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Dr. David King, Jr.

David King
Professor of Geology

Research Areas: 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. 

Office: 2058 Beard Eaves Coliseum

2050 Beard Eaves Coliseum 
Auburn, AL 36849

Wetumpka Impact Crater Research Papers:

Wetumpka Civic Center
Feb. 23, 2023 @ 6:30 pm



Ph.D., Geology, University of Missouri-Columbia


M.S., Geology, University of Houston


B.S., Geology, University of Louisiana-Monroe


Professional Employment

Professor, Auburn University

1998 - Present

Associate Professor, Auburn University

1986 - 1998

Assistant Professor, Auburn University

1980 - 1986

Honors and Awards

2014  Dr. King received the 2014 Distinguished Service Award, Gulf Coast Section, Society for Sedimentary Geology (SEPM) for his service to the profession and the Gulf Coast Section.


2012  Dr. King received a 2012 Dean's Faculty Outreach Award for his work with the city of Wetumpka, Alabama, on public understanding of the Wetumpka impact crater.


2004  Dr. King received a 2004 Grover C. Murray Award for an outstanding paper in the Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies Transactions.


1985/1989  Dr. King has been honored as the outstanding science/math faculty member in the former School of Arts and Sciences (1985) and as an Auburn Alumni Association outstanding teacher (1989).

1998, Two cores were drilled and core samples were extracted for testing. Geologists hoped to find materials proving the “Astrobleme” theory.   Dr. David T. King, Jr., Professor of Geology at Auburn University, headed the research team. The researchers indeed found that the core contained shocked quartz, which can only be formed by pressures exerted during an enormous explosion such as a large meteor impact. The research team also found chemical traces of the meteorite elements embedded in the local bedrock.


2009, Dr. David T. King, Jr., Professor of Geology at Auburn University, headed the research team that drilled nine boreholes down into the crater at depths ranging from 70 to 700 feet. This drilling program, funded by NASA, provided much more information about the crater-filling materials and the role of water in the Wetumpka impact event.  Drilling in 2009 did not reach the bottom of the crater, which is estimated to be a kilometer or about 3,200 feet below the present land surface.



Dr. King's Homepage: Research

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