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Death Valley Trip, Getting There: Black Rock to Lida Junction to Beatty

On this leg, we will finally make it into Beatty! Yay!!In our last episode we were at Black Rock (it should be Black Rock Point, or something, but isn't) checking out Lone Mountain and the Boss Mine. Before leaving, I managed—with my...Show More Summary

Geologist's amended de-licensing bill sent to Governor

The bill to de-license geologists in Arizona, HB2613, was the most monitored piece of legislation in the just completed session. It was the most viewed bill online as well.The bill was introduced at the request of Governor Ducey. It was opposed by a coalition of geological professional societies, and companies. Show More Summary

Conglomerate in the upper Arroyo Viejo streambed

Oakland has three different bodies of conglomerate: from youngest to oldest they’re in the Orinda Formation (of Miocene age, maybe 10 million years old), the Oakland Conglomerate (Late Cretaceous, maybe 80 Ma) and the Knoxville Formation (Late Jurassic, about 165 Ma). Recently I’ve been getting fixated on the last one. I hope these photos from […]

Transit of Mercury across the Sun

I got up early to catch the transit of Mercury across the face of the Sun, and was almost frustrated. My idea of perfection would have been to catch the disk of the sun rising against the peaks of the Sierra Nevada, but the last cloudy remnants of yesterday's storm prevented that from happening. Show More Summary

Yosemite's Dance of the Seven Veils: The Valley on a Rainy Day

She freed and floated on the air her armsAbove dim veils that hid her bosom's charms...The veils fell round her like thin coiling mistsShot through by topaz suns and amethysts "The Daughter of Herodias" by Arthur O'Shaughnessy It goes without saying, but when the rain falls, Yosemite is a different place. Show More Summary

Magnitude 3.4 earthquake follows yesterday's M=3.8 event

A magnitude 3.4 earthquake occurred at almost the same location early this morning as the magnitude 3.8 from yesterday. No one has reported feeling the 1:30 am quake today.The M=3.8 quake is the largest one yet recorded in the northwest Arizona swarm that began March 28.

A Few Geologic Words and Concepts Through Time (via Google Books Ngram Viewer)

I'm not sure how I got started on checking different words and concepts on Google Books Ngram Viewer yesterday, although my "History" tab suggests to me that it might have been related to some reading I was doing on science fiction.Show More Summary

Biggest quake yet in NW Arizona swarm

A magnitude 3.8 earthquake struck at 06:49 a.m. this morning in the area of northwest Arizona that has seen a continuing swarm of over 55 earthquakes that started March 28. This is the largest event yet recorded in the swarm sequence, just surpassing the M=3.7 event of April 17.There are reports of the tremor being felt in Arizona and Nevada. Show More Summary

Mineral museum comes to AZGS, AZGS goes to UA

The Arizona State Senate last night approved SB1530, the Agency Consolidation bill, with significant floor amendments. The bill is going to the House today for their consideration where it is expected to pass easily, then on to the Governor...Show More Summary

Rocks and views of Fairmont Ridge

Fairmont Ridge is the grassy upland that forms the backdrop to San Leandro. As it happens, East Bay Regional Park District owns much of it as part of Lake Chabot Regional Park. It has some rocks, which I’ll show first, and also some fine views. Here’s the aerial view of the ridge from Google. And […]

There's No Place Like This: Celebrating 100 Years of America's Best Idea

"There's no place like this".It's something that you hear once in awhile in a crowd of people seeing Yosemite Falls for the first time. You'll hear it from people seeing a geyser explode from the ground in Yellowstone, or gaping at the vast expanse of the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Show More Summary

Rock Will Not Be Contained: Problems at the Ferguson Slide near Yosemite

The Ferguson Slide today, April 30, 2016 I thought of an Ian Malcom quote from Jurassic Park (1983) today: "If there is one thing the history of evolution has taught us it's that life will not be contained. Life breaks free, it expands to new territories and crashes through barriers, painfully, maybe even dangerously, but, uh... Show More Summary

George Lucas Had It Wrong. A Day of Fierce Pride at MJC

No, I'm not talking about the prequels to Star Wars! It was something much earlier. People could be forgiven for not knowing this, but Star Wars was not George Lucas's first successful film. He was known for another great movie, American Graffiti, a semi-autobiographical film that recalled his days as a young man in Modesto, California. Show More Summary

Talking about earthquakes and landslides with "Rosie on the House" this Saturday, April 30

I'm scheduled to be on the syndicated radio show "Rosie on the House" with host Rosie Romero, tomorrow morning, April 30, starting at about 7:10 a.m., to talk about the recent swarms of earthquakes in Arizona, and the AZGS project to identify all the landslides in the state. Show More Summary

Senate debate on Arizona geologist de-licensing bill set for today

Today, the Committee of the Whole in the state Senate discusses and votes on HB 2613, which eliminates licensing of geologists and other professions. The hearing will be webcast live at http://azleg.granicus.com/Mediaplayer.php?publish_id=2 The hearing is expected to start between 1:00 and 1:30pm today, with HB2613 first on the agenda. Show More Summary

Damned Fool California Farmers Bringing on a New Dust Bowl

The video is very short, but in eight seconds it shows the stupidity of bad agricultural practices in Central California, practices that have led to disaster in the past, and maybe into our immediate future as well. Muddy runoff from an almond orchard east of Modesto. Show More Summary

Bill to transfer AZGS is being heard in the Senate today

The Senate Appropriations Committee is meeting now to hear the dozen or so budget bills, including SB1530, Agency Consolidation, which transfers the duties of the Arizona Geological Survey to the University of Arizona. The hearing is...Show More Summary

Bill filed to transfer AZGS to University of Arizona

The bill was filed today to transfer the duties of AZGS to the University of Arizona. Senate Bill B1530 includes a number of other agency consolidations.AZGS statutes stay largely the same, except for an opening statement that the agency...Show More Summary

Budget bill transfers AZGS duties to University of Arizona

The budget bill negotiated between Governor Ducey and Legislative leaders leaves intact the Governor's original proposal to zero out funding for the Arizona Geological Survey as of June 30, and transfer the agency duties to the University...Show More Summary

Death Valley Trip, Getting There: Coaldale, Black Rock, Lone Mountain, and the Boss Mine

Onward! Onward! How far will we get this time? Coaldale, as seen in August, 2010. With Boundary Peak still in view, MOH and I rounded the corner at Coaldale Junction, and pulled in briefly at Coaldale. This particular ghost town, which...Show More Summary

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