v. 40(2), p. 324-358.

Pierson, T.C., Major, J.J., Amigo, A., and Moreno, H., 2013, Acute sedimentation response to rainfall following the explosive phase of the 2008–2009 eruption of Chaitén volcano, Chile: Bulletin of Volcanology, v. 75(5), paper no. 723, 17 p., doi: 10.1007/s00445-013-0723-4.

Major, J.J., O’Connor, J.E., Podolak, C.J., Keith, M.K., Grant, G.E., Spicer, K.R., Pittman, S., Bragg, H.M., Wallick, J.R., Tanner, D.Q., Rhode, A., and Wilcock, P.R., 2012, Geomorphic response of the Sandy River, Oregon, to removal of Marmot Dam. USGS Professional Paper 1792, 64 p.

Major, J.J., Spicer, K.R., and Collins, R.A., 2010, Time-lapse imagery of the breaching of Marmot Dam, Oregon, and subsequent erosion of sediment by the Sandy River—October 2007-May 2008: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 521, 5 p and movies [http://pubs.usgs.gov/ds/521/].

Pallister, J.S., Major, J.J., Pierson, T.C., Hoblitt, R.P., plus 11 others, 2010, Interdisciplinary studies of eruption of Chaitén Volcano, Chile: EOS, Transactions American Geophysical Union, v. 91, no. 42, p. 381-382.

Major, J.J., Crisafulli, C.M., Frenzen, P., and Bishop, J., 2009, After the disaster: The hydrogeomorphic, ecological, and biological responses to the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens, Washington, in O’Connor, J.E., Dorsey, R.J., and Madin, I.P., eds., Volcanoes to Vineyards: Geologic Field Trips through the Dynamic Landscape of the Pacific Northwest: Geological Society of America Field Guide 15, p. 111-134, doi: 10.1130/2009.fld015(06).

Major, J.J., Dzurisin, D., Schilling, S.P., and Poland, M.P., 2009, Monitoring lava-dome growth during the 2004-2008 Mount St. Helens, Washington, eruption using oblique terrestrial photography: Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 286, no. 1/2, p., 243-254, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2009.06.034




Major, J.J., Kingsbury, C.G., Poland, M.P., and LaHusen, R.G., 2009, Extrusion rate of the Mount St. Helens lava dome estimated from terrestrial imagery—November 2004-December 2005, chap. 12 of Sherrod, D.R., Scott, W.E., and Stauffer, P.H., eds., A volcano rekindled; the renewed eruption of Mount St. Helens, 2004–2006: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1750.

Poland, M.P., Dzurisin, D., LaHusen, R.G., Major, J.J., Lapcewich, D., Endo, E.T., Gooding, D.J., Schilling, S.P., and Janda, C.G., 2009, Remote camera observations of lava dome growth at Mount St. Helens, Washington, October 2004-February 2006, chap. 11 of Sherrod, D.R., Scott, W.E., and Stauffer, P.H., eds., A volcano rekindled; the renewed eruption of Mount St. Helens, 2004–2006: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1750.

Major, J.J., O’Connor, J.E., Grant. G.E., Spicer, K.R., Bragg, H.M., Rhode, A., Tanner, D.Q., Anderson, C.W., Wallick, J.R., 2008, Initial fluvial response to the removal of Oregon’s Marmot Dam:  EOS, Transactions American Geophysical Union, v. 89, no. 27, p. 241-242.

O’Connor, J., Major, J., and Grant, G., 2008, The dams come down—unchaining U.S. rivers: Geotimes, v. 53, no. 3, p. 22-28.

Grant, G., Marr, J.D.G., Hill, C., Johnson, S., Campbell, K., Mohseni, O., Wallick, J.R., Lewis, S.L., O’Connor, J.E., Major, J.J., Burkholder, B.K., 2008, Experimental and field observations of breach dynamics accompanying erosion of Marmot cofferdam, Sandy River, Oregon, in Babcock, R.W. and Walton, R., eds., ASCE Proceedings of the 2008 World Environmental & Water Resources Congress, Honolulu, HI, May 12-16, 2008, 10 p.

