Department of Earth Sciences
Newton Horace Winchell School of Earth Sciences


Harvey Thorleifson

Office: 

Minnesota Geological Survey
2642 University Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55114

Phone: 
612-627-4780 extension 224
Email: 
thorleif@umn.edu

 

Professor and Director, Minnesota Geological Survey 
 

PhD, 1989, University of Colorado

 

Harvey Thorleifson was appointed Director of the Minnesota Geological SurveyState Geologist of Minnesota, and Professor in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Minnesota on July 1, 2003.

    The Minnesota Geological Survey was established by Legislative Act on March 1, 1872 to ensure the availability of the regional geological, geophysical, and geochemical information that the people of the State require to ensure wise stewardship of their water, land, and mineral resources, and to thus realize societal benefits related to economic prosperity, public health, natural hazards, as well as appreciation and preservation of our natural heritage.

    Harvey is a member of the National Geospatial Advisory Committee, and he was 2012-2013 President of the Association of American State Geologists (AASG).

    He is Past Chair, Minnesota Section, Society for Mining, Metallurgy, & Exploration (SME), Board Member, SME Twin Cities Subsection, as well as Board Member, Minnesota Center for Mineral Resource Education. He also has been a member of the management committee for OneGeology. He is registered as a Professional Geoscientist in Ontario, and he is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Great Lakes Research.

    He was General Chair of the Organizing Committee for the Geological Society of America 2011 Annual Meeting in Minneapolis. He was the 2004-2006 President of the Canadian Geoscience Council, now renamed the Canadian Federation of Earth Sciences, and he was the 2003-2004 President of the Geological Association of Canada.

    Thorleifson is originally from the town of Baldur in western Manitoba, he did his undergrad in geography and biology at University of Winnipeg, and he completed a Masters thesis in geology on Lake Agassiz history at University of Manitoba in 1983. His 1989 geology Ph.D. at University of Colorado in Boulder dealt with Hudson Bay Lowland Quaternary stratigraphy.

    His early career research on Lake Agassiz, the Great Lakes, Hudson Bay, and central North American glacial history evolved to work on indicator mineral methods in mineral exploration, geological mapping, geochemical mapping, regional groundwater investigations, shoreline erosion, and Red River flooding while at the Geological Survey of Canada from 1986 until 2003 .

    Thorleifson is pleased to be a member of the Minnesota Geological Survey team, while he remains active in the field of indicator mineral methods in mineral exploration, and in the development of protocols for web-accessible 3D mapping. [CV]

News

 

Selected Professional Society Memberships

 

Honors and Awards

 

Courses Taught

  • Freshman Seminar: Geology of Minnesota

 

