Earth and Planetary Science
EPS Geophysics

David Jones

David Jones (1930 - 2007)

David (Davy) L. Jones got his B.S. degree from Yale University in 1952, an M.S. from Stanford in 1953 and a Ph.D. from Stanford in 1956. He joined the USGS in Menlo Park in 1955 spent 30 years of his geological career with the USGS. In 1985 he became professor of geology at U.C. Berkeley. He received numerous awards, including the Mary Clark Thompson Medal from the National Academy of Sciences in 1995. Jones retired in 1996. He started work when Cordilleran tectonic evolution was framed in the context of the geosynclinal cycle, and he was the biostratigrapher in the classic 1964 paper by Bailey, Irwin and Jones on "eugeosynclinal" Franciscan and "miogeosynclinal" Great Valley sequences in California. The paper provided the base for recognition in the later 1960s that these sequences represented respectively an ancient subduction complex and a forearc basin, and placed California in the forefront of the application of plate tectonic concepts to on-land geology. In 1972, Jones’ colleague Porter Irwin first used the term "terrane" in the Klamath Mountains, and Davy and others suggested that older rocks in southeastern Alaska were a displaced continental fragment. In 1977, David Jones had named what is perhaps the best-known Cordilleran terrane - Wrangellia -characterized by its distinctive early Mesozoic stratigraphy and paleomagnetic signature. By 1980, the Cordillera was viewed as a collage of "suspect terranes" accreted to the Laurentian continental margin, and the terrane concept became exported and applied worldwide to analyses of of other orogenic collages. In the last part of his career, Davy and Berkeley colleagues suggested that rapid extrusion of Triassic basalt in Wrangellia resulted from an underlying mantle plume. David Jones died on Oct. 30th, 2007 at his home in Placerville, after a long battle with bone cancer. He was 77 years old.
To preserve his memory, interested individuals should direct contributions to graduate student fellowships in the UC Berkeley Earth & Planetary Science Department. Checks should be made out to "The Regents of the University of California" and addressed to Judith Coyote, Department of Earth and Planetary Science, 307 McCone Hall, University of California, Berkeley, CA, 94720-4767.