Restrepo, P., Jorgensen, D.P., Cannon, S.H., Costa, J.E., Laber, J., Major, J., Martner, B., Purpura, J., and Werner, K., 2008, Joint NOAA/NWS/USGS prototype debris flow warning system for recently burned areas in southern California:  Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, v. 89, p. 1845-1851.

Schilling, S.P., Doelger, S., Scott, W.E., Pierson, T.C., Costa, J.E., Gardner, C.A., Vallance, J.W., and Major, J.J., 2008, Digital data for volcano hazards of the Mount Hood region, Oregon:  U.S. Geological Survey Open-file Report OF 2007-1222.

Chen, C.L., and Major,, J.J., editors, 2007, Debris Flow Hazards Mitigation—Mechanics, Prediction, and Assessment:  Proceedings of the 4th International DFHM Conference, September 10-13, 2007, Chendgu, China.  Millpress Science Publishers, Rotterdam, Netherlands, 748 p.

Major, J.J., and Mark, L.E., 2006, Peak flow responses to landscape disturbances caused by the cataclysmic 1980 eruption of Mount. St. Helens, Washington:  Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 118, no. 7/8, p. 938-958.

Iverson, R.M., Dzurisin, D., Gardner, C.A., Gerlach, T.M., LaHusen, R.G., Lisowski, M., Major, J.J., Malone, S.D., Messerich, J.A., Moran, S.C., Pallister, J.S., Qamar, A., Schilling, S.P., and Vallance, J.W., 2006, Dynamics of seismogenic volcanic extrusion at Mount St. Helens in 2004-05:  Nature, v. 244, p. 439-443.

Major, J.J., and Yamakoshi, T., 2005, Decadal-scale change of infiltration characteristics of a tephra-mantled hillslope at Mount St. Helens, Washington:  Hydrological Processes, v. 19, no. 18, p. 3621-3630.

Major, J.J., Pierson, T.C., and Scott, K.M., 2005, Debris flows at Mount St. Helens, Washington USA, in Jakob, M., and Hungr, O., eds., Debris Flow Hazards and Related Phenomena.  Springer-Praxis, Heidelberg, p. 685-731.

Frenzen, P., Hadley, K., Major, J., Weber, M., Franklin, J., Hardison, J., and Stanton, S., 2005, Geomorphic change and vegetation development on the Muddy River mudflow deposit, in Dale, V.H., Swanson, F.J., and Crisafulli, C.M., eds., Ecological Responses to the 1980 Eruption of Mount St. Helens.  Springer-Verlag, New York, p. 75-91.

Swanson, F.J., and Major, J.J., 2005, Physical events, environments, and geological-ecological interactions at Mount St. Helens—March 1980 to 2004, in Dale, V.H., Swanson, F.J., and Crisafulli, C.M., eds., Ecological Responses to the 1980 Eruption of Mount St. Helens.  Springer-Verlag, New York, p. 27-44.

Major, J.J., Scott, W.E., Driedger, C., and Dzurisin, D., 2005, Mount St. Helens erupts again—activity from September 2004 through mid-March 2005:  U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet FS 2005-3036, 4 p.

NOAA-USGS Debris Flow Task Force, 2005, NOAA-USGS Debris Flow Warning System—Final Report:  U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1283, 47 p.

Rose, W.I., Bommer, J.J., Lopez, D.L., Carr, M.J., and Major, J.J., editors, 2004, Natural Hazards in El Salvador.  Geological Society of America Special Paper 375, 508 p.

Major, J.J., Schilling, S.P., Pullinger, C.R., and Escobar, C.D., 2004, Debris-flow hazards at San Salvador, San Vicente, and San Miguel Volcanoes, El Salvador, in Rose, W.I., Bommer, J.J., Lopez, D.L., Carr, M.J., and Major, J.J., eds., Natural Hazards in El Salvador.  Geological Society of America Special Paper 375, p. 89-108.

