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Unexpected Events of the Day: Floods and Foxes

There were some pleasant sights to be had today. They didn't seem at all related at first (foxes and floods), but in a way they were. We've had rain, finally, in amounts that might make some small dent in the drought that has plagued California for nearly five years. Show More Summary

AZGS leverages grant funds to carry out state functions

The Arizona Geological Survey leveraged each dollar of state funding last fiscal year with more than 4 dollars of grants and contracts to help carry out our statutory duties. AZGS has not only maintained but expended state services despite an effective 60% reduction in state funding since the start of the Great Recession. Show More Summary

Dreams of Summer: Living Under the Threat of Destruction at Wupatki

The San Francisco Peaks, a gigantic stratovolcano, rises beyond the ruins of the Citadel at Wupatki National Monument. There is a huge difference between living close to the Earth without advanced technology and living in a highly technological society. Show More Summary

Which of These Rocks, Mostly from Glass Mountain, CA, Will Float

I've gathered up a collection of rocks to see which ones will float and which ones will sink. All but one of these are glassy volcanic rocks from Glass Mountain in northeastern California. The ones from Glass Mountain are all rhyolitic.This...Show More Summary

Dreams of Summer: If there's a Little Colorado River, is there a Little Grand Canyon?

In the last post, I noted that there is a lot more to the Colorado Plateau than the Grand Canyon. The Canyon (it just has to be capitalized) is more than 200 miles long, but it cuts through just a part of the Colorado Plateau Province, a vast region encompassing 130,000 square miles (337,000 sq km), and containing 27 national parks and monuments. Show More Summary

Sulfur mine mitigation: An El Niño preview

Earlier this year I took a peek at the mitigation work going on at the former pyrite mine at the head of McDonell Street, in the Leona Heights neighborhood. The workers had laid down lovely geofabric, seeded grass and paved the creek bed with boulders. They were also patching infant gullies. I predicted it wouldn’t […]

Dreams of Summer and Southwest Travels: Grand Stories Exposed in a Canyon

No one place on Earth can ever tell the whole story of the Earth. But there are lots of places that tell part of the story. That's the fact that makes geology one of the most fascinating sciences there is. It's an incredible detective...Show More Summary

Dreams of Summer and Southwest Travels: A Canyon Grander than All

It's winter, and it's cold outside. I won't be in the field for another six weeks, so for now I'm reveling in the memories of this last summer, a journey through the Southwest states. We started our field studies trip at Hole in theShow More Summary

Moderate quake south of Fredonia

A magnitude 3.6 earthquake struck about 24 miles SSE of Fredonia yesterday at 3:33 p.m. local time. There are reports of light shaking being felt from the south rim of Grand Canyon to Orderville in southern Utah. [Right, red star marks epicenter of quake. Light blue areas are where the quake was reported felt. Credit, USGS]

Dreams of Summer and Southwest Travels: Hole in the Wall, Mojave National Preserve

Christmas is over and suddenly the snow and blizzards aren't so fun any more. I find myself dreaming of warmer places and times, including a great journey we took last summer across the southwest with my students. Since my current travels...Show More Summary

Freeport's Executive Chairman resigns

Freeport McMoRan's founder, James R. Moffett, is resigning as Executive Chairman of the Phoenix-based copper and gold company, according to news reports. The Wall Street Journal said "Moffett served as chief executive of the company and its predecessors between 1984 and 2003. Show More Summary

Marine terrace in downtown Oakland

Oakland’s ice age features are subtle and easily overlooked. I’m here to help you see them. The photo above looks west on Grand Avenue from the tip of Lake Merritt. As you pass Harrison Street heading toward Broadway, you climb a low rise about 20 feet high. That rise is a deposit of sediment that […]

USGIN content model proposed for all US earth observation data

We are excited to report that th e USGIN Content Model schema is recommended for adoption by the White House-led US Group on Earth Observations (USGEO) "Common Framework for Earth-Observation Data." This framework would apply to ~ $30 billion of earth observation data collected each year by US agencies. Show More Summary

A Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from a Winter Wonderland!

2 months agoAcademics / Geology : Geotripper

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all! As is my tradition, I offer up once again a very big Christmas tree, the General Grant Tree in Kings Canyon National Park. The tree is so large (268 feet high, 40 feet across at the base) that it took three pictures for me to capture it. Show More Summary

Happy Holidays!

Xmas Eve greetings! Photos are all from Nevada City, CA, although I'm elsewhere at the moment. Above: the Outside Inn. Inside the Mine Shaft. Likewise. Xmas cheer from inside Lefty's.

The Airline Chronicles Briefly Return! Pacific Northwest Sights

2 months agoAcademics / Geology : Geotripper

Do you know what I like about flying? I admit that there is much to not like about flying, starting with navigating airports while dragging luggage, standing in security lines, paying $4 for a bottle of water, sitting in airplane seats designed for thin 12-year-olds, and waiting for baggage and rides at crowded airports. Show More Summary

Finding a Thesis: Coming into Clayton Valley

On the road to Silver Peak from the east, about six or seven miles past Alkali and while one is still on pavement, Clayton Valley comes into view. The road turns to dirt—gravel and dust—not far beyond this first photo, and not far before the second. Show More Summary

USGS launches new website for Gold King Mine spill

The USGS has launched a new website - which provides water data, images, reports and interactive maps related to the Gold King Mine accidental spill which happened on August 5, 2015 near Silverton, Colorado. Show More Summary

Suzette Kimball confirmed as Director of the USGS

The U.S. Senate confirmed Dr. Suzette M. Kimball as Director of the U.S. Geological Survey. President Obama announced his intent to nominate Kimball as Director in January 2014, and she has been leading the agency in an acting capacity since February 2013.

Shale and chert in the Claremont Shale

In preparation for my upcoming talk (billed as “drunken education”) for Nerd Nite East Bay, I took a three-hour tour of the Oakland hills to take fresh photos of my favorite rocks. The tour was a whirlwind one. This is the classic exposure of the Claremont Shale in the valley of Claremont Creek, which I’ve […]

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