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Copper price plummets

Copper has fallen 19 cents at the start of the past week, and was down 30 cents the past month. The close on Wednesday was $2.42/lb after briefly touching $2.40. The price rallied back to $2.54 by week's end. Phoenix-based Freeport McMoRan...Show More Summary

Gigantic Slugs in the Hoh Rainforest of Olympic National Park

Ohmigod, ohmigod! Gigantic parasitic slugs feeding on elk! Ewww! Okay, not really. It's actually a slug, probably, maybe a Banana Slug crawling across an interpretive sign at the beginning of the Hall of Mosses Trail in the Hoh Rainforest of Olympic National Park. Show More Summary

Geotripper Actually Gets Courageous and Drives (one of) the Most Dangerous Plate Boundaries in the World

So I spent the last several months producing a blog series on the most dangerous plate boundary in the world, but had to point out many times that the subduction zone was extinct, and that central California, as dangerous as it might be, was not the most geologically hazardous place in the world. Show More Summary

Rocks of the Skyline High neighborhood

Walking the hills around Skyline High School makes for a nice workout, and there are some rocks, including serpentinite, the Joaquin Miller Formation and the Oakland Conglomerate. Here’s the Google Maps topography with the photo locations. And the corresponding geology. The neighborhood centered on Balmoral Drive has lovely views, but few visible rocks. This is […]

Driving Through the Most Dangerous Plate Boundary in the World: A Compilation of Fear(somely cool geology)

Without a doubt, subduction zones are the most dangerous plate boundaries on the planet. Divergent plate boundaries produce earthquakes and occasional volcanoes, but nothing on the fearsome scale of the calderas and stratovolcanoes and magnitude 9 earthquakes experienced at convergent boundaries. Show More Summary

Driving Through the Most Dangerous Plate Boundary in the World: Exploring the Underside of the Volcano

Quick, name the nation's oldest national park. I'll even give you a clue, it starts with 'y'. Did you guess Yellowstone? You are right. Did you guess Yosemite? You are also right, in a sense. Have you ever said "Yosemite" when you meant "Yellowstone"? I've done that plenty of times. Show More Summary

Better management of wildfires in Arizona

It's been a good year for fire management in Arizona, says AZGS geologist Dr. Ann Youberg. Ann is our resident expert on dealing with post-fire effects including debris flows, mudslides, and related hazards. She's often on the ground...Show More Summary

Johnson Camp copper mine plans to resume operations, open 150 jobs

News reports say that the bankrupt Johnson Camp copper mine in Dragoon, could be sold by the court receiver by mid-July to a Hong Kong based company and reopened after that. [Right, view of pit. Credit, Nord Resources]The Willcox Range...Show More Summary

Governor appoints members to Oil & Gas Conservation Commission

Gov. Doug Ducey reappointed four members and one new member to the Arizona Oil & Gas Conservation Commission. This is the first time in a number of years that all the positions are filled.The AZOGCC consists of five members appointed by the Governor and one ex-officio member, the State Land Commissioner. Show More Summary

Driving Through the Most Dangerous Plate Boundary in the World: A Tale of Two Subduction Zones

To many people, the Sierra Nevada means granite. The Sierra Crest, with towering peaks of granite carved by glaciers. Yosemite and Hetch Hetchy valleys, with vertical walls of granitic rock. Lake Tahoe, surrounded by granite peaks. Those who visit the mountains find "granite" to be three-quarters true. Show More Summary

Driving Through the Most Dangerous Plate Boundary in the World: A Landscape Buried in Hot Mud, and a 6-foot Long Saber-tooth Salmon

Mt. Shasta is a big mountain. A really big mountain. Reaching an elevation of 14,179 ft (4,322 m), and rising nearly 10,000 ft. (~3,000 m) above the surrounding terrain, it has a volume of around 100 cubic miles. As such, it is the biggest...Show More Summary

AIPG seeking candidates for Executive Director

The American Institute of Professional Geologists is accepting applications for the position of Executive Director. The position is to be filled as soon as a qualified candidate is vetted. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Details can be found at

Look West, Young Man (and Everyone Else): It's a Conjunction!

There are interesting things happening in the western skies this week. All month, there have been two bright objects in the evening sky, getting closer and closer. They aren't really getting physically closer, as Jupiter is far beyond Venus, but their line of sight is making them appear close together. Show More Summary

El Niño Near Long Valley Creek, Lassen County, CA

I've got a few more pictures from that rainy May day, the 21st, when MOH and I were on what was really the first leg of a trip to Colorado and back. A downpour over unnamed hills just off the north end of the Bald Mountain Range and just south of Beckwourth Pass. Show More Summary

Shepherd Canyon: Type localities of Oakland rocks

Yesterday I led a walk for the group Wild Oakland that took in the rocks of lower Shepherd Canyon, which are the westernmost outcrops of the Great Valley Sequence. These are the same kinds of rocks that make up the monumental set of ranges marching up the western side of the Central Valley from Taft […]

Home From the Back of Beyond: Some Images of Strange and Wonderful Places

Thunderstorm near Bandelier National Monument No, it's not a volcanic eruption, but with the light show that followed that evening, it might as well have been. We were in the high desert of New Mexico at Bandelier National Monument, and the monsoons had arrived early. Show More Summary

Jerome's Sliding Jail landslide is moving

In the 1930s a landslide in the center of the city of Jerome is credited with moving the jail house hundreds of feet downslope. In fact, the building was moved to get it on more stable ground. But this spring, part of the landslide started moving again. Show More Summary

"Arizona Mining Review" covers breccia pipe uranium, USGS mineral resource plans

The June episode of Arizona Mining Review is now on YouTube at interview with Dr. Jon Spencer, Chief Geologist here at AZGS, about his new report on potential uranium-bearing breccia pipes in northwest Arizona is drawing a lot of attention. Show More Summary

New report indicates massive increase in uranium potential in northwest Arizona

We released our new report yesterday “ Partial database for breccia pipes and collapse features on the Colorado Plateau, northwestern Arizona ” ( ) that found concentrations of breccia pipes 10 to 100 times higher than previously known, in two test study areas. Show More Summary

A Watering Hole Bites the Dust: Water Hole #1

Water Hole #1 in Golconda, Nevada — a bar made famous in the late 1970s by an industrious pig, Waterhole Ike — closed sometime within the last two to three years, before I had a chance to stop by and check out their beer collection. Water Hole #1 and attached grocery store in March, 2015. Show More Summary

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