Jibson, R.W., Crone, A.J., Harp, E.L., Baum, R.L., Major, J.J., Pullinger, C., Escobar, D., Smith, M.E., and Martinez, M., 2004, Landslides triggered by the 13 January and 13 February 2001 earthquakes in El Salvador, in Rose, W.I., Bommer, J.J., Lopez, D.L., Carr, M.J., and Major, J.J., eds., Natural Hazards in El Salvador.  Geological Society of America Special Paper 375, p. 69-88.

Major, J.J., 2004, Posteruption suspended-sediment transport at Mount St. Helens--Decadal-scale relationships with landscape adjustments and river discharges:  Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 109, F01002, doi:10.1029/2002JF000010, 22 p.

Major, J.J., 2003a, Posteruption hydrology and sediment transport in volcanic river systems: Water Resources IMPACT, v. 5, no. 3, p. 10-15.

Major, J.J., 2003b, Debris Flow, in Middleton, G.V. Church, M.J., Coniglio, M., Hardie, L.A., and Longstaffe, F.J., eds., Encyclopedia of Sediments and Sedimentary Rocks.  Kluwer Academic, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, p. 186-188.

Major, J.J., 2003c, Hindered Settling, in Middleton, G.V. Church, M.J., Coniglio, M., Hardie, L.A., and Longstaffe, F.J., eds., Encyclopedia of Sediments and Sedimentary Rocks.  Kluwer Academic, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, p. 358-360.

Major, J.J., 2003d, Slurry, in Middleton, G.V. Church, M.J., Coniglio, M., Hardie, L.A., and Longstaffe, F.J., eds., Encyclopedia of Sediments and Sedimentary Rocks.  Kluwer Academic, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, p. 674-675.

Major, J.J., 2003e, Pore-water pressure, in Goudie, A.S., ed., Encyclopedia of Geomorphology.  Routledge Press, p. 803-805.

Major, J.J., Schilling, S.P., and Pullinger, C.R., 2003, Volcanic debris flows in developing countries--the extreme need for public education and awareness of debris-flow hazards, in Rickenmann, D., and Chen, C.L., eds., Debris-Flow Hazards Mitigation--Mechanics, Prediction, and Assessment,  Proceedings of the 3rd DFHM Conference, Rotterdam, Millpress, p. 1185-1196.

Major, Jon J., and Spicer, Kurt R., 2003, Clearing Toutle River sediment issue.  Guest opinion, The Columbian, (Vancouver, WA), August 9, 2003.

Major, J.J., 2001, Evolution and timing of suspended-sediment transport following the 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption, in Sediment: Monitoring, Modeling, and Managing: Proceedings of 7th Federal Interagency Sedimentation Conference, Reno, NV, March 25-29, 2001, p. I-137 to I-144.

Major, J.J., Schilling, S.P., Sofield, D.J., Escobar, C.D., and Pullinger, C.R., 2001a, Volcano Hazards in the San Salvador Region, El Salvador: USGS Open-File Report 01-366, 17 p.

Major, J.J., Schilling, S.P., Pullinger, C.R., Escobar, C.D., and Howell, M.M., 2001b, Volcano-hazard zonation for San Vicente Volcano, El Salvador:  USGS Open-File Report 01-367, 15 p.

Major, J.J., Schilling, S.P., Pullinger, C.R., Escobar, C.D., Chesner, C.A., and Howell, M.M.,  2001c, Lahar-hazard zonation for San Miguel Volcano, El Salvador:  USGS Open-File Report 01-395, 8 p.

Baum, R.L., Crone, A.J., Escobar, D., Harp, E.L., Major, J.J., Martinez, M., Pullinger, C.R., and Smith, M.E., 2001, Assessment of landslide hazards resulting from the February 13, 2001, El Salvador earthquake: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 01-119, 22 p.

Major, J.J., 2000, Gravity-driven consolidation of granular slurries--Implications for debris-flow deposition and deposit characteristics: Journal of Sedimentary Research, v. 70, p. 64-83.

Major, J.J., Pierson, T.C., Dinehart, R.L., and Costa, J.E., 2000, Sediment yield following severe volcanic disturbance--a two decade perspective from Mount St. Helens: Geology, v. 28, p. 819-822.

