Dr. King’s main area of basic academic research is the effect of asteroid and comet impact upon Earth history and the stratigraphic record. He also engages in applied research in the areas of petroleum exploration, carbon sequestration, and subsurface waste disposal.


  • Alabama dinosaurs
  • Waulsortian mounds
  • Wetumpka impact crater
  • Cretaceous studies
  • Smackover Formation
  • KT boundary studies

Dr. King's current academic (basic) research interests are related to the effect of asteroid and comet impact upon Earth history and the stratigraphic record and his applied research interests relate to sedimentary geology (particularly petroleum exploration, carbon sequestration, and subsurface waste disposal). His current research projects include studies of (1) Wetumpka impact crater in Elmore County, Alabama; (2) Cretaceous-Paleogene impact-boundary stratigraphy in the U.S. Gulf Coastal plain and in Belize, Central America; (3) other impact structures, including Chesapeake Bay crater in Virginia and Flynn Creek crater in Tennessee, and (4) stratigraphy and petroleum geology of the northern and southern basins of Belize, Central America. From 1980-1995, most of his basic research work focused on facies analysis, sequence stratigraphy, sea-level dynamics, and clastic aquifer properties of eastern Alabama’s Upper Cretaceous stratigraphic section. In the past, he has also studied Jurassic Smackover Limestone of south Alabama hydrocarbon basins, Early Carboniferous (Waulsortian) reef-like buildups in the North American mid-continent and globally, Middle and Upper Cambrian clastic-carbonate facies relations in central Texas, Late Cretaceous dinosaur stratigraphy and biogeography of the eastern U.S., lunar regolith grain sizes, chert petrology and metamorphism, and the petrography and diagenesis of limestone, chalk, and marl.

Subject Area

  • Earth and Life Through Time
Past Affiliations

Director, Department of Geosciences, College of Sciences and Mathematics, Auburn University

Professor, Geology

Graduate Teaching Assistant, Department of Geological Sciences, College of Arts and Science, University of Missouri-Columbia (past)

Laboratory Geologist, Getty Oil Company Exploration and Production Laboratory, Houston, Texas

Research Assistant, Lunar Geology, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics, University of Houston (past)

Geology, Geology, Geography, Geography
PhD, University of Missouri-Columbia, Geology, 1980
MS, University of Houston, Geology, 1976
BS, University of Louisiana at Monroe, Geology, 1972
earth science geology sedimentology stratigraphy planetary geology space sciences natural sciences
American Association of Petroleum Geologists
American Geophysical Union
Geological Society of America
Geological Society of London
International Association of Sedimentologists
Meteoritical Society
Planetary Society
Society for Sedimentary Geology