SESE logo


Professor of Geology, and
Director, School of Earth, Society, and Environment

Department of Geology / School of Earth, Society, and Environment
208 Natural History Building, 1301 W. Green St.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana IL  61801


Ph.D., Columbia University, 1983
M.S. University of Arizona, 1979
A.B. Cornell University, 1976

Positions Held

2008-..................Director, School of Earth, Society, and Environment
2007-2008..........Visitor: USGS Woods Hole; Federal Univ. of Ouro Preto; Univ. of Lausanne; Univ. of Naples (sabbatical)
1999-2007..........Head, Department of Geology, University of Illinois
1999...................Honorary Visiting Fellow, University of Leicester, UK
1997-..................Professor, (structure, tectonics, field geology), University of Illinois
1989-1997..........Associate Professor, University of Illinois
1992...................Visiting Research Academic, University of Adelaide, Australia (sabbatical)
1991...................Visiting Research Associate, Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory
1990-..................Instructional Staff, Wasatch-Uinta Geological Field Camp, Utah
1985-1996,06.....Visiting Professor (geotectonics), Federal University of Ouro Preto, Brazil
1983-89 .............Assistant Professor, University of Illinois

Recent Courses Taught

MOOC (Massive Open Online Class)


Text Books

Marshak, S., 2012, Earth: Portrait of a Planet, 4th edition, W.W. Norton & Co., 819 pp. (comprehensive introductory geology textbook).  StudySpace web site.

Ludman, A., and Marshak, S., 2012, Laboratory Manual for Introductory Geology, 2nd edition: W.W. Norton & Co, New York: 440 pp. (introductory geology laboratory book).

Wilkerson, M.S., Wilkerson, M.B., and Marshak, S., 2012, Geotours Workbook: A Guide for Exploring Geology and Creating Projects Using Google Earth™; W.W. Norton & Co., New York: 161 p. (ancillary textbook for introductory geology).

Marshak, S., Long, A., and Altaner, S., 2012, Planet Earth Discussion Guide, 19th edition, Stipes Publishers, Champaign, 120 p. (laboratory book for introductory geology at Illinois).

Marshak, S., 2011, Essentials of Geology, 3rd edition, W.W. Norton & Co., New York: 518 pp. (condensed introductory geology textbook, used worldwide; 4th edition in preparation; winner, "best college textbook" awards at both New York and Chicago Book Fairs).  StudySpace web site.

van der Pluijm, B., and Marshak, S., 2004, Earth Structure: An Introduction to Earth Structure and Tectonics, 2nd edition: W.W. Norton & Co., New York: 520 p. (geology majors' textbook).

Marshak, S., and Mitra, G., 1988, Basic Methods of Structural Geology, Prentice-Hall Publishers, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 448 p. (laboratory book still in print; in its >20th printing).


Dr. Marshak's research interests involve three topics: Proterozoic tectonic evolution of the Brazilian shield, Phanerozoic tectonism in midcontinent North America, structural geology of fold-thrust belts and low-grade tectonic mesoscopic structures.  He is currently a co-PI on an EarthScope project (the OIINK seismic array) to study lithosphere-scale structure of the central Midcontinent. OIINK logo


Recent Publications

Marshak, S., Pavlis, G.L., Hamburger, M.W., Gilbert, H., Larson, T., and Shoemaker, K., 2011, The Ozark-Illinois-Indiana-Kentucky (OIINK) EarthScope project: Characterizing cratonic-platform lithosphere in North America's Midcontinent: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 43, p. 363.

Lundstrom, C.C., Marshak, S., DeFrates, J., and Mabon, J., 2011, Alternative processes for developing fabric and mineral compositional zoning in intrusive rocks: International Geology Review, v. 53, p. 377-405.

F. Huang, Lundstrom, C.C., Glessner, J., Ianno, A., Boudreau, A., Li, J., Ferré, E.C., Marshak, S., and DeFrates, J., 2009, Thermal migration in wet andesite, I: Experiments and models suggesting a new mechanism of magma differentiation: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, v. 73, p. 729-749.

ten Brink, U.S., Marshak, S., and Granja Bruna, J.-L., 2009, Bivergent thrust wedges surrounding oceanic island arcs: Insights from observations and sandbox models of the northeastern Caribbean plate: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 121, p. 1522-1536.

