Michael (Mike) Stickney

Geologist, Director of Earthquake Studies Office—Professor
Phone: (406) 496-4332
Email: mstickney@mtech.edu
1300 West Park Street
Butte, MT 59701


2004—Ph.D., Earth Sciences(honorary), Montana State University
1980—M.S., Geology, University of Montana
1978—B.S., Geology, University of Montana

Biography & Research Interests

Mike has been involved with seismic monitoring since 1973, first as a student at the University of Montana, later as a visiting scientist at the US Geological Survey in Menlo Park, CA, and then with the MBMG beginning in 1980. He established and operates the Montana Regional Seismograph Network and uses the data it collects to produce a regional earthquake catalog. In addition to seismological studies, Mike has mapped Quaternary faults and related geology, participated in paleoseismological studies, and provides information to the public and state and federal agencies on seismic hazards in Montana.

Date Citation
4/28/2022 Stickney, M.C. 2022. Earthquakes and Seismic Hazards in Montana. Presented to the Montana GeoHazards Workshop, Montana Tech, Butte, MT on 4/28/2022.
4/13/2022 Stickney, M.C. 2022. Wyoming Seismicity from the Montana Perspective. Presented to Workshop 1 of the Senior Seismic Hazard Analysis Committee level 3 Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Analysis Committee for the Natrium demonstration project in Wyoming, Virtual presentation April 13, 2022.
2/24/2022 Stickney, M.C. 2022. Historic Earthquakes and Recent Seismicity in Montana. Presented to the Big Sky Post of the Society of American Military Engineers, Great Falls College-Montana State University, Great Falls, MT on 2/24/2022.
4/4/2019 Stickney, M.C., 2019, Using LiDAR Data to Identify and Analyze Geologic Hazards: Presented at the Big Sky GeoCon Meeting, Butte, Montana, April 4, 2019.
10/15/2018 Stickney, M.C., 2018, Recent Rumblings 2018: Presented to the Helena Rotary Club, Helena, Montana, October 15, 2018.
3/28/2018 Stickney, M.C., 2018, Recent Rumblings 2017 Edition: Presented at Butte-Silver Bow Archive Brown Bag Lunch, Butte, Montana, March 28, 2018.
2/15/2018 Stickney, M.C., 2018, Recent Montana Happenings: Presented at the Basin & Range Provence Earth Quake Working Group, Salt Lake City, Utah, February 15, 2018.
11/15/2017 Stickney, M.C., 2017, Shake, Rattle and Roll: Presented at Great Conversations held by Helena Education Foundation, Helena, Montana, November 15, 2017.
11/1/2017 Stickney, M.C. and Hartline, F., 2017, Shaking It Up: Earthquake Party: Presented at the Science Mine Dig into Science, Butte, Montana, November 1, 2017.
7/11/2017 Stickney, M.C., 2017, Recent Rumblings: Presented at the Bozeman Rotary Club, Bozeman, Montana, July 11, 2017.
4/25/2017 Stickney, M.C., 2017, Seismic Network Operations and Earthquakes Studies in Montana: Presented to a MSU Geology Class, Butte, Montana, April 25, 2017.
4/3/2017 Stickney, M.C., 2017, 35 Years of Seismic Monitoring in Western Montana; Insights and Questions: Presented at University of Montana, Geosciences Department, Missoula, Montana, April 3, 2017.
3/23/2017 Stickney, M.C., 2017, Reviving the Libby Dam Seismic Vault—How Hard Could it Be?: MBMG Annual Research Meeting, Butte, Montana, March 23, 2017.
2/15/2017 Stickney, M.C., 2017, MBMG Brown Bag Seminar - LiDAR: Presented to MBMG Staff, Butte, Montana, February 15, 2017.
10/21/2016 Stickney, M.C., 2016, Montana's Historic Earthquakes and Seismic Hazards: Presented to Yellowstone Studies Center's Fall Conference, West Yellowstone, Montana, October 21, 2016.
9/15/2016 Stickney, M.C., 2016, Recent Rumblings: Presented to the Butte Rotary Club, Butte, Montana, September 15, 2016.
5/19/2016 Stickney, M.C., 2016, Continuing Seismicity Near Challis, Idaho: Presented at the 2016 Annual Meeting, Rocky Mountain Section, Geological Society of America Meeting, Moscow, Idaho, May 19, 2016.
3/30/2016 Stickney, M.C., 2016, Historic Earthquakes and Seismic Hazards in Montana: Presented at the Quarterly Meeting of the Montana Indian Nations Working Group, Polson, Montana, March 30, 2016.
