Dr. Vali Memeti

Contact Information


(657) 278-2036

McCarthy Hall 327A

Vali (Valbone) Memeti

Assistant Professor


I am a geologist focusing on the spatial and compositional evolution of magma plumbing systems and coupled regional tectonics in continental magmatic arcs. I am interested in the connection between volcanoes and the underlying magma plumbing system. Specifically, I try to understand how volcanic and plutonic rocks of the same magma plumbing system are compositionally and temporally related to one another, and how that may be connected to volcanic eruptions. My interests also include unraveling the time and length scales of pluton construction and its evolution through time. This involves studying different length scales of the magmatic body from plutonic subdomains to mineral scales, and the pluton host rock. The primary tools I use include field mapping (composition, structures), petrography, whole rock and mineral scale element and isotope geochemistry, and CA-ID-TIMS and LA-ICPMS U-Pb zircon geochronology. My current projects are located in Yosemite and Joshua Tree National Parks in California, the Organ Mountains in New Mexico, Bonanza caldera in Colorado and Argentina.


Ph.D. Geology of magma systems, University of Southern California

Research Areas

Igneous petrology and geochemistry, geochronology, structural geology and arc tectonics

Courses Regularly Taught

Geol 101 - Introduction to Geology
Geol 303A - Earth Materials
Geol 408 - Volcanology
Geol 481A - Field camp
Geol 510T - Physical and chemical evolution of magmatic arcs
Geol 590 - Geoscience seminar


Barnes, C.G., Memeti, V., and Coint, N., 2016, Deciphering magmatic processes in calc-alkaline plutons using trace element zoning in hornblende: American Mineralogist, Special collection: Perspectives on origins and evolution of crustal magmas, v. 101, p. 328–342. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2138/am-2016-5383

Paterson, S.R., Memeti, V., Mundil, R., Žák, J., 2016, Repeated, multiscale, magmatic erosion and recycling in an upper-crustal pluton: Implications for magma chamber dynamics and magma volume estimates: American Mineralogist, Special collection: Perspectives on origins and evolution of crustal magmas, v. 101, p. 2176-2198, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2138/am-2016-5576

Cao, W., Paterson, S., Memeti, V., Mundil, R., Anderson, J.L., Schmidt, K., 2015, Tracking paleodeformation fields in the Mesozoic central Sierra Nevada arc: Implications for intra-arc cyclic deformation and arc tempos: Lithosphere, doi:10.1130/L389.1.

Memeti, V., Paterson, S., and Mundil, R., 2014, Day 4: Magmatic evolution of the Tuolumne Intrusive Complex, in Memeti, V., Paterson, S.R., and Putirka, K.D., eds., Formation of the Sierra Nevada Batholith: Magmatic and Tectonic Processes and Their Tempos: Geological Society of America Field Guide 34, p. 43–74, doi:10.1130/2014.0034(04).

Presentations & Lectures

Memeti, V., 2015, Magma volumes and storage in the middle crust: invited talk, AGU annual meeting, San Francisco, December 14-18, 2015.
Exploring the volcanic-plutonic connection at batholith to mineral scale: Integrating magma processes, volumes and durations, invited talk presented at department seminar at Texas Tech, Lubbock, TX.
Exploring the volcanic-plutonic connection at batholith to mineral scales in the Organ Mountains, invited talk presented at department seminar at New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM.
Assembling the Tuolumne Intrusive Complex in Yosemite National Park. Invited talk presented at department seminar, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA.

Grants & Special Projects

NSF-EAR 1550935, 2yrs: Collaborative Research: Testing the Existence of Magma Mush Zones and Potential Processes of Magma Differentiation in the Mid-crust with In situ Mineral Geochemistry
NSF-EAR 1624854, 2 yrs: Collaborative Research: RUI: Examining the Temporal, Spatial and Geochemical Focusing of Magmatism During a Continental Arc flare-up

Office Hours

Mon, Tue. and Thu. 9-10 am