Burmeister, K.C., Harrison, M.J., Marshak, S., Ferré, E.C., and Kodama, K.P., 2009, Tectonic trends defined by anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS) in low-strain sedimentary rocks: examples from the Appalachian fold-thrust belt: Journal of Structural Geology, v. 31, p. 1028-1038.

Goia, G., Chakraborty, P., Marshak, S., and Kieffer, S., 2006, Unified model of tectonics and heat transport in a frigid Enceladus: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Kieffer, S.W., Lu, X., Bethke, C., Spencer, J., Marshak, S., and Navrotsky, A., 2006, A clathrate reservoir hypothesis for Enceladus' south polar plume: Science, v. 314, p. 1764-1766.

Alkmim, F.F., Marshak, S., Pedrosa-Soares, A.C., Peres, G.G., Cruz, S.C., and Whittington, A., 2006, Kinematic evolution of the Araçuaí - West Congo orogen in Brazil and Africa: Nutcracker tectonics during the Neoproterozoic assembly of Gondwana: Precambrian Research, v. 149, p. 43-64.

Holbrook, J., Autin, W.J., Rittenour, T.M., Marshak, S., and Goble, R.J., 2006, A casae for millennial-scale temporaral clustering on a continental-interior fault from Mississippi River Holocene strata of the New Madrid seismic zone: Tectonophysics.

Marshak, S., Alkmim, F.F., Whittington, A., and Pedrosa-Soares, A.C., in review., Extensional collapse in the Neoproterozoic Araçuaí Orogen, eastern Brazil: a setting for reactivation of asymmetric crenulation cleavage crenulation cleavage. Journal of Structural Geology, v. 28, p. 129-147.

Harrison, M., Marshak, S., and McBride, J., 2004 The Lackawanna synclinorium, Pennsylvania: a basement-controlled salt-collapse structure, partially modified by thin-skinned folding: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 116, p. 1499-1514.

Tinkham, D.K., and Marshak, S., 2004, Precambrian dome-and-keel structure in the Penokean orogen near Republic, Upper Peninsula of Michigan: (in) Whitney, D.L., Teyssier, C., and Siddoway, C.S., (eds.) Gneiss Domes in Orogeny: Geological Society of America Special Paper 380, p. 321-338.

Marshak, S., 2004, Arcs, Oroclines, Salients, and Syntaxes -- The origin of map-view curvature in fold-thrust belts: (in) McClay, K.R., (ed.), Thrust Tectonics and Petroleum Systems: Am. Assoc. of Petroleum Geologists Memoir 82, p. 131-156.

Harrison, M., Marshak, S., and Onasch, C., 2004, Stratigraphic control of hot fluids on anthracitization, Lackawanna synclinorium, Pennsylvania: Tectonophysics, v. 378, p. 85-103.

Marshak, S., Nelson, W.J., and McBride, J., 2003, Strike-Slip faulting in the Continental Interior of North America: in Storty, F., Holdsworth, R.E., and Salvine, F. (eds.)., Intraplate Strike-Slip Deformation Belts, Geological Society of London, Special Publication 210, p. 171-196.

Alkmim, F.F., Marshak, S., and Fonseca, M.A., 2001, Assembling West Gondwana in the Neoproterozoic: Clues from the São Francisco craton region, Brazil: Geology, v. 29, p. 319-322.

Marshak, S., Karlstrom, K., and Timmons, J.M., 2000, Inversion of Proterozoic extensional faults: An explanation for the pattern of Laramide and Ancestral Rockies intracratonic deformation, United States: Geology, v. 28, p. 735-738.

Brueckner, H.K., Cunningham, W.D., Alkmim, F.F., and Marshak, S.,2000, Tectonic Implications of Precambrian Sm-Nd dates from the southern São Francisco craton and adjacent Araçuaí and Ribeira Belts, Brazil: Precambrian Research, v. 99, p. 255-269

Macedo, J., and Marshak, S., 1999, The geometry of fold-thrust belt salients: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 111, p. 1808-1822.