11/2/2015 Stickney, M.C., 2015, Earthworm Seismic Software: Presented, Spokane, Washington, November 2-6, 2015.
10/15/2015 Stickney, M.C., 2015, Historic Earthquakes: Presented at the Butte Silver Bow Archives Brown Bag Series, Butte, Montana, October 15, 2015.
10/14/2015 Stickney, M.C., 2015, Learn What Past Major Earthquakes and Small Recent Earthquakes Can Tell Us About Future Threats and Our Current Understanding of Seismic Hazards in Montana: Presented at the Butte Archives, Butte, Montana, October 14, 2015.
5/14/2015 Stickney, M.C., 2015, Earthquakes and Mountain Building: Presentation and Demonstration to 6th Grade Students at the US Forest Service Bear Creek Field Station Located Southeast of Ennis, Montana, May 14, 2015.
1/12/2015 Stickney, M.C., 2015, Presented at the Basin and Range Seismic Hazards Summit III Workshop, Salt Lake City, Utah, January 12-17, 2015.
12/14/2014 Stickney, M.C., Pankow, K.L., Koper, K.D., and Whidden, K.M., 2014, The 2014 Challis, Idaho Earthquake Swarms: Poster Presentation at the Fall Meeting, American Geophysical Union, San Francisco, California, December 14-19, 2014.
7/3/2014 Stickney, M.C., 2014, Earthquakes: Presented at the BSB Public Library, July 3, 2014.
6/6/2014 Stickney, M.C., 2014, Historic Montana Earthquakes: Presented at Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park, June 6, 2014.
6/2/2014 Stickney, M.C., 2014, Montana Seismograph Network: Presented to the Advanced National Seismograph Systems Network Implementation Committee Meeting, Golden, Colorado, June 2-4, 2014.
5/23/2014 Stickney, M.C., 2014, Earthquake Geology visible from Earthquake Lake Visitor Center: Presented at the Grand Re-Opening of the newly remodeled Earthquake Lake Visitor's Center, May 23, 2014.
5/7/2014 Stickney, M.C., 2014, Seismic Monitoring in Montana near Yellowstone National Park: Presented at the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory Meeting, Mammoth, Wyoming, May 7-9, 2014.
9/25/2013 Stickney, M.C., 2013, Insights into 2005 Dillon Earthquake and its Aftershocks: Presented to the Montana Geological Society, Billings, Montana, September 25, 2013.
4/17/2013 Stickney, M.C., 2013, The 2005 Dillon Montana Earthquake; a Moderate-Sized Intermountain Seismic Belt Earthquake on a Blind Normal Fault and its Effects on Local Seismicity Rates: Presented at the Seismological Society of America Meeting, Salt Lake City, Utah, April 17, 2013.
4/9/2013 Stickney, M.C., 2013, Southwest Montana Seismicity and Earthquake Hazards: Presented to BLM Personnel, Dillon, Montana, April 9, 2013.
3/1/2013 Stickney, M.C., 2013, Montana Earthquakes - Standing: Presented at the Montana Aeronautics Convention, Butte, Montana, March 1, 2013.
1/30/2013 Stickney, M.C., 2013, Seismic Hazards in the Deerlodge Valley: Presented at the Warm Springs Pond Emergency Action Plan Meeting, Anaconda, Montana, January 30, 2013.
Stickney, M.C., 2014, New Lidar Data Reveals Late Quaternary Geology Details in the Bitterroot Valley, Western Montana: Presented at the Annual Joint Meeting, Rocky Mountain and Cordilleran Section, Geological Society of America Meeting.
Year Citation
2022 Stickney, M., for Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, 2022, Using modern tools to look at past earthquakes: How lidar data help to better understand the 1959 Hebgen Lake event: USGS News, available at https://www.usgs.gov/observatories/yvo/news/using-modern-tools-look-past-earthquakes-how-lidar-data-help-better.
2022 Stickney, Michael C., 2022, Earthquakes and seismographic monitoring in Montana, in Metesh, J.J., and Gammons, C.H., eds., Geology of Montana-Special Topics: Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology Special Publication 122, v. 2, 50 p.
2021 Smith, E. M., Martens, H. R., and Stickney, M. C., 2021, Microseismic Evidence for Bookshelf Faulting in Western Montana; Seismological Research Letters 92, p. 802-809, doi: 10.1785/ 0220200321.