Selected Publications

  • Thorleifson, L.H., 2011, Potential for implementation of mineral carbonation as a carbon sequestration method in Minnesota: Minnesota Geological Survey Open-File Report 11-2, 26 p. [PDF]
  • Thorleifson, Harvey, Richard C. Berg, Hazen A.J. Russell, 2010, Geological mapping goes 3-D in response to societal needs, GSA Today, Volume 20, Issue 8 (August 2010), pp. 27-29 [Web] [PDF]
  • Thorleifson, Harvey, 2009, An Agenda for Development of Vertically Georeferenced, Web-optimized, Subsurface Information; Three-Dimensional Geologic Mapping, Workshop Extended Abstracts, October 17, 2009, 2009 Annual Meeting, Geological Society of America, Portland, Oregon [PDF]
  • Thorleifson, L. H., ed., 2008, Potential capacity for geologic carbon sequestration in the Midcontinent Rift System in Minnesota, Minnesota Geological Survey Open File Report OFR-08-01, 138 p. [PDF]
  • Thorleifson, L. H., 2008, Understanding Canada's Water, Canadian Water Treatment, January/February 2008, v. 8, no. 1, p. 32-33
  • Thorleifson, L. H., K. L. Harris, H. C. Hobbs, C. E. Jennings, A. R. Knaeble, R. S. Lively, B. A. Lusardi, G. N. Meyer. 2007, Till geochemical and indicator mineral reconnaissance of Minnesota. Minnesota Geological Survey Open File Report OFR-07-01, 512 p., 15 pdf digital files, 5 Digital images. [Web] [PDF] [FTP]
  • Thorleifson, L. H. 2006. President's Report, 2006; Canadian Geoscience Council. 21p.[PDF]
  • Mayer, T., Simpson, S., Thorleifson, L.H, Lockhart, W., Wilkinson, P. 2006. Phosphorus geochemistry of recent sediments in the South Basin of Lake Winnipeg. Aquatic Ecosystem Health & Management, Volume 9, Number 3, July-September 2006, pp. 307-318 [PDF]
  • Thorleifson, L. H., K. Harris, J. Berg, R. Tipping, Z. Malolepszy, B. Lusardi, D. Setterholm, and F. Anderson; 2005; Geological mapping and 3D model of deposits that host ground-water systems in the Fargo-Moorhead region, Minnesota and North Dakota; Minnesota Geological Survey Report, submitted to the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation in fulfilment of Cooperative Agreement No 04FG601925, in support of the Red River Valley Water Supply Project; 155 p., accompanied by 1:200,000 surficial geology map, 1: 400,000 bedrock geology map, drillhole database, and digital files depicting extent, thickness, and elevation of mapped strata. [Associated Abstract; PDF; accompanying Surficial Geology map; accompanying Bedrock map]
  • Brooks, G., C. F. M. Lewis, and L. H. Thorleifson. 2005. Influence of loss of gradient from postglacial uplift on Red River flood hazard; The Holocene, v. 15, no. 3, pp. 347-352.[PDF]
  • Thorleifson, L. H. and S. Hanmer. 2005. Conference Report, Geoscience Summit 2004 Ottawa, Ontario 16 - 17 October 2004, v. 32. no. 2, p. 49-63. [PDF]
  • Thorleifson, L. H. 2004. Presidential Address: Geoscience for the needs of Canadians, Geoscience Canada, v. 31. no. 3, p. 97-101; [PDF]
  • Thorleifson, L. H. 2004. Mapping. Geotimes annual highlights issue, v. 49, no. 7, p. 32-33; [LINK]
  • Thorleifson, L. H. 2004. Diamond exploration in Canada; 37th Forum on the Geology of Industrial Minerals, p. 163-166. [PDF]
  • Thorleifson, L. H. and Pyne, D. M. 2004. Conversion of lithological data in the Manitoba water well database (GWDrill) to a mappable format; in Soller, D.R., editor, 2003, Digital Mapping Techniques '03 -- Workshop Proceedings: U.S. Geological Survey Open-file Report 03-471. [PDF]
  • Thorleifson, L. H., G. L. D. Matile, G. R. Keller, and D. M. Pyne. 2003. Construction of a hydrostratigraphic model for southern Manitoba; 4th Joint International Association of Hydrogeologists-Canadian National Chapter/Canadian Geotechnical Society Conference, 5 p. [PDF]
  • Thorleifson, L. H. 2003. Crossroads of the Continent; a history of the Forks of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers; Chapter 1, The Foundation of the Forks; Chapter 2, Laying down the landscape; Heartland Associates, Winnipeg, p. 14-45.
  • Lewis, C. F. M., Forbes, D. L., Todd, B. J., Nielsen, E., Thorleifson, L.H ., Henderson, P. J., McMartin, I., Anderson, T. W., Betcher, R. N., Buhay, W. M., Burbidge, S. M., Schröder-Adams, C. J., King, J. W., Moran, K., Gibson, C., Jarrett, C.A., Kling, H. J., Lockhart, W. L., Last, W. M., Matile, G. L. D., Risberg, J., Rodrigues, C. G. Telka, A.M., and Vance, R. 2001. Uplift-driven expansion delayed by middle Holocene desiccation in Lake Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Geology, v. 29, no. 8, p. 743-746.[PDF]
