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Brian J. Swanson

California Geological Survey
California Department of Conservation
Engineering Geologist

Expertise: Engineering Geology, Fault Mapping, Geologic Mapping, Landslide Mapping, Post-Fire Debris Flow Hazard Assessment, Subsurface Explorations
About Me Publications
Brian is a California registered Professional Geologist and Certified Engineering Geologist with a bachelor’s degree in Earth Science and a master’s degree in Geology, both from CSUN. He joined CGS in 2011 and has since worked on a variety of projects in the Survey’s Regional Geologic and Landslides Mapping, Seismic Hazards, Forestry and Watershed, and Mineral Resources Programs. Brian assisted with mapping of ground ruptures from the 2019 M6.4 and 7.1 Ridgecrest Earthquakes, coauthored the Geologic Map of the Los Angeles 30’x60’ quadrangle, including preparation of updated nomenclature for the Plio-Pleistocene formations of the Ventura Basin, coauthored four 7.5’ geologic quadrangle maps along the San Andreas and San Gabriel faults in the Lancaster 30'x60' quadrangle under the State Map program, and coauthored a GSA guidebook paper on several aspects of this work. He prepared landslide inventory maps for two 7.5’ quadrangles, including the La Conchita area, and for seven Caltrans Highway Corridors in the western Transverse Ranges. He has worked with CAL FIRE on multiple post-fire debris flow hazard assessments and documented post-fire debris flows and flooding at Montecito and in Riverside County following the Thomas and Holy Fires, respectively, for which he helped coauthor several related journal articles. He is currently working on a federally funded Earth Mineral Resources Initiative (EMRI) mapping project in the New York Mountains and geologic mapping for multiple State Map quadrangles.
Prior to working at CGS, Brian was a consulting engineering geologist for over 20 years. During this time, he worked primarily on large hillside residential and commercial developments in northwestern Los Angeles County, where he conducted detailed geologic mapping, landslide mapping, subsurface explorations, slope stability investigations, seismic hazard studies for both fault characterization (for the San Gabriel, Holser, "Kew", and Salt Creek faults in particular), ground motions, and liquefaction hazards, and prepared and reviewed numerous technical reports, including feasibility and tentative map investigations for the 12,000 acre Newhall Ranch development in Santa Clarita. Concurrent with his consulting work, Brian was a coauthor on U.S. Geological Survey geologic maps of the Cerro Gordo 7.5’ quadrangle and of the Southern Inyo Mountains based on field mapping conducted for his master’s thesis, which he completed in 1996.