John Warme

Professor Emeritus, Geology and Geological Engineering

John Warme

Teaching Experience

  • Colorado School of Mines, 1979-present, Professor Emeritus of Geology and Geological Engineering
  • Rice University, Houston, Texas: Assistant, Associate, Full Professor of Geology;
    W. Maurice Ewing Professor of Oceanography (1967-1979)
  • California Lutheran College, Thousand Oaks, California: Lecturer (1961), Instructor (1962)
  • Visiting Professor at UCLA, UC Davis; Demonstrator, University of Edinburg, Scotland
  • Numerous continuing education and short courses for universities, companies, professional societies

Research Experience

  • Field work in California, Nevada, Rocky Mountains, Alaska, South America, Australia, Europe, North Africa
  • Coastal research in California, Mexico, Caribbean
  • Oceanographic cruises, research submersibles, SCUBA in Caribbean, eastern Pacific

Professional Societies

  • American Association for the Advancement of Science (Fellow)
  • American Association of Petroleum Geologists
  • American Geological Institute
  • American Geophysical Union
  • Colorado Scientific Society
  • Geological Society of America (Fellow)
  • International Association of Sedimentologists
  • Moroccan Association of Petroleum Geologists
  • Nevada Petroleum Society
  • SEPM (The Society for Sedimentary Geology); National and Rocky Mountain section
  • Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists
  • Sigma Xi (The Society for Scientific Research)


  • Postdoctorate, Fulbright Scholar; Universtiy of Edinburgh, Scotland; 1966-67
  • Ph.D., Univ. of California, Los Angeles, 1966
  • B.A, Augustana College, Rock Island, Illinois, 1959

Research Areas

  • General sedimentology, stratification sequences, sequence stratigraphy, cyclic deposits
  • Integrated litho-, bio- and ichno-facies paleoenvironmental analysis
  • General paleoecology, trace fossils
  • Eustatic versus tectonic controls on deposition
  • Rift- and wrench-fault tectonic frameworks for carbonate deposition and lake systems
  • Short-and-steep depositional systems; submarine canyons, channels and fans
  • Carbonate facies mosaics
  • Turbidites and other mass-flow deposits and sequences; deep-marine trace fossils
  • Petroleum reservoir facies, geometries, heterogeneities
  • Catastrophic sedimentary events, megabreccias
  • Stratigraphic anomaly recognition and interpretation
  • Meteoroid and comet impact deposits

Current Projects

  • Devonian catastrophic comet impact deposit in Nevada, the Alamo Breccia
  • Devonian sequence stratigraphy, southern Nevada
  • Jurassic rift carbonates of the High Atlas ranges of Morocco
  • Landslides in the Grand Canyon, Colorado River, Arizona