2020 Stickney, M., 2020, Hanging wall rocks of the Bitterroot detachment fault exposed west of Victor, Montana: Northwest Geology, v. 47, p. 57-62
2020 Stickney, M., 2020, Late Quaternary fault scarps near Como Lake, Montana: Northwest Geology, v. 47, p. 71-76.
2019 McMahon N.D., Yeck, W.L., Stickney, M.C., Aster R.C., Martens, H.R. and Benz, H.M., 2019, Spatiotemporal analysis of the foreshock- mainshock-aftershock sequence of the 6 July 2017 Mw 5.8 Lincoln, Montana, earthquake: Seismological Research Letters, v. 90, pp. 131-139; doi https://doi.org/10.1785/0220180180.
2019 Pankow, K.L., Stickney, M., Ben-Horin, J.Y., Litherland, M., Payne, S., Koper, K.D., Bilek, S.L., and Bogolub, K., 2019, Regional Seismic Network Monitoring in the Eastern Intermountain West, Seismological Research Letter, 17 p., doi: 10.1785/0220190209
2018 McMahon, N.D., Yeck, W.L., Stickney, M.C., Aster, R.C., Martens, H.R., and Benz, H.M., 2018, Spatiotemporal Analysis of the Foreshock–Mainshock–Aftershock Sequence of the 6 July 2017 Mw 5.8 Lincoln, Montana, Earthquake: Seismological Research Letters, doi: https://doi.org/10.1785/0220180180
2018 Stickney, M.C., and Lonn, J.D., 2018, Investigation of Late Quaternary fault scarps along the Bitterroot Fault in western Montana: Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology Report of Investigation 24, 16 p., 2 plates.
2017 Schmeelk, D., Bendick, R., Stickney, M., and Bomberger, C., 2017, Kinematic Evidence for the Effect of Changing Plate Boundary Conditions on the Tectonics of the Northern U.S. Rockies, Tectonics, 36, 1090-1102, doi:10.1002/2016TC004427.
2017 Stickney, M.C., 2017, Maps Made with Light Show the Way: USGS.gov, January 23, 2017: https://www.usgs.gov/news/maps-made-light-show-way [Accessed 6/29/2017].
2017 Stickney, M.C., and Vuke, S.M., 2017, Geologic map of the Helena Valley, west-central Montana: Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology Open-File Report 689, 10 p., 1 sheet, scale 1:50,000.
2016 Kobayashi, D., Sprenke K., Stickney, M., and Phillips, W., 2016, Seismotectonic Interpretation of the 2015 Sandpoint, Idaho, Earthquake Sequence: Idaho Geological Survey, Staff Report 16-1, 30 p., August 2016.
2015 Stickney, M.C., 2015, Geologic Setting of the Rockfall along the Stillwater River: Submitted Short Report to Stillwater County Officials, September 11, 2015.
2015 Stickney, M.C., 2015, Revised and Edited Lewis and Clark County Earthquake Annex, December 8, 2015.
2015 Stickney, M.C., 2015, Seismic Recurrence Relation From Instrumental Earthquake Catalog for Broadwater County: Provided to Tetra Tech for Inclusion in the County Pre-Disaster Mitigation Plan, November 17, 2015.
2015 Stickney, M.C., 2015, Seismicity Within and Adjacent to the Eastern Lewis and Clark Line, West-Central Montana: Northwest Geology, v. 44, p. 19-36.
2014 Ruleman, C.A., Larsen, M., Stickney, M.C., 2014, Neotectonics and Geomorphic Evolution of the Northwestern Arm of the Yellowstone Tectonic Parabola: Controls on Intra-Cratonic Extensional Regimes, Southwest, Montana: in Shaw, C.A., and Tikoff, B., eds., Exploring the Northern Rocky Mountains: Geological Society of America Field Guide 37, p. 65-87, doi: 10.1130/2014.0037(03).
2012 D’Alessandro, A., and Stickney, M., 2012, Montana Seismic Network Performance: An Evaluation Through the SNES Method: Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, v. 102, p. 73-87, doi:10.1785/0120100234.
2012 Stickney, M.C., 2012, Road Log for the Hebgen Lake Earthquake Area: Northwest Geology, v. 41, p. 71-82.
2011 Bakun, W.H., Stickney, M.C., and Rogers, G.C., 2011, The 16 May 1909 Northern Great Plains Earthquake: Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, December 2011, v. 101, p. 3065-3071, doi:10.1785/0120110054.
2011 Stickney, M.C., 2011, The Alberton-Frenchtown Seismic Zone: Northwest Geology, v. 40, p. 71-77.
2010 Bakun, W.H., Stickney, M.C., Rogers, G., and Ristau, J., 2010, Modified Mercalli Intensity Assignments for the May 16, 1909, Northern Plains Earthquake: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2010-1185, 96 p., https://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/ofr20101185 [Accessed 4/12/2017]
2009 Bartholomew, M.J., Greene, R.A., Wasklewicz, T.A., and Stickney, M.C., 2009, Alluvial Fans: Sensitive Tectonic Indicators of Fault-Segmentation and Stress-Field Partitioning Along the Red Rock Fault, Southwestern Montana, USA: Northwest Geology, v. 38, p. 41-65.
