GSA Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, USA - 2016

Paper No. 143-2
Presentation Time: 1:50 PM


INGERSOLL, Raymond V., Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1567, SCHWEICKERT, Richard A., Geological Sciences, University of Nevada, Reno, Reno, NV 89557 and GRAHAM, Stephan A., Department of Geological Sciences, Stanford University, 450 Serra Mall, Bldg. 320, Stanford, CA 94305-2115,

During his years at the University of Arizona (1979-2015), Bill Dickinson (1931-2015) expanded his Cordilleran research into Arizona and Mexico, while building on previous syntheses. His most cited papers (over 1000 citations each) involve the relation of sand(stone) composition to plate tectonics, work that began at Stanford (1979 with Suczek) and culminated in syntheses in 1983 (with UA students) and 1985. Building on his flat-slab model (with Snyder) of the Laramide orogeny, his UA students and he synthesized the history of Laramide sedimentary basins (1988). Dickinson and Lawton (2001) added Mexico to the long list of newly explained terranes.

 Bill quickly saw the power of detrital zircon as a provenance tool and published several papers (primarily with Gehrels, but also including students) concerned with maximum depositional ages of strata, fertility of zircon in source rocks, and most of all, paleogeographic reconstructions of North America’s drainage patterns for the late Paleozoic and early Mesozoic. The Colorado Plateau became his new playground! These efforts overlapped with his grand syntheses of the California margin (1981), sinistral Nacimiento fault (1983), sedimentation associated with core complexes (1991), forearc basins (1995), Coast Range ophiolite (1996), transrotation and volcanism in coastal California (1996, 1997), circum-Pacific Holocene shore lines (2001), Basin and Range (2002), Cordillera (2004), San Gregorio-Hosgri fault (2005), Great Basin (2006, 2011), temper sands in Oceana pottery (2006), Cordilleran continental margin (2008) and provenance of Colorado Plateau strata (with Gehrels, 2008-2011 and later).

During Bill’s “retirement,” he received the Penrose Medal, the Sloss Award, the Twenhofel Medal, the Rip Rap Award and Stanford Distinguished Alumnus Award. He also became a member of the National Academy of Sciences and served as President of GSA. His bootprints will remain prominent in the Anthropocene record!