Gardner, C.A., Scott, W.E., Major, J. J., and Pierson, T.C., 2000, Mount Hood--History and Hazards of Oregon's Most Recently Active Volcano:  U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 0600-00, 4 p.

Major, J.J., 1999, Book review of Erosion and Sedimentation by P.Y. Julien: Sedimentary Geology, v. 125 no. 3/4, p. 243-245.

DeNatale, J.S., Iverson, R.M., Major, J.J., LaHusen, R.G., Fiegel, G.L., and Duffy, J.D., 1999, Experimental testing of flexible barriers for containment of debris flows:  U.S. Geological Survey Open-file report 99-205, 39 p.

Major, J.J., and Pringle, P.T., 1999, Rock avalanches, rockfalls, and associated processes induced by spreading of the lava dome, March 1984, in Pierson, T.C., ed., Hydrologic consequences of hot-rock/snowpack interactions at Mount St. Helens volcano, Washington, 1982-84:  U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1586, p. 69-80.

Major, J.J., and Iverson, R.M., 1999, Debris-flow deposition--Effects of pore-fluid pressure and friction concentrated at flow margins: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 111, p. 1424-1434.

Major, J.J., 1998, Pebble orientation on large, experimental debris-flow deposits: Sedimentary Geology, v. 117, p. 151-164.

Major, J.J., 1997a, Depositional processes in large-scale debris-flow experiments: Journal of Geology, v. 105, p. 345-366.

Major, J.J., 1997b, Comment on Verification of vertically rotating flume using non-Newtonian fluids:  ASCE Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, v. 123, p. 936-937.

Major, J.J., 1997c, Book review of Clean Water: The citizen’s complete guide to water quality and water pollution control: Northwest Science, v. 71, no. 2, p. 161-162.

Major, J.J., Iverson, R.M., McTigue, D.F., Macias, S., and Fiedorowicz, B.K., 1997, Geotechnical properties of debris-flow sediments and slurries, in Chen, C.L., ed., Debris-flow hazards mitigation: mechanics, prediction, and assessment: American Society of Civil Engineers, Proceedings of First International DFHM Conference, August 7-9, San Francisco, p. 249-259.

DeNatale, J.S., Fiegel, G.L., Iverson, R.M., Major, J.J., LaHusen, R.G., Duffy, J.D., and Fisher, G.D., 1997, Response of flexible wire rope barriers to debris-flow loading, in Chen, C.L., ed., Debris-flow hazards mitigation: mechanics, prediction, and assessment:  American Society of Civil Engineers, Proceedings of First International DFHM Conference, August 7-9, San Francisco, p. 616-625.

Scott, W.E., Pierson, T.C., Schilling, S.P., Costa, J.E., Gardner, C.A., Vallance, J.W., and Major, J.J., 1997, Volcano hazards in the Mount Hood region, Oregon: U.S. Geological Survey Open-file report 97-89, 14 p.

Major, J.J., and Iverson, R.M., 1997, Experimental analysis of debris-flow deposition--process and effects of pore-fluid pressure: Proceedings of International Symposium on Natural Disaster Prediction and Mitigation, Disaster Prevention Research Institute, Kyoto University, December 1-5, Kyoto, Japan, p. 419-426.

Major, J.J., 1996, Experimental studies of deposition by debris flows: Process, characteristics of deposits, and effects of pore-fluid pressure.  Ph.D. dissertation, University of Washington, Seattle, 341 p.

Major, J.J., Janda, RJ, and Daag, A., 1996, Watershed disturbance and lahars on the east side of Mount Pinatubo during the mid-June 1991 eruptions, in Newhall, C.G., and Punongbayan, R.S., eds., Fire and Mud: Eruptions and Lahars of Mount Pinatubo:  Seattle, University of Washington Press, p. 895-919.

Major, J.J., 1995, Experimental studies of deposition at a debris-flow flume: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 94-028, 2 p.