2007 Sprenke, K.F., Stickney, M.C., and Peterson, J.L., 2007, The 2005 Alpha Earthquake Swarm, Valley County, Idaho: Idaho Geological Survey Staff Report, S-07-3, 47 p.
2007 Stickney, M.C., 2007, Historic Earthquakes and Seismicity in Southwestern Montana: Northwest Geology, v. 36, p. 167-186.
2005 Zeiler, C.P., Stickney, M.C., and Speece, M.A., 2005, Revised Velocity Structure of Western Montana: Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, v. 95, p. 759-762.
2004 Wong, I., Olig, S., Dober, M., Wright, D., Nemser, E., Lageson, D., Silva, W., Stickney, M., Lemieux, M., and Anderson, L., 2004, Probabilistic Earthquake Ground Motion Hazard Maps for Montana: Proceedings of the Basin and Range Province Seismic Hazards Summit II, 2004, p. 158-162.
2004 Wong, I., Olig, S., Dober, M., Wright, D., Nemser, E., Lageson, D., Silva,W., Stickney, M., Lemieux, M., and Anderson, L., 2004, Earthquake Ground Shaking Hazard Maps of the State of Montana: 13th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering, Vancouver, B.C., Canada, CD-Rom.
2003 Denton, D., Stickney, M.C., Williams, T., and Langston, R., 2003, Remote Monitoring of Mine Seismicity and Earthquakes Using Radio Telemetry, Computers and the Internet: in Singhal, R., Fytas, K., and Chiwetelu, C., Editors; Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Computer Applications in the Minerals Industries (CAMI2003), published on CD (URL http://www.mpes-cami-swemp.com/ordercd.html).
2002 Bartholomew, M.J., Stickney, M.C., Wilde, E.M., and Dundas, R.G., 2002, Late Quaternary Paleoseismites: Syndepositional Features and Section Restoration Used to Indicate Paleoseismicity and Stress-Field Orientations During Faulting Along the Main Lima Reservoir Fault, Southwestern Montana: Geological Society of America Special Papers, 359 p., p. 29-47.
2002 Sprenke, K.F., White, B.G., Rohay, A.C., Whyatt, J.K., and Stickney, M.C., 2002, Comparison of Body Wave Displacement with Damage Observations of a Rockburst, Coeur d'Alene Mining District, Idaho: Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America v. 92, p. 3321-3328.
2002 Stickney, M.C., and Lageson, D.R., 2002, Seismotectonics of the 20 August 1999 Red Rock Valley, Montana Earthquake: Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, v. 92, p. 2449-2464.
2000 Lageson, D.R., and Stickney, M.C., 2000, Seismotectonics of Northwest Montana, USA: Montana Geological Society 50th Anniversary Symposium, Montana/Alberta Thrust Belt and Adjacent Foreland, R.A. Schalla and E.H. Johnson eds., v. 1, p. 109-126.
1999 Bartholomew, M.J., Lewis, S.E., Russell, G.S., Stickney, M.C., Wilde, E.M. and Kish, S.A., 1999, Late Quaternary History of the Beaverhead Canyon, Southwestern Montana in S.S. Hughes and G.D. Thackary, eds, Guidebook to the Geology of Eastern Idaho: Idaho Museum of Natural History, p. 237-250.
1997 Stickney, M.C., Breckenridge, R.M., and K.F. Sprenke, 1997, Seismic Potential of the Lewis and Clark Zone, Montana and Idaho: U.S. Geological Survey Final Report: 1434-94-G-25 15, 13 p.
1996 Stickney, M.C., Steinmetz, J.C., and Brown, M., 1996, Western States Seismic Policy Council Field Excursion: Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Western States Seismic Policy Council, v. 18, p. 201-208.
1994 Sprenke, K.F., Stickney, M.C., and Breckenridge, R.M., 1994, The Draney Peak Earthquake Sequence Southeastern Caribou County, Idaho, January 30 - April 12: Idaho Geological Survey Staff Report 94-2, 21 p.
1994 Sprenke, K.F., Stickney, M.C., and Breckenridge, R.M., 1994, The Hoyt Mountain Earthquakes, Shonshone County, Idaho, March 7 and June 3: Idaho Geological Survey Staff Report 94-4, 20 p.
1994 Stickney, M.C., 1994, Montana and Adjacent Areas Earthquakes 1986: in Stover, C.W. and Brewer, L. Editors, USGS Bulletin 2089, p. 189-192.