Paulsen, T., and Marshak, S., 1999, Origin of the Uinta recess, Sevier fold-thrust belt, Utah: influence of basin architecture on fold-thrust belt geometry: Tectonophysics, v. 312, p. 203-216.

Marshak, S., 1999, Deformation style way back when: Thoughts on the contrasts between Archean/ Paleoproterozoic orogens and modern ones: Journal of Structural Geology, 20 th anniversary issue, v. 21, p. 1175-1182.

Cunningham, W.D., Marshak, S., and Alkmim, F.F., 1999, Proterozoic-present tectonism in the Ribeira belt, along the eastern margin of the São Francisco craton, Brazilian Highlands: The mid- to lower-crustal roots of a polyphase orogen: Precambrian Research.

Marshak, S., Tinkham, D., Alkmim, F.F., Brueckner, H., Bornhorst, T., 1998, REPLY: Dome-and-keel provinces formed during Paleoproterozoic orogenic collapse: Geology, v. 26, p. 475-477.

Alkmim, F.F., and Marshak, S., 1998, Transamazonian orogeny in the southern São Francisco craton region, Minas Gerais, Brazil: Evidence for Paleoproterozoic collision and collapse in the Quadrilátero Ferrífero: Precambrian Research, v. 90, p. 29-58.

Paulsen, T., and Marshak, S., 1998, Structure of the Charleston transverse zone, Wasatch Mountains, Utah: Tectonic evolution of the northern margin of the Provo salient in the Sevier fold-thrust belt: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 110, p. 512-522.

Paulsen, T., and Marshak, S., 1997, Structure of the Mount Raymond transverse zone at the southern end of the Wyoming salient in the Sevier fold-thrust belt, Utah: Tectonophysics, v. 280, p. 199-211.

Marshak, S., and Paulsen, T., 1997, Structural style, regional distribution, and seismic implications of midcontinent fault-and-fold-zones, United States: Seismological Research Letters, v. 68, p. 511-520.

Marshak, S., Tinkham, D., Alkmim, F.F., Brueckner, H., and Bornhorst, T., 1997, Dome-and-keel provinces formed during Paleoproterozoic orogenic collapse - Diapir clusters, core complexes, or neither? Examples from the Quadrilatero Ferrifero (Brazil) and the Penokean Orogen (USA): Geology, v. 25, p. 415-418.

Daniels, E.J., Marshak, S., and Altaner, S.P., 1996, Fracture permeability in coal beds during burial: evidence  from patterns of clay mineral alteration: Tectonophysics, v. 263, p. 123-136.

Nelson, W.J., and Marshak, S., 1996, Devonian tectonism in the Illinois Basin region, U.S. continental interior: Geological Society of America Special Paper 308, p. 169-179.

Marshak, S., and Flöttmann, T., 1996, Structure and origin of the Fleurieu and Nackara Arcs in the Adelaide fold thrust belt, South Australia: Journal of Structural Geology, v. 18, p. 891-908.

Cunningham, W.D., Marshak, S., and Alkmim, F.F., 1996, Structural style of basin inversion at mid-crustal levels: two transects in the internal zone of the Brasiliano Araçuaí belt, Minas Gerais, Brazil: Precambrian Research, v. 77, p. 1-15.

Marshak, S., and Paulsen, T., 1996, Midcontinent U.S. fault and fold zones: A legacy of Proterozoic intracratonic extensional tectonism?: Geology, v. 24, p. 151-154.

Flöttmann, T., James, P., Menpes, R., Cesare, P., Twining, M., Fairclough, M., Randabel, J, and Marshak, S., 1995, The structure of Kangaroo Island, South Australia: strain and kinematic partitioning during Delamerian basin and platform reactivation: Australian Journal of Earth Sciences, v. 42, p. 35-49.

Paulsen, T., and Marshak, S., 1994, An example of a cratonic crustal weak zone in the USA: The Dakota-Carolina corridor: Geology, v. 22, p. 15-18.

Marshak, S., Bonatti, E., Brueckner, H., and Paulsen, T., 1992, Fracture zone tectonics at Zabargad Island, Red Sea (Egypt): Tectonophysics, v. 216, p. 379-385.

