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Titus Canyon Road: A Little History and a Few Maps

Now that we've arrived at Red Pass, and we've even taken a little hike, let's stop, absorb the view, and reminisce a bit. The view west from Red Pass. My experience with Titus Canyon probably dates to the early or mid 1980s when I was working for Former Mining Company down in the Mojave Desert of California. Show More Summary

Small quake near Fredonia

There was a magnitude 2.1 earthquake about 8 km ESE of Fredonia on Monday afternoon. [Right, orange star marks epicenter. Credit, USGS]There have been a couple of tiny quakes in northwest Arizona in the past week, each just over M=1 and away from the Fredonia event.

The Hawai'i That Was: There was a Monster in the Water at Laupahoehoe

There is a small bay a few miles northeast of Hilo on the Big Island of Hawai'i called Laupahoehoe. It's a raw section of the coastline, with waves that crash violently against the ragged exposures of basalt. I stand at the point and imagine the movies I've seen where monsters rise out of the waves. Show More Summary

Oakland building stones: Kaiser Center’s dolomite

During yesterday’s OHA walk around some of Oakland’s building stones, I was pleased to bring out an underappreciated aspect of this great city landmark. The Kaiser Center, like City Hall, is one of Oakland’s signature buildings. When construction finished in 1960 the curving, T-shaped office tower was so iconic that Ansel Adams is said to […]

Legislators call for restoring AZGS state funding

Arizona State Senator Gail Griffin and Rep. Bob Thorpe are quoted in a news story in Eos ( this morning saying they want the legislature and governor...Show More Summary

We posted the Inspector General's report on USGS lab misconduct

The Dept. of Interior Inspector General’s report about misconduct at the USGS Inorganic Geochemistry lab is posted at the AZGS Documentary Repository at: The pdf version is viewable...Show More Summary

Cormorant and Pillow Basalt Above Waikiki Beach (but not the one you think)

I'm still on the road so posts are few, but I occasionally get to a computer. Today's picture is a Cormorant flying in front of a wave-cut cliff exposing pillow basalt at Waikiki Beach. I've been writing a lot about Hawai'i of late, so you are forgiven for thinking that this is one the islands, but it's not. Show More Summary

Things You Find in the Field: An Old Outhouse

MOH and I were driving around several years back—after we had completed some field work with some former Former Mining Company employees—when we came across this old outhouse with a nicely carved crescent moon in the detached door. With an old, probably 1-2 megapixel camera, we took pictures of each other sitting inside the outhouse. Show More Summary

The Hawai'i That Had Never Been: A Mountain That is Younger Than Me, Mauna Ulu

2 months agoAcademics / Geology : Geotripper

Mauna Ulu, a mountain that originated between 1969 and 1974 So much of geology is incremental. A rock slides from a cliff top, a river carries sand grains downstream, a glacier slowly pushes debris down a mountain canyon. Each of these...Show More Summary

A Hike at Red Pass, Titus Canyon Road, Death Valley, CA

Arriving at Red Pass, which has a couple wide spots for parking, you're about half way down Titus Canyon Road (TCR), and only now are you about to enter the Titus Canyon drainage. Of course, half way depends on how you look at things. Show More Summary

Colorado City's July 4th shaken by earthquakes

Fourth of July fireworks in Colorado City, northern Arizona, were accompanied by two small magnitude earthquakes: magnitude 3.0 at 9:10 p.m., and a M 2.5 event at 11:01 pm (MST).Image showing the M 3.0 event, the M 2.5 event occurred in nearly the same location. Show More Summary

Unusual Unconformity on California's Lost Coast

2 months agoAcademics / Geology : Geotripper

Will someone save the unconformity? It's going to gone soon!Well, okay, there's not much to be done about it, being that the exposure seen here is on the shoreline of one of the most violent storm-ridden coasts in California, and just a half mile or so from the northernmost land exposure of the San Andreas fault. Show More Summary

Marks of the Oakland fault

Two weeks ago I told you how the city of Hayward inadvertently destroyed a special street corner. It was an informal shrine among geologists because it so clearly displayed the creeping motion of the Hayward fault. I mentioned that Hayward still has plenty of other bent curbs. So does Oakland. Almost nine years ago in […]

The Hawai'i That Was: A Tale of Two Kipukas, and Thoughts on the Rarest Plants in the World

2 months agoAcademics / Geology : Geotripper

Thousands of years ago there was an eruption at Humu'ula Saddle, the broad wide pass between Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawai'i. The eruption was mildly explosive, so the resulting landform took shape as a cinder cone. Show More Summary

Approach to Titus Canyon: Just Below Red Pass

We're now about two thirds of the way up the hill toward Red Pass on the Titus Canyon road, a one-way road that runs approximately east to west from Nevada into California, starting not far south of the ghost town of Rhyolite. On this...Show More Summary

Small quake near Colorado City

We had a magnitude 2.5 earthquake just after 11 pm on July 4, about 5.0 km (3.1 mi) ESE of Colorado City, Arizona. [Right, orange star marks the epicentral location. Red lines are active faults. Credit, USGS]

Volunteers unload AZGS library in Phoenix museum

A flood of volunteers showed up at the former mining and mineral museum in Phoenix today to unload thousands of volumes from the AZGS's libraries onto temporary shelving.AZGS was forced to shut down our Phoenix office and dramatically...Show More Summary

Changes coming to Mountain View Cemetery’s landscape

Mountain View Cemetery is one of Oakland’s great civic ornaments for several reasons: its gravestones and tombs commemorate generations of historically important Bay Area, and its plan was Frederick Law Olmsted’s second significant large-scale project in landscape design after New York’s Central Park. It’s a fine piece of open space that’s used by many different […]

The Hawai'i That Was: Mauna O Wakea, the Opening to the Heavens, and the Realm of Ice

2 months agoAcademics / Geology : Geotripper

It's hard for me as a person of European descent to imagine what the first Polynesians to arrive at the islands thought of Hawaii's highest mountain. Mauna Kea, the "White Mountain", or Mauna O Wakea, the mountain of the god Wakea, the...Show More Summary

Settling in at the University of Arizona

It's been a busy week. The Arizona Geological Survey moved to the University of Arizona, physically and administratively. On Monday, we packed up the Arizona Experience retail store and AZGS library shelves [right] to move to the former...Show More Summary

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