1993 Hill, D.P., Reasenberg, P.A., Michael, A., Arabasz, W.J., Beroza, G., Brumbaugh, D., Brune, J.N., Castro, R., Davis, S., DePolo, D., Ellsworth, W.L., Gomberg, J., Harmsen, S., House, L., Jackson, S.M., Johnston, M.J.S., Jones, L., Keller, R., Malone, S., Munguia, L., Nava, S., Pechmann, J.C., Sanford, A., Simpson, R.W., Smith, R.B., Stark, M., Stickney, M.C., Vidal, A., Walter, S., Wong, I., and Zollweg, J., 1993, Seismicity Remotely Triggered By the Magnitude 7.3 Landers, California, Earthquake: Science, v. 260, p. 1617-1623.
1993 Stickney, M.C., 1993, Seismicity of the Tobacco Root Mountains and Surrounding Region, Montana: Northwest Geology, v. 22, p. 49-54.
1993 Stickney, M.C., and Sprenke, K.F., 1993, Seismic Events With Implosional Focal Mechanisms in the Coeur d'Alene Mining District, Northern Idaho: Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 90, p. 6523-6528.
1992 Stevens, G.R., Stickney, M.C., Sprenke, K.F., and Jung, S.J., 1992, Seismicity in the Coeur d’Alene Mining District, Northern Idaho: Proceedings of the Symposium on Engineering Geology and Geotechnical Engineering, v. 28, p. 266-271.
1992 Stickney, M.C., and Sprenke, K.F., 1992, A Microseismic Study of the Coeur d’Alene Mining District, Northern Idaho: Rock Mechanics, Proceedings of the 33rd U.S. Symposium, v. 33, p. 1087-1091.
1991 Sprenke, K.F., Stickney, M.C., Dodge, D.A., and Hammond, W.R., 1991, Seismicity and Tectonic Stress in the Coeur d'Alene Mining District: Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, v. 81, p. 1145-1156.
1990 Bartholomew, M.J., Stickney, M.C., and Wilde, E.M., 1990, Late Quaternary Faults and Seismicity in the Jefferson Basin: Rocky Mountain Friends of the Pleistocene, August 15-19, 1990, Field Trip Guidebook, p. 238-244.
1988 Bartholomew, M.J., Stickney, M.C., and Henry, J., 1988, Perspective 28 Years After the August 18, 1959 Hebgen Lake Earthquake in Hayes, W.W., (ed.), A Review of Earthquake Research Applications in the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program: 1977-1987: U.S. Geological Survey Open File Report 88 13 A, p. 155-167.
1987 Stickney, M.C., and Bartholomew, M.J., 1987, Seismicity and Late Quaternary Faulting of the Northern Basin and Range Province, Montana and Idaho: Seismological Society of American Bulletin, v. 77, no. 5, p. 1602-1625.
1987 Witkind, I.J., and Stickney, M.C. 1987, The Hebgen Lake Earthquake Area, Montana and Wyoming: Geological Society of America Centennial Field Guide, Rocky Mountain Section, p. 89-94.
1985 Stickney, M.C., 1985, P-Wave Travel Times and Crustal Structure of SW Montana From Aftershocks of the October 28, 1983, Borah Peak, Idaho, Earthquake in Proceedings of Workshop XXVIII on the Borah Peak, Idaho, Earthquake: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 85-290, p. 672-679.
1984 Sheriff, S.D., and Stickney, M.C., 1984, Crustal Structure of SW Montana and East Central Idaho Results From a Reversed Refraction Line: Geophysical Letters Review, v. 11, p. 299-302.
1983 Qamar, A.I., Kogan, J., and Stickney, M.C., 1983, Tectonics and Recent Seismicity Near Flathead Lake, Montana: Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, v. 72, p. 1591-1599.
1981 Bufe, C.G., Marks, S.M., Lester, F.W., Ludwin, R.S., and Stickney, M.C., 1981, Seismicity of the Geysers-Clear Lake Region; in: Research in the Geysers-Clear Lake Geothermal Area, Northern California: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1141, pp. 129-137.
1980 Stickney, M.C, 1980, Seismicity and Gravity Studies of Faulting in the Kalispell Valley, Northwestern Montana: Master's Thesis, University of Montana, 82 p.
1979 Stickney, M.C., 1979, The Fort Ross Earthquake Sequence, March and April, 1978: Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, v. 69, pp. 1841-1850.
1978 Stickney, M.C., 1978, Seismicity and Faulting of Central Western Montana: Northwest Geology, v. 7, p. 1-9.