Donna Anderson

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Dr. Donna Anderson

Affiliate Faculty                                                                                                

Petroleum Geology
Department of Geology and Geological Engineering
Colorado School of Mines
1516 Illinois Street
Golden, CO 80401

Phone: (+1) 303-273-3284
Fax: (+1) 303-273-3859



  • Ph.D. Geology- Colorado School of Mines, Colorado - 1997
  • M.S. Geology - University of California Los Angeles, California - 1980
  • B.A. Earth Science - California State University Fullerton, California - 1974
  • Certified Petroleum Geologist #5522; Registered Geologist #3957, California


Research Interests

Analyzing the sedimentary architecture of clastic depositional systems at many scales, using outcrop and subsurface data; evaluating architectural changes relative to tectonics and climatic controls. As a Research Assistant Professor, I balance research, teaching, and petroleum-industry consulting. I have worked on the stratigraphy, sedimentology, and reservoir characterization of fluvial, deltaic, and deepwater sandstone and shale systems.

Teaching interests focus on multidisciplinary education for petroleum applications, developing the abilities of students to become highly qualified professionals. Teaching responsibilities include: Sedimentary Geology for Petroleum Engineers, Geology Field Camp for Petroleum Engineers, and Graduate Seminar in Thesis Research for geology graduate students.


Current research projects include:

Fluvial architecture and stratigraphic modulation in the nonmarine Iles Formation of the Uinta-Piceance basin, in relation to fluvial reservoir heterogeneity,

Subsurface correlation and analysis of stratigraphic architecture of the Prairie Canyon Member of the Mancos Shale in the Uinta and northern Paradox basin, in relation to its possible origin as hyperpycnal deposits.

Stratigraphic and facies architecture of the Mancos Shale in western Colorado in relation to potential as a shale-gas resource,

Architecture and sediment delivery processes in the Lewis Shale-Fox Hills deltaic-slope system of the Greater Green River basin, Wyoming, in relation to mixed-mode sediment delivery within a tectonically-forced slope system,

Changing accommodation response of incised valley-fill systems across a foreland basin transect in the Bear River-Dakota of western Wyoming.



  • 1999-present: Associate Research Professor, Colorado School of Mines: Research on the stratigraphy, sedimentology, and reservoir characterization of clastic systems.
  • 2006-present: Geological Specialist, EOG Resources, Denver, CO (part-time).
  • 1992-2006: Consulting Geologist, Stratigraphy and Sedimentology, Golden, Colorado: Stratigraphic and sedimentologic analysis for petroleum and geotechnical engineering problems using subsurface and outcrop data. Application of high-resolution correlation techniques to predict the geometries and lateral continuities of sedimentary rock bodies at multiple scales. Projects have involved fluvio-lacustrine, deltaic and shoreface systems in tectonically active settings around the world.
  • 1997-1998: Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in Stratigraphy, Colorado School of Mines: Research into subsurface correlation strategies for deepwater sandstone reservoirs using Red Oak field of the Arkoma Basin, Oklahoma. Results used in reservoir characterization analysis by Amoco Production Co.
  • 1980-1992: Exploration & Production Geologist, and Exploration Supervisor, Mobil Oil Corporation, Denver, CO: Developed play concepts, leads, and prospects for petroleum exploration in Offshore California and Wyoming Thrust Belt. Conducted stratigraphic field studies in Early Cretaceous estuarine-shoreface units of western Green River Basin and Thrust Belt. Supervised exploration teams in Rocky Mountain basins. Lead production geologist for heavy-oil steamflood project in fluvio-lacustrine reservoirs, South Belridge field, California.
  • 1979-1980: Graduate Research Assistant UCLA: Analyzed field geologic and petrographic data for provenance study of mid-Tertiary nonmarine units in order to reconstruct Miocene extensional/rotational tectonics of southwestern Coast Range and Transverse Range provinces of California.
  • 1974-1978: Staff Geologist for geotechnical/civil engineering firms, southern CA: Drilled, mapped, trenched, and wrote reports for slope stability and active fault investigations, geologic evaluations of nuclear power plant sites, and EIS/EIR's in the western U.S.



