Leslie J. Sonder

Academic Appointments

Associate Professor of Earth Sciences

I use both field and theoretical techniques to investigate the fundamental processes driving large-scale continental deformation. It is important to understand these processes because over tens of millions of years they, in combination with surface erosional processes, are responsible for shaping the earth as we know it: the configuration of the continents, the locations and sizes of mountain belts, and the regions of significant earthquake and volcanic hazards.

+ View more


223 Fairchild
HB 6105


  • A.B. Washington University, 1981
  • Ph.D. Harvard University, 1986

Selected Publications

  • Verdeyen, M, B Dade and L Sonder, “A Comparison of Sediment Volumes Supplied to and Retained in Alluvial Fans of NE Owens Valley, California, USA,” Eos Transactions , American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting Supplement 2005, abstract #H53D-0497, 86:52 (Dec 2005).

  • Townsend, D A and L J Sonder, Rheologic Control of Buoyancy-driven Extension in the Rio Grande Rift, Journal Geophysical Research , 106:B8 (2001) 16,515-16,523.

  • “‘Ductile Shear Zones as Counterflow Boundaries in Pseudoplastic Fluids,’ by C J Talbot: Discussion and Theory,” Journal of Structural Geology , 23:1 (2001) 149-153.

  • Sonder, L J and C H Jones, “Western United States Extension: How the West was Widened,” Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences , 27 (1999) 417-462.

+ View more