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CHESTER RAY LONGWELL October 15, ISS7-December 15, 1975 BY3OHN RODGERS CHESTER LONGWELL, the son of John Kilgore and Julia (Megown) Longwell, was born in 1887 near the settle- ment of Spalcling in northeastern Missouri, in the Mark Twain country, an association that he lover! to recall and that colored his speech, his many anecdotes, and perhaps even this way of thinking about life. He did not go to college immediately after high school but spent seven years working, partly at various jobs in the Far West, partly on the farm or teaching school at home in Missouri. He then went to the University of Missouri (Columbia), completing a bachelor's degree (with honors) in 1915 and a master's degree the fol- lowing year. In 1940 the University honored its by then suc- cessful alumnus with an LL.D. degree. From Missouri he went to Yale as a graduate student in geology, but the First World War interrupted his studies, and he spent two years in the U.S. Army, part of it overseas, emerging as a captain. At the time of his death, more than fifty years later, one of his fellow regimental officers wrote: "His composure under unusual circumstances made all of- ficers of the regiment admire and respect him."* After returning from the war, he completed his graduate work at Yale and was awarded a Ph.D. degree in 1920. * Henry Broyce to Mrs. Irene Longwell, 1976. 249
250 B I OGRAPH I CA L M E M OI RS For his doctoral dissertation Longwell worked for five months (summer and fall of 1919) in the Muddy Mountains ant! vicinity, then a virtually unknown corner of southern Nevada; indeed in his report on the region he mentions the "strong appeal to the geologist" of an area "practically un- mapped" (even topographically) and with "the lure of the unknown." The area was primitive, travel was by mule or horse, water was very scarce, and isolation was the rule. He made his camp where he could, often with local hermits or prospectors or with the Indians of the region; it is character- istic of the man that decades later they would remember him with affection. During those five months he made major discoveries that opened a new chapter in geological exploration of the Great Basin. By subdividing the Cenozoic (reposits of the area, he showed that strong tilting and other cleformation, some of it contemporaneous with deposition, produced angular uncon- formities within the Cenozoic sequence, a new result at the time. Furthermore he showed that the Paleozoic ant! lower Mesozoic stratigraphic sequence in the southern Great Basin, while it can be matcher! to some degree with the welI-known sequence on the adjacent Colorado Plateau, is much thicker and more complete in other words, that it is geosynclinal. Perhaps his most spectacular result was the demonstration of large low-angle thrust faults involving this thick Paleozoic- Mesozoic sequence; such faults were then known no nearer than southeastern Tciaho anti adjacent Wyoming and Utah. Subsequent work, much of which was inspirer! by Longwell, has macle clear that the belt of such thrusting is continuous from southeastern California, through the Mucicly Moun- tains region to Idaho, and indeed far beyond! into Canada, always associated, as in Longwell's area, with the zone of westward thickening of the stratigraphic sequence into the geosyncline.
CHESTER RAY LONGWELL 25 In 1920 Longwell was appointed to the faculty of Yale University ancI also became a member ("when actually em- ployocI") of the U.S. Geological Survey; he retained both connections throughout his career. At Yale he acivancec3 steadily to a professorship in 1929 and was chairman of the Department of Geology for eight years, including the cliffi- cult perioc! of the Second World War when the university was in continuous session and leaves were not taken thus he taught and aciministerec! "around the clock" for several years. Except during those years, however, he continued a very active program of field work, mainly, though not entirely, in southern Nevacia ant! vicinity, and he made many acIditional major contributions to the geology of the region up to and long after his official "retirement" in 1956. He mapped the floor of the Boulder Dam reservoir (Lake Mead) and the Davis Dam reservoir (Lake Mojave) before they were flooclec! and restudied the Muddy Mountains anct other ranges near- by, in particular the high Spring Mountains west of Las Vegas, where the thrust belt he discovered is well displayed. When he approaches] retirement, he chose to move to California in order to be closer to his field area and to be able to work there at all times of year, ant! he continued active field work well into his eighties. Many former students and other younger geologists have testifier! to their inability to keep up with him during those years. In 1974 they organized a symposium in his honor at a meeting in Las Vegas. Charac- teristically, Longwell gave an outstanding research paper at that symposium, consolidating the evidence for a major strike-slip fault zone in the Las Vegas Valley, an Plea he clevelopecT largely in his retirement years. During his years in New Haven, Longwell clid not neglect Connecticut geology. Picking up where his Yale predecessor, Joseph Barrell, tract been interrupted by his early cleath, he clemonstrated the contemporaneity and close genetic associa-