Selected Papers

  • **Warme, J.E., and Morrow, J.R., and Sandberg, C.A., 2008, Devonian carbonate platform of eastern Nevade: Facies, surfaces, cycles, sequences, reefs, and cataclysmic Alamo Impact Breccia, in Duebendorfer, E.M., and Smith, E.I., Eds, Field Guide to Plutons, Volcanoes, Faults, Reefs, Dinosaurs, and Possible Glaciation in Selected Areas of Arizona, California, and Nevada; Geological Society of America Filed Guide 11, p. 215-247.
  • **Pinto, J.A., Warme, J.E., 2008, Alamo Event, Nevada; Crater stratigraphy and inpact breccia realms, in Evans, K.R., Horton, J.W.,Jr., King, D.T., Jr., and Morrow. J.R., eds., The Sedimentary Recod of Meteorit Impacts: Geological Society of America Special Paper 437, p. 99-137.
  • **Watkins, C.M., Rogers, J.D., and Warme, J.E., 2007, Reconstruction of composite landslides in flat-lying sedimentary strata using graphical methods, 1st North American Landslide Conference, 14 p.
  • Evans, K.R., Horton, J.W., Jr., Thompson, M.F., and Warme, J.E., 2005, The sedimentary record of meteorite impacts; an SEPM Research Conference: The Sedimentar Record, v.3, no.1, p. 4-8.
  • **Koeberl, C., Huber, H., Morgan, M. and Warme, J.E., 2003, Search for an extraterrestrial component in the Late Devonian Alamo Impact Breccia (Nevada); results of iridium measurements, in Koeberl, C. and Martinez-Ruiz, F, eds., Impact Markers in the Stratigraphic Record, p. 315-332.
  • **Warme, J.E., Morgan, M.L., Kuehner, H.-C., 2002, Impact-enerated carbonate accretionary lapilli in the Late Devonian Alamo Breccia, in Koeberl, C., and MacLeod, K.G. eds, Catastrophic Events and mass Extinctions: Impacts and Beyond, Geological Society of America Special Paper 356, p. 489-504.
  • **May, J.A., and Warme, J.E., 2000, Bounding surfaces, lithologic variability, and sandstone connectivity within submarine-canyon outcrops, Eocene of San Diego, California, GCSSEPM Foundation 20th Annual Research Conference, Deep-water Reservoirs of the World, December, 3-6, 2000, Houston, p. 556-574.
  • **Morrow, J.R., Sandberg, C.A., Warme, J.E., and Kuehner, H.-C., 1998, Regional and possible global effects of sub-critical Late Devonian Alamo impact event, southern Nevada, USA: Journal of The British Interplanetary Society, v. 51, p. 451-460.
  • **Warme, J.E. and Kuehner, H.-C., 1998, Anatomy of an anomaly: the Devonian catastrophic Alamo impact breccia of southern Nevada: International Geology Review, v. 40, p. 189-216; also published as p. 80-107 in Ernst, W.G. and Nelson, C.A. (eds.), Integrated Earth and Environmental Evolution of the Southwestern United States (The Clarence A. Hall Commemorative Volume): Bellweather Publishing, Ltd., for the Geological Society of America, 502 p.
  • **Sandberg, C.A., Morrow, J.R., and Warme, J.E., 1997, Late Devonian Alamo impact event, global Kellwasser events, and major eustatic events, eastern Great Basin, Nevada and Utah, in Link, P.K. and Kowalis, B.J. (eds.), Proterozoic to Recent Stratigraphy, Tectonics, and Volcanology, Utah, Nevada, southern Idaho and Central New Mexico: Guidebook, Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Young University Geology Series, v. 42, part 1, p. 129-160.
  • **Warme, J. E. and Sandberg, C. A., 1996, Alamo Megabreccia: record of a Late Devonian impact in southern Nevada: GSA Today, v. 6, p. 1-7.
  • **Chamberlain, A. K. and Warme, J. E., 1996, Devonian sequences and sequence boundaries, Timpahute Range, Nevada, p. 63-84 in Longman, M. W. and Sonnenfeld, M. D. (eds.), Paleozoic Systems of the Rocky Mountain Region: Rocky Mountain Section SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology), 444 p.
  • **Campion, K. M., Sullivan, M. D., May, J. A., and Warme, J. E., 1996, Sequence stratigraphy along a tectonically active margin, Paleogene of southern California, p. 125-188 in Abbott, P. L. and Cooper, J. D. (eds.), Field Conference Guide 1996, Pacific Section AAPG: Guidebook 73, Pacific Section SEPM, Book 80, 475 p.
  • **Leroux, H., Warme, J. E., and Doukhan, J.-C., 1995, Shocked quartz in the Alamo breccia, southern Nevada: evidence for a Devonian impact event: Geology, v. 23, p. 1003-1006.
  • **May, J.A. and Warme, J.E., 1991, Marine sedimentology of the Early to Middle Eocene La Jolla Group, p. 73-92 in Abbott, P.L. and May, J.A. (eds.), Eocene Geologic History, San Diego Region: SEPM Pacific Section Publication Number 68, 228 p.
  • Abrahao, D. and Warme, J.E., 1990, Lacustrine and associated deposits in a rifted continental margin–Lower Cretaceous Lagoa Feia Formation, Campos basin, Offshore Brazil, p. 287-305 in Katz, B. J. (ed.), Lacustrine Basin Exploration–Case Studies and Modern Analogs: American Association of Petroleum Geologists Memoir 50, 340 p.
  • **Warme, J.E., 1988, Jurassic carbonate facies of the central and eastern High Atlas Rift, Morocco, p. 169-199 in Jacobshagen, V.H. (ed.) The Atlas System of Morocco: Lecture Notes in Earth Sciences, v. 15, Springer-Verlag, 499 p.
  • **May, J.A. and Warme, J.E., 1987, Synchronous depositional phases in west coast basins: eustasy or regional tectonics?, p. 24-36 in Cenozoic Basin Development of California, R.V. Ingersol and W.G. Ernst (eds.): Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 486 p.
  • Zalan, P.V., Nelson, E.P., Warme, J.E. and Davis, T.L., 1985, The Piaui Basin: rifting and wrenching in an equatorial Atlantic transform basin, p. 177-192 in Strike-Slip Deformation, Basin Formation and Sedimentation, K.T. Biddle and N. Cristi-Blick (eds.): Society of Economic Paleontologists and Mineralogists Special Publication No. 27, 386 p.
  • **May. J.A. Yeo, R.K. and Warme, J.E., 1984, Eustatic control on synchronous stratigraphic development: Cretaceous and Eocene coastal basins along an active margin: Sedimentary Geology, v. 40, p. 131-149.
  • Warme, J.E., 1969, Live and dead molluscs in a coastal lagoon: Journal of Paleontology, v. 43, p. 141-150.
  • Warme, J.E. and McHuron, E.J., 1978, Marine borers: trace fossils and significance, p. 77-131 in Trace Fossil Concepts; Short course No. 5, P.B. Basan (ed.): Society of Economic Paleontologists and Mineralogists, 210 p.
  • Warme, J.E., Ekdale, A.A., Ekdale, S.R. and Peterson, C.H., 1976, Raw material of the fossil record, p. 143-169 in Structure and Classification of Paleocommunities, R. Scott and R. West (eds.): Dowden, Hutchinson and Ross, Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, 291 p.
  • **Evans, Ian, Kendall, C.G. St.C. and Warme, J.E., 1974, Jurassic sedimentation in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco during early rifting of Africa and North America: Geology, v. 2, p. 295-296.
  • Kern, J.P. and Warme, J.E., 1974, Trace fossils and bathymetry of the upper Cretaceous Point Loma Formation, San Diego, Calif.: Geological Society of American Bulletin, v. 85, p. 893-900.
  • Warme, J.E., Kennedy, W.J. and Schneidermann, 1973, Biogenic sedimentary structures (trace fossils) in Leg 15 cores: Initial Reports of Deep Sea Drilling Project, Volume XV, p. 813-831.
  • Warme, J.E., 1971, Paleoecological aspects of a modern coastal lagoon: Univ. of California Publications in Geological Sciences, v. 87, 131 p. 10 plates, 11 figs., 10 tables.
  • Warme, J.E., Scanland, T.B. and Marshall, N.F., 1971, Submarine canyon erosion: contribution of marine rock burrowers: Science, v. 173, p. 1127-1129.
  • Warme, J.E., 1970, Mugu Lagoon, coastal southern Calif.: origin, sediments and productivity, p. 137-154 in Proceedings Simposio Internacional sobre Lagunas Costaras, Mexico City (1967), A.A. Castanares and F.B. Phleger (eds.): UNESCO, 686 p.
  • Warme, J.E., 1970, Traces and significance of marine borers: p. 515-526 in Trace Fossils, T.P. Crimes and J.C. Harper (eds.), Geological Journal Special Issue No. 3: Seel House Press, Liverpool, 547 p.

