Brian Hausback, Sacramento State University

Sutter Buttes—Volcano in the Sacramento Valley

  • DINNER MEETING - Tuesday, January 12, 2010
  • Location: Stanford University

  • 5:30 PM-Social (3/4) Hour: . . . Hartley (in Mitchell)
  • 6:15 PM-Dinner: . . . Hartley (in Mitchell)
  • 7:30 PM-Meeting: . . . Geology Corner Room 320-105

    Map and driving instructions

    Anyone wishing to attend the lecture only is welcome at no cost.

    This will be the 411th meeting since 1954

    colored topo image of butte


    The Sutter Buttes form an isolated volcano in California's Central Valley, 82 km NNW of Sacramento. The Buttes consist of a central core of numerous silicic to intermediate domes that intruded and extruded through and strongly deformed a surrounding ring of Cretaceous to Tertiary Great Valley sedimentary rocks. Flanking the volcano is a broad apron of pyroclastic and fluvial deposits. Volcanism began at the Sutter Buttes approximately 1.58 Ma and continued until at least 1.40 Ma. They style of volcanism was characterized by peléean dome growth and collapse, interspersed with vulcanian explosive events

    The timing and location of the Sutter Buttes volcanic activity is related to magmatism distributed along the California Coast Range, associated with the post-subduction asthenospheric upwelling in the wake of the northerly passage of the Mendocino Triple Junction. Volcanism at the Sutter Buttes was likely facilitated by magma rise along pre-existing weakness along the suture between Mesozoic oceanic and arc crust that lies directly below the Buttes.

    About the Speaker

    photo of Brian with the butte behind him
    Brian Hausback

    Brian Hausback received his education in geology at UCLA (BS) and UC Berkeley (Ph.D). Working with professors Garniss Curtis and Clyde Wahrhaftig he completed his dissertation on the volcanic and tectonic evolution of southern Baja California in 1984. He began teaching at CSU Sacramento in 1985. He is the director of the Volcanological Society of Sacramento and co-edits the IAVCEI Volcanoes Photo Calendar.

    Over the years Brian has worked on a variety of volcanoes including Mount St. Helens, Mammoth Mountain, and those along Baja Californiašs Gulf coast. His recent studies are directed toward the understanding of volcanism at the Sutter Buttes and the High Rock caldera of northwest Nevada.

    Reservations: The preferred way to make reservations is simply to email John Spritzer at by Jan. 8, tell him you will attend, commit to pay, and bring your payment to the meeting. John always emails a confirmation; if you don’t get one, assume email crashed yet again and email him a second time. A check made to “PGS” is preferred, payable at the meeting.

    If you want to pay in advance:

    Everyone (including Stanford folks now) Please make dinner reservations by Jan. 8. Contact John Spritzer, at U.S. Geological Survey, 345 Middlefield Road, MS-973 Menlo Park, CA 94025, Tel.: (650) 329-4833. Send check made out to “PGS” to John.

    Dinner is $35.00. Includes wine (5:30 to 6:15 PM.) and dinner (6:15-7:30 PM.).

    For students from all universities and colleges, the dinner, including the social 3/4-hour, is $8.00 and is partially subsidized thanks to the School of Earth Sciences, Stanford University (Note, no-show reservations owe the full price).

    Doris, whose wonderful crew prepares our meals, asked that we let you know that people who are late RSVPing and people who show up without a reservation will be welcome but that they will be eating on paper plates with plastic utensils (food supply permitting).

    Dues for Academic Year 2009-2010 ($10.00) should be sent to John Spritzer, U.S. Geological Survey, 345 Middlefield Road, MS-973 _Menlo Park, CA 94025. John’s phone: (650) 329-4833.

    Officers: Vicki Langenheim, President; Jon Hagstrum, Vice President; Mike Diggles, Secretary; John Spritzer, Treasurer; Elizabeth Miller, PGS Stanford University Coordinator

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    Date created: January 4, 2010
    Last modified: January 7, 2010
    Created by: Mike Diggles, Webmaster-Secretary, PGS.

    c/o U.S. Geological Survey, MS-951, 345 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025. (650) 329-5404. email Mike Diggles at

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