Robert J. Gillis

Robert J. Gillis

Structural geology, geologic mapping, thermochronology

  • Position:

    Geologist, Energy Resources
  • Address:

    3354 College Road Fairbanks, AK 99709-3707
  • Phone:

    (907)451-5024
  • Fax:

    (907)451-5050
  • Email:

    robert.gillis@alaska.gov

Education and/or Training

M.S. 2005, University of California, Los Angeles (Geology)
B.S. 2001, University of Arizona (Geology)

Projects and/or Research Interests

I serve as the manager of the Cook Inlet Basin Analysis Program and co-manager of the Interior Basins Program at the State of Alaska, Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys (DGGS), for which we conduct field-based stratigraphic, structural, petrologic, and petroleum systems studies to assess the hydrocarbon potential of Alaska's sedimentary basins and reconstruct their geologic histories. My research interests center on the application of geologic mapping, interpretation of map-scale structural geometries, outcrop structural kinematics, and thermochronology to understand how basin margins deform over time, the implications for basin subsidence, and the evolution of potential structural hydrocarbon traps. These results are integrated with results of DGGS stratigraphic field studies to develop source-to-sink histories of prospective and potentially prospective hydrocarbon basins.

My work in Alaska has been focused in the Cook Inlet basin, North Slope and northern foothills of the Brooks Range, Alaska Peninsula, and Susitna and Tanana/Nenana basins. I have also led, or collaborated on geologic research projects in Bolivia, Papua New Guinea, Nepal, Iran, and southern Mexico.

Professional Experience

2006-present, Geologist, State of Alaska, Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys, Fairbanks, AK
2005-2006, Operations geologist, ConocoPhillips Alaska, Anchorage, AK

Other Professional Activities

AFFILIATIONS
2012-present, Affiliate Faculty, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Geology and Geophysics Dept.
Member, Geological Society of America
Member, American Association of Petroleum Geologists
Member, Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society

AWARDS
2001, Outstanding Graduating Senior Award, Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona
2000, Evans B. Mayo Award, outstanding achievement, geology field camp, University of Arizona

