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Call for Papers — 2015 AHS Symposium

We got this announcement today: The Phoenix Chapter of Arizona Hydrologic Society (AHS) is soliciting abstracts for papers and posters to be presented at the 28th Annual Symposium. The symposium is a premier event in the Southwest for hydrology and water resources science, engineering, and public policy. Show More Summary

Soft-story buildings

Let’s take a minute to think a bit about public policy. Think about when Oakland’s next major earthquake strikes. Remember, the Hayward fault is considered capable of causing an earthquake of magnitude 7.5 or even larger. According to a compelling memo by acting manager Henry Gardner issued last year on the 25th anniversary of the […]

A Geologist (also named Hayes) Sits Through "San Andreas", the Movie

What the heck is this? These are fault slickensides (scraping marks from fault motions) at Hoover Dam. Where the movie says there are no faults. I love sitting through geology-based movies, so I can sit and smirk at the screen and criticize the horrible geology presented therein. Show More Summary

Driving Through the Most Dangerous Plate Boundary in the World: A Gentle Landscape Belies a Fiery Past

As we leave the Great Valley behind on our journey through the most dangerous plate boundary in the world, we finally enter the world of the Sierra Nevada. Many may think of Yosemite Valley or Lake Tahoe when the Sierras are mentioned, but the mountains rise modestly from the west side. Show More Summary

Short Course: Geology of the Central Sierra Nevada, June 12-14: And What a Great Setting!

Have you ever had the desire to learn about the geology of the Sierra Nevada in a spectacular mountain setting. Baker Station near Sonora Pass just north of the Yosemite National Park is the home base of the High Sierra Institute, and my colleague Noah Hughes is teaching a short field course on the geology of the Sierra Nevada on June 12-14. Show More Summary

Sunset Crater, San Francisco Volcanic Field

Sunset Crater is the youngest cone in the San Francisco volcanic field in northern Arizona. Over the past 6 million years, more than 600 volcanic cones formed, with an eruption every 3,000 years on average. Sunset Crater may have erupted during the winter of the year 1064-1065. Show More Summary

No volcanic activity at Sunset Crater according to Park Service

The National Park Service issued a news release this afternoon in response to an internet claim that a steam cloud was produced by Sunset Crater near Flagstaff. NPS stated "...no activity has been observed on the ground by park rangers...Show More Summary

"Steam plume" from Sunset Crater is likely just smoke from forest fire

A report of a purported "steam cloud" from Sunset Crater near Flagstaff appears to be mis-identification of a smoke plume from a Forest Service prescribed burn near A-1 Mountain a few miles to the southwest that passed over the crater, or possibly an orographic cloud formation in the lee of San Francisco Peak. Show More Summary

Driving Through the Most Dangerous Plate Boundary in the World: The "Dr. Who" of Mountain Ranges

The Whitney Crest of the High Sierra. Mt. Whitney is just out of sight to the right. I was torn over the title for this addition to the "Driving Through" blog series. I thought of taking the zombie approach and calling them the living...Show More Summary

Small quake in northwest Arizona

A magnitude 2.7 earthquake struck northwest Arizona at 8:23 pm local time last night, about 354 miles southeast of the Arizona-Utah-Nevada intersection. The location is on the Shivwits Plateau and near the southern terminus of faults of the Intermountain Seismic Belt. [Right, orange star marks epicenter. Red lines are active faults. Credit, USGS]

Weather a Bit Less Strange? Death Valley in the Last Two Days: Hot!

There is, of course, hardly such a thing as "average" weather, just like there is no "average" precipitation. I'm pretty sure that the number of days in a given year that actually match the average temperature is limited. I've been to...Show More Summary

ADWR published 57 new land subsidence maps for Arizona

The Arizona Dept. of Water Resources has published 57 new land subsidence maps that cover the majority of the land subsidence features in the State using InSAR data through April 2015, according to Brian Conway, who heads the program. Show More Summary

Serpentinite tentacle at Merritt College

My quest to get my arms around Oakland’s serpentinite patch took me to the grounds of Merritt College, where a long tentacle of this rock is mapped. It’s a complicated area, and the topography on the ground no longer matches what’s shown in the geologic map. Long story short (or in the new hip lingo, […]

The Beginning of an El Niño Trip: North-Central and Western Nevada

An El Niño has supposedly set in (starting when, exactly, I'm not sure). And if precipitation continues to be anything like it has been during the last several weeks, I hope it's here for the the long haul, that is, into the winter. Rain shower in the northern part of the East Range near Winnemucca, NV, looking SW. Show More Summary

Recap of mining and mineral museum plans

The Arizona [Phoenix] Republic ran an extensive story on the fate of the former Arizona Mining & Mineral Museum and the proposal to transfer it to AZGS.The one thing I added to the article by Mary Jo Pritzl was a comment that the situation...Show More Summary

"Arizona Mining Review" May epidode now online

The May episode of Arizona Mining Review was webcast on Wednesday, and posted to our YouTube channel after that. I interviewed Dr. Manuel Valenzuela, Superintendent of Sahuarita School District about their program to train high school...Show More Summary

How Strange Has the Weather Been? This was the Death Valley Region only a week ago

Zabriskie Point in late May. It's usually over 100 degrees and sunny this time of year. The weather was a bit...off last week as we hit the road to the southwest. We meant to drive over Tioga Pass, and made it to Crane Flat, only to find the pass was closed by snow. Show More Summary

An "Island" of Endemic Species: Not Hawaii, not the Galapagos, but Ash Meadows in Nevada

Desert surrounds Ash Meadows, an unlikely oasis in western Nevada The formations are described as two coiled rattlesnakes, although to the geologist, this is a trick of erosion. The barren limestone layers overlook one of the most unlikely ecosystems in the United States. Show More Summary

Northern Arizona field trip guide published from AEG national meeting

The Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists (AEG) has released their field trip guide from last Septermber's annual meeting in Phoenix. It covers a route Phoenix to Sedona to Flagstaff to Sunset Crater to Grand Canyon to Chino Valley. Show More Summary

More Crestmont serpentinite

I’ve done some more poking around in the fat part of the serpentinite patch. Today I’ll show photos from three localities, as marked below on the geologic map (where “sp” means serpentinite). The first locality is a truly spectacular exposure at the intersection of Crestmont and Kimberlin Heights Drives. The neighbors have made an effort […]

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