May 6, 1905–May 18, 1991


AARON C. WATERS, ONE OF the leading volcanologists of the twentieth century, passed away on May 18, 1991, at age 86 in Tacoma, Washington. Professor Waters, best known for his pioneering work on the Columbia River Basalt, led the way also in other studies of basaltic volcanism in the Pacific Northwest, the mechanics of basaltic lava flows, the development of lava-tube cave systems, and violently explosive basaltic volcanism recorded by maar-type volcanoes. This expertise led directly to his participation in studies of lunar geology as the U.S. space program got underway, including composition and origin of the lunar surface, the assessment of Apollo landing sites, and geologic training of the Apollo astronauts. But it was the breadth of Aaron Waters’s geologic accomplishments, rather than specialization, that marks his distinguished career. He made important contributions to our understanding of calc-alkaline volcanism, to granitoid batholiths and their hypabyssal intrusive complexes, to deep-seated metamorphism, and to the geomorphic evolution of landscapes as well as facets of structural and economic geology. The Pacific Northwest region was the focus of his diversified studies, and he was regarded for many years as the leading geologic authority on that region. Yet, his studies extended also to other parts of the United States,

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