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Dr. Roy B Van Arsdale Dr. Roy B Van Arsdale
Faculty Biography Photo
Dr. Roy B. Van Arsdale
Phone: (901) 678-4356
Fax: (901)-678-2178
Office: 235 Johnson Hall

Education / Degrees

B.A.,     Rutgers University at New Brunswick,  1972

M.S. ,    University of Cincinnati,                            1974

Ph.D.,   University of Utah,                                      1979

Research Interest

My research interests lie in the fields of structural geology and geomorphology.  Most of my research is in active tectonics within plate interiors.  I have conducted research in the New Madrid seismic zone of the central Mississippi River valley, Arizona, Oklahoma, and southeastern Australia. 

Courses Taught

Structural Geology



Physical Geology


Recent Articles

Cupples, W., and Van Arsdale, R., 2014, The Preglacial "Pliocene" Mississippi River. Journal of Geology, v. 122, p. 1-15.

Van Arsdale, R., Cupples, W., and Csontos, R., 2014, Pleistocene-Holocene transition in the central Mississippi River Valley.  Geomorphology, v. 214c, p. 270-282.

Van Arsdale, R., 2014, The New Madrid seismic zone of the Central United States.  In Intraplate Earthquakes, P. Talwani (Ed), Cambridge University Press, p. 162-197.

Cramer, C.H., Van Arsdale, R.B., Dhar, M.S., Pryne, D., and Paul, J., 2014, Update of Urban Seismic Hazard Maps for Memphis and Shelby County, Tennessee: Geology and Vs Observations.  Seismological Research Letters, v. 85, p. 986-996.

Cox, R.T, Lumsden, D.N., and Van Arsdale, R.B., 2014, Possible relict meanders of the Pliocene Mississippi River and their implications.  Journal of Geology, v. 122, p. 609-622.

Van Arsdale, R., Pryne, D., and Woolery, E., 2013, Northwestern extension of the Reelfoot North fault near New Madrid, Missouri.  Seismological Research Letters, v. 84, n. 6, p. 1114-1123.

Van Arsdale, R., and Cupples, W., 2013, Late Pliocene and Quaternary deformation of the Reelfoot rift. Geosphere, v. 9, n. 6, p.p1819–1831. doi:10.1130/GES00906.1

Pryne, D., Van Arsdale, R., Csontos, R., and Woolery, E., 2013, Northeastern Extension of the New Madrid North Fault-New Madrid Seismic Zone, Central United States.  Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, v. 103, p. 2277-2294.

Cox, R.T., Van Arsdale, R., Clark, D., Hill, A., and Lumsden, D., 2013, A revised paleo-earthquake chronology on the southeast Reelfoot rift margin near Memphis, Tennessee.  Seismological Research Letters, v. 84, p. 402-408.

Bartholomew, M.J., and Van Arsdale, R.B., 2012, Structural controls on intraplate earthquakes in the eastern United States, in Cox, R.T., Tuttle, M.P., Boyd, O.S., and Locat, J., eds., Recent Advances in North American Paleoseismology and Neotectonics East of the Rockies: Geological Society of America Special Paper 493, p. 165-190, doi:10.1130/2012.2493(08).

Van Arsdale, R.B., Arellano, D., Stevens, K.C., Hill, A.A., Lester, J.D., Parks, A.G., Csontos, R.M., Rapino, M.A., Deen, T.S., Woolery, E.W., Harris, J.B., 2012, Geology, Geotechnical Engineering, and Natural Hazards of Memphis, Tennessee, USA.  Environmental & Engineering Geoscience, v. 18, p. 113-158.

Calais, E., Freed, A.M., Van Arsdale, R., and Stein, S., 2010, Triggering of New Madrid seismicity by late-Pleistocene erosion.  Nature, v. 466, p. 608-611.

Van Arsdale, R.B., 2009, Adventures Through Deep Time: The Central Mississippi River Valley and Its Earthquakes.  Geological Society of America Special Paper 455, 107 p.

Csontos, R., and Van Arsdale, R., 2008, New Madrid seismic zone fault geometry.  Geosphere, v. 4, p. 802-813.

Csontos, R., Van Arsdale, R., Cox, R., and Waldron, B., 2008, The Reelfoot Rift and its impact on Quaternary deformation in the central Mississippi River Valley.  Geosphere, v. 4, n. 1, p. 145-158.

Rosenbland, B, Bailey, Csontos, R., and Van Arsdale, R., 2010, Shear wave velocities of Mississippi embayment soils from low frequency surface wave measurements.  Soils Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering, v. 30, p. 691-701.

Van Arsdale, R.B., Bresnahan, R.P., McCallister, N.S., and Waldron, B., 2007, The Upland Complex of the central Mississippi River valley: its origin, denudation, and possible role in reactivation of the New Madrid seismic zone.  In Continental Intraplate Earthquakes: Science, Hazard, and Policy Issues, S. Stein and S. Mazzotti (eds.), Geological Society of America Special Paper 425, p. 177-192.

Van Arsdale, R., and Cox, R., 2007, The Mississippi’s Curious origins.  Scientific American, January, p. 33-39.

Cox, R.T. ,Wang, F., Han, L., Kung H., and Van Arsdale, R., 2006, Applications of Landsat-5 imagery in assessing and mapping water quality in Reelfoot Lake, Tennessee.  International Journal of Remote Sensing, v. 27, n. 23, p. 5269-5283.

Baldwin, J.N., Harris, J.B., Van Arsdale, R.B., Givler, R., Kelson, K.I., Sexton, J.L., and Lake, M., 2005, Constraints on the location of the Late Quaternary Reelfoot and New Madrid North faults in the northern New Madrid seismic zone, central United States.  Seismological Research Letters, v. 76, n. 6, p. 772-789.

Velasco, M., Van Arsdale, R., Waldron, B., Harris, J., and Cox, R., 2005, Quaternary faulting beneath Memphis, Tennessee.  Seismological Research Letters, v. 76, n. 5, p. 598-614.

Smalley, R., Jr., Ellis, M.A., Paul, J., and Van Arsdale, R., 2005, Space geodetic evidence for rapid strain rates in the New Madrid seismic zone of central USA.  Nature, v. 435, n. 23, p. 1088-1090.

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