Books Edited

  • Warme, J.E., Douglas, R.G. and Winterer, E.L. (eds.), 1981, The Deep Sea Drilling Project: A Decade of Progress: Society of Economic Paleontologists and Mineralogists Special Publication No. 32, 564 p.
  • Warme, J.E. and Shanley, K.W. (eds.), 1985-1986, Carbonate depositional environments:
    • Part 1, Reefs: Zonation, Depositional Facies, Diagenesis, by N.P. James and I.G. Macintyre: Colorado School of Mines Quarterly, v. 80, n. 3, 70 p. 1985.
    • Part 2, Carbonate Platforms, by P.M. Harris, C.H. Moore and J.L. Wilson: Colorado School of Mines Quarterly, v. 80, n. 4, 60 p., 1985.
    • Part 3, Tidal Flats, by L.A. Hardie and E.A. Shinn: Colorado School of Mines Quarterly, v. 81, n. 1, 74 p., 1986.
    • Part 4, Periplatform Carbonates, by H.T. Mullins: Colorado School of Mines Quarterly, v. 81, n. 2, 63 p., 1986.
    • Part 5, Diagenesis 1, by R.G.C. Bathurst and L.S. Land: Colorado School of Mines Quarterly, v. 81, n. 4, 41 p., 1986.
    • Part 6, Diagenesis 2, by R.B. Halley and R.K. Matthews: Colorado School of Mines Quarterly, v. 82, n. 1, 40 p. 1987.
  • **Warme, J.E. (ed.), 1988, Evolution of the Jurassic High Atlas Rift, Morocco; Transtension, structural and eustatic controls on carbonate deposition, tectonic inversion: AAPG Mediterranean Basins Conference, Nice, France, Guidebook, Field Trip No. 9, 315 p.


Elected Offices

  • Society of Sigma Xi, Treasurer, CSM Chapter (1996-1999)
  • American Association of Petroleum Geologists
    • Executive Committee (as SEPM President, 1983-1984)
    • House of Delegates (1989-1991)
  • Society of Economic Paleontologists and Mineralogists (SEPM)
    • President Elect/President (1982-1984)
    • Councilor for Paleontology (1979-1981)
  • SEPM Foundation
    • Director (1986-1988)
    • Founding President and Director (1983-1986)

Appointments to National Committees

  • 1993-1999 American Chemical Society/Petroleum Research Fund Advisory Board
  • 1992-1994 National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council, Associate Program Review Board
  • 1979-1982 National Science Foundation, Earth Science Advisory Panel


  • American Association of Petroleum Geologists Certified Petroleum Geologist #5147

Awards and Recognitions

  • The Society for Sedimentary Geology (SEPM) William H. Twenhofel Award for Excellence in Sedimentary Geology (2007)
  • American Association of Petroleum Geologists W. Grover Murray Distinguished Educator Award (2006)
  • American Association of Petroleum Geologists Distinguished Lecturer (2000-2001)
  • Augustana College (Rock Island, Ill), Alumni Outstanding Achievement Award (1999-2000)
  • Elected Honorary Founding Member, Moroccan Association of Petroleum Geologists (1998)
  • Society of Economic Paleontologists and Mineralogists: elected Honorary Member (1994)
  • American Association for Advancement of Science: elected Fellow (1982)
  • Rice University: W. Maurice Ewing Chair (endowed) in Oceanography (1976-1979)
  • Geological Society of America: elected Fellow (~1974)
  • University of Edinburgh: Fulbright Scholar to Scotland (1966-1967)
  • UCLA: Standard Oil Fellowship (1963-1964); Richfield Oil Fellowship (1964-1965)