  • Anderson, D.S. and Harris, N.B., 2006, Integrated sequence stratigraphic and geochemical resource characterization of the Lower Mancos Shale, Uinta basin, Utah: Utah Geological Survey Open-file Report 483, 130 p.
  • Anderson, D.S., 2006, Architecture of crevasse and point-bar bodies of the nonmarine Iles Formation north of Rangely, Colorado: Implications for reservoir description: Mountain Geologist, v. 42, p. 109-122.
  • Anderson, D.S. and Miskimins, J.L., 2005, Using field experiences to develop a multidisciplinary foundation for Petroleum Engineering students: Journal of Geoscience Education, v. 54, p. 172-178.
  • Peterson, K., Olson, T.M., and Anderson, D.S., eds., 2003, Piceance Basin Guidebook 2003: Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists, Denver, CO, 505 p.
  • Anderson, D.S., 2002, Keeping pace: Continental (nonmarine) sequence stratigraphy in a high accommodation-sediment supply regime, Hornelen Basin (Devonian), Norway , in Armentrout, J.A., ed., Sequence stratigraphic models for exploration and production: Gulf Coast SEPM 22 nd Bob F. Perkins Research Symposium volume, p. 201-216.
  • Anderson, D.S., and Cross, T.A., 2001, Large-scale cycle architecture in continental strata, Hornelen Basin (Devonian), Norway : Journal of Sedimentary Research, v. 71, p. 255-271.
  • Anderson, D.S., Robinson, J.R., Estes-Jackson, J., and Coalson, E.B., eds., 2001, Gas in the Rockies : Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists, Denver, CO, 315p.
  • Anderson, D.S., Clark, S.M., Griffith, E.G., Hendricks, M.L., Johnson, M.S., Longman, M.W., Osmond, J.C., Robinson, J.W., and Rogers, J.P., (compilers), 1999, in Longman, M.W., and Johnson, M.S., eds., A bibliography of Rocky Mountain oil and gas fields: The Mountain Geologist, v. 36, p.103-199.
  • Anderson, L.W., and Anderson, D.S., 1981, Weathering rinds on quartzarenite clasts as a relative-age indicator and glacial chronology of Mount Timpanogos, Wasatch Range, Utah: Arctic and Alpine Research, v. 13, p. 25-31.
  • Balderman, M.A., Miller, D., Johnson, C., and Schmidt (Anderson), D.L., 1978, The 1852 Fort Yuma earthquake: Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, v. 68, p.699-710.