252 BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIRS tion of faulting and deposition in the Newark (Triassic) basin of Massachusetts and Connecticut and, by implication, in the other Newark basins, an idea close to one he had demon- stratect in his cloctoral dissertation for the Cenozoic deposits in southern Nevacia. Furthermore, he was one of the first to see the value to structural geologists of geophysical data, especially gravity measurements, ant! he pursued this subject through a series of related papers. Such work led on to the subject of isostasy, and an article of his was in good part responsible for the rehabilitation of Airy's "roots-of- mountains" concept in crustal structure. Teaching structural geology naturally led into erogenic theory, and L.ongwell kept abreast of new syntheses and hypotheses in this fielcl, especially in Europe, although he never attempter! a synthesis of his own. He took an active part in the long clebate over continental ctrift and was indeed invited by S. Warren Carey to represent northern-hemi- sphere skepticism at the Tasmania symposium (1956) that prececled (and helpect to trigger) the turning of the ticle. Longwell took an active part in the organizational side of geology. Even before his election to the National Academy of Sciences (1935), he was active in the National Research Coun- cil, and he served as chairman of its Division of Geology and Geography for three years. One of his activities as chairman of the Tectonics Committee of this division was to urge and organize the work on the first large tectonic map of the Uniter! States, the execution of which was entrusted to Philip B. King, whose small-scale tectonic map of 1932 had stimu- lateci the project. Longwell was also active in the Geological Society of America and was elected its president for 1949. In 1948 he agreed to take over the editorship of the American Journal of Science "Silliman's journal," the oIclest scientific periodical in America, but now clevoted to the geological
CHESTER RAY LONGWELL 253 sciences. He enlistecI the present writer as an assistant, leav- ing him in charge on departing for California. His insistence on improving standarcis for publication was influential in maintaining the journal's position as a leading geological journal. Naturally Longwell taught and worked with a great many graduate students; it is quite remarkable how many of those students themselves came to eminent positions in geology. Already, eight of them have followoct Longwell into the National Academy of Sciences; five have been, like him, president of the Geological Society of America; ant! five have receives! the highest honor in North American geology, the Penrose Mecial. He was also active in teaching elementary geology at Yale, and after Pirsson's (leash he inherited the "Yale" textbook of Physical Geology, which, as L.ongwell, Knopf, and Flint, dominatecT the textbook field for a decade or so. into another textbook, compilecT of quotations from original sources by Agar, Flint, and Longwell, he inserted several passages from his favorite Mark Twain. He also edited a popular guide to the geology around Connecticut. Professor Longwell was married in 1921 to Doris Smith but was divorced in 1931. He was marries! again in 1935 to Irene Moffat. When he and his family moved to California in 1955, he established himself, appropriately enough, on Mark Twain Street in Palo Alto. in California he was welcomed into the active Geological Survey group at Menio Park and the faculty at the School of Earth Sciences of Stanford University, which he served as research associate ant! consulting profes- sor. He retained his activity and his ebullient spirits (and bad puns) to the very end, and many of his California associates celebratecl his eighty-eighth birthday with him on 15 October 1975. He diec! two months later. He is survives] by his wife, three children, five grandchildren, and by innumerable former students anti friencls.
254 BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIRS ~ AM DEEPLY APPRECIATIVE for the help I have received in prepar- ing this memoir from Mrs. Irene Longwell. I have also made use of material gathered by Ward C. Smith, Arthur D. Howard, and Professor Longwell's brother, Dean Bohr Harwood Longwell; I am grateful to them for permitting me to use it.
