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A Treasure in my Back Yard: Grand Opening Celebration for the Tuolumne River Parkway, May 21st

It's been a long time coming, but it looks like the Tuolumne River Parkway trail in Waterford will be completed soon. There will be a Grand Opening celebration on May 21 at 10 AM at the parking area at the end of S. Reinway Avenue. I hate to say it, but I can't be there, but I hope that many of you will stop by, or give the trail a look soon. Show More Summary

The Richest Mineral Resources in Death Valley: Isolation and Gullibility

A great many dreams lie broken in the rock and gravel expanses of Death Valley National Park. The California Gold Rush had brought hundreds of thousands of people to the state in the 1850s, and though few of them ever actually became...Show More Summary

Death Valley Trip, Getting There: Highway 95, Redlich, Columbus Salt Marsh, and Another View of Boundary Peak

After lunch, MOH and I drove back into Mina and turned south on Highway 95, continuing our journey toward our next stop (shown above and way down below), and our more distant destinations of Beatty and Death Valley,. As a rule, I don't write much about U.S. Show More Summary

Hunt for helium ramps up in Arizona

Three companies now have active exploration programs underway in Arizona to develop underground helium resources.Ranger Development, a Texas-based joint venture, made a presentation last Friday to the Arizona Oil & Gas Conservation Commission...Show More Summary

Earthquake activity ramps up in southeastern Arizona

There have been at least 22 small earthquakes in the last 24 hours south of Duncan in southeastern Arizona, near the New Mexico border, according to Dr. Jeri Young, who manages the state seismic monitoring network here at AZGS. A magnitude 3.0 earthquake at 8:22 a.m. Show More Summary

A Single "Moment" in Geologic Time: A Finder of Lost Worlds in Death Valley

Red Pass in the Grapevine Mountains, Titus Canyon Road Death Valley is one of the premier paleontology parks in the entire National Park system. There is a stunningly complete record of fossil-bearing strata extending over nearly a billion years, including rocks from every period of the Paleozoic era (543-251 million years ago). Show More Summary

Vollmer Peak and the Bald Peak Basalt

At 1905 feet above sea level, Vollmer Peak is the highest point on San Pablo Ridge and in the Berkeley/Oakland Hills. It doesn’t stand out from below — you know it by the two widely separated towers on it, to the right of Grizzly Peak — but it sure stands out when you’re on it. […]

Flowers, Folds, and Floods on the Way to Yosemite

So this thing happened yesterday. California, despite near-normal amounts of precipitation this year, is still in the grip of a long-term drought. The first part of March was wet, but for the last three weeks the rain ceased entirely, like someone turned off the tap. Show More Summary

Earthquake in northwest Arizona - magnitude 3.4

There was a magnitude 3.4 earthquake in northwest Arizona at 2:23 a.m. local time this morning. The preliminary USGS location puts it about 30-40 km east of the ongoing earthquake swarm west of the Grand Wash Cliffs. We are examining the records to see if adding data from the Arizona seismic network will change the location. Show More Summary

Earthquake swarm continues, M=2.7 is largest one yet

The earthquake swarm in northwest Arizona continues with two events occurring shortly before 1 a.m. this morning, one at magnitude 2.7 and another two minutes later with magnitude 2.2. The locations are being replotted by Dr.Jeri Young here at AZGS, using data from the Arizona Broadband Seismic Network that we manage. Show More Summary

Another small quake today in NW Arizona swarm

We had a magnitude 2.4 earthquake this morning at 10:12 a.m. local time in area between the Mesquite and Grand Wash faults in northwest Arizona along the Nevada border. This brings the total to 19 events since March 28. This is the second largest quake in the series, with the biggest one at M=2.6. Show More Summary

Arizona Oil & Gas Conservation Commission continued for 6 years

Gov. Doug Ducey signed SB1059, continuing the Arizona Oil & Gas Conservation Commission for 6 years, until July 1, 2022. The Sunset Review panel had originally recommended an 8 year continuation but the Arizona House cut that to match the Sunset Review for the Dept. Show More Summary

Death Valley Trip, Getting There: A Jeep Trail, Folds and Cartoons of Folds, Even More Folds, and Boundary Peak

An unnamed portion of the Gabbs Valley Range. From the vantage point of the end of the last post, a little southwest of Luning, Nevada, I turned around and pointed my camera northeast across Soda Spring Valley... and paused to thinkShow More Summary

Update on northwest Arizona earthquake swarm - 19 events so far

On March 29th, a magnitude (ML) 2.3 earthquake occurred about 23 miles south-southwest of Littlefield, Arizona. This event marked the onset of a swarm of 18 small magnitude earthquakes that continued through April 3rd. The largest event, ML 2.6, occurred at 8:36 am on April 3rd. Show More Summary

The sulfur problem of the Leona rhyolite

The Leona “rhyolite” is one of Oakland’s most intriguing rock formations. We have other volcanic rocks here — the true lava flows at the Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve — but the Leona is ten times older and has a very different story. I put the word rhyolite in quotes because the rock isn’t technically rhyolite, […]

There are Islands in the Desert: A Look at Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge

There are islands in the desert. One might argue that islands are supposed to be surrounded by water, and water is in short supply in the driest corner of North America's Basin and Range province. But islands can take many forms, and...Show More Summary

Death Valley is Really Second Generation Death Valley: A Look at Death Valley Version 1.0

Death Valley is a stunning example of a fault graben, a large area of crust that subsided because of extensional forces that produced widespread "normal" faulting (where the fault plane slopes towards the basin). The valley has relief...Show More Summary

Revised locations for earthquake swarm in northwest Arizona

The first 8 earthquakes in this week's swarm in northwest Arizona have been relocated by Dr. Jeri Young at AZGS using our local seismograph stations to improve accuracy from the USGS regional network. The vertical white line in the figure at right is the Nevada-Arizona border. Show More Summary

Three more quakes in swarm in area of known faults

There were three more small earthquakes in northwest Arizona along the Nevada border on Friday, bringing the total to 11 since March 28.The most recent ones were:Magnitude 2.0 at 11:41 a.m. Magnitude 1.5 at 12:01 p.m.Magnitude 1.7 at 8:45 p.m. Show More Summary

World's tiniest dinosaur remarkably well preserved

The world's smallest dinosaur has been recovered from the waste rock pile outside an old mine adit in northwestern Arizona. The distant cousin of the famous Tyrannosaurus-Rex ("T-Rex") would have weighed less than a pound when alive,...Show More Summary

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