  • Anderson, D.S. and Carr, M.M., 2007, 3-D architecture of crevasse splay and point-bar bodies: From outcrop to geologic model: Rocky Mt Section AAPG meeting, Snowbird, Utah.
  • Anderson, D.S. and Carr, M.M., 2007, Crevasse splay versus point-bar bodies: Relative roles in characterizing tight-gas fluvial reservoir successions: AAPG Annual meeting, Long Beach, CA.
  • Costanzo, L.N. and Anderson, D.S., 2006, Muddy Sandstone, Wind River Indian Reservation, Fremont County, Wyoming: Rocky Mt Section AAPG meeting, Billings MT.
  • Anderson , D.S., 2005, Tectonic controls on delta-front to basin sedimentation: The Lewis Shale-Fox Hills turbidite system, northern most Great Divide basin, Wyoming : AAPG, Calgary meeting.
  • Stevens, K.M., Anderson , D.S., Gardner , M.H., and Wagner, J.B., 2005, Re-evaluating the origin of isolated sandstones encased in marine mudstone: The Cretaceous Prairie Canyon Member of the Mancos Shale at Hatch Mesa. AAPG, Calgary meeting.
  • Anderson, D.S. and Miskimins, J.L., 2004, Teaching geoscience to non-geologists: Petroleum-engineering geology field camp at Colorado School of Mines: Geological Society of America, Abstracts with Program.
  • Anderson, D.S and Coker, S., 2004, The role of crevasse bodies in the evolution of fluvial architecture, Iles Formation north of Rangely, Colorado (Abstract): Rocky Mountain Section AAPG meeting, Abstracts with Program.
  • Gonzales, A.P., Anderson, D.S. and Hurley, N.F., 2003, Tectonic controls on delta-front and deepwater sandstone stratigraphy: Lewis Shale and Fox Hills Sandstone of the northern Great Divide Basin , Wyoming (Abstract): Salt Lake City Annual Meeting, AAPG Abstracts with Programs.
  • Anderson, D.S., and Sonnenfeld, M.D., 1999, Approaches to stratigraphic cross-section construction: Examples from Rocky Mountain basins (Abstract): American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin, v. 83, p.1179.
  • Anderson , D.S. and Cross, T.A., 1998, Fluvial architecture, cycles, and high-resolution stratigraphy in apparently homogeneous braidplain deposits (Abstract): AAPG Abstracts with Programs, v.7.
  • Olson, T.M., Anderson, D.S., and Kleinsteiber, S.W., 1998, Reservoir characterization using sequence stratigraphy, neural networks, and production data, Red Oak Field, Arkoma Basin, Oklahoma (Abstract): AAPG Abstracts with Programs, v.7.
  • Anderson, D. S., 1997, Sequence stratigraphy of the Bear River Formation on the Prospect Thrust hanging-wall, western Wyoming (Abstract): AAPG Bull, v. 81, p. 1218.
  • Anderson, D.S., 1997, Hydrodynamic and rheologic transitions from traction to sandy sediment-gravity flows (Abstract): AAPG Abstracts with Programs, v.6, p. A4.
  • Anderson, L.W., Klinger, R.E., and Anderson, D.S., 1997, Quaternary slip history of the Bare Mountain fault ( Nevada ) from the morphology and distribution of alluvial fan deposits—Comment: Geology, v. 25, p. 189.
  • Anderson, D.S., and Cross, T.A., 1996, Sequence stratigraphy of an extensional basin, Hornelen Basin (Devonian), western Norway (Abstract): American Association of Petroleum Geologists Abstracts with Programs, v. 5, p. A4.
  • Anderson , D.S., and Cross, T.A., 1996, Cycles in alluvial fan successions, Hornelen Basin (Devonian), Norway (Abstract): American Association of Petroleum Geologists Abstracts with Programs, v. 5, p. A4.
  • Olaya, I.D., McDonough, K.J., Hale, L.D., Anderson, D.S., and Cross, T.A., 1996, High-resolution fluvial seismic stratigraphy—An integrated subsurface analysis, Middle Magdalena Basin, Colombia (Abstract): Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 28, no. 7, p. A523.
  • Anderson, D.S., 1981, Provenance of mid-Tertiary nonmarine deposits, Santa Maria basin and vicinity, California (Abstract): American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin, v. 65, p. 890.



  • Anderson, D.S., 1997 Sedimentary responses to base-level change in linked alluvial fan, lake and braidplain strata, Hornelen Basin, Norway: Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado, 269 p.
  • Anderson, D.S., 1980, Provenance and tectonic implications of mid-Tertiary nonmarine deposits, Santa Maria basin and vicinity, California: Unpublished M.S. thesis, University of California, Los Angeles, 218p.


Professional Activities

  • Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists

President, 2004; President-Elect, 2003; Lead editor of guidebook: "Gas in the Rockies ," scheduled for publication in 2001. Publications Committee Chairman, 2000; First Vice-President 1999; Treasurer 1997; Continuing Education, Web and Ouctrop Committees, 1997-2000.

  • Rocky Mountain Section of AAPG

General Co-Chair 2008 Section meeting;President, 2004-2005; President-Elect, 2003-2004; Secretary-Treasurer, 2002-2003; Secretary-Treasurer elect, 2000-2001.

  • Rocky Mountain Section, SEPM

President 1996; President-Elect 1995; Vice-President 1994; Treasurer 1993, 1991

  • National SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology)

Technical Session Chairperson for 2001 AAPG/SEPM National Convention

  • National AAPG

Co-Chair, Continuing Education Committee: 2005-present. House of Delegates 1999-2004; Alternate to House of Delegates 1997-1998.

  • Member of SPE, AWG, Friends of Dinosaur Ridge, Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society

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