Selected Publications

  • Gillis, R.J., 2016, Discovery of a new sandstone with residual oil in Maastrichtian(?) strata at Shelter Creek, lower Cook Inlet, Alaska, in Herriott, T.M., ed., Petroleum-related geologic studies in lower Cook Inlet during 2015, Iniskin-Tuxedni region, south-central Alaska: Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys Preliminary Interpretive Report 2016-1-7, p. 51-58. http://doi.org/10.14509/29541
  • Gillis, R.J., ed., 2015, Overview of 2014 energy-focused studies in Susitna basin, south-central Alaska, and preliminary results: Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys Preliminary Interpretive Report 2015-3, 34 p. http://doi.org/10.14509/29408
  • Gillis, R.J., Herriott, T.M., and Tsigonis, R.M., 2015, Preliminary results of reconnaissance structural studies of the western Susitna basin, south-central Alaska, in Gillis, R.J., ed., Overview of 2014 energy-focused studies in Susitna basin, south-central Alaska, and preliminary results: Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys Preliminary Interpretive Report 2015-3-5, p. 25-34. http://doi.org/10.14509/29469
  • Gillis, R.J., Decker, P.L., Wartes, M.A., Loveland, A.M., and Hubbard, T.D., 2014, Geologic map of the south-central Sagavanirktok Quadrangle, North Slope, Alaska: Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys Report of Investigation 2014-4, 24 p., 2 sheets, scale 1:63,360. http://doi.org/10.14509/29138
  • Betka, P.M., and Gillis, R.J., 2014, Preliminary characterization of brittle deformation on the Iniskin Peninsula: Implications for the kinematic history of the Bruin Bay fault system, lower Cook Inlet, Alaska: Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys Preliminary Interpretive Report 2014-5, 14 p. http://doi.org/10.14509/29130
  • Gillis, R.J., ed., 2014, Cook Inlet program 2013 field studies: Observations and preliminary interpretations from new 1:63,360-scale geologic mapping of the Iniskin Peninsula, lower Cook Inlet, Alaska: Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys Preliminary Interpretive Report 2014-2, 31 p. http://doi.org/10.14509/27303
  • Gillis, R.J., Wartes, M.A., Herriott, T.M., Bull, K.F., Decker, P.L., and Betka, P.M., 2014, Overview of new 1:63,360-scale geologic mapping of the Iniskin Peninsula, lower Cook Inlet, Alaska, in Gillis, R.J., ed., Cook Inlet program 2013 field studies: Observations and preliminary interpretations from new 1:63,360-scale geologic mapping of the Iniskin Peninsula, lower Cook Inlet, Alaska: Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys Preliminary Interpretive Report 2014-2-1, p. 3-6. http://doi.org/10.14509/27306
  • Gillis, R.J., Stanley, R.G., LePain, D.L., Mauel, D.J., Herriott, T.M., Helmold, K.P., Peterson, C.S., Wartes, M.A., and Shellenbaum, D.P., 2013, Status of a reconnaissance field study of the Susitna basin, 2011: Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys Preliminary Interpretive Report 2013-4, 8 p. http://doi.org/10.14509/25015
  • Wartes, M.A., Gillis, R.J., Herriott, T.M., Stanley, R.G., Helmold, K.P., Peterson, C.S., and Benowitz, J.A., 2013, Summary of 2012 reconnaissance field studies related to the petroleum geology of the Nenana basin, interior Alaska: Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys Preliminary Interpretive Report 2013-2, 13 p. http://doi.org/10.14509/24880
  • Gillis, R.J., ed., 2013, Overview of 2012 field studies: Upper Alaska Peninsula and west side of lower Cook Inlet, Alaska: Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys Preliminary Interpretive Report 2013-1, 48 p. http://doi.org/10.14509/24824
  • Gillis, R.J., 2013, Overview of 2012 field studies: Upper Alaska Peninsula and west side of lower Cook Inlet, Alaska, in Gillis, R.J., ed., Overview of 2012 field studies: Upper Alaska Peninsula and west side of lower Cook Inlet, Alaska: Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys Preliminary Interpretive Report 2013-1A, p. 1-4. http://doi.org/10.14509/24844
  • Gillis, R.J., Swenson, R.F., Wartes, M.A., and Frohman, R.A., 2013, Reconnaissance investigations of the Bruin Bay fault system along the western margin of lower Cook Inlet and upper Alaska Peninsula, in Gillis, R.J., ed., Overview of 2012 field studies: Upper Alaska Peninsula and west side of lower Cook Inlet, Alaska: Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys Preliminary Interpretive Report 2013-1G, p. 33-37. http://doi.org/10.14509/24850
  • Decker, P.L., Gillis, R.J., Helmold, K.P., and Peterson, Shaun, 2012, Summary of fossil fuel and geothermal resource potential in the Railbelt energy region, in Swenson, R.F., Wartes, M.A., LePain, D.L., and Clough, J.G., Fossil fuel and geothermal energy sources for local use in Alaska: Summary of available information: Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys Special Report 66J, p. 95-112. http://doi.org/10.14509/24433
  • Benowitz, J.A., Haeussler, P.J., Wallace, W.K., O'Sullivan, P.B., and Gillis, R.J., 2012, Cenozoic tectono-thermal history of the Tordrillo Mountains, Alaska: Paleocene-Eocene ridge-subduction, decreasing relief, and late Neogene faulting: Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, v. 13, issue 4. http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2011GC003951
  • Wartes, M.A., Wallace, W.K., Loveland, A.M., Gillis, R.J., Decker, P.L., Reifenstuhl, R.R., Delaney, P.R., LePain, D.L., and Carson, E.C., 2011, Geologic map of the Kavik River area, northeastern Brooks Range, Alaska: Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys Report of Investigation 2011-3A, 14 p., 1 sheet, scale 1:63,360. http://doi.org/10.14509/22602
  • Finzel, E.S., Gillis, R.J., Ridgway, K.D., and LePain, D.L., 2009, Preliminary evaluation of basin margin exhumation and provenance of Cenozoic strata, Chuitna and Beluga rivers area, Cook Inlet forearc basin, Alaska: Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys Preliminary Interpretive Report 2009-4, 16 p. http://doi.org/10.14509/19641
  • Gillis, R.J., LePain, D.L., Ridgway, K.D., and Finzel, E.S., 2009, A reconnaissance view of an unnamed fault near Capps Glacier, northwestern Cook Inlet basin, and its potential as a regional-scale, basin-controlling structure: Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys Preliminary Interpretive Report 2009-3, 9 p. http://doi.org/10.14509/19503
  • Decker, P.L., Reifenstuhl, A.E., and Gillis, R.J., 2008, Structural linkage of major tectonic elements in the Ugashik-Becharof Lakes region, northeastern Alaska Peninsula, in Reifenstuhl, R.R., and Decker, P.L., eds., Bristol Bay-Alaska Peninsula region, overview of 2004-2007 geologic research: Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys Report of Investigation 2008-1F, p. 85-103, 1 sheet. http://doi.org/10.14509/17946
  • Decker, P.L., Reifenstuhl, R.R., Gillis, R.J., and Loveland, Andrea, 2008, Revised geologic map and structural model of the Staniukovich Peninsula-Herendeen Bay area, in Reifenstuhl, R.R., and Decker, P.L., eds., Bristol Bay-Alaska Peninsula region, overview of 2004-2007 geologic research: Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys Report of Investigation 2008-1I, p. 161-176, 2 sheets, scale 1:50,000. http://doi.org/10.14509/17949
  • Horton, B.K., Hassanzadeh, J., Stockli, D.F., Axen, G.J., Gillis, R.J., Guest, B., Amini, A., Fakhari, M., Zamanzadeh, S.M., and Grove, M., 2008, Detrital zircon provenance of Neoproterozoic to Cenozoic deposits in Iran, Implications for chronostratigraphy and collisional tectonics: Tectonophysics, v. 451, issue 1, p. 97-122. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tecto.2007.11.063
  • Gillis, R.J., Horton, B.K., and Grove, M., 2006, Thermochronology, geochronology, and upper crustal structure of the Cordillera Real: Implications for Cenozoic exhumation of the central Andean plateau: Tectonics, v.25, TC6007. http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2005TC001887
  • Gillis, R.J., Gehrels, G.E., Ruiz, J., and Flores de Dios Gonzales, L.A., 2005, Detrital zircon provenance of Cambrian-Ordovician and Carboniferous strata of the Oaxaca Terrane: southern Mexico: Sedimentary Geology, Special Volume 182, p. 87-100. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.sedgeo.2005.07.013

