Skip to content
Be seen. Be heard.

Geoscience

Dr. John Webster

Associate Professor

Office: Office 116 CMSC
Email: john.webster@minotstateu.edu
Phone: (701) 858-3873

Undergraduate Courses Taught

GEOL 101 Environmental Geology
GEOL 105 Physical Geology
GEOL 108 Earth and Planetary Science
GEOL 127 Environmental Earth Systems
GEOL 210 Minerals and Rocks
GEOL 260 Energy Resources
GEOL 290 Regional Geology
GEOL 300 Geologic Field Methods
GEOL 305 Methods in Mineralogy and Petrology
GEOL 310 Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology
GEOL 321 Hydrogeology
GEOL 340 Aqeous Geochemistry
GEOL 361 Structural Geology
GEOL 421 Applied Hydrogeology
SCI 240 Research Methods
SCI 480 Senior Seminar

Background

Dr. Webster earned a B.A. degree in 1981 from Hope College with majors in geology and chemistry. After a year in the oil patch (as a mudlogger and well-site geologist), he earned his M.S. degree (geology) in 1985 from Indiana University. He worked for two years as a geochemist with the Illinois Geological Survey from 1994-1996. Dr. Webster returned to Indiana University where he earned a Ph.D. (igneous petrology) in 1992. He started teaching in 1990 at the University of Minnesota-Morris, where he spent three years. He then taught at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside for three years. Dr. Webster arrived at Minot State University in 1996. In addition to teaching introductory courses, he has taught a variety of upper-level courses, primarily hard-rock courses (mineralogy, petrology, structural geology), but also geochemistry and hydrogeology at times. More recently, he has been teaching the Energy Resources course. For ten years he taught summer field geology through the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (1991-2000). While at Minot State University, Dr. Webster has led a number of Spring Break or May trips to the southwestern/western U.S.

 

Research Interests

Dr. Webster’s primary research training and interests were in igneous petrology and geochemistry. While at Minot State University he developed an interest in heavy mineral analysis of late Eocene sandstones exposed in southwestern North Dakota, northwestern South Dakota, and southeastern Montana. This research has allowed him to apply the analytical techniques used in doing hard-rock petrology to a more local research problem, making it easier to engage students in research.

Heavy Mineral Research

Research on heavy minerals in late Eocene sandstones was started to assess a possible correlation of sandstone exposed in the Medicine Pole Hills (southwestern ND) with the Chalky Buttes Member of the Chadron Formation. A number of students were involved in heavy mineral analysis of samples collected from seven depositional units at the Medicine Pole Hills locality. Heavy mineral assemblages, dominated by hornblende, epidote, and diopside, showed some variability, but were consistently different than what has been found in Chalky Buttes Member samples from the region. The most recent work has focused on analysis of multiple grain-size fractions from Chalky Buttes Member samples. The goal of this work is to better understand the control that grain size exerts over the heavy mineral abundances found, which would allow more meaningful comparisons of data from studies involving different grain sizes. The overall goal of the research is to better understand the provenance and depositonal history of late Eocene sandstones in the region.

 

Publications  (students underlined)

Webster JR, Shiley RH, Hughes RE, Lapish PL, Cowin DK, Smith GV, Hinckley CC, Nishizawa T, Yoshida N, Wiltowski T, Wada Y, Saporoschenko M.  1985.  Desulfurization of Illinois coal by in-situ preparation of iron sulfide catalysts:  Proceedings of the Second Annual Pittsburgh Coal Conference, p. 138-154.  Pittsburgh, PA, Sept. 16-20.

Webster JR, Shiley RH, Hughes RE, Hinckley CC, Smith GV, Wiltowski T.  1986.  Development of the carbon monoxide-ethanol desulfurization process:  Proceedings of the Third Annual Pittsburgh Coal Conference, p. 101-114.  Pittsburgh, PA, Sept. 8-12.

Webster JR, Wintsch RP.  1987.  Petrochemistry and origin of the Killingworth dome rocks, Bronson Hill Anticlinorium, south-central Connecticut:  Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 98, p. 465-474.

