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My "New" Toy

Yes, that's an 18-200 mm zoom. This isn't really a new camera, but it's new to me. It's old, probably from 2006 or 2007. I inherited it from Alaska Al. You saw some of my first photos from this DSLR a couple weeks ago.I struggle some with accurate color balance when posting on the web. Show More Summary

You CAN See Half Dome from the Central Valley. But You Have to be in the Right Spot

A field in the Central Valley! Living in California's Great Valley has moments. Some good, some bad. It's really flat, and that isn't of much interest to a geologist (except the drilling kind). But on some days, when the storms have blown through, and the wind has pushed all of the smog and dust to other places, the valley is beautiful. Show More Summary

New and updated Earth Fissure maps released for Maricopa, Pinal, and Cochise counties

AZGS has released six revised and upated earth fissures in south-central and southeastern Arizona for parts of Maricopa, Pinal and Cochise Counties. A single new earth fissure map for just east of the Picacho Mountains in Pinal County was issued. Show More Summary

Time for the Topographer's Challenge! What Peak is this in Yosemite National Park?

Actually, I want your help here. I don't know the peak with the vertical flank on the right side of the picture above. I took this shot yesterday from near the intersection of Wellsford and Milnes Roads between Modesto and Waterford....Show More Summary

Finding a Thesis: The Northern Route onto Mineral Ridge and a Little Geology

Heading north out of Silver Peak, with The Crater in view. After checking out the southern route to Mineral Ridge while on my 1976 thesis quest, I headed north out of Silver Peak on then Highway 47 (now S.R. 265), carefully measuring the miles to the left-hand turnoff. Show More Summary

Green and White in California...There's a drought here? Why yes...yes there is

What a sight for sore (and dry) eyes. Deep emerald fields of growing grass, and snow-capped peaks in the distance. Tropical palm trees. Spring? Hardly. It's the first of February in California, a place mired in the depths of the worst drought in perhaps a thousand years. Show More Summary

Chimes Creek headwaters

I’ve mentioned how tempting the uppermost catchment of Chimes Creek looks, perched above the Leona Quarry scar: Finally got up there last week. Access is difficult and not for casual visits. Here’s the valley in Google Earth, looking obliquely at it. At first glance it looks natural, but it’s heavily engineered. I’ll show photos going […]

Drop in copper prices moves Arizona out of #1 mining position

Arizona fell to second place in value of non-fuel minerals produced in 2015. The USGS Mineral Commodities Summary for 2015 shows Arizona producing $6.8 billion of mineral vs $6.94 billion in Nevada. Nevada production is dominated by gold whereas Arizona is controlled by copper. Show More Summary

Bill reintroduced to transfer mining and mineral museum to AZGS

Sen. Gail Griffin has reintroduced her bill, SB1440, to transfer the former Arizona Mining & Mineral Museum in Phoenix, rom the Arizona Historical Society to AZGS to be re-opened as the Arizona Mining, Mineral, and Natural Resources Education Museum. Show More Summary

Links: Pumice and Pumicite

In keeping with my recent posts about Glass Mountain, Siskiyou County, CA, I've put together a few links relating mostly to pumice:Chesterman, C.W., 1956, Pumice, pumicite, and volcanic cinders in California and Technology of pumice,...Show More Summary

Dreams of Summer: Going Underground on New Mexico's Continental Divide

When one thinks of the Continental Divide, one might imagine high peaks of the Rocky Mountains, piercing the sky with glacially carved ridges. It's not always quite that way. As we made our way last summer across the flat plateau lands east of Petrified Forest National Park, we passed the Zuni Pueblo, and reached a forest of Ponderosa pines. Show More Summary

Late to the Party, but here's the 7.1 Magnitude Earthquake as Recorded from Central California

An earthquake, large by California standards, but almost moderate by Alaska standards, hit on Sunday, January 24 southwest of Anchorage. It measured 7.1 on the magnitude scale (moment magnitude). The quake was on a strike-slip fault (lateral motion), and was thankfully relatively deep (128 km/80 miles). Show More Summary

Hiking Down Glass Mountain

A few weeks ago, we were about to hike back down Glass Mountain after our short hike part way up the glassy rhyolite flow dome. We had taken some overview photos and had stopped at the old working in the foreground (above) to collect some scouring stones. Show More Summary

A Modesto Junior College Field Studies Opportunity: Geology and Archaeology of the Hawaiian Islands, June 1-13, 2016

This might be of interest only to my Modesto area readers, but anyone who is interested in learning about the natural and human history of the Hawaiian Islands may want to investigate this field studies opportunity June 1-13, 2016. Imagine...Show More Summary

Clay outcrop in Horseshoe Canyon

The gorge of Horseshoe Creek, in Leona Heights Park, is unusually grand for its size. Its rugged rocks, mostly Leona “rhyolite,” are pretty homogeneous though. So when a spot along the stream caught my eye with its color — reddish red and bluish gray — I went off the trail and checked it out. Notice […]

Consolidation would move AZGS into UA Geosciences Department

Governor Ducey's Office of Strategic Planning and Budget has released new details on his proposal to consolidate the Arizona Geological Survey into the University of Arizona. An addition to the Executive Budget states: "For FY2017, the...Show More Summary

Arizona Geological Survey's return on investment = 668%

Since 2011, the Arizona Geological Survey has successfully raised more than $35,800,000 in external research grants from federal, state, local, non-profit, and private sources. Over that same period our total cumulative state appropriation was $5,364,100, for a Return on Investment of $6.68 of income for every $1 of state funds. Show More Summary

Aerial Views of Two Northwest Volcanoes

My first view of Mt. Rainier out the window on New Year's Day was quite colorful, but the high-order rainbow effect of alternating pinks and greens was due to refraction, from shooting sideways through the Bombadier Q400's window toward...Show More Summary

Moderate quake south of Arizona-Utah border

There was a magnitude 3.0 earthquake in northwest Arizona at 5:10 PM local time on Thursday. Preliminary location shows the epicenter in the southern part of the Intermountain Seismic Belt. [Right, orange star marks epicenter. Credit, USGS]

Bill would eliminate licensing of assayers in Arizona

A bill in the Arizona Senate would eliminate the requirement for assayers to be licensed in Arizona. SB1256, filed by Sen. John Kavanaugh (R-Fountain Hills) would drop Assayers from the list of professions regulated by the Arizona Board of Technical Registration. Show More Summary

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