CHESTER RAY LONGWELL BIBLIOGRAPHY 1921 255 Geology of the Muddy Mountains, Nevada, with a section to the Grand Wash Cliffs in western Arizona. Am..~. Sci., 5th ser. 1:39-62. With Everett O. Waters. A practical method for determining dip and strike. Econ. Geol., 16:405-9. 1922 The Muddy Mountain overthrust in southeastern Nevada. I. Geol., 30:63-72. Notes on the structure of the Triassic rocks in southern Connecti- cut. Am. }. Sci., 5th ser. 4:223-36. With H. D. Miser, R. C. Moore, and Sidney Paige. Geology of the Colorado River in southeastern Utah. Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., 33: 122-23(A). 1923 With Hugh D. Miser, Raymond C. Moore, Kirk Bryan, and Sidney Paige. Rock formations in the Colorado Plateau of southeastern Utah and northern Arizona. US Geol. Surv. Prof. Pap., 132-A. 23 pp. Kober's theory of orogeny. Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., 34:231~1. 1924 Thrust faults and flaws in southern Nevada. Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., 35:64~65(A). 1925 Geological significance of isostasy and gravity measurements: a re- view. Geogr. Rev., 15:123-29. The pre-Triassic unconformity in southern Nevada. Am. I. Sci., 5th ser. 10:93-106. Complex structure in the Spring Mountains, Nevada. Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., 36:150(A). 1926 Structural studies in southern Nevada and western Arizona. Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., 37:551-83.
256 BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIRS 1927 Geophysical problems of general interest: a survey of recent litera- ture. Geogr. Rev., 17:467-75. 1928 Three common types of desert mud-cracks. Am. I. Sci., 5th ser. 15: 136~5. Geology of the Muddy Mountains, Nevada, with a section through the Virgin Range to the Grand Wash Cliffs, Arizona. US Geol. Surv. Bull., 798. 152 pp. Some physical tests of the displacement hypothesis. In: Theory of Continental Drift, pp. 14~57. Tulsa, Okla.: American Associa- tion of Petroleum Geologists. Lessons from the St. Francis Dam. Science, 68:36-37. The Triassic of Connecticut. Am. l. Sci., 5th ser. 16:259-63. Herschel's view of isostatic adjustment. Am. I. Sci., 5th ser. 16:451-53. 1929 William North Rice, 184~1928. Am. l. Sci., 5th ser. 17: 100. Obituary: Thomas Chrowder Chamberlin. Geogr. Rev., l9: 164-65. With William M. Agar and Richard F. Flint. Geology from Original Sources. New York: Henry Holt. 527 pp. With Louis V. Pirsson. ~4 Textbook of Geology, part I, Physical Geology, 3d rev. ed. New York: John Wiley & Sons. 488 pp. Origin and history of the "continental nuclei." Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., 40: 104(A). 1930 Outlines of Physical Geology. New York: John Wiley & Sons. 376 pp. Some problems of mountain structure and mountain history. Am. J. Sci., 5th ser. 19:419-34. Faulted fans west of the Sheep Range, southern Nevada. Am. J. Sci.,5thser.20:1-13. The "oscillation theory" of diastrophism. Am. J. Sci., Sth ser. 20:217-20. 1931 Bemerkungen zur Oszillationstheorie uber Diastrophismus. Dtsch. Geol. Ges. Z., 83:332-36.