Wintsch RP, Webster JR, Bernitz JA, Fout JS.  1990.  Geochemical and geological criteria for the discrimination of high grade gneisses of intrusive and extrusive origin, Avalon terrane, southern Connecticut:  Geological Society of America Special Paper 245, p. 187-207.

Webster JR, Gilstrap MS.  1990.  Matrix independent separation of rare-earth elements and yttrium from geological materials using constant calcium content-oxalate precipitation and cation exchange for determination by high resolution inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES).  Chemical Geology, v. 85, p. 287-294.

Gonzalez RM, Edwards TE, Lorbiecke TD, Winburn RS, Webster JR.  2002. Analysis of geologic materials using Rietveld quantitative X-ray diffraction.  Advances in X-Ray Analysis  v. 46, p. 204-209.

Webster JR, Kight RP, Winburn RS, Cool CA.  2002.  Heavy mineral analysis of sandstones by Rietveld analysis.  Advances in X-Ray Analysis  v. 46, p. 198-203.

McKenney R, Webster J.  2004.  Magnetism, the Earth as a magnet, and seafloor banding – How much magnetism is enough?  Journal of Geoscience Education  v. 52, p. 352-362.

Webster JR, Kihm AJ, Klingbeil, AA. 2015. Heavy minerals in the late Eocene sandstone of Medicine Pole Hills, southwestern North Dakota. Rock Mountain Geology v. 50, p. 1-29.

 

Other Papers and Reports

Webster JR, Wintsch RP.  1988.  Chemical and modal compositions of Killingworth Dome rocks, southcentral Connecticut: State Geological and Natural History Survey of Connecticut, Open File Report 88-1.

Webster JR.  1999.  Final Report: Use of Inductively-Coupled Plasma Atomic Emission Spectroscopy (ICP-AES) for Rapid Multi-element Analysis in Earth Science, Chemistry, and Biology.  National Science Foundation (HER/DUE) Instrumentation and Laboratory Improvement Program, Grant Number 97-51439.  68 p.

Webster JR.  2000.  Final Report: Use of a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) with an Energy Dispersive X-ray (EDX) Analysis System in Earth Science and Biology.  National Science Foundation (HER/DUE) Instrumentation and Laboratory Improvement Program, Grant Number 98-51292.  40 p.

Wintsch RP, Aleinikoff JN, Webster JR, Unruh DM.  2005.  The Killingworth complex: A Middle and Late Paleozoic magmatic and structural dome. State Geological and Natural History Survey of Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, Guidebook No. 8, p. 305-324.  (associated with the 97th Annual Meeting of the New England Intercollegiate Geological Conference)

Abstracts for National Meetings  (students underlined)

Webster JR, Shiley RH, Hughes RE, Hinckley CC, Smith GV, Wiltowski T.  1986.  Coal de-sulfurization using ethanol (abs):  Alcohol Fuels Conference.  Kansas City, MO, Aug 19-20.

Webster JR, Brophy JG.  1988.  Evidence for temporal evolution in the relative roles of fractionation and magma mixing at the Broken Top Volcano, central Oregon (abs): Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 20, no. 7, p. A196.

Webster JR.  1989.  Petrology of the Diamond Peak volcano, central Oregon High Cascades: origin of monotonous (but not boring) calc-alkaline andesite (abs): Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 21.

Webster JR.  1990.  Quaternary andesites of the Diamond Peak area, Oregon High Cascades: evidence for melting in the lower crust (abs): Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 22.

Webster JR. 1992.  Quaternary volcanics from the Broken Top Volcano area, Oregon High Cascades: varied low pressure processes in calc-alkaline magma chambers (abs): Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 24.

Webster JR.  1995.  Compositionally monotonous andesite of the Diamond Peak Volcano, south-central Oregon High Cascades: Homogenization or compositional control through invariant point melting? (abs): EOS, Transactions, American Geophysical Union, v. 76.

Webster JR.  1999.  Use of an ICP atomic emission spectrometer and a scanning electron microscope in undergraduate courses and research (abs): Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 31, no. 7, p. 320.

Gonzalez RM, Lorbiecke TD, Edwards TE, Webster JR, Winburn RS.  2002.  Mineralogy of volcanic rocks by Rietveld analysis (abs):  51st Annual Denver X-ray Conference, Book of Abstracts: International Centre for Diffraction Data. v. 51, p. 67.

