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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

The Rains Come and the Snow Falls: Normal in California Doesn't Feel Normal

Normal just doesn't feel normal.In 2014, researchers were declaring the California drought the worst in 1,000 years. And then we had a year, 2015, that was in many ways much worse. We actually had near normal rainfall on the valley floor that year, but it was so warm that the snowpack ended up at 10% of normal, a value never recorded previously. Show More Summary

Tweaks to Geotripper

So I look at my blog today, and a bunch of stuff looked different. I don't know how or why because I haven't touched the "layout" button in a long time, but since the arrangement looked terrible, I made some tweaks, mainly trying to make the links easier to read. Show More Summary

Finding a Thesis: On the Southern Route to the Top of Mineral Ridge

And so, we return once again to my seemingly never-ending thesis hunt. As you can see above, I've just arrived on eastern outskirts of Silver Peak, after crossing the Clayton Valley lithium brine fields. Portion of the Goldfield 2° sheet,...Show More Summary

Dunsmuir Ridge revisited; Irvington gravels visited

Six and a half years ago, I put up a post about the special little gravel patches on Dunsmuir Ridge. On Tuesday I finally returned there to put back the rocks I collected. That’s extremely fussy of me, but a principle’s a principle and my living space refuses to stretch with the rocks I bring […]

Dreams of Summer: This is Where and When...Wait, They Made a National Park Out of This?

Why, yes. Yes they did. About two posts ago, I pointed out that there are some places where the geology is kind of...monotonous. One of those places is the vast sage plain east of Grand Canyon and Flagstaff, around the towns of Holbrook and Winslow (yes, that Winslow). Show More Summary

Wulfenite proposed as Arizona State Mineral

A bill filed in the Arizona House (HB2496) by Rep. Mark Finchem (R-Tucson) would designate wulfenite as the State Mineral of Arizona. [Right, wulfenite from the Red Cloud mine. Photo credit, Jan Rasmussen]Copper is the current StateShow More Summary

Governor proposes transferring Arizona Geological Survey to the University of Arizona

Governor Ducey's Fiscal Year 2017 budget proposes transfer of the Arizona Geological Survey duties and responsibities to the University of Arizona, beginning July 1, 2016.The Governor's budget proposal states: The Arizona Geological Survey was originally housed at the University of Arizona. Show More Summary

Bill would ban 'fracking' in Arizona

A bill submitted to the Arizona House today would prohibit hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") for oil and gas production. House Bill 2407 amends statutes of the Arizona Dept. of Environmental Quality to state that " A person may not engage...Show More Summary

2015 Top Ten Posts at LFD...

...and—as for 2014, 2013, and 2012—a few more. My rules, as modified from last year: Because of the vagaries of stat reporting (in this case, by Google Analytics), I'm listing both the top ten posts for the year (in large font, withShow More Summary

Dreams of Summer: Your Time Machine Malfunctioned. Where and When Are You?

The DeLorean was working just fine when you entered Oct. 21, 2015 and hit 88 miles per hour, but you must have hit one of the gravitational waves they just discovered (that's the rumor anyway), and the car went careening through time and space. Show More Summary

The Conclusion of Our Float Test

We're about to test the rocks I posted about last week. We have six float candidates (description here). I voted for rocks #2 and #3 (as counted from the left in the photo shown above), with a "might" for #1 and "probably not" for #5. Show More Summary

Oakland, capital of lithodiversity

Last month I delivered a talk to the Nerd Nite East Bay gathering titled “Diversity in Deepest Oakland: Rocks of the Town.” It was fun, and the audience was good. I made the case that per square kilometer, Oakland has more different rock types than any other city in America. I counted off more than […]

Governor approves filling 4 positions for Dept of Water Resources

Governor Doug Ducey, in his State of the State address today, called for filling four positions in the Arizona Department of Water Resources, with one hydrologist and three planners. ADWR staffing has decreased from 250 before the Great Recession to 125 today. Show More Summary

Dreams of Summer: The Bad Star Strikes! What happened at Canyon Diablo 50,000 Years Ago

It might be heresy for me to say it, but there are some places where the geology appears to be kind of...monotonous. Flatlands covered by soils are sometimes not all that interesting. I can even be accused of thinking this way about my very own home valley, the Great Valley of California. Show More Summary

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