CHESTER RAY LONGWELL Meteor Crater is not a limestone sink. Science, 73:234-35. 1932 257 With Adolph Knopf and Richard F. Flint. A l extbook of Geology, part I, Physical Geology. New York: John Wiley & Sons. 514 pp. (2d ea., 543 pp., 1939; 3d ea., 602 pp., 1948.) With Edward S. Dana. Walks and Rides in Central Connecticut and Massachusetts. New Haven, Conn.: Tuttle, Morehouse, and Tay- lor. 229 pp. With Charles Schuchert. Paleozoic deformations of the Hudson Valley region, New York. Am. J. Sci., 5th ser. 23:305-26. The Muddy Mountain thrust in fact and in fiction. Science 76:99-100. 1933 With Rudolf Ruedemann, Robert Balk, Arthur Keith, and George W. Bain. Eastern New York and Western New England, Guidebook 1, 16th Internat. Geol. Congress, Washington, D.C.: US Geo- logical Survey. 118 pp. Rotated faults in the Desert Range, Nevada. Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., 44:93(A). Thrust faults of peculiar type. Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., 44:93(A). Memorial to John Walter Gregory, 1864-1922. Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., 44:414-15. Meaning of the term "roches moutonnees." Am. J. Sci., 5th ser. 25:503-4. 1934 With Adolph Knopf and Richard F. Flint. Outlines of Physical Geol- ogy. New York: John Wiley & Sons. 356 pp. (2d ea., 381 pp., 1941.) Proposed tectonic map of the United States. Science, 80:427-28. 1935 Is the "roots-of-mountains" concept dead? Am. I. Sci., 5th ser. 29:81-92. 1936 With Carl O. Dunbar. Problems of Pennsylvanian-Permian boun-
258 BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIRS dary in southern Nevada. Am. Assoc. Pet. Geol. Bull., 20: 1198-207. Geology of the Boulder Reservoir floor, Arizona-Nevada. Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., 47: 1393-476. 1937 Sedimentation in relation to faulting. Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., 48:433-41. Carbonation and carbonitization. Science, 85:333-34. Geological interpretation of gravity anomalies. Geol. Soc. Am. Proc., 1936:86-87(A). With John F. Mason and John C. Hazzard. Sequence of Cambrian faunas in the southern Great Basin. Geol. Soc. Am. Proc., 1936: 366-67(A). 1938 The Basin Range problem. Trans. N.Y. Acad. Sci.,2d ser. 1: 17-20. Geologic interpretation of gravity-anomalies in the northeastern United States. Trans. Am. Geophys. Union, 19th Ann. Mtg., part 1, p. 84. 1939 Origin of mountains, or how mountains rise. I n: Frontiers of Geology, pp. 19-22. New York: Geological Society of America. Thrust faults of southern Nevada photographed in color. Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., 50: l 919(A). With Charles H. Behre, Jr. New tectonic map of the United States: progress report. Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., 50:2001(A). 1940 Relative roles of geology and geophysics in determination of crustal structure. Trans. Am. Geophys. Union, 21st Ann. Mtg., pp. 783-86. (Also in: Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., 49:1952-53(A), 1938.) William Bowie, 1872-1940. Am. J. Sci., 238:889-90. Problems of orogeny. Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., 51:2001(A). 1941 Geology. In: Development of the Sciences, pp. 147-96. New Haven. Conn.: Yale Univ. Press.
CHESTER RAY LONGWELL 259 Muddy Mountain, Nevada, belt of thrusting restudied. Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., 52: 1920-21 (A). 1942 The dating of diastrophic events in southern Nevada. Trans. N.Y. Acad. Sci., Ed ser. 5:21-22. 1943 Geologic interpretation of gravity anomalies in the southern New England-Hudson Valley region. Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., 54: 555-90. Classification of faults. Am. Assoc. Pet. Geol. Bull., 27: 1633- 40. 1944 Some thoughts on the evidence for continental drift. Am. I. Sci.. 242:218-51. Further discussion of continental drift. Am. I. Sci., 242:514-15. The mobility of Greenland. Am. J. Sci., 242:624. Determinations of geographic coordinates in Greenland. Science, 100:403-4. Tectonic map of the United States. Am. Assoc. Pet. Geol. Bull., 28: 1767-74. (Also in: Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., 50: 1918-19(A), 1939.) 1945 The mechanics of orogeny. Am. I. Sci., 243-A:417-47. Education in geology, how advance it? Science, 101:1-7. Low-angle normal faults in the Basin-and-Range province. Trans. Am. Geophys. Union, 26:107-18. 1946 How old is the Colorado? Am. I. Sci., 244:817-35. Bleaching of red sandstones in belts of deformation. Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., 57: 1214(A). 1947 Distribution of oceans and continents. Am. Assoc. Pet. Geol. Bull., 31: 1300-1303.