Marshak, S., Alkmim, F.F., and Jordt-Evangelista, H., 1992, Proterozoic extensional tectonics and the architecture of an Archean granite-greenstone terrane in Brazil: Nature, v. 357, p. 491-493.

Wilkerson, M.S., Marshak, S., and Bosworth, W., 1992, Computerized tomographic analysis of displacement trajectories and three-dimensional fold geometry above oblique thrust ramps: Geology, v. 20, p.439-442.

Marshak, S., and Wilkerson, M.S., 1992, Effect of overburden thickness on thrust-belt geometry and development: Tectonics, v. 11, p. 560-566.

Marshak, S., Wilkerson, M.S., and Hsui, A.T., 1991, Formation of curved fold-thrust belts: Insight from simple physical and analytical modeling: in McClay, K.R. (ed.), Thrust Tectonics, Chapman & Hall, London, p. 83-92.

Marshak, S., and Bosworth, W., 1991, Noncoaxial deformation along the northeastern edge of the Appalachian Plateau, New York: Implications for faulting processes in orogenic forelands: Northeastern Geology, v. 13, p. 263-270.

Wilkerson, M.S., Medwedeff, D.A., and Marshak, S., 1991, Geometrical modeling of fault-related folds: a pseudothree- dimensional approach: Journal of Structural Geology, v. 13, p. 801-812.

Wilkerson, M.S., and Marshak, S., 1991, Factors controlling slip-trajectory orientation in fold-thrust belts: Tectonophysics, v. 196, p. 203-208.

Daniels, E., Altaner, S., Marshak, S. and Eggleston, J.R., 1991, Discussion and Reply of Hydrothermal alteration in anthracite from eastern Pennsylvania: Implications for mechanisms of anthracite formation: Geology, v. 19, p. 188-189.

Hsui, A., Wilkerson, M.S., and Marshak, S., 1991, Topographically driven crustal flow and its implication to the development of pinned oroclines: Geophysical Research Letters, v. 17, p. 2421-2424.

Lu, G., Marshak, S., and Kent, D.V., 1990, Magnetic carriers responsible for Late Paleozoic remagnetization in carbonate strata of the mid-continent, U.S.A.: Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 99 p. 351-361.

Marshak, S., 1990, Structural Geology of Silurian and Devonian Strata in the Central Hudson River Valley, New York: New York State Museum and Science Service map and chart series monograph 41, New York State Museum and Science Service, Albany, 66p. monograph (& 3 colored maps and cross sections).

Bhagat, S., and Marshak, S., 1990, Changes in microlithons associated with development of solution cleavage in limestone: Textural, trace-elemental, and stable-isotopic observations: Journal of Structural Geology, v. 12, p. 165-175.

Bethke, C.M., and Marshak, S., 1990, Brine migrations across North America -- The plate tectonics of groundwater: Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences, v. 18, p. 287-315.

Daniels, E., Altaner, S., Marshak, S., and Eggelston, J.R., 1990, Hydrothermal alteration in anthracite from eastern Pennsylvania: Implications for mechanisms of anthracite formation: Geology, v.18, p. 247-250.

Laubach, S.E., Reynolds, S.J., Spencer, J.E., and Marshak, S., 1989, Progressive deformation and superposed fabrics related to Cretaceous crustal underthrusting in western Arizona, U.S.A.: Journal of Structural Geology, v. 11, p. 735-750.

Marshak, S., and Tabor, J., 1989, Structure of the Kingston orocline in the Appalachian fold-thrust belt, New York: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 101, p. 683-701.

Marshak S., and Alkmim, F.F., 1989, Proterozoic contraction/extension tectonics of the southern São Francisco region, Minas Gerais, Brazil: Tectonics, v. 8, p. 555-571.

Marshak, S., and Vander Meulen, M., 1989, Geology of the Battleship Mountain region, Buckskin Mountains, Arizona: Structural style below the Buckskin detachment: in Spencer, J., and Reynolds, S. (eds.), Geology and Mineral Resources of the Buckskin Mountains, west-central Arizona: Ariz. Bur. Geology Bull. 198, p. 51-66.

