Staff Profile – David R. Van Alstine, Ph.D.

DAVID VAN ALSTINE, one of the founders of Applied Paleomagnetics, Inc. in 1986, has been its President and Chief Geophysicist since then. Prior to that, he was senior technical advisor for paleomagnetics for Z-Axis Exploration, Inc. (1983–1986), and he established and managed a commercial paleomagnetics laboratory for Sierra Geophysics, Inc. (1979–1983).

Van Alstine's career interests are in applying paleomagnetism in oil and gas exploration and production, in determining recency of faulting, and in direct detection.of hydrocarbon reservoirs by magnetic methods. Beginning in 1980, he pioneered development of the paleomagnetic core orientation technique, together with Douglas C. Bleakly and Dr. Stephen L. Gillett (Van Alstine & Gillett, 1982; Van Alstine et al., 1983). Since 1984, he has collaborated with Dr. D. Kent McMillan on one of the first, most detailed paleomagnetic studies of fault gouge, to determine recency of faulting in the foundation of a proposed dam at Auburn, California (McMillan & Van Alstine, 1995). Van Alstine and Butterworth are also providing paleomagnetic constraints on fault-related diagenesis along the Moab Fault, Utah (Guscott et al., 1995). In recent years, Van Alstine has been collaborating with Leonard A. LeSchack to explore how vertical microseepage of hydrocarbons from oil reservoirs can transport Fe to near-surface levels where it precipitates in "magnetically enhanced zones" detectable in ground-magnetic surveys (LeSchack & Van Alstine, 2002).

  • Ph.D. (Geology), California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, 1979.
  • B.A. (Chemistry), Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT, 1971.
  • Member: American Geophysical Union, American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists, Geological Society of America
  • Honors: Sigma Xi, Phi Beta Kappa
  • Washington State Geologist License #1991
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