Selected Presentations

  • Gillis, R.J., Wartes, M.A., LePain, D.L., Decker, P.L., Herriott, T.M., and O'Sullivan, R.B., 2014, Structural, stratigraphic, and thermochronologic evidence for Eocene transtension and exhumation along the arc-forearc margin, Cook Inlet, Alaska: Alaska Geological Society, Annual Technical Conference Abstracts, p. 10.
  • Gillis, R.J., Wartes, M.A., Benowitz, J.A., O'Sullivan, P.B., Metcalf, J.R., and Herriott, T.M., 2014, Forearc cooling during two different modes of flat-slab subduction, insights from lower-temperature bedrock and detrital thermochronology, south-central Alaska: Geological Society of America, Abstracts with Programs v. 46, no. 6, p. 376. https://gsa.confex.com/gsa/2014AM/finalprogram/abstract_249867.htm
  • Gillis, R.J., Wartes, M.A., and O'Sullivan, P.B., 2011, Preliminary findings from reconnaissance structural studies along the Bruin Bay fault system and adjacent areas, south-central Alaska: AAPG Pacific Section Meeting, Anchorage, Alaska, May 10, 2011: Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys , 1 sheet. http://doi.org/10.14509/23403
  • Gillis, R.J., LePain, D.L., Reifenstuhl, R.R., and Helmold, K.P., 2009, Regional Paleocene-Eocene exhumation of the North American forearc basin margin, south-central Alaska, recorded by apatite fission-track thermochronology (poster): Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, v. 41, no. 7: Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys , 1 sheet. http://doi.org/10.14509/21163
  • Gillis, R.J., Reifenstuhl, R.R., and Decker, P.L., 2008, Implications of new apatite and zircon fission-track thermochronology for Mesozoic and Tertiary basin margin exhumation, upper Alaska Peninsula (poster): 11th International Conference on Thermochronometry, Anchorage, Alaska, September 15th-19th, 2008: Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys , 1 sheet. http://doi.org/10.14509/21826