Skip to main content

Secondary navigation:

Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences

Ken Galli

earth and environmental sciences

Ken Galli

Lecturer, Lab Manager

Ph.D. University of Massachusetts Amherst
M.S. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
B.S. Northeastern University

Phone: 617-552-4504
Personal Home Page:


Regional Geology, Sedimentology, Sedimentary Petrology


EESC1163: Environmental Issues and Resources (Summer Session 2, 2016)
EESC1180: The Living Earth I (Fall 2016)

Selected Abstracts

Tectonic Development, Facies Architecture, and Paleoenvironmental analysis of the Northeastern Norfolk Basin, Eastern Massachusetts

Galli, Kenneth G., Geology and Geophysics, Boston College, 140 Commonwealth Ave, 213 Devlin Hall, Chestnut Hill, Mass. 02467, and BAILEY, Richard H., Earth and Environmental Sciences, Northeastern University, Boston, Mass. 02115

The Pennsylvanian Norfolk Basin is a northeasterly trending erosional outlier of the larger Narragansett Basin to the south. Detailed analyses of depositional facies distribution and facies architecture and cyclicity in the northeastern portion of the basin demonstrates a history of early crustal extension and uplift followed by a phase of regional subsidence. During early rifting canyons were incised into prerift basement of thermally bulged rift shoulders. One of these paleocanyon systems is filled by approximately 250 m of locally derived, rounded, boulder conglomerate of the Pondville Formation (mean clast diameters up to 0.6 m with some clasts up to 2 m). This paleocanyon boulder facies rests nonconformably on the Blue Hills Igneous Complex and extends laterally for nearly 1 km. This very coarse proximal facies is overlain by finer grained distal facies of the Wamsutta Formation. Wamsutta facies comprise arkose and litharenite sandstones, polymictic conglomerates and red and black mudstones preserved as flood and possible climactic and/or tectonic cycles. Patterns of facies and architectural elements suggest deposition in humid braided river and possible anastomosing river systems and limited preserved alluvial fan systems. Three stratigraphic sections were studied in detail: Canton RR, Rt. 93-28, and Rt. 93-24. Canton RR has architectural elements CH, GB, SB, LS, and OF; Rt. 93-28 has CH, GB, SB, and minor OF; Rt. 93-24 has CH, SB, OF, and minor GB. Canton RR's basal 58m represents two coarsening upward cycles, each starting with Fm followed by fine sandstone SB elements and capped by facies Gp. The upper 42m is comprised of four 5 to 8 m thick amalgamated conglomerate units, each capped by 0.2m to a 4.5m thick Fm. These four cycles may represent channel elements that were filled by Gp by increasingly coarser bed load initiated by increased tectonism in the basin. Canton RR locality thus records rapid changes between high and low energy depositional systems and tectonism increasing with time. Rt. 93-28 and Rt. 93-24 exhibit larger scale fining upward sequences due to episodic sediment transport within an overall regime of regional subsidence and source area reduction.

Geological Society of America, Northeastern Section - 44th Annual Meeting (22-24 March 2009) Session #11 Booth #32 in: "The Boston Basin and Beyond: In Honor of Margaret D. Thompson" Symposium (Posters).

Presentations and Awards

Co-taught the "Engaging Students in the Sciences" Workshop as part of May 13, 2015
Boston College "Excellence in Teaching Day," along with Prof. Claire O'Connor (Biology) and Can Erbil (Economics).

A 2014 Winner of Boston College Teaching with New Media (TWIN) Award for INNOVATIVE USE OF TECHNOLOGY FOR EFFECTIVE TEACHING.

M.S. Alumni and Projects

Michael Robbins
Sedimentary tectonics of the salt wash member, Morrison formation, western Colorado. (2009)

Abstract Presented

Basin History, Depositional Mechanics, and Paleoenvironments of Mass-Flow Deposits in the Ediacaran Boston Bay Group, Massachusetts, Bailey, Richard H., and Galli, Kenneth G., 2015, Northeastern Section - 50th Annual Meeting, The Geological Society of America, Monday, March 23, 2015 Poster: Stratigraphy, Sediments, Clastics.

Recent Publications

available online at:

Galli, Kenneth G., 2014, Fluvial Architecture Element Analysis of the Brushy Basin Member, Morrison Formation, Western Colorado, USA, in Tanner, L. H., and Lucas, S., eds., Volumina Jurassica, special issue: The Jurassic of North America's Western Interior, Polish Geological Institute, Warsaw, Poland. Volumina Jurassica, 2014, XII (2): 69-106. doi: 10.5604/17313708.1130130.

Tanner, Lawerence H., Galli, Kenneth G., and Lucas, Spencer, 2014, Pedogenic and Lacustrine Features of the Brushy Basin Member of the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation in Western Colorado: Reassessing the Paleoclimatic Interpretation, in: Tanner, L.H., and Lucas, S., eds., Volumina Jurassica, special issue: The Jurassic of North America's Western Interior, Polish Geological Institute, Warsaw, Poland. Volumina Jurassica, 2014, XII (2): 115-130. doi: 10.5604/17312708.1130134.