Waitt, R.B., Gardner, C.A., Pierson, T.C., Major, J.J., and Neal, C.A., 1994, Unusual ice diamicts emplaced during the December 15, 1989 eruption of Redoubt Volcano, Alaska:  Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, v. 62, p. 409-428.

Trabant, D.C., Waitt, R.B., and Major, J.J., 1994, Disruption of Drift Glacier and origin of floods during the 1989-1990 eruption of Redoubt Volcano, Alaska:  Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, v. 62, p. 369-385.

Major, J.J., 1993, Rheometry of natural sediment slurries:  Hydraulic Engineering '93, Proceedings of 1993 ASCE National Conference on Hydraulic Engineering, July 25-30, San Francisco, CA, p. 1415-1421.

Major, J.J., and Pierson, T.C., 1992, Debris flow rheology: Experimental analysis of fine-grained slurries:  Water Resources Research, v. 28, p. 841-857.

Brantley, S.R., ed., 1990, The eruption of Redoubt Volcano, Alaska, December 14, 1989-August 31, 1990:  U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1061, 33 p.

Major, J.J., and Pierson, T.C., 1990, Rheological analysis of fine-grained natural debris-flow material, in French, R.H., ed., Hydraulics/ Hydrology of Arid Lands:  Proceedings of ASCE International Symposium on Hydraulics/Hydrology of Arid Lands, San Diego, CA, July 30-August 2, p. 225-231.

Major, J.J., and Newhall, C.G., 1989, Snow and ice perturbation during historical volcanic eruptions and the formation of lahars and floods ‑‑ a global review:  Bulletin of Volcanology, v. 52, p. 1-27.

Major, J.J., and Scott, K.M., 1988, Volcaniclastic sedimentation in the Lewis River valley, Mount St. Helens, Washington‑‑processes, extent, and hazards:  U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1383‑D, 38 p.

Major, J.J., and Iverson, R.M., 1988, Hydroseismicity ‑‑ a hypothesis for the role of water in the generation of intraplate seismicity: comment:  Geology, v. 16, p. 562‑564.

Iverson, R.M., and Major, J.J., 1987, Rainfall, groundwater flow, and seasonal movement at Minor Creek landslide, northwestern California: physical interpretation of empirical relations:  Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 99, 579‑594.

Cameron, K.A., and Major, J.J., 1987, Reconnaissance investigation of sediment distribution, erosion, and transport in the upper Deschutes River, Deschutes County, Oregon, November 1986:  U.S. Geological Survey Water Resources Investigation Report 87‑4114, 24 p.

Major, J.J., 1987, Mount St. Helens dome erodes through rockfalls, avalanches:  The Oregonian Newspaper, Science pullout, September 10, Portland, Oregon.

Major, J.J., and Voight, B. , 1986, Sedimentology and clast orientations of the 18 May 1980 southwest flank lahars, Mount St. Helens, Washington:  Journal of Sedimentary Petrology, v. 56, p. 691‑705.

Iverson, R.M., and Major, J.J., 1986, Groundwater seepage vectors and the potential for hillslope failure and debris flow mobilization:  Water Resources Research, v. 22, p. 1543‑1548.

Major, J.J., 1984, Geologic and rheologic characteristics of the May 18, 1980 southwest flank lahars, Mount St. Helens, Washington:  M.S. Thesis, The Pennsylvania State University, 225 p.


Hydrogeomorphic response to watershed disturbance

My research focuses on hydrogeomorphic responses to landscape disturbances, and hydrological processes and hazards in volcanic river systems.  I've also worked on rheology and depositional mechanics of debris flows, devising protocols for debris flow warning systems, and methods for remotely monitoring volcanic eruptions using terrestrial photogrammetry.  This research revolves chiefly around fieldwork and data analysis, but incorporates experimental aspects as needed.  My research typically involves a blend of geomorphology, hydrology, sedimentology, stratrigraphy, geology, and engineering.


Contact Information

Jon Major
1300 SE Cardinal Court Bldg. 10
Vancouver, WA 98683
jjmajor@usgs.gov
360-993-8927
360-993-8980 - Fax
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