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Titus Canyon: The Upper Part of Lost Canyon

As we descend the west side of Red Pass and enter the realm of Titus Canyon proper—as opposed to being just on the Titus Canyon road—the geology becomes a little more complex than the Tertiary-to-the-north–Cambrian-to-the-south scenario that we've been seeing since leaving Tan Mountain. Show More Summary

Tiny steps toward flood control

More than once on this blog, including last week, I’ve described streams as sleeping creatures that wake up in floods. Kittens that turn into tigers, nebbishes that become the Incredible Hulk, pick your own metaphor — streams do most of their geological work in spasms. The downpour that happens once in a century, filling a […]

Oakland alluvium

When someone opens up the ground in Oakland, no matter where, I think it’s interesting. This construction site on Telegraph Avenue between 29th and 30th Streets exposes alluvium, the stream-laid sediment that once supported productive farmland throughout Oakland’s flats. Mapped as “alluvial fan and fluvial deposits (Holocene)” or unit Qhaf on the geologic map, it […]

Arizona's Doug Bartlett elected president of AIPG

Doug Bartlett, a Principal and co-founder with Clear Creek Associates in Scottsdale, has been elected President-elect of the American Institute of Professional Geologists for 2017. He will serve as President in 2018 and Past President in 2019. Show More Summary

The Importance of Green Zones in Urban Settings (and a Fox)

I've occasionally noted the presence of a river trail in our community at the boundary of the Sierra Nevada Mother Lode and the Great Valley. It follows a stretch of the Tuolumne River for two miles, allowing access to the river for fishing, hiking, riding, floating, and wildlife watching. Show More Summary

The Hawai'i That Was: What Happened to the Stones of Pololu? A Look at Pu'ukohala Heiau

There's a different feel to the north country of the Big Island of Hawai'i. Gone are the sere and blasted basalt flows of recent volcanic eruptions. The older soils of Kohala instead support a luxurious growth of grass that supports a thriving cattle industry. Show More Summary

Centennial Museum transfers to AZGS today

The Arizona Centennial Museum, which was never opened, transfers today to the Arizona Geological Survey, to be reconfigured as the Arizona Mining, Mineral, and Natural Resource Education Museum.The facility operated for decades as the...Show More Summary

The Hawai'i That Was: Exploring Pololu Valley on an Unstable "Dead" Volcano

Do the signs add a hint of an element of danger to this hike? The stereotypical image of Hawai'i includes many things (most of which are seen in the opening credits of Hawaii Five-O), but one of them is surely the dramatic fluted cliffs clothed in tropical vegetation. Show More Summary

Notes from the Monsoon in Grand Canyon National Park

One of the most awesome things I've ever seen Timing is everything. If one schedules a trip to the American Southwest in July or August, one may very well have to contend with the monsoons, the change in prevailing winds that brings warm humid air out of the Gulf of Mexico. Show More Summary

Playing "Where's Waldo" with Bighorn Sheep in Zion National Park

How many Bighorn Sheep can you see in this picture? One of the surprises of a visit to a place like Zion National Park is the possibility of seeing some of the rarer large animals. We were taking a "short cut" through the park last week on our way to the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. Show More Summary


There I was, preparing a few photos for posting in the ongoing Death Valley Trip – Titus Canyon series, doing my usual thing of marking up photos in MS Paint (I'm too cheap to buy any real photo programs), when I figured that I mustShow More Summary

Notes from our Trip to Hades: Heat Wave in California

There isn't a whole lot to say, other than to be aware of possibilities when one schedules trips in the southwest in July or August. We are on our way to Grand Canyon, and our route took us through the Mojave Desert during a particularly hot stretch of weather. Show More Summary

Position Announcement: Dean of the Science, Math and Engineering Division at Modesto Junior College

Modesto Junior College has announced an opening for the dean of the Science, Math and Engineering Division. We are at the forefront of science education in our community, and face many challenges as one of the most economically depressed regions in the country. Show More Summary

Down into Titus Canyon: We Leave Red Pass Behind (Finally!)

We will leave Red Pass shortly. Be sure that you've looked around: Take your last look eastward toward White Pass and Titanothere Canyon. And be sure you've gotten your fill of the hoodoos above the pass. What we'll do right now, before...Show More Summary

A First (for me): River Otters along the Tuolumne River Parkway Trail

There's a wonderful thing about life and the animal world. No matter how old you are, you can still have the excitement of seeing something for the first time. The planet is so diverse and mysterious that you will never see it all, and so there is always a surprise waiting around the next corner. Show More Summary

A greenstone boulder in Lakeside Park

Lakeside Park holds a scattering of boulders and plaques. The plaques are always interesting, and sometimes so are the boulders. This one sits at the west side of Bandstand Cove by a grove of redwood and oak trees. I can tell at a glance — the greenish color, even texture and lack of sedimentary fabric […]

Small quake felt in Arizona, New Mexico; aftershock to 2014 Duncan earthquake?

A magntiude 3.0 earthquake struck on the Arizona-New Mexico border just before 7 am this morning, and residents in both states report feeling it. The preliminary epicenter calculated by the USGS is about 3-4 miles south of Duncan Highway - US70 between Lordsburg and Safford. Show More Summary

The Hawai'i That Was: Look at the Cute Squirrel! (NOT a squirrel)

First time visitors to Hawai'i will at some moment see a mammal on the islands. The creature is common enough to be taken as some kind of squirrel, but it most certainly is not one. It's not a rat either, but it is representative ofShow More Summary

The Hawai'i That Was: A Veritable Rainbow of Sand (and cute gratuitous sea turtles)

Lai'e Beach on the island of Oahu, with a coral beach sand stained by iron oxides Sand is white or gray. If you live in Florida or some other low-lying coastline, the sand tends to be nearly pure quartz, leading to the white color. In California and other mountainous coasts, there are other minerals mixed with the quartz, leading to a grayer shade. Show More Summary

The Hawai'i That Was: Where are the Rivers? Waterfalls on the Big Island

Tooling around on the southern parts of the Big Island of Hawai'i, one may notice something. Despite the fact that Hilo and the Puna District villages get more rain than any other towns in the United States, there aren't very many rivers. Show More Summary

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