Marshak, S., 1988, Kinematics of orocline and arc formation in thin-skinned orogens: Tectonics, v. 7, p. 73-86.

Laubach, S.E., and Marshak, S., 1987, Geometry of fault arrays generated during extension of fractured crystalline basement: in Coward, M.P., Dewey, J.F., and Hancock, P.L., (eds.), Continental Extensional Tectonics, Geological Society of London, Special Publication 28, p. 495-499.

Marshak, S., 1986, Structure and tectonics of the Hudson Valley fold-thrust belt, New York: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 97, p. 354-368.

Marshak, S., and Engelder, T., 1985, Development of cleavage in limestones of a fold-thrust belt in eastern New York: Journal of Structural Geology, v. 7, p. 345-359.

Engelder, T., and Marshak, S., 1985, Disjunctive cleavage formed at shallow depths in sedimentary rocks: Journal of Structural Geology, v. 7, p. 327-343.

Marshak, S., Geiser, P., Alvarez, W., and Engelder, T., 1982, Mesoscopic fault array of northern Umbrian Apennine fold belt, Italy: Geometry of conjugate shear by pressure-solution slip: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 93, p. 1013-1022.


Sbar, M.L., Engelder, T., Plumb, R., and Marshak, S., 1979, Stress pattern near the San Andreas fault, Palmdale, California, from near-surface in situ measurements: J. Geophysical Research, v. 84, p. 156-164.

Marshak R.S., and Karig, D.E., 1977, Triple junctions as a cause for anomalously near-trench igneous activity between the trench and volcanic arc: Geology, v. 5, p. 233-236.


Edited Books

Marshak, S., van der Pluijm, B., and Hamburger, M., (eds.), 1999, The Tectonics of Continental Interiors, special volume of Tectonophysics: v. 305, 417p.


Field Guides, Maps, and Other Publications

Sen, P., Marshak, S., Majerczyk, C., Yakovlev, P., 2011, Geologic Map of the Central Hudson Valley Fold-Thrust Belt: 1:10,000.

Maderis, L.G., Jr., Dott, R.H., Jr., Craddock, J.P., Marshak, S., 2011, The Baraboo District—A North American classic: Geological Society of America, Field Guide 24, p. 63-82.

Burmeister, K., and Marshak, S., 2006, Along-strike changes in fold-thrust belt architecture: Examples from the Hudson Valley, New York: in Pazzaglia, F.J., (ed.), Excursions in Geology and History: Field Trips in the Middle Atlantic States: Geological Society of America, Field Guide 8, p. 199-216.

Burmeister, K., and Marshak, S., 2003, Structural geology of the Rosendale natural cement region, Ulster County, New York: Examples of along-strike changes in fold-thrust belt architecture: New York State Geological Association Guidebook.

Marshak, S., van der Pluijm, B., and Hamburger, M., 1999, The tectonics of continental interiors, preface: special volume Tectonophysics, v. 305, p. vii-x.

Marshak, S., Hamburger, M., and van der Pluijm, B., 1998, Penrose Conference Report: The Tectonics of Continental Interiors: GSA TODAY, p. 23-24.

Bosworth, W., Darwish, M., Crevello, P., Taviani, M., and Marshak, S., 1996, Stratigraphic and structural evolution of Zabargad Island (Red Sea, Egypt) since the Early Cretaceous: Third International Conference on Geology of the Arab World, Cairo University, p. 161-190.

Jordt-Evangelista, H., Alkmim, F.F., and Marshak, S., 1993, Transformações mineralógicas e microestruturais do granito mamona (complexo metamøorfico Bonfim), na zona de cisalhamento do contato com o Supergrupo Minas, Quadrilátero Ferrífero, Minas Gerais: Proceedings of the IV Simposio Nacional de Estudos Tectonicos, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

Jordt-Evangelista, H., Alkmim, F.F., and Marshak, S., 1992, Metamorfismo progressivo e a ocorrencia dos tres polimorfos de Al2SiO5 (Cianita, Andaluzita, e Silimanita) na Formação Sabará em Ibirité, Quadrilátero Ferrífero, MG: Revista Escoal de Minas, Ouro Preto, v. 45, p. 157-160.