  • Thorleifson, L. H. and R. G. Garrett. 2000. Lithology, mineralogy, and geochemistry of glacial sediments overlying kimberlite at Smeaton, Saskatchewan. Geological Survey of Canada Bulletin 551, 40 p.
  • Maathuis, H. and Thorleifson, L. H. 2000. Potential impact of climate change on Prairie groundwater supplies: review of current knowledge. Saskatchewan Research Council Publication No. 11304-2E00, 43 p., 28 figures, three appendices [PDF]
  • Lambert, A., T. S. James, and L. H. Thorleifson. 1998. Combining geomorphological and geodetic data to determine postglacial tilting in Manitoba; J. Paleolimnology, v. 19, p. 365-376.[PDF]
  • Todd, B. J., C. F. M. Lewis, E. Nielsen, L. H. Thorleifson, R. K. Bezys, and W. Weber. 1998. Lake Winnipeg: geological setting and sediment seismostratigraphy; Journal of Paleolimnology, v. 19, p. 215-244.[PDF]
  • Thorleifson, L. H. and R. G. Garrett. 1997. Kimberlite indicator mineral and geochemical reconnaissance, southern Alberta; in Exploring for minerals in Alberta: Geological Survey of Canada Geoscience Contributions, Canada-Alberta Agreement on Mineral Development (1992-1995); ed. R. W. Macqueen; Geological Survey of Canada Bulletin 500, p. 209-233.
  • McClenaghan, M. B., Thorleifson, L. H., and DiLabio, R. N. W. 1997. Till Geochemical and Indicator Mineral Methods in Mineral Exploration; in Proceedings of Exploration 97: Fourth Decennial International Conference on Mineral Exploration, ed. A. G. Gubins, p. 233-248. [PDF]
  • Thorleifson, L. H. 1996. Review of Lake Agassiz History. in Sedimentology, Geomorphology, and History of the central Lake Agassiz Basin, Field Trip B2, Teller, J. T., Thorleifson, L. H., Matile, G., and Brisbin, W. C., eds., Geological Association of Canada Guidebook, p. 55-84.[PDF]
  • Garrett, R. G. and Thorleifson, L. H. 1995. Kimberlite indicator mineral and till geochemical reconnaissance, southern Saskatchewan. in D. G. Richardson, ed., Investigations completed by the Saskatchewan Geological Survey and the Geological Survey of Canada under the geoscience program of the Canada-Saskatchewan Partnership Agreement on Mineral Development (1990-1995), Geological Survey of Canada Open File 3119; Saskatchewan Geological Survey Open File Report 95-3, p. 227-253.
  • Thorleifson, L. H., P. H. Wyatt and T. A. Warman. 1993. Quaternary stratigraphy of the Severn & Winisk drainage basins, Ontario. Geological Survey of Canada Bulletin 442, 59 p.
  • Thorleifson, L. H. and F. J. Kristjansson. 1993. Quaternary geology and drift prospecting, Beardmore- Geraldton area, Ontario. Geological Survey of Canada Memoir 435, 146 p.
  • Thorleifson, L. H., P. H. Wyatt, W. W. Shilts, and E. Nielsen. 1992. Hudson Bay Lowland Quaternary stratigraphy: evidence for early Wisconsinan glaciation centred in Quebec. in P. U. Clark and P. D. Lea, eds., The Last Interglacial-Interglacial Transition in North America. Geological Society of America Special Paper 270, p. 207-221.
  • Rannie, W. F., L. H. Thorleifson and J. T. Teller. 1989. Holocene evolution of the Assiniboine River paleochannels and Portage la Prairie alluvial fan. Canadian Journal of Earth Science, v. 26, pp. 1834-1841.
  • Teller, J. T. and L. H. Thorleifson. 1983. The Lake Agassiz - Lake Superior Connection. in Glacial Lake Agassiz, edited by J. T. Teller and Lee Clayton, Geological Association of Canada, Special Paper 26, p. 261-290.
  • Teller, J. T., L. H. Thorleifson, L. A. Dredge, H. C. Hobbs and B. T. Schreiner. 1983. Maximum extent and major features of Lake Agassiz. in Glacial Lake Agassiz, edited by J. T. Teller and Lee Clayton, Geological Association of Canada, Special Paper 26, p. 43-45. [PDF]

 

Recent Research Support

  • The Minnesota Geological Survey was established to ensure the availability of the regional geological, geophysical, and geochemical information that the people of the State require to ensure wise stewardship of their water, land, and mineral resources, and to thus realize societal benefits related to economic prosperity, public health, natural hazards, as well as appreciation and preservation of our natural heritage. Funding is provided by the Minnesota Legislature, and by partners such as the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR), the Clean Water Fund, and the National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program