Webster JR, Kight RP, Winburn RS, Cool CA.  2002.  Heavy mineral analysis of sandstones by Rietveld analysis (abs):  51st Annual Denver X-ray Conference, Book of Abstracts: International Centre for Diffraction Data. v. 51, p. 68.

Webster JR.  2003.  Incorporating research into petrology courses (abs): Teaching Petrology in the 21st Century; Workshop held in Bozeman, MT; July 9-15, 2003  (invited)

Webster JR, Kihm AJ. 2009. Heavy mineral analysis and correlation of Late Eocene sandstones of the Williston Basin (abstract). Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, 41(7):690.

Webster JR, Kihm AJ, Klingbeil AA. 2013. Heavy mineral analysis of late Eocene sandstone from the Medicine Pole Hills, southwestern North Dakota (abstract). Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, 45(7) abstract nr 402-1.

 

Abstracts for Regional Meetings  (students underlined)

Webster JR, Wintsch RP.  1984.  Major element geochemistry and possible subdivision of the Killingworth dome, south-central Connecticut (abs):  Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 16, no. 1, p. 70.

Webster JR, Shiley RH, Hughes RE, Smith GV, Hinckley CC, Nishizawa T, Yoshida N, Wiltowski T, Wada Y, Saporoschenko M.  1985.  Desulfurization of Illinois coal by in-situ preparation of iron sulfide catalysts (abs): Part III.  Illinois Coal Research Board, Third Annual Contractors' Technical Meeting, p. 18.  Champaign, IL, October 22-24.

Wintsch RP, Webster JR.  1986.  New data on the nature and extent of the Avalon Terrane in southern Connecticut (abs):  Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, 18,  no. 1, p. 76.

Wintsch RP, Webster JR, Bernitz JA, Fout JS.  1987.  Subdivision of Rope Ferry Gneiss, Avalon Terrane, and structural implications (abs):  Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 19, no. 1, p. 66.

Webster JR.  1996.  Petrology of the andesitic-dacitic Todd Lake Volcano, central Oregon High Cascades:  Magma mixing in a stratified chamber (abs):  Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 28

Webster JR, Bell KJ.  1996.  Tertiary volcanics of Sugarloaf Mountain, southeastern Bear Lodge Mountains, Crook County, Wyoming (abs):  Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 28(4) p. 41.

Appenzeller JC, Webster JR.  1996.  Tertiary intrusives exposed at Sheep Mountain, southeastern Bear Lodge Mountains, Crook County, Wyoming (abs):  Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 28(4) p. 1.

Knodel RE, Webster JR.  1996.  Xenoliths and possible effects of assimilation in the Todd Lake basaltic andesite, central Oregon High Cascades (abs):  Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 28

Spear BA, Webster JR.  1996.  Petrology of the Ball Butte Volcano, central Oregon High Cascades:  Evidence for mixing between basaltic andesite and rhyodacite (abs):  Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 28

Lorbiecke TD, Edwards TE, Webster JR, Winburn RS.  2002.  Analysis of geological materials using Rietveld Quantitative X-Ray Diffraction (RQXRD).  Presented at the Great Lakes Regional MeetingAmerican Chemical Society, Minneapolis, MN

Kight RP, Cool CA, Webster JR, Winburn RS.  2002.  Heavy mineral analysis of sandstone using an XRD-Rietveld method (abs): Proceedings of the North Dakota Academy of Science Annual Meeting. v. 56, p. 38.

Edwards TE, Gonzalez RM, Lorbiecke TD, Winburn RS, Webster JR.  2002.  Analysis of geologic materials using Rietveld quantitative X-ray diffraction (abs): ND EPSCoR 2002 State Conference. p. 12.

Kight RP, Cool CA, Webster JR, Winburn RS.  2002.  Heavy mineral analysis of sandstone by Rietveld analysis (abs): ND EPSCoR 2002 State Conference. p. 12.

Webster JR, Kihm AJ.  2009.  Heavy mineral analysis and correlation of North Dakota late Eocene sandstones (abs): Proceedings of North Dakota Academy of Science Annual Meeting. v. 63, p. 83.