Marshak, S., 1991, Introduction to Geology, A One-Day Short Course for the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency: IEPA, Springfield, 45 p.

Nelson, W.J., and Marshak, S., 1990, Structural geology of the Shawnee Hills, southern Illinois: Field-trip guidebook, Geological Society of America North-Central Section, Macomb IL, p. E1-E44.

Marshak, S., 1989, (1) Geologic sketch of southeastern New York; (2) Fold-thrust geometries and cleavage development in the Hudson Valley of eastern New York: in Engelder, T., Structures of the Appalachian foreland fold-thrust belt, Field Trip Guidebook T166, 28th International Geological Congress, American Geophysical Union, Washington, D.C., p. 3-16.

Marshak, S., 1988, Book Review of Enclyclopedia of Structural Geology and Plate Tectonics: Journal of Sedimentary Geology, v. 58, p. 774-775.

Spencer, J., Reynolds, S., Anderson, J., Davis, G.A., Laubach, S., Richard, S., and Marshak, S., 1987, Field-trip guide to parts of the Harquahala, Granite Wash, Whipple, and Buckskin Mountains, west-central Arizona and southeastern California: in Davis, G.H., and VandenDolder, E.M. (eds.), Field-trip guidebook for Geological Society of America 100th annual meeting, Phoenix, Arizona Bureau of Geology Special Paper 5, p. 351-364.

Marshak, S., 1986, Structural Geology of the Hudson Valley fold-thrust belt between Catskill and Kingston, New York: A field guide: Geological Society of America, northeast-section 1986 field-trip guidebook, 70p.; reprinted in 1987 for the GSA Penrose conference on cross-section construction.

Marshak, S., Vander Meulen, M., and Bhagat, S., 1987, Geology of the Battleship Peak area, Buckskin Mountains, La Paz County, Arizona: Arizona Bureau of Geology and Mineral Technology, Miscellaneous Map MM-87-B, scale 1:8,000.

Marshak, S., and Engelder, T., 1987, Exposures of the Hudson Valley fold-thrust belt west of Catskill, New York: Geological Society of America, DNAG Centennial Field Guide to the Northeast., p. 123-128.

McEachran, D.B., and Marshak, S., 1986, Teaching strain theory in structural geology using graphics programs for the
Apple Macintosh computer: Journal of the National Association of Geology Teachers, v. 34, p. 191-195.

Marshak, S., Kyle, P.R., McIntosh, W., Samsonov, V., and Shellhorn, M., 1982, Butcher Ridge igneous complex, Cook Mountains, Antarctica: Antarctic Journal of the U.S., 1981 Review, v. 16, p. 54-55.

Marshak, S., 1981, The variability of "Mesozoic Sedimentary Rocks" in northern Yuma County, western Arizona: in Howard, K.A., Carr, M.D., and Miller, D.M., (eds.), Tectonic Framework of the Mojave and Sonoran deserts, California and Arizona: U.S. Geological Survey, Open-File Report 81-501, p. 61-62.

Schreiber, C., and Marshak, S., 1981, Evaporites, Carbonates, and Oil: in Bally, A.W. (ed.), Geology of Passive Continental Margins, American Association of Petroleum Geologists Education Course Notes Series, #19, p. D1-D19.

Marshak, S., 1980, A preliminary study of Mesozoic geology in the southern Dome Rock Mountains, southwestern Arizona: Arizona Geological Society Digest, v. 12, p. 123-134.

Marshak, S., and Geiser, P., 1980, Guidebook to Pressure-Solution Phenomena in the Hudson Valley: Geological Society of America, field guidebook to accompany the Penrose Conference of "Pressure-Solution Phenomena in Rocks," New Paltz, New York, 49p.

Engelder, T., Sbar, M., Marshak, S., and Plumb, R., 1978, Near-surface in-situ stress pattern adjacent to the San Andreas fault, Palmdale, California: in Kim, C.Y. (ed.), 19th U.S. Symposium on Rock Mechanics, p. 95-100.

Last modified on 7/12