260 BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIRS 1949 Geology submarine. Un amplio campo de investigation: Cienc. Invest. 5:54-58. Structure of the northern Muddy Mountain area, Nevada. Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., 60:923-67. Structure in the Arizona-Nevada boundary area. Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., 60:1905-6(A). 1950 Tectonic theory viewed from the Basin Ranges. Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., 51:413-33. Charles Hyde Warren (187~19501. Am. Philos. Soc. Year Book, 1950:328-33. 1951 Memorial to Edward Bayer Branson, 1877-1950. Geol. Soc. Am. Proc., 1950:85-89. (Also in: Am. Assoc. Pet. Geol. Bull., 35: 1706-10.) The 1950 silly season. Science, 113:418. The problem of crustal deformation. Science, 114:2967(A). Megabreccia developed downslope from large faults. Am. I. Sci., 249:343-55. Thrust-faultingwhat does it mean? Trans. N.Y. Acad. Sci.,2d ser. 14:2-5. The so-called "temple of Jupiter Serapis." Am. i. Sci., 249:929-31. 1952 Basin and range geology west of the St. George Basin, Utah. Guideb. Geol. Utah, 7:27-42. Structure of the Muddy Mountains, Nevada. Guideb. Geol. Utah, 7: 109-14. The psychology of continental drift. Adv. Sci. 8:426-28. Is gravitational sliding important in orogeny? Trans. Am. Geophys. Union, 33:336(A). Lower limit of the Cambrian in the Cordilleran region. I. Wash. Acad. Sci., 42: 209-12. 1953 Was South America formerly joined to Africa? Geogr. Rev., 43: 27~81.
CHESTER RAY LONGWELL 1954 261 Memorial to Herbert Ernest Gregory (1869-1952~. Geol. Soc. Am. Proc., 1953: 115-23. Review of the tectogene concept. Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., 65: 1279(A). Origin of the word Climate. Science, 120:355. History of the lower Colorado River and the Imperial depression. Calif. Div. Mines Bull., 170~5~: 53-56. The AGT and the AGI. ]. Geol. Ed. 2:43-48. 1955 With Richard F. Flint. Introduction to Physical Geology. New York: John Wiley & Sons. 432 pp. (2d ea., 504 pp., 1962.) In support of the American Geological Institute. Geophysics, 20: 683-87. 1956 Arthur Keith, 1864-1944. In: Biographical Memoirs, 29:190-200. New York: Columbia Univ. Press for the National Academy of ~ - ~clences. 1957 The outlook for manpower in geoscience. Geotimes, 1~9~:6-7. 1958 Clarence Edward Dutton, 1841-1912. In: Biographical Memoirs, 32: 132-45. New York: Columbia Univ. Press for the National Academy of Sciences. My estimate of the continental drift concept. In: ContinentalDr~ft- A Symposium, pp. 1-12. Univ. of Tasmania Geology Dept., Sym- posium 2. 1960 Possible explanation of diverse structural patterns in southern Nevada. Am. l. Sci., 258-A: 192-203. Geologic setting of Lake Mead. US Geol. Surv. Prof. Pap., 295: 11-20. 1962 Restudy of the Arrowhead fault, Muddy Mountains, Nevada. US Geol. Surv. Prof. Pap. 450:D82-D85.
262 BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIRS 1963 Reconnaissance geology between Lake Mead and Davis Dam, Arizona-Nevada. US Geol. Surv. Prof. Pap. 374-E. 51 pp. 1964 With Reuben J. Ross. Paleotectonic significance of Ordovician sec- tions south of the Las Vegas shear zone. US Geol. Surv. Bull., 1180-C:C88-C93. 1965 With George B. Maxey. Geology in vicinity of Las Vegas, Nevada: Frenchman Mtn. and Spring Range. First Basin and Range Geology Field Conference. Mackay School of Mines, Reno, Nevada, 1955. 24 pp. Is uniformitarianism necessary? Am. I. Sci., 263:918-19. With E. H. Pampeyan, Ben Bowyer, and R. J. Roberts. Geology and mineral deposits of Clark County, Nevada. Nev. Burl Mines Bull., 62. 218 pp. 1967 With Michael C. Mound. A new Ordovician formation in Nevada dated by conodonts. Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., 78:405-11. 1971 Measure of lateral movement on Las Vegas shear zone, Nevada. Geol. Soc. Am. Abstr., 3:152. With R. E. Anderson, Richard L. Armstrong, and others. Signif~- cance of K-Ar ages of Tertiary rocks from the Lake Mead region, Nevada-Arizona. Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., 83:273-87. 1974 Large-scale lateral faulting in southern Nevada. Geol. Soc. Am. Abstr., 6:209. Measure and date of movement on Las Vegas Valley shear zone, Clark